Saturday, November 29, 2014

November Favourites

Here is a round up of the products that I've been using religiously this month and a few reasons why I've been loving them so much!

Catrice Camouflage Cream €5.69
This concealer is creamy in consistency and is best suited for covering blemishes and redness. I think it's a brilliant dupe for Benefit's Bong Concealer and for €5.69 it's worth trying!

NYX Creamy Lipstick in B52 €5.49
This colour is the perfect neutral every day shade. It's creamy as the name suggests but also has great staying power and doesn't need to be reapplied that often throughout the day. I love this lipstick and will be purchasing more colours from this range soon.

Max Factor Miracle Touch Blusher in Soft Candy €9.99
The soft texture of this blusher is ideal duringthe Winter months when skin is particularly prone to being dry and flaky. The best product for natural looking flushed cheeks.

Soap and Glory The Perfect Ten €20.50
A mixture of matte and shimmer shades, this is an excellent palette that is evocative of the Naked Eyeshadow Palette range. The eyeshadows themselves are easy to blend and are also quite pigmented. The large mirror on the inside makes it handy for doing make up on the go!

Catrice Ligh Reflecting Concealer €5.69
I am quite prone to under eye darkness and have so far been impressed by this product. I am always trying out new concealers to find one that ticks all the boxes but have settled on this one (for now!) It has a definite YSL Touche Eclat feel to it and will be a repurchase.

Touch of Silver Shampoo by Provoke €2.99
I have been using this shampoo for over 2 years now and don't know how I ever lived without it! (I have been getting highlights for over 10 years). This keeps hair from looking brassy in between highlights and gives blonde hair a nice silver tone.

Topshop Lipstick in Beguiled €9
The perfect mixture of a berry and red for a Winter make up look. It is quite creamy and because of this it needs to be applied often throughout the day. This lipstick looks beautiful paired with a gold eye and lots of highlighter.

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Body Lotion in Cocoa Butter €7.49
Garnier is my favourite go to brand for body lotions and I have been using this particular one since September. I use this about 3 times a week and just after a shower to lock in moisture. The thing I love most about this is the fact that it is super moisturising but doesn't feel greasy. The 400ml bottle also lasts ages and I will be buying this when it runs out.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara €9.99
My eyelashes are naturally long but it's hard to find and all purpose mascara that gives both length and volume. This is a fibre formula mascara and the wand is quite small so it's easy to work with and most importantly doesn't clump. Some people don't rate this but once mine is empty I will be repurchasing. Love it!

What have been your favourite products of the month?

- Rachael O 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hairstyle: The Double Braid

I loved this hairstyle that I got done for the Derry Fashion Fest on Thursday night & the picture on the left was taken the day after!
The hair dresser started the first plait from the right side over to the left and continued to the end of the hair & tied in an elastic. She then started another plait behind that one and loosened both before pinning them in. The loose hair on the left side was plaited and all three plaits were twisted into a flower shape at the back of my head.

- Rachael O 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Secrets to Good Skin

Identify your Skin Type
It's important to know if you have normal, dry, oily or combination skin so that you can use products that cater for your skin's needs. If you are unsure of your skin type then you can do the following to determine it:
Cleanse your face and wait an hour before applying any product and try not to touch your face.
Pay particular attention to your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin).
Normal: skin feels smooth with no oil or flaking in T-zone.
Oily: T-zone is quite oily.
Dry: skin feels tight and may appear flaky.
Combination: the t-zone is oily but the rest of the skin may feel quite dry.

Use a moisturiser with SPF
Even if it the weather is miserable and it seems overcast, your skin is always being subjected to sun damage. Using a moisturiser with SPF reduces harmful sun exposure that can cumulatively lead to premature ageing and skin cancer.

Exfoliate twice a week
This is a step that most people often  neglect to do and I've been guilty of it in the past also. Exfoliation is necessary to remove the dead skin cells that gather on the surface of the skin. If you don't do this often enough then the products you use will not be absorbed by the skin and will sit on the surface. However if you exfoliate too often or use a product that is too harsh then it can strip away the natural oils and cause excessive dryness, irritation, redness and sensitivity. To keep a balance you should aim to exfoliate twice a week.

Use a serum
A serum can improve the overall look of your complexion by bringing antioxidants to the skin, restoring cell growth and decreasing pore size.
If you have acne prone skin look for a serum containing L-ascorbic acid and retinol; for normal skin alpha lipoic and glycolic acids should be in the ingredient list. It is best to use a serum after you exfoliate and before you moisturise so that it sinks into the skin. Again, you don't need to use a serum on a daily basis but a few times a week or when your skin is looking dull and needs a boost.

Stay Hydrated
This one is simple: if you are hydrated on the inside then you will see the benefits on the outside, i.e your skin. Wrinkles and dark under eye circles will be less pronounced and you will be less likely to get spots as you are flushing the toxins from your body. People who suffer from dry, flaky skin will see the benefits of this quite quickly (talking from experience).

Antioxidants help to repair and prevent damage to the body's tissue. They also soak up harmful free radicals that lead to diseases and cause the skin to age. There are many facial products on the market that contain antioxidants but the best way of getting them is through fruit & veg. I've been taking Juice Plus for a year now and have noticed a big difference in my skin: it is brighter, my complexion is more even and I rarely have breakouts(went through a period of constantly getting those under the skin spots that are painful and leave a purple/red mark behind.)

This increases blood flow and circulation which in turn leads to healthy and vibrant skin. Sweating through exercise also rids the body of toxins that often lead to spots and breakouts. When you exercise your skin also produces more of it's natural oils which leads to healthy, glowing skin.

Remember: As you age, cell turnover can take anywhere from 35- 57 days.
So if you are trying out new skincare or taking supplements then it is likely that it will take this long for your skin to see the benefits.

- Rachael O 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winter Essentials: The Tartan Scarf

An effortless, comfy way to style a Tartan scarf this winter. The one I purchased was only £6 in Primark and when I took it home I realized it was also reversible (a dogtooth print on the opposite side). You definitely can't go wrong for that price and as a wardrobe staple it will see you through the whole of winter.

Vila Trimini Jumper
ASOS Ridley Skinny Jeans
Johnny Loves Rosie Vintage style earrings
ASOS Tan Brogues

- Rachael O 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday #3 : Kim Kardashian West

Kim K sure knows how to rock a two piece Co Ordinate! I love how all of the different textures work together and compliment each other; the knitted two piece styled with the snakeskin effect shoes & bag. I have found some affordable pieces online to recreate this look; including the lip product that she wore on her wedding day(as told by her makeup artist). This look is very clean (no jewellery) and so the snakeskin really stands out and doesn't look OTT, cheap or tacky. I think it's also nice to step away from the black, burgundy and grey every once in a while in winter too!

Knitted Top & Knitted Skirt
L'oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick by Color Riche in Nude Ballet
Cream Split Front Snake Print Tote Bag
Grey Snake Print Metal Trim Court Shoe

- Rachael O 
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Hooded Eyes Do's & Dont's

Hooded eyes: when the skin on the upper lid hangs over the eyelid making them barely visible and the area under the brow bone is the most prominent.
Some of the most well known celebrities have hooded eyes but they use clever make up tricks to make their eyes appear wider.

Firstly, here are some examples of celebrities with hooded eyes:

L-R: Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively, Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen

I have hooded eyes and some of the celebrities I found with this same eye shape came as a surprise; you would never think that their eyes appear small or quite closed off.  
The most important thing to be conscious of is whether to use:
- a white or black eyeliner
- matte or shimmer eyeshadows
Another important tip is knowing where to contour the eye; because the natural crease is hidden, you will barely be able to see any contour in this area. In effect, it will  just make the eye appear smaller.

Below is a picture of some hooded eye Do's & Dont's when it comes to applying eye makeup:

As you can see the right side appears brighter and more lifted whereas the left side looks puffy and droopy in comparison.

-Apply matte eyeshadow to form a crease above where the natural crease in the eye is.
-Tight line eyeliner on the upper rim of the eyelid and create a tiny flick at the edge to elongate the eye.
-Apply a shimmer neutral shadow to the space underneath the brow bone and on the inside corner of the eye.
-Wear white eyeliner on the bottom inside rim of the eye.

-Heavily line the eyelid as the limited space on the eyelid will appear even smaller.
-Apply shimmer eyeshadow to the space between the crease and the brow as this will make the eye look puffy.
-Wear a black eyeliner on the bottom inside rim of the eye.
-Apply a dark eyeshadow underneath the eye as it will drag everything down and cause it to look droopy.

If you want to see some tuitorials for people with hooded eyes, Stephanie Lange has some interesting and helpful videos.

I hope you learned something from this!

- Rachael O 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

OOTD: The Cape

I am loving Capes at the minute. Extremely comfy, warm and add an instant edge to a casual outfit. This cape reminds me of the Burberry Monogram ones & the whole outfit is from Miss Selfridge.

- Rachael O 
Saturday, November 8, 2014

Highstreet Vs Highend: Highlighters (Benefit, No.7)

I've always loved the look of dewy, glowy skin even in Winter so it's no surprise that I've tried many highlighters. Benefit's High Beam and the Instant Radiance Highligher from No.7 are two of my absolute favourites but with two very different price points & applicators.

Highbeam by Benefit is a brush on highlighter in a nail polish type packaging. It is suitable for everyday wear but I prefer to keep it for going out as I find it that it is more iridescent than the No.7 one and is noticeably more glowy in photos. The only problem I have had with Highbeam is this: when I used to wear Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation it would cause the foundation underneath to come off/ leave a streak.
In contrast, the No.7 is a better price point and the crayon type applicator makes for a very easy and mess free application.

Where to apply: to tops of cheekbones in a C shape to outter edge of eyebrow. 

Suitable for all skin types even oily skin. For people with oily skin: make sure t-zone area (forehead, nose, chin) are have been powdered. 

Even though both of these highlighters are champagne in colour, the No.7 Instant Radiance will only suit fair skin tones wheras Highbeam is suitable for all fair- medium skin tones. For those with a dark complexion it is best to use a gold based highligher like Sunbeam from Benefit or the Instance Radiance Highlighter in the golden shade.

As much as I love the No.7 highlighter, Benefit's Highbeam is the winner for me.
If you have the budget then splash out on Highbeam but if not then you will no be disappointed by the  Instant Radiance Highlighter by No. 7 (you can't go wrong with €12.95!)

*Tip: if skin is looking dull and needs a boost then mix a tiny drop of highbeam with your foundation.

I hope that you found this post helpful if you are new to the world of highlighters. I would love to know what your favourite highlighter is?

Benefit Highbeam
No. 7 Instant Radiance Highlighter
- Rachael O 
Friday, November 7, 2014

The Christmas Compilation: #1 Makeup

If there was ever an excuse to go crazy with glitter it's at Christmas time! The age old make up rule of defined eyes or a bold lip (never both) is completely abandoned and sparkly eyes paired with a bold red or dark purple lip is  clearly the perfect combo. On my Christmas wishlist is the Mac glitter pigments & Lime Crime Poisonberry lipstick. Can't wait to get my hands on these products and try some of the looks in the next few weeks. The party season has just got more exciting!

Mac Glitter Pigment in Gold
Mac Glitter Pigment in 3D Silver
Lime Crime - Unicorn lipstick in Poisonberry
Topship Lips in Beguiled
L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Exclusive Reds- Blake Lively
- Rachael O 
Thursday, November 6, 2014

Match made in Heaven : Co Ords

Co Ordinates or "Co Ords"  have been on the scene for a  few seasons now. Bold prints and bright colours in shorts & box top styles aswel as midi skirts & crop top combos were dominant in spring/summer. Although these can still be worn in winter by pairing with tights, boots & chunky knits; Suits are deeming to be popular for the party season. I can see this continuing to be big for another few seasons yet. So trendy & so easy to throw together- the perfect last minute outfit!
Below are some of my favourite Co Ords from Missguided & Suits from Topshop: 

Missguided L-R:
Geo Contrast Crop Top & Geo Contrast Cigarette Trousers
Floral Scuba Top & Floral Scuba Midi Skirt
Gingham Bralet & Gingham Full Midi Skirt
Red Floral Midi Skirt - (Top out of stock)

Topshop L-R: 
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday #2 : Ashley Madekwe

Actress & fashion blogger Ashley has a very laid back and effortless approach to style and always looks immaculately put together. 

Below is a look that Ashley posted recently to her blog and I have found some high street pieces to recreate this outfit. Sequins win me over everytime and I love how easy it is make such an embellished piece of clothing look casual. This dress can be worn with barely there heels and a clutch to translate to night time wear.

- Rachael O 
Monday, November 3, 2014

Lipstick - Berry Neutrals for Autumn/ Winter

I had some time to kill in Gatwick Airport at the start of October and so, a while later I found myself at MAC with an arm covered in lipstick swatches. I usually go for red tones but wanted to find some neutral berry tones that wouldn't wash my pale skin out and that would be suitable to wear during the day & out at night.

I decided to buy Captive & Brick-O-La.
Captive is a Satin lipstick and is purple, plum in colour.
However, Brick-O-La is an Amplified lipstick and more of a rusty, terracotta shade.
Both are long wearing, Captive seems to last longer throughout the day but Brick-O-La is definitely more creamy in texture.

L-R: Wearing Captive, Mac Swatches

- Rachael O