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. 


 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. 


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. 


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?













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

2016 in Make Up

Happy New Year! I wanted to have these 2016 roundup posts up before the end of the year but sadly I was sick all over New Years (and I still am). I love seeing these posts from other bloggers which is why I wanted to do my own version. It was actually really satisfying going back through the months so see that I've written so much, though it may not seem a lot by other blogger's standards, I feel like I have achieved a lot especially coinciding with a very physical full-time job. 

I have hugely enjoyed using my new camera this year (I have the Canon 700d/Rebel T5i). One of my "resolutions" for this year is to learn to use my camera inside out and invest in more lenses and equipment. Another blog related resolution is to finally sort out my blog layout and header. This is something that is long overdue and that I've been putting off because it's not a necessity but I've seen people get great results from spending very little money so that's something I am committed to getting done this year (all suggestions welcome). 

Like a lot of people, 2016 had it's trials for me. I've been dealing with my own health problems as well as those of my family. But I have also had one of the most wonderful years of my life, watching my niece grow up has been a privilege, I feel so lucky to be such a big part of her life watching her learn new things and make everyone laugh, she is the funniest little person. It's incredible to see another human learn new things every day and watching my sister and brother-in-law grow with her as her parents. 

I also got to travel lots, I visited Liverpool twice (football crazy boyfriend) and it's become one of my favourite places to visit, a great city break if you're looking for somewhere not too far away. I went to Amsterdam for the first time, somewhere I've always wanted to go and it didn't disappoint. It's such a pretty city unlike any other I've ever been to and it's definitely a place I'd love to return to in the future. I also returned to the south of France, to a town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It was so lovely being on holiday with my boyfriend, my sister and brother-in-law and my niece. I've haven't been so relaxed in a long time. It was amazing going back to the Côte d'Azur and loving it even more this time. It's a place I know I'll return to again. 

This Summer was filled with day trips and afternoons in the park enjoying the weather. To top it all off I turned thirty in August, something that filled me with happiness instead of dread. I'm not a hugely positive person naturally but I feel like entering a new decade of my life is a privilege denied to so many. How can I complain about ageing when I've seen so many people lose their lives too soon this year. I'm embracing it fully instead knowing that life is shorter than we realise and we have to make the most of it while we can. Staying with that sentiment, my biggest plans for 2017 so far involve my first trip to the US! My very generous boyfriend is taking me to New York as my 30th birthday present. It's a place neither of us have been but have always wanted to visit. If you have any suggestions of anything NYC related please let me know because we're currently trying to finalise our plans and appreciate any help we can get. 

That was a brief summation of what was overall a very happy year for me, so cheers to the next one!

Below is a countdown of all of my make up looks from 2016, except instead of chronologically, I've arranged them by how popular the posts were with my readers. Let me know what your favourite look was. I can't wait to create lots more content in 2017.  














I also just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog this year, I would probably be creating content no matter how many people visited but it's great knowing that there are people who follow me and enjoy reading my blog, you have no idea how much it means to me. I have so much appreciation for all of your continued support.

How was your 2016? Have you got any excited plans for 2017 yet?

Emma x

*I have also done a 2016 in Outfits post so be sure to check that out if you're interested!

Monday, December 12, 2016

La Dolce Vita

Every time I have an occasion and I can't decide how to do my makeup or I don't have a lot of time to get ready, this look tends to be my go-to. I think everyone has their failsafe party makeup look that you know will look good and that you can almost do with your eyes closed. These are the products that I know will last for hours, that I've used countless times and I can rely on to make me look ready for any special occasion. 

I usually begin by prepping my skin with a face mask like the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, I love this one because it makes a huge difference to my skin in such a short time- one minute to be exact. It gives your skin a hit of Vitamin C and makes it instantly appear more bright and smooth. 

Then I apply a hydrating serum and moisturiser making sure to let each one sink in fully before I begin my makeup, this way I know my skin will be hydrated properly and my foundation won't sit on my skin. 

My absolute favourite foundation for a special occasion is Estée Lauder Double Wear Light. If you have combination/oily skin this foundation is perfect for controlling oil and lasting throughout the entire day and night. My sister and I both wore this on her wedding day and it's one of those foundations that still looks perfect even after you've been wearing it all day. However because it's so long lasting I find that sometimes I need an extra hit of hydration beforehand which is where the YSL  Instant Moisture Glow comes in. I've written about it before, but if you have dry/dehydrated skin, this honestly does wonders for the appearance of your foundation. It gives a your skin instant hydration and a beautiful texture to work with. I'm down to my last few drops of this and I'll definitely be repurchasing it once it's run out. 


Once my foundation is done I always move onto my brows. I feel like they anchor my whole face and I don't feel right until they're finished. I always use my trusted Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil in the shade Hot Chocolate because I know how to get my brows exactly how I like them using this. I've gone through countless amounts of these pencils, it's probably one of my most repurchased makeup items. I finished off my brows with the Lancôme Sourcils Styler Brow Mascara in Châtain. I've been using it for about six months now and it's still going strong. It's without a doubt the best brow mascara I've ever used, you can read my full review here


Next up is the most fun part- the eyes! I always begin any eye look by using Urban Decay Primer Potion. I've been using it for about ten years now and it's never let me down. You can get a 5ml travel size for €11 which is so handy, especially for a product like this that takes me ages to get through. 

The pièce de résistance of this entire look is the incomparable Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita palette. I can't believe I've had this for two and a half years and I've never once mentioned it here. My mam got it for me for my birthday and it's once of my most prized makeup products. I was hesitant to even write this post because the photos just do not do this palette justice. I found a photo of Beyoncé wearing the Dolce Vita Palette to Michelle Obama's 50th birthday party and it's probably the best photo of the gold glitter 'Pop' shade that I've seen. This is one that you need to experience in person to see how truly gorgeous it is. 

There's a video on Charlotte's Youtube channel of her using the palette that I followed when I first got it and I've pretty much used it in the same way ever since. The palette it so easy to use with it's guide on the back, the four shades are Prime, Enhance, Smoke and Pop. Once you follow those steps you end up with a gorgeous glittery warm smoky eye. It might look scary at first with the glitter and dark brown but the quality of the shadows means that they blend together seamlessly and allow just about anyone to achieve a party eye look easily. 

Anyone I know who has this palette adores it. For me it's without a doubt the must-have palette from her makeup range, I really can't see anyone being disappointed with it. I've worn the eyeshadows alone too and each one is a gorgeous shade in its own right. 


I finished off my eyes with some dark brown liner, this one is the Lancôme Grandiôse Liner. In the photos below I used my current favourite black liquid liner, Bourjois Liner Pinceau, which is the closest I've found to the now discontinued Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner. My favourite mascara for giving my lashes lots of volume for a party look is Bourjois Volume Clubbing. It allows me to apply a few coats and it means I don't need to bother with false lashes. 


I'm not a huge fan of contouring but I absolutely love the NARS Contour Blush in Olympia. As you can see I'm quickly running out of it after having it for over two years. This is another product I swear by for giving fair skin a little bit of definition. It also makes a gorgeous neutral blush for those days where you only want a hint of blush. It's a totally underrated product. 


The overall look is very strong so I only added a touch of my Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Score just to give my cheeks a hint of colour and a little glow. As you can see this is another product that is very well loved. I've been wearing this shade almost every day for more than a year. It's that perfect blush shade that goes with almost any makeup look. I love the formula of the Afterglow blush range, they blend into the skin so easily and last all day. 


I finished the cheeks with a touch of highlighter. This Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Starlet Mosiac is another product I've been using for years. You only need the smallest amount of this to get a beautiful sheen on your cheekbones. 

TB17 DVP21

To finish off my skin I used some Clarins Instant Light Concealer under my eyes to brighten my dark circles and then powdered using Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot. Both of these are firm favourites of mine. I've been using the Clarins concealer for so long and there's still some left in the tube. I've repurchased the Soap and Glory powder a few times, it's great for keeping in your handbag to touch up if you're starting to look oily. I always try to blot my skin first with blotting paper or a single ply of tissue to get rid of any oil before powdering as it make it last longer. 


The first two shades above are Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red and Bitch Perfect. Red Carpet Red is from the Matte Revolution collection whereas Bitch Perfect is from Charlotte's original K.I.S.S.I.N.G. collection which has a more cream finish. I adore both of these shades and wear them all of the time. As you can see each lipstick completely transforms the look. I'm obviously more partial to a red and this is how I usually wear this look. Dolce Vita paired with Red Carpet Red is for me, the perfect combination for party makeup. 


The shade above is Clinique Nude Pop, this is actually a sample size I got free in a magazine but I actually love the shade. It's a great nude shade for fair skin and the formula feels hydrating and comfortable to wear all day. I love the shade of this lipstick paired with the Dolce Vita palette, it's much more understated than the red lip allowing the eyes to be the focus.


I've been wanting to share this look for a long time and there's no better time than now during the holiday season. I hope this will give you some inspiration for any parties you're attending over Christmas and New Year's.

I'd love to know what your go-to party make up look is and what products you swear by for making you look and feel great for a special occasion.

Emma x

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