Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas

Hello my lovelies! I'm just dropping in during a break in feeds/nappies/cuddles to wish you the happiest Christmas full of good cheer, love, peace and joy. All is well here; baby Anna is one week old and lovely, Lulu is coming around to the idea of her - gave her her first kiss yesterday after ignoring her since she came home! I am textbook tired, slightly emotional, prone to crying at anything sentimental especially this ad ( I just did again as I found it on You Tube!)

Anyway, I wish you all the very best for Christmas, thank you for reading, thank you for your sweet comments on Anna's arrival and thank you for being there and enjoying my musings. I've never met you, but you mean the world to me, my beautiful strangers!

If you've got a few minutes, listen to this as you potter about today. My Dad has put this on at home for every Christmas Eve of my life and now I'm playing it for my kids. Lovely life repetition...



Friday, December 16, 2011

She's here!

Hi Folks,
Ivan, Ellie's partner, signing in. Ellie asked me to do a quick post to let you guys know that Anna Isabella Sue Varian arrived earlier this morning. Ellie went to bed at about ten last night, after telling me to read more pregnancy books and calling to remind her parents to keep their phones switched on overnight. Her waters then broke at 12.07am and there was no question that things were under way.
We arrived in to Holles street maternity Hospital at 3. And with a relatively brief, but very intense, labour, Anna was born 4.48am, weighing 4.27kg (about 9 lb 6oz in old money). Which, given the time of year, is quite a small turkey but a fairly sizeable baby. She has lovely fair hair, blue eyes, and pale skin, which is quite the opposite to Lulu but exquisite nonetheless.
Quite disconcerting as she looks very similar to Ellie's brother, John.
Ellie should hopefully be home tomorrow and I'm sure she's fill you guys in in greater detail. In the meantime, here's a photo of the beautiful princess and a song from my music blog to soundtrack the moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Perception of Perfection

Right, so I've had the latest foundation on the block, Chanel's Perfection Lumiere, for a few weeks now and haven't posted about it in order to give it a proper test on both mine and other skins. It's always hard to see past the hype with a product launch such as this, so I try to put my 'blogger blinkers' on and not read anything about it so I can make up my own mind!
So, what did I think? I think that it's not a replacement for Pro Lumiere - it is an entirely different foundation and Pro lovers such as myself who were loyal to it's more luminous finish, will miss it. This does, however, do exactly what it says on the tin; it lasts, it looks flawless and it comes in extra shades which is always a good thing. I would advise using a very small amount per application as it really spreads and too much will look cakey. Also, a brush is key to apply and buff it - fingers just don't do it justice.
It is semi-matte as opposed to Pro Lumiere's more satin finish but if your skin is in any way combination/oily this foundation will sit perfectly. If you are more dry or de-hydrated, I don't think you will love this.  A lot of people found that Pro's finish didn't last all day and Chanel have obviously listened to those issues and addressed them with Perfection Lumiere. So what's my verdict? It's a very high quality foundation with a lot of thought behind it which may well fall into 'Hero Product' status but possibly just for normal/combination types. As with everything in life including makeup - you can't please all of the people all of the time!

It launches in Ireland on January 20th.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{Wedding Wednesday} Celebrate!

I just love wedding photography that captures how delighted the couple are to be married  - it's the point of it all, after all!

I've posted this one before but had to include it again  - it's one of the most romantic wedding images ever I think...

Swept that dress!

Great hug!
(and a bride with glasses - love it!)

Another fabulous shot...can't you hear the squeals and cheers!
(another rockin' frock too!)

This Just Rocks! need to explain why!

Bags To Love

I've been thinking about handbags lately and came to the realisation that I now must become reliant on cross body bags alone to hold my bits and bobs as my other hands will have to be free for my TWO children and their changing bags, buggies, coats etc etc etc! (still clearly having issues coming to terms with the old 'mother of two' concept!) Anyway, I digress, have you seen Mulberry's latest arrival? Meet Evelina (above) isn't she pretty? I think I would get along very well with her. Just sayin'...

This little patent messenger bag from Zara is lovely. Kind of retro, kind of now. It's not huge so  forget using it as a dumping bag for all sorts of detritus but take it out to sling across your body when there is someone else to help with the baby kit!

Ah distressed metallics, how I love thee! This gorgeous bag called Orelia is from Red Direct and I think I'm in love with it. It is the perfect size for everyday... I'm seriously coveting it!

I was petting this little leather bag in Zara the other day and it may or may not have been added to a certain Christmas list! Still basically impractical for kid kit purposes but pretty nonetheless...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Making Up

Happy Monday my dears! I thought I would show you some shots of recent work I did. These are from a series of test shots that I did in the past few weeks. We were playing around with some new looks for this lovely model, Aisling.  I love the one above, I saw Cindy Crawford in Duran Duran's new video for Girl Panic - she still looks so sexy so this look was my homage to her! I used a cream shadow from Essence on her eyes with my fingers for a slightly messy look and patted a Stila shadow in Pewter on top for added sheen. I contoured the cheeks with the Tom Ford Contour in shade 01 (essential for sexy smouldering!) and on her lips I used one of Ken Boylan's lip glosses from his Makeup/Play range in Nearly Naked which I think is a perfect nude pink - not too blank, just pretty!

This was our Elvis look. How cool is her quiff designed by Michelle O'Halloran! For her eyes I used a Smashbox nude shimmer on her lid and shaded into the crease with a blusher from Kohl in Sea Shell (blushers are not restricted to cheeks!) Last of all I patted a tiny bit of Ken Boylan's loose shimmer shadows in Luster just over the eye ball area of the lid. I wanted it to look sheeny and unstructured with no liner and minimal mascara. I made the brows quite strong with the Essence brow kit, shimmered up the cheeks with Benefit Coralista over Smashbox Pose blush and the vibrant lips are painted with Fuchsia by Revlon ColorBurst.

Love these lashes! They are the Rock Star Chic lashes by Ja'Maal Buster. They have a really strong vinyl sheen and jagged tips that work so well with an edgy look. On the lids I used the Catrice long wear cream shadow in shade 40 - one of my current to die for products that I'm wearing myself nearly every day.  The sockets are shaded with Rain from Stila and the lashline is lined with Blacktrack gel liner by MAC. The cheeks are defined with Blushbaby from MAC and the red lip is Dubonnet also from MAC.

Classic and quite Christmassy!

The same as the first look but with added fringe...I love how much hair changes a face. False hair pieces are not for the fainthearted or for the wobbly of hand but when done well they are fantastic...

What do you think? Like 'em?

Photos by Ailbhe O'Donnell
Model Aisling Finnegan (Assets Agency)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bumping Along...

My darlings! I'm still here, haven't popped just yet but almost (due on the 18th!). I've had a few days with a sick Lulu and then my midwives told me to go into hospital to be scanned as they thought the baby had turned around to be breech which would mean my having an emergency Cesarean...not ideal but I got my head around it nonetheless. Happily it turns out that the baby has wiggled again and isn't quite in the right position but here's hoping all will resolve itself! Seeing as I'm due next week, my blogging will reduce for a few weeks but I'll be here three times per week with some guest posts from other bloggers thrown in too.

In the meatime and until things begin to rumble I have some nice makeup reviews and style inspiration posts coming up for you...

Lot's of love!

(no the pic sin't me! I'm much bigger than this lovely girl I saw on Pinterest!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Skin Saviour - Huile Santal

Brrrr.... it's really getting nippy isn't it? My skin always acts accordingly and changes type from fairly normal/combination in the Summer to mainly dry in the Winter. I'm not crazy on this process but it's just what my skin does. It also changes how my foundation looks so I need to nurture my skin as I don't want to change to a totally different product. I'm currently wearing Teint Miracle by Lancome and loving it for it's medium and soft coverage, but my increasing dryness is making it look a little dull.
So! It's time for oils. Last week I wrote about the lovely Rosehip Oil from Trilogy but have since used up every last drop so I switched to this Huile Santal from Clarins and I'm finding it fantastic so far. I massage in a pearl sized drop at night after exfoliating gently with Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant and my skin is glowing and hydrated and bouncy looking (not quite a 'skincare' term I know!). It could be in part down to the facial massage which never fails to enliven sluggish celll turnover but I really think this oil has a lot to do with it.
Containing lavender, cardamom and soothing sandalwood oils, it has a definite aromatherapy aroma, which I happen to like but it soaks in quickly if you don't use too much so it's a winner for all you dry skinned ladies.
A little pricey at around €40 but one for the wish list perhaps??

Nail Treat

I've been using this Billionails treatment from Essie for the past few weeks as they had become a bit brittle (due to anxious biting!). I am happy to report that they look SO much better now and have truly had quite the growth spurt. Full of vitamins and fortifying ingredients, it is designed to be used on clean nails for a 90 day treatment period, which is a pretty long time but it acts really well as a base coat so you don't have to sacrifice your Christmassy colours at all. I'm not sure I'll go the entire 90 days, but I'll certainly file it under 'old reliable' on my bathroom shelf - I can see this little bottle getting lots of use.
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