Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review - Kate Moss for Rimmel - Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara - 004 Jet Black

In our very generous goodie-bags at the #LLAMmeetup this past weekend, we were each gifted two beautiful mascaras, both from the Kate Moss for Rimmel Scandaleyes line. Mine came in 004 Jet Black and 004 Sapphire, and I was chuffed to bits by them!

I must admit to being dubious about this mascara on the whole because I had read some reviews of them and they hadn't been very forgiving. However, I went in with an open mind on Sunday morning, with my first use of the black mascara. I also checked out the Rimmel website and was very taken with the aesthetic of this line... Check it out! 

This may be the only time you want a broken heart!! 

Initially, the "Broken Heart" brush wand applicator had me a bit on the back foot. I was wondering what the deep curves were for, the very same ones that had been dubbed "wasteful of product" by many other bloggers across Ireland and the UK. I figured it out in two minutes and am totally in love.

The "Broken Heart" wand, tapered and undulating
The curves are there to aid the application of the wonderful product to each half of your lashes. With the narrow curve of the wand facing you, and the curve nearest the wand shaft curving outwards (away) from you, apply the mascara to the roots of your inner upper lashes and comb through. Then, flip the wand and use the wider side to do the same thing to your upper outer lashes.

Holding it flat like this helps with the second coat

You can then hold the wand so that you have a flat surface (on the side) and comb through again for an even application and a lifting effect. This is particularly good as I found that after I had done my inner and outer lashes on both eyes and went back to use the flat side for a second coat, that the mascara from the first application had dried slightly and this made the lifting effect more... effective? It helped! I liked it!!

I'm absolutely besotted by this mascara, and I think it may well be up there with my beloved Maybelline The Rocket Volume!! High praise, or what?! The only fault of this mascara is that it is in no way waterproof, but I suspect that you can get a waterproof version, should you so wish!!

You can pick this beauty up in Boots for €8.99

Do you think you'd be tempted by this divider of opinions? 
Drop me a comment, I'd love to know your thoughts!


Monday, 28 April 2014

#LetsTalkBlogChallenge - A Day In The Life - 28th April

Packing up my crap, last night! 
 For me, a "Day in The Life" sort of begins before I go to bed, and ends when I get to come home and relax. My days don't follow the same time scale as an average day. For me, I get my outfit/bag/college work ready the night before and that encompasses the start of my next day. Then when I'm sure I've everything sorted out, I can sleep easy and not worry about anything. Only if I have nothing of importance to do the next day does my day really start like anyone else's...

Today is going to be a long day for me, I have to print off my final assignment for my Diploma and submit it, and then take my Artisan 2 Kitchen Exam. I wont get out of the kitchen til 6pm at the earliest, and home til maybe 8pm depending on my travel choices and route. Busy, busy!

 This morning's breakfast was a super healthy (sarcastic much?!) bowl or two... it was two... of Coco Pops and Lactose Free milk.

My guts don't work like everyone else's, so I have to deal with this fun day in, day out.

 I always lay out my outfit for the current day, the night before. Last night I laid out my blue jeans, pink and blue converse and this blue jersey. This particular jersey is a Win and Win Archery shooting shirt, brought all the way from Telford from the European Indoor Archery Festival to me by my lovely friend Susan. Hi, Susan!!

I'm still reading this Lauren Conrad novel 3 weeks after I borrowed it from the Central Library. It's not exactly Dostoevsky, like! I don't know what's taking me so long.

My supremely healthy lunch of chips and beans in college. This sustained me through an exam, can't ask for better than that!

Heading home, taking selfies... You know, the usual!

Today I handed in my Artisan 2 Portfolio. A whole semester boiled down to 45 pages.

And now I'm home to unpack and get ready for another day tomorrow!!

My days aren't glamorous, and this was pretty much the least glamorous of all of them, ever! But never the less, I hope you enjoyed. If you want to join in on the fun, just check out Sarah Hammersley's post detailing the whole kit'n'caboodle here!  You can also join in on Twitter with the hashtag #LetsTalkBlogChallenge!

Drop me a comment and lets talk about our days!
Amy xxx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

#LLAMmeetup 26th April 2014

You know it's going to be a good day when somewhere in the region of 50 members of the Irish Beauty Blogging community descend on a bar in Dublin for the chats, demo's and a spot of good old fashioned networking. So at 1pm, yesterday, myself and my lovely friend Kayliegh of Kayliegh Land fame arrived into the Library Bar of the Russel Court Hotel, thinking we would be early!

Selfies are always fun! 

We werent! But we were greeted by the lovely Hannah, our host! She gave us both a big hug and a goodie bag and sent us in to meet everyone. It was daunting at fist because it was both mine and Kaylieghs first meet up, but everyone was so warm and welcoming, we had no time fitting right in. Soon we were talking to Eneshai from The Beautiful Cloud and having a great time. I finally got to meet my beloved Robyn in the flesh and hugs were distributed galore!

Suddenly it was time for the gorgeous Niamh Martin to do her demo and who volunteered (though I admit it was not without trepidation, as it seemed I was the only one willing to play the guinea pig) to go up to be her model? Moi! It was FABULOUS, let me tell you; Niamhs brushes are absolutely the softest things in the whole world and her techniques were flawless. I felt like a movie star when I was done. Nima Brush is Ireland's only brush company and she has the market totally cornered. Ain't nobody gettin' one up over Nima!

Having fun, making new friends!

I missed the majority of the Benefit demo, sadly, as I was away at the bar, gabbing to Niamh, Yaz from Glitter Mama Wishes and Sinead from The Beautiful Truth. I surprised myself with how talky I was, because usually at events like this I am very shy and afraid to talk to people. I suppose it helps that we're always bantering on Twitter, though!

Had to do it! #LLAMmeetup

The goodie bag was beyond generous and I was so so grateful to have been given one, (Thanks Hannah, if you're reading this!! You're very good :D). Two Kate Moss mascaras, two Kate Moss polishes, Water Wipes, and a Coconut Balmi, which I gifted to Chris's mum, as coconut is not my thing really. The goodies made two people very happy, as she loves coconut, so what could be better in my opinion.

The raffle was a roaring success, and altogether we raised €242 for Action Breast Cancer, which was AMAZING! The prizes were awesome too, and all the winners were very happy with their winnings.

All in all, it was an absolutely amazing day of meeting twitter friends, making new friends and having fun within the Irish Beauty Blogger community.

Were you there?
Let me know!!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Summer Basics Haul!

With a much needed day off yesterday, I met some good friends for tea and a long overdue catch up. I had ducked into Penney's earlier in the morning, but when a total creep came up to me at the GPO and asked me what I was doing there, I ran for it, straight to Penney's to await Darragh.

While I was hiding out and waiting, I saw some Basic Cami Dresses, that are absolutely perfect for Summer, for €3.50, so I decided to pick up one in Teal and one in Black. Can't go wrong with a blue tone with my skin and hair color, and well black? I have one of everything in black! It's necessary.

Just a small haul!
I also picked up a royal blue High Waited Pencil Skirt, which was reduced from €7 to €1. I can pair it with a floaty black blouse, a waist belt and a blazer for interviews. Find a similar one HERE for €7.45

Then when I got home from Dublin, I was dragged off to Tesco. After searching Penney's high and low for over-the-knee socks but coming up empty handed, I decided to have a look in the clothes section of Tesco where lo and behold! I got 3 pairs, one grey knitted pair and two plain black pairs. The grey pair were €3.35 and the black ones were €5. I could not live without over-the-knee socks for those chilly days. Who wants to be wearing tights in the summer? Not me.

F&F for Tesco Sunglasses - €6
I spent most of my walks around Dublin today trying to find a perfect pair of sunglasses for my stupid face, and once again, F&F for Tesco came up trumps! I chose a matte nude pair, something akin to Ray Bans, but without the price tag - €6! Sold!! Again, a similar pair can be found in Forever 21 for €5.90

Julia Rothman "Typewriters" Eco Journal - €9

Finally I got a new blogging notebook. This was the most expensive purchase by far, a Julia Rothman Typewriter Eco-Journal, at €9 but it's just so CUTE! You can get it from Chronicle Books for $10.95

What do you think of my summer basics haul? 
Drop me a line down in the comments and lets talk summer fashions! 


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lip Service: Yet Another Arsehole!

Another post that may have no real point, just a stream of consciousness...

"Opinions are like arseholes, we all have one!" Didn't someone wise say that? Well, it's true.

Having an opinion is totally fine, and expressing it is a-okay too, but to shove it down your throat like it should be another persons opinion too is absolutely not.

I come from a deeply religious family (mother, father, aunties, uncles etc) and the prevailing opinion is always somehow related to religion, or God, or has some link into the Catholic/Christian faith. Then there is me. I don't care about maintaining social "norms", because contrary to what is believed in my house, normal is a vary fluid concept, and hello! it's 2014. It's time for people to stop pining for the 19-fucking-50's and roll with the times. Let people make their decisions and stop harping on about "gays" and the like being the blame for every stupid little problem...

People who use the sexuality, nationality, color, and beliefs of any other one person are the problem, from what I can see... I'm straight, but here's a fact: I've snogged far more women than men in my life, and that's okay with me. Does that mean that I'm actually Bi or a Lesbian masquerading as a straight person for the sake of an easy life? No. It means I was a normal, curious teen and experimented a bit. It's not a huge deal and it should never matter to anyone but myself. If someone find that fact out, and they don't like it, whatever. I don't worry about things that don't matter.

If you're gay, straight, lesbian, bi, you don't conform to a sexuality, you're transgender, gender-blind, or you want to shag anything that walks; I could not give a fuck. Do you know what I care about? Your happiness, darling. Are you happy? Good. If not, then lets try to find a way to make you happy. I will only take issue with a person if I think they're doing something that will hurt another. Are you gay? Great stuff!! But if you're cheating on your partner with someone, I'll have an issue with that. Not because of your orientation, because that's just wrong and it means that there is scope to hurt somebody. Cheating is not okay, no matter what. Do you see what I mean about opinions? My only opinion for that whole paragraph was on being unfaithful to your significant other. What you are shouldn't matter; Who you are is important.

Are you black, Asian, Middle-Eastern, American or from somewhere as random as Swaziland?? Great stuff, lets talk culture, lets talk food, lets go drinking, or not if you don't fancy it! Are you Baptist? Creationist? Buddhist or Hindu? Cool beans, tell me all about it, but please don't tell me I am wrong for not having a belief. Cool? Cool! Are you a doctor? Are you a cleaner? Do you love or hate what you do? Tell me all about it and lets have a laugh.

Do you smoke? That's your thing. I won't lecture you for the choices you've made. Do you like tattoos? Or do you prefer piercings? Awesome! Let's talk experiences and compare notes.

The bottom line, I suppose is that I don't judge people for nearly anything. Now, if you offend me personally, thats another thing, and I'll cover that in another post, but for the most part, I'm a firm believer in the phrase "live and let live". I'm fed up of people judging others for things that are nothing to so with them; None of their business!!

I apologize if this was another rambley, nonsensical post! 

Amy xx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lip Service - Venus Doom

This post may have no plan, no flow and no real point, I'm just going to see where this goes... 

**Trigger Warning: mentions of cutting and suicide**

It's no secret that I love music. I love all kinds of music, but I have always loved heavy rock and metal the best of all. I have nothing but love for HIM, my favorite band above all others. It does, however, occur to me that I paint myself as a person who advocates the taking seriously of mental health and doesn't want things such as eating disorders, self harm or suicide glamorized. So why do I feel such an affinity towards a band like HIM, who reference the suicide of Romeo and Juliet, or have lines in songs like "Oh I see your scars, I know where they're from, sensually caved and bleeding until you're dead and gone..."? The answer is simple but complex... HIM are a band that blend opposites seamlessly, love and death, joy, suffering, they can mix it all and make it work... This band may seem doom-y, but they have a distinct air of hope about them too. 

Right now, as I sit here writing this I have 17 HIM albums, which is 204 songs, all of which I know word for word. I suppose it has something to do with my mental state when I first found them. I found the song "Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly" on a Metal Hammer or Rock Sound compilation CD sometime in '07 or '08, when I was in 5th year. I knew my good friend Emma liked them so I asked her to burn me a compilation mix-cd for me and that was it. The next weekend I went to the nearest Heartbeat City (showing my age much?!) and got Venus Doom. I fell in love and let me tell you I fell HARD. As a 16/17 year old who didn't understand the way she was really feeling, Valo made sense of my (as I saw it then) messed up head. The video to the left, is a lyric video I found on YouTube of Venus Doom...

A quick trip around Google and a few mouse-clicks later and I learned that much like myself, Ville Valo was a bit of a tortured soul, suffering with his own problems, though I suppose mine were not nearly as serious, since he was killing himself with alcohol while writing the album, and once Venus Doom was recorded he was checked into rehab to detox. No matter what though, I knew I felt like a kindred spirit and identified with the themes of pain, suffering, love, hope, hopelessness and sorrow in the 9 songs of Venus Doom. I played it on repeat until I was able to lay hands on more of their music. 

"Grieve all your heart out as you writhe enthralled, in tragic, ecstatic agony... Just show me a life worth living for, light up the dark..." This lyric, from the title track, Venus Doom made me feel like I was not alone, that the pain I was feeling was not just confined to me, but that others were feeling it too, and that Valo felt it just as much as any of us. 

Fast forward 7 years and I still adore them. They seemingly glamorize self harm, suicide, but not really. I know that many would disagree with me but, at least in my eyes they are the most hopeful band I have ever encountered. As someone who had thought about nothing but dying and death until I found HIM, let me tell you, they gave me a reason to keep hoping and not to give up in the face of great pain. Give their track "Song or Suicide" a listen, it goes from a morose goodbye to a hopeful message of continuing to live, even while feeling utter anguish... 

There is always hope, even in the darkest of times... I wouldn't give a part of my body to just anyone, and I always want to be reminded of how this band gave me hope and helped me though the darkness, to find the light. 

Once again, as you know, when you hear a song from an artist for the first time, it’s not necessarily the best song you hear… but that first impact is so important that you’ll always remember that song and it will be something special for you.
— Ville Valo

Valo has taught me more about love, death, joy, pain, and hope in the last seven years than I will ever be able to articulate, or even thank him for. I think if I ever met him I would try to thank him for what his words have done for me. Try. I'd probably clam up in a big way...

I'm going to leave you with some of my favorite Valo quotes... Enjoy.

…it’s important to concentrate on the positive aspects. If you’d only see the negative things, you’d get paralyzed and incapable of doing anything at all. The world is a beautiful place. You never know what’s awaiting you at the next corner.
— Ville Valo

I guess I’m celebrating the challenge of being human. Everyone’s got their struggles. You need to keep moving forward, though, and try to realise you’re not the only one.
— Ville Valo

“I need a soul mate so that I can be who I am, naked. I want there to be someone who picks up my heavy, bleeding heart and takes it somewhere safe and warm.” ― Ville Valo

Sorry if this made no sense...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Steppin' Out With Fanny Crown Paris - MDI Ball 2014

As you may know, I was the lucky winner of the January Blogger Competition hosted by Fanny Crown, a Parisian dress company. As the Gold Prize winner, I got to have the dress I picked to write about. Now I have been looking forward to Chris's end of year ball since the dress arrived to my door and it's FINALLY here! I am going to detail every single aspect of this because, well, I can and I'm dying to! Let me take you through my preparation for the evening.

I think it's worthwhile saying that I have actually altered my styling of this dress from the original plan which is HERE.

Preparation is Key:

I'm writing this bit five days prior to the ball, because I have a lot of prep to do.

I have scrubbed myself down with Cocoa Browns Tough Stuff, two days on the trot, and have been following that with their Chocolate Whip oil free moisturizer. I will be repeating this until Saturday, at which point, I'll also be tanning my practically glow-in-the-dark pale skin. My favorite tan to use is by.. you guessed it Cocoa Brown. 

I'm going to be using 1 Hour Tan, but leaving it on for 3 to get the deepest effect. 

On Sunday, I'll top it off with Gentle Bronze, just on my face, shoulders, arms and back, and then on the day of the ball I'll be topping up my legs and feet with Lovely Legs. Can you tell I'm loco for Cocoa Brown? It's just the greatest thing ever!

I've also got some prep to do in the nail department, because I'm nothing if not thorough. I have been religiously applying OPI Nail Envy for the last 10 days or so, and trying to avoid any and all polish. It's awful, my hands feel naked! 

I have already decided on my nail color and glitz for the evening, Essence Color & Go Icy Princess, a silver cream polish, topped off with Maybelline Color Show in Glitter It. My tootsies shall be getting the same treatment too, since I'm wearing sandals. I'm pretty sure I may live to regret the sandals though...

Handbag Essentials:

Girls, I know that I'm not alone in trying to stuff as much as is humanly possible into my teeny-tiny little clutch bag on a big night out. We're all guilty here, there's no point in lying to ourselves or each other!

Here's what I like to wedge into my purse on a typical night to the ball. My purse was borrowed off my sister but it was a silver and rhinestone Debut clutch. 

  • My Phone. I have an iPhone 4s, so this does the job for taking pictures and making sure I don't lose my chums (It always happens at some stage).
  • A Small purse. I tend to carry cash with me exclusively at things like this, because I get paranoid about losing cards etc. The only card coming with me is my (ridiculous) ID. 
  • Lipstick, and a Powder compact. Smudges and shine, need I elaborate? 
  • I also brought €20 which proved to be more than enough as I wound up only buying one drink. 
  • Bobby Pins. These made me two friends in the bathroom later in the night as there was a hair mishap happening as I touched up my lipstick. I got you, fellow ladies! 

The Night Before

Since I'm coming home from a full day of Artisan Kitchens, I will be jumping into the shower as soon as I get in the door! Nobody want's to be the girl who smells like lemon torte (or, maybe you do!). By washing my hair the night before, I'm giving it scope to be lovely and clean, but still hold a curl. My hair holds curls better when it's just a tad bit old... I also finished packing, and painted my nails before bed! 

The Night Of:

The night of the ball was amazing, I took the advice of the wonderful Kayliegh and went for a simple winged liner and nude smokey eye with a pinky-nude lip. Since my hair and makeup was so dramatic I wanted the focus to be on them! My hair was dramatically curled using my Remington Pearl Clipless Wand and Loreal TXT Volumising hairspray. I used my Tangle Teezer to brush out the curls and make them sit together rather than in ringlets. 

My shoes were from New Look Teens Section (as I have tiny feet at a UK3), and they were pretty comfy for the whole night, though I did change into flats towards the end of the night. They featured a low heel and diamante detailing, making them absolutely perfect for my gown! Oh, and they were a bargain, at €9 in the sale!  

I opted for simple red and silver bracelets as arm candy, and small diamante drop earrings from F&F for Tesco. 

On the night, I was no sooner down in the reception sipping on a flute of champagne than a lady (who seemed to me a resident of the hotel) approached me to state the following, "I have been looking at all the other girls dresses and I have to say I think yours is the nicest. It's very unusual and exotic. Where did you get it, do you mind me asking, because I can tell by looking at it it was not Ireland..." I wasted no time in telling her all about Fanny Crown, and she duly informed me that she was going to tell her daughter all about it when she got home! 

I was absolutely made up when she complimented me and told me I looked the best out of all the other girls there. Can somebody say, "She doesn't even go here?!"!! Way to upstage the actual students of Mater Dei, Amy!!! I have to thank Fanny Crown for that, because I wouldn't have been able to have that claim if it weren't for them! 

During the evening, there was plenty of pictures, laughter, and then there was dinner! Oh my word, the dinner was DIVINE! Roasted Vegetable soup to start, followed by Baked Salmon on what I can only state was the creamiest mash of my life and steamed veg. There was profiteroles for dessert, but lactose intolerance doesn't bode well so I politely passed. As someone studying food, I can only say good things about the dinner, it was beautifully prepared, and presented.

Then came time for the awards, which I admit is usually a dull affair but this year my amazing man Chris won the Rugby Player of the Year award so it was somewhat brightened up seeing him accept that. I must admit, he is absolutely dedicated to his sport, and it was lovely to see his hard work and passion recognized. He was smiling for the rest of the night. 

My Beautiful Gown... Thanks to Fanny Crown
The rest of the night flew by with dancing and laughing galore. Dancing in my gown was pretty easily taken on and it was so comfy for the whole night, holding me in, holding me *ahem* up, and giving me a killer figure. It was the perfect centerpiece for my whole night and I wouldn't say this is I wasn't 100% more obsessed than I already was, but I would EASILY wear this to the next ball we attend, and the next one after that. It is literally the greatest piece I have ever worn, and I really thought nothing would top my high-low boho gown from Topshop last year, but I was SO wrong. 

Fanny Crown do it right, honey! 

Thank you Fanny Crown for making the ball a night that I wont forget at least until I'm old and grey!  

Some other highlights from the night include being told my gown defied gravity in that it's molded chest stood up by itself, and that it had a slight air of chain-mail (which I took as a compliment)! Even tough chicks need a night of frivolity, right?! 

What do you think of my look for Chris's final Mater Dei Ball? 
Drop me a comment or tweet me @redlips_redhair!