Monday, October 16, 2017

What I've Been Loving Recently #5

So it's been about six weeks since my last WIBLR and once again I have a lot of recommendations for you all. I've been watching a lot of tv shows and movies and they weren't all amazing but these are the ones that I loved (or really liked).

I had heard about Ozark a few months before it was released on Netflix and at first it didn't interest me, but then I watched the trailer and it made me very excited to start watching it. In short, it's about a guy called Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) who launders money for the Mexican cartel and has to relocate his family to the Ozark lakes in Missouri after his business partner gets into debt with them. The cast is excellent with Laura Linney playing Marty's wife, Julia Garner who plays Ruth Langmore is amazing as is Jason Butler Harner who plays FBI Agent Roy Petty and Peter Mullan as usual is incredible as the local crime lord who comes up against Marty.

After a slow pace to begin with, this is definitely one of those shows that once you get into it, you'll want to binge watch it. It's been compared to Breaking Bad I suppose for the anti-hero, ordinary family guy turned criminal aspect but it's very different although just as gripping. Having said that if you were a fan of Breaking Bad this might fill that void for you. I enjoyed seeing Jason Bateman playing a darker character but part of me will always just see him as Michael Bluth (there's definitely some Michael Bluth in Marty Byrde too). It's been picked up for a second season and I'm definitely excited to see what happens next in the story.

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The film Wet Hot American Summer was was released in 2001 and has since become a cult classic amongst its fans. It's one of those absolutely polarising films that you will either love or hate (I can see how it might not be a lot of peoples sense of humour). It's ridiculous and wacky and I adore it. I've watched it countless times and so when I heard David Wain and Michael Showalter were making a prequel for Netflix in 2015 I was delighted. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is the second follow up to the film but this time its set ten years later. Most of the original cast returned including Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Janeane Garofalo as well as Adam Scott, Chris Pine, Jason Schwartzman and Kristen Wiig. Obviously if you haven't seen the film there's no point in watching this but I encourage anyone who likes any of the above actors to watch it. David Wain who co-wrote the film with Michael Showalter and directed it also made Role Models and Wanderlust so if you liked the kind of humour in those films, you might like this. 
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Bojack Horseman is something I used to see all the time on the Netflix suggestions and having one of my favourite comedic actors as the voice of the main character (Will Arnett) made me want to watch it but for some reason I never gave it a go. My boyfriend started to watch it and it happened to be on in the background a few times and I found myself paying attention and laughing so I started watching it with him and now I'm obsessed. We're currently on the fourth season which is the most recent and I'm definitely going to go back and watch it from the beginning as I missed most of the first season. To give you an idea of what it's like, the picture below is of one of the main characters Princess Caroline who is voiced by the hilarious Amy Sedaris, with her boyfriend Vincent Adultman who is not a man but rather three kids sitting on each other's shoulders in a trench coat pretending to be a man. It's a hilarious yet dark (sometimes very dark) show that has lots of amazing guest voice actors as well as the main cast of Aaron Paul, Paul F. Tompkins and Alison Brie. 

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Difficult People is now in its third season and again this will be a love or hate show. If you've watched Parks and Recreation or the latest American Horror Story you might recognise Billy Eichner (also if you haven't seen his show Billy on the Streets it's so funny) and along with Julie Klausner they play Billy and Julie, two best friends living in New York and trying (and failing terribly) to make it in show business. They're annoyed by everyone except each other which I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. It's well written and has a great support cast who are equally funny. This third season was probably my least favourite out of the three so far but its a show I'd definitely watch all over again. 

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I've been looking forward to watching The Deuce since I first heard about it earlier this year. It has everything I love, New York, the seventies, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Franco and it's on HBO. It's not for the faint of heart as it does have graphic scenes of sex and violence but after only five episodes this has quickly become one of the best television programmes I've seen in a long time. Like I've already mentioned it's set in New York in the 1970s in the area around Times Square and explores the lives of the sex workers in the area as well as the legalisation and rise of the porn industry. James Franco plays Vincent and Frankie Martino who begin working as a front for the mob. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Candy, a struggling sex worker who develops an interest in working in the porn industry as a means to make more money to support her young son. The Deuce was created by the guys behind The Wire so if you've watched that you might be interested in this. 

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When I saw the trailer for Logan Lucky I was so excited to watch it. As a big Steven Soderbergh fan (I think most people are) I was hoping this wouldn't disappoint and thankfully it didn't. First of all I loved the cast. Channing Tatum is so damn funny. Daniel Craig was ridiculous and amazing. Adam Driver I'd watch in anything, he's an incredible actor and Riley Keogh was so funny and completely on par with the boys. Also, Irish actor Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid (yes, that's Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid's son!) played the brothers of Daniel Craig's character and were both hilarious. It's basically Ocean's Eleven set in North Carolina. Watch it for the accents alone. 

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Was anyone else obsessed with the 1990 version of IT starring Tim Curry and Ray from Sister Sister? Just me then! I remember first watching the 192 minute two part miniseries when I was probably far too young to be watching something about a demented clown who tortures and kills children. I actually owned a VHS of it and I'm pretty sure it's still somewhere in my parents house. My sister and my friends and I would watch it at sleepovers and terrify each other throughout the viewing by making noises and jumping out at each other. I was terrified of clowns as a child and it didn't help that my aunt was obsessed with them and had clown paintings and figurines all over her house which didn't exactly make me excited about visiting her. The sight of Tim Curry as Pennywise still gives me chills, that one scene where he appears behind the sheets on the washing line in the garden haunts me. That being said, it is quite a cheesy film so I was very curious to see how the reimagining would compare to the miniseries.

I wasn't overly excited to see it which was probably a good thing because my expectations weren't too high and therefore I was left pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked how it was set in the eighties and had that nostalgic feeling, like with Stranger Things or films I watched as a kid like The Goonies. The actors were all amazing, the casting was perfect. However I wasn't that impressed with the actual clown. I think it's just the CG effects I don't really like, the original film was terrifying because Tim Curry looked so real as the clown whereas the effects in this new one just distracted me and took me out of the realistic world they created. I'm very interested to see the sequel and who they cast to play the adults. I don't know how much it's going to differ from the book as I never finished it because it's so damn long and boring, so if you did manage to read it let me know what you thought of this adaptation. 

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Mother! is yet another film that will divide people. If you don't like Darren Aronofsky's other film's chances are, this won't be for you, but if you liked Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream or The Wrestler then definitely check this out. I chatted with a few people about this after I watched it and I did find there was something lacking in it for me, I couldn't quite put my finger on it although I did enjoy it. I love that his films really engage you in the main character and the way it was shot I found myself getting more and more frustrated the way Jennifer Lawrence's character did. I loved her performance (apart from her wig which was a bit distracting) and I am so excited to see Michelle Pfeiffer on the big screen again, she was incredible as she is in everything she stars in. If you're in any way faint of heart, you might want to give this a miss because without giving anything away, the last half an hour or so or the film builds into quite disturbing and difficult to watch scenes that left me feeling very uneasy. However to me, that's the mark of a great filmmaker, to engage his or her audience and make them feel something intense. 

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Finally, my music recommendation is the collaboration between Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. I'm a big Kurt Vile fan and I knew of Courtney Barnett but hadn't ever really listened to her music. Their album has only just been released but I've been listening to the few songs I'd heard over and over again and I'm loving the combination of these two incredibly talented people. I'm looking forward to giving the album a proper listen and hoping I get to see them perform it live. 

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So those are my recent recommendations. I've just started Mindhunter on Netflix and I already love it so I'll be featuring that in my next post as well as Blade Runner 2049 which I saw last week. If there's anything you loved recently whether it's a film or tv show or music, please tell me because I'm always looking for new things to get into and let me know if you've watched any of these and what you thought.

Emma x

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Sun Cuts Like A Knife To Shine

It's been a while since I've written anything style related here, I seem to have skipped most of the Summer and gone straight to Autumn which is fine by me. The basic bitch that I am, I look forward to Autumn every year. I love the weather, the darker makeup, layering my clothes again etc. I've bought a few things over the past few weeks that I'm looking forward to wearing once the weather gets a bit colder and it seems to be going that way faster than I had anticipated. 

We went for a wander around town at the weekend and stopped off at one of my favourite locations, Dublin Castle to enjoy a coffee in the sun and we took some photos while we were there. The weather was quite mild that day so it busy in the park and having not taken outfit photos in a while I was a bit anxious at first and the staring tourists didn't help things. I suppose you can't blame people for wondering what you're doing taking your coat off and posing on the steps when they're trying to get past you, but thankfully everyone was friendly and thought it was funny and even joked about being in the photos with me. It's something that even after seven years of blogging, still makes me uncomfortable. No matter how many times I take outfit photos, if there's people around I freeze up and panic and have to stop which probably seems like the weirdest contradiction because I post said photos online for anyone to see. I still feel weird when someone I know tells me they read my blog, even if they say they like it, it's just a confirmation that I'm not in fact sending this off out into cyberspace and no one sees it which is what happens in my head. I don't know where that tangent came from but suffice to say, things are not always as they seem in the world of social media, who'd have thought!? 

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Coat- Marks and Spencer (similar here, here and here)
Shirt- New Look (similar here and here)
Trousers- New Look (similar here, here and here)
Boots- Penneys/ Primark (similar here, here and here)
Scarf- Vintage (similar here, here and here)
Earrings- Marks and Spencer
Ring- Vintage (it was my grandmother's)
Makeup- Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette and Clinique Nude Pop lipstick

I've been having a bit of a seventies inspired moment lately. An era I thought just wasn't for me (style wise) now seems to be giving me lots of inspiration. It could be all the seventies music and film I've been listening to and watching lately or just an unconscious absorption of all of the trends that have been prevalent on social media over the past few months. There's definitely some strong David Bowie Ziggy Stardust era inspiration happening with the gold hoops and neck scarf. I also kind of felt like a seventies newscaster but with a disco twist in the form of the silver lurex sock boots.

These boots were everywhere last year, Zara and Topshop had them and you can find very similar ones from River Island and & Other Stories as well as a few others I have linked above. I loved the Zara ones last year but I didn't buy them so when I saw these ones in Penneys for only €15 I bought them straight away.

I saw this trench on Lily Pebbles a few months ago and I had to have it. It's cotton but still heavy so it's perfect for Autumn and I love that it's a different colour to the usual trench coat. It's sadly unavailable now, but again I've linked some similar items above in case anyone likes it.

As you can see, I'm still loving the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette, you can read more of my thoughts on it and see it in action in this post.

I'm hoping I won't leave it so long between style posts in future as I love putting them together despite my anxiety over posing in public. I'll have a What I've Been Loving Recently post next, it's been a while since the last one and I have lots of film, Tv and music recommendations to share with you all.

Until then, leave me a comment and tell me how you're doing!

Emma x




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

If you're a makeup fanatic like myself, you'll probably have heard of British makeup artist Pat McGrath. If you haven't heard of her, you will most definitely have seen her work at some point. It's no surprise, as it seems to be a continuous trend with successful makeup artists, that she started her own range of products two years ago. However in true Pat McGrath fashion, she didn't do it the usual way, instead she began her line with Gold 001, a single pigment sold as a kit with a spatula, mixing liquid and a container. 

She has since released limited runs of eyeshadow kits, highlighting kits and lip kits and most recently the MatteTrance lipsticks. I've been so tempted to buy her products before, but they're incredibly hard to get hold of here in Ireland. When I saw her first posting about the MatteTrance lipsticks on her Instagram I decided I'd have to treat myself (for my birthday) and buy one. It definitely wasn't difficult to decide on a shade, despite there being a selection of nine beautiful shades, my heart was set on Elson, a classic blue toned red. 

I placed an order from Sephora on the day they launched. There are a few options available when buying online from Sephora in Ireland. You could use the likes of Address Pal or My Mall Box which  both create an address for you to ship to in the US and then subsequently, ship your package to Ireland. I'm not sure about Address Pal, but I know with My Mall Box you can amalgamate your orders from several US websites and have them all shipped to Ireland together.

There are great advantages to using these services, first of all it means there are so many brands and websites available to us here in Ireland that ordinarily wouldn't be, it also means you can buy in US Dollars which most of the time saves you money. I'll definitely be trying one of these services in the future to order from Sephora, but this time I actually ordered from the Sephora Canada site and paid in Canadian Dollars which was $52. In USD the lipstick costs $38 so with the conversion it worked out at approximately €35. If I had ordered from the US Sephora, it would have worked out at around €31. So it was about the same price as a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, not too extortionate in my book. Of course I don't live in Canada, but my brother does, so I had it shipped to him and he very kindly sent it on to me. 

When I was in New York I got a Sephora Beauty Insider Card and I had about 100 points on it so I got a free deluxe sample and three extra samples. There was another bonus perk for if you spend over C$50. I sadly missed my birthday bonus gift by about a week but there's always next year. That whole ordering portion of the post might not be of interest to you, but hopefully some of you will find it helpful for future reference. 

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Now for the best part, the lipstick itself. I have to admit, when I first saw how the Pat McGrath Labs products were packaged I was incredibly excited to get my hands on them some day. I absolutely adore the way they are packaged inside a bag of sequins. It's such a unique and over the top way to package a product but I love it. 

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Once you open the packet and try not to spill the sequins everywhere which I was entirely unsuccessful at doing, you are presented with one of the most gorgeous lipstick cases I've ever seen. As you can see below, it's a sleek black tube with gold trim and gold lips. Another unnecessary detail, but one that lipstick lovers will most definitely appreciate. As much as I'm not fussed about packaging once the product is great, if I'm spending over €30, I do expect the packaging to be something special and this lipstick is just that, truly unique and beautiful. Pat McGrath doesn't do things by halves and her love of makeup, particularly extravagant and over the top makeup, is glaringly apparent with the way in which she has designed her products. So much thought has gone into every last detail. 

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As you can see Elson is such a stunning shade. I went for red because I know no matter what I'll wear it. As for the texture, I was of course wary with it being a matte finish lipstick because it can go either way, however matte formulas are improving all the time and we've come a long way from the drying, difficult to apply MAC matte formula (even though I still love and wear Ruby Woo all the time). I can honestly say this was the most smooth and easy to apply matte lipstick I've ever tried. It glided on  easily and the pigmentation is so rich you only need one layer. Like with most pigmented lipsticks I used a lip brush to perfect the edges and because the formula is so smooth it was easy to do as it didn't drag on my skin. Although it's matte, it definitely doesn't look too dry, it has a sheen to it that gives dimension so that your lips don't look flat. 

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I absolutely love the shade, it's a true blue red which of course is such a flattering shade of red because it supposedly makes your teeth look whiter. I also feel like everyone can wear a blue toned red, not matter what your skin tone or hair colour. As for lasting power, I did think that because the formula is a lot more smooth than the usual matte lipstick, it comes off a bit more easily. However I didn't wear a liner and I know that would help with the lasting power of it. The trade off though is that is it a lot more comfortable to wear all day than most of the matte lipsticks I own. It also doesn't have a scent which I know will please anyone with a sensitive nose. 

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As you can see I swatched some comparable matte red lipsticks so that you have a frame of reference. Left to right is MAC Lady Danger, MAC Ruby Woo, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red and finally Pat McGrath Elson. As you can see Red Carpet Red is very similar, in both shade, finish and price point, so it's a great alternative if you can't get your hands on Elson.  

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Did I need another red lipstick? Absolutely not, I have more than enough that I could probably wear it every day of the year and never run out. But, this was my birthday treat to myself and I was incredibly curious to try the Pat McGrath Labs products.

The good news is, if you want to get your hands on these MatteTrance lipsticks which are currently all sold out, there is going to be a restock on the Pat McGrath website on September 16th at midnight EST and if you really want to guarantee you get one, there is a members only pre-sale happening beforehand if you sign up on her website.

In other exciting news, she is launching an "unlimited" edition collection of products later this month including eyeshadow palettes, LuxeTrance lipsticks and lip liners which all look incredible. I highly recommend following her Instagram to get a sneak peak at the new products and just for some amazing makeup inspiration in general.

Pat McGrath Labs is available from Net-a-Porter and Sephora as well as the Pat McGrath website.

Have you bought anything from Pat McGrath labs or would you like to?

Emma x



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Face Of The Day- Renaissance Red

I was at my sister's new apartment on Wednesday and she gave me her Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette to take home with me and try out. I actually got her the palette, amongst other things, in Sephora in New York (I think she spent as much money as me!)

To be honest until she asked me to get it for her, it hadn't really been on my radar. I knew what it was of course but there's a part of me that tends to ignore brands that are harder to get hold of here in Ireland. I don't see the point in getting exciting over products that I can't actually see in person.

However when I brought it back to our AirBnB that evening I took it out of the box to have a proper look at it and I was so surprised by how much I liked it. I definitely prefer warmer tones on my eyes colour and I loved the unusual mixture of shades and finishes in this palette. There are 14 shades in total, 11 ultra matte, two metallic and one satin finish. As the name might suggest, the palette was inspired by the shades found in Renaissance paintings, a similar idea to that of the Lime Crime Venus palette which I bought when it first came out 3 years ago and barely used because I was so mad about the hacking debacle (thankfully I paid for mine with PayPal so my account wasn't emptied unlike many others but I've refused to support them ever since).

Anyway, on to the palette itself. It has very similar packaging to the original Urban Decay Naked Palette which I'm told has since been revamped. I feel like the price of this palette definitely warrants more sturdy and less prone to getting grubby packaging, but having said that, the pink velvet is quite pretty.

I've been playing with the palette since Wednesday and I've been loving it so far. Here's the first look I created with it. 

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To begin I spritzed my skin with the Urban Decay B6 Priming Spray*. This is definitely one of those makeup steps that you can skip, however I find this absolutely reduces how oily my skin can get throughout the day so if you have oily skin, this might be one to try out. I then applied Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation* in the shade Beige Opale. This is Lancôme's best selling liquid foundation and has been around for years so I was hoping I'd love it. It's meant to be high coverage, long lasting and smudge proof. I don't know whether it's the fact that it's full coverage and I usually prefer light to medium coverage, but I find a little of this goes a long way. I love the texture and it blends very well, the shade is also an excellent match so this is a great option for fair skin tones like myself. However I do find that sometimes this can sit on my skin and it can also wear away in some areas of my face. It's a pity because once I apply the right amount I really love how it looks at first. It really does give excellent coverage, but I think it's just not suited to my skin and how I like my foundation to look. I much prefer their Miracle Air de Teint foundation which I reviewed in full last year. I tend to save this foundation for evening wear or events where I do sometimes like more coverage and I don't need it to last as long. If like me you prefer lighter coverage and can get oily throughout the day, I highly recommend trying Miracle Air de Teint instead. 

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My beloved Glossier Boy Brow has come to an end so I went in search of something to replace it. I was buying Soap and Glory Archery anyway because I love it and have repurchased it many many times now. As it was 3 for 2 on Soap and Glory in Boots I decided to try out their Archery Volu-Boost Brow Fibre Gel. It comes in three shades, I went for the darkest, Mocha Up Your Mind and it's a perfect match for my naturally dark brows. I really like this, it has a small wand and I like that the fibres helps to add volume to my sparse patches. The only thing that I don't like is that you have to be quite light handed or the product can get on your skin which tends to be the case with less expensive brow gels. However for €13.50, it's not a bad option until Glossier start shipping to Ireland (which I'm hoping will be soon). 

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On my eyes I wanted to create quite a simple look, so after priming my lids with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion*, I blended some of Tempera under my brow bone and then Venetian Red on the lid and blended it out. I applied Antique Bronze on my lower lash line and then KIKO Glamorous Eye Pencil in 401 on my water line which is a gorgeous bronze shade and is sadly discontinued but they have a similar colour in their Intense Colour Long Lasting Eyeliner range. NYX Professional Makeup Slide on Eye Pencil in Golden Bronze is quite similar too. I then curled my lashes using the Eyeko Black Magic Lash Curler that I recently got free in Marie Claire (it replaced my other Eyeko curler which was broken). I then applied my new mascara MAC Upward Lash which was a birthday gift from my sister. I absolutely love this, I'll definitely be writing a full review soon. 

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I concealed my hormonal breakouts (I got a gorgeous one in between my brows for my birthday!) and under my eyes with the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I'm not loving this under my eyes, I need to get something that's a bit more hydrating but it'll do for now. It works wonders on the rest of my face though and it's so inexpensive, yet another product I've repurchased again and again. Another Collection product I've been loving recently is the Contour Stick in the shade light (it's actually only €3.99 in Boots at the moment) and it's a great option if you're fair skinned like me and you want a little bit of natural contour that's easy to apply and blend. 

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On my cheeks I applied a little Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff. I absolutely adore this! I wish I'd gotten another shade (or three). It's so light and easy to use and looks pretty and natural. I'll be writing a full review of this soon too. I used some of the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter which is a cream stick and again it's so quick and easy to use. Mine is almost gone and I'll definitely be repurchasing it. 

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I finished my skin with the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray* which I've repurchased several times and is such a great setting spray. I use this in lieu of and as well as powder depending on the occasion or how long I need my makeup to last. It also comes in a handy 30ml travel size that costs €12 and is great for keeping in your bag for touching up throughout the day. I know so many people who swear by this too. 

I finished the look with something really simple on my lips, the Glossier Lip Gloss. This is a clear lip gloss that feels quite similar on to the Clarins Lip Oils, almost like a thick oil rather than sticky which I hate (doesn't everyone, remember Juicy Tubes!). It also contains Vitamin E so it conditions your lips too. I bought this mainly for early noughties nostalgia purposes so I was surprised by how much I liked it. I think it's great for balancing out a strong matte eye look like this one. There's also nothing like gloss for making your lips instantly more full looking. It was very windy the day I wore this makeup so I actually ended up swapping the gloss for the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Meringue. The harsh Irish winds are the main reason I don't ever really wear glosses. 

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You can buy the Modern Renaissance palette in Ireland from Beauty Bay/ Cult Beauty and the Anastasia Beverly Hills UK site at €50.50 (shipping is free on orders over €22), £41 (converts to approximately €45, plus shipping is free to Ireland if you're spending over £40) and £41 (again shipping is free to Ireland when you spend over £25) respectively. I bought the palette in Sephora for $42 which converted to about €36. So if you're in the US, you can get it much cheaper but other than that, Cult Beauty and the ABH UK site are the best options.

So what do you think of this look? Have you tried the Modern Renaissance palette or any of the other products I mentioned?

Emma x

*Products marked with and asterisk are press samples.


Monday, August 14, 2017

What I've Been Loving Recently #4

It's been six weeks since my last WIBLR post and in that time I've consumed quite a lot of popular (and not so popular) culture. I've continued to watch Archer and Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks is continually blowing me away, I'm loving it more and more with every episode. I'm almost caught up with My Favorite Murder (mentioned in the second WIBLR post ) which is crazy because I've been listening to it since the middle of May, so that's over 100 episodes in the past almost 3 months. I don't know what I'm gonna do once I've caught up and have to wait every week for an episode. Binge consuming of culture has ruined me! 

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First up is a film I had really been looking forward to, Spider-Man: Homecoming. I was mostly looking forward to it because I've never been crazy about the other Spider-Man incarnations. Honestly I just wasn't a fan of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man and I don't think I even saw the Andrew Garfield one. My favourite Spider-Man was probably the nineties animated series which I loved as a kid. After Tom Holland's cameo in Captain America: Civil War I was excited to see him in his own Spider-Man film. The reunion of one of my favourite on screen couples Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. may have also had something to do with my excitement. 

I really loved this film. It was fun and entertaining and hilarious and the casting was spot on. I've been loving Michael Keaton's return the big screen too. A lot of it was filmed it Queens which was an added bonus because we recognised some of the locations. Since having been in New York I get so excited every time I watch something that's been filmed there. I like the light-heartedness that this film has in comparison with the other Spider-Man films, it doesn't take itself too seriously which is exactly what I want from a superhero movie. My only gripe is that Marisa Tomei wasn't in it enough for me.

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I saw one of the early trailers for Baby Driver without knowing it was an Edgar Wright film and my initial thought was "what the hell is this?". I didn't think the trailer did it any favours and I definitely wouldn't have been convinced to go see it by watching the trailer if I didn't know who directed it. I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright so when I saw this was one of his films I was a lot more excited to see it than I had been initially (also, two words: Jon Hamm). I was really surprised by how much I liked this. Ansel Elgort is amazing in it. I found the performances by the supporting cast to be a bit tongue in cheek which I'm sure was intentional. The soundtrack was particularly incredible as it is with the other Edgar Wright films. There's also some romance and a lot of humour. I'd highly recommend seeing this if you get a chance.

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I was very excited to see The Beguiled, mostly because it was directed by Sofia Coppola who directed one of my favourite films, Lost in Translation. I loved The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette and Somewhere too, The Bling Ring left me disappointed but I'm always interested in seeing her work. The Beguiled is a (sort of) remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film of the same name based on the book A Painted Devil by Thomas Cullinan. I'm not going to go to much into the plot for anyone who doesn't know what it's about, but in short it's set in a girl's boarding school in Virginia during the Civil War. One of the girls finds a wounded solider and brings him back to the school to recover and his presence stirs up the relationships between the teachers and students. 

I still don't really know how I felt about this film. It's beautifully shot, as is the case with all Coppola's films. The performances were excellent, although as much as I love Colin Farrell as an actor I always laugh when he has his own Irish accent in his films. I feel like it lacked something for me, I read some reviews of it that said it cut out some of the back story to the characters and one significant character from the book and 1971 film and I'm not sure if that was a bad choice. It's definitely an interesting plot as it is, seeing how the introduction of a man into the home of a group of women instantly affects them all in different ways, but I did feel there wasn't the character development there that happens with adaptations sometimes. 

If you're a Sofia fan, you'll definitely enjoy this, but I didn't love it the way I did her other films. 

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If you get the chance, try to see Dunkirk in IMAX. The sound design of the film is such an important part of it and the IMAX really immerses you in it, as much as a film can because thankfully most of us will never know what it feels like to be apart of such horrifying circumstances. Again, Christopher Nolan is a director who I have loved for years. The first film I saw of his was Memento and then Insomnia and ever since I've looked forward to seeing each film he has directed. Dunkirk was no exception and I was very interested to see what way he was going to handle a film about World War II. 

I really enjoyed the film, like I said the sound design is incredible as is the cinematography and the performances. I like the way it was split into land, sea and air and you got a glimpse of each perspective. Some characters were more well developed than others. The men from the sea portion of the film had the most development, the pilots were pretty straight forward and group of young guys who were trying to get off the beach were somewhere in between. I don't know whether it's just me expecting a more human element to the story rather than straightforward almost documentary like storytelling of the events. But there was something lacking for me. I appreciate that Nolan wanted show the events of Dunkirk from several different perspectives in such a short space of time and therefore its difficult to go into much depth with any one character. But then it is a film about the war and if you're not going to choose to depict a specific story, then you have to just let it be about the events in order to honour the people who went through it.

Shamefully, I didn't know much about what happened at Dunkirk so it's great that a film like this can remind us all that what happened wasn't all that long ago, especially with what's going on in the world at the moment, we can never remind ourselves too often of the lessons history has taught us and that sadly that fight is still going on for so many people around the world today. We all have our part to play in making sure nothing like World War II ever happens again. 

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I was looking forward to seeing The Big Sick since I first heard about it. I've been a big fan of Kumail Nanjiani for years, he's been in lots of my favourite comedy shows and most recently Silicon Valley which I wrote about here. I knew the story of how he and his wife Emily got together and the very unusual situation that came about when they were first dating. I won't spoil what happens because if you don't know the story yet I don't want to ruin it for anyone but basically himself and Emily wrote the film based on their relationship and the difficulties of coming from two different cultures. I really really loved this film, the cast is so good, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play Emily's parents and they really stole the show for me. The adorable Zoe Kazan plays Emily and Kumail plays himself. It's hilarious and heartbreaking and a very unromantic, romantic comedy. 

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Glow is a Netflix original series about female wrestling in 1980s Los Angeles. It was created by the women who made Weeds and Orange is the New Black so it has the same dark humour as both of those shows. I was a huge fan of Weeds, but I never actually finished it because I thought it was starting to go downhill however the first few seasons are excellent. 

Glow is probably my least favourite of the three shows. I really like the cast, Kate Nash, the British singer is in it which I found very strange but she's actually really good. I loved Debbie and some of the other characters more than the main character Ruth, played by Alison Brie and Marc Maron who is a great comedian that I've loved for years now. 

It's fairly light-hearted and easy viewing that doesn't demand much from the audience which is just what you need sometimes. If you're a fan of OITNB you'll enjoy this, but I don't think it's as good. 

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Orange is the New Black is now in its fifth season and it's still going strong. I put off starting this most recent season for a while because there were a few other things I wanted to finish watching first. I wasn't overly excited to watch it if I'm honest, but once we watched the first episode I think we finished it in a week. I was really impressed with this season, I loved that they did something a bit different and we got to see the characters in different situations to their normal everyday prison life. I also like how they addressed social issues that mirror what's going on in the world at the moment. There is a lot of humour too, some of my favourite parts were the prison guard talent show and Flaca and Maritza's YouTube channel (I'd definitely subscribe to that). But like I said above, there is a lot of darkness in this show too. I think this was my favourite season yet and it's one of those shows where the writing and cast are so good that there is still so much they can do with it without it going stale. I really hope next season is just as good and if you haven't watched it yet, you've got five seasons to binge watch!

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Friends From College is something I came across one night when I was doing my usual browsing through Netflix for an hour before actually choosing something to watch. I watched the trailer and I was intrigued because I hadn't heard anything about it but it was new to Netflix and has some of my favourite comedians in it- Billy Eichner and Keegan-Michael Key as well as Cobie Smulders from How I Met Your Mother and Fred Savage (yes, from The Wonder Years). It was created by Nicholas Stoller who made Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Five Year Engagement and Bad Neighbours and it's the same kind of humour as those films.

The premise is pretty simple, a group of friends from college get back in touch with each other and chaos ensues. It's a very straight forward comedy/drama that's very easy to watch. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, it's a great one for rainy days like today when you want to watch something easy and entertaining.

So those are my favourites from the past month. I'm currently watching Ozark and Wet Hot American Summer TenYears Later on Netflix so I'll give you my thoughts on those in the next post. I saw Fleet Foxes live which was amazing and I'm still loving their new album. I also saw Michael Ian Black do a set at the Vodafone Comedy Festival which was so cool. I've listened to the new Arcade Fire album a few times too and I'm not crazy about it so far which is disappointing because we got tickets to see them next year.

Have you seen any of these? What have you been watching/listening to recently?

Emma x

Monday, July 31, 2017

Emile Cordon Cashmere-On Lip Pots

You probably read the title of this post and thought what and who is Emile Cordon and what's a Cashmere-On Lip Pot? I'll admit I thought the exact same thing when I got an email from them to ask if I'd like to try out their products. I was immediately intrigued because I'd never heard of the brand before but I'm always interested in discovering new brands and new products so I agreed to try them out and very soon afterwards, I received a lovely package with two Lip Pots in it.

The reason I'd never heard of Emile Cordon is because it's quite a new brand, in fact it only just launched earlier this year. It was founded in 2016 by a French chemist who is now retired but has been living in New York for over 20 years. When she was young her grandmother used to make homemade multi-purpose balms for her family. After her grandmother passed away she missed the little balms she used to make so she started making them herself but adding her favourite scents and colours to the simple recipe her grandmother used and so the Cashmere-On Lip Pots came about. 

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The Lip Pots are multi purpose, they can be used as a lip balm, to nourish your cuticles, to protect the skin and to soothe the skin after sun exposure. The formula contains castor seed oil, which is an emollient as well as being an anti-inflammatory. Beeswax which again is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, it protects and heals the skin and softens it. Lauryl Laurate which conditions the skin, Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Extract which again soothes and softens the skin and is a good anti-inflammatory. 

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I was sent two of the pots- Lisa, which is scented with rosé champagne, fresh tea rose and strawberry leaves and Coco, which has a scent of coconut cake, vanilla accord and powder sugar. There are three other scents, Olivia (mint), Dorine (neroli and lemon) and Pamela (mediterranean fig). 

I definitely prefer Lisa out of the two, it has a gorgeous strawberry/rose scent that's not too overpowering. Coco has more of a sweet vanilla coconut scent which I like, but not as much as Lisa. I like that this is a multi purpose balm, I tend to keep it on my bedside table and apply it on my lips and cuticles at night. I had a cold recently and I applied it to the skin around my nose to help heal it after blowing my nose so much and it worked wonders which is down to the soothing and anti-bacterial ingredients.

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The first thing that I noticed about the lip pots was obviously the gorgeous packaging. Rarely does lip balm feel so luxurious, most of the lip balms I've tried have been in squeezy tubes or stick form. The Emile Cordon ones come in a box and inside is a little glass jar with gold lid. You also get a little spatula so that you can scoop out your desired amount of product more hygienically. I really like this little feature because I find lip balms that come in a pot last for quite a long time so it's nice to be able to use the spatula instead of using your finger all the time. 

The most similar lip balm I have to these ones is the NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm, the product itself is quite different as it's a much thicker matte lip balm but it also comes in a glass jar and because of that I keep it beside my bed to use at night rather than bringing it out with me as I wouldn't like applying it with my finger when I'm out and about and I'd be worried about breaking the glass jar. 

As for this formula, it's incredibly soft and smooth. When I've applied it with my fingers it actually melts from the heat of my skin slightly and feels like silk on my lips. It also gives quite a shine when I first apply it but it does sink into my lips and the shine wears off a bit. I was browsing on the Emile Cordon website and they have also suggested using it to tame brows, to highlight cheekbones and as an eyeshadow base for dewy eyes. I've tried it on my cheekbones and it's such a good idea because it gives a natural, glowy highlighted look. I've also tried it on my eyelids because I've been loving the glossy eyelid look recently. You can apply it under or over eyeshadow depending on the look you want to achieve. 

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I wanted to compare the Emile Cordon Lip Pots to some similar products and two that I could find are the Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm which is €45 ($42/£32) for 10g and the byTerry Baume de Rose which is €46 (£39/ $60) for 10g. They both share quite a few ingredients with the Cashmere-On Lip Pots which costs $42 (approx. £32/€36, not sure exactly as there is only the price in dollars not he website) and you get 15g of product. I haven't tried the other two so I can't comment as to which is better but I was curious to see if there were similar products at a similar price point on the market because when I first saw the price I thought it was quite expensive for a lip balm. However everyone raves about the byTerry one and that's more money for less product with a very similar ingredients list (the Lip Pots have less ingredients).

On the other hand, one of my favourite lip balms that I've loved for years is the aforementioned Rêve de Miel which is only €12 and for that you get 16.5g of product. Despite the price difference I wouldn't have a problem spending $42 on a lip balm because they last for such a long time that you do get value for money, especially if the ingredients are good (and who can say no to beautiful packaging). I'd have no problem paying three times the price for my Rêve de Miel because it lasts me about 9 months of using it once per day. I'll be interested to see how long the Lip Pots last in comparison but at the moment I'm absolutely loving using them and I think it's going to be a while before I run out of lip balm.

Emile Cordon also ship internationally from their online store.

Have you tried any of the lip balms I've mentioned? What's your all time favourite lip balm?

Emma x

*PR Sample, all opinions are my own.


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