niamhkelly

Last week I tried my first ever tanning experience. I actually can’t believe I’m writing this as fake tanning makes me feel so nervous. I’ve never applied it or went for a spray tan, I don’t know what it is but I just have some absolute fears about the entire process. That said, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lisa from Bellamianta and I thought that I would give it a go. I’m not going on any foreign holidays this summer so I am in dire need of that golden glow.

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Lisa was very kind to fill me in on the tan, and gave me a great run through especially with me being a first time user. She explained that the product is non-toxic and free from Parabens, music to my ears as sometimes I fear the ingredients that go into some tans. It’s also free from harsh chemicals and is completely alcohol free which is an added bonus, especially when it comes to waxing or shaving. No one needs a raw burning sensation when applying it the day after grooming.

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It honestly took me a good 15 minutes to build up the courage to start applying the tan. I sat everything out and had done all of the necessary prep for it. I genuinely didn’t realise how much organisation goes into getting ready to apply fake tan. I had heard other friends saying that they need to exfoliate before hand but I didn’t realise how many hours before etc. I’m not going to lie but when it came out of the bottle looking so dark, my heart started beating faster. I probably sound so dramatic in the entire process but I just had to bite the bullet and get on with it.

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So I applied a small amount on the velvet mitt and started on the bottom of my legs and began applying the tan in circular motions. I straight away noticed the colour going onto my skin and I just kept smoothing and evening it all out. Within a minute or two the tan was nice and dry with an even base. It is a medium shade, so for my first ever tanning adventure I wanted to keep it natural until I get the hang of it. I will say that I was a little rusty applying it as it was I had never done it before so I’m hoping with practice, I will become better at the application. The smell directly from the bottle is lovely and they even have a candle to match the scent. Within the first few hours, I did notice a strong scent that I was a little unsure about. However as the evening went on, the tan really began to settle and the smell went away.

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I do want to say that I was wearing gladiator sandals before putting it on, hence the marks on my feet. That’s not the tan leaving streaks and I can tell you that as I’m writing this days later, my feet have no marks on them and the tan is nicely blended. You can really see the difference between my natural colour and the tan. I took this picture minutes after applying it so it does look a little dark. Now, it is a little more settled and looks really natural. I think it’s hilarious how white I look in this picture! Haha… I would have an olive skin tone but against the tan I look like a ghost.

When it came to applying the tan in the joint areas, hands and feet, I didn’t add any new tan. I just used whatever access tan was on the mitt and blended it onto my hands, feet and joints. I had also previously put some moisturiser on my elbows and knees just so the tan doesn’t settle on any particular areas.

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I’ve had the tan on for one week now and I am so pleased with it. I wanted to give my 100% honest opinion when it came to my first ever tanning experience. I’m just so happy that it all went well. The colour is gorgeous and natural, the smell is devine and the wear off process is so subtle and not one bit patchy. Also, another point worth mentioning is the fact that it is water resistant which is great news for those of you who tan whilst on holiday. What I love most is how it is manufactured in Ireland, I always love supporting local brands.

Thank you to Linda and Lisa for making my first ever experience enjoyable. The tan launches August 1st, feel free to check out the Bellamianta website for more details.

Nx

Over the past few year’s, NARS has fast become one of my favourite brands. The shades, pigmentation and packaging is enough to give me butterflies and I have managed to build up a pretty nice collection of products. I purchased my very first NARS product a few years ago when I was in New York City. It was my first time popping my Sephora cherry and I treated myself to a gorgeous lipstick. Since then, particularly with being a blogger, I have spent my well earned pennies snapping up the best that NARS has to offer.

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I have a nice little niche of products to run through with all of you today so lets get down to business. From pretty palettes to sheer gold heaven, they have become essential products within my daily make up routine. By the way, this is a lengthy post so go grab a cup of tea to sip over!

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Eyes:

Palette:

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I’m going to kick start things with my gorgeous eyeshadow palette that I got when I was in Boston. It’s their ‘And God Created The Woman’ collection that I always find myself reaching for time and time again. The palette consists of six shades that are perfect for creating a simple everyday look or bold dramatic smoky eye for nighttime. What I love most about this product is how convenient it is for travelling with. It is such a small and compact little palette with the essential shades for creating multiple looks. If I want to add a strong pop of colour and incorporate a metallic effect, I simply spray some of my MAC Fix + onto a flat brush (I use the MAC 242 style) and load it onto my lid. It’s an amazing tip for really transforming your make up.

Pencil:

A few week’s ago I also picked up my first ever cream shadow pencil. It’s from their latest collection and they are incredibly dreamy and creamy. I opted for the shade, Iraklion and it is a magnificent mauve colour (I’m not the best at describing things and due to the lighting, it makes it look more of a champagne shade that a mauve purple), that makes a great everyday shadow, highlighter or you can add it as a transition shade as part of a smoky eye. Again, just like the palette it is excellent for carrying in your bag when you’re on the go. I actually tend to use this type of pencil and colour as a base coat for applying a more vibrant shade like a rusted gold foil eyeshadow. You can use it as you like, that’s what makes it all the more appealing.

Face:

Foundation:

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I can’t believe I’m saying this but I didn’t jump on the Sheer Glow band wagon until two week’s ago. Over the past few years of blogging, I have seen numerous beauty bloggers and You Tubers swear by it. It definitely took me a while to actually go out and get matched up, I don’t know about any of you but I absolutely hate shopping for foundation. I find the entire process so stressful as I can’t find my perfect match or the correct coverage. I like a soft glow shade and medium to full coverage when it comes to my foundations however I’m hoping that once certain areas of my skin improve, to go for a more natural and sheer product. Yes, the foundation is called Sheer Glow but it actually is a medium coverage that looks beautifully natural and so lightweight it is an absolute dream to wear. My previous foundations have always felt so caked on and congested my skin so I really enjoy wearing the Sheer Glow. I will say that if you have any pigmentation or blemishes on your skin, you will need to prime and conceal those areas as the foundation is not enough to cover them.

Powder: Loose/Pressed:

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I was very lucky to spend an afternoon at Space NK as part of their NARS masterclass with international MUA, Benoit Dumont. I learnt so many tips and tricks regarding make up, the actual application (not as simple as it sounds) and even how your skincare can effect the entire make up process. It was after the class that Benoit recommended some products for my skin type and gave me some personal tips on how to contour and highlight my face (I was dying to know the correct way) as I have often questioned the best way to work with my face shape, the good old oval style. One product that I got was the ever popular Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder – a cult classic within the beauty industry. I have the loose version of this but I much prefer the pressed powder because I personally think it works a lot better with my skin type. It doesn’t cake my make up or gather in certain areas which is a major bonus for me. I’ve seen and heard of various bloggers and people swear by it as an undereye setting powder for their concealer but unfortunately I have to avoid that as it ages my eyes so bad. For those of you who find their concealer creasing or make up moving, I would definitely suggest this little beauty.

Cheeks:

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Blush/Bronzer:

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I can be real funny when it comes to wearing blusher, I have my bible blushes that I swear by that are pretty much from the same colour palette but I don’t often branch out. During the year I was very kindly gifted the Virtual Domination Cheek Palette (It was a limited edition product so I’m not sure if it is still available) that includes five shades Laguna Bronzing Powder, Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush, Deep Throat Blush, Sex Fantasy Blush- limited edition and Final Cut Blush – limited edition. For those of you beauty bloggers who love a good NARS product, I’m sure you’re all aware that the Laguna Bronzer is an iconic product that is an essential part of your make up collection.

Highlight:

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If there is one product that I could never live without it is the breathtaking highlighter. It is in my opinion thee best invention that has continued to be a cult classic within my make up collection. I have a massive collection (even if I do say so myself) that I swear by and this NARS beauty that is an absolute must have. The bold name and liquid base of Orgasm is a great way to highlight the high points of your face and even your body if you want to branch out. I tend to use this product more when I’m on holiday, I find it really compliments my tan and gives me that beautiful sun kissed glow. You can even mix it with your foundation and apply it with a stippling brush for a dewy and illuminating finish.

Lips:

Lipstick:

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I do love a good nude lipstick and when I was in Sephora I stocked up on my favourite shade, Brigitte. It is a beautiful creamy product with a gorgeous satin finish that I paid with a similar coloured lip pencil or on its own if I want something more natural. The detailing on NARS products are so personal, it also makes me not want to use the lipstick for worry of ruining it. It is pretty long lasting although I find myself reaching for a touch up just because I love re-applying lipsticks (It’s one of my weird qualities!).

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Pencil:

I first saw this lipstick pencil on Vivianna Does Make Up and her You Tube channel. It is my ultimate shade for the autumn/winter season and I absolutely adore it. The texture is a dream to wear and it is pretty long lasting. Plus it makes my teeth look whiter which is an added bonus. It is their Satin Lip Pencil in the shade, Palais Royal. It’s quite a deep burgundy colour that is just stunning. With the satin finish it glides on beautifully and doesn’t require much prep regarding lip liners. I do always wear a lip primer before applying any products however with this pencil I can simply wear it with my primer and still have full coverage look.

Brushes:

Contour:

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For those of you who love a good contoured look, this brush is a must have for you. The iconic Ita Kabuki scultped brush is another essential item for your make up collection. It is the best for chiseling your face and creating some fabulous cheekbones. It is quite a pricey product but worth every penny in my opinion. I have seen You Tube wonders, Jaclyn Hill and Beauty Life Michelle use it religiously in their videos and the brush has helped them to create a bold and beautiful contour look. I have only used it a handful of times but this was recommended to me by, Benoit. If it is a personal favourite of his then it will certainly become a personal favourite of mine. I’ve only used it a little to practice with but on mg next night out I really want to work it into my look.

Eyes:

When I purchased the eyeshadow palette, it also included a mini brush for applying and blending product. It is a sort of multipurpose brush that is great it you are creating a simple look or you can use it clean to help blend out a dramatic eye. It’s so soft to use and is a dream to use. Again, if you travel then this little baby will become your best friend for packing light. To be honest, for a brush that is free with a palette the quality is pretty impressive. There’s nothing worse than getting a harsh brush that sheds with a palette, it’s a nightmare.

I also have this adorable mini set that consists of three samples of their tinted moisturiser, sheer glow foundation and the most adorable miniature blush in the shade, Orgasm. This set is absolutely perfect for when I’m travelling.

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If there are any other products that you would recommend, please feel free to leave me a comment. I would love some new suggestions.

Nx

What a busy little week that was! Between appointments, meetings and having a cocktail or two, I have spent my time running around. ALSO… I indulged in a little fake tanning for the FIRST TIME EVER! I’m still in shock to be honest that I bit the bullet and popped my fake tanning cherry. I had the worst fear surrounding fake tanning, it just made me so nervous but I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. I’ll be blogging about the entire experience very soon so make sure you all stay tuned!

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I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying summer! (Not that we’re getting any sort of sunshine!) Looking at this post I really need to start getting back on track when it comes to style shots! It has been a while. Don’t forget to come over and say hello on my Instagram.

Nx

A few week’s ago I came across a book on Instagram that caught my eye after seeing rave reviews about it from various fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers. I was intrigued at first glance but I continued to browse my feed over the next couple of days until I continuously saw the book. I took it as a sign and purchased it for a good ‘summer read’.

I always followed DKNY PR Girl on Twitter but never knew who the face behind the social media handle was. It was very much a Gossip Girl style story and I was 100% on board when I found out that the book was written by Aliza Licht, the voice behind brand. As she has years of experience within the industry I wanted to get the book for some inspiration and guidance as to how to make a name for myself. I’ve worked hard over the years and built up a sound knowledge of the industry and contacts but I always look up to others who have more to share.

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In her book, Leave Your Mark, Aliza is brutally honest (which I love) and shares her career journey and current thoughts on all things social media, getting the best experience, dealing with people and remaining professional. This all might sound pretty obvious but they’re often forgotten about when people start making a name for themselves. Remaining humble yet being a strong and brave individual are some of the key fundamentals to building a career for yourself.

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One chapter of the book that stood out for me was, Email Etiquette. Here Aliza talks about how to speak the proper technology talk and the best way in her opinion to address industry professionals (something that people often lack). I have to admit there are times when I have received emails that are so inappropriate and what I like to call ‘text talk’. If you have never met me before then I personally believe that you should be polite and introduce yourself, don’t just send me a group email (a pet peeve of mine) with no name on it and expect me to appreciate you contacting me.

Taking an opportunity by the hands is sometimes often lost as people either let fear control them or they blow it with the wrong etiquette when contacting others. Now don’t get me wrong, if you have built up a strong relationship or already know some professionals then that’s fine. You can both talk to each other in a way you accept and are comfortable with. However, approaching people is the key starting point to building your brand and securing respect and opportunities for yourself.

Without giving away too much information about the book, I just wanted to share my thoughts on it and some of the content that I find extremely useful. I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you are eager to start the process of building a success career for yourself. Are there any books that you would recommend?!

Happy Friday my lovelies!

Nx

I think one of the most important beauty essentials is taking good care of your lips. Not only for kissing (you know it’s true) but I always think that they are the first thing people look at. When your face to face with people they will concentrate on your lips and it’s vitally important that you keep them moist. Cracked lips are not a good look for anyone! Lip balms are a required process on a daily basis, but they don’t have to be the regular clear colour. Clarins have a selection of beautifully scented, magnificently moist and delightfully delicious Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors to play with this Summer. (Can we take a moment to appreciate my alliteration! Haha)

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I have to admit, the application of applying a gloss type product makes me really nervous. I hate the stick applicators as they hurt my lips and just leave it feeling messy in my opinion. Another reason why I’m enjoying using these perfectors is the fluffy soft top head. It helps to smooth on the gel easily but holds onto any extra product without overloading your lips.

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It’s not your traditional lip balm formula but it is more of a gel texture. I’ve been wearing each of these shades for a few week’s now and they are so handy for adding a little colour to your daytime look or for perfecting that perfect natural glossy lip on a night out. The tint is strong enough to be noticed but soft enough to wear as a lip treatment. It is quite a thick formula but I personally prefer that kind of product. They smell and taste absolutely delicious! I could spend my days eating them more so than wearing them! Haha

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If you’re looking for a soft and subtle sunkissed look a tinted lip perfector is definitely the way forward. Do you lovelies have any recommendations for summer lip products? I’d love to hear your favourites.

Nx

The latest addiction (and replacement of Margaret Zhang) to Fashion Bloggers TV has made quite an impact to the blogger scene with her boyish charms and impeccable style. Nadia Fairfax from Fairfax Journal is a petite gymnast who has turned her love of the sport into a career by combining her personal style into the mix. Her elegant manner shines through her photographs throughout her blog and social media accounts. Not only does she have the opportunity to rub shoulders with Australia’s finest but she has now made a name for herself across the pond.

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Like I’ve previously mentioned, she is part of the hit TV show and my personal favourite, Fashion Bloggers. She filled the space of another blogging phenomenon, Margaret Zhang when she left the show to focus on her career. I’m not one for change, even when it comes to my essential programmes! After her first feature I quickly grew to adore her.

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She has quite a laid back style with a feisty personality. Her look is fresh with a hint of playful prints and beautifully structured pieces. Nadia does love the basis, as do we all and her effortless beauty make her all the more appealing as a person. Of course, finding that perfect backdrop and working with a professional photographer will be sure to make your blog appealing to every woman with a heartbeat.

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Any girl who enjoys a good cocktail or two certainly deserves a mention on the blog. I think it is essential as a woman to indulge in the odd ‘sampling’ of delicious, refreshing and often strong drinks. My excuse is that these kind of beverages make for a good photo/Instagram opportunity!

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Just like her co-star Sara Donaldson, Ms. Fairfax is a fellow shoe addict with an impressive collection. Every girl needs a selection of strong styles that can carry you through each season from fairy sandals to colour block beauties. I particularly adore Nadia’s magnificent tan wired pair of fabulous peep toe sandals. The thick wrap around lace makes them the perfect shoe for each season, hell I would wear these beauties to bed if I owned them.

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I hope you’re all enjoying my ‘Inspirational Blogger’ series as much as I am. If there are any fashion, beauty or lifestyle bloggers you would like to see featured on my blog feel free to let me know.

Nx

Yes, this post is called my WEEK on Instagram but I’m throwing it back to a little further than the past seven days. I took a few days off from blogging as I was finishing up with work for the Summer. With that comes endless hours (that I enjoy) blogging, networking and attending events. I don’t know about any of you but there are definitely certain times throughout the year when life just takes over and I need some TLC time to just relax.

Most Instagram accounts have a theme throughout, I definitely think one of mine is the classic flatlay. I never really thought about it properly until tonight when I started go upload all of these flatlays. Is anyone else the same? Do you have a particular theme you stick with?

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How delicious does my frozen yogurt look?! Well, I can tell you that it certainly tickled my taste buds! I was at the launch of Yogland on the Lisburn Road last Friday and I had the opportunity to sample some of the mouthwatering treats. I would definitely suggest visiting it during the summer months if you fancy a quick snack with your man friend, family or friends.

Nx

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Belfast milliner and award winning accessories designer Gráinne Maher will open the doors of her first permanent retail outlet tonight at Spires Mall, Belfast from 6-9pm! 🎉 ✨ ❤
Be sure to get down for a nosey and have a look at the array of fashion and accessory labels from Ireland and UK!
#fbloggers #belfast #spiresmall #grainnemaher #milliner #fashion #style #launch #pluckanddevour #janebowler #unaburke #jaynepierson

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