Monday, 12 December 2016

The Perfect Festive Lip with EOS (AD)

Christmas is coming, rapidly, and for those of us who get to attend some swanky parties, it's the perfect time to sport a bold red lip. It'll compliment any party outfit and it's a timeless classic. With that said, you do need to do some prep to get the perfect pout. You guys know I love a bold red lip, the clue is in my blog name, so read on and let me tell you exactly how to prep for the perfect festive red lip.


Before you start putting on your makeup, you need to moisturize your lips, especially if you're going to be wearing a matte red like Ruby Woo. Matte lips don't go well with cracks and dry skin, so it's best to really prepare your base. I always recommend a lip scrub, to smooth the dead skin off your lips, and then a generous helping of a lip-balm. This one from EOS or Evolution of Smooth is my favorite for under a matte finish lippie like Ruby Woo. It's thicker than your average lip-balm, so it helps to keep the matte effect from making your lips uncomfortable. It also smells like melon, and I am a bit of a melon obsessive. Yum!


I let the lip-balm sink in while I'm putting on the rest of my face, and then finish my routine with a well applied lip. First, line your lips with a sharp liner, and fill in your lip with the liner. Then you can apply the lipstick in any way you prefer. Some people swear my lip brushes, but I personally apply my lipstick right from the bullet. If you prefer a glossy finish, you can apply a light layer of gloss to finish the look. You could also opt for a cream finish lipstick like the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Gash if you prefer, which will look just as Yuletide appropriate and equally as amazing on your lovely moisturized pout!

There is nothing I love more than a red lip, and if you can't rock a perfect red lip at Christmas, when can you?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 
Amy 
xo


This post was sponsored by EOS. Thanks EOS!!
I got to write anything I wanted to, so you know I'm keeping it real, girl!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Red Recommendations: The Blacklist

First let me just say I genuinely contemplated writing "Just watch it, please!!" a couple hundred times, over and over again and posting that with a few teaser images, but alas, I need to wax lyrical for you.

Blacklist was brought into my life over 12 months ago by a good friend on a visit to Cork. We watched the pilot over some wine, and I'll admit it, I wasn't hugely taken with it, at first. Some time passed though, and just like what happened with Making A Murderer, Dex watched a few episodes ahead and informed me of its quality. So we back watched the first few episodes and then continued on. We're on Season 3 right now and it's become something of an addiction, so let me tell you why.

The Blacklist is an ongoing TV series starring James Spader (that's Ultron, to you Marvel movie buffs) and Megan Boone. Spader plays Raymond Red Reddington, top of the FBI Most Wanted list, and Boone plays Elizabeth Keen, who is a profiler with the FBI. It's giving nothing away to tell you that in the first several minutes of the pilot, Red enters FBI headquarters and gives himself up, stating he will only speak to Keen about a mutually beneficial arrangement for both Red himself and the entire FBI taskforce. Things only get weirder from there.



There are, like in many shows, multiple, very complex storylines going on at once. There's the relationship between Elizabeth and her husband Tom (he's the good looking one, you don't need to know more than that right now), the FBI Director and his workforce, Red and everyone else, and there's always politics within the criminal story lines, especially with Red's involvement, which are always intertwined and evolving, they are what move the show forward for the majority.

The format of the episodes is pretty simple: Preamble, title, and then nothing but action until the credits. Every episode follows another criminal on Reds list, and there are some absolute doozies in there. So, let me talk to you about my favorite stories, rather than storylines. I would only spoil it and upset people.

The Stewmaker:

To say this one is a bit gross is putting it mildly. The Stewmaker episode is about a murder who literally dissolves his victims He's a bit of an expert when it comes to corrosive substances and uses this to his advantage. Elizabeth is kidnapped by him and tortured and it's up to Red (who is a bad guy) to team up with her FBI partner to find her. I pretty much sat glued to this episode because it was so tense and gripping, and I still, three seasons later, maintain this to be one of my two favorites.

The Courier:

This one is a favorite not only ecause of the story, but also because of the actor who plays The Courier. Robert Knepper, who played T-Bag in Prison Break is our man in this episode. I always liked a bad guy that had a likable swagger to him, and this episode was no different to be honest. The courier feels no pain, and so he hides stuff literally in his body. He's carrying something the FBI badly want to intercept from being delivered, and that's pretty much it. This episode wasn't as gripping as The Stewmaker, but it was still jam packed with action and I loved it!



I'm actually not really able to tell you much more beyond my top two favorites. The show is tense and gripping and funny and complex but filled with well formed characters, and has more twists than a spiral staircase. The score is incredible, and Spader just makes the whole show. I've actually got a little bit of a crush on him, if only for the way he speaks.

The Blacklist is addictive, so watch with caution - there have been many late nights watching til the small hours, and then a lot of tired grumbling the next morning. I will be sad when it's over, though, because honestly, it's the best thing I've watched since Prison Break ended!

Give it a watch, you will thank me! 

xo
Amy

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Oddball Eyeballs feat GlassesShop.com*

I have a strange addiction. I am hooked on glasses, and I'm so not sorry!! The thing is, I see glasses as an accessory just as important to me as plugs for my stretched ears, or my antique necklace, because they're part of my look. And the thing is, I spend a lot of time looking at glasses online. I have no shame, none whatsoever. The wierder the frame, the more I like it. So, when GlassesShop.com reached out to me, and asked me would I like to review a frame of my choice, my answer was "Heck yeah!!".



GlassesShop.com are an online retailer that specialise in prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses. They're a whole lot cheaper than you'll find on the high street, or in your local optician. They believe that frames are a statement, whether you want to be charming, eye catching, trendy or chic. They ship worldwide, and they're incredibly reasonably priced. When they send your order, you are given a tracking number for your item, and they arrive well packaged. Shipping takes a little while, but for the savings, it's completely okay by me.

Before I get into the review, I just want to walk you through finding the right frames that fit when you're shopping for glasses online. If you happen to have a pair of frames you've bought from a retail opticians, then have a look at the numbers inside the arm of the frame. There is a measurement guide below every pair of frames on the site, and the numbers printed on your frame will correlate to the measurements on the site. it might take a little bit of working out, because I don't know 100% how they work, but this will help you a lot!

Now, I take inspiration from strange places, from movies to historical figures to old photos of my family from way back when; I love being slightly left of center, and I love that I can express my oddball style and people don't really seem to make a big thing of it. For a while, the Anza frame was really piquing my interest, but then I saw the ones I ended up choosing, and I knew they were the oddballs for my eyeballs!

I nearly always narrow my choices down to two or three, and then employ the help of my friends and boyfriend to help me with the final choice, though I am known to veto them completely and go for the one that speaks to my soul. I finally picked the Capricorn Round frame, which made my heart squeeze a little when I saw them - they just look so fabulously retro and a little bit hipster, which I'm all about. I got my opticians to furnish me with my prescription, sent the whole lot off and now I have the glasses so I can tell you about what I think of them.

So, the glasses! What do I think of them? In a nutshell, they're  beautiful, the tortoiseshell colour frame is beautiful and gives them a gorgous 90s feel, which I love. I think they fit me very well, they're wide enough to be snug, but not too tight. The arms were molded almost to perfection, so they sit on my face even when I'm looking down and they don't slide or shift. I like how slim the acetate is in the arm, which for me, is a huge part of my selection process when I get glasses usually, because of my peripheral vision.

My favorite thing about the glasses though is how fun they are. I have a lot of glasses, all in my current scrip, and these are definitely my new favorites. I'll be wearing these with flared jeans, cosy knits and curly hair all winter long, mark my words!


Glasses Shop have kindly given me a 50% off code for my readers, which means not only are your frames going to be half off, but the prescription lenses inside them are free!! The coupon code is: GSHOT50 .

I hope you found this chatty review helpful, and if you use my discount code to get yourself some snazzy frames, do tweet me a picture, because I love seeing peoples style when it comes to specs. 

Amy, 
xo


GlassesShop.com sent me these frames for free to try out to tell you guys about.  
No paid product placement has occurred in this post and as always, my opinion is my own. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Winter Lipcare - Stocking Stuffer Series #1

It's suddenly colder and drier outside than it has been in weeks, and so today, I thought I'd talk about winter lipcare, and maybe give you an idea of some stocking-stuffers.


Just like we do with our skin, we need to moisturise and look after our lips, diligently. Nobody wants to kiss someone with chapped, sore, dry lips. So to combat that, I'm going to give you some options for lip scrubs and lipbalms, to slough the dead skin off your lips and protect them.

My favorite lip scrubs are from Lush, and my ultimate pick is the Mint Julips scrub, which smells like mint chocolate chip icecream. There's also Santa Baby, which smells like cherries, which might be up your street, or Bubblegum which smells like bubblegum funnily enough, and Popcorn, which is also pretty self explanatory.

Scrub your lips gently with a little of your chosen scrub, wipe it off with a cotton round or a tissue, and apply a balm. The balm I'm digging at the moment is Labello*, which I have in the Original Neon Edition, and it's incredibly softening, with a neutral scent. It contains Shea Butter and Panthenol to keep your lips soft and supple, perfect for under a festive red lip at your Christmas party or to kiss that special someone under the mistletoe.

These lip-balms would make great stocking-stuffers, because they come in fun colors. I have the neon yellow, but they come in pink, green, orange, purple and blue, which is much cuter than the bog standard blue and white packaging you usually get Labello in. The colorful packaging puts a fun twist on the Labello brand we know and love, and it definitely wont look out of place in a stocking this festive season! And for €2.50, you can well afford to put one in every stocking on the mantel.

Labello Original Neon is available from pharmacies and grocery shops nationwide.


These lipbalms were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Red Recommendations - New Music Finds

Recently, I've been insatiably hungry for new music, and as a result, I've found so many great new artists to bop to. It's funny, I used to be constantly taking in music and then I went to college and it all fell to bits. I guess I didn't have time, but now I do and I'm like a sponge for new artists. Here we go.

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Oh my god, this guy and this band just speaks to my soul on a level I cannot put into words. They're so positive, so happy, so earthy. Nahko Bear is an absolute visionary, and even to read the lyrics written down without music is like reading a wonderful story in every song. "You got the keys, but I'll never keep my door locked, you can always come right in...", seriously, what an incredible lyric.


If you do one thing today, just give this song 8 mins to change your life, I promise you it's worth it...


Royal Deluxe

I take no credit for finding these on my own, they were brought to my attention by Dex, and they're just mighty! I've a wide taste in my ear jams, from folky beats like Nahko, to huge atmospheric rock and roll behemoths like this band. If you like your music to evoke certain feelings of bad-assery, these will suit you down to the ground. "I would kill again to keep from doing time, You should never trust my kind". Bad. Ass.



I seriously just see Tom Keen from The Blacklist when I hear this band, in the best way!

I'm going to space these posts out, and make them a series as new music I love finds its way into my life. I hope you find something you like, and share your new finds in the comments for others to share.

Amy 
xx

Friday, 4 November 2016

Red Letters... Amsterdam











Dear Amsterdam,

There has never been a happier version of me, than the Amy who went to visit you. The freedom is almost tangible, as most people who visit are behaving vastly different than they would in their hometown.

I learned so much with you. From new sensations, to new experiences, to the culture shock of having the teabag laid on the saucer beside the mug! I learned about the history, and I learned about myself. With you, Amsterdam, I learned that I'm free to be who I want, and I don't have to ask for permission to express myself. I learned about the fuzzy numbness that comes from eating space-cakes with funny Italian strangers off the tourist trail. The sensation of feeling relaxed in a way I had never experienced before was odd, but lovely.

You're steeped in history, Amsterdam, and it's just the most bonkers, brilliant thing. The Red-Light District was truly an education in the most abrupt sense - the incredible Oude Kerk amidst all the debauchery, - how funny it seemed to me, that you've got a church that survived three disasters, slap bang in the midst of an area that is famous for weed and hookers. The night we visited the RLD, it snowed. It has got to be one of the most beautifully contrasted things I've ever had the good fortune and pleasure to witness.

The debauchery is incredible. I know I use a mildly negative term, but bear with me; You're the most famously relaxed city in the world. People come to see you, they come to spend time with you, without a pupil in their eye for the duration of their stay, however long that may be. They're missing out on the most fun things you have to offer. I'm just going to say it, The Sex Museum is hilarious, and a better couple of hours I've never spent, slightly uncomfortable in the voyeurism, but mostly wholly enjoying myself, the highlight of which was having my photo taken with what I can best describe as a six-foot-phallus. Hilarious!!

There is an innocence to you too, most people don't see that side, but it's there. Two hours spent with cats, on my 24th birthday, with my darling boyfriend, was the most innocently diverting thing I've done in years. To this day I still follow the Katten Kafe Kopjes on Instagram, and I keep up with your beautiful, esteemed architecture with Gotta Love Amsterdam. I've recreated your local fare, Dutch Apple Bacon crepes are a wonderful treat, that calls to mind a rainy morning spent planning the best tourist route to take.

You're wonderful, I hope you know that. You're fun, you're freeing, you're filling. I will be back to you, Amsterdam, that I can promise you. 

Til then,

Amy
xx

Red Letters is going to be an ongoing project where I will be writing to places I've been, so keep an eye out for Cork, Paris, Waterford, Wexford, Nottingham, and so on. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Red Recipe - Lamb Tagine

Recently, I made an incredible Lamb Tagine for a dinner evening with my boyfriend and his best friend. I love cooking for friends, so I immediately jumped at the chance to make something impressive. Tagine is something I adore, ever since my college days. Yes, it's time consuming, but you can literally leave it on the stove on a low heat and clean the house, or watch a movie, which are both things I did.

I didn't take any fancy photos, so this will have to do you! 


Tagine is a Moroccan dish, akin to stew, and traditionally it's made with lamb or beef. I made it with lamb, this time around. It's a warm, spiced, very hearty dish that you can make on a cold winter day and feed a multitude. When I made it, I was only cooking for three, but ended up giving our guest leftovers to take home, and we had it for lunch the next day too. It's a great dish, filling and tasty and pretty healthy, it's easy to prepare and it doesn't require really fiddly chopping or much by way of special equipment. So, here's how you make it!

What You Need:

500g (2 packs) of diced lamb from Lidl,
1 large onion chopped roughly,
2 large carrots, quartered and chopped roughly,
2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced up roughly,
3 heaped tbsp ras-el-hanout spice (any decent ethnic grocers should have it)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
200g dried apricots (whole or chopped is up to you)
500ml chicken stock
Olive Oil
Cous-Cous

To Serve (Optional)

Coriander,
Flaked almonds.


If you have a cast iron casserole dish, you can make this on the stove top, if you're using a pyrex one, you're going to have to fry off the ingredients in a pan before you add them to the casserole pan and put it in the oven, Just use your discretion here, following these steps as best you can.

1. Heat up your oven. Gas Mark 4, or between 180- 200 Deg. Heat the olive oil in a pan, and sear off your meat. Scoop out the lamb onto a plate and pop it aside for a bit.

2. Cook your onions and carrots for 2 or 3 minutes til the onions are a light golden brown. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

3. Tip in the spices, the tomatoes and stir it all up. Here's where you might want to season it. (I opted not to) Chuck back in the lamb and tip in the drained chickpeas.

4. Pour over the stock, and stir the whole thing up well.

If you're making this in the oven, you need to cover the dish, and put it into the oven for 1.5 hours. I cooked this over a whole day on a stove, so about 6hours, and the lamb was so tender and the whole thing was incredible. To do this, you need to put it on a low heat, and keep a good eye on it every 30 to 40 minutes, stirring it to stop the bottom sticking or burning.

To serve, you can pair this with cous-cous, or rice, or potatoes if you want. It's incredible with cous-cous and corriander, with flaked almonds over the top.

If you make this, let me know what you thought. It's one of my favorite dishes, so I'd be curious to know! 

Happy Cooking, 

Amy
xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Top 5 Running Tunes

Today, I'm comign at you with a little bit of motivation for running, with my Top 5 Running Tunes (right now)! I've a big love for what I refer to as "stompers", so I've included my favorite stompers! I hope you enjoy, read on!

Madonna - Hung Up


An undeniable beat, calls to mind many a 5k race day. I've great memories of this song, and when it comes on while I'm pounding the pavement, it makes me work that little bit harder. Definitely recommend this for hill training, that's for sure!

Robbie Williams - Party Like A Russian


Another absolute stomper, perfect for getting through a tough kilometer or so. A deliberate beat will drive you, that much is for sure, and this couldn't be any more deliberate if it tried. I'm obsessed with this song, and because of it, I've been rediscovering Robbie's oldies lately. What a great artist, am I right?

The Bloody Beetroots - Warp 1.9 (Feat. Steve Aoki)


One, two, whoop whoop! This will absolutely motivate you to finish strong, I swear! You will plough through a run with this backing you up, and if you ever get the chance to see them live, do it!! They're unbelievable live, one of the best shows of my life!

Hozier - Jackie And Wilson


One of my favorite songs of all time, and a beauty to run to, too! Can we all just agree that Hozier is an incredible artist whose music can be applied to any situation? Thinking, running, cooking, I can listen to his music anywhere. This track, in particular is very good for running!

The Darkness - Last Of Our Kind



One of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands, this song will get you through the shittiest of runs, Children, we are the last of our kind. So deep is my love for this song, that I would love to have a tattoo to commemorate it. I've always got The Darkness in my running playlist, because everything this band do is immense!

So there you have it, my Top 5 Running Tunes right now. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you want to leave some links to your favorite running/workout songs, pop them in the comments, I'll wrap my ears around them! 

Amy 
xx

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Vintage Shopping Tips

This season, I'm obsessed with vintage shopping! I just want to dig through second hand shops, trawl vintage stores and snag bargains galore! I'm always digging through my local charity shop, keeping an eagle eye out in Dublin and when I go to Cork, I would allocate a whole day to vintage shopping on every trip!

Image: http://www.romeing.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/pifebo-vintage-rome.jpg

From records, to shoes, to coats, to accessories, I just adore rooting around, being nosey, finding gems! I've been lucky enough through the years to find some great designer brands, snag some new items with the tags still on for half of the price. Even in Paris, I had my roving eye always keeping a look out. So today, I'll be bringing you my tips for thrifting.

Have A General Idea Of Things You Want 

In my head, I have a list of things I want from season to season. This season, the first thing I wanted was a pair of white Doc Martens, and I snagged a pair on E-Bay for a fraction of the price. They're slightly scuffed and what I refer to as "pre-loved" but they're perfect, they fit well and they're the genuine article. When you're shopping, know what you want, but don't set your bar too high. If you go into a shop saying you only want to buy a pair of Levi Mom Jeans, you're going to miss out on that great pair of GAP Retro Fit jeans on the rail, just because you psyched yourself out of any alternatives. Know you want Mom Jeans? Just stick with that, and you're guaranteed to find a bargain! In case you can't tell, I really want to pick up some Mom Jeans on my next trip!

Know Your Budget 

Thrifting is pretty budget friendly, but that doesn't mean you should go on a huge spender-bender! Just like shopping in the likes of Penneys, Topshop, New Look, you should have a  budget. Keep yourself in check, or know that you've got a cushion of however much in case you stumble across a vintage Chanel that you just cant leave behind! Knowing your budget is going to help you out, I promise!

Bring A Friend Along

I love digging around on my own, on a rainy day, but shopping is always more fun with a friend. Bring someone whose opinion you trust and value. Better still, if they're on the hunt for something too, then you can act as an extra pair of eyes for each other... Teamwork!! It will make the rooting more productive feeling if you can find a gem of a silk blouse for your friend even if you can't find that bomber jacket you've been craving.

My Top Pick Of Vintage Shops 

Eager Beaver, Temple Bar - An absolute treasure trove of pre-loved gems. A great spot for leather jackets and Doc Martens.
Blackrock Market, Blackrock - Hop on a 7, go to Blackrock of a Saturday or Sunday, and thank me later. Everything from vinyl, to furniture, to clothes and great food!
Siopaella, Templebar - Designer and name brand beauties at a fraction of the cost? Whats not to love?
Tola Vintage, Fownes St, Templebar - If you prefer to do your vintage mooching online, Tola Vintage has a great online store! Find it HERE

So there you have it, my tips for vintage shopping! Have you any tips to share? Leave them in the comments below! 

Amy 
xx

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Autumn Essentials

I adore autumn. Layering, scarves, bobble hats, it's probably my favorite season. Today, I'm going to give you the low-down on my current essentials! These are the things I cannot be without, this time of year... Enjoy!



I adore Docs. They're a pain to break in, but they are so comfy when you finally do! I've had my Triumphs for a couple of years and they still look like they're fresh from the box. I recently bought a pair of white 1460's because I had been living for a pair for months, and I snapped up a good deal on ebay! They keep your feet warm, dry and they look great with everything! I couldn't be without them.



Chilly air means dry skin, flaky lips and if like me you've stretched ears, sore earlobes. I'm hugely into creams in this weather. I carry a Body Shop hand cream and a Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner in my handbag at all times. I am pretty obsessed with keeping my ear lobes looking and feeling great, as well... At 1/2", they're not huge by any means, but they need looking after. I have a Beauty Kitchen Chill Me Wonder Balm for my lobes, and I keep them moisturised to keep them safe from the cold. I'm also addicted to the BioDerma Hydra Bio rich creme right now, its keeping my skin protected from the biting wind!




My eye makeup has been pretty seasonal for the last few months, and now is no different. I am obsessed with my Revolution Flawless Ultra Eyeshadow Palette. It's a 32 pan palette with shades from cream to black, with incredible nudes, bronzes, burgundies and chocolate shades. Perfect for the autumn and Christmas seasons. I've plenty of other palettes, but this one is my obsession right now. I picked it up for €10.95 and it was worth every cent! When I'm staying with Himself, I like to downsize my makeup so I have been rediscovering my beloved Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay. Perfect for a neutral eye, from girly to grungy.

So there you have it, my Autumn Essentials! Let me know your picks in the comments! I'd love to know what you consider essential at this time of year! 

Amy 
xx

Saturday, 15 October 2016

GRWM - Current Everyday Face

Hey guys! Today I'm going to show you how I go from a 4, to a solid 7! Only joking, I'm pretty comfortable with how I look sans slap, but I love makeup, I think it's fun, it's a process I enjoy every time I do it. So today I'm going to show you what I look like before and after, when I do my every day routine.

I'm going from this...

I always start by cleansing, and currently, I'm using the Nivea Essentials Sensitive Cleansing Milk on a cotton round to cleanse my skin of anything icky, and then move onto moisturising with a combo of my BioDerma HydraBio Serum and Nivea Q10 Energising Day Cream before I slap on my... well... slap!

For my base, I'm just roving between my Rimmel Match Perfection and my Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundations, they're both great, and I love them both equally, so I just go for whichever one is nearer to me on any given day! Today I went with Covergirl, and I powdered over the top with my PS Matte Transluscent powder. It just sets the liquid without adding any more pigment. Then I contoured with my Revolution Blush Palette in Golden Sugar, taking the matte bronzer on a contour brush and lightly buffing it in under my cheekbones.

For my eyes, which were next, I set my brows with Essence Make Me Brow, just to keep them from going too wild. Then I whipped out my Gwen X Urban Decay eye palette and a fluffy eye brush, and applied Stark all over the lids as a base, then ran Anaheim through the socket as a transition shade. I got a smaller fluffy brush, and took Zone over the lid and blended it in with Anaheim. Then came the fun part. To deepen the look, I took a tiny little brush, and the shade Punk, carefully patting it onto the outer corner, into the crease and down a little to the lower lashline. Then I took a clean blender brush and blended it all out, deepening the colour, and repeating until I was happy. The idea is a semi bruised, grunge-inspired eye. To finish the look off I took Blonde on my finger tip and applied it to the brow bone as a highlight. I lined my eyes with Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner (not my favorite, mind you, but it was within reach). Mascara was an easy pick, Catrice Better Than False Lashes did the job on my upper and lower lashes.

...to this!!! 

I applied my MUA Blush in Marshmallow on my cheeks with a very light hand, and then I highlighted with the creamy shade from the Revolution Blush Palette, because it's the best highlight in the world as far as I'm concerned. That's a fact.

I didn't actually apply any lipstick, I just applied a little of my Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner, and that was me finished! I did bring my MAC Lipstick in Faux with me to apply at some point, though!!

So there you have it, my every day routine. Suffice to say I don't use the same products every day, but the finished look is always pretty much the same as this - a smudgy, grunge-y, lived in eye look. It's easy, it's quick and it looks great to boot. 

What do you think? 

Amy 
xx

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Doc Martens - Breaking In & Styling


I own two pairs of Docs, one black, and one white pair. My black pair the Triumph 14-eyelet boots with a furry lining, and my white pair are an 8-eye pair of the classic 1460 boots. Today I'm going to take you through how I will be styling both pairs for the Autumn Winter season.

When I start breaking in any pair of tough-looking shoes, I do so by hand. When it comes to Docs? I make sure to do it way more thoroughly. Dr Martens have a reputation for making minced meat of your feet. Blisters, bruises, blood, Docs are known to make you, the wearer, suffer for weeks, if not months. So, I took my first step of breaking in shoes by hand, and went at it hell for leather – pardon the pun!

The first thing I do, is bend the soles where you bend at the toes. I bend them really harshly, over and over until it's softened a bit and you can see the beginnings of a crease. The level of ferocity I usually go at this with looks like an attempt to fold the boot in half. The next thing I do, is to put pressure on the heel cup, not enough to break it, but enough to soften it, repeating until I'm satisfied. I'll keep repeating the toe bending and the heel softening until I'm generally happy with the outcome. I've been known to spend the duration of a movie breaking in shoes by hand, and not just Docs, let me tell you!

Then comes the fun part!

Generally, I will put on a pair of ordinary socks, the kind that come above your ankle. Then, I'll put on a pair of thick boot socks. This helps to alleviate the rubbing. Then I walk around my house first, maybe out to my gateway and back again, or if I'm feeling really brave, I'll walk the perimeter of the property. I'll take it slowly enough, stopping every few feet to lean forward on my toes, to help to wear in that crease. Then I'll go back inside and I'll do some chores around the house, or get in the car and go to the supermarket, where I can walk slowly, breaking in the shoes. Take it from me, a full day of walking around Dublin is not advised – I learned that the hard way in college with my Triumphs. If they become too uncomfortable, I'll sit with my feet up for a few minutes, and let them settle. Then I'll do some more walking. I'll do this for a few days before I wear them for a full day.

I must admit, I found the 1460 8-eye classic boots a lot easier to break in than the Triumphs. The leather in my Triumphs is reinforced in places, and it made breaking them in an absolute nightmare. Whereas, the 1460 Classics, they've been much more easy to wear. They're a bit harder to style, but then, when you're in love with the colour black, that's to be expected!

My black 14-eye boots have been a staple in my wardrobe for years. I wear them with skinny jeans, boots, slouchy-tees, dresses, flannel shirts and beanies. In other words, they're the ultimate in casual footwear. The fleece lining also makes them super cosy, and they are quite roomy inside, allowing you to wear fuzzy socks if that's something that takes your fancy... If I'm feeling like a tough chick, but I still want to look girly, I'll pair my Triumphs with thick black tights, a dark floral dress and either a hoodie or a biker jacket.




The new white ones, I'm loving with jeans, and an oversize wooly jumper. Think Rory Gilmore in the first few episodes of Gilmore Girls. High waisted mom jeans rolled up, a vintage tee or a cropped top and a flannel – 90's grunge, am I right?!

When you break in your Docs, they're going to be the comfiest shoes you've ever worn, forevermore. I can vouch for that. Maintain them, mind them, and they will last you a lifetime. They wont go out of style, they won't lose their charm or appeal with age. Docs are timeless, and if you don't have a pair, you need one. 

I buy my Docs on Ebay or from China Blue in Temple Bar.

Amy 
xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Catrice Glam & Doll Eyeliner Pen

Last week, I found myself stuck, with no felt tip eyeliner and I was pretty mad about it. I love felt tip liners, they're easy to use and they don't make a mess. So when I went to apply liner, and found the marker tip all dried up, leaving me to use actual liquid liner? I had to hotfoot it out to my local pharmacy to get a replacement. Pronto!


I picked up this Catrice Glam & Doll Super Black Liner Pen in an Adrian Dunne pharmacy in Trim. I looked at every stand twice over and swatched every liner I could find, eventually opting for this one. I didn't know at the time of purchase that it was marketed as "super black", but I did notice that it swatched much more black than other liners. Another thing I noticed was the tip, which is a "tulip" shape, with a really fine point.


The tip of this liner is flexible but really precise, and after my first use, it was pretty much love. I was able to create a fine line in the inner corner with the tip, flatten the tip to my lid in order to thicken it towards the outer corner and then create a sharp flick with the tip again - all on my first application. YAS! The liner itself, is super super black, which is incredible. It dries quickly and down to a matte finish, which is all I ever want in a liner, so I was a happy bunny when I discovered this.



Overall, the liner lasts pretty well, it's not waterproof (and I am a crier) but that's okay, it's cheap as chips, and it's easy to use! For €3.49, the quality in unsurpassed and I will be repurchasing!

Catrice can be found in most decent Penneys and chemists nationwide!

Amy xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Getting Myself Grounded!*

A couple of weeks back, I was contacted by Sinead over at Yogandha, about testing out some of her products. When she mentioned to me in the email that they are a combination of beauty and wellness, I knew I was on board. Yogandha is rooted in the belief of the bringing about of instant mood changes by rich, evocative scents. It goes much deeper than just going from agitated to calm, from sad to happy, because there is some serious science behind it - neuroscience, in fact - but I'm not very science-minded.



I'm an anxious person. I get agitated and panicky very easily. It sounds like such a little, meaningless issue, but honestly, it can really make my life miserable. I avoid crowds, hospitals, medical procedures of any kind, confrontation with my peers and superiors alike and I'm very quiet - almost shy - when I'm around people I don't know. I have trouble sleeping, sometimes its so bad that I might only get to sleep when I'm with my boyfriend, or if I go to bed way earlier than everyone else. If anyone needs to be a bit more grounded, it's me!

Yogandha Ground contains Sandalwood and Frankincense, blended to create a sense of calm and reassurance, which is perfect if you've any sort of anxious tendencies. I find this scent to make me feel a sense of warmth and safety, as though you're near to someone who makes you feel secure, which is incredibly soothing to me. The scent from the oils is not overpowering, but it's apparent enough to be able to soothe you a couple of hours after you initially applied it.

The beauty of these oils is that they act as a perfume, with beautifully blended scents, but they actually do something to help you!! Instead of making you sneeze, they put you at ease! The rollerballs are tiny, perfect for your handbag, for some calm at any moment. They're also safe to take through airport security, which makes them perfect for travel nerves!

In all honesty, I keep this on me at all times now, I use it to calm myself in the GP waiting room, when I'm travelling (nothing freaks me out more than a packed Luas), and when I'm having trouble sleeping. It's going to be great for those of you who have to step out of your workplace for a few moments breather, for anyone who has to endure the crowd at a wedding or funeral or a bumpy plane ride, it's also going to do wonders for anyone who generally just feels anxious or worrisome.

Yogandha Ground is currently available for €14.95 HERE on their website! There is also a whole range of other rollerballs for a variety of different ends, to relax, to balance, to energise etc.

Have you ever tried Yogandha? Let me know what you think! 

Amy
xoxo

Twitter // Facebook // Snapchat: @redlips_redhair

Yogandha Ground was sent to me for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Depraved? Why, Yes!


When  I saw the subject of today's post, I had to have it. Revolution is a UK beauty brand recently landed on our humble shores, to compete with the likes of Essence, Catrice, Sleek, and NYX. I've been drooling over the website for weeks, and backing out at the last minute every time I get my cart to checkout. Rather than splurging on a whole bunch of things, I decided to invest slowly.

Today, I'm coming at you with the first lip product I have picked up, and as you can see, it's an absolute stunner. Read on to find out about how I dabbled in Depravity!


Depravity is a Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Laquer, a matte finish, highly pigmented, long lasting lipstick. I picked Depravity because of the unusual shade - a vibrant purple somewhere between lilac and violet. It's a beautiful, noticeable shade that's still wearable and fun. Because of the budget nature of this entire brand, these lip laquers in particular, it's affording me the luxury of trying out wacky lip colors.

The applicator for this lip laquer is a standard doe-foot which I haven't found to be difficult or messy. It's long wearing, comfortable on the lips and it doesn't seem to settle in the fine lines. It's a little dry, but applied over my MAC Fix+ Lip Primer or a thin layer of lip-balm, it is absolutely flawless.



When you apply the product, its got a minute or so of play time before it dries down to a perfectly matte finish. The best way to apply it is to start from the middle and work out, then allow to dry without pressing your lips together. There is no need for lip liner, because when this sets, that's it, no smudging, no moving. I found that if you apply this, you will absolutely need to remove it with something oily - this stuff doesn't budge!  

                                       

Find the Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Laquers HERE for £3 each. For the price point, and the longevity, as well as the shade range, Depravity is just a gateway shade to my owning the entire collection!! 

xo
Amy 

Twitter // Facebook // Snapchat: redlips_redhair

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

So You're Doing Hell And Back Apollo???

This weekend, the 25th and 25th of June is Hell and Back Apollo in Kilruddery House and I'm pretty much bricking it! The weather has been awful this week, and as a perpetually cold human I'm trying to figure out the best active-wear to tog out in to keep me warm. I'm posting this with a couple of days to go in case you need to go shopping, so read on!!

Image: wherearethepancakes.wordpress.com

I was inspired by the video below, by Clare Cullen (Clisare) who went through what might be useful to wear to Hell And Back if you haven't done it before, and how to improve your strategy even if you have! Today I'm gong to talk you through what I'm wearing, what I'm taking with me for after and little things you might not have considered.


What I'm Wearing: 


  • Under Armour Sports Bra: I have to keep my tatas in check, they may be small, but they bounce when I run. A decent sports bra is absolutely necessary.
  • Bikini Bottoms: In place of regular underwear, these will be better suited to the water obstacles, they wont soak, they wont sag, they'll stay comfortable. 
  • Pro Touch Socks: These are moisture wicking, seamless and keep in the heat very well. Cotton socks will lead to squidgy feet, so these are the perfect options. 
  • Canterbury Heat Tec Undershirt: I'm always cold. Ask anyone. I'll be the girl wearing a hoodie in the height of summer. This is absolutely necessary. Tight fitting, warm as toast, and old enough to allow me to throw it out if it's destroyed. Grand! 
  • Primark Running Tights: Another cheap, but functional item. These will keep my legs warm, and if they get ruined, I wont be too sad about it. 
  • Ireland Jersey: I'm wearing a well fitting sports top that I got from a friend years back! 
As for runners, I am going for my Asics GT 1000 runners from two seasons ago. These are supportive, comfy, and again, old enough to be tossed if they are ruined by the end. 

The Hell And Back people recommend that you avoid cotton, long fingered gloves and that you wear long sleeves and bottoms to protect your knees and elbows. 

Avoid bringing valuables. Don't bring too much cash, just enough to see you through. Don't bring a load of tech. There is a secure area for your bag but again, I'd avoid bringing too much, a backpack is plenty. Don't go wearing your grandmothers last dying gift to you.  

Image: Pinterest/Google Images


Other Stuff I'm Bringing: 

It's not just about wearing warm, comfy active clothing. You need to think about other things too. You might want to wear GAA gloves (they're not going to soak up water, and they dry quickly) like Clare mentioned in the video, you might need some headbands to keep your hair off your face or to bring an extra couple of bobbins. 

  • Fingerless cycling gloves: I really really want to keep my hands protected. I've seen them in Tiger for less that €4. They're going to protect your hands, keep them a little warmer than they would be if they were bare and allow you grip with your fingers. 
  • A bandana: My hair isn't long enough to tie back. I'll wear a bandana to keep it out of my eyes, and hopefully, it'll protect my tunnels and conch bar too. 

For After The Race: 

There are showers at the venue, so you'll  be able to at least rinse off to make yourself look a little less like something that crawled out of an Orc pit. Realistically, all you need to do is get home to some quality facilities... So, you'll definitely need the following: 

  • A towel: Obvious reasons. 
  • A washcloth and some soap: Again, obvious reasons. I'm going to bring a mini shower-gel. 
  • Warm, comfy clothes to change into. This would easily be weather dependent, if it's blazing hot out, you could opt for shorts or something. 
  • A decent plastic bag to put the destroyed race gear into. You wont want to put your stuff right into a backpack. 
  • Clean, dry shoes. Squishy feet are gross, cold feet are gross, dry footwear is pretty great!

I'm not sure if there are any things I've missed, but to be fair, this is a steep learning curve for me. I'm terrified of deep water, and I've barely trained. This could well be the last post you ever read from me!! If I survive, and I do another one of these, I'll make sure you learn from any mistakes I've made today!

If you're going to do Hell and Back this weekend, good luck, and godspeed! If you're not, and you want to see some of the action before and after, follow me on Snapchat, my details are below!

Amy
xx

Twitter // Facebook // Snapchat: redlips_redhair

Friday, 10 June 2016

ABC, Artistry* Bronzed Contour!

When the Artistry Exact Fit Foundation sample popped through my letterbox, I was caught a bit on the back foot. The shade was slightly too golden for my pasty skin. How was I going to make this work? Lightening drops didn't do it, and I'm not much of a tanner these days. The bottle sat on my desk, staring at me for weeks!! Then inspiration struck. I could create a bronzed, glowy look, inspired by all the great weather we've been having!

I applied my regular foundation to my skin with a slightly heavier hand than usual and a damp sponge. I then took a pump of the Artistry Exact Fit foundation and a RT Buffing Brush to apply a small amount of product on the perimeters of my face, and blended it with my regular foundation in small circular motions. Then I went back in with the clean side of my sponge and hazed out the blend.

I opted not to set the product too much so I very lightly dusted some Sheer Loose Powder over the foundations and left it at that. What I was going for was a dewy, glowy, sun-kissed look. By blending the golden Artistry foundation with my regular foundation on my face, I was able to target the areas of the face that would naturally become sun-kissed. This allowed the paler foundation to act as a highlight, which basically meant I was able to skip out on contouring and highlighting as a separate step.

To complete this look you could do any eye look, from a deep smokey, to a bronzed look. A bright lip is all you need to make this gorgeous look pop! 

Amy 
xx

Twitter // Facebook // Snapchat: Redlips_redhair

I was kindly gifted this sample for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Sleek Cream Contour Palette - Light*

For the past few weeks I have been experimenting with cream contouring. I'm usually a huge fan of powder contour, but after attending the Masterclass and seeing it being used, I decided to give it a bash!





I went about this by applying my regular foundation and then going in with a contour shade below my cheekbones as normal. The contour shade I close was the second deepest shade (the middle pan on the bottom row) and I applied it with a Blank Canvas Cosmetics F21 Angled Brush and blended it with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.



At first it looks a bit scary but then when you blend it, the stark lines fade out and it leaves a really natural finish - perfect for everyday wear. Then  I set it with a powder, ideally I would prefer a translucent powder but I've been using the Natural Collection Pressed Powder in Cool. This sets the cream without altering the pigmentation! You could also just opt not to set it at all and go for a natural, dewy finish.


I'm so impressed with this palette, and it has quickly become a staple in  my routine. I like to use the concealer shades when I travel, making it a viable option when I'm away from my extensive vanity, especially given the giant mirror inside. Expect to see this in quite a few GRWM posts in the future!

Have you tried this palette? 
Let me know! 

Amy
xx

Twitter // Snapchat: redlips_redhair

*This palette was gifted to me at the Sleek Cream Contour Masterclass. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Review - Loreal Studio Pro Range

Morning All!!

Today I'm coming to you with a review (I know, right?!) of the Loreal Studio Pro products I picked up a few weeks back. I picked up the Boost It Mousse, and the Lock It Hair Spray. I was intrigued by the whole range because Loreal claim the Studio Pro line has a "double hold formula", so I had to try and see, didn't I?

First of all, can we take a moment for the packaging, please? I adore the yellow and black design, it's so eye catching and incredibly cheery. I love how it stands out among all my products, it makes it easier to find them while I'm half blind coming out of the shower.



Boost It!! 

Mousse isn't something I generally used when I had longer hair, and to be completely honest, I'm not sure why, as now I feel I couldn't live without it. It boosts the volume of my hair quite a lot, and adds a good bit of hold along with it, which if you're not about that serious hold life, would probably do you!

I apply a small blob of this to towel dried hair, go through with my Tangle Teezer and then blow dry it. I start by drying the sides of my hair to keep them sleek and looking lovely, then I lift my hair up and dry it at the root for extra lift. My hair sort of sweeps over and across my eyes, so I use a round brush to direct the hair to lay where I want it.

I don't find this mousse leaves any sticky residue if you are mindful about how much you need, obviously if you overdo it, you're gonna have a crunchy, sticky head of hair. I find it incredibly light and the claims of double lift definitely have some grounding to them. Even when I slept on my hair, I found the next day if I just ran my hand through near the roots, the lift was still there.

You can find Boost It Mousse HERE

Lock It!!

I think I've found Mr Right and he's actually a can of hairspray!! I picked this up in the strongest hold, number 5 - Ultra Strong, and it's incredible. It's not crunchy or crispy in the slightest and yet it holds my hair incredibly. It's also not offensive with it's scent, a point which I'd like to make because my beloved Elnette has an overpowering whiff by comparison.

I mess my hair a little, spray a little, and repeat until my hair is where I want it. It's honestly that easy. It's also worth mentioning that I haven't noticed a build up or any kind of residue, which is incredible because I was my hair every other day.

You can find Lock It Hairspray HERE

Have you tried any of the Loreal Studio Pro range?

Amy
xx

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Collective Beauty Haul

Budget beauty is my one weakness. I cannot fault a great product at a great price point that does a great job, and who would?! Some of the best brands have tiny price tags, and today, my picks have both of those attributes in spades.



Face packs are a weakness of mine, and some of my favorites are the Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven Mud range. I'm a huge fan of the Blemish Mud, which has been a firm favorite for almost a year, but I have never tried the Dead Sea Mud Pac, so I'm excited to see how it goes. For those of you who are Vegan and Cruelty Free, these masks are perfect for you! €1.80 a piece in Dunnes Stores nationwide!





Wet N Wild are a brand I've loved since they hit Irish shores, and since I attended the launch party last year, I had been eyeballing the MegaLast lipstick in the shade 24 Carrot Gold, a stunning orange shade. I have always been hesitant to try an orange lip, because it's quite a statement, and unlike a red lip, it's not terribly common. I bit the bullet, and for €2.99, it's a minor investment. When I try it, I will be sure to Instagram it! Also, from Wet N Wild I bought yet another nail polish from the MegaLast range in Private Viewing, which is a gorgeous pink nude. I'm super excited to try this polish, and who knows, perhaps I shall start a new love affair. At €2.99 a pop, it's not going to break the bank!

I picked up some bits from the PS Beauty range in Penney's, which is going from strength to strength! First I opted for the PS Matte translucent powder, which looks white in the pan, but is completely without pigment! I'm hoping it will replace my Catrice translucent powder, and at €2.50, if it does, it will be even better value! I also picked up two PS Pro Lip Liner Pens, in 03 Provocative Pink and 04 Midnight Crimson. The pigmentation of the swatches alone has me excited to try them and if they prove worthy, I'll be buying the others - who would blame me for €3.00 each?!

So there you have it, my collective beauty haul. All budget beauty, but who knows, maybe next time I'll pop some high end into the mix! 

Amy 
xx

Twitter // Snapchat: redlips_redhair

Monday, 23 May 2016

Look Luxe For Less!


If there's one thing I love it's a glossy manicure! I was a huge fan of gel nails for a long time, shellac was a love affair for a while, and then I became hooked on regular polish. Nails are one of those details that makes all the difference, if you ask me! With all that said, I am a budget babe at heart, and I pride myself on looking incredible for a tiny price, so read on, and learn how I get an expensive looking manicure for less!




What You Will Need:

  • Penneys PS False Nails,
  • Nail clipper, 
  • Nail file, 
  • Polish,
  • Topcoat,
  • Nail accessories (optional) 


Penneys nails are the backbone of this look, and my favorite are the PS 24 Fashion Nails that you can pick up for €1.50. I go with nude because it's easier to work with but it's all up to you. Fit and glue the right sizes to your natural nail, and then move on to the next step!

Using a nail clippers, clip the sharp tip off the falsie, and file the raw edge off it. The file I like best is the Essence Banana File, which is a double sided file with a rough grit side and a fine grit side. This takes the shape of the nail from claw to almond with ease, and is less than €3.


Next up, paint your nails with the polish of your choice, any color you fancy. Two thin coats are best for maximum pay off. Essence do great polishes, as do Wet N Wild, NYC and Rimmel. If you couldn't tell, I'm a fan of budget brands. For this look, I went with Essence Colour And Go in 113 Do You Speak Love? and NYC In A New York Minute in 002 Full Metal Jacket on the ring finger as an accent.



If you want to apply studs or diamante details, now is the time. Add a small dot of nail glue and apply them for the best possible adhesion. You can pick up nail accessory wheels in most Penneys for €1.50. Then it's topcoat time! I'm a huge fan of the Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat, it's glossy and dries quickly and you can pick it up nationwide for €3.09

To finish the whole process, I apply a dab of Skinfix Hand Repair Cream* and massage it in to leave my hands looking and feeling wonderful.

This manicure looks so lush and expensive, it will prompt compliments from people who will be shocked and delighted when you tell them "Thanks, Penneys finest!!". If you try this mani, do please let me know! 

Amy
xx


Twitter // Snapchat: redips_redhair

*This post contains an iten sent to me for consideration by SkinFix, which I reviewed in a previous post.