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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OOTD feat. Shop Dixi & New Look


Leather jacket // Vintage
Crop top // Rihanna x River Island
Hesper Clear Quartz & Garnet necklace* // Shop Dixi
Print pants // Teen section @ New Look
Ludovina black platform sandals* // Missguided

Friday, April 11, 2014

OOTD feat. Nicole x Missguided & Parfois


Long sleeved fishnet crop* // Nicole x Missguided
Fishnet jumper* // Nicole x Missguided
Midi fishnet hem skirt* // Nicole x Missguided
'Abella' 3D pyramid necklace* // Missguided
'Fida' patent box clutch* // Missguided
Sunglasses* // Parfois
Air Force 1 trainers // Nike

Thursday, April 10, 2014

GET THE LOOK | HAIM


Welcome to my new 'Get The Look' blog series, where I'll be trawling across the realms of music, fashion and celebrities alike to help you guys steal their style! HAIM are a band that blew up in 2013; their folky-rock music mixed with their Californian bohemian style made the perfect mash-up of an all-girl trio. There was no doubt in my mind that my first GTL post was going to be on these girls as they've inspired and influenced my own style from the very first time I laid eyes on their 'Forever' video. Alana, Danielle and Este are the three coolest sisters on this planet at the mo with a coherent, yet unique style of their own. They don't try hard, they don't follow trends - they are currently setting them and they're ones to watch for both the music and fashion world! 
HAIM's style is easy to incorporate into your wardrobe and is right on track with the 60's and 70's-inspired gypsy-festival trends of SS14. The girls are fond of black but aren't afraid to mix up colours, textures and prints for the stage or for photoshoots. Replicating their style won't break the bank as a lot of it incorporates basic pieces you can easily snap up on the high-street. Look to charity shops or vintage shops for denim and leather and trawl the likes of eBay for Navajo-inspired accessories. Comfort is key with HAIM so there should be a look below for everyone and anyone to take some inspiration from. If you like all three girls' style and want to style an outfit inspired by HAIM en general your key pieces are: a leather jacket, denim shorts, an oversized loose tee (in either white or black), a printed 90's crop top and a tube of red lipstick. Split your hair in the middle, grab a guitar and you're good to go! 


ALANA


Alana is the youngest of the group and is the perfect mix between girlie and grunge - her style is evidently 90's-influenced with torn denim and slogan t-shirts being worn by her constantly. She's known for her perfect pins so she's usually seen wearing her "lucky" Calvin Klein black denim shorts or something similar. Black boots, loose t-shirts and simple pendants are what to look out for an Alana-esque look; nothing too vibrant but keep things young and quirky. 
Alana said in Telegraph interview earlier last month; "I have, like, the same outfit for every show, they’re these Calvin Klein black cut-off shorts that Danielle made me. I have literally worn them to every Haim show for the last two years. It doesn’t matter how fat I get on tour, how many croissants I eat, they just always fit. And then I always just wear T-shirts. I mean, on stage we are pretty chilled. You aren’t going to see me coming out in a feather boa."

ESTE


Este is the oldest member of the group and has without a doubt the girliest style of all the girls. She's always seen in either a pretty tea dress or printed skater skirt, edged up with chunky boots and loose, wavy hair teamed with bright lippy. She's a perfect example of how to get the most out of a dress that you may have bought for semi-formal wear; a denim jacket, biker boots and some clever layering casualise a dress and give it that "I just threw this on" vibe instantly. Don't be afraid to have fun when looking to Este for ideas as she is ridiculously funny herself and doesn't take herself too seriously.


DANIELLE


Danielle is the tomboy of the group, nevertheless her style is the definition of minimal rock-chick chic. She is mostly seen wearing denim skinny jeans with either a leather or denim jacket - sleeveless, preferably. Danielle sometimes - yet rarely - wears outrageous colours and keeps things on the androgynous side with oversized blouses, army shirts and minimal makeup. Cowboy boots and Chelsea boots are a key feature in her wardrobe and can be worn with everything and anything. Keep an eye out for oversized jersey tops and Wayfarer-style sunnies to complete the look. One of the Danielle's style inspirations in Winona Ryder in the 90's, which is totally apparent through her clothes!


[[All clothing featured: Topshop, Motel Rocks, New Look.]]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

OOTD feat. Gypsy Warrior & Shop Dixi


Denim sleeveless jacket* // Gypsy Warrior
Ghost cop t-shirt* // Nine Lives
Fishnet crop top (worn underneath)* // Nicole x Missguided
Dungarees* // New Look
Necklace * // Lost At Sea
Rings* // Shop Dixi
Silver brogues* // Red or Dead

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Updated Skincare Routine | Oily-Combination Skin


One of 2014's most requested blog posts so far has been an updated skincare routine - my skin AND skincare have both changed a lot this year and my current routine has worked wonders for me. I've written about my troublesome skin before but to sum it up; I have oily-combination skin, it's oily around my T-Zone and dehydrated on my cheeks. I'm prone to breakouts and up until a month or so ago, I had blemishes constantly. My skin has only settled since starting a new skincare routine, watching what I eat a bit more and starting a new contraceptive pill (maybe a bit TMI for you all but the right one for you can benefit your skin greatly).
Unintentionally most of my skincare products are French - I only realised this as I was taking the photos! Beauty journos and bloggers alike have harped on about French skincare for an eternity and to be honest, it really lives up to the hype. I got on really well with using Simple skincare last year as it was an affordable option for me and suited me at the time, however due to a load of stress towards the end of 2013, my skin needed a complete changeover. I've been using every product you see below for at least 2 months (some have been repurchased) so I can give you all thorough and honest opinion on everything here.

CLEANSE: One of the biggest revelations in my routine has been the introduction of a skincare tool; before I used my hands, cotton pads or a wash cloth, nothing fancy. Clarisonic's sonic cleansing brushes are loved worldwide, I've read and listened to hundreds upon hundreds of reviews singing their praises. I was introduced to the Clarisonic Aria back in January and honestly believe my skin's condition has improved an enormous amount because of it. €199 is a big investment for a skincare tool but it is completely worth it - trust me! I tend to use it in the mornings mostly, at least 5-6 days a week. It is recommended that it's used daily both morning and night but I find myself being far too lazy in the evenings to stick to this. Using the Aria every morning not only wakes me up but it leaves my skin feeling exfoliated and fresh as a daisy for the day ahead. I apply a dollop of my Vichy Pureté Thermale Foaming Cleansing Water into the centre of the brush head and cleanse my face along to the brush's timed system (60 seconds in total). It's water-resistant, re-chargeable and completely fool-proof. If I have a blemish or two, I swap the foaming cleansing water with La Roche Posay's Effaclar Purifying Gel. It works a dream with combatting problem areas when used in conjunction with the newly jazzed-up formulation of La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo+ (more on that later). Both facial washes are gentle on the skin yet give you a thorough cleanse.
When I arrive in from college or from meetings at night, I switch into lazy mode and can spend no more than 2-3 minutes on my skincare routine. I refuse to ever go to bed without removing my makeup mind you so I find myself using a speedy yet effective routine to cleanse at night. Face wipes are the devil of skincare (although I find Simple's selection to be just fine, in my opinion) so I use the next best thing: micellar water! Unless you've been living under a rock over these last few months, I'm sure you've seen the explosion of love for micellar waters. I currently use the famous Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution designed for sensitive skin (pink bottle). It removes ALL of my makeup within a minute or two and doesn't irritate the skin in the slightest (it even removes the toughest of mascaras and waterproof products). If I have blemishes, I switch to using Bioderma's Sebium H20 Micelle Solution designed for oily-combination skin (green bottle). It smells like suncream and I think I'll be re-purchasing it over the sensitive skin solution purely because of this, it's so yum! 


TONE: I love toner - it's still my favourite skincare product, toner leaves your skin feeling tingly and fresh instantly! It closes your pores after cleansing and removes any last bit of makeup or grime that's on the skin. I've been using Avène's Cleanance Purifying Mattifying Lotion designed for blemish-prone skin and I'm absolutely adoring it. It's lightly fragranced like most Avène products but it's nothing too overpowering. It doesn't leave the skin feeling uncomfortably tight and it doesn't irritate my eyes at all (which a lot of toners do). I highly recommend introducing it into your routine if you have blemish-prone or oily skin. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, try Simple's Soothing Kind To Skin Toner.

MOISTURISE: Moisturising has always been a hit and miss routine step for me - I've experienced a lot of moisturisers either worsening my skin's condition or completely creating a whole new blemish problem altogether. I can honestly say I only thoroughly love around 4-5 moisturisers on the market right now. Moisturising tends to scare a lot of people off, especially if they have oilier skin - however, it is 100% essential! Starting to take care of your skin whilst you're young will benefit you greatly as you get older. One of the best tips I've learnt from beauty gurus over the years, is to start using a serum.
Serums are relatively new to the general market and can put off people with their price-points. Serums are an investment buy and tend not to come as cheap as other skincare products. Serums sink right down into the skin's layers and moisturise at a deeper level than a regular moisturiser. 
I've been using Caudalie's Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum for months now and I still have half of it left in the bottle! I adore this serum because it feels like water as opposed to an oil (which I personally hate the feeling of. It's oil-free, so voilà). I squirt it once on to my finger tips and lightly press the product on to my face focusing in on my driest areas (my cheeks especially). It sinks in within seconds and I go straight in with my moisturiser. 
I'm currently using Avène's Cleanance Purifying Anti-Shine Regulating Emulsion-Lotion both morning and night. It's a gel-like formula, lightly-scented and it glides easily on to the skin and sinks in relatively quickly. It's fantastic for under makeup as it mattifies your skin (especially around the nose and forehead) and I find myself not using a primer as much since using it. Although it isn't my favourite moisturiser of all time (Nuxe's Nirvanesque Light is my all-time fave, FYI), it is a fantastic moisturiser to use alongside other blemish-fighting products because it isn't harsh on the skin and does what it says on the tin.


EXTRA: I've blogged about Ginvera's Exfoliating Marvel Gel before but I had to give it another mention because it's still rocking my world! It is by far the greatest exfoliating facial product I have EVER used and it's something I see myself re-purchasing until the end of time. Some may look at the price and think it's ridiculous for an exfoliator but it is worth every cent. Throw away the harsh exfoliating washes and creams you use ASAP, that practically tear your skin up with small rocks and craters! This gel is magic; you basically squeeze the gel on to your fingertips and apply it to your dry face (cleanse beforehand I've you've makeup on) and massage it in. The second you do this, the dead skin starts coming off in your palms - it sounds gross but you can see and feel the exfoliating happening - it doesn't hurt or feel uncomfortable at all. The gel doesn't irritate the skin in the slightest and your complexion looks facial-fresh after you wash the dead skin off after. It is literally one of the greatest skincare products I've ever used, I can't recommend it enough! 
If I have blemishes, I currently tackle them by using La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo +. Their original Effaclar Duo formula is adored worldwide with 3 tubes being sold every minute - however this re-vamped formulation not only targets blemishes, it banishes scarring and the marks left by blemishes and acne. I have extremely pale skin so I'm always left with red marks from a blemish that can take weeks to disappear, I apply this directly on to my blemishes every night and always notice a huge difference when I wake up in the morning. If a blemish is extremely bad, I tend to put some of my beloved Sudocreme on top of it and it really conquers the spot within hours. Effaclar Duo + is moisturising so it doesn't dry up your skin at all, which is surprising for an anti-blemish cream. It's fantastic and the countless reviews I'm reading of it are mostly all positive too. It's worth giving a go if you want to combat skin issues, especially in terms of scarring.

I know that was one hell of a blog post essay but I'm genuinely so content with my current skincare routine. It's working better than any previous routine I've had and I have more or less no blemishes on my face at this very moment. My blemishes have decreased, my pores have practically disappeared, I don't have blackheads around my T-Zone and my overall complexion looks plump and healthy. I hope some of you really get something out my routine and recommendations, let me know if you plan on trying any of the above!

Monday, March 31, 2014

OOTD feat. Hannah Beth Fincham & Mink Pink



White skull pony t-shirt* // Hannah Beth Fincham
Distressed denim shirt* // Mink Pink @ Out and About Showroom
Oil spill skirt* // Lip Service @ Tunnel Vision
Leather jacket // Vintage
Sunglasses* // Choies
Headband // Penneys (Primark)
Air Force 1's // Nike

Saturday, March 29, 2014

OOTD feat. Gypsy Warrior & Lovely Sally


 La Lune muscle tank* // Gypsy Warrior
Minty Emissions leggings* // Lovely Sally
Leather jacket // Vintage
Sunglasses* // Choies
Choker // eBay
Air Force 1's // Nike

Thursday, March 27, 2014

eBay Collections | Shop My Best Picks!


Bargain hunters, listen up! eBay have recently launched an exciting new way to shop across their website; eBay Collections is a tool in which buyers and sellers alike can get the most out of their eBay page by creating 'Collections' featuring items sold on eBay. You can create Collections based on a theme, style, a certain influence - inspiring buyers and helping them out a bit by organising your best picks into the one Collection.
eBay asked me to be one of the first creators of their Collections and I was over the moon to hop on board! I created 12 Collections in total ranging from Blogger's Paradise, Steal My Style, Shabby Chic and Malibu Tropicana. Each Collection was inspired by an era, subcultures or the best buys for a particular person. I found the creative process behind each collection to be really satisfying; seeing all of your chosen pieces come together in one collection looks fantastic and you can see instantly how it would help and inspire shoppers.


You can bookmark any item you come across on eBay and add it to your chosen collection - even just for the fun of it! Your chosen item is saved in your collection for you or someone else to purchase whenever suits. You can browse other peoples' Collections worldwide and it's an amazing way to see how peoples' styles and tastes differ globally. I'll be updating my Collections regularly so make sure to check back on them from time to time - I highly suggest giving it ago, especially if you find yourself on eBay constantly and want to experience a new way to shop!

Have you tried creating a Collection yet? Do you like the idea?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

OOTD feat. Lovely Sally & Drop Dead Clothing


'Death Bed' gold mesh top* // Drop Dead Clothing
'I See You Baby' swimsuit* // Lovely Sally
Apogee. Gunmetal & Crystal chain choker* // Regal Rose
'Mom' jeans* // BDG @ Urban Outfitters
Air Force 1 runners // Nike
Beanie // ASOS

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush | Review

(No.1 Fushcia Desinvolte & No.4 Orange Fougueux)
Well it's been quite a while since my last beauty review and I'm dying to share a bunch of my current favourite products with you all over the coming weeks! 2013 was quite a boring year for makeup, I think, it was bland - everything was so-so and "meh". However, 2014 has been making up for the somewhat banal releases of last year and is bringing something new to the table almost weekly! Last month, I attended the unveiling of Yves Saint Laurent's newest beauty launch over in London. Lloyd Simmonds, creative director of YSL beauty, talked us through this amazing new product and how to use it in the best ways possible. 
Baby Doll Kiss & Blush is a cheek and lip duo - perfect for gals on the go! It comes in absolutely beautiful 50's-style packaging - something that'll have pride of place on your dressing table. The applicator is shaped like a pair of lips (cute!) and allows the perfect amount of product to glide on to the lips whilst allowing for precision and neatness.
The texture is unusual - think of a mousse and gel combined. It feels odd on the lips after your first application; it doesn't feel like a lipstick nor a balm, you can't even feel that it's on your lips! It gives a velvet and semi-matte finish to the lips and the colour is completely workable to blot down to a stain or build up for full-colour impact. Cream/ gel blushers can be tricky to apply so it's best to use a synthetic brush or your fingers for applying this on the cheeks. Dab the colour from the applicator on to the back of your hand, warm the product up and then lightly dab on to apples of your cheek. Alike to the lip application, it is easy to build up to whatever impact of colour you prefer - a little goes a long way so don't go overboard with applying it until you get used to working with it.
The single greatest thing about Baby Doll Kiss & Blush is that it stays put for hours, it's an ideal product for busy ladies who don't have the time to reapply constantly throughout the day! It survives multiple teas, the rain and barely needs a touch-up after eating. It's incredible! My lips usually shrivel up and crack when I apply matte lip product designed for long-wear similar to Baby Doll Kiss & Blush but I honestly haven't had an issue with these due to the gorgeous blend of oils in the formula. 
I chose both of the bright pink and orange shades as my favourites from the range to show you all, as they're bang on trend this season; pop art is one of the biggest trends for Spring/ Summer 2014 and if you're like me and tend to wear less colour clothing-wise, incorporate it into your makeup by wearing shades like the above. Pink and orange aren't two shades I'd automatically go for at a makeup counter; being pale is tough, especially when choosing lipstick colours - some can look like dodgy drag makeup, whilst some can make you look like a corpse. Both shades were tested on me at the launch in London by one of YSL's makeup artists and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they both looked on! The pink compliments my complexion and the orange is a perfect flattering-peachy tone; ideal for Summer. There are 12 shades in total; ranging from soft natural pinks to brighter hues. There's something there for everyone of any skin tone and shade preference.

“Backstage, I experiment with different products to create different textures and effects. For example, applying a cream blush on the lips for a powdery-matte effect, or lipstick on the cheeks for a velvety flush. The result is always new. KISS & BLUSH successfully achieves this same kind of exploit, combining these two effects in a single formula that adapts perfectly to the skin and the lips. The texture boasts adjustable coverage and it’s extremely easy to apply and wear. Two products in one to satisfy the contemporary woman’s desire for make-up that radiates colour in a flash.” 
- Lloyd Simmonds, creative director of YSL beauty.


Baby Doll Kiss & Blush are €30 each and will be launching exclusively at Brown Thomas stores in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway on April 1st and nationwide from from May 1st.


Will you be trying Baby Doll Kiss & Blush when they hit stores? What colour would you opt for?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Macho Monday #5 - SS'14 - Top 3 Trends for Men

Men’s fashion can be quite hit and miss sometimes and I think that’s because men generally don’t go outside of their comfort zone. They stick to what’s been done before, what they usually wear and what their friends wear. We have all been there and most of us still choose the safe option. Luckily in the last few years, high street clothing has started to become a lot more fashion-forward - especially for men. This means that guys are starting to finally wear nicer clothes, the only downside is that we are pretty limited to where we can shop affordably.  

I have selected three looks that every man can wear that won’t exactly break the bank, whether you like to go formal on a daily basis or prefer the relaxed and comfortable approach, these looks showcase some of the Spring/ Summer trends that can be integrated within your current wardrobe.

The 90's City Slicker
Checked shirts have always been around but finding a good one without looking like your dad can be tricky. Topman and River Island along with the odd vintage shop tend to have really nice ones but my advice is to stick to a simple, two or three block colour scheme for this season. I’ve styled this black and white squared shirt from River Island around the waist (the 90s skater style that I love) with a Raglan sleeve Tee from American Apparel, although Forever 21 do a cheaper alternative. These are teamed up with rolled up black skinny jeans from Topman, black Vans, a black snapback and a gold cross chain. If the weather is nice those jeans can be changed to shorts but just be careful not to go too lose or too high up! This look is simple but effective and really gives off a relaxed vibe.

The Urban Vampire
My personal favourite trend for this S/S is the all black everything. Black is a colour that is really easy to wear and pull off and can instantly make your clothes look more expensive. Don’t be afraid that you might look like a goth, because 9/10 times you won’t. Zara do really nice dark clothing as do All Saints but the latter is a bit pricey and Zara only caters for the taller man. The trick with wearing all black is to layer and experiment with different textures, tones and shapes. Here, I’ve chosen a bomber jacket from Topman but you may find an even cheaper alternative. Under that is an amazing sweatshirt from Killstar, an online shop that’s really not for the faint hearted! Like all sweatshirts, buy a size up as the oversized trend is still going strong. The gold design in this jumper breaks the black up making the look more approachable. Teamed up with these are the same black skinny jeans as they can literally be worn with anything and black Dr Martens but if they are out of your price range then black Nike runners or even the same black vans can be equally as effective.

The Sharp Shooter
Suits. The amount of men that wear suits is extraordinary but most of them are too afraid to stray outside of the dull shades of grey and navy and that weird off black colour. Don’t get me wrong, these suits can be lovely but to stand out and maybe try something new then the high street is where you need to go. Suits can be ridiculous money and although River Island have quite a nice selection at very good prices, Topman really is number one in formal wear. I own two Topman suits, one black and one burgundy and I can say they are beautiful. They fit perfectly and can be dressed down with ease. Their collection is always strong and whether it’s a three piece tweed or a skinny fit velvet you’ll find a suit that meets your personal style. I’ve chosen a lovely emerald green skinny fit suit for €150, a simple black shirt, black brogues from Office and gold collar tips. The trick with bold suits is to keep everything else minimal and muted. This look could be dressed down with changing the trousers to black slacks or the same skinny jeans as before, or change the black shirt to a white grandfather shirt and wear the jacket open, the combinations are endless!

(Blog post and illustrations - Conor Merriman)


What are your favourite trends this season? How do you plan on wearing them?