niamhkelly

I can remember the first time I ever bought my first ‘real dress’. I was around seventeen years old and my adoration for Diane Von Furstenberg first started after seeing one of her campaign images in a magazine, hence me buying the now extremely dated dress. The Internet wasn’t what it was ten years ago, I think Bebo might have been around, but there was no platform for sharing and admiring the work of leading fashion designers. The term ‘Bloggers’ was not what it is today, everyone had a computer the size of a breeze block and it was all about the floppy disks. Therefore I created a scrapbook of my favourite looks consisting mainly of DVF herself. Each Friday I saved up my pay and treated myself to a glossy copy. I was in heaven. Even though I enjoyed all things fashion, it has taken me a number of years to really appreciate style for what it is, to understand my own personal look and embrace my body shape.

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I would like to think that I’m at a stage in my life where I am a little more experienced within the industry, but I understand that I still have a lot to learn. I love spending hours admiring fellow bloggers online, reading up on designers and even people watching to feel inspired by real life. I have a collection of style books that have become my bibles and I am excited to add Diane Von Furstenberg’s ‘The Woman I Wanted To Be’ to it.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book, all I knew is that I had to have it. Was it going to be a book simply giving me a little insight into DVF’s life with some standard fashion and beauty tips included? Absolutely not.

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Like Diane and I’m sure many of you, I have placed my magnificent mummy on a very beautiful pedestal. The first chapter of her book, ‘Roots’ completely floored me. I had no idea what I was about to read. It was honest, captivating and heartbreaking. At the tender age of twenty Diane’s mother, Lily Nahmias, was sent to the notorious Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. I myself visited the death camp in January and it is an image that will live with me forever. In this chapter, Diane shares her mother’s journey, the miracle of surviving it and the horrible aftermath. “God has saved my life so that I can give you life”. Her mother was a strong woman who constantly encouraged Diane to live life to the fullest, try to see good in any bad situation and to be confident in her own skin.

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The entire books consists of brutally honest thoughts that most people would be afraid to say out loud let alone put onto paper. Diane shares her life in detail as a mother, daughter, grandmother, friend, lover, wife, fashion designer and of course, Princess. A woman who holds such titles is a credit in my eyes and most definitely, an Icon. I don’t want to give away too much, all I can say is buy it. No matter what stage you are at in life, I’m sure you’ll all appreciate DVF’s words and have more of an understanding when it comes to her journey.

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(Image credit: Harper’s Bazaar || Vogue – Diane and her mother, Lily Nahmias || DVF Book, Diane Von Furstenberg with her husband Barry and family on their wedding day || Architectural Digest.)

I no longer look at Diane Von Furstenberg as just a designer and stylish woman, but an inspiration.

Nx

Is it just me or are the months flying in? Halloween seems like years ago and Christmas is sneaking up. Not that I’m complaining or anything. The Christmas Markets have arrived here in Belfast and I am extremely excited to visit them. Each year I often find a beautiful vintage bag or purse and indulge in some seriously sweet treats. The atmosphere is always great and makes the countdown to the festive season all the more enjoyable.

I just noticed that this week’s Instagram
images are heavily fashion influenced. The AW14 season is in full swing and I am absolutely loving it. By the way, can I just say how excited I am to have finally got my manicured hands on Diane Von Furstenberg’s latest book, ‘The Woman I Wanted To Be’. I tend to hibernate during the Winter months so I am looking forward to ready this little beauty by the fire. Does this make me sound pathetic?

Also included in this week’s post, a little California dreaming, hairstyle inspiration, indulging in some seriously mouthwatering food, enjoying a Kate Spade Saturday and getting into the Christmas spirit.

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(Image credit: California Beach – The Globe Wanderer || Margaret Zhang || Lauren Conrad || Others images unknown)

Hope you’re all having a great week.

Nx

Christmas. It’s always a busy time of year, normally I only blog three times a week. However with the festive season around the corner expect a few extra posts here and there. I’m sure all of you lovelies will not mind!

I’ve noticed that a lot of you are really into sequins this season. Pretty standard as the party season is fast approaching, no doubt that all of you are busy trying to find that perfect Christmas party outfit. With this, I thought I would put together a few of my favourite sequin styles that I have came across throughout our darling high street stores.

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The sequin look can sometimes be a little challenging to pull off due to the quality. There are stores that sell a cheap version and I often find that these do no justice and make your outfit look a little over the top.

The most popular styles that I would lean towards would be the gorgeous midi skirt, longline jackets, tailored blazers, pretty tops and for those of you who are not keen on a full sequin piece, a style with a some sparkle or an accessory incorporated into it.

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(Top to bottom: Topshop Midi Skirt – £75 || Zara Jumper – £15.99 || ASOS – Top £35 / Skirt £54 || Warehouse Longline Jacket – £120 || Monsoon Blazer – £99 || Accessorize Clutch – £35.)

When it comes to opting for this kind of look, a little goes a long way. Obviously the two piece gold outfit from ASOS is a complete look but it is a soft style and you have the option to wear the top and skirt as separates.

If sequins make you feel a little nervous then gently add them into your look through accessories or small detailing within a top or jacket. If there are any other topics you would like me to feature whether it’s style or beauty related, please let me know.

Nx

Ever since I started watching Fashion Bloggers a few weeks ago, I have gained five more bloggers who I find incredibly inspiring. This week I am going to focus on the breathtaking Margaret Zhang from Shine by Three. Her look is one of a classic style, clean cut and chic with a hint of youth.

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For those of you who have never heard of Margaret, she is a a writer, stylist, photographer, and creative director based in Sydney, Australia. Since going online within the fashion industry in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global houses including NET-A-PORTER, Nike, VISA, Blackberry Ltd, Shopbop, Mulberry, L’OREAL Paris, NOKIA, MATCHES and Swarovski. Through her blog, each post captures Margaret’s personal style, travels, food, Fashion Weeks adventures and beauty day-to-day are well documented on Shine By Three.

Zhang can create so many different looks, as a fashion blogger I know that not everyone can channel a style and make it work. With a detailed eye for style and hard working attitude to blogging, it is no wonder that Margaret has become an international blogging sensation.

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Like I’ve said previously, Margaret has been catapulted into style stardom as she is currently featuring on E Online’s latest reality television programme called Fashion Bloggers. Herself and four other Australian based bloggers: Sara Donaldson, Zanita Whittington, Kate Waterhouse and Amanda Shadforth share their ambitions, day to day adventures and tips on how to make it in the world of fashion.

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I love a blogger who can create many different looks all while looking fabulous and content in each look. Accessories are huge this season and Margaret is a perfectionist when it comes to styling and photographing her favourite pieces for her various media accounts.

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Obviously the obligatory travel and lifestyle shots need to be included. Finding her inner piece, taking in some breathtaking architecture and posing in amongst natures most beautiful backdrops is a daily job for the magnificent Margaret.

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I love a well rounded blogger who is not just about looking pretty. Margaret is a keen surfer and a slight tom boy at heart. She often channels a masculine vibe within her style, quite like a young Coco Chanel. It is great how she can inspire others through blogging and working with fellow ladies within the industry.

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You can watch Margaret and her fellow Aussie fashion bloggers tonight on E Online tonight at 9pm, I’m so excited!

P.s… Who is excited for the return of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here??? I never know who most of them are but I love watching them freak out over the trials! Haha.

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I have been all about sleeping this week, I often find getting back into a routine after a trip to the States a challenge. I find it hard to ‘fight the sleep’ until a suitable hour. Do any of you have any tips or tricks for jet lag? If so, feel free to leave them in the comment box below.

How has all of you been keeping? It’s sooo strange just how fast this year has been, hard to believe it’s Christmas next month. I seen the Coca Cola advert last night so the countdown has officially started for me. My Instagram has pretty much consisted of things I bought while away, things I wish I had, and the obligatory ‘Instagram quote’, you all know the drill. Anywho, back to business, hope you all enjoy today’s post.

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(Photo credit – In order of appearance:)
5 Inch and Up || Unknown quote ||Megan Hess illustration || Elie Saab Couture || Honestly Healthy || Elizabeth Banks in Elie Saab Haute Couture Fall Collection || Itzah C Kret quote || Sabine Pieper illustration.

Also, if there is any particular post/topic you would like to see me feature on my blog, please feel free to leave a comment or get in contact with me.

Happy Hump Day and all that!

Nx

Ever since I started blogging three years ago, one of the first bloggers I came across was the captivating Sandra Hagalstam from 5 Inch and Up. The Finnish beauty is a fashion student living in London and making a stylish name for herself.

I find Sandra’s images on her blog and online social media platform’s incredibly raw. The backdrops used for her images often consist of natural props such as a wooden floors, strong sunsets or magnificent outdoor surroundings. Along with her clean cut style, the photography used throughout her online presence is what gravitated me towards her.

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I too am a fan of photography so I find it attractive when a blogger takes time to put a little effort and detailing into their images. Including a little personal presence into your photos can prove powerful as it allows your readers to feel more connected to you. Instead of always snapping a picture of a bag hanging, Sandra finds new ways to add a little variety to her photographs.

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For those of you who are serious about style, then I’m sure that you are all aware of Sandra’s recent collaboration with high street powerhouse, River Island. The Finnish beauty has created a collection of limited edition shoes consisting of fabulous knee high boots, daring snake print ankle boots, a classic court and pony skin mules.

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If you have all been following my ‘Inspirational Blogger’ series, then you will all be aware that travelling the world is a large part of being a full time fashion blogger. It is a dream come true for the bloggers and each of them capture incredible photographs to share a part of their lives with the people who contribute to their success, their readers.

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Like I have previously said, the attention to detail in Sandra’s photographs are what attracted me to her. They are so powerful and touching, her images alone inspire me to branch out with my own. A strong yet simple backdrop is often what is needed and a little imagination. Try not to just set and shoot, find a new and interesting way to capture something.

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I hope that you’re all enjoying this series as much as I am. Are there any particular bloggers that any of you lovelies would like me to feature?

Nx

So, as you all know I took a little trip to the States over the Halloween break. Every time I visit I spend an unhealthy amount of money and time in Sephora. What can I say, I have a slight addiction and it’s like the mother ship calls me every time I’m around. For today, I’m just going to focus on my make up purchases, I will feature my skincare products for another day.

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I had a few key products that I wanted to purchase and the rest was pieces that tickled my fancy during my spree. I have to say though, I experienced slight devastation when I was informed that Lorac had stopped stocking in Sephora (and Macy’s), so it’s now only available online. I also tried to purchase the Christian Louboutin nail polish but it was sold out in the classic rouge shade. Even with this sad news, I stayed strong and enjoyed the rest of my beauty adventure.

Anywho, starting with my new favourite lip balm brand, I was introduced to Fresh by a lovely employee who worked at Sephora. I was also having a nosey today and catching up with some beauty bloggers and their YouTube channels and the adorable Vivanna from Vivianna Does Make Up had actually included a shade from the Fresh lip balm line as one of her October Favourites. I was well chuffed to for once be ‘in the know’ when it comes to beauty products.

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Recently my lips have been a little dry and dehydrated, so I was on the search for a good lip balm. What I love most about this brand is how they combat damaged lips while adding a pop of colour and sweet scent to their products. I bought their neutral collection for AW14.

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A good lip scrub is always an essential product within your beauty regime. I tend to use them most at nighttime just before I’m about to go to bed. I leave it on throughout the night in order to give my lips the best treatment during the colder months. Can I just say how devine this little beauty smells! I find it hard not to eat it if I’m being honest.

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Continuing on with the Sephora goodness, for the first time ever, I spent some time at the NARS counter. I don’t know why, but, I’ve never really got round to investing in their products. Sometimes I can be quite bad at just sticking with products that I know work for me. It’s only recently that I’ve started to branch out so I thought that I would treat myself on holiday.

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I had been hearing some much hype surrounding their ‘When God Created The Woman’ eyeshadow palette. I adore a good brown smokey eye, particularly during the Autumn/Winter months. What makes this product even more perfect is the fact that it’s pocket size. You can carry it around everywhere with you and have a beautiful collection of shades to work with whether you’re going for a light daytime look or all out bold statement look for nighttime. Various beauty bloggers have been raving about this palette as NARS have just recently relaunched it due to popular demand. These little bundles of happiness are in demand so I would try to get yourself one now before they sell out.

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A strong pigmented lipstick is a beauty product that I cannot get enough of. I love adding new shades and brands to my lipstick collection. I treated myself to their latest collection piece in the shade, Brigitte. I have to admit, I would buy this lipstick for the packaging alone. It is an incredibly chic case and the magnetic clicking sound when the lid closes is enough to make heart skip a beat. That clicking sound is like a little piece of heaven, I know there are some of you beauty bloggers out there who know what I mean.

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I’m actually kind of afraid to use it as I don’t want to wear away the adorable little NARS print on the side of the lipstick. It’s the little details that count for me, they make it all the more appealing.

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Now on to the Pièce de résistance, Hourglass and their Ambient lighting palette. I know I’m a little late to the party with this one, but I like to take my time with certain ‘hype’ products and wait for the reviews. I’m all about highlighting, they’re one of my all time favourite make up products. I have a strong collection of my own, mainly consisting of warm pinks and golds. However, this time I decided to opt for a lighter set of shades for this season.

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With this pretty palette I can create the perfect lighting on my face. The shades have a soft focus finishing that recreates a flattering light source. With this trio, I can use them as individual shades or combine them for multidimensional glow.

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Like I have said, within the next few weeks, I’m hoping to feature the skincare products I purchased. Happy Friday, rascals. Have a great weekend!

Nx

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