Saturday, 19 November 2016

Winter Lipcare - Stocking Stuffer Series #1

It's suddenly colder and drier outside than it has been in weeks, and so today, I thought I'd talk about winter lipcare, and maybe give you an idea of some stocking-stuffers.

Just like we do with our skin, we need to moisturise and look after our lips, diligently. Nobody wants to kiss someone with chapped, sore, dry lips. So to combat that, I'm going to give you some options for lip scrubs and lipbalms, to slough the dead skin off your lips and protect them.

My favorite lip scrubs are from Lush, and my ultimate pick is the Mint Julips scrub, which smells like mint chocolate chip icecream. There's also Santa Baby, which smells like cherries, which might be up your street, or Bubblegum which smells like bubblegum funnily enough, and Popcorn, which is also pretty self explanatory.

Scrub your lips gently with a little of your chosen scrub, wipe it off with a cotton round or a tissue, and apply a balm. The balm I'm digging at the moment is Labello*, which I have in the Original Neon Edition, and it's incredibly softening, with a neutral scent. It contains Shea Butter and Panthenol to keep your lips soft and supple, perfect for under a festive red lip at your Christmas party or to kiss that special someone under the mistletoe.

These lip-balms would make great stocking-stuffers, because they come in fun colors. I have the neon yellow, but they come in pink, green, orange, purple and blue, which is much cuter than the bog standard blue and white packaging you usually get Labello in. The colorful packaging puts a fun twist on the Labello brand we know and love, and it definitely wont look out of place in a stocking this festive season! And for €2.50, you can well afford to put one in every stocking on the mantel.

Labello Original Neon is available from pharmacies and grocery shops nationwide.

These lipbalms were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Red Recommendations - New Music Finds

Recently, I've been insatiably hungry for new music, and as a result, I've found so many great new artists to bop to. It's funny, I used to be constantly taking in music and then I went to college and it all fell to bits. I guess I didn't have time, but now I do and I'm like a sponge for new artists. Here we go.

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Oh my god, this guy and this band just speaks to my soul on a level I cannot put into words. They're so positive, so happy, so earthy. Nahko Bear is an absolute visionary, and even to read the lyrics written down without music is like reading a wonderful story in every song. "You got the keys, but I'll never keep my door locked, you can always come right in...", seriously, what an incredible lyric.

If you do one thing today, just give this song 8 mins to change your life, I promise you it's worth it...

Royal Deluxe

I take no credit for finding these on my own, they were brought to my attention by Dex, and they're just mighty! I've a wide taste in my ear jams, from folky beats like Nahko, to huge atmospheric rock and roll behemoths like this band. If you like your music to evoke certain feelings of bad-assery, these will suit you down to the ground. "I would kill again to keep from doing time, You should never trust my kind". Bad. Ass.

I seriously just see Tom Keen from The Blacklist when I hear this band, in the best way!

I'm going to space these posts out, and make them a series as new music I love finds its way into my life. I hope you find something you like, and share your new finds in the comments for others to share.


Friday, 4 November 2016

Red Letters... Amsterdam

Dear Amsterdam,

There has never been a happier version of me, than the Amy who went to visit you. The freedom is almost tangible, as most people who visit are behaving vastly different than they would in their hometown.

I learned so much with you. From new sensations, to new experiences, to the culture shock of having the teabag laid on the saucer beside the mug! I learned about the history, and I learned about myself. With you, Amsterdam, I learned that I'm free to be who I want, and I don't have to ask for permission to express myself. I learned about the fuzzy numbness that comes from eating space-cakes with funny Italian strangers off the tourist trail. The sensation of feeling relaxed in a way I had never experienced before was odd, but lovely.

You're steeped in history, Amsterdam, and it's just the most bonkers, brilliant thing. The Red-Light District was truly an education in the most abrupt sense - the incredible Oude Kerk amidst all the debauchery, - how funny it seemed to me, that you've got a church that survived three disasters, slap bang in the midst of an area that is famous for weed and hookers. The night we visited the RLD, it snowed. It has got to be one of the most beautifully contrasted things I've ever had the good fortune and pleasure to witness.

The debauchery is incredible. I know I use a mildly negative term, but bear with me; You're the most famously relaxed city in the world. People come to see you, they come to spend time with you, without a pupil in their eye for the duration of their stay, however long that may be. They're missing out on the most fun things you have to offer. I'm just going to say it, The Sex Museum is hilarious, and a better couple of hours I've never spent, slightly uncomfortable in the voyeurism, but mostly wholly enjoying myself, the highlight of which was having my photo taken with what I can best describe as a six-foot-phallus. Hilarious!!

There is an innocence to you too, most people don't see that side, but it's there. Two hours spent with cats, on my 24th birthday, with my darling boyfriend, was the most innocently diverting thing I've done in years. To this day I still follow the Katten Kafe Kopjes on Instagram, and I keep up with your beautiful, esteemed architecture with Gotta Love Amsterdam. I've recreated your local fare, Dutch Apple Bacon crepes are a wonderful treat, that calls to mind a rainy morning spent planning the best tourist route to take.

You're wonderful, I hope you know that. You're fun, you're freeing, you're filling. I will be back to you, Amsterdam, that I can promise you. 

Til then,


Red Letters is going to be an ongoing project where I will be writing to places I've been, so keep an eye out for Cork, Paris, Waterford, Wexford, Nottingham, and so on.