Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Spiced Latte Lips

I'm a big fan of the No7 Stay Perfect lipsticks, I have three of them and they're all gorgeous shades that are comfortable to wear and last incredibly well. I highly rate them if you don't want to spend a fortune on a lipstick but want quality and lasting power. So when the newly formulated Moisture Drench lipstick in Spiced Latte arrived a few weeks ago I was excited to put it it the test to see how it compared to the Stay Perfect formula. 

When I first saw the shade I was unsure as to whether it would suit me, however as soon as I applied it I was in love. The colour is so flattering, a neutral rosy toned brown that works really well with my fair skin. The formula applies easily and feels hydrating but there is still great colour pay off. I wasn't expecting much pigmentation, I thought from the name that it would be much more sheer but as you can see from the swatches below, the colour is very rich. 

The Moisture Drench formula has been updated to give hydration for up to 9 hours. Some of the ingredients include Shea Butter (an emollient and anti-oxidant) and Rosehip Seed Oil which contains Vitamins A and E helping to promote cell growth and protect the skin as well as fatty acids which nourish the skin and aid elasticity.  It also contains SPF 15, a rarity in my experience when it comes to lipstick, I always forget to apply sun protection to my lips so having SPF in my lipstick makes things much easier.

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Top-Bottom; Rosie for Autograph Lady Rose, Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish 08, No7 Spiced Latte, Estée Lauder Crystal Baby, Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect

I thought it would be a good colour guide to compare Spiced Latte to some similar shades in my collection ranging from budget to high end. You can also see the colour pay off in comparison to the other lipsticks. Click on each shade to see how it looks on me in comparison to Spiced Latte

I was surprised by how much I loved this shade, I don't think I ever would have looked twice at it in Boots, but I've been wearing it so much over the past few weeks, alone and paired with Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Lip Cheat which gives it greater staying power. 

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The Moisture Drench lipsticks are priced at €14, not exactly cheap but the quality is up there with some many of the high end brands I've tried. If you haven't tried the No7 Match Made service yet, you can have a sales advisor match you to your perfect shade of foundation, concealer, blush and lipsticks. No7 have just launched their Match Made App which I've tried and it really works, just pick up a skin tone analysis card instore and you can find your shade match with your own phone (it's more fun than someone else doing it!)

Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What are you wearing on your lips this Autumn?

Emma x


Monday, September 19, 2016

A Des Reflets D'Argent

The Summer is sadly over for another year. We've been lucky in Ireland to have had relatively good weather for September but before I get my woollies out I wanted to share some photos we took while we were away in the south of France at the beginning of the month. 

We stayed in a beautiful little town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer close to Nice. I hadn't planned on taking outfit photos (mostly because it was so hot I didn't think it would be a pleasant sight) but the scenery was so beautiful I couldn't resist, so on our last day we went to the waterfront at the hottest time of day and I tried to not look like a sweating mess. 

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Skirt- Zara
T-shirt- New Look (similar here and here)
Runners- Topshop
Bag- Stella and Dot (similar here and here)
Necklace- Stella and Dot 

I loved this Zara skirt when I saw it at the start of the Summer, I managed to pick it up on sale and it's served me well over the past few months. It was the perfect statement piece to bring on holiday because of the light cotton fabric, I'll definitely be bringing it back out next Summer. 

I got these Quay Australia sunglasses in TK Maxx and I've worn them all Summer. They're really great quality and look amazing with a simple outfit. I'm eyeing up a few things on the Quay website, they have some gorgeous cat eye styles. 

The necklace is from the Stella and Dot Bespoke collection which launched a few months ago. I'm so obsessed with it, I've been wearing it almost every day since I got it. I've gotten so many compliments on it too. It's one of the few items of jewellery I brought away with me. I had it personalised in a circular font with my initials. There are cuffs, necklaces, a ring and cufflinks in the Bespoke collection that can be personalised with letters or numbers in different fonts. I love this collection, the pieces make for great gifts with a personal touch. I'm already planning on getting the signet ring for myself. I know people who have gotten their children initials/ birthdays and even the co-ordinates to their house on their Bespoke pieces. The quality is amazing and they come packaged beautifully, if you're looking for a special gift for someone, I'd recommend checking this collection out.

I can safely say this is my last Summer outfit of 2016 but I'm excited about dressing for Autumn, I have a wishlist I'll be sharing soon. What's on your Autumn shopping list?

Emma x






Friday, September 16, 2016

Bloom & Wild

I have something a little different for you today. I was recently introduced to Bloom & Wild, a UK based flower delivery and subscription service that has just launched in Ireland. I got to chat to the company's founder Aron Gelbard and he talked me through everything Bloom & Wild has to offer it's customers. I never thought I'd be writing about flowers but after seeing the flower arrangements and the new Christmas collection in person, I wanted to share it with you all.

The big difference between Bloom & Wild and your average florist is that the flowers are delivered through your letterbox in a long cardboard box. The larger flowers in the bouquet are protected with individual nets to keep them safe during transit, they are also sent when they are in bud so that they last longer. The package contains care and arrangement instructions and once followed correctly, the flowers should last for at least seven days.

What I really love about this company is that you get to do some flower arranging when your package arrives. I tried flower arranging for the first time at an event last year and I was surprised by how much I loved it, it's so relaxing and seeing the end result is very satisfying. Obviously, this won't be for everyone, I'm sure there are some people who would prefer a pre-arranged bouquet, but if you're looking for a more unique gift, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't adore a Bloom & Wild package coming through their letterbox. 

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I was given the Posy Party which contains 5 small glass bottles in 2 different sizes, some twine and a selection of Autumnal wildflowers that you can arrange as you like. I loved putting together my five mini bouquets, its such a lovely gift idea because you can re-use the glass bottles.

There are lots of different bouquets to choose from, as well as a new selection of succulents that come in a sleek white tray. They also have a beautiful Christmas collection including a mini Christmas tree with optional baubles and lights, a wreath that comes in two parts and a Birch tree which is a collaboration with Birchbox and includes premium beauty products to hang on your little tree, it's such a cute Christmas present idea. There are gift bundles and subscriptions to chose from too if you're looking for a Christmas gift with a difference. 

There's a special discount of 20% for first time customers with the code IRELAND.

I hope you like the idea of Bloom & Wild as much as I do!

Emma x





Friday, September 9, 2016

Ona Rex BASE

I wrote about my friend Ashley's clothing and accessories brand Ona Rex back in December and since then things have been going from strength to strength with her SS16 collection and now BASE which just launched last week.

I was blown away when I saw the images from the lookbook, it really encapsulates the high end urban feel that inspires Ashley.  I wanted to know what the inspiration was behind the collection so I asked her to share her thoughts with me. BASE is the Ona Rex version of a "basics" collection, but not so basic basics. Ashley wanted to bring back some of her bestsellers from her previous BASE collections but in updated fabrics and a monochromatic colour palette so that they can integrate seamlessly into the wearers existing wardrobe.

Denim inspired the nostalgic, athletic feel to the collection which is apparent with the unisex Rex Pullover, a familiar nineties silhouette updated with the fresh fabric and Ona Rex patch on the back (a detail I absolutely adore, seriously, how cool is this piece?)

The Warren Snap Jersey is another unisex design which draws inspiration from vintage baseball jerseys but again the fabric completely transforms the piece into something so modern and wearable. The Trapeze and Meridian Dresses have returned with their flattering, easy to wear shapes that can be dressed up or down, with heels or runners. These dresses are those wardrobe staples that you could bring out for any occasion.

The Ruth Pant continues the theme of athleticism meets glamour with the sportswear inspired elasticated waist and contrasting stripe. The pants are tailored and in a linen fabric that make them that perfect mix of smart and casual.

The collection contains one accessory and that's the Galaxy Necklace, a stunning piece of hand sculpted acrylic on an 18K gold snake chain. This is another piece that was brought back from previous collections and is such a beautifully unique statement accessory. I actually have a Galaxy Brooch which Ashley kindly sent me as a gift and it's even more amazing in person.

I can't get over what a gifted designer Ashley is, I can only imagine to amount of work that goes into a collection like this. I hope you love the lookbook as much as I do. I adore the styling, photography, make up, everything. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing Ashley's vision to life. 


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What do you think of the collection? Do you have a favourite piece? 

You can follow Ona Rex on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Emma x


Lookbook Credits: 

Photography: Brett Warren Photography
Assistant: Ryan Smallhands
Beauty: Jessica Arnholt
Model: Cassidy with Amax Talent
Jewellery: Portmanteau Jewelry Collection






Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tearful At The Falling Of A Star

It feels very strange to say that I'm thirty. I felt like it was important for me to mark this occasion here, since my blog has been such a huge part of my twenties and I'm hoping it will remain so as I enter this new decade of my life. To think that I was only 23 when I started this blog, the years have gone by too quickly.

I'm feel proud to say that all my life I have always just been myself. I wasn't all that bothered with what anyone else thought of me, I dressed to please myself, listened to the music and watched the movies I loved, I never felt pressure to do anything conventional. To this day, even writing this blog I have always done my own thing, even though it's meant my blog has remained quite small throughout it's six years of existence, I'd rather have it that way and keep writing about what I want to write about.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my life and feeling like I haven't really achieved much, but I think I was doing myself a disservice. Everyone's ambitions and definitions of success are so different. It's far too easy to compare yourself to other people nowadays and it can be both very motivating and toxic at the same time. I can completely admire someone who is driven and ambitious and works 24/7 to achieve their goals but I've come to the realisation that that is not and will never be me. I work very hard at what I do and I put everything into it, I always want to do my best and make myself proud more than anything, but I also know that work isn't everything and spending time with the people I love is so important to me and I don't want to compromise on that. I feel like I finally have as close to a healthy balance as I'll ever get and I'm really happy with that.

I have done a lot in my thirty years, I've completed my education, I've moved house lots of times, I've had two interviews in my life and gotten both jobs, I've stayed up all night talking to someone I love, I've watched a LOT of films, been to a lot of gigs, I've travelled more in the past 2 years than I have in the previous 27. I've become an Aunt to the most beautiful little girl, I've been the face of an international make up campaign for a brand I love. I won an award for best fashion/beauty blog at the Irish Blog Awards. I've made many friends and sadly lost touch with some too. I've watched people I love pass away. I've had my heart broken, I've fallen in love, I've taught myself many things. I've done things I regret and regretted things I didn't do. I stood beside my sister at her wedding. I've danced all night, cried over boys, had too much to drink on nights out, eaten the most amazing food, watched Six Feet Under late at night when I was supposed to be asleep. Watched The Goonies more times than I can remember, I named my youngest brother, made up dance routines to Spice Girls songs (I was always Baby Spice), got surprisingly good results in my leaving cert exams, I've stood up for myself and others as much as I could and I danced on the beach in the rain with my best friend

I never had any significant dreams or ambitions when I was younger, I really don't think I was ever your typical little girl. I didn't dream of being a ballerina or a pop singer or what my wedding dress would look like or having babies. As I got older I wasn't obsessed with getting a boyfriend or traveling the world or underage drinking. All I really wanted in life was to be healthy and happy and laugh a lot and I've done just that (apart from some recent health issues). 

There is still so much I want to do with my life, so many things spring to mind immediately I won't even try to start naming everything. My main goals are to continue to live my life as fully as I can, to say yes to exciting and challenging opportunities, to push myself to learn new things and experience more of the world and to try and be a good and positive person and help people as much as I can. 

And if you're still reading, here are some photos of what I wore on my birthday. 

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Top- Dunnes Stores Savida Star Mesh Top
Skirt- Zara Tulle Skirt
Shoes- ASOS Switch It On Pointed Heels
Earrings- Topshop
Ring- Stella and Dot Eden Ring (currently sold out)
Lipstick- Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red
Nails- Essie On a Silver Platter


My party was very casual in a local bar so I didn't want anything too dressy but I still wanted something new and pretty. I started with the shoes which I saw on someone I follow on Instagram a few months ago and went on ASOS straight away to order them. Sadly they were out of stock for ages so when I finally saw they were back in my size AND on sale I was thrilled and bought them immediately. I never wear high heels because I have problems with my feet so these low block heels give just enough height to make me feel a bit more dressed up, I'll definitely be bringing these out for events to dress up jeans or more casual outfits.

I wanted some kind of tulle skirt and when I started looking around online they seemed to be everywhere. I got this one for a bargain price of €29.95 in Zara, it also comes in a pale blue shade. I plan on wearing this in the winter with ankle boots and a jumper to make it more cold weather appropriate.

I was going to just wear a grey or white t-shirt with the skirt to keep the outfit more casual but then I saw this top in Dunnes while out shopping with my sister about a week before my birthday. I brought the skirt into town with my the next day to try on with the top and I loved how they looked together. I included some photos below of how I wore the outfit on the night of my party and then a bit more dressed down on my actual birthday. Please excuse the "there's a car coming" face, it's the only photo I got of my outfit on the night!

OB Collage

Thanks for reading this long, personal post. They're a rare occurrence these days, but I felt like sharing a bit more since it was a special occasion. 

Emma x




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bronzed Illumination

I was sent the No7 Skin Illuminator a couple of months ago and after trying it once I was excited to use it for a glowing Summer skin look. Summer is almost over (at least in Ireland anyway) but I'll be going on holiday in a couple of weeks so until I come back I'm still in Summer mode and using my favourite hot weather make up products. I've written about most of the products below already and they're all still firm favourites. 

I wanted to use only cream or liquid products to achieve as natural a finish as possible. I started with YSL Top Secrets Instant Moisture Glow, it's a lightweight moisturiser that works as the perfect hydrating primer to any foundation. I was sent this last year and have been using it sparingly because I never want it to end. This stuff feels incredible and instantly makes my skin look better. I tend to save it for days when my skin is feeling dehydrated but I need it to look good quickly. At €40 for 40ml, it's not cheap but if you suffer from dehydration and find it hard to get foundation to look good on your skin, I recommend getting a little sample of this because it really does make a huge difference to the appearance and texture of my skin.

I then applied the Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream that I reviewed last year. This stuff smells incredible, I used it lots on holiday last year and plan on bringing it with me this year too. I don't think it's still in stores but you can still get it online. It even works well on my fair skin, however it doesn't have the best coverage so I applied a small amount of Lancôme Miracle Air de Teint foundation on top because it's a matte glow foundation so it gives my skin luminosity but controls oil, the perfect combination and it meant I didn't have to apply powder on top. 

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I didn't feel like I needed much concealer as my skin was free from blemishes and breakouts so I just applied Kiehls Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector under my eyes, this is another product I reviewed last year and is still a staple in my everyday make up routine. It also contains SPF 30 which is essential for protecting the eye area in the hot weather. I wear this every single day and I can see such a difference under my eyes since I started using it last Summer. I then put some Clarins Instant Concealer on top to give an extra brightening effect and because it's so light but with great coverage, it works really well under the eyes. 

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I wanted to keep the eye make up quick, easy and long-wearing, perfect for warmer weather. I used my Armani Eye Tint in Cold Copper which is a pale gold shade that lasts all day without creasing. I love this kind of product because you can apply it straight onto the lid from the doe foot applicator and use a blending brush to buff it out, it literally takes a minute. I then added some definition to both the upper and lower lash line using this gorgeous KIKO Glamorous Eye Pencil in 401 (Golden Hazelnut) which appears to be discontinued (but NYX have one that's very similar). 

I used Lancôme Grandiôse Extrême mascara to finish off the eyes and ran Lancôme Sourcils Styler through my brows to keep them very natural. 

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To warm up my skin I used YSL Les Sahariennes in Épice. I was sent this last Summer and I honestly didn't think I'd like it because bronzers and I don't usually get along. Épice is the third lightest shade in the range which I was sure would be too dark on me when I first saw it but once I got the hang of it and used it in the right places on my face and blended it well, it gave me such a natural "sun-kissed" glow. 

Les Sahariennes is the first of it's kind, a powder-in-balm formula that applies so smoothly to the skin but transforms into a powder finish leaving the skin with a healthy bronzed glow. I never enjoyed using bronzers because they were always too dark or too sparkly for me. This is perfect for me, because of it's unique formula it looks so natural. I used it on the high points of my face, anywhere the sun would naturally hit and as you can see from the photos it doesn't look like too much at all. If you have fair skin and constantly struggle to get a natural looking bronzer to suit your skin tone, I would highly recommend having a look at this, there are two shades lighter than the one I have which could work really well on fairer skin tones.

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The No7 Skin Illuminator is one of those products that I love for achieving a natural highlighted effect to the skin. I didn't want to disturb my foundation and bronzer too much so I patted this onto my skin, on the tops of my cheekbones, on my brow bone, down my nose and on my cupid's bow. As you can see the finished effect is incredibly natural looking and so pretty. I'm a big fan of highlighter and I use theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer most days (with a very light hand), but there's something about a liquid highlighter that I've loved ever since I first tried Benefit High Beam. I've also tried this mixed in with my foundation and again it gives a very subtle glow effect. 


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I added a small amount of Bourjois Aqua Blush in Pink Twice to my cheeks and blended it out with my foundation brush. I have three shades of the Aqua blushes and I love them, especially for Summer because they look natural, last very long in hot weather and the gel/mousse texture has a cooling effect on the skin. 

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To finish off the whole look is a lip product unlike any other I've ever tried. We all know lip oils have been big over the past couple of years and now Lancôme have incorporated it into a lip colour. The Lancôme Juicy Shaker is a bi-phase hybrid of pigment and oil encased in some of the cutest packaging I've ever seen. The Juicy Shaker is based on a combination of the 1945 Cocktail Shaker lipstick and the iconic Juicy Tubes from the nineties. Packaging aside, I absolutely adore this product. Sure, it has the novelty factor, but I'm fine with that as long as the product inside delivers and this really does.

The applicator is unique too, it's a cone shaped cushion that feels so soft on my lips. You have to shake up the bottle before you apply it because it's bi-phase so it separates when it's kept still. The scent is unbelievable too, it's a fruity sweet scent so give it a whiff before buying it because I know a lot of people don't long strongly scented products but I'm addicted to it. I'm constantly reapplying this because it's so fun to use and smells amazing, it also contains almond oil, omega three and cranberry oil to nourish your lips.

This is definitely not the most pigmented of lip products, I was sent Berry Tale (there are 14 shades altogether including a clear mint scented one) but it does give a nice wash of colour for a more pared down look and it make my lips feel amazing all day. The texture is nothing like the original Juicy Tubes (which were like wearing honey on your lips they were so sticky!) it feels so smooth but not oily.

For a lipstick lover like me it takes a lot for me to forgo wearing lipstick, but I have found myself putting this in my bag a lot more often than I would have thought, especially on days when my lips are feeling dry and just need some nourishment.


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What do you think of this look? It's quite different for me and a lot more toned down than I would usually prefer but I think a look like this is beautiful in the Summer or if you're just looking to give your skin that healthy glow effect. 

Have you tried any of these products before? What are your go-to products for glowing, healthy looking skin?

Emma x


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