Sunday, 14 September 2014

LIFESTYLE: LIFE FILL-IN


There's no denying things have been a bit worse for wear around these parts- posts being neither here no there, and a collapse in the typical Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday routine that we had goin' on for so long. Even though i've only been back to school two full weeks, this lack of routine has been ongoing throughout the duration of most of the Summer and it's down to my general lack of routine, and motivation these past few months but also down to the whirlwind that has become my life.

So much has being going on in my personal life, recently, that's its challenging to mentally process. However, thankfully everything that's happened has been extremely positive, leading me to feel overwhelmed with both mixed emotions and euphoria!

I recently got shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog & Best Lifestyle Blog in the Irish Blog Awards 2014, my first ever achievement in any type of blog awards, one that i am extremely proud of. The final list is due to be announced this week, so fingers crossed - even though i am up against incredible competition so making the next round seems a little far-fetched for little ol' VT!

Some amazing things have happened in my family as of late, with both engagement and Silver wedding anniversary celebrations going on around me, it seems everyone's all loved up - and me, well i'm still firmly in love with pizza, oh that cheesy, crunchy base really knows how to make you feel special!

That brings me up to this week, the day i have dreaded since the moment i finished my state exams back in June - results day. On Wednesday, i got a big white envelope, containing 10 grades that mean nothing, yet mean so much. I was absolutely overjoyed when i saw the final results, results that i could have worked a million times harder for, yet results i'm extremely proud of nonetheless.

The last few months have been a whirlwind full of emotion, and it doesn't look like it's gonna stop anytime soon. Many exciting things are to come between now and the end of the year, and quite frankly, i'm ready for it, so come at me..

Monday, 8 September 2014

BEAUTY: BRAND SPOTLIGHT | NYX COSMETICS

NYX is an American brand that has recently crossed the shores and become widely available on the Irish market. With a vast selection of makeup products available - many making it into makeup enthusiasts' go-to pile - all for a budget friendly price, it's become one of the fastest growing cosmetic companies in the US. Being the proactive beauty blogger i am, I've given some of the products a good trial runnin' and here's the verdict..

EYES:
Having not fully delved into the depths of this brand as of yet, in terms of eyes i've only tried one product, one of their most renowned products - the Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk(£5.00/€6.30). A multi-use product, this is the one to have in your product line up. It's creamy consistency makes it blend beautifully across the lid, acting as a base for shadow - intensifying & prolonging the colour. It's also famously used among the beauty community as an inner corner and brow highlight. It blends seamlessly on the brow bone, where the milky, matte white shade works at defining the brows and adding depth to your whole look. Used in the inner corner and waterline this eye pencil can make even the dullest of eyes instantly appear much more awake, making it a must have for early mornings, or the morning after.

LIPS:
Many of the brand's most known and loved products root from the lip category, with award winning products such as their Soft Matte Lip Creams being widely loved among makeup junkies world wide. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have their Butter Glosses(£5.00/€6.30) (again, award winning), which i have got my mitts on in both Merengue and Peaches & Cream. Essentially liquid lipsticks, these highly pigmented lipglosses come with a doe-foot applicator. As aforementioned, i'm not a huge lip-gloss lovin' kind of gal, but i have to say these have converted me. Although they're not at all long lasting (think 1hour at the max, if you're a chatterbox or indulging), their cheap as chips price tag means it's okay to chuck them into your handbag for on the go top up. They don't feel too heavy, or suffocating on the lips, a characteristic i usually associate with products of their kind. However they can be a little sticky when you first apply, not extremely sticky, more so a little tacky but i simply dab off the excess product which also eases the typical glossy finish of these lip glosses. They also smell delicious and very similar to the MAC Lipsticks..winner!
 Another lip product that i have tried is their Lip Pencil in Dolly Pink(£3.50/€4.99) A gorgeous, pink-toned lilac shade it's the perfect base to use in combination with the Butter Gloss in Merengue where it increases longevity, and intensifies the colour pay off, giving an almost statement lilac lip. The pigmented lip pencil can also be used to outline the lip, or slightly over draw for the Kylie J lip. Being a lip pencil means it's quite drying, making it not the most suitable for use on it's own, but it works wonders under a clear gloss.

FACE:
In terms of base makeup, two of the brands products took my fancy. The Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sun Beam(£7.00/€8.82) fed my love of glowy skin last season. A liquid highlighter it can be used mixed with either primer or foundation, or can also be used on it's own to spot highlight certain areas of the face. The pinky champagne highlight blends beautifully on its own to add dimension to the face, and highlight the cheekbones, cupids bow and brow bone. Used mixed with foundation or primer, this illuminator works at illuminating the whole base making the skin appear much more rejuvenated and awake, allowing you to say toodles to tired, dull looking skin.
Another base love of mine from the brand is the Dewy Finish Setting Spray(£8.00/€10.08), which has got its stamp of approval from even the biggest makeup critics. A spritz of this spray sets your full face of makeup in place all day long, yet doesn't mattify it or make it look cakey which is one of the downfalls of using a setting powder. While not making the skin look shiny, or overly dewy- verging on oily, this spray still gives you a dewy finish and prevents slipping, keeping your makeup set all day. I skipped the powder and opted for this spray all Summer long, and they also offer a Matte version, which i will undoubtedly be picking up for the Winter months.

ON MY MUST-TRY/WISHLIST:
NYX Matte Lip Cream(£5.50/€6.90)
NYX Matte Setting Spray(£8.00/€10.08)
NYX Blush in Taupe(£6.00/€7.50) (good'un for contouring!)

Glossy lips, matte lips, dewy skin, matte skin. It seems NYX Cosmetics have really grabbed my attention, and this love affair is definitely far from over..

Sunday, 7 September 2014

LIFESTYLE: THE 'TO BE READ' LIST




























In a bid to become more academically motivated, and to also get my sleep schedule back on the straight and narrow - i have pledged to become a little more active when it comes to books, and reading. I'm a book worm once i get going, but i'm also lazy- so finding the motivation to start a book is tres difficult.

Books are definitely a form of escapism, be it from the horrible day you've had at school, the stress of an upcoming results day, or you just want a simple ol' break from reality, which we're all entitled to. I have such a diverse taste in books, and if i like it, i love it and will struggle to put it down, regardless of the genre. I'm a John Green, Nicholas Sparks kind of gal' but also love some good ol' classics.

I've started Safe Haven numerous amounts of time, and once i get into it and the exciting parts i always fall out of routine and reading takes a back seat. I'm then left pondering whether i should restart or pick up where i left off, and the latter always seems to win. I'm determined to finish it now though, because i've recently just spied the movie on Netflix, and it's a life rule not to watch the movie before reading the book, right? I've already read The Fault In Our Stars and after falling in love with the nature of the characters upon seeing the movie, i feel obliged to re-read it and experience the magic one last time.

Going against the rule i've aforementioned, i have watched The Great Gatsby, because Leonardo Di Caprio o' course, and again i fell in love with the whole story, the time era, the plot, the everything- so knew the book had to be read. I've seen quite alot of people talking about More Than This, and i absolutely love the sound of the storyline, so decided i must give it a read.

No more late nights watching Youtube videos, Celine's turning over a new leaf & spending the nights reading a vast selection of storys, with various contrasting characters..

Monday, 1 September 2014

BEAUTY: THIS MONTH'S MOST ADORED | AUGUST

























The dreaded back to school season is upon us. Gone are the days of rising in the afternoon, spending the day aimlessly scrolling through twitter, engrossing yourself in the latest Netflix season, and where taking blog photos is not just for weekends. This means September is dawning, and August has set and it's time to call in the products who made the cut this month. This month's beauty favourites are the most seasonal appropriate we've seen round these parts, where brights, bolds & shimmer have their say.

In terms of base, it was all about the highlight and flawless skin. The MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle(£23.00/€30.00) had yet another day, as i rekindled my love of it's velvety soft texture and the ease of blending it. Daily, it was used on the tops of the cheek bones where the shimmery champagne highlight worked at adding depth to the face. On days where i went a little more out there it also worked as a brow highlight, applied lightly on the brow bone. I discovered used light-handedly is when this highlight works the best, giving a subtle sheen to the parts of your face where the sun hits. I also took on using fluffy brushes as a tool for foundation, with the ELF Complexion Brush(£3.95/€4.95) coming into the spotlight. It's dense yet flimsy bristles make it the perfect tool to blend foundation into the skin, almost blurring out any imperfection. Apply the foundation to the face, blend in circular motions and voila, you have a flawless base. However, it is a little more time consuming, and takes much more elbow grease to get the foundation completely blended so it's definitely a no-go for early mornings when you wish to conserve every ounce of energy you store.

An effortless bright lip was the go-to statement look for this month, and in came the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Personne Ne Rouge(£8.99/€12.49) to fulfill this duty. A soft matte lip cream, this applies smoothly with a doe-foot applicator and locks in place for pretty much hours on end. All the awkward bright lip fiascoes we all fear, such as the embarrassing lipstick on your teeth situation are pretty much non-existant with this lip colour. It does not budge for 3-4 hours when you apply two coats, letting them both dry in-between. However, once the colour does begin to move, it has a tendency to bleed, leaving you with a red line on the outer part of your lips - thus, i try top it up every 2-3 hours while on the go. To ensure a neat application, i like to quickly run around my lips with a concealer brush to give them a little more shape. Nobody likes the Miranda Sings look, ey?

The beautiful eye pigment*(£10.00/€12.95), from Fuschia - an Irish makeup brand i recently discovered - in the shade Bliss made it into the go-to pile almost immediately after it made it into my stash. A champagne coloured, loose eyeshadow pigment with an array of reflex colours, it is the perfect shade for mixing with autumnal tones, from deep plum purples to dark browns. I found it's best used after dampening a flat shader brush with a setting spray, and dabbing the brush in the pigment before pressing it on to the lid. This method intensifies colour, and prevents fallout. It's so easy to make the key feature of any look, or just for brightening the inner corner of a deep smokey eye.

Typically, i'm not the nail polish type of gal' which makes it quite surprising that the well acclaimed Models Own Beach Party(£4.99/€6.10) made it into this month's mix. A bright almost neon orange, this is the perfect Summer shade, and looks incredible with a tan. As a thick consistency nail polish, two generous coats of this gives you an opaque finish, while not taking forever and a day to dry - which is always a winner in my books. It has also managed to influence my favourite colour which has now surprisingly changed to orange, resulting in accumulating a ludicrous amount of orange notebooks.

Lipstick, highlight & favourite colours - what a month August has been. The last of the Summer months and in my books, typically the last of the dewy base & bright lips. Bring on the matte skin & vampy lips.