niamhkelly

During the month, I had the absolute pleasure of indulging in a very glamorous road trip to County Derry to attend the relaunching of Debenhams at Foyleside Shopping Centre. Myself and my plus one, Christine from Dolls House Journal spent the evening browsing the beauty department and getting some VIP details from various counters such as: Benefit, Urban Decay and Clinque.

On our way up to Derry myself, Christine and fellow FABBers, Katrina, Rosanne and Bex had a good old gossip with Vicki who was in charge of the event. A quick munch on some Pringles and Haribo and we arrived at the beautiful store. We first made our way to the restaurant that over looked the Foyle River and sipped sweetly on some Prosecco. After catching up with Laura from Debenhams, Scotland we made our way to the highly anticipated beauty floor. My eyes lit up as we can down the escalator, I was like a little girl on Christmas morning. It was hard not to make a run for every counter!

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Our first counter was the lovely Benefit gals. I am a huge fan of the brand, I have worked with them over the year’s, I even get my eyebrows done by them here in Belfast. We were given an in dept brow tutorial on how to achieve the perfect brow shape and arch. Next was a lesson how how to create the much sought after winged liner look using the They’re Real liner in purple accompanied by the jet blue mascara. The funniest part of the evening had to be in their new treatment room where you can have ALL SORTS of waxing. Us girls got a little carried away and giddy when it came to talking treatments, very mature of us! (That comment is aimed at you, Ms. Doran).

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The next port of call was Clinque where we had a run through of their skincare products. We also had a sneak preview of their new electronic face contour and sculpt. (sssssssssh!) Coming up for release very soon, this product is perfect for those of you who enjoy a little at home pampering in between facials. The girl on the counter also give me a little demonstration on the electronic face scrub (their version of the Clarisonic). It was pretty impressive how soft and smooth my skin felt afterwards. Used on just one hand (so I could feel the difference) she also showed me how it effected the application of creams.

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Urban Decay was the final stop of the beauty counter tour and here we played around with the products and watched a quick 10 minute tutorial on how to create a flawless look. The crazed Smoky palette was also on display, it was the first time I got to see it in person. It is a gorgeous palette although I’m more of a warm toned girl when it comes to my eyehshadows. The brand is has such an edgy vibe and the products are so rich in pigment, I found it hard to concentrate as I was like a magpie looking at all of the fabulous make up.

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It was pandamoanium once the tour ended as we were all very kindly gifted with a gift voucher to spend in store. I had a good idea of what I wanted to get with mine and I also paid a sneaky visit over to the MAC counter where I invested in one of their new Electric Cool eyeshadows. With my voucher I also bought the Urban Decay All Nighter Make Up Setting Spray and one of their new revolution lipsticks in the shade, Venom.

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(Photo credit: Katrina Doran.)

It was honestly such an amazing evening and I’m very thankful to Vicki, and Laura for inviting me along And spoiling us all rotten. I definitely need to take strip back to Derry to explore the city more.

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There is no better way to end the Summer than going to Belsonic to see Hozier. I have been a massive fan of his since the release of his first single, Take Me To Church. The Wicklow born singer wowed the crowd and I had an incredible night. Anytime I go to a concert, particularly an outdoor festival I opt for a look that is casual, comfortable and definitely gig appropriate.

I purchased this Topshop Khaki Bomber at the start of July and it has been one of the best buys. I’ve worn it to a few festivals and it keeps you so warm. The colour is amazing and it goes with so many looks. It is a short style with gold zip detailing along the arms. Last week I nipped into Zara to get some new tops and picked up this fab long side spilt slogan piece. I have a serious addiction to rose gold and metallic details. It was quite a ‘matchy, matchy’ outfit but that’s what I loved most about it.

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I paired the look with my trusty tan Parfois cross body bag. It holds so much, I was even able to fit in my Nikon camera. I love how it added a little embellishment into my outfit without over powering it too much. For my make up, I kept it relatively simple with Benefit’s They’re Real Liner and Mascara. I opted for the liner in purple and mixed it with my jet blue mascara. I absolutely loved my look, very festival inspired!

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Now that Summer is coming to an end, I cannot wait for Autumn. I’m much more of an A/W baby, I just love the dark nights. Even when it comes to clothing, I much prefer a statement coat and lots of layers.
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Being a blogger can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can achieve in life. It brings me great satisfaction and has allowed me to work with talented people and beautiful brands. That said, it has also been a testament. In life we all go through times when we don’t feel our best and unfortunately in the blogging world, particularly fashion, that can effect your confidence and therefore have an impact on your blog. We’ve all been there (well I certainly have) and even now I’m still trying to get back to a place within myself that I am completely comfortable with. For me, taking OOTD posts can be a challenge as I don’t feel naturally comfortable in front of a camera. There are times when it doesn’t bother me and times when you can see in certain shots that I’m uncomfortable. I have definitely went through phases when I’ve envied others for just how photogenic they look in their pictures.

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I think that’s only natural though and I’m sure that even the most established bloggers go through the same process. I have been lucky to build somewhat of a name for myself and everyday I’m working hard and meeting with new people in the hope of turning it into a more permanent fixture. The creativity and planning that goes into maintaining a blog is what I find most enjoyable. It’s also a great way to build your writing, networking and interpersonal skills. I love nothing more than finding inspiration from different social media platforms, fellow bloggers, industry professionals and life itself. (Image credit: Alexandra Pereira from Lovely Pepa and Irish stylist, Clémentine MacNeice).

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I’ve also met a lot of new people and some have turned into friendships that I cherish. There is no better feeling that getting together with a group of like minded people talking all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle all the while snapping that essential Instagram coffee or lunch shot. Things don’t happen over night, even after four years of blogging I still have so much to accomplish. I’m not going to lie, there are times when I have thought to myself that things were never going to work out, however everyday is a step closer to my dream and I am looking forward to the future.

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(Image credit: unknown).

Today’s post was a little different from my usual features but I just wanted to share my thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment recommending any other bloggers to check out or your own blog!

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For about six months now, I’ve been hearing so many reviews about The Body Shop and their Vitamin E Face Mist. UK blogger, Victoria from In The Frow swears by this hydrating face mist in all of her You Tube videos. Sometimes I can be quite lazy when it comes to getting that one product I keep telling myself that I have to buy. A few week’s back, I was in town when I popped into The Body Shop and finally made the purchase. Since then it has then been thee best buy I’ve made regarding skincare in a while.

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To say it is refreshing is a slight understatement. I actually get carried away spraying it at times, it’s just so good. The three main areas with this product are refreshment, moisture and protection. It has a delicate rose scent to accompany it which is great for the skin and helping to keep things calm. I have particularly sensitive skin so I find it great for keeping any irritations at bay.

I apply it morning and night before I apply my skincare products and afterwards for that extra hydration (not essential). It says you can use it to set your make up, however I find that step optional. As I have oily skin, I need a certain type of make up setting spray. Perhaps those of you who have dry skin would benefit from using it on top of your make up. A little really goes a long way with this bottle and it is definitely an essential part of my daily skincare routine.

Have any of you tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ve also heard that the Vitamin E serum is amazing, I’ll be adding that to my list.

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There comes a time in a blogger’s life when you realise just how lucky you are to be doing what you love and getting the opportunity to work with great brands. It was two weeks ago that I had some time to reflect on how far I’ve come and how hard work and persistence pays off. The smallest contact can build your confidence and remind you that all of those hours behind the screen are paying off.

I was contacted by the lovely girls at JORD who specialise in making luxurious wooden watches. Created by a group of artists, designers, marketers and minders the unique and timeless pieces are a new generation of watches and created using a combination of precision CNC machining, laser engraving, and hand finishing. I was very lucky to be able to choose a style of my choice and I was blown away by this magnificent purple heart and pearl face beauty. It’s from their Cora collection and the purple heart wood pairs with opaline Mother of Pearl to showcase the luxe nature of natural materials. It is such a fabulous watch and the details on it are superb.

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One particular detailing from the watch that I adore is the breathtaking back. You can see the mechanics within the watch which in my opinion makes it all the more elegant looking. I’ve actually noticed that the majority of American watches have this feature in them. It also had a collection of beautiful swarovski crystals on every other point which are sealed under a sapphire crystal glass. So many magnificent crystal elements in one watch!

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The natural purple heart wood is hand finished and pretreated with tung oils and the Cora is splash-proof, making it an essential pool side accessory during the summer months. Their hardwoods are sourced from around the world and aged in the open air, sealing them with natural oil extracts. I love stacking my Michael Kors and Emozioni bracelets with it. They add a pop of colour without taking away from the watch.

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I haven’t stopped wearing this little beauty since it arrived in the post. It is the perfect size for my wrist and I love pairing it with different pieces. You can expect to see lots of it over on my Instagram.
*A quick tip I learnt about cleaning wooden watches is to use lemon or orange oil extract as they are the best for cleaning natural wood.

Check out the link below for more information about the brand and their magnificent watches.

Wood Watches by JORD

Thank you to the lovely ladies at JORD for gifting me with this fabulous watch.

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So it has been a little while since I last blogged, sorry for the lack of posts but I wasn’t well for a few week’s. I’m thankfully now on the mend and very excited (as always) to get back to writing. I’ve spent most of the weekend drafting up some fashion and beauty features for all of you to enjoy. For today, I’m going to kick start things with some Instagram love. I’ve gathered a collection of my favourite shots that I’ve uploaded to my account over the past week.

I still managed to enjoy some online shopping (as you do) and I can’t wait to start experimenting with some of my new purchases. I finally jumped on the Zoeva hype and treated myself to the Rose Gold Complete Eye Set Vol.2 and their highly pigmented Coco Blend eyeshadow palette. The brushes are incredibly soft and the palette is one of dreams. Such warm and buttery shades that are perfect for creating a subtle or dramatic smoky eye. I also managed to get the must sought after Kathleen Lights quartz palette that she created with ColourPop Cosmetics. My man friend bought it for me when he was in America and I absolutely love it. I’m a HUGE fan of her You Tube channel and now I’m the proud owner of her palette. (Keep in mind, this product can only be purchased and shipped within USA).

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How have you all been keeping?! I hope you’re enjoying summer and hopefully indulging in some holiday sunshine. See you all in my next post!

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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.

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