Thursday, 31 July 2014

I have soft feet now.

I just thought you'd all like to know that important piece of info. You're welcome.

But srsly.

But HOW?


Well, I'll tell you. I got sent the Nails Inc. MICRO Pedi to give a whirl, thinking it couldn't combat growing up shoeless whenever possible. TMI, I know, but it develops callouses like no one's business. Summers meant not wearing shoes when I was little, we roamed from house, to pool, to trampoline, to the fields surrounding. I also make bad shoe decisions now on the reg.

Basically, my feet were in shite. To summarise, that is.

So, I didn't have high hopes. This particular kit, however, was especially enticing as it is a collab with Nails Inc. and includes two cute shades - a pink called brook street and an orange called porchester place. These alone are worth €33 and the entire kit retails for €49.99 - so, that's like, economics and stuff. Legit.


Anyway, I loved the colours and I was truly surprised by how well the MICRO Pedi actually worked. My one complaint is that it could have been a little stronger so less time has to be spent but that may just speak more to the condition of my feet. Also, a super-charged version would probably be dangerous in my hands...



Overall, I would really recommend this product especially this particular kit as the MICRO Pedi alone is forty quid. That extra tenner is well worth it.

Shop on and prosper, my friends.

(Apologies for weirdness - I'm tired)


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fanny Crown - get your Debs look!

...sounds a wee bit like an adult entertainer's name...(soz, I couldn't help myself) but is actually a great site where you can get Debs, prom, wedding, cocktail and many other kinds of occasion dresses at pretty reasonable prices. There's a crazy-wide range of dresses in all sorts of colours, silhouettes, lengths and styles. So, there's really something for everyone. I was personally taken in by the more intricate, extravagant dresses that I would never have enough occasions to validate purchasing them all...but a gal can dream, right?

But, how, pray tell did I come to hear about them? And why am I talking about the brand now?

Good questions, me.

Well, they actually contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in entering their blogger contest by showing how I would style and where I would wear one of their dresses. And while I was flattered to be asked, the real deal-clincher for me was that I could do my annual Debs-themed post while offering you, my fair readers, a chance to potentially find your dream dress at a discount. Yeah, you heard right. There's a WEAB discount of 15% for all my readers if you use the code WIDEEYEDNBLIND14 at the checkout from now until the 14th of September 2014! Pretty rad, right? So, I hope with Debs season beginning in some parts of Ireland for Irish readers and potential international advance-planners for other similar events in our midst, some of you might luck out. Definitely contact me and let me know if this happens! Tweet me or let me know on Instagram. I'd come over all proud momma if you did!

Annnyyyyyhoooo, moving on from that major digression to the dress, the events and the styling.


One dress, two balls


So, the dress I chose was this nude lingerie inspired full-length gown. Underwear as outerwear is a trend I always get behind when it comes around again and again - if it's done right. This piece is an example of it being done well, there is a certain level of sex appeal in the visible corsetry but the demure colour and length with the sweet lace detailing tames it. There's an innocence to it but a bit of bite, a sense of humour. I also think that it could go from very formal to more casual easily with the right styling.

Which is why I've chosen it for two rather different events - both are balls but on different ends of the spectrum. My mother and I are discussing spending hallowe'en at this Masquerade ball we heard about last year and I think this would be great for that. The barely there, thin-strapped Saint Laurent heels would keep the look light and airy while the Charlotte Olympia clutch adds a sense of playfulness and a nod to the lingerie/bedroom vibes of the dress. It's tongue-in-cheek and a great ice-breaker. Accessories should compliment your outfit but they're also a chance to have fun and try new things. It doesn't have to be uber-serious. The gilt Topshop earrings keep with the gold tones introduced by the bag and reference the lace and elegance in the dress balancing the fun and the pretty in the outfit. And, instead of a traditional mask, this Maison Michel headpiece obscures the face while being both cute and fun. 

I was also thinking of hitting up a Trinity Ball this year for old times sake. As this is basically a festival at night in formal wear, it requires different styling. Instead of strappy sandals, I'm going with chunky but cute Alexander Wang boots for warmth, comfort and protection amongst the crush of bodies in the tents. They're also better for traversing the cobbles. Damn cobblestones. For this take on the same dress, I'm upping the fun factor, so a bag like this Moschino one and earrings like these by Marc by Marc Jacobs are perfect. The bag is also a good idea as it's cross-body so you can keep your stuff safe and not have to worry about lugging anything around. A leather biker would be a final touch for later on in the night when it starts to get chilly.

And there you have it - the same dress, two ways!

But what for hair and makeup?


makeup for le dress


I'd actually do the same look for both events. The dress and accessories are kind of a knock-out so I would want to keep things minimal, natural and pretty. Hair would be in natural waves emphasised by Sea Salt spray from Lush. For the Masquerade ball some may be pinned back a little and for Trinity Ball, I would  definitely bring a hair-tie for sweaty moments in the pit - ain't nobody got time for all my hair. 

The base should be light and dewy with Maybelline's Dream Pure BB and then Rimmel's Match Perfection translucent powder. A bronzer like this one by Too Faced could be used to contour the jaw and cheek bones while Topshop's Glow is perfect for on the brow bone, centre and tip of nose, cupid's bow and cheek bones. Benefit's Browzings for a defined and neat brow and their They're Real Push Up Liner for the only drama on the face - a defined cateye. Nude smokeyness via Naked 3 and natural-looking but oomph-given lashes via Clinique's High Impact mascara. And to finish off, a coat of Eve Lom's Kiss mix topped by a peachy shade like this one from YSL.

So, there you have it! That's how I'd go about things. What do you think?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lykke Li and the echoing ache.

There's a particular aesthetic in all the things I love most - it's this ache of an absolute beauty that's echoingly cavernous and lonely. It's in my favourite books; The Bell Jar, The Road, A Clockwork Orange, Wuthering Heights. It's in there on my consistent all-time favourite records; Bleach, Without You I'm Nothing, Frengers and Visions In the movies I love; Buffalo 66, Labyrinth, Heathers, Melancholia In Poe,Willie Doherty, Munch and Burton (both).

There are plenty of things I adore that are lively and fun and overwhelmingly positive but the things I deem favourite, life-altering, soul-destroying, reaching, cleansing - well, these things have the ache. Even things that don't at first appear to, do. It's behind the anger of punk and the wit of almost every comedian I like. I don't romanticise sadness - there's nothing fun about it - but I'm drawn to people using their pain to make something lovely. I'm drawn to the energy of sharing, empathising and healing. I love that art can do that and I'm grateful to every artist of any kind who has touched me in that way. I only wish I could do the same for others.

Lykke Li's latest album, I Never Learn, and its videos and visuals have this echoing ache in spades. The music is so haunting and full of ache that I want to lie in it and wallow over every slight my life has ever known. I want to wrap the music over my head and hide indulgently in it. And I also want to rock the styling - dramatic dusters, intense cheek bones, pouty lips, deep-set dark eyes, cascading hair, veils, a darker than dark palette, a witchy undertone, a tortured Romance literature heroine. It's just so perfect and in line with how I'm imaging my A/W is going to look.

Like, I'm kind of obsessed. Between this and my discovery of YA angel genre books (anyone judging me right now can know I don't care), my mood has been set to anguished. Yay for my wardrobe, less yay for my maudlin tendencies. But, hey, if I can channel my Byronic ways into something useful and healthy via some kickass music and styling, that's gotta be a win, right?











lykke li reveals i never learn album artwork Lykke Li   I Never Learn (Album Cover) | News

Plus: Dat album art.

Whaddya'all reckon? As in love with all things I Never Learn as I am?

Monday, 28 July 2014

A new BB cream + giveaway.

As I mentioned briefly in a previous post, I'm not a fan of high-end BB creams. I've tried a bunch, some by Benefit, Mac, Stila amongst others, but none have stood up to their price-bracket or my loyalties to drugstore versions. I'm under no illusions that they don't all pale in comparison to Korean versions but I've yet to find the right shade to confirm or refute this. For now, I can merely state that my first was Garnier's Miracle Skin Perfector which I continue to love. Then I tried Maybelline's Dream Pure BB which has Salicylic Acid and is, therefore, great for breakout riddled skin.


The latest I've begun to use is Rimmel's BB Cream which has the highest SPF at SPF 25. This is one of it's best selling-points for me, as is the smooth formula. However, I find that it has slightly more coverage than I want when I'm reaching for a BB cream - to me, a BB cream is for a no makeup look. For those who do want that extra coverage, it's probably the best drugstore BB cream out there for that. So, here's how I apply it and what I put with it.

1. As this has higher coverage and it's Summer, I use Aloe Vera as my primer. This is an excellent natural alternative for a primer with anti-bacterial properties that are great for blemish-prone skin. Using it instead of a regular primer extends the wear of the makeup without feeling caked in product.


2. I take a relatively small amount of the cream on the back of my hand and use my fingers to apply it. The heat in my fingertips helps blend it very naturally and evenly into my skin. I start at the middle of my face and move outwards in arching movements with the natural line of my bone structure.


3. I fill in my brows with powder from Benefit's Brows A-go-go, keeping the look fairly minimal and the brows relatively small. Then I add a little of Mac's Mineralize Skinfinish Give Me Sun into the hollows of my cheeks and along my jawline for definition and finish with Maxfactor's Creme Puff Pressed Powder on top. 


4. Using the Naked 3 palette I brush a little of Strange onto my brow bone and inner eye as a highlight. Then I cover two thirds of my eyelid in Dust before working Buzz into my crease and outer corner.




5. I now curl my eyelashes with Eyeko's curler and brush a couple coats of Seventeen's Superlash to the outer edges of my upper lashes to give a natural yet feline flick to my eyes.


Et voilĂ !



Like the look of the Rimmel BB Cream? Well, I've three to give away! Sadly, I only have them in the shade Light but I promise to get more varied shades next time! 


So, how do you win? Comment below telling me your go-to base (BB or otherwise) and make sure you're following me on at least one of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin (or all of  'em if you're feeling super-generous). Mention in the comment which one applies to you and your handle on that site so I can track you down if you win! This giveaway is open internationally to anyone (those under 16 need to get a guardian's permission to send me their address) and will close 11th of August at 00:00 GMT + 1:00.

Good luck x

EDIT: As some peeps were having difficulty commenting here I've opened up entry via comments on facebook/twitter etc as well.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Worth the Hype - Current Makeup Favourites


Being home has meant little overheads and much accumulation. Said accumulation has produced some new makeup favourites and some serious revelations. Makeup is as seasonal as clothes amd  I'll post on my Summer cosmetics routine soon as the weather recently has been so unbelievably warm and face-melty that it's entirely relevant. But, for now, I just wanna talk about new things for Summer that I've been trying and loving. 

(And just so y'all know - anything marked like so * has been sent to me - this is something I'll be more conscious of doing from now on)

Scent.

Chupa Chups Love Trap - Mam randomly picked this up for me as it reminds her of perfumes I wore as a teen. It's quite like Anna Sui perfumes or Touch of Pink by Lacoste. Sweet, floral, girly, light. Really a perfect summer day smell and, surprisingly, a nice slightly more mature version of those higher end scents.

Skin.

Maxfactor Facefinity Primer * - I'd been rotating between using the Porefessional and Aloe Vera as my go-to primers up until now. The Porefessional is lovely to apply but doesn't extend the wear of my makeup overly and the Aloe Vera really suits breakout days and minimal makeup days better. But this is the perfect everyday, longwear primer. It applies smoothly and the formula is quite soothing to the skin. I love that it has a pump to make application ultra-easy and the SPF is always a bonus for me.


Dermalogica Sheer Tint - As a general rule, I only wear BB creams. I just don't want too much coverage or to feel or look as though I'm caked in makeup. I find that even tinted moisturisers look too thickly applied to my eye on my skin. Another general rule for me is that higher end bases are too heavy and I rely entirely on drugstore brands generally. This, however, is a large exception to those rules. The colour match is great and it gives me enough coverage to even out my skin tone without feeling uncomfortable on the skin or covering my freckles.


Shiseido The Makeup Concealer - I'd been searching for a new concealer for a while. In summer, if I'm wearing makeup at all, I tend to just apply a little BB cream as a concealer instead. Then I fell for Mam's Clarins concealer and what it did for my under-eye area. After coveting that for some time, she handed this to me. I love Shiseido as a brand - the sleek, slightly dodgy packaging and all. This concealer is exactly enough coverage. If I feel I need to wear at least a little makeup to something - a little of this, brows and mascara and I'm ready to go. It's great for both blemishes and under-eye and doesn't crease or flake as it's super-moisturising.


Rimmel Match Perfection Silky Loose Face Powder - All that needs to be said here is that this needs no topping up and looks as though you're wearing no powder at all - it competes easily with much more expensive, finely milled powders.


Eyes.

Clinique High Impact Mascara - For me, I rarely use dramatic, clumpy mascaras. I just want to give my natural lashes a boost but look as though I've barely touched them. This is great for that and it doesn't run all over the place despite watery, hayfever-prone eyes.


Sleek i-Divine Bad Girl Palette - These colours are so great. There's a neutral end for light Summer day looks and the purple, blues and greens are awesome for colourful night looks. The rich lighter green is a dupe for a Chanel shade in a quad they had out for this Summer except better. Yeah, you heard me. Better. It's more pigmented and applies the way you wish the Chanel would. The applicator that comes with it is utter shite, however, so bring a brush along if you plan on using the palette.


Benefit They're Real! Push-up Liner - I was wary of this product. Wary it couldn't be that good. But it's easy to use, dries slow enough to fix if mistakes are made and stays in place enough when dry not to do that annoying transferal to crease of the eyelid thing. Thank God. Note: In extreme heat as the other day, it moves a little but melted less than the rest of my face.


Brows.

Billion Dollar Brows Hint of Tint Gel and Brow Gel * - I'll definitely be writing on raising your brow game soon but for now, note that these guys rock. I use the hint of tint alone for minimal makeup days or to finish more dramatic already filled-in, bushy brow looks and the clear gel for looks somewhere in the middle. Neither do that horrible crispy thing and the mascara-like applicators are great for precision. Much love.


Lips.

Eve Lom Kiss Mix - Very expensive? Yes. Worth it? Totes. At €20, it's about four times the amount of lip balms I normally buy but it works so well and it's so sleek and luxurious looking. And I LOVE how it feels. Handbag staple.


Etude House Etoinette Crystal Shine Lips - The cutest thing ever? Hells YEAH! The nicest nude-pink shade? Definitely. But mostly...SO CUTE. I just look at it sometimes.



So, have you guys tried any of the above? Do you want to?