Well how did we all survive the short week after the bank holiday? I really should apologise if you are looking for some Halloween inspiration; it’s just not really my thing. Every year the weeks in the run to Halloween and for another two weeks after are crazy busy for me both in work and in my personal life. I like all the costumes and I like being creative so maybe next year I will try and get my butt in gear early and do something really creative for Halloween. They are saying that tomorrow is the official start to winter but it’s still fairly mild (long may it last) so today’s post is about light layers.
I picked this jumper up in Penneys recently. I love knit wear with metallic thread through it; it really glams up the auld jumper. The navy and white Bretton style stripes are a classic so you can’t go wrong.
The lace peeking out underneath is from this long line Vero Moda vest top. I have a few of these long line vests, they come in loads of colours, with or without lace and you can get them with long sleeves as well. They come in handy when you want to add a little something to a plain top.
This berry tone blazer is perfect for the days when you don’t quite need the winter coat. It’s also from Penneys.
The jeans are super soft, navy skinny jeans from Dorothy Perkins. They are indeed soft and very comfortable.
This necklace is making a fair few appearances lately. I really like the combination of colours in it and think it works with most autumnal tones. It is from Parfois.
The shoes are from the Amy Huberman range for Bourbon. I like the look of navy and tan together and these ankle boots are perfect for this time of year.
So tell me are you dressing up for Halloween or being boring like me?
I do have to apologise for the delay in getting this post done. Hopefully if you have seen other posts on these you may have forgotten them by now so I am reminding you. When these first arrived I actually had shellac on my nails so I had to wait till it was time for me to peel those off and wreck my nails in the process. You probably know by now that I am not that proactive when it comes to painting and repainting my nails on a regular basis. I wanted to get as much time out of each colour as possible. I was never going to be the blogger that got pictures of all nine shades in one day.
The formula for these Gel Shine Lacquers is pretty good; it is thick enough to make them easy to work with, they spread easily and evenly on the nail. They kind of self level instead of settling in to the grooves and ridges I created by peeling the shellac off. It’s not so thick that it goes sticky and gloopy on you though. Two coats is all I needed for them to be fully opaque. As you can see in the photos the shine is brilliant. I love shiny, shiny nails so these make me happy. They are touch dry within a few minutes and I find a half hour is usually enough for them to be properly dry and hardened. They last about three or four days before they start to chip, which is pretty good for me. I usually ruin nail polish before the end of the day.
There are nine shades with a good mix of brights and darker colours so there is definitely a colour for every mood.
(L-R: Vivid Vermillion, Patent Poppy, Twinkling Pink)
(L-R: Radiant Ruby, Sparkling Berry, Sheen Merlot – my current favourite)
(L-R: Lacquered Violet, Glazed Cobalt, Gleaming Teal)
I shouldn’t pick favourites but I love the pearlescent gold shimmer through Sheen Merlot, its the perfect autumn colour.
Have you tired any of these, which is your favourite?
I am writing this post on Sunday so let me set the scene; its cold, wet, wild and miserable outside. It was much the same yesterday. I am training for Westport’s Sea 2 Summit, which takes place in two weeks so yesterday was the last Saturday to do a full training session, from now on we taper to avoid injury. Yesterday my training group and I did the whole course. So I spent three hours out running, cycling, hiking, cycling and running in strong winds right on the west coast of Ireland. To say the wind smacked the face off of me is putting it very politely but hey, I did enough swearing yesterday. So as you might guess I am in no rush to leave the house today. With the clock going back an hour last night, it feels like I have loads of time to do some pampering and use all the products that I buy to treat myself and then never have the time to use.
First up is my favourite face mask combo, you can read about them here. I start with Dermalogica Multi Vitamin Power Recovery Mask because my face definitely needs it today. Then fill the bath with hot water and throw in a cup of Epson Salts. If you don’t have Epson Salts you really should get some, they are a wonder cure all; I can’t even begin to tell you all their uses. I use them in a hot bath when I am all achy. I also bath in them when I have a chesty cough. Supposedly they draw out toxins and impurities through your pores. Apparently models bath in Epson Salts before photo shoots to reduce water retention. While I have never got out of the bath feeling a dress size smaller, if I soak puffy feet in a basin with Epson Salts the swelling goes down. While in the bath I pop one of the Pantene Strength and Shine 1 Minute Wonder Ampoules in to bring back some shine to my locks. After a long soak, I use Caudalie Divine Oil to moisturise my skin and the gorgeous scent is the ultimate indulgence.
After the bath comes the second mask, Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Mask. I find using this after the Dermalogica one really brightens my complexion and softens my skin. After the two masks I treat my skin to doubling up on the usual amounts of Serum and Moisturiser, at the moment I am using L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew and Magic Blur.
On to hands to finish, I do my DIY heated manicure that I told you about in this post. I love doing this; it’s so nice to have warm hands for a change.
After all this I feel brand new. I am toying with the idea of heading out tonight because I am feeling like a million bucks and hopefully looking like it too.
What are your favourite home treatments?
Um birr! Last week I may have hinted that this week would involve some chunky knitwear and I am sticking to my word. The temperatures are dropping and the evenings are closing in (cliché limit reached for this week). As we head into autumn and on to winter I love pairing the rich warm colours with cosy cream knitwear. I think strong rich colours and soft cream knits look so comforting together.
This swing dress is from River Island. I am really loving shades of burgundy and aubergine this season. I really have to stop myself from buying everything I see in these shades. This dress is so comfy and easy to wear. This would be a good outfit to wear on a day of shopping as it’s easy and quick to get in and out of, so great for when you will be trying on loads of clothes in all the shops, just swap the heels for some flats.
This hooded Aran style long cardigan is old and it was from boohoo.com. It’s a warm soft knit that works well with dresses or jeans. If you spot something similar to this in the shops I recommend picking it up because I wear this lot. A really easy outfit with this cardigan would be black top and black jeans, with tan belt and tan boots.
The necklace is from Parfois. I do always say a round neck needs a little something and this necklace is just perfect with this dress.
The ankle boots are Redz. I am on the search for my perfect casual black ankle boot with a small heel or wedge.
Are you wrapping up in the chunky knits yet?
Oh the things you find in your own stash. I have had this little sample size Super Matte Loose Powder for a while now but I had forgotten all about it. It was given to me by a beautician friend and I think she got it at one of those pro beauty type shows. I don’t know why I didn’t use it when it was first given to me, but it’s probably because I have been all about MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural for so long now that nothing else entered my radar. While watching a few YouTube videos on Friday night I spotted Goss Makeup Artist using Make Up Forever Super Matte Loose Powder and I though, wait a minute, I have that. So I dug it out and got to using it.
I have to say that I am really disappointed in myself for letting this sit idle for so long. I have the shade 12 Translucent Natural and it is the perfect shade for me. The finish is a very natural satin matte. I personally think this looks better than MAC MSFN on me. It is a great setting powder. It adds a little bit more coverage to my foundation and it evens out my complexion while still looking natural. The lasting power is brilliant; it even stays put through a humid and fast paced (for me) 8k run. I actually went into a shop after my run and didn’t feel mortified because my makeup was more or less still perfect. If it can survive that it can survive a night of dancing. Best of all it doesn’t settle into any fine lines or pores. I always thought a loose powder would be a pain to work with and would just make a massive mess. However I seem to have worked out a knack for getting it from the pot onto my face without any fallout and that’s even with my pot being smaller than my brush. My sample is 2.5 grams, the full size is available in 10 (€25) and 28 (€31.5) grams. I am definitely going to purchase a full size; I will probably get one in shade 12 and another in a slightly darker shade for when I have fake tan on. The pictures below are the before (right) and after (left) using Super Matte Loose Powder to set Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour foundation.
Are there any other Make Up For Ever products you think I need to try?
I know I have been teasing you about this mascara for a while now so today I am finally giving my full review along with some before and after pictures. I picked this up in duty free about eight weeks ago now and I’ve been showing glimpses of it here and there in some other posts but today it gets a post all its own. I should preface this post with a mention of the fact that I do have a soft spot for Lancôme mascaras and so you should keep in mind that I was never going to look for negatives when trying Grandiose. I don’t know what it is about Lancôme mascaras but the formula and the brush always seems to be perfect for me. What I want in mascara is both volume and length without clumps. I usually prefer sample sizes as the shorter wand gets my hands closer to where they need to be making me feel like I have more control.
There has been a load of hype around Lancôme Grandiose mascara since it first launched and I managed to wait patiently for the hype to die to down and for duty free before purchasing. I was not disappointed. I find the swan neck really great; it’s easy to control and get into the corners with it. It also makes it easier to use your right hand to do the left eye which is something I often find awkward. If I am being totally honest, I thought the formula was a bit wet the first few times I used it but after a few uses it settled so now it’s just right. Grandiose gives me both volume and length, which makes me very happy. You can do a quick sweep through to keep it subtle for day time or do a sweep, wiggle, and sweep for full on night time flutter glamour. Its proper priest socks black and there is no smudging or fallout. What can I say, I love it. Here are the before and after pictures:
Have you tried Lancôme Grandiose yet? What is your favourite mascara?
Last weekend was amazing, it was bright and sunny and quite mild for this time of year. Weekends like that make winter a lot more bearable, hopefully we get a few more. This is an outfit I wore last weekend and fingers crossed I might get to wear it a few more times although it’s not looking good at the moment but I try to be an optimist.
This top is a soft baby pink and the material is a light crepe type fabric. I picked it up in Penneys a few weeks back and they had it in a few colours but pink seems to suit me. The white vest top is also from Penneys, sure where else would you go for inexpensive basics.
The blazer is old and it’s from Zara’s TRF range. I think a comfortable and good fitting navy blazer should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. I wear mine a lot, it smartens up just about everything.
The jeans are from River Island. I love distressed jeans; of course I won’t want to feel gale force winds through the distressed and frayed bits so their days are numbered before they get packed away until next spring.
I actually got this necklace in Parfois in Portugal but they have a few shops in Ireland and the website also delivers here as well. I love the colours in this because it looks good with the baby pink but I also love it with burgundy, which you will see in an upcoming post. So it’ll work all year round.
I picked the shoes up while on holiday in Portugal. I really like flats with a pointed toe, I think they look a bit smarter than regular ballet pumps.
I have the sneaking feeling that next week’s post may involve chunky knitwear.