Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Springtime Manicurin' with Tanya Burr.

If you are interested in Beauty bloggers/vloggers and you haven't heard of Tanya Burr, you must have been living under a rock! She has been one of my favourite youtubers for years now, and when I heard she was launching her own range of nail & lip products, I was definitely intrigued and excited to try them out. Normally it takes these kind of new launches a while to make their way over here to Northern Ireland, so I was surprised to see that my local Superdrug (Castle Court in Belfast), had a decent selection of her products in today, the official day of their launch. 

Although tempted to go crazy and just buy the whole range, I exercised a little self control and only picked up a couple of nail polishes and one lipgloss (more about the lipgloss in another post). I chose 'Little Duck' and 'Penguin Chic':

The names for the polishes are all very girly & cute, very Tanya. I would describe Little Duck as a sea-foam greeny/turquoisey colour, perfect for spring, if it ever arrives.
If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with penguins, so obviously trying Penguin Chic was a no brainer. It's not a colour I have ever really tried before- after two coats it is a dark grey with a slight hint of purple.

As for the application of the nail polish, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is! Sometimes you find that celebrities/ famous figures put their names to products without any input into the quality of the product, but I definitely don't think that's the case here. The polish is reminiscent of Essie polish- not too thin, and dries with a smooth, glossy finish. The drying time wasn't as quick as Essie, I'd say it took 10-15 minutes before it was dry to the touch (that's after two coats). The polishes retail at £5.99 each which I think is perfectly acceptable. They are available to buy at Superdrug (a fill list of participating stockists can be found on Tanya's website here), or you can order them online on Feel Unique (although they frequently sell out!).
As I have just applied the polish, I can't say anything about how well they wear/chip, but I will keep you up to date- I can see 'Little Duck' becoming a firm Spring favourite! 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

November Favourites

A little hodge podge of products that I have been obsessing over recently! All of these products, bar the Naked basics palette, were new discoveries during the month of December, and are defiitely ones I would purchase again. The Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat has been a revelation- I very rarely find a top coat that lets my nail polish last an entire day, let along longer than that! This looks particularly good over the top of the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polishes; when using these two in combination I have been asked on more than one occasion if I'd had a gel manicure done. I'm sure most of the Blogging world have heard of the Maybelline Baby Lips. What are they? They look like a typical chapstick, albeit in prettier packaging. However, they are formulated in such a way that they leave your lips incredibly soft (hence the name 'baby lips') and add a lovely sheen and hint of colour, too. Perfect for use during the Winter months when lipstick can be a bit drying but you still want a little bit of colour! The shade I have is Pink Punch, although I am tempted to go and purchase more while Boots have their famous 3 for 2 offer on. The Schwarzkopf Got2B Guardian Angel Heat Protectant was definitely inspired by Ingrid (missglamorazzi) who raves about this product. It is great at protecting the hair before blowdrying and straightening, and leaves hair smooth, silky and frizz-free. It smells really good, too. The Smashbox Try It Kit is the newest addition to my make-up collection and has become a firm favourite- I got it as an early Christmas present from my friend Hannah, and it is just perfect if, like me, you are new to the brand Smashbox and want to try out some of their cult products before committing to handing over the big bucks! It contains the Photo Finish foundation primer, Photo Finish lid primer, Limitless eyeliner, Full Exposure mascara, and Lip Enhancing gloss. I can honestly say I've been really impressed with each of the products in this kit, but I have been especially bowled over by both the lid, and face, primers. I won't go into too much detail as I am going to do a full review on the kit, but they I am seriously impressed. :) I had to include my favourite perfume of all time, another present from Hannah, who clearly knows me very well! This is Lola by Marc Jacobs, which I have owned many times before and will more than likely cry if they ever discontinue it. It is a great scent for Winter- slightly floral, slightly musky, not too sweet or overpowering. Perfect. Last but not least, the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, which I purchased on the plane going to Spain in August and have used almost religiously ever since. You can create so many different looks with the 6 colours in the palette and it is perfect for every day wear. I love it. What were your November Favourites?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Welcoming Winter.

Winter is finally here!
In recent years I've always bought my Winter coats in Primark, or for fairly cheap online. Whilst I do love Primark and how great value their clothes are, I decided this year to treat myself and splash out on a good quality Winter coat that's actually going to last me a good few years. The one I chose is from Topshop, and is the most amazingly warm and cosy coat I have ever owned. I finally got my digital SLR camera replaced, so I roped Dean into photographing it for me.

I wore this outfit today as I was feeling particularly Wintery and starting to get excited about Christmas! (that's allowed... it is November after all, AND the Coca-Cola Holiday's Are Coming advert has already been on tv...).

These photos were taken in the courtyard of our apartment block- spot the Christmassy dome of Victoria Square in the background :)

Coat: Topshop (link) | Sparkly jumper: Topshop (from last A/W) | Boy shorts: H&M | Black boots: New Look (link) | Bag: Bought in a Boutique in Spain | Lippy: Mac 'Retro'.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Catch up: Holiday Fashion & Exciting news!

The past month has been a bit of a whirlwind and I've barely had a second to sit down & have a cuppa tea, let alone give my blog some attention! But I'm excited to start blogging again, especially now it's coming into Autumn & Winter, my absolute favourite months. A/W fashion and make-up just appeals to me so much better than Summer. I am definitely a Winter kinda girl.

That being said, I recently returned from my first summer holiday in a good few years, and thought I would do a little collage of the clothes I took away with me to the sun, and what I deemed suitable sunny weather attire. Apologies in advance- I will never let go of my love for monochrome, no matter what the weather ;) I roped Dean into being my official 'fashion photographer' for the fortnight we were away, and to his credit, I think he did a pretty good job! Here is what I wore, with a wee surprise thrown in, too...

Striped dress, hat and flip-flops: Primark | Lace dress: H&M | Sheer blouse and denim cut-offs: Primark | Cami: New Look | Printed trousers: Internationale
Cut out dress: Topshop | Barcelona top: Salou | Breton top: H&M | Dress: Kling, Dublin
Gold lace dress: Topshop petite | Hot dogs or legs? | Amazing print on my Therapie shorts | Top: Pied a Terre, Shorts: Primark and clutch: Vintage from Rusty Zip Belfast.

And now for the accessories: (okay, one accessory in particular...)

Dean proposed!
(I said YES!) ;)

I'm sooo happy and extremely excited to start planning our wedding! It was a complete surprise, and I am over the moon :) I am planning to do some wedding-related blogposts in the near future, but for now I am just going to get my head around my good news and enjoy being a bride-to-be!
Cat xo

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Welcoming Spring with my 100th post.

Today was probably the first day of the year where it has actually, properly, felt like Spring to me. The sun shone pretty much all day, and even though it is now 9pm in the evening it is still bright and warm. I've just watched the weather forecast for the rest of the week (rain, rain, rain...) so I thought I would get up a Spring-themed post before the notion fades and it starts feeling like Winter again! (Thanks, Belfast).

Here are the make up products I have been wearing, and loving, on my face recently:

I have included two base products, Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream, and Revlon's Nearly Naked Foundation. For the past couple of weeks I seem to be alternating between these two products depending on how clear my skin is! The coverage of the Dr Jart isn't too heavy, making it perfect for the warmer weather. It applies almost like a water on your face- hence the name, and it blends perfectly, leaving a natural finish that still lets your actual skin peek through. For days when I feel I need a little extra coverage, I have been reaching for the much hyped-up Nearly Naked Foundation by Revlon, in the shade 110 Ivory. (Yes, it might be slightly sunnier, but that doesn't mean I have any hint of a tan..). This is a gorgeous light-medium coverage foundation that matches my skin tone perfectly. It is lightweight enough to give a natural finish, but can build up to a fuller coverage with the addition of a couple more layers, without looking cakey.
On my cheeks I have been re-loving my Benefit Coralista, which doesn't really need much of an explanation- it is a coral shade, with a very subtle hint of shimmer. The eyelash curlers are a new addition to my makeup bag. I got these in a recent Birchbox, and after being initially terrified to put them any where near my eyes, I bit the bullet and found they add a nice curl to my lashes and make the application of mascara a lot easier.
I've been keeping my eyes simple and using two old favourites- Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Emerveille, followed by a couple of coats of the amazing Falsies Flared by Maybelline. 
Last but now least- Lips. During the day I have been wearing Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in the shade 101- a matte, light pink colour- almost like MAC's Creme Cup but slightly on the pinker side. I have a new lip product for night time- the Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in 02 Fancy Red, which was given to me by my friend Hannah and which I already love. It has a silky formula, so applies perfectly, lasts all night with not too much transferral, and just offers the most gorgeous shade of red. 

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula for lips is making an appearance here because I am not only obsessed with the smell (dark chocolate and mint... yum!), but it actually really helps to soften chapped lips, and only costs £1.99. The Dove intensive nourishment hand creme has been a staple in my handbag recently, as my hands are still quite dry from the winter months. Jo Malone's cologne in Pomegranate Noir is my fragrance of choice at the moment, despite being more of a Winter scent. It is such a unique fragrance and one that constantly draws compliments. Garnier Ultimate Beauty Oil is beautiful. It is perfect if, like me, you get impatient apply body lotion and having to wait for it to dry. This dries within a minute or two, leaves skin feeling really smooth and smells amazing.
Batiste dry shampoo has been an absolute essential for me since getting a full fringe cut in. Perfect for those lazy days when I want to give my hair a little refresh without having to wash & blowdry.

"Fashion" wise I have been going for a bit of a black-and-gold combo recently! Not entirely Spring-appropriate, but if you know me, you know I love black. The lace shift dress on the left is by Rare at Topshop, and is currently in the sale for £20. I wore it yesterday to a friends wedding, and I love it! It is lightweight and quite simple, but still dressy enough for evenings and nights out. I paired it with opaque black tights because my legs are bruised, like a toddler. The earrings are moonstones in a gold setting, and these were a gift from my other half :) On my nails I wore Inglots nail colour in the shade 223.                                                                                                                        Sorry for the insanely long blogpost! This is actually my 100th post! I would love to hear what makeup, body products and fashion items you are all loving for Spring :) Cat xo

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sixties Sunday.

New hair calls for new make-up!

I recently had a fringe cut in at Paul Stafford Hair and I've been loving experimenting with new make-up looks. I think a blunt fringe lends itself well to 60's style make-up and for this look I drew inspiration from the likes of Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. 
Hair: I applied some It's a 10 miracle leave in product to make the hair smooth, and also protect it from the heat; and a little Batiste Dry Shampoo at the roots for a bit more volume. I then ran the GHD's over my hair.
Makeup: I created a subtle cut-crease on the eye lid using Brulee and Wedge eyeshadows by MAC. For the flick I used a black liquid liner from NYC and then lashings of Maybelline The Falsies on both upper and lower lashes. I used the palest shade of the new Revlon Nearly Naked foundations (ivory) and applied a Topshop cream blusher in the shade 'Head Over Heels'. To finish off the look I used MAC's Creme Cup lipstick.

I think this a pretty easy look to recreate, & it's both daytime and night-out appropriate! Cat xo

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The smart, lazy way to update your wardrobe.

If you know me, you will know I'm pretty much addicted to Internet shopping. I may live in the city centre, with easy access to all the high street stores, but there's something to be said about being able to feed my shopping addiction without the hassle of actually leaving my own apartment. To be able to sit in the warmth, in my pyjamas, with a cup of tea, and make some cheeky purchases? Bliss. Together with, I thought I would let you in on some tips to make online shopping that little bit easier...

Do you want to get some new, sassy outfits together without any of the hassle of hunting them down old school style (you know, by going to a shop or something retro like that..)?.
Well, it’s cold outside and, after a long week at work, who really wants to trail around a shopping centre searching for that perfect outfit? Not me. Or at least not until it’s about 10 degrees warmer and leaving the house doesn’t feel like a karmic payment for some bad stuff you did in a past life.

That is why the internet was invented!
Here’s some tips to hone your online skills to procure yourself the best, most flattering bargains this season.

Top tips to buying clothes online:

  • Look for sites that make the process as easy as possible with detailed descriptions, quality photographs and advice on their particular approach to sizing.
  • Rein in your imagination. If you are more Kim Kardashian than Cheryl Cole, then make sure the size you pick reflects that. Measure up at home to really come to terms with your body in centimetres, inches etc. Once you have this in hand be sure to make use of the sizing charts on the sites you visit to get the right fit for you. Once you have that right you’re well on your way of buying your perfect fitting dresses online
  • Don’t pay over the odds. Make sure you take into account any extra costs, such as delivery, tax or packaging materials. This is especially important if you are buying from abroad... You don't want to be hit with some nasty customs charges when all you want to do is rip open your new purchase. 
  • Buy from trustworthy names you know and companies that have encrypted sites, such as Very, which offer their customers good protection. Web addresses that start https:// or have a closed gold padlock in your browser window indicate a good level of security.
  • Read the reviews if there are any available. Other customers can give you an overall picture of what the garment in question is like in reality and you can get an unbiased appraisal of the quality too.  
  • Pay attention to the small print - delivery details and return policy. You need to make sure that the dress will get to you by Saturday, or else you really won’t be leaving the house. Sites that offer you an online tracker are even better. 
  • Use clothing sites that have useful information about all aspects of the buying and selling process clearly displayed. Many good sites now have online help systems or at least a thorough section of FAQs.
  • According to research by a San Francisco company, Thursday evenings are the best time to buy clothing online if you want to pick up a bargain. Even handbags will cost you 36% less than normal!

I'm away to have some alone time with my debit card... Happy shopping! Cat xo

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Oasis loves Belfast. 5th February 2013.

Today I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go the launch of the new Spring/Summer 2013 collections in Oasis, Belfast. Having been at the launch of Belfast Fashion Week last week, I knew to expect plenty of florals, monochrome & neon clothing, and I was not disappointed- Oasis had ticked all of these boxes, and more; and had put their own quirky stamp on all the trends.

Everything in store was 15% off, all day... and 20% off if you are lucky enough to still be a student! There were also exclusive offers on key pieces from the collection- £10 off here, £15 off there. After arriving and heading straight towards the cupcakes, I was then introduced to a few members of the Oasis HQ team who had been drafted in for the day to help out with the launch. Kathryn, the designer of the new 'Wonderland' collection, (which is, at the minute, exclusive to Belfast!), talked to me about the inspiration behind the collection.

She told me she was inspired by Erdem, and the Spring/Summer Valentino shows. Everything in the collection is perfectly girly- proper "going out dresses" that are both feminine and fashionable. There are 5 dresses in the collection, and they will be available from March- unless you live in Belfast! This collection focuses on a younger, more directional look, with shorter hemlines, bolder prints, stronger colours, cut-out details and mesh inserts. In short- I love it.

I must admit, I'm like a magpie when it comes to monochrome- I love black and white, particularly stripes. The new monochrome clothing in Oasis is bang on trend but with a twist- they wanted to soften it up a bit and make it a little more girly- they coined the phrase 'monolace' to describe it, which I think is just perfect- a lot of the black and white pieces are kept feminine with the addition of lace detailing. One detail that seemed to catch my eye a lot was contrasting lapels and collars- simple blouses and jackets were made that little bit more chic with different coloured detailing. I also spotted (and fell in love with) some biker style clothing within the new range- sleeveless leather waistcoats, coated skirts and leather skinny jeans to add a bit of edge to the pretty blouses and dresses.

All in all, I love the new collections- the Wonderland clothing is just beautiful, and quite affordable, too- averaging around £55 for each dress- even less if you take advantage of the discounts! Of course, I couldn't leave the store empty handed and picked up a beautiful lace striped oversized top, which will be perfect from Spring with some leather-look skinnies! Cat xo.