Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A crisp white carpet of snow has enveloped the west coast of Ireland, and while the trees have obtained a new found warmth in this fluffy blanket, a sea of uncertainty has found it's way to me, leaving my visions and opinions on blogging a little distorted. On top of that, the new year has brought a lot of changes to my way of thinking; my outlook on life is now a little less negative, giving me the ability to see beyond the materialistic wealth and happiness of the world.

This somewhat 'reformation' of my inner self has brought many alterations to my approach to blogging, putting a dark cloud over this - almost 3 year - pastime. There is no way of denying that since my return to education back in September, my blog has been very inconsistent and, as consistency is one of the core factors of blog growth, it saw me reach a plateau of  development of both readership and more importantly content. This further promoted a lack of motivation to tend to my little blog and i began comparing myself to other content creators, comparing my content and becoming somewhat bitter of their hard-earned success due to my feelings of inferiority and inadequacy translating from my personal life to my place in this ever growing world of online content. It is a feeling that has lingered for longer than anticipated, and one that seems to have overwhelmed me, until now.

As a teenager, my interests are also evolving, but the strong passion for beauty i acquired throughout the past 3 years is now much more containable and while i still have a wishlist the length of the equator, i have come to see there is much more out there to indulge in, without the need to splash the cash. For example, reading now holds a predominant place in my life, to a much greater extent than before so much so that i can't remember the last time i've watched television for more than just an episode of TVD on Netflix!

For so long beauty was the dominating topic on here, but in this present moment i'm suffering from the aforementioned lack of interest and also the lack of freedom of writing a structured beauty post makes me repel the whole process. Also, while i have always experimented with other avenues, i feel beauty is my niche and i know somewhere in here my beauty-lovin' makeup-obsessin' self is screaming for freedom, wanting to let out her love of makeup or the latest skincare trick she has discovered. Another thing worth mentiong, is that this is not down to the lack of post ideas or inspiration(i have a full schedule for both this month and next), and instead it all falls back to my lack of motivation to sit and write a beauty post. Another contributing factor; having been exposed to how materialistic beauty blogging can be. *Beauty bloggers themselves are not materialistic people, i just feel that beauty blogging itself often tends to be.

The conclusion is that I've been stuck in a blogging rut, feeling forced to post content i feel hasn't been 100% up to scratch because i felt obliged to stick to a schedule. However, at the end of the day blogging is a hobby i am (usually) incredibly passionate about, and not my full-time job. I feel you will appreciate that, and appreciate that as a full time student sometimes it's just not feasible to dedicate my full weekend- after 5 days of non-stop school work- to writing content and photographing products because i feel i need to and not because i want to.

Like most things in the world, sometimes a break works wonders, so i am now taking an announced blog break. I don't know for how long i intend to take this said break, until the spark reignites, i guess, because i miss blogging and the feeling of ecstasy it brought. But don't fret, i will return, and i will return with fresh content, new products and all things VT..

Long story short: i feel mediocre when i blog, but i feel mediocre when i don't blog. I'm stuck in a blogging rut and hoping to seek solace in a concise break, but i will be returning(and you can catch me on all my social media, as always); this is not the end. I hope you can all understand. Thank you. Thank you for the constant support these past 3 years, thank you for the comments that lighten up even the dullest of days and most importantly thank you for reading my rambles on all topics- it's appreciated more than you could ever imagine, ever.

"Sorry for the honesty, but i had to get this off my chest" - Ed Sheeran, X - The Man

Apologies for the ongoing negativity, but it's one of those things that i needed to say


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Followers of my social media will be well and truly aware of my recent fly-in visit to the South of England, which included a trip to beautiful Brighton. Often the picturesque appearance of a city captured in photos doesn't always translate into real life but Brighton differed from the vast majority, even on a crisp chilly Winter's evening. As we approached the outskirts of the city i was already mesmerized by it's appearance and whilst we left the city centre untouched, the lanes and Brighton Pier were where our hours were consumed.

My infatuation with sunsets is already undeniable, and when i got to witness the sunset over what i now claim to be the prettiest city i have ever stepped foot in, my euphoria was unmeasurable. As dusk approached, the slowly darkening sky became littered with flashing lights from the amusements. The crystal clear blue water glimmered under the suns rays, and i struggled to believe that an area of such sheer beauty lies so near, yet so far from my nest in the West of Ireland.

Equipped with my new DSLR, it was the ideal setting to give it a good road testing. While i still remain a little daunted with the techy side of things and i'm adjusting to the different settings best suited to certain conditions, i've opted to throw myself into the deep end and take all pictures on manual mode and using manual focus in order to get the best out of it, even if its proving a little tricky at the moment - i'm sure it'll eventually become a sixth sense with a little googling and toying with the various options!

My fleeting visit really got me pondering the future and what lies ahead, now with my brother nestled down South just a mere 30 minutes away from Brighton i was made brutally aware of the unhesitating passing of time. What career path i will be choosing this time 18 months, still remains unknown. However, something inside me has sparked a need to reside in Brighton for at least a year of my life. I haven't yet out-ruled the possibility of applying for college down South, but would i be mentally ready for moving across the water at what seems like such a young age? Only time will tell..

Until next time Brighton, i have no doubt your beauty will continue to beam through as the crisp Winter evenings evolve into Spring sunshine..


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Many things beyond the world of beauty have managed to impress me this past year. From fashion accessories to methods of entertainment these aforementioned items have added a little joy these past 12 months, and later found themselves making the cut for my 2014 non-beauty faves list.

Unfortunately this is one only available to the Irish gals among us. I'm typically not a huge magazine reader and much prefer to get my fashion and beauty fixes online,  this however magazine has got me well and truly converted. With it's affordable price in comparison to others available, it's jam-packed with all things beauty and fashion and other life features thrown in for good measure while being the perfect offering to keep in the loop with all things celeb. Joy seems to run through my fingers as i flick through the glossy pages and i have found myself counting down the days until the next issue..somebody get this girl a subscription.

Something i seem to have unknowingly kept on the down-low round these parts is that i have possibly the worlds worst long distance vision and in between squinting to bring images into focus, i am a glasses wearer. On a ballsy trip to Specsavers mid-year i made what seemed like a pretty irrational decision to pick up this pair from Gok Wan's range of spectacles completely unaware of how much i would actually enjoy wearing them. The quirky-sophisticated edge they add to any outfit makes them a real winner for me while immensely improving my vision, which is always good, right?

If i were to choose my favourite person of the year 2014, it would undoubtedly be this man with my year seeming to center around both him and his music. His debut studio album + was always a good'un and since it's release way back when it was more than likely the music you would find blaring from my headphones but then he went and released his second album X and i fell in love all over again. Ed's lyrics speak to me in such a peculiar way, each song of his goes hand in hand with memories i have gathered throughout the day, sparking certain feelings and often mixed emotions. 2014 was also the year i got to witness his sheer talent live, an experience shared with the most wonderful people, and an experience which will be impossible to forget.

Do you ever complete a book and finding yourself reeling hours later in it's wake, pondering over it's hidden messages and questioning it's complexity? This is exactly what happened prior to completing this book, Ness has a way with words something that translates in this mindbogglingly accurate story. I found myself questioning everything after closing the book that one last time, the story, the characters, the setting and the almost cliff-hanger finale all contribute to it's greatness. It's definitely a must read, and in this list for a very great reason.

There is something unbeatable about a customised item, the difference two letters can make to something as simple as this compact mirror is undeniable. My initials present and the quirky 90's colour vibe of this compact adds a twist to the usual. With it's high-quality steel casing, it's perfect for popping in your handbag for on the go use, without worrying about attaining 7 years bad luck for smashing a mirror on your morning commute. With a vast variety of other designs available too, Zazzle, the seller is your one stop shop for all your personalized needs.

While my desire for an authentic Michael Kors watch is somewhat uncontrollable at times given my current budget and funds i will be pursuing dupes for the foreseeable future. This particular rose gold offering from Spirit is uncanningly similar to some available from the aforementioned in all their luxury. With its highly budget friendly price tag and it's high quality, expensive appearance it's an all round winner and the perfect addition to anybody's arm candy collection, and it's entry to my accessories collection has been highly welcomed.

From reading to wrist candy, these items have proven to be well loved in the past twelve months and everything suggests that love will continue to grow far beyond the 14th year of the 2000's..

* denotes PR sample, read my full disclaimer here.


Friday, 2 January 2015

With the first day of 2015 upon us, i thought it was time to round up my most loved beauty products of the past year. Undoubtedly, 2014 saw the rapid expansion of my makeup collection, feeding my beauty hoarder tendencies and upping the standard of products i seek dramatically. Many products gripped my attention this year which can be seen in a collection of This Months Most Adored posts, but only a set range made this hit list..

On the more luxurious end of this apparent budget-friendly collection, this highlighter has carried me from start to finish. The velvety soft texture of this champagne toned highlighter gives it the ability to apply seamlessly, allowing for blending for a more subtle glow. Highly pigmented, it's important to note to need for a light-handed when applying, to avoid an over-powering glow. Since my review in the earlier stages of the year(here), my opinion still remains the same as it is quickly becoming my holy grail highlight.

ELF COOL BRONZER: (£3.95/€5.04)
2014 saw my love of contour reach an all time high, and while many methods of contouring were experimented with, the old reliable powder contour undoubtedly came out on top. With a swirl in the centre of the pan, this ELF quad makes the perfect matte warm brown contour shade to sculpt how cheek bones and add an overall definition to the face or to add an overall glow to the complexion. Undoubtedly, a budget-friendly highly pigmented bronzer to add to any collection.

SLEEK BROW KIT: (£8.49/€9.99)
To me, beauty-wise 2014 has been dubbed the year of eyebrows and my trusty old powder methods of filling brows were fast replaced with this highly-acclaimed brow offering from Sleek. Fitted with a wax and powder duo, this highly pigmented kit is ideal for shaping the brows and adding definition paired with an angled shadow brush this has been an important member of my daily makeup routine the past 12 months.

KARORA SELF TAN MIST: (£17.00/€22.00)*
An abundance of fake tans made their way into my stash this year, however one tan managed to stick out from the rest due to it's ability to fade evenly while carrying you over five days with a sublime glow. While it's on the more luxurious end of the scale, it's fulfilled the role as my occasion tan since it's found it's way into my collection. As a tan mist, it absorbs into the skin almost immediately while being tres easy to apply. A fast absorbing tan that there ain't no denying i have been loving.

Undeniably, this mascara was a firm favourite for me in the earlier parts of the year and no else seemed to outweigh it's glory. While it has since been somewhat out done, it was still deserving of a mention.  Equipped with it's highly celebrated flexible wand, its the perfect offering to apply an even lashing of mascara, while separating and adding a notable amount of volume and length to the lashes.

This mascara is the one that robbed the aforementioned of it's spotlight fast becoming a firm favourite in my daily get-up. With a pretty standard mascara wand it works wonders at working through the lashes creating volume and length all in one go. While the wet formula suggests the possibility of clumpy lashes, it goes against all odds leaving behind to clumpy lashes. The waterproof formula makes it entirely smudge-proof allowing for long lasting wear.

YOU ORGANIC NIGHT BALM: (£11.60/€14.99)*
Dry skin be gone with this offering from Irish natural skincare brand You Organic. Packed with a collection of natural anti- oxidants and skin protecting ingredients which works at nourishing the skin, working on hydrating any dry areas. A little goes along way with this balm, and when massaged onto cleansed skin before bed your skin looks visibly much more radiant and smooth the morning after..the night before.

These lip creams in all their long lasting glory have satisfied every checklist in my book that a lip product must satisfy. The fact i have accumulateda trio of shades with full intentions on gathering more of the vast shade range available suggests my ever-growing love of them. In terms of formulation they have got it all goin' and the list of positive qualities is seemingly never ending, scoring them a full blog post in their dedication.

Blush has gotta be a staple in any girls makeup collection at any time of the year. This highly pigmented coral cream blush from Bourjois is the perfect shade for adding colour to any skin tone. With long-lasting staying power and a cream finish it provides the perfect natural glow to brighten any complexion during any season. Applied with my trusty Real Techniques Buffing Brush dabbed just above the cheek bones and worked back to the temples its perfect for both day time and night time wear.

Fuschia is an Irish makeup brand that came onto my radar during 2014, one particular product from there that managed to woo me was this custom shadow palette fitted with five beautiful eyeshadows that i've found myself regularly reaching for for daily wear. The decent colour pay-off and notable longevity of the shadows all make it a real winner in my book.

BCC brushes really grabbed my attention this year with some incredible new releases. They are most definitely a brand to watch; with supreme quality brushes at affordable prices while still looking on the expensive end of the spectrum. Two of their brushes that particularly woo'ed me was both the F40 and F42. The F40 comes in at a small tapered contour brush perfect for fitting under the eyes, down the sides of the nose or in the hollows of your cheekbones to add precise contour. The F42 on the other hand is quite big in comparison, perfect for adding an all over glow. With a full review readable here.

A outstanding collection of products that have ticked all the boxes in my year long makeup routine, covering all bases while ending the lust for long lashes..

* denotes PR sample, read my full disclaimer here.