Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Wardrobe Shake-Up: What I Wore Saturday Night

Something old,

Nothing new,

Something borrowed,

The rent is due.

Bills, bills, bills. Being an independent lady comes at a price. On Saturday, I stood glumly before my wardrobe looking for something to wear out. Yes, the old adage ‘I've nothing to wear’ did pop into my head! However, as I couldn't afford to buy something new (and I haven't for quite some time) I had to be inventive and give some old pieces of clothing a new lease of life.

If we're honest with ourselves we’ll admit our wardrobes are crammed full of clothes. Long-forgotten, once loved, and even unworn clothes. A wardrobe shake-up, where you create new outfits from clothes you already have, will not only de-clutter your closet but it will save you a packet and help you see your clothes in a new light.  And of course any unwanted items can be given to your local charity shop.

I rediscovered these high waisted bouclé shorts that I bought last spring. I put them with an old jumper, new-ish shoes and borrowed the headscarf from my sister.

Shorts – Asos

Jumper – H&M

Shoes – Asos

Scarf  - Shotsy Vintage

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Beauty Review: Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

Toothy Tabs aren’t new to Lush. The ethical cosmetic brand invented their solid toothpaste tablets in 2011, in response to the tons of non-recyclable toothpaste tubes being dumped every year. Toothy tabs’ main ingredient is sodium bicarbonate, which is a natural cleanser and whitening agent. There are six flavours available, each containing different essential oils and spices.

I went for Sparkle which is the whitening Toothy Tab. Sparkle is flavoured with lemon oil, grapefruit oil and black pepper. The black pepper is the most distinct flavour and it has quite a kick to it, it left my mouth feeling really fresh. The taste does take some getting used to, mint being the flavour we associate with toothpaste. The tabs are a doddle to use. You just place one between your teeth, nibble it to break it up and then start brushing with a wet toothbrush. The chalkiness of the tab feels a little bit odd at first and it doesn't foam as much as regular toothpaste. However, after just one use my teeth were left with a professional polish type feel. Yes, squeaky clean! They also looked noticeably brighter. After using Sparkle Toothy Tabs for a number of weeks, I didn't see a huge increase in whiteness which led me to conclude that they’re more of a quick fix. Perfect to use before a date or a big event for added dazzle.

Toothy Tabs get a big thumbs up from me. Teeth look and feel cleaner (they've undergone dental trials and are proven to work just as well, or even better, than regular toothpaste), the packaging is 100% recyclable, they’re relatively inexpensive - for €3.10 you get 40 tabs and they’re much easier to transport than a tube of toothpaste.

If lemon and black pepper isn't your thing, Lush have two mint flavoured Toothy Tabs. Dirty contains spearmint oil while Ultrablast contains peppermint oil.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

My Brow Routine

When it comes to eyebrows, big is proving to be beautiful. The power brow trend is showing no signs of going anywhere, which is great news if you have, like me, naturally thick eyebrows. Brows are a touchy subject for many women. We've all been a bit too enthusiastic with the tweezers or heavy-handed with the eyebrow pencil. I aggressively tackled my bushy brows for the first time at the age of 16 and came away with sad stubby eyebrows. I literally tweezed half of them off and they still haven't grown back fully. 

Personally, I recommend threading over any other form of brow shaping. I've only had my eyebrows threaded once, in Threads Brow Bar in House of Fraser, but I've been able to maintain the shape and that was almost two years ago! Below is my current brow routine, it takes about 3 minutes.


1. After applying foundation, I brush through my eyebrows using a brow brush.
2. Next I brush a light sweeping of pressed powder over my brows to absorb any excess oil from my moisturiser/foundation. I find this increases the longevity of the eyebrow pencil.

3. Using an eyebrow pencil, my favourite is Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 004 Black/Brown, I begin to define the highest point of my brow using light strokes. Starting at the highest point helps to determine the shape of the rest of the brow. It also makes the brow appear bolder. I prefer using pencil over powder as it’s quicker to apply and creates a more intense look.

4. When my brows are fully filled in, I use a cotton bud to gently soften any lines. I then brush through them using brow gel. My current favourite is by Essence.

Don’t worry if your brows aren't totally symmetrical. Remember eyebrows are sisters, not twins!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Ladies Day At The Dublin Horse Show

Glorious sunshine, bustling crowds, dazzling hats, pomp and pageantry

 There was something incredibly naughty about taking the day off work to drink wine (and eat chips!) in the stately old grounds of the RDS. I highly recommend it!  
I wore a mix of high-street and vintage. I bought the hat at a vintage fair last November and this was my first time wearing it. I adore this head-hugging style of hat, called a skull cap or a close hat, which was popular in the early to mid-1950s. The gloves I found in my parents’ attic in January during a New Year clear-out. They belonged to my Great-Aunt Liz and I’m guessing they’re from the 1950s due to their flared shape, which was called gauntlet style. I’ve inherited some of Liz’s beautiful belongings which I talked about in this post
Dress – Asos
Hat – 1950s Jacoll from Granny’s Attic Vintage in Newry
Bag – A birthday present from a friend
Shoes – Asos
Gloves – Vintage (circa 1950s)
 I thought I was the epitome of recession chic with my outfit costing less than €90 but my gorgeous friend Cynthia of The Irish Cyndependent (check it out here) is the queen of thrifty treasure hunting. Her striking yellow wool and lace dress, yellow hat and red accessories cost less than €21!
Dress – George at Asda
Hat – Charity shop
Shoes – Chairty shop

All photos kindly taken by Cynthia