Sunday, 20 May 2012

Beauty Review: L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes Luminizer Mascara

Ever since I read a fawning review of this mascara back in March I’ve been hankering after it.  But at 16.99 I was reluctant to part with my precious cash. Now, I’m sure you girls who swear by Dior Diorshow and Lancôme Hypnôse Drama mascaras (the big beauty award winners and both priced over 25) are shocked by my miserliness but I’m a staunch beauty on a budget advocate.  I believe we can all look stunning using inexpensive products and a €17 mascara is a little out of my range. However, the good folk at Boots sent me a coupon for 3 off mascara recently (oh how I love that Boots card!) and I was at my nearest L’Oréal counter before you could say ‘beautiful bountiful driving men insane lashes’.

And the verdict? Disappointment. Overall, it’s a decent mascara. The fat plastic wand lifted and defined my lashes and they were noticeably more voluminous. However, L’Oréal’s biggest claim with this mascara is to enhance the colour of your eyes. It’s available in three shades - for blue, brown and green eyes. The mascara goes on black despite the colour in the tube; you can see mine (for blue eyes) appears navy. But L’Oréal fail to deliver - despite examining my eyes intently and ordering friends to stick their faces into mine and get a load of my dazzling baby blues, I, and my suffering friends didn’t see one bit of difference to the colour of my eyes.

My biggest fault with this mascara, however, has to be the flaking. After just one coat and 30 minutes of wear I’m left with little black flakes under my eyes and down my cheeks. This is just unacceptable for a mascara of this price. I’ll be sticking to my Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express mascara, my absolute favourite at the moment.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

How To Create: Earrings Good Enough to Eat!

You know the deal - it's Christmas time, you’re lying on the couch watching bad TV surrounded by half empty tins of Roses, Quality Street and the inevitable box of USA Assorted Biscuits. You wipe your chocolate covered gob with the back of your hand and stare miserably at the carnage. Despite the countless sweet wrappers scattered at your feet, the shortbread crumbs down your best woolly geansaí and the groans from your bloated body you can’t help but yearn for some...Celebrations. Oh yes, to nibble on a sweet velvety Galaxy Truffle. Why is this chocolate so rare or so rare in my house?!

I’m getting distracted...returning to my tale of Christmas indulgence - I vowed to take a stand, a gym membership was too extreme (and possibly life-threatening) so I decided to delve deep into my artistic side and create jewellery out of the vibrant sweet wrappers. Sounds a bit crazy I know but this jewellery is really quirky and unique to you; you can choose your own colours, shape and size. You’re also doing your bit for the environment by recycling.

 You will need- sweet wrappers, a glue gun or superglue, cardboard (a cereal box will do), scissors, earring posts, a pencil/pen.

Earring posts are basically stud earrings with a flat base. You can glue anything onto these babies, they're cheap and easily found in jewellery making supply stores. I bought mine in Beads & Bling on Wellington Quay in Dublin.
Decide what shape and colour (and chocolate brand!) you want. Draw the shapes on the cardboard, you may need a ruler.
Cut out your shapes and place on your chosen sweet wrapper. Trace the shapes with a pen and cut out.
Apply a dot of glue on the card and place the sweet wrapper shape on top, pressing down firmly. Be careful if you're using hot glue, I used the edge of a towel to press down and avoid burnt fingers. When dry, flip your shape over and repeat.

Now your shapes are ready for the earring posts. Check out these hearts I cut out from gold Quality Street foil, be imaginative with your design or alternatively use two different sweet wrappers to create a collage effect. If you want your earrings to be a little more hard-wearing I'd suggest covering in contact book covering before applying the earring posts.

Apply a dot of glue to one side of your shape and place the earring post on top. Hold down for a few seconds and leave to dry.

Ta-da! And here’s some I made earlier - Quality Street green triangles, my favourite (literally!). I feel these earrings have a real 80s vibe as they’re so bold and flashy; I can see them complimenting washed-out denim or a jumpsuit perfectly. They could also add a different dimension to your festival outfit this summer.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Manners Maketh Man (And Woman!) - Vintage Lessons On Etiquette

Some of my most treasured possessions belonged to my Great-Aunt Liz, an elegant lady who lived in New York City for most of her life. They include a 1937 copy of Gone With The Wind, black evening gloves and a book published in 1930 called ‘Good Manners - Reliable Advice on Etiquette Clearly Told’. I often open up this little volume and read the outdated passages for sheer amusement though there are times when I wish I lived in a more courteous era  - preferably where Don Draper look-a-likes roamed the streets doffing their hats  and holding open doors.

However, without getting into a lengthy discussion on impolite modern society I believe manners still matter. I’m not insisting men give up their seats on public transport or you should know which fork to eat your salad with; I’m talking about simple niceties such as introductions. A few months ago I was walking through town with a friend who was stopped by someone she knew. She proceeded to chat animatedly to this person for ten minutes while I stood beside her; no introductions were made and I was shocked by friend’s rudeness. I wasn’t expecting a Bridget Jones  ’introduce people with thoughtful details’ type introduction, ‘here you, this is me mate Eimear’ would have sufficed nicely!

                                                                            ‘Ah Perpetua’

Even more recently I was chatted up at an event by a man who had a friend in tow. It was quite clear that the friend didn’t want to play trusty wingman; he had a surly expression on his face and kept rolling his eyes. I tried to include him in the conversation by asking him a question however all I received in reply was a grunt.  According to my Great-Aunt's book - ‘you can never tell when good manners may mean money, or when some slight slip may spoil your chances in business or your social life'. Well this boorish clown certainly spoiled his friend's chances with me!

Here are some of my favourite pieces from 'Good Manners - Reliable Advice on Etiquette Clearly Told’. Warning: contains rampant sexism (naturally!).

How to introduce:

A mother should never introduce her daughter to a young man by her first name, as this puts them on a too familiar footing, which may prove embarrassing to the young lady.

Table manners:

Toothpicks have gone out of date. It is impolite to pick your teeth. Some people try to cover up the operation with their napkins. This makes matters worse because it calls attention to what is going on. If you must pick your teeth, be excused from the table or retire to another room.

Manners when dancing:

A girl should never dance with her arms around a man’s neck. The man should never hold the girl too tightly. There must always be room enough between them to allow plenty of freedom. “Hugging” while dancing is extremely poor taste.

                                                 Leaving room for that all important 'freedom'

The etiquette of gifts:
A girl should never send a man a gift unless engaged and then only at Christmas and on his birthday. On these occasions it is best not to have the gift too personal. A book or cigarettes is sufficient.

       'A box of smokes for my birthday, oh dearest you shouldn't have. You do spoil me so!'

Manners in public:

A woman should not stop a man on the street, unless of course, she knows him very well. He may be hurrying to some business engagement and she may be delaying him…a fact which, as a gentleman, he cannot tell her.

A man should offer to carry any bundles a woman may be carrying. If the bundles are small, she should decline with thanks. A man loaded down with small bundles looks awkward.

In the office:

Women in business should be ready to start their work the moment they arrive at the office. The habit of many girls arriving just before the opening hour and then spending several minutes powdering, rouging, and so on, it is not fair to the firm. It wastes the time for which they are being paid.
'But with all my stenography completed what else is there to do but catch the eye of that dish in Accounts?'

Ehh ok, maybe living in this day and age isn’t too bad after all! But perhaps bear this in mind from time to time - ‘Treat people as you would like to be treated.  Karma's only a bitch if you are’.