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Thursday 28 November 2013

Book Gift Guide 2013

I'm sure you've realised by now that I love a good book and what's more, I love giving books as presents too. Hence what you're currently reading. I've actually picked up a few of these as gifts already this year, (although obviously I won't say which!) and I've read a few of them too so there are some good'uns in there!

  1. Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding, €11.95, HERE. One of the most anticipated books for years, the final instalment of Helen Fielding's trilogy about the hapless but lovable Bridget Jones sees her now juggling motherhood, the dating scene and a career while facing into middle-aged life. There has been a massive spoiler regarding Mark Darcy that I won't repeat but even knowing that, I'll still happily give this a read.
  2. The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin, €6.47, HERE. I personally find Toibin a bit hit and miss but he's well loved by others and this was short listed for the man Booker Prize, so what do I know! This tells the story of the Virgin Mary and her overwhelming grief at the loss of her son..cause nothing says Christmas like overwhelming grief, am I right?!
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, €8.38, HERE. I've had this on my shelf for years now and as the film version is out next year, now is a good time to read it. A nice option for anyone who also has failed to actually read it yet.
  4. We Are Water by Wally Lamb, €12.12, HERE. I've read a previous Wally Lamb novel "She's Come Undone" and enjoyed it. This is apparently a disquieting but ultimately uplifting novel about marriage, family and human resilience in the face of tragedy". So another slightly bleak one perhaps but Lamb writes beautifully so well worth a look. 
  5. Autobiography by Morrissey, €7.35, HERE. I've read a couple of pages of this already and it reads a bit like a song or a poem..a fairly self-indulgent one at that, but it's Morrissey so we should expect no less. A good one for music lovers (with good taste, obviously).
  6. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, €13.71, HERE. I think this may well be tough enough to read but Malala is just such an inspiring young woman that her story needs to be shared. 
  7. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, €13.35, HERE. This is basically a blueprint for success in business for the modern woman, written by the chief operating officer of Facebook. I haven't read this one but in it she seems to be speaking to both men and women (gender equality benefits us all, y'all!) so an interesting one, I'd imagine.
  8. Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips, €5.00, HERE. Perfect for anyone new to photography, this covers a lot of the basics and gives advice on how to get the best from your smart phone camera.
  9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, €6.86, HERE. This was one of the bestsellers of the year, I wrote a review of it HERE.
  10. The Shining by Stephen King, €5.53, HERE. I'm slightly biased because I love Stephen King and particularly this book but it really is brilliant. It's infinitely more terrifying than the film version and is so very well written. I'd pair it with...
  11. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, €7.86, HERE. The sequel to the Shining! I read this last month and loved it. It follows the story of the little boy Danny from the first book, now all grown up but still troubled by his ability to see the horrifying dead folks. I haven't written a review of this yet but I highly recommend both books!
  12. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, €14.84, HERE. I love Donna Tartt so very much. I haven't read this yet but it's being hailed as an "addictive triumph", which is how I felt about her previous work. So I'm looking forward to her latest; the story of a young mans journey through the criminal underworld.
  13. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, €7.86, HERE. This is actually J.K Rowling under a pseudonym. I wrote a review of it HERE.
  14. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, €5.89, HERE. I've read the first few chapters of this and similar to his previous novels (a Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner), this has a way of drawing you in quickly. He tends to write quite vast, sweeping stories, over continents and generations of families but at the heart of it there's always the individual, which I think is what makes his tales so relatable.
  15. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, €6.73, HERE. I also read this bestseller this year, review HERE
  16. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, €6.94, HERE. In this serial killer novel, the one victim who got away turns up to hunt down her would-be-killer in an interesting reversal of the norm for that genre. Also high on the best seller lists.

17. New York Cult Recipes, HERE. The secrets to all of New York's classics; bagels, cheesecake, burgers, pancakes, mac & cheese etc..nom nom nom. 
18. Mary Berry's Baking Bible, €18.65HERE. There's loads of these out; Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, it's take your pick really.
19. Grow Harvest Cook by Meredith Kirton, €15.71, HERE. For the green fingered.
20. Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federie, €8.21, HERE. If you love a pun and...alcohol then this is for you!
21. The 30 Best Nutella Recipes, €7.00, HERE. Kind of self explanatory really but I think this would make a nice stocking filler or secret Santa gift, as would....
22. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Dessert Book, €5.75, HERE

23. John Green: The Collection, by John Green, €28.51, HERE. I've so far only read The Fault in our Stars (review HERE) but John Green is well loved by many and this box set of his most popular books would go down well with a Young Adult audience.
24. Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin, €31.87, HERE. My husband read all of the books this year and loved them so this is really more of a recommendation from him as I've read none of them but this would make a great gift, especially for fans of the TV show. 
25. Roald Dahl Collection, HEREThe perfect gift for a younger relative who's just getting into books or indeed as nostalgia for someone a bit older; I think we all have a fondness for Dahl really.
26. Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth, €33.97, HERE. Again this is a hugely popular YA series (no.1 New York Times Bestsellers), the first of which is coming to the big screen this year. These are dystopian novels in a similar vein to The Hunger games but also completely different. Like those books, these appeal to young and old so it's a fairly safe bet to pick these up.

And that's your lot! If you stuck with me to the end, then go get yourself a stiff drink because you've earned it! While you're sipping that, let me know in the comments if any of these are making it to your own Christmas wish list this year or indeed if you've picked any up as gifts. 

Monday 25 November 2013

Stocking Filler/Secret Santa Gift Guide

Before you start being all "but it's only November", I'll tell you that I've already started my Christmas shopping so really this is more of a help to myself in figuring out what to buy. If you start now you can avoid the horrors of town the week of Christmas where you'll encounter all the other last minuters, throwing money and random items at withered sales assistants. 
Here's a few stocking filler/secret Santa ideas. A lot of these could also be given as part of main gifts, and I'll be doing gift guides for bigger presents too so keep an eye out for that!

Secret santa, stocking fillers

  1. Dior Nail Glow, €21.15, HERE. This is a treatment nail varnish that makes pink pinker and brightens nail tips for the look of a French Manicure but without the hassle. I haven't tried this so it's not something I can recommend but I've seen very positive (and a couple of negative) reviews on this and while it could fall into the gimmick category, I think it sounds pretty interesting and not something you'd buy for yourself- always a winner when it comes to presents. Dior also do a lip version of this if you wanted to combine the two to make a whole gift.
  2. At first glance, this battery powered Rabbit Night Light (£4.95, HERE) looks like a child's toy and fair enough if you think so but I actually have one of these and I love it! Mine sits atop a pile of books beside my bed usually and adds a nice kitsch touch that I'm very fond of. Plus, look how cute he is! Squee!
  3. Yoda LED Key Light, £8.00, HERE. Who doesn't love Yoda though, all the same? Look at him there, in Lego form; useful and adorable. I also spotted a Darth Vader one on Urban Outfitters..if you got both they could fight each other in your handbag*...just a thought.
  4. Fans of EOS lip spheres will appreciate this three-sphere lip balm set, designed to look like a bauble, containing pomegranate/raspberry, sweet mint and limited edition, vanilla bean. These things last forever and are super moisturising so you can't go wrong really. If you're ordering from Ireland, you can get this HERE on Selfridge's website and get it delivered using Parcel Motel if you have it (it's well worth setting up if you order from t'internet a lot). It's also available on eBay or you can get the individual ones on Cloud 10 Beauty
  5. A Grumpy Cat iPhone cover..with glasses..and stripes? SOLD! £10, HERE. It's only for iPhone 4 but they actually have a good selection on that site for ones suitable for 4 & 5.
  6. BFF's mug HERE, €15.00. This would be a lovely gift for your own bff!
  7. Cath Kidston Little Birds Pocket Mirror, €4.04, HERE. Very pretty. Heads up too, there's a new Cath Kidston store opening on Grafton St before Christmas and you can always pick up some pressies in the one in Dundrum and the outlet store in Kildare village.
  8. Zoo Animal Erasers, €8.00, HERE. I can see lovers of all things kitsch stationery loving these. Even if you don't use these, they'll look very cute on someones desk. You can also get these in Arnotts.
  9. O.P.I. Mariah Carey Christmas Mini Set, €18.80, HERE. This is a bit pricey for a stocking filler and there are plenty of cheaper options out there for nail polish if you have a good scour but if you're looking for good quality, you can't go too far wrong with O.P.I plus those shades are perfect for A/W.
  10. Rob Ryan A5 "I am The Notebook of...", €16.11, HERE. Rob Ryan makes beautifully printed cards, notebooks and homeware and any stationery lover will be delighted with this.
  11. Original Bosco Mug, €12.00, HERE. I LOVE Hairy Baby and have a couple of their mugs and t shirts myself already. I've also bought this as a gift for someone this year- it's the perfect nostalgia-laden present for an Irish kid of a certain age! Gotta love Bosco.
  12. Rose & Co Beauty Salve Collection x3, €13.48, HERE. These are great value. The set includes the original rose petal scent as well as vanilla and cherry kiss.
  13. Cream Bead Pastel Embellished Necklace, £5.00, HERE.  Statement necklaces have been huge this year and aren't showing any signs of going away. This is perfect for a stocking filler but if you're looking for something a bit pricier, check out Zara or Accessorize.
  14. Santa's lip Scrub, €7.20 (instoreHERE (online). You can also get a Santa Baby Lip Tint to go with this.
  15. Pug Face Wash Bag, €17.00, HERE. My sister actually got a similar one in Avoca, if you're not shopping online. This would be a perfect gift on it's own if you were to get a few high street make-up bits and pieces to pop into it. Even if you don't have a pug, you'd surely still love this little guy! 
I hope I've helped with some ideas! Any of these making your own list for Santa?

*Yoda would obviously lose, unless he started rambling and confused Darth Vader to death.

Friday 22 November 2013

Castle Leslie- A Luxury Irish Castle Hotel.

Recently, my husband and I took a well deserved mid-week break to Castle Leslie in Co Monaghan. I say well-deserved because we haven't been on a break away in what seems like forever so we were both wrecked and in desperate need of some rest and relaxation. Castle Leslie was somewhere we had planned on going last year but had to cancel at the last minute so we were eager to get there, having had our hearts set on it before.

Back of the Castle

Apparently we're not alone as it's one of the most sought after castle hotels in Ireland and it's easy to see why. We didn't actually stay in the Castle itself, choosing instead the Lodge; a beautifully restored 4 star hotel featuring an equestrian centre, Victorian treatment rooms, award winning restaurant, relaxing pub and 29 beautifully decorated guest rooms. 

The Lodge

From the second we got there we were greeted warmly and treated exceptionally well by the staff; it actually felt like staying with family. Our room was spacious, comfortable and luxurious as was the general decor of the Lodge. We ate in the pub the first evening, which really was of a very high standard for pub food. Sitting by the fire afterwards, sipping our drinks, we got chatting to the barman who gave us advice for what to do the following day and also gave us a couple of free shots, which was definitely appreciated!

Ye olde Irish flags there on the right..lethal.

The next day, following superb breakfasts, we headed off on a 10k walk around the grounds, which included a beautiful forest trail. It rained occasionally (as it is likely to do in Ireland) and it was a bit mucky in places but it was also very refreshing. 

Some serious Autumnal foliage (do you also think of The Simpsons when you hear that word?), me looking out onto a lake wistfully, a horse we decided to name Gate (there was a good reason at the time).

We stopped on our way at the Castle to snoop around at the grandeur and also for afternoon tea, which was delicious. I'm an absolute fiend for the afternoon tea. I think it's all the fancy mini sandwiches.

Om nom nom nom.
Heading back to the lodge, we went to the treatment rooms for some pampering. I had a strawberry and rhubarb facial (sounds mad I know, but it was lovely) and we also enjoyed the outdoor hot tub, which was well situated in that it looked out over the grounds.

That night we had dinner in the restaurant and basically ate all around us..I apologise that I took no photos but I was far too busy eating everything, including a baby roast chicken..mmm.

Another outdoor can pretend it's a roast baby chicken if you want though.

We left the next morning, following breakfast , a bit forlorn that we had to return to our own home where going for a muscle-soothing bath and having magical cleaning fairies come and scrub out the remains of the bath bomb is less likely to happen. Sigh.


If you're interested in a little trip away yourself, you should keep an eye on their website HERE. We got a pretty decent mid week deal so it's worth waiting for something similar.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Inglot Launch Christmas Collection

I popped into the South Anne St branch of Inglot last night to check out their Christmas collection, launching today. I'm a big fan of the brand, as from my experience they produce good quality, highly pigmented products at a much more reasonable price than the likes of MAC, but without compromising on quality.

As always with Inglot, there's a strong focus on colour, glitter and shimmer. Perfect for the party season!

I'm really intrigued by the nail art glitters, there at the top. They're very densely packed glitters in a thick, gel-like liquid with a thin brush for ease of application (€10 each). I can see these being a big hit with fans of nail art and they'll definitely compliment the "sparkling enamels"(€10 each), also being released with this collection (bottom row of the picture).

I've been really keen to see what these fusion blush palettes (€10 each) would be like in real life. I've a weird addiction to blush and often, the brighter the better. So of course I went straight for that uber bright pink. Combining a matte blush with an iridescent strip, you basically get the best of both worlds with a swirl of your brush. Equally you could apply them separately. I took a very poor photo of the swatches there so you'll just have to believe me that they looked a lot better in real life!

Nail and Body art spangles, €13 each. Again, creative types, like nail art lovers will be very pleased to see these.

These five new eye shadows would certainly make a real statement and would look fantastic blended into a colourful smokey eye. 

Lastly, the loose powder sparkling dusts, come in 4 shades, of which I have three here. Great for adding a touch of shimmer/highlight to certain areas of the face, eyes and body. These are €18 each.

What do you think of Inglot's new collection? Anything catching your eye?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Recently Viewed

Apart from watching pretty much all of The Real Housewives of New York on Netflix over the past month (I know, I'm scarlet for me too), I also managed to fit the following in:

Thor 2: The Dark World.
This is the usual Marvel craic, big baddie threatens Earth, one of the Avengers (obviously Thor in this case) steps in and shows off for a while. I'm a big Marvel fan in theory but there's something about this latest batch of movies that fall short a bit. The Avengers was fantastic but Thor on his own (same goes for Captain America..but never Iron Man!) is a little lacking. There are definitely some funny moments that had me loudly chuckling, Darcy and Loki are great characters and Chris Hemsworth is easy on the eye for sure but overall there's just this unnecessarily convoluted plot that is at times difficult to follow when really all anyone wants to see are the big fight scenes and Loki saying something snide. That said, it's enjoyable and I will no doubt be watching it again..I just wish it was as good as the Avengers.

Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission into space alongside veteran astronaut George Clooney. All is going fairly routinely until disaster strikes; they lose contact with Houston and are left stranded, tethered only to themselves. The film then becomes a lesson in survival when everything is overwhelmingly against the characters. Clooney is his usual, affable self in this but for me, Sandra Bullock is the real stand-out performance. I like her anyway but I felt this was quite different from her usual parts, given how stripped back and honest it is.
Also, I dare you to watch this without biting all your nails off; it's very tense and a bit too stressful for me, truth be told. Overall, it's very aesthetically pleasing; the expansive shots of Earth from space are stunning and it's well worth seeing this in 3d- it's one of the few movies that actually warrants its use. 

The Conjuring.
I went through a brief period there of avoiding horrors because I was a bit jaded by them. Then I got my terror-mojo back and gave these two a go. The Conjuring is similar to The Amityville Horror in that "large family moves into big old house in the country in the 70's with terrifying results" thing. This time, they have the help of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine who tell a few creepy stories at the start to confirm their weirdness credentials and then basically move in with the family to help rid their home of the malevolent presences within it. I actually really enjoyed this, it's far from perfect but it's an old-school, jumpy ghost-horror that won't scar you for life but will give you lots of "sweet jebus!" moments. There's one in particular involving a wardrobe...I'm still a bit traumatised after it and I haven't been that scared by a horror in a long old time (but in a harmless way). Well worth a watch.

This was a Netflix pick, around Halloween. An independent comedy/horror about a teenage girl who discovers she has teeth in her vagina..yes, you read that correctly. This contains plenty of scenes of sexual violence but mostly involving male victims, which is definitely a new take on these sort of films. In parts it is a bit of a revenge-horror but because of the subject matter it deals with that in a refreshing way. Interestingly, one of my husband's friends watched it and said that it made him aware of how desensitised we've become to films that use sexual violence against women as a plot device (because of how common it is), whereas films like this with male victims are so unusual that it is even more shocking because there is such a sharp contrast between the regularity and the use of two styles. That said, if you have a sensitive disposition, avoid this like the plague. It's graphic and gory and while I have no problem with that, Himself did squirm a bit so definitely not for the faint of heart, or those of a male orientation, in his case!

Have you seen any of these? Anything you'd recommend for me to watch?

Friday 15 November 2013

Ciate Mini Mani Advent Calendar

Yay! It's here! I finally gave in and got a beauty advent calendar after lusting after pretty much all of them. The Benefit one looked great but sold out instantly (grr) while the Boots one, although cheaper, can't seem to stay on the shelves. I had my heart set on the Ciate one and luckily, had a voucher (thanks again Karen!) for Cloud 10 Beauty, which still had it in stock (HERE). Phew. 

Ciate Mini Mani Advent Calendar

It arrived this morning and I am all excited with the prospect of 24 days worth of surprise nail polishes! Inside, there are 19 mini 5ml polishes, 2 exclusive mini caviar blends 10g, 2 mini glitter/sequins 5g and 1 full size polish 13.5ml. If Cloud 10 sells out, you can also find it on Beauty Features (HERE), both for €55.00 or on Beauty Emporium (HERE) for €49.99. 

Ciate Mini Mani Advent Calendar

Ciate Mini Mani Advent Calendar

I'm also intrigued by The Body Shop advent calendar, which although more pricey at €99.00, is every beauty fanatics dream.

What do you make of the beauty advent calendar craze? Are you as enthralled as myself or would you be just as happy with a Cadburys one?

Thursday 14 November 2013

Give Joy! The Body Shop Christmas Collection is here!

The Body Shop is one of my all time favourite brands, I've been using their soaps (does anyone else remember their little animal shaped soaps?) and lip balms since I was a little'un and their body butters are one of my Holy Grail products. Plus I always get my eyebrows threaded in there (12 euro only & they always do a great job if you've never been!) and generally end up picking up something else while I'm at it. Such is the life of a beauty blogger. Last night then I was thrilled to attend their in-store event to check out their Christmas releases. As always, there's an absolutely fantastic range of gifts- from under €10 to over €40, all price ranges are covered so whether you're just looking for a stocking filler or a secret Santa gift or something a bit more luxurious, you'll be well catered for here. 

The Body Shop Christmas gifts

The three primary scents this Christmas are Ginger Sparkle, Vanilla Bliss and Cranberry Joy and you can find each one in different sets. If you click on the names of the products below it'll bring you to The Body Shop's website, where you can view the full range.
  1. Shea Scrub & Soften, €29.95
  2. Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Soften, €29.95.
  3. Body Butter Lollipop, €29.95.
  4. Reindeer Washball, €5.95.
  5. Best of the Body Shop Advent Calendar, €99.00
  6. Cranberry Joy, Shower, Scrub & Moisturise, €29.95.
  7. White Musk Moisture & Spritz Deluxe, €39.95.
  8. Fruit & Nut Lip Trio, €15.00.
  9. For Men Maca Root Skincare Trio, €30.00.
As you may know, The Body Shop continues to support Fair Trade and education in third world countries. Through their Community Fair Trade Programme they help provide a better future for children by providing funds for the building of schools and teaching materials. So, continuing with that good work, this year they will donate a whopping £200,000 from the sale of the Christmas gifts towards their goal of building five schools in Ghana, Honduras, Nepal and Northern and Southern India. To symbolise this, The Body Shop have brought out the Gingerbread School House; the very embodiment of their School Project (while it represents the project, any Christmas gift you buy will result in a donation, not specifically just this one)

The Body Shop Gingerbread School House

The box itself is designed and handmade by Get Paper Industries, a traditional handmade paper products co-operative based in Kathmandu. Inside the world's most adorable school, you'll find two 60ml bottle of shower gel and two 50ml tubs of body butter in the Christmas scents of Ginger Sparkle and Cranberry Joy, along with a mini body scrubber. This little cutie costs €29.95* (HERE) and is a total bargain in my eyes- who wouldn't want to wake up to this on Christmas morning?!:

The Body Shop Gingerbread School House

The Body Shop Gingerbread School House

The Body Shop Ginger sparkle

If like me you're obsessed with all things gingerbread flavoured (will have to get my hands on a latte after writing this), then you need to smell this!! It is just divine- like Christmas in a tub. If you're not a big fan of those kind of scents, the cranberry and vanilla are both lovely too and perfect for use all year round, not just for Christmas! As with all of The Body Shop body butters, these are super moisturising and a real treat for the skin.

Let me know in the comments if any of these will be making your own Santa list!

*Press sample, gratefully received for review.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

November Wishlist

Another month means more pretty, shiny things to lust after. I won't be buying any of these things what with saving for Christmas and all but that won't stop me from lookin', eh?! 

  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, HERE. There's been so much hype over the Hourglass ambient lighting powders and so I'm eager to see for myself what they're like. Having said that this is pricey and I'm loving my Bourjois illuminating powder, HERE, which is supposed to be a good dupe for the Hourglass, so I'll stick with that but this does look lovely.
  2. YSL Rue de Babylone blush (pretty sure this is a purchase in-store dealie). The story with this is that you have to buy a Touché Eclat so that you can then also buy this two-tone matte/iridescent pink blush. Fierce crafty of you, YSL. Still, you can't go wrong with a Touché Eclat and that blush is just so beautiful. Inside AND out. Swoon. 
  3. Essie After School Boy Blazer polish, HERE. I love Essie and this dark navy-blue from their A/W collection looks so very pretty. 
  4. MAC Russian Red lipstick, HERE. We all know how much I love a red lip but I shockingly have yet to own a MAC one and Russian Red has my name written all over it. Some day..
  5. Ciate mini mani advent calendar, HERE. I'm hoping to use a voucher I have for this as it's not something I would ordinarily buy for myself but the thoughts of opening a little door every day and getting a dinky little Ciate bottle in the run up to Christmas is just too hard to resist. 
  6. Nars Guy Bourdin blush palette, (available from Space NK but currently sold out..and I wouldn't give them my business anyway. See why HERE). So this is a tricky one because it contains some of the best selling blushers from Nars and looks rather beautiful but it has an awful connection- it's part of the Guy Bourdin collection, an infamous photographer who at times posed models as corpses or objects, akin to table chairs etc. It's all a bit disturbing for my liking so although this is on my wish list, I don't actually want it. I would want it if Nars took yer mans name off the container, so let's live in hope for that, yeah?
  7. Trilogy Rosehip oil, HERE. This one I actually probably will buy, given that I also have a voucher to spend and I've just run out of my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This is supposed to be pretty much a super formula that nourishes, moisturises and repairs the skin. Apart from rosehip, it also has omega oils and is meant to sort out fine lines and wrinkles. Hurrah!

Any of these making your wish list too?

Monday 11 November 2013

We Are Islanders A/W Collection 2013

Recently I was delighted to attend the debut of new Irish fashion label "We Are Islanders" at the Royal Hibernian Academy gallery. Their 2013 Autumn/Winter collection, 'Tidal', draws inspiration from how we, as islanders interact with the sea. It uses materials primarily from Ireland; yarn scarves (water resistant so it's suitable for the Irish climate) and beetle linen from Donegal, black wool from Tipperary and beautiful coats made from Wexford wool. This is a unique collection, comprising of one-of-a-kind pieces that can't be replicated and made from sustainable fabrics, such as dyed bamboo silk, organic cotton and salmon leather trims.

Yes, these will set you back a few more euros than your average outfit from Penneys but the beauty of that is that this is longevity buying- spend a bit more now for classic, well-made, beautiful clothing which you'll still be wearing in ten years time. See? Fashion sense!
There's plenty more in the collection but above are just my own favourite pieces, which, having seen in real life I can confirm are stand-out items that won't go out of style. If you want to see more and make a nice little purchase for yourself you can check out the label HERE
Anything you like?

Thursday 7 November 2013

Christmas Finds From Penneys

Yes, we can all officially use the C-word now that it's November. This is good news for me because I love Christmas and the build up to it is pretty fantastic too. At the moment all the shops are starting to get their stock in for the festive season but as I'm saving at the moment, I can't real indulge in anything too spendy. Step forward, Penneys. The solution to and cause of many of life's financial woes. In store, you'll find lots of the now traditional, tacky Christmas jumpers for 12 Pubs etc but they also have several different fairisle style woolly numbers like this:

For me, this is just on the wearable side of nerd chic so I'll be rocking this with a mini skirt, thick tights and Winter boots. For those with a bolder style sense, they also have skirt versions of these- handy if you enjoy sipping hot chocolate and pretending you're on the ski slopes somewhere, and not in fact on O' Connell St.

Lastly, Christmas would not be Christmas without an added shot of tack and obviously the best way to achieve that is with a pair of novelty slippers. They have a pretty good selection of cosy footwear in there at the moment so if you want to pick up a pair as a stocking filler for a loved one or for yourself to get into the spirit of things then you could do worse than these. 

Have you done any Christmas shopping yet or is it just me being a big mad early bird?!

Monday 4 November 2013

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick | Mayfair Red Lady

I'm an absolute sucker for a red lipstick, especially at this time of year and although I love a matte red, my poor dry lips do not. Step forward Rimmel and their new offering; the Moisture Renew Lipstick. The deal with these is that they provide the same rich colour you'd expect from a lipstick but because the formula is made up of three "superpower" moisturisers; polypeptides, hyaluronic acid and natural collagen, you're also helping to keep your lips in good condition. Good news is that there's also a strong protectant element to these, as they also contain SPF 20, Vitamins A, C and E and anti-oxidants. Sounds pretty great, eh? I got the colour Mayfair Red Lady, cause I can't resist a pun on words and also, look how lovely it is!!

Rimmel moisture renew lipstick mayfair lady

The packaging is pretty sturdy, that lid won't fly off in your bag, destroying everything (my pet hate) and the lipstick itself smells like Labello which I find really interesting. If that was intentional on Rimmel's part to make you subliminally think of lip balm, then hats off to them! Very clever.
Regardless of that, it is actually super moisturising. It feels like a balm when applied, it wears off like a balm and leaves my lips soft for a while afterwards. It really is a lovely product, one that I know I'll find myself reaching for more and more as the weather gets even colder.
Rimmel moisture renew lipstick mayfair lady
Check out that colour too! The pigmentation in this is amazing; such a strong, bright colour. There's no messing around with these, they're full on and dramatic but that conditioning sheen makes them completely wearable for day time too, so you've got the best of both worlds. 

Rimmel moisture renew lipstick mayfair lady

I'll definitely be picking up another of these, there's a great selection of shades (15 on the boots website) and for €7.95 each you can't go wrong really. Plus, heads up; Boots have a 3 for 2 on at the moment so now is a great time to stock up!

Sunday 3 November 2013

October Favourites

October was a lovely month, autumnal but surprisingly sunny and warm. Before the proper cold snap sets in over the next few months (which'll leave me clinging to a radiator and too cold to apply make up), here are my favourites from the last month:

October make up favourites
  1. I love Topshop polishes, they're great quality and come in some really cool shades. They apply easily and last well. This particular shade, Big Smoke (love that name) is a great Autumn/Winter staple; a "greige" that manages to look both elegant and stylish on the nails and nicely avoids that awful "mannequin nails dipped in cement" look.
  2. YSL Effet Faux Cils Shocking mascara in Deep. I've gone on at length about how this is my favourite mascara but I haven't had it for over six months now as I was trying out the Babydoll version (review HERE) and then another favourite from Bourjois after that. Himself was recently in the Duty Free and picked me up a double pack of this so I've been luxuriating in having big fluttery lashes again, akin to the likes of Twiggy.
  3. I did a full review of this illuminating powder from Bourjois HERE and I've been wearing it every day since. Love it!
  4. Another of my all time favourite polishes and perfect for this time of year is Lincoln Park After Dark from OPI. This is a black/purple mix in a creme formula. Again, super easy to apply and lasts me about a week without chips with a good top coat. Very pretty.
  5. I also did a full post on this colour boost from Bourjois HERE. This is an absolutely stunning berry shade and is the nicest of the crayon/lipstick/balm thingies I've come across.

OPI Lincoln Park After dark, Topshop big smoke
Lincoln Park After Dark (L), Big Smoke (R)

Starbucks pumpkin spice latte

And...lastly, I got far too excited about the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte this month. Dear god, these things are amazing. Sweet and cinnamon-y and delicious. I got into a terrible habit of getting one of these when I'd go for a long walk to "warm up", which is clearly a terrible excuse for unnecessary calories. Anyway, I'm now looking forward to the Christmas coffees that'll be out soon. And so the cycle continues.

Anyone else tried any of this lot?

Friday 1 November 2013

New Irish Brand: Precious Polish

Indie nail polish brands are a phenomenon that's on the rise at the moment, primarily because people are wising up to the fact that there are some seriously harmful chemicals in the bigger-named polish brands and I'm sure we'd all rather avoid any unnecessary risks when it comes to what goes on our pinkies. My fellow blogger Anita (from Anita's Beauty Spot HERE) has set up her own polish brand, Precious Polishcornering the Irish indie nail polish market and producing polishes free from DBP, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toulene and Camphor. I'm not entirely sure what each of those is but I do know they're nasties that you don't want to be smelling every time you open the bottle and you certainly don't want them on your nails! Anita, like myself, is also a big fan of the glitters and only uses glitters that are solvent resistant, so they don't bleed into the base colour. Even more exciting is that all polishes are made to order...that's right, YOU choose your own polish, from the base colour (of which there are 14 lovely shades to choose from) to the glitter (5 pretty sparklies to pick!), it will be a polish unique to you! I think this is a fantastic idea and would make a wonderful gift for a loved one (it's technically past Halloween now so we're allowed talk about Christmas).

The good news for those of you as indecisive as myself, alongside the option to create your own polish, Anita has produced a new collection of stunning pre-designed polishes (above), chosen by six Irish beauty bloggers. As us bloggers tend to be nail polish aficionados, you're guaranteed these will be on-trend, beautiful shades. The collection launches today and are €8 each, including shipping. This is a great idea, if like me you struggle when it comes to actually having to pick colours for your own polish (I'm beyond indecisive)!
You can read more about Precious Polish HERE