Monday, February 20, 2017

Birkin Brown

Birkin Brown is one of those rare shades that is completely unique to my lipstick collection. It's not a shade I would have gravitated towards at all had I not seen it on Viola from Killer Colours. I put off buying it thinking it probably wouldn't suit me or I wouldn't wear it too much. Then one day before Christmas I was in Arnotts and passing the new Charlotte Tilbury counter and decided to ask the sales assistant if I could try it on. This is something I don't think I've ever done before, I usually know straight away if a shade will suit me. However seeing as this is quite a unique shade and costs €30, I thought it would be best to try it out first.

So as you can see I ended up buying it and I'm so glad I did because I love how it looks on. I already knew I loved the Matte Revolution formula, I have Red Carpet Red, Secret Salma and Pillow Talk  and all three are beautiful. 

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What makes this formula different from your average lipstick is that it contains lipstick tree and orchid extract that protect the lips from UV damage and pollution as well as soften and hydrate them. It also contains 3D glowing pigments to make the lips look more full. The formula is silky smooth thanks to a combination of triglycerides, oils and waxes. 

I love the texture of these lipsticks, they apply so smoothly and feel hydrating and comfortable throughout the day. However I don't find them as long lasting as some of the other matte lipsticks in my collection, they most definitely benefit from using a lip liner first, depending how long you need them to last. The Charlotte Tilbury website recommends Iconic Nude or Foxy Brown depending on your skin tone. My friend has Birkin Brown too and said that Hollywood Honey is a great match for it but I reckon any liner in a similar shade would work to just give it a bit more lasting power. 

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I tend to keep the rest of my makeup quite minimal when I wear it because I feel like it's quite a statement shade. It took a bit of time to get used to such a strong, unique colour but I think it has enough of a hint of red in it that it's still very flattering despite it being predominantly brown. I also really like that on the Charlotte Tilbury site there are photos of the lipsticks on an array of different skin tones making it easier to tell if a shade will suit you.

What do you think of Birkin Brown? Do you know of any similar shades to this one?

Emma x




Sunday, February 12, 2017

I'll Paint You Mornings Of Gold, I'll Spin You Valentine Evenings

A few weeks ago I met with the lovely Sandra who owns Lulu and Belle Jewellery, an online jewellery brand based in north county Dublin. We had been following each other on social media for a while and I was delighted when she asked if I'd be interested in meeting up and chatting about styling some of her jewellery. She selected some of her gold pieces that she thought would suit my style and she was spot on, I loved everything.

Last weekend I wore two of the pieces, the open hoop earrings and initial necklace and we took some photos in the freezing cold Merrion Square, somewhere we've never used as a location before. I wanted the jewellery to be the main focus so I tried to keep the outfit, hair and makeup quite minimal.   I feel like the outfit was subconsciously inspired by my love of Marisa Tomei (especially in Only You). 


LB31 LB5 LB16 LB6
LB20 LB15 LB14 LB35 LB19 LB9 LB22

Coat- ASOS
Shirt- New Look
Trousers- New Look
Scarf- Zara
Bandana- ASOS (similar here)
Bag- Penneys/Primark (similar here and here)
Shoes- Marks and Spencer (similar here and here)
Socks- Penneys/Primark
Lipstick- Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk
Nails- Essie Eternal Optimist
Jewellery c/o Lulu and Belle

I've mentioned recently how my preference over the past few years has been for more minimalistic jewellery. As you can see, the earrings and necklace are so pretty and delicate and could be incorporated into so many different looks. I'm so impressed that Sandra picked pieces that I was drawn to myself. I've been wearing at least one of them every day since I got them and I've gotten so many compliments. The jewellery is 14K gold filled meaning that the quality is excellent. The pieces are handmade to order and Sandra is more than happy to customise each piece however you like whether it be length, size or personalised with names or initials. She also has sterling silver options which is great for anyone who isn't a fan of gold.

Lulu and Belle Jewellery is available to buy on Etsy and Not On The High Street and a new website will be coming in the next couple of months too. You can also follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

What kind of jewellery do you like to wear, silver, gold or both? Do you like statement jewellery or a more minimal style?

Emma x

*This post was not sponsored, the items were kindly gifted to me by Lulu and Belle. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pillow Talk

The beauty world went crazy less than two weeks ago when Charlotte Tilbury released a limited edition lipstick version of her now cult lip liner Pillow Talk

I ordered two straight away, one for me and one for my sister. We're both huge fans of the liner, I actually bought it after seeing how nice it was on her. I had no qualms about not trying it in person first because I knew I loved the shade of the liner and I figured the lipstick couldn't be too far off. 

I waited impatiently for the postman to arrive (delivery was really fast though so I wasn't waiting for long) and like a good blogger I then waited until I had time to take photos before I tried it on. When I eventually did try it, I loved it straight away. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, the perfect match to the liner in a formula I already knew I loved. I have three Matte Revolution lipsticks, Red Carpet Red, Birkin Brown and Secret Salma and I love all three. 

In the photos below I tried to recreate the look on Charlottes Youtube channel that she did using the lipstick. 

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Wearing only the lipstick in the two photos above

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L-R Pillow Talk Lipstick, Pillow Talk Lip Cheat

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Wearing only the liner in the two photos above

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Bitch Perfect, Pillow Talk lipstick, Pillow Talk Lip Cheat, Secret Salma

I thought it would be interesting to compare Pillow Talk to some of the other CT lipsticks I have in my collection just for a colour reference. As you can see above, it sits almost perfectly in between Bitch Perfect and Secret Salma. 

PT16 PT14
Wearing both lipstick and liner in the two photos above

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Clockwise from top left: bare lips, only lipstick, only liner, both together

The packaging is obviously gorgeous as it is with all of Charlotte's products and I really love the Matte Revolution formula, I find it easy to apply and hydrating all day. I think the liner is ever so slightly more muted and pink toned than the lipstick on my lips, however when I see them side by side there isn't much difference at all. The liner is incredibly long lasting, way more so than the Matte Revolution formula of lipsticks which I don't find as long lasting as other mattes in my collection. They definitely benefit from being used with a liner. However it all depends on the look you're going for. You could wear this alone and maybe patted onto the lips for a more casual undone look and then with the liner to really enhance your lips and give better longevity for all day wear. Personally I'd be inclined to wear the lipstick alone on a daily basis as I'm not too fussed about lip liner most of the time.

Please excuse the millions of photos of me but I just wanted to give as much detail as possible because I'm aware that for now the lipstick is exclusive to charlottetilbury.com. However I have it on good authority that it will be coming into Brown Thomas stores in two weeks time so if you're still not sure whether to take the plunge unseen, you'll be able to go in and try it on if you're in Dublin. If you're unsure, €30 is a lot to spend on a lipstick, so I'd definitely go in and have a look at the liner to see if you like that shade first.

If you decide to order online, delivery is €3.95 (free on orders over €100) delivered by courier and you get to choose two little samples too which to me is a nice touch because you get to try out some products that you might have been curious about but didn't want to splash the cash on without trying first. I got a sample of Scent of a Dream and the Magic Eye Rescue, both of which I've been loving.

So are you one of the many beauty obsessed that couldn't wait and bought it already? Is this your kind of shade? Is there anyone that hasn't tried Charlotte Tilbury yet? Let me know your thoughts!

Emma x




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Recent Skincare Favourites From Kiehls, REN and Lancôme

I haven't written about skincare in a long time even though I've been trying out and loving some amazing new products over the past year. I wanted to get back into sharing some of my favourite skincare products with a post featuring three of the best discoveries of the past year. I'm a huge fan of all three brands featured and had high hopes for each of these products, thankfully I wasn't disappointed. 

Beginning with Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. Yes, the name of this product is a mouthful, but it's a name fitting to the product which packs a lot of punch. When I first read the press release for this I was incredibly excited to try it out. It sounded like exactly the kind of product my skin needed. As I was getting closer to entering my thirties I was using serums more and more. I found that they worked miracles on my dehyrated skin. (I'm usually normal/combination). I was starting to see the effects of ageing and felt I needed a daily dose of hydration in order to keep my skin and my make up looking its best.

This product claims to plump the skin which reduces the appearance of fine lines, helps smooth the texture and reduces dull, tired looking skin all of which can be caused by age-related dehydration. An imbalance of moisture in the skin as we get older means that we can suffer from premature skin aging. Kiehls have created a product the floods the skins deepest surface layers with moisture in order to restore a more youthful appearance to dehydrated skin.

Two of the key ingredients are plant-based Glycerin and Shiso Leaf Extract. The glycerin is a "moisture magnet" and absorbs water from the surrounding environment into the skin, it also increases the skins ability to hold water which aids elasticity and the barrier function of this skin. The Shiso Leaf Extract helps protect against the loss of naturally occurring Hyaluronic Acid in the skin (Hyaluronic Acid does wonders for keeping skin hydrated by holding the right amount of water that the skin needs).

The big question is does it work? From the first time I used it I could see its effects. I used it day and night before moisturiser and I found it did exactly what it said it would. I could see that my skin was more plump and looked brighter. To be completely honest I rarely write about skincare products because it's not often that I can genuinely see a product make a difference to my skin. But after noticing the first signs of my skin aging over the past year I was delighted to find a product that actually worked.

It feels beautiful to apply, almost becoming more fluid upon contact with my skin. It sinks in quickly so you can apply a moisturiser almost straight away. For €49 you get 50ml of product. I used mine up faster than I should have because I was using it twice a day but once a day would be more than sufficient. It also comes in travel friendly plastic packaging with a pump. If you're finding your skin is looking dull and dry and make up doesn't apply as easily any more, you should try this out. It's one I'll definitely be repurchasing despite the price tag. It's available from Arnotts and the Kiehls store on Wicklow Street.


NS2

The next product is one I was very excited to try after attending the launch last year. I'm a huge fan of REN and I've loved everything I've tried so far. The Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, another mouthful, is the Instant Firming Beauty Shot for the eyes (I haven't actually tried the facial version so I don't know what it's like). 

It's a gel-serum consistency that is supposed to brighten, lift and tighten the eye area reducing puffiness and fine lines. It's recommended that you apply a small amount all around the eye contour including the eyelid in a massage motion without rubbing. You can also reapply during the day over your moisturiser or make up for an instant lift. 

One of the main ingredients in the Beauty Shot Eye Lift is sodium hyaluronate which can penetrate the skin much easier than Hyaluronic Acid due to the size of its molecules. It can hold and attract water like no other substance making it an excellent ingredient to hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of skin aging. Although the results are temporary, it does help to protect the skin from the environment and other causes of skin aging. 

When I first tried this I could feel the tightening effect immediately. I had been suffering with dryness on my eyelids for months and this was the only thing that got my eye area back to normal. I loved how it reduced puffiness in the morning and hydrated under my eyes so that my concealer blended in easily and lasted better throughout the day without looking dry which can happen sometimes. I haven't tried it over make up yet but the texture is light enough that I can't see it being a problem. 

You can find REN in Space NK, Marks and Spencer, Cloud 10 Beauty and Arnotts. The Beauty Shot Eye Lift is priced at €40/£30 for 15ml, but you only need a very small amount so it lasts for a few months.

NS3

The final product I wanted to write about today is the Lancôme Énergie de Vie Liquid Moisuriser. I'm currently on my second bottle of this after first trying it out over the Summer after a press event. The Énergie de Vie range is marketed for the "millennial" consumer with Lily Collins as the face of the campaign. It's basically aimed at 25-35 year olds who have a busy, active lifestyle and need their skincare to give them a boost and keep them looking fresh faced.  It was developed by the Korean skincare labs inspired by new Korean beauty technology.


Lancôme used a trio of key active ingredients- Lemon Balm, Goji Berries and Gentian Root. Lemon balm to soothe the skin and protect it, goji berries which are an antioxidant, energising and rich in sugars, minerals, polyphenols and lipids and gentian extract which has been used for years as a digestive aid, it stimulates the skin and gives it an energy boost. These anti-oxidants protect your skin from tiredness, pollution, stress and dryness and leave it feeling more fresh, smooth and bright.

At first it felt really strange using this consistency as a moisturiser. It felt more like a serum and that I  should have been using a moisturiser on top of it but once you get used to the texture I absolutely loved how it felt. I loved using it during the Summer months as it was quick and easy to apply because of the liquid texture it sinks right into my skin and feels refreshing. It's oil free too so it made a great base for applying make up. I love how my skin looks and feels after using this, it feel hydrated and looks brighter. I even used it under my eyes as it feels light enough to do so. It's a great one to use in the Summer months or even on holiday. It doesn't contain an SPF which is my only concern but it's light enough that you could layer a specific SPF on top of it and it wouldn't feel too heavy.

I love the bright green packaging as it's quite a departure from the rest of the Lancôme skincare ranges, it really does draw you in and reflect the whole campaign which is for the modern woman on the move. The only problem I have it that it's a glass bottle so it's not the most travel friendly, however I'm willing to overlook that because I love the product inside so much. It also comes in two sizes a 30ml which is €37 and a 50ml which is €55. I will definitely be repurchasing this, I feel like it's a great quality moisturiser for the price point and if you have no major skin concerns it's perfect.

Have you tried any of these products yet or can you recommend any great products you've tried recently?

Emma x

see here for more details about Sodium Hyaluronate
*These products were press samples, however all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge

Lancôme's L'Absolu Rouge lipsticks were first created 25 years ago and after a quarter of a century, they have been reinvented with 36 shades and 3 different finishes; matte, sheer and cream.  Lancôme's Creative Director, Lisa Eldridge was given free rein to create 14 brand new shades as part of the collection of 36. I had been looking forward to the launch for months after first hearing Lisa mention it on her social media. She had been teasing us by wearing some of the new shades in the months leading up to the release date and I was so excited to see them all in person. 

The revamped lipsticks have been given brand new beautiful packaging with sleek black casing and a clickable embossed rose on top that releases the lipstick from the tube. The new packaging is a tribute to the jewel lipstick cases created by Lancôme founder Armand Petitjean. 

LAR5 LAR2

 I was given two shades to try out, Idôle 186 and Rose Lancôme 368 both of which are a matte finish. Before Christmas I was invited to try out all of the new shades and straight away I was drawn to Idôle, I actually applied it at the press event and was delighted when I saw that it was one of the shades I was given. 

LAR9

Idôle is a muted coral red, one of my favourite types of red to wear especially in the Summer. The closest shade I have to this in my collection is Revlon Strawberry Suede (also a matte finish) which coincidentally I bought on Lisa Eldridge's recommendation years ago but it has since been discontinued. Perhaps this is her way of bringing that shade back to life. Either way I'm delighted because I wore Strawberry Suede a lot last Summer after rediscovering it and there isn't a lot of it left so I'm happy that I have a replacement that's almost identical to it. I can see this being one of those universally flattering shades, I've seen it on Lisa herself too and it's beautiful on her. 

LAR12 LAR14 LAR10

Rose Lancôme is a beautiful bright pink. It's one of those shades that instantly makes your complexion look brighter. I've mostly been wearing this with minimal eye make up, only liquid liner and mascara and a similar toned blush. I feel like this lipstick doesn't need much more, it's such a statement by itself. I've been wearing this shade so much recently, it's reignited my love for pink lips.

I absolutely adore both of these shades, there are so many other ones that I loved when I saw them in person, Suspense and Berry Noir are two that are on my wishlist. I haven't tried the sheer and cream formulas but the matte is definitely the most creamy, hydrating and easy to apply matte lipsticks I've ever tried.

The formula contains a moisture boosting ingredient called Pro-Xylane, a skincare ingredient developed by L'Oréal which contains Xylose derived from beech wood and is meant to nourish and plump the skin. To cut it down to basics, the Xylose stimulates the production of molecules that help prevent the skin from losing water.

I always like when brands use skincare ingredients in their make up products. If I'm wearing a foundation or a lipstick all day, it's nice to know that it's going to benefit my skin in some way as well as improving its appearance. This is probably why this lipstick, although matte in its finish, is so comfortable to wear all day.  

LAR16.1 LAR18

There is the signature rosy Lancôme scent to these lipsticks, but nothing offensive. I rarely wear lip liner and I've found that they last a long time without a liner but to prevent any possible feathering I wear the Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil around the outside of my lips. At €29, they are definitely an investment, but I can't see anyone not liking them. There is a shade to suit everyone so if you're looking for a nice new lipstick or a gift for someone, I highly suggest taking a look at them in person. 

I love how Lancôme have created beautiful modern packaging with a little nod to it's roots and the classic Rose symbol. I have been blown away by how such a classic beauty brand has made itself relevant again with its innovative launches over the past year and Lisa Eldridge has definitely had a huge hand in Lancômes renaissance as a brand that is more than able to hold its own against its competitors. I'm very excited to see what new launches are coming from Lancôme this year.

Have you tried the L'Absolu Rouge lipsticks yet? What new launches are you looking forward to this year?

Emma x

*If you haven't already seen it, be sure to check out the Best Beauty Products of 2016 over on Makeup Monster, where you can see my top ten products of 2016 along with some of the best Irish beauty bloggers. (These lipsticks would have made the cut but I hadn't tested them out properly when I wrote my list!)




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Fall Asleep To Dream My Dreams Of You

I had been looking for a velvet blazer for a while coming up to Christmas. It's such a classic seasonal item that you can bring out year after year and style so many different ways. I'd seen a few in the likes of Zara and Topshop but nothing that was perfect for me. After attending the Primark Spring/Summer 2017 press day I was given a voucher with which I bought this entire outfit (apart from the shoes). I actually rarely browse in the women's clothing in Penneys, I usually head straight for socks, pyjamas and the home department. I had a really good look around the shop late one evening about a half hour before closing when it was quiet enough for me to be able to properly see everything without crowds of people. 

The blazer was one of the first things that caught my eye, I tried it on and was sold straight away. I wasn't too sure about the trousers at the time, I didn't want to buy something for the sake of it even though the prices are so reasonable so I went home with the blazer and blouse (among other things) and a few days later I came back for the trousers. I actually ended up getting a bigger size as I wanted the suit to look more casual and less form fitting. It's probably not the most flattering outfit ever, but I don't mind that. 

I knew I wanted to wear it around Christmas time but I didn't want to look too dressed up so I paired it with my white Topshop runners and the peter pan collar blouse. This is definitely something I wasn't sure if I could pull off, I've never worn a suit before but I'm so happy I tried it out because I really liked it in the end, especially dressed down with the runners. I'm not a heels girl, but I'm sure it would look amazing with heels too. I think a suit like this is so versatile, you could wear it so many ways, each piece separately or with something different under the blazer like a t-shirt, a jumper or polo neck, a cami top etc. I saw a similar blazer styled with a white shirt, gold pleated midi skirt and heeled boots and it looked amazing. 

That's what I like about shops like Penneys, it allows you to try out trends without forking out a fortune on a designer piece, having said that I'll definitely be wearing the suit until Spring comes and keeping it in my wardrobe for next year. I really dislike the concept of fast-fashion which is why I'm always just as scrupulous buying something at a lower price as I would be if it was more expensive. I hate buying something with the mindset of only wearing it once and then getting rid of it because it was cheap. If I buy something I intend for it to be in my wardrobe (and worn) for years to come.  

I wore this on both Christmas Eve and Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) and the trousers are so comfortable it's like wearing pyjamas, perfect for the festive season when you might be overindulging a little bit. 


BV6 BV8 BV15 BV12 BV5

Jacket, trousers and shirt- Penneys/Primark (similar here, here, here, here and here)
Shoes and Earrings- Topshop (similar here and here)
Lipstick- Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge in Rose Lancôme
Nails- Essie Eternal Optimist and Shine of the Times

What are your thoughts on "fast-fashion" and shops with lower price points? Are there any trends you loved this Winter?

Emma x

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 in Outfits

If you read my 2016 in make up post (well done because it was rather wordy), then you'll have read all about the highlights of 2016 for me. I'll keep this one a bit shorter. I wanted to do a roundup of the outfits I've featured on the blog over the past year. Like I said in my previous post, having a new and better camera has made a huge difference to my content. To be honest I'm still getting used to it myself so I'm extremely grateful that my boyfriend is so obliging and takes photos for me without any complaints. Without his help I wouldn't have half the content I have on the blog. 

I've really enjoyed finding new locations to take the photos and revisiting old favourites. Like with my previous post I've featured the outfits in order of how popular they were with my readers, ending with the most popular. Which one was your favourite?

DB8

SWOY13

MS9

AA1

FB2.1

LPS2

LIMOGES15

6Y13

PE44

HATH15

CG14

SS10


These are still my favourite posts to create, one of my goals for the new year is to get a bit more creative with my locations which I know will involve trying to ignore passersby (something that I find very difficult) but I'm hoping I can push myself to do it. 

You can keep up with more regular outfits on my Instagram, please leave your username below if I'm not already following you!

I'd also love to know who your favourite style bloggers are, I'd love to start following some new people. Once again, thank you for all the support you've shown me over the past year, it really means the world to me. 

Emma x


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