Cereal *check*, Apples *check*, Make-up bag essentials….Hardly!?
After reading some good reviews about the new SpecialBuy Beauty range at Aldi stores I decided it was time I find out for myself what all the hype was about.
My first purchase, the Lacura Lipstick in shade Pink/Nude, which boasts ‘Brilliant Colour & Anti-Age Complex with Vitamin E’. This is fighting talk when you consider the €3 price tag.
The first thing to strike me about this lipstick was the smell. Remember as a child getting make-up sets which contained waxy lipsticks that smelt like play dough? Well your in for a treat, because this Lacura lipstick has a mild scent which resembles those of yesteryear. If you are not put off by the scent you will find that the colour is actually lovely on. There are other shades available but this Pink/Nude is great for everyday wear. It is quite moisturising when on but if you have dry lips the colour can clump a little. I would recommend the lipstick if your looking for something cheap and cheerful for everyday wear. Personally I won’t be rushing back to buy it because of the smell and the amount of excess packaging used, which annoyed me!
My second purchase was the Lacura Concealer Pen, €4.
Get ready to press the button of this pen for 50+ clicks before the product actually reaches the pen tip – however it’s worth the wait. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this product. I applied a thin layer under each eye before applying my foundation. It had good coverage and blended well with my foundation (MAC Studio Fix). I then applied some more on top of my foundation, under my eyes and along the brow bone. In hindsight I didn’t need any more under the eyes because a little goes a long way. It did however work very well as a highlighter along the brow bone. It lasted all day and didn’t go chalky. I would definitely recommend picking up this little gem on your weekly shop. It’s no YSL Touche Eclat but this Lacura concealer pen does exactly what it says on the tin and at €4 it delivers a lot of bang for your buck!
Unfortunately not everybody is blessed with gorgeous shapely brows. Admittedly I am one of those who drew the short straw when it comes to ‘naturally’ perfect brows. Fear not though, there are lots of ways to enhance your brows. This ‘How to Brow’ outlines my brow transformation and brow maintenance routine.
As a natural redhead, I struggled through adolescence with no eyebrows – I kid you not! My lovely translucent coloured brows literally done a vanishing act. Now I know the bleached brow look appeared on many a catwalk show this Spring Summer, but this is not a look the average girl can pull off. Something had to change.
The day I discovered eyebrow tinting was a glorious day. Beauticians far and wide offer the service, but not everybody can be paying for it on a regular basis. Thankfully after years of tinting, I have now mastered the art of dying my own brows – If I can do it anyone can!
I use Swiss O-Par Eyelash and Brow Dye Kit in dark brown. This is sold in local chemists and usually costs around €12. I prepare my brows by making sure they are squeaky clean and I then apply vaseline on the skin surrounding the eyebrow to minimise mistakes. The dye itself is applied in a two step process. Step1, you apply the clear liquid to brows in the shape of your existing brow hair. Wait a few minutes before applying the next step, Note: the longer you leave this clear liquid on the darker the final colour will be. Step 2, you apply a clear gel to the brow, this turns a dark brown the second it makes contact with the existing product. You then leave this on for a few minutes and wipe off. It’s as simple as that. Any residue left on skin is easily removed with cleanser.
NOTE: The dye can also be used on your eyelashes but I wouldn’t advise you to do it on your own as its tricky business.
Brow shape was the next protocol – we all see the immaculate brows of Cara Delevingne all over magazine’s but the truth is we can’t all pull off that look. Brow’s are one of those things that can either make you or break you and although they are BIG news right now that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be just that. Yes bigger is better but shape is your main priority here. Follow the natural shape of your brows and bring out the best they have to offer.
The simple guide below is a good starting point. Grab a pencil or the handle of a makeup brush and rest it along the side of your nose up to your brow. This is the point to where your brow should start. Next move the pencil to an angle and stop at the centre of your eye this will give you an idea of where the highest point of your brow should be. Finally move the pencil to the outer corner of your eye, with the base still at your nose, this gives you an idea where the eyebrow should stop!
I use Tweezerman tools, they are super strong, don’t lose their shape and provide a good grip on the hair when tweezing. These can be bought in Boots stores or online at StrawberryNET for a discounted price. To help decide what to pluck, brush the brow hair upwards. Anything that doesn’t fall inline with the rest, needs to go. Never over pluck – we have all been there and tasted instant regret.
Threading is my preferred way to shape my brows. There is a lot less pain involved, there is a reduced risk of removing too much hair and you achieve a more desirable shape. Threading is also kinder to your skin and causes no ingrown hairs. It is relatively inexpensive and you will find that most beauticians offer the service. The Body Shop offer threading in many of their stores nationwide.
In order to enhance and shape my brows further, I swear by Benefit’s Brow Zing’s in shade medium. This product is a staple part of my makeup bag as it has everything you need to shade and sculpt the perfect brow. It is well worth the investment, because 1. It stays put on your face for hours and 2. You only need to use a small amount of product to achieve the desired look, it will last you months!
When I am feeling like an extra treat I book myself in for HD brows at LaNu Spa Drogheda. This place provides the full Spa experience and really takes you away from it all. The HD brow procedure provided by LaNu involves 7 steps and takes approximately 30-45mins. It is a bit pricey at €35 but in my opinion it is well worth it. The shape achieved by the procedure can be easily maintained at home using the routine outlined above. You may find that you don’t need to return for months.
Finally – here are some celebrities who give me serious brow envy!
Enjoy – Heather x
On trend hair styles, have in the past, been something that I usually sit back and admire rather than take part in myself. The reason being that 1. My hair has refused point blank to grow ever since it reached a comfortable shoulder length style, 2. Being blessed with naturally curly hair means that most styles require a lot of effort on a daily basis (eh, no thanks!) and 3. because I have not witnessed any hairstyles in the past few years that I felt suited me – until Now! After making do with my stubborn shoulder length locks, right through the #LongHairDontCare phase I am happy to hear that short/medium length wavy hair, is – as they say – all the rage!
Whether it is by chance or by virtue – we are now witnessing a wave of celebrities sporting healthy medium length hair. Finally years of extensions and avoiding trims like the plague has caught up on the long locked folk of the world (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy about this). Healthy hair has now become more important than the desire to have the longest hair in the land. This new medium length wavy hair style is all about texture and movement and with my hatred of overly groomed styles, this really is right down my alley!
The following celebrities have nailed the short/medium wavy haired look!
Cheryl is back and so is my girl crush for everything Cheryl related. She is bang on trend as always with gorgeous medium length hair which is full of texture. Cheryl has opted for something a little more edgy with an asymmetrical cut.
Jennifer Lawrence really is the girl about hollywood right now and her hair is not doing too bad either! Her pixie crop suited her perfectly but is not for everyone. Her hair has now grown out out into a long bob which is far more wearable for the less adventurous amongst us.
My Pixie Lott obsession continues as she shows us how to do ‘short short’ with a full fringe in platinum blonde! Her cute textured bob version is just perfection.
Other ladies who have taken their own spin on the medium length textured hair style are Kate Mara (my hair inspiration), Vanessa Hudgens and Alexa Chung – not exactly a bad line up when it comes to style advice!
So it is by no surprise that this shoulder-length-haired-girl is embracing this trend with both arms. In the words of Coco Chanel – “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”
Galway Races is one of the biggest social events in many Irish people’s calendar. Whether it be for the love of betting, beer, equestrian or fashion Galway Races never fails to disappoint.
This year I was lucky enough to attend my first ever Ladies Day. Whilst being full of excitement in anticipation of my maiden voyage to this brilliant festival I knew that it also spelt the beginning of a hunt for that ‘perfect dress’!
I felt uncomfortable at just the thought of slipping into a plain structured dress of modest length and demure styling, as this is just not me.
I decided to build my whole outfit around one purchase – this amazing hat by Suzanne Ryan Millinery. It was love at first sight when I saw this piece on Facebook and at €80 I had to have it. The best thing about this hat for me is that it is not a stereotypical headpiece and I feel I will get wear out of it at music festivals and the like. Suzanne’s pieces are amazing and she has quite the flurry of high profile fans such as the Beauty Blogger, Suzanne Jackson – So Sue Me.
My dress was purchased in Zara a few years ago and I had only worn it once. I love the beading detail and loose fit of the dress which I nipped in at the waist with a vintage leather belt given to me by my Mam. I also accessorised with nude sparkle heels from Barratts and a nude clutch from Penny’s, both donated by my sister.
With such a wide array of beautiful outfits and amazing hats I don’t know how they decided on one winner for best dressed lady. If I am being honest the winner was not what I expected – I guess it is just not my personal style. What is interesting is that an almost identical outfit was seen on the ‘Sugarbabes’ singer Heidi Range’s sister, Hayley at the – Audi International at Guards Polo Club just a week previous!!
The skirt can be found at Coast – Rita Skirt €155
Are we seeing the end of an era? Are statement necklaces coming to the end of their reign?… Personally I think so!
Don’t get me wrong I always like adding something that little bit different to my outfits and for that reason statement necklaces are a god sent. However, like most trends statement necklaces have saturated the market and it is now the layering of delicate necklaces that has captured my attention!
Like the ‘bare faced’ makeup look that requires the use of 20 different products the layering of delicate necklaces is a tricky trend to master. In order to achieve that effortless laid back feel I’d advise to choose a random selection of delicate chains of different lengths. Pick pieces that are unique to you and your own style; your initials, star sign, birthstones and coins with quotes are a good way to start.
Here is my pick of some of the best delicate necklaces.
TIP: Pick up unique bits at markets and vintage stores!
Being completely unaware of the HUGE Male following I had, my blog posts have previously been focused towards my female followers. However after a trip back home to the midlands this weekend I have found that it is in fact the male population which have the greatest ‘interest’ in my blogging. Not to neglect this social group and to feed their enthusiasm towards my posts I have decided a short ‘how to’ blog post on the latest mens wear would be well received!
1. Collar-less Tops
Polo shirts although a staple part of most men’s wardrobes are not the be all and end all. Collar-less tops are having a moment at the minute so give them a go.
2. Casual Shirts
Shirts no longer mean you are attending a ‘do’. Casual shirts are the new ‘striped jumper’ of our teen disco years! Don’t feel pressured to button the shirt up to the top, although it is suitable on some, others can end up looking like a stuffed turkey, so tread carefully.
What may seem to many as a straight forward piece of clothing, jeans are actually the most neglected part of a guys wardrobe. Jean’s come in more styles than just Boot leg and Skinny Leg. An easy transition is the straight leg jean which although slimmer on the leg than the boot leg it will not stick to those footballer thighs and calves, sorted!
For the more adventurous amongst you Chino’s are still in. So ease yourself in with a nice navy or wine pair.
Remember the wrangler shoe phase of the 90’s? Well assuming that trend is well behind us Converse-style shoes are perfect for casual wear and on nights out. If you do feel like branching out a bit Tommy Bowe’s shoe range is a good place to start.
So to my male followers thank you for your continuous feedback and interest in my blog posts, I hope you enjoy the first of many blogs directed towards you :P
All clothes can be found on asos
Similar to the fact that each one of us knows someone that has emigrated to Australia, we also know someone who has gone or is thinking of going to Thailand on holidays. It seems that the generic Times Square profile picture has been replaced with one of a sedated tiger and someone sprawled across it. So what is all the hype about and is it worth the 14 hour flight?
Speaking from my own experience and that of the 9 others in the group with me, Thailand is the holiday of a lifetime. So here is a summary of everything we done in our two weeks in this amazing Country.
Day 1: Myself and my friend touched down in Bangkok at 7am (the rest of the group flew out two days previous). Post 14hrs of flying our holiday enthusiasm was dwindling fast but we were finally there – or were we? We had to go straight and board another flight up to Chiang Mai! This 2hr flight was a walk in the park in comparison to what we had just travelled. Once we arrived in Chiang Mai we went to the nearest taxi desk (all the rage there) and ordered a taxi to take us to the So Hostel. This hostel was modern,clean and in a good location. There we met the rest of the crew and after hearing all about their antics from the night previous we made plans for the day.
TIP: Thai sim cards free at the airport.
TIP: Book accommodation when you get there.
Myself and my friend headed off to Tiger Kingdom while the rest of the group went quad biking through the forest (they had visited Tiger Kingdom the day previous). It was a great experience and certainly something to tick off the list. You don’t feel in danger when in the cage with the tigers, well I didn’t anyway. This is partially due to the fact they are the sleepiest tigers I have ever seen (on TV), sedation much?
Also, if you have time, try fit in the quad biking through the Jungle. Feedback from the guys was that they were very lucky to make to back in one piece but that it was completely worth it. And don’t worry, if you are returning your quad in an unrecognisable state, with smashed fenders and missing lights seemly it is completely acceptable and you will suffer no extra charge – Happy Days!
That night we headed to Zoe in Yellow, this is a great spot and well worth a visit. The night before the guys went to the ‘Roof Top Bar’ which they said was a really good also. There was a Military Coup and curfew on when we were over there which we ended up getting ‘caught up’ in (putting it v.mildly) but that’s another story :)
Day 2: After all that happened the night previous we were not the most enthusiastic bunch at 9am going on a Jungle Adventure, which was to involve two days of trekking and a night spent with a tribe. It actually turned out that these two days in the Jungle were the highlight of the whole holiday. We went on an elephant trek, zip lined over a river, drove up a mountain, picked up a hitch-hiker with a pet squirrel, got massages off tribe women, stopped at a waterfall in the middle of the jungle, went white water rafting and had the most amazing tour guide called ‘What’. So much happened in those two days but it wasn’t the activities that made it the highlight of the holiday it was the fact we were away from everything up on this beautiful mountain with no distractions just good craic with friends.
Day 3: We arrived back in Chiang Mai that evening and just had time to get some food and freshen up before heading to the airport to board our flight to Phuket. We didn’t plan on staying in Phuket but because our flight landed there at 1.30am we decided to stay there a night and head out to Phi Phi in the morning. We stayed at The Bangkok Residence which is on the main strip on Patong Beach. I wasn’t a huge fan of Phuket, one night was enough because we still managed to see a lot of crazy stuff walking down the strip in those few short hours!!
Day 4: Everything you heard about Phi Phi is true, it is even more amazing than you expect. When we arrived on the ferry, like typical Irish we went over to the nearest place advertising rooms and sorted ourselves out. Because we were a group of 10 it limited us a bit but we ended up booking a guest house called Sabai House. This was my least favourite accommodation of the whole trip but it was 2min walk to the beach, cheap and for the amount of time we stayed in the room (3-4hrs sleep max), it was perfect!
Our evenings were spent taking dips in the sea, drinking cocktails out of coconuts, jumping through fire hoops – over skipping ropes and piecing together the night before. Sabai was particularly handy given that it was a short stumble home from the main spots like ‘Slinkys’ and ‘Stones’. TIP: Watch your belongings at these beach parties, my bag containing phone and wallet was taken/lost, mostly my own fault :(
Day 5: When you first arrive in Phi Phi you think you will never remember your way around the scattered pedestrian streets but one day in and you will be wandering freely. Still sore from trekking down the mountain and from our acrobatic efforts the night before we went for a thai massage. Whilst we were wreathing in agony as these two Thai women worked their magic, I would thoroughly recommend at least one. You leave like a new man/woman. Do however go to the ‘upper-class’ ones where the women outside look like they ONLY offer massage services.
Day 6: Maya Bay is a must see! The day we decided to venture out it was overcast and a lot of boats were not travelling. Luckily in Thailand money talks and after offering to pay an extra 100 baht we got a willing party to take us out.TIP: Bring money with you to Maya Bay as the minute you step off the boat you have to pay a tax, which we were told goes to the maintenance of the beach. The tax was 200 baht! Here we took the cheesy ‘jumping in the air photograph’. Of course at the time we all slagged the person who suggested taking it but if truth be told we all secretly love the photograph and are delighted we took it. Later that night we went to the popular Banana Bar which is an open air bar on the roof of a building which was good fun.
Day 7: This day involved a lot of travelling. Ferry from Phi Phi to the mainland and then VIP Taxi across to the east coast of Thailand – Gulf of Thailand. The taxi only ended up being 200 baht dearer than getting the public bus so it was an easy decision. It takes approximately 5hrs to drive across but we had music with us so it flew. Once we got to the other side we boarded a ferry to Koh Phangan. We got the slow car ferry, Not advised, it took approx. 3hrs to get to Koh Phangan.
TIP: If you are planning on going to Koh Phangan at the time of the Full Moon Party book your accommodation way in advance as nice places on Haad Rin book up quick.
Myself and my housemate stayed at The Coast Resort. I can not sing this place enough praise. It is a gorgeous hotel in a brilliant location just a short distance from full moon and a 2min walk on the beach to Coral Bungalows Pool party. Its modern, stylish and chilled out with friendly staff, brilliant food and great cocktails.
The rest of the group stayed at the C Villas as they booked it a bit later. This accommodation was literally two doors down from our Hotel and was perfect also.
Day 8: If you are up to it, rent mopeds! We were lucky enough that we could get on the back of the lads bikes and take in the sights. Driving across the island was really enjoyable. We managed to venture over to the other side which meant getting to see some of the less built up areas. Stopping for a refreshing glass of bulmers along the way was essential.
That night we hit the Coral Bungalows (we ventured here the night previous also). This spot prides itself on being the ‘original pool party’. It can be madness, no need for clothes – bikini only! Bucket drinking is the drink du jour and after that its dancing, music and jumping into the pool.
TIP: Glass can be found on the ground, so don’t walk around in your bare feet.
Day 9: Being v.hungover from the nights activities we took it easy the next day getting in some Thai massage’s and going for a drive on the mopeds. That night we went to The Jungle Experience which is a massive party in the jungle, lots of buckets, UV paint, dancing and boxing rings. TIP: Bring old runners to wear to this party which are also needed in jungle – Chiang Mai.
Day 10: After two nights at the Coral Bungalows and a night at the Jungle Party before the Full Moon Party we were wrecked. But the buzz around the place on that day would put anybody in the mood to party. The Full Moon Party is literally all night partying on a beach with thousands of people followed by a trip up Mushroom Mountain.
Day 11: TIP: Book tickets to get off the Island the day you arrive. Otherwise you will be stuck there after The Full Moon.
We ended up getting the guys at the C Villas to arrange our transport. Ferry back to mainland Thailand and then a 9 Hour bus journey up to Bangkok. Other modes of transport are available like FLYING but we hadn’t anything booked so it was buses for us. Besides from the bus driver driving like a lunatic, and the food at the place where we stopped being of an acquired taste, the bus journey was just OK!
Day 12: We stayed in the D&D Inn on Khao San Road which is the main tourist district. Hotel was fine, location was the best part about it.
We went shopping in MBK, the 5th Floor is where you want to go, if you want to get the best deals ;)
We attended a ping-pong show but honestly, neither the girls nor the lads really enjoyed it and it was very pricey (for Thailand). I wouldn’t really recommend it, even if you are just going for the laugh.
Day 13: Went back to MBK for some last minute bargains before heading home!
What to bring:
- Waterproof Mascara
- Dry Shampoo
- Tweezers – to remove glass, thorns etc.
- Insect repellent
- Cross-body bag
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hair straightener = waste of time
- High standards
- Excess Baggage you have to haul it everywhere. Backpack or small suitcase on wheels is fine!
- Expensive jewellery, clothes etc. it will get lost or destroyed
- Toilet paper is a luxury
- There is wifi everywhere
- Thai people are the friendliest and most laid back people I have ever met
In Summary, I had the holiday of a lifetime with an amazing group of friends. I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Thailand and if possible try go for longer than 2 weeks :)