Leather and faux leather pencil skirts are definitely a big winter trend. They are in just about every shop at the moment. I had decided that I wanted burgundy faux leather trousers or coated jeans. The ones I finally found didn’t do me any favours; so back they went. So then I decided a skirt might be a better option.

River Island Burgundy Faux Leather Pencil Skirt
I had spotted this skirt on the River Island website a while back and filed it under a possible runner if the coated jeans don’t work out. Then Lola wore it on X-Factor and it sold out. I kept checking the site regularly and eventually it came back in stock. I didn’t hesitate a second time. It’s one of the more realistic looking faux leather skirts I have seen. It also feels pretty close to the real thing. It does come in a few different colours but I wanted the burgundy. I think either the burgundy or the black would be classics that will be wearable year after year.

Penneys Plum Floral Print Top
The top is from Penneys. I thought the colours in the print would work nicely with the skirt. The texture of the material gives it a lux quality that looks more expensive than it was.

Dunnes Leopard Print Shoes
I like leopard print with tones of plum and burgundy. These shoes are from Dunnes.

Penneys Sequin Clutch
This sequin encrusted clutch bag is also from Penneys. I have a feeling this little beauty will be my go to clutch for the festive season.

Teal and Plum Jewel Statement Necklace
I picked this necklace up a while back on holidays.

Have you or will you be buying a leather or faux leather pencil skirt?



Laura Mercier Smooth-Finish Flawless Fluid

I have been on the look-out for a new foundation for a while now. As much as I love Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour foundation, I have been wearing it for ages and felt it was time for a change. After a bit of research I spotted this on the Brown Thomas website and decided to give it a go. After checking it out on the Laura Mercier website and looking at some swatches online, I settled on the shade Vanillé, which turned out to be perfect for me. In fact I would say it’s the best that a foundation has ever matched my skin tone. It blends seamlessly into my skin so I don’t have to worry about blending it out and down my neck.

Laura Mercier Smooth-Finish Flawless Fluid
Laura Mercier Smooth-Finish Flawless Fluid is an oil free long wearing foundation that promises to magically blur imperfections for a smooth, seamless complexion. I would say that it does what it says on the box. The coverage is medium and buildable. The result is a natural matte finish that is not powdery or chalky. It feels light on the skin, I don’t notice that there is anything there but bear in mind if you are an occasional makeup wearer, I wear foundation every day. It is really long lasting, if I set it with a finishing powder it lasts all day without any shine or need for touch-ups. After wearing it all day and straight through on a night out without any touch-ups I would say it doesn’t last quite as well as the Lancôme. It started to break up on the chin and around the nose a bit, but not too noticeable. I suppose that is the trade off for a smoother more natural finish.

Laura Mercier Smooth-Finish Flawless Fluid Vanillé
The only problem with this foundation is that it is quite runny. It’s a bi-phase formula that needs to be shaken for ten seconds before dispensing. Because of the runny formula, it can’t be stored upright or it leaks into the cap. I knew this from the reviews on the Laura Mercier website but I bought it anyway because even though people were complaining about this they all still said that they loved the foundation.

I decided to do a second set of before and after pictures, because it’s getting hard to get good natural lighting these days. In the after pictures I have applied what I think is the equivalent of a normal pump of most foundations.

Both of the after pictures are the same just slightly different lighting.

In this picture I have set the Laura Mercier Smooth-Finish Flawless Fluid with MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural, applied MAC Peachykeen blush and filled in my eyebrows with MAC Omega.
This is the first Laura Mercier products that I have tried and now I want to try more. It is pricey at €48 but I really like it and I think it’s worth the price tag. Have you tried this or any other Laura Mercier products?


Max Factor Excess Intensity Longwear Eyeliner

Last week I posted about Max Factor Excess Shimmer Shadows and today I have three new Excess Intensity Longwear Eyeliners to show you. There are already six of these liners in the shops now and these three will be joining the line up in January. The three new colours are Violet, Jade and Cobalt and they retail at €8.99 (Boots 3 for 2 anyone?).

Max Factor Excess Intensity Longwear Eyeliner
The formula of Max Factor Excess Intensity Longwear Eyeliner is more like a liquid than pencil. The colour is dispensed through a twist up nib that doesn’t need to be sharpened. They are soft and creamy. They glide on easily and are well pigmented. The colours are bright and vibrant metallics with a bit of shimmer, which is most noticeable in the Cobalt. You can have a bit of fun and play around with them. You can layer them over black liner or layer powder shadows over them for a soft smoky look. Once they set they are longwearing and smudge proof.
Here are the pictures:



Have you tried any of the six already on sale? Will you be picking up any of the three new ones?



Take a quick look around the shops at the moment and you will notice a lot of check and tartan mini-skirts. These kind of skirts make an appearance every winter. Pair one of these skirts with opaque tights, a warm knitted jumper and comfy boots and you have an easy and stylish outfit that is perfect for work, or smart casual at the weekend. Today’s outfit is a slightly updated version of this classic style.

New Look Blue and Orange Aztec Print Mini Skirt

This Aztec print skirt is from New Look. You know how much I love blue and orange together. The material is thick enough to make this a more winter appropriate version of the Aztec minis we saw everywhere during the summer.

Penneys Orange Jumper

The jumper is from Penneys. I have had this for a while now, but always felt that it was just too orange for me but pairing with the skirt and black tights seems to tone it down a bit. I have also worn this skirt with a plain black polo neck and it looks really good if you don’t want to wear too much orange.

New Look Black Slouchy Ankle Boots

The boots are also from New Look. I have been looking everywhere for black ankle boots that are comfy to wear when I have to do a lot of walking (i.e. shopping) but could work equally well when dressed up with skirts and dresses or dressed down with leggings or jeans. I think these tick all the boxes.

Blue necklace and earrings

The necklace is from Carraig Donn. I do like my accessories, at first I was rooting through my stash for a chunkier blue necklace but sometimes it nice to wear something a little daintier for a change. I nearly always seem to be wearing chunky statement necklaces lately.

Which do you prefer the classic check and tartan minis or the Aztec print?


L'Oreal Professional Christmas Cracker

It feels like ages since I did a post on haircare so this little cracker (literally) arrived at just the right time. In my attempt to create Cheryl Fernandez-Versini esque bouffants (say that three times fast), I been doing a bit of dry shampoo, loads of hairspray, and backcombing lately. My hair was in a bit of a state so a little TLC didn’t go amiss.

L'Oreal Professional Christmas Cracker
The L’Oreal Professional Christmas Cracker is €8.49 and would make the perfect stocking filler. It’s also a good option if your group of girlfriends are exchanging Secret Santa gifts since the price limit is often set at a tenner for these things. At that price you could afford to buy one for a friend and one for yourself. Inside the cracker there are two products from the Absolut Repair lipidium range, which is for very damaged hair (There is also a cracker available with Vitamino Colour products). The products are a 100ml Instant Resurfacing Shampoo and a 75ml Instant Resurfacing Masque. Not only are these sizes good for travelling but they are also a great way to try the products for less than €10 and make sure they are right for you before shelling out for the full sizes.

L'Oreal Professional Repair Lipidium
I have been using these for a for over a week now and my hair certainly appears to be in a lot better condition. The shampoo gently and thoroughly cleanses my hair. The mask is a thick cream that is really hydrating. My hair is left soft and shiny; there is a lot less breakage and fly-aways sticking up at the top of my head. They don’t weigh my hair down, it’s left light and bouncy. The scent is fairly mild with both of these so it won’t put anyone up or down. All in all I think it’s a really good gift set, either for a friend or maybe a little self gift.
What gift sets are you planning on buying as gifts or for yourself?


Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows

Of course I was like a giddy five year old when these little pots of shimmering gorgeousness arrived. The season for packing on the sparkle will soon be upon us. Even though the name Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows suggests disco ball glitter, don’t be afraid. They are not packed with enough glitter to send you little niece into hysterics, they are far more sophisticated. They have a metallic finish with enough shine to look glamorous but not ridiculous. Like puppies, they are not just for Christmas.

Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows
There are six shades in the range: (L-R) Crystal, Pearl, Pink Opal, Copper, Bronze, and Onyx

I gave you a quick glimpse of the shade Copper last week. At first glance I thought this would be my favourite but how wrong was I. I didn’t think I would like Onyx at all because I think black eye products tend to look too harsh on me but Onyx is more of a gun metal grey on my lids and I love it.

Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows
Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows are a gel formula that is really creamy. They can be applied sheer enough or built up to a very opaque punch of colour. The best bit is that they are long lasting, even on my oily lids but if I was heading out for a night I would still use a primer for extra insurance. Pubs and clubs can be sweltering when they are packed with people over the festive party period. They can be used to create so many looks. The obvious being just using them on their own all over the lid but you could also use them both under and over other shadows for many creative and unique looks. Applying a powder over a cream base can really up the impact of the powder shadow. Both Onyx and Bronze would make great bases for smoky eye looks or you could use them as liquid liners. Using the lighter Excess Shimmer Shadows layered over darker shadows can create some unique colours.
So here they are on my lids (Top to bottom): Crystal, Pearl, Pink Opal, Copper, Bronze, and Onyx

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The retail price on these is €7.99 which I think is really good value considering all the different ways you can use them. Have you tried any of these yet? Which colour is your favourite?



I may have mentioned once or twice that last Saturday I completed Westport’s Sea 2 Summit adventure race. While it’s not a muck run like Tough Mucker or To Hell and Back, you do still get a bit dirty and you definitely get sweaty. After spending the day testing my endurance and getting dirty in training gear I was looking forward to glaming it up for the after party. I felt the need to go all out girly.

Vesper Pink Peplum Dress
This hot pink dress is by Vesper. It is bodycon but the material and stretch to it sits quite flattering on, even if I do say so myself. The black panels and the split peplum are in just the right places to create a sexy silhouette I felt like a million bucks in this dress. I would have preferred not to wear the black tights but my legs are all battered and bruised so they were necessary.

Vero Moda Black and Pink Necklace
The necklace is from Vero Moda. The colours were perfect with the dress. A dainty necklace would have been nice but I wanted coverage because I didn’t get a chance to put on any fake tan and I wanted to cover some of the pastiness.

New Look Pointed Court
The shoes are from New Look. I wear these pointed toe courts a lot because the heel isn’t that big so they are quite comfortable and easy to walk in.

Black Guess Clutch
To finish, I have my old faithful Guess clutch. It’s just the right size to hold everything I need for a night out.

On a side note, if you do want to get into running, cycling or hiking, you don’t have to leave femininity behind. I like to find training gear that is bright and colourful. In contrast to me at the after party here I am in my pink polka dots for the race.

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Do I scrub up well?