Monday, May 30, 2011

Pinky & Perky

Lips, that is! I got this Sheen Supreme lipstick by MAC a few months ago but didn't bring it into service until recently. I adore this shade called Full Speed. The very first thing that struck me when I tried it on was the creaminess of the texture - it is a pleasure to wear and it looks great as the extra sheen helps to make your lips look bigger and juicier.  

 Secondly I adore the colour; it's the lovechild of pinky/coral lipsticks and it's bloody gorgeous! It's fantastic with a nude eye with just a retro slick of liquid liner and strong brows and is a great shade to pair with this season's bright clothes or even subtle neutrals.

(lips not mine, they're hers!)

Easy Breezy

So apparently the warm weather will be making a return to us later in the week and in sunny times I am always drawn to these sandy neutral tones in linen and white. However, I am fully aware of how utterly impractical they are for my life in particular!  A makeup artist and Mum to a two year old with a current passion for coloured marker pens does not make me the ideal candidate for elegantly gliding around looking easy breezy!

Nonetheless, I still love them!

I love this linen jacket...perfect summer attire.

What a great night time mini with a low key silky shirt.

What a purely romantic summer dress for floating around! Just add a straw hat and a string of daisies and you'd be good to go...

(all from zara )

Pretty Pieces

I met the really talented jewellery designer, Aisling Nelson of Rangoli at a wedding Fair last week and fell in love with her gorgeously original designs...

She makes stunning bespoke hair pieces as well as all types of jewellery. The difference with her work though is the methods she employs to create them. She crochets some of the delicate wires to amazing effect and can create vintage styled or more modern designs.

Aisling works with crystals, pearls and precious metals and the real beauty is that she will consult with you to design your ideal piece.

Aisling is a hit with many Irish brides and deservedly so...

Have a look at her site here and her lovely blog which contains lot's of wedding inspiration too...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gorgeous Gemstones

There are numerous supposed benefits to wearing gemstones. From re-balancing your chakras to more specific results they have a huge following. Whether that is hocus pocus to you or not, at least this jewellery designer, Nallik, has made them into stylish necklaces, so you can look great whilst you get the benefits ( or not - whatever you think, yourself!)

Above: Quartz and brass - good for balancing your mind and physical body.

Rose Quartz- balances your emotions.

Quartz on 30 inch brass chain.

Amethyst and gold - considered one of the most spiritual gemstones, it is good for attaining wisdom and peace.

Chrysocolla and brass - good for those needing peace and harmony and recovering from a broken heart.

Great Buns

No. The hair kind, sillies! I love these soft focus, relaxed looking do's... so pretty.

(pics from here )

Super Serum

Along with most people I like the concept of 'quick fixes'. I tend to be a sucker for anything making claims of 'overnight miraculous effects'! Alas, I am informed enough to know that these are generally rubbish and that our skin is more complex than that. With our skin's various growth and shedding cycles, it takes a while for skincare products to really show their worth. Of course they can show immediate effects such as added hydration and smoothness but when it comes to any anti-aging claims, you really must go the distance to see if they work. 'How long must we wait?' I hear you cry.... well most skin professionals would say you must use at least one bottle, ideally two bottles, in order to make a proper judgement.
So, I am mid-way through my second bottle of the much praised Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum from Olay and I feel I am ready to appraise it now. Firstly I love the texture; it is silky and easily absorbed. I could see an obviously increased level of hydration after two weeks and was checking the mirror daily for it's claims of firmer skin. To be honest, that did take a while but I do now think that my skin looks tighter and brighter. It is chock-full of amino peptides which are the ultimate anti-aging warriors - there's no point using a serum without them. I'm using it twice daily under my moisturiser and I am very happy with it. I would like it to contain an SPF as it doesn't but nonetheless, I will be purchasing a third bottle.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's The Craic Barack!

He came, he saw, he drank a pint and charmed our hearts. We've been rather spoilt with our visitors this past week and it's done us a lot of good! 

With their undeniable charisma, Barack and Michelle seemed to be really enjoying themselves. There have been laughs, hugs and a huge surge in Irish pride.

We passed over our babies and held their hands tight to show our regard for them. Obama stayed well over his schedule to shake people's hands in his ancestral home of Moneygall. 

'This little country that inspires the biggest things - your best days are still ahead' - Barack Obama

Thanks Barack and Michelle, you lifted our spirits even higher.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Friday Freebie - Poppy King & No7

It is no secret how much I admire Lipstick Queen herself, Poppy King. I have adored her lipsticks ever since I first came across them whilst working for Space NK in London in the mid-nineties. She knows ladies and she knows lips...she puts them together and makes a winning lipstick/gloss line that we all love.
So I was thrilled to hear of her recent collaboration with No7; it's a great shade line up in gorgeous textures and today I have a lipstick and gloss combo to give away to one of you lucky things!
The shade is Intrique which comes out just like a deeper version of your's extremely wearable and likely to become part of your beauty essentials kit!

Leave me a comment below to be in the draw and I'll announce the winner on Monday.

Happy Weekend my lipstick lovin' lovelies!

**** The winner is Veronica****
**thank you all for your entries**

This is Intense

These new little pots of deep, intense colour from Bourjois are simply superb. I used them on models at a wedding fair yesterday and was deeply smitten by them. It's hard to find eyeshadows that give an excellent colour payoff  in that they actually transfer to the skin as strong as they look in the palette. These shadows are fantastic and so full of pigment they will last forever both on the eye and in the pot.
As I'm writing this I have taken them all out to attempt to name my favourite...but I can't! The black 01 stands out for it's inky depth, number 08 is a really great dark, sheeny bronze, 05 is a true emerald and 04 a sumptuous 'Cadburys' purple and 02 is a glorious shiny gold. I wholeheartedly love these and am now the proud owner of every shade! You will be delighted with them too...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

The unimaginable has come to pass. Speaking Irish and dressed in white like a dove of peace, Queen Elizabeth, along with our own president, Mary McAleese, brought a beautiful and amazing end to the troubled times between our two countries. In both women's speeches at last night's unprecedented state dinner they extended warmth and understanding and firmly re-built the bridges that have been shaky and fragile for so long. These are days that we never dared dream of. It is the end result of years of reconciliation and sheer hard work on behalf of our president and many other politicians and peacemakers from both countries. They had a vision and it has become reality. The blood split for cause and country can be washed clean with the healing tears that so many ordinary people are shedding today as they are moved by the significance of this visit from a brave old lady who believed it important to call on us. No, of course no-one will forget the losses of life and soul but we can forgive, move on, be friends and remember there is no perfect situation; it's through the cracks that the light gets in....

The years of unease have been bookended with peace and that is a beautiful thing.

Thank you Queen Elizabeth and Mary McAleese - two powerful women who had a shared vision.

'There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.'
A.J Muste

'War is over. If you want it.'
John & Yoko

'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.'
Martin Luther King

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Latest Lip Love

I have become addicted to this rather wonderful Colour Quench Lip Balm by Clarins. They  are not new products but I've only just joined the fan club. This one is Raspberry Smoothie which I'm wearing most days to add a teeny bit of colour without being full on. Peach Nectar is another great shade. It has a really nice balmy feel too, so all you gloss-haters - this one's for you!


I really like the elegance of this wedding dress. It's one of the new collection from BHLDN (beholden without the vowels, geddit!) If you haven't checked out their wedding fabulousness, do now, it's full of dreamy dresses and very sweet accessories.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rose Sheen

A few weeks ago I attended the launch of the new St Tropez products and this little beaut was my stand out product. It is a skin illuminator designed to give tanned or untanned skin a lift as so often the skin on our bodies (particularly when tanned) can look a little flat. There are three shades, Rose, Gold and Violet and they were trialled at various catwalk shows and at the Oscars - on Gwyneth Paltrow!
My absolute favourite is Rose. It is a stunning soft pearly rose tone that is beautiful on pale skin. Imagine a mother of pearl finish without any glittery particles that a lot of other illuminators feature. It was used at the ERDEM show to give an ethereal look to skin. I have used it on a few brides lately to add a sheen to their collarbones, shoulders and even cheekbones. It is a stunning little product and one that has made it's way into my professional kit with ease.

T-shirt for Japan

I think this 'Kate Mouse' t-shirt is pretty cool. Designed by Simeon Farrar with 50% of profits going to the Japan Red Cross appeal it's a t-shirt with a heart. Time may pass but we must not forget...

 Get it here...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Changing Faces

These are selection of makeup test shots I did recently for actress Tara Leniston. It was an exercise in showing how a face can change with different levels of makeup - It's obviously very important for an actress to be able to access different moods and expressions and makeup can be a useful tool to help the 'channelling'! These images are in their raw state with no re-touching whatsoever and the photographer was experimenting with lighting so forgive the inconsistencies! The above shot is just a pretty, innocent look. I used MAC Face & Body, Stila cream blush in Peony and the new Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy on the lips.

For this shot I added stronger brows and a soft matte grey shadow to the sockets of the eyes and below the lower lashes for definition. The lip colour is the beautiful LadyBug  by MAC... I love it's tomatoe-y red tone.

I ramped it up a bit for this shot using metallic bronze tones on the eyes with the Copper Rulz palette from Essence and some false lashes.

 Revlon's matte lipstick in Smoked Peach gave a slightly 60's feel to the look.

I used a peachy cream blush with a layer of Benefit's Coralista on top for highlight.

For this classic smoky look, I covered the eyes in a deep matte charcoal shade and blended it up to the socket. I also added some black kohl pencil to the inner rim of her eye for more smoulder.

I shaded Tara's cheeks with a deeper tone; Blushbaby by MAC...

I used some Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl by Becca on the cheekbones and downwards slightly to merge with the blush and the Dior lipstick in 298 provided the perfect nude...

What do you think? Like any of the looks?

Pictures by Brendan Duffy


I have just finished this book, I read it in the space of 24 hours. Every spare second I had, I used to delve into it's pages. I love when a book like this one comes along...
I have always liked Maggie O'Farrell, I think she is one of the  most wonderful wordsmiths of recent times. In fact I remember reading her first book After You'd Gone as I got on and off tube trains in London, gripped as I was with this one. I even walked along the street reading it, trying not to bump into people.
I know it sounds odd, but she is such a skilled storyteller that I defy anyone to behave differently!
The Hand That First Held Mine is a multi-layered story of relationships and motherhood with parallel plots set in 1950's Soho and the present day. Full of coincidence and suspense the story beautifully documents two women's love stories and their raw experiences of motherhood but without leaving out the male point of view either. It is full of searing honesty about what it is really like to have a baby - no sugar coating here, but it is written with such overall affection  and sensitivity also that, whether you are a parent or not, you will feel it's power.
As with all her novels, there is a winding road to the final reveal of the connections between the two worlds. It is sophisticated and grown up and her elegant use of language is sublime. I read some of the sentences several times over to appreciate their sheer beauty.

I wholeheartedly recommend it if you would like some escapism....

Time to Glow

 I have so much time for Bourjois of late. Every season they really up their game and always offer innovative products that actually answer a need. A need you didn't know you had perhaps, but once you see their products, you need them! Their latest bronzing range which hits counters in June is a clever little collection. I was impressed with the Mineral Bronzing Foundation, which as you can see above is in a classic shaker pot but you can alter the amount of the bronzing element that comes out so you are in control of the depth of colour. Very clever and very appropriate with it's SPF15 too. It also smells undeniably of Summer with cocoa bean and orange blossom extracts. As with all loose mineral powders, you need a light touch with a soft brush and buff, buff, buff your way to a bronzed glow...

This is the full Summer line entitled Delice de Soleil that includes a bronzing spray and two new lip gloss shades in a really pretty coral and deeper cool rust tone. The glosses have SPF15 and are waterproof...clever Bourjois Boffins!

This is the regular bronzing powder which they have developed in two colour options; one for lighter skins, one for more olive tones so no more 'one shade suits all' rubbish anymore, we are too savvy now to believe that farce, thank you very much! I like the peach undertones that brighten the skin rather than make it appear too dark and muddy. At the usually excellent price points we can expect, I think this is a quality collection and one well worth checking out.

Homage to Stripes

My Summer uniform...

Classic Breton with mustard...

Tan belt, geek glasses..gorgeous

Skinny cropped trousers and perfect loafers...mmm

Monday, May 9, 2011

House Rules

I just LOVE this 'House Rules' sign from More Than Words. They can customise signs for you so you can add your kids names or your particular rules to live by! I think it's a steal at £60. Buy it here....
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