Monday, 30 September 2013

My Life Through A Lense

I thought I would make a little collage of what I have been up to lately. Some of these pictures have already featured on my blog and some are new. I love doing these posts as when I look back on them they bring back good memories. I plan to do the Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge for the month of October. I am forever attempting these challenges and never end up finishing them. Hopefully this month will be different. Are any of you girls planning on doing it? I am hoping to do a post like this once a month on my blog so please let me know if you like these posts.

I went out for a walk on the beach this week with one of my good friend. My mum suggested we go to the local beach as the sunsets lately have been spectacular. Well she wasn't wrong. As you can see from the 6th picture. It was stunning. On the same evening I took the first picture in the collage of my dog Coco covered in sand. She spent the entire time chasing stones on the beach.

The other day when I was in town running some errands and trying my hardest not to spend any money. I passed River Island and I noticed they had 20% off student promotion on. Well it would have been daft not to have a peak in. I ended up purchasing these cute tan boots.

Since finishing college I have a lot more free time so I have been catching up on movies.I recently watched Mud which I thought was OK. But before that I watched Olympus has fallen which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next on my list to watch is Silver Linings Playbook.

Recently I was featured in our national newspaper. It was just a small story highlighting my journey from my undergrad degree to my masters. It was a fun experience and I was honoured to be chosen.

Yet again my pup features. She is just so photogenic. I brought her out to the local woods for a walk and I wanted to get a picture that depicted Autumn for my most recent Autumn tag. Finally with my spare time I have been doing some baking. I made apple turnovers using a Laura Vitale recipe. They were a success so much so my Dad requested I make more during the week.

If you would like to see more photos like this please follow me on Instagram @sparkleinsequins 
Also feel free to leave me your Instagram usernames in the comments. I would love follow some of you.


Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Autumn Tag

Favourite thing about Autumn?
I adore cosy Autumn evenings. When the weather is miserable outside and you are tucked up under a blanket all cosy in front of the fire. That is heaven to me. I also love going for walks in Autumn as everywhere looks beautiful. I took this picture in a woodlands close to my house. It is picturesque this time of year.

Favourite Drink?
Most definitely tea. I am addicted to it and it is a vice that I could never give up. I could easily sacrifice chocolate and chips but not tea. I find nothing relaxes me more than sitting down with a hot cup of tea.

Favourite Scent/Candle?
My favourite candle scents are vanilla and the Yankee candle cranberry and mandarin scent. I burn these throughout the year. I don't have a particular autumn favourite. However, I do love when my mum burns cinnamon as it reminds that Christmas is imminent.

Best Lipstick?
This answer is kind of cheating as I consider the best lipstick to be Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in the shade Boy. You could say this is an Autumn shade but I wear it constantly. It is a "my lips but better" colour and has a beautiful formula.

Go-to moisturiser?
Body or face moisturiser? For body I would definitely say Soap and Glory Daily Smooth. This is super rich which is perfect for the cold weather. For my face I am currently using my regular Oilatum face cream but am on the hunt for a new moisturiser.

Go-to colour for the eyes?
I think I would have to choose golds and browns. As these are pretty autumnal colours. Pretty much any shade from the Urban Decay naked palette.

Favourite music to listen to?
This is a difficult question for me as I am totally uncool when it comes to music. I usually only listen to music when I am in the car. I generally like the most recent stuff on the radio. At the moment I love Miley Cyrus's song Wreaking Ball although the video is a whole different story. I am also enjoying Macklemore Same Love.

Favourite outfits to wear?
Umm this is a difficult one. I am currently stuck in a rut with my clothes. I never know what to wear and I feel like I have hardly any clothes which is not the case. I suppose I would pick a skater dress with booties or failing that skinny jeans and loose fit jumper.

Autumn treat?
This would have to be Nutella hot chocolate. There is something comforting about drinking hot chocolate on cold days and you cant forget the marshmallows on top. Yum!

Favourite place to be?
My favourite place to be would have to be snuggled up in my bedroom at home. I am a real home body and much rather having a night in with a movie than going out on the town.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Current Wants & Needs

Current Wish List

Emma Hardie Amazing Cleansing Balm
I have raved countless times about Caroline Hirons blog. She has transformed my skincare routine. All the products I have bought based upon her recommendations I have adored. This cleansing balm is the next on my list of things to buy after reading loads of positive reviews.

Zara Parka 
When I was in Zara the other day I spotted this beauty of a coat. It is fabulous. The entire inside is lined with this fluffy material that makes it super soft and cosy. Unfortunately this jacket is €130. I can't justify purchasing this as I simply wouldn't get the wear out of it and with the leather sleeves it might go out of fashion in years to come. A girl can still wish tho.

Aldo Abina Trainers
I have a love hate relationship with these wedge type trainers. When I see them on other girls I adore the overall look, but every time I look at them in store I think they are so unattractive. I spotted this pair in Aldo that I am extremely tempted by but I am unsure would I actually wear them? I have just notice they are currently reduced to £56. Now I am even more tempted!

Ren Glycolactic Peel Mask
This is yet another beauty product I am lusting after having read so many amazing reviews online. I have a couple of masks I need to finish before I even think about splurging on this.

Whistles Medium Leather Clutch
I have spotted this purse on a lot of bloggers "what's in my bag" posts and think it is a beautiful little bag. You can wear it as a clutch or simply pop it in your handbag to store bit and pieces. An essential for me.

Beauty Advent Calender
I seen these featured on numerous blogs last year but by the time I got around to purchasing one they were all sold out. This year I am going to be on the ball and purchase one as soon as I see them on sale. I think they are a lovely novelty for the Christmas and it gives you an opportunity to test products that you may usually over look.

Origins GinZing Moisturisers 
As I mentioned before I have recently changed my skincare routine. Although I have yet to change my moisturiser. I am currently using Oilatum which I find great but one of its main ingredients is mineral oil, which is notorious for causing blackheads. For this reason I would like to branch out and try a new moisturiser. I love all the Orgins products that I have tried so I would like to try one of their moisturisers.

Love Listography
I am a true nerd and get joy out of making lists and ticking items off as I complete them. So this little notebook is right up my street. I think I will wait until after Christmas to pick this up as usually this type of stuff is always in the Urban Outfitters sale.

What's on your wish list this Autumn?


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: Bourjois Bronzing Primer

A couple of months ago I spotted this bronzing primer in Boots and thought what the hell are you meant to do with that? After consulting google and finding an abundance of reviews. I decided I needed said product ASAP. I had great intentions of reviewing it whilst it was considered a new product. Well, that didn't happen.

Recently I finished college and I don't start my new job until November so I have plenty of time in the morning to faff with my make-up. Since doing this I have come across a couple of products that have fallen under my radar. Bourjois Bronzing Primer is a prime example.

When I first bought this product I couldn't wait to try it out. I used it as contour and as a primer under my foundation for approximately 1 week then I drifted away from it and reached for my trusty Soliel Tan de Chanel instead. I just found it didn't do much. It also came across slightly orange on my skin when used as a contour if you applied too much but it wasn't very noticeable otherwise. The one thing I  do love about this product is the smell. It smells beautiful.

Lately, whilst I have being experimenting I also rediscovered my lovely Max Factor Miracle Touch foundation. I found that when I apply it I tend to look lifeless as it takes all the natural colour out of my face. I find myself reaching for blush instantly. I decided to try the Bourjois primer under this foundation to see what effect it would have and low and behold it transforms the foundation. I would definitely recommend this primer if you have any foundations that need a lift, but other than that I don't have much use for it.

All in all I would not repurchase this product but I will use the rest of it. Have you tried Bourjois Bronzing Primer? What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Winter Shopping Splurge

Last week I went to Dublin in search for some winter essentials. On the top of my list was a winter coat and black court shoes for work. When I was in Zara I spotted this coat and thought to myself oh that looks like what I am looking for. When I tried it on I fell in love. It is the perfect fit and just hits above my knee. It was €69.95 which I feel is good value as it appears to be very good quality.

My mum was adamant I buy decent shoes for work claiming "you are either in your bed or in your shoes so you need to get good shoes". I spotted these in Aldo for €90.00. It kind of killed me to spend €90.00 on shoes that aren't even pretty but they are real leather and cushioned inside but, they look smart on and elongate my legs.

Next up Primark, I was actually in the dressing room and spotted a girl trying on the above coat and thought it looked cute so I decided to pick it up. It was only €35.00. It is super snugly and the perfect smart/casual piece for the weekends. I also purchased the tea mug, slipper socks and exfoliating foot mask in Primark. I have read rave review about the foot mask so I am excited to try them out. No doubt I will feature a review on them in the future.

The next thing on my list was a new pair of Hollister jeans. I live in these and my old pair were starting to lose their shape so I decided it was time to buy a new pair. It helped that Hollister currently has 20% off jeans so they only cost me €48.00.

Finally when I was browsing through New Look I spotted this pretty skater dress and necklace. I love the colour of the skater dress. These are one of my favourite style of dresses as you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. I couldn't help but pick up two new Real Technique brushes as in Boots at the minute it is buy one get one half price across all beauty ranges. A spending ban has now officially started for me.

Have you splurged on any winter essentials? 


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Empties Post: Vol 5

I better warn you before you start reading this post that it may come across slightly negative. You see, I recently did a major clear out of my beauty products and made a conscious effort to use up products that I had for way too long. The reason I had accumulated these products was that I never felt the need to reach for them as they were never my favourites. I had to be pretty inventive using up these products, as some of them didn't actually suit my facial needs and I had them too long to give them away.

Mac Cleansing Wipes
I am embarrassed to tell you how long ago I purchased these face wipes. I bloody hate them. They leave my face tingly and don't even remove half my make-up. I don't even reach for them when I need a quick fix. I managed to use these up by using them as cleaning wipes. That sums up what I think of them in a nutshell.

Espa Pink And Scalp Mud
This is a product I actually enjoyed using but don't think I would repurchase it. It is a hair and scalp mask that treats both your hair and scalp. I had heard rave reviews that it is fantastic for treating a dry flakey scalp. During times of stress I find that my scalp gets dry and in order to combat this I decided to purchased it. I didn't notice any wonderful benefits from it but it is a lovely luxury product and you feel like you are treating yourself when you use it.

The Body Shop Coconut Milk Body Lotion
I love The Body Shop's moisturisers and regularly purchase the body butters. I adore the scent of coconut, it reminds me of holidays. Unfortunately The Body Shop don't make a body butter in coconut so I decided to try out the lotion. I really don't get on with this and it took me forever to finish the bottle. The spray bottle is a pain in the neck as when you are applying the lotion your hands get slippy so it is a constant struggle to use the spray. Next, the lotion has nothing on the body butters. It is a super runny lotion and I didn't feel it moisturised my skin at all.

Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea Body Lotion
I received this in a swap a while ago and was delighted as I have never tried any Bath and Body Works products. The scent of this is beautiful and it lingers on the skin for ages. I am not convinced that it does a great job moisturising but I did enjoying using it because of the scent.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter
This is one of my all time favourites! I adore this stuff and it appears quite regularly in my empties as I fly through it. I have a review on The Daily Smooth Body Butter here, and to be honest I can't really tell the difference between them. The Daily Smooth may be slightly richer in texture but they are both amazing.

Oilatum Lotion
I suffer from very dry skin and I decided to try this out as I like the Oilatum body cream. The lotion is grand and does the job that it claims to do but I much prefer the richness of a cream. I personally don't find lotion as effective.

Cinique Super Defense
I received this for Christmas over a year ago as I wanted to try out a few products in the Clinque range. Unfortunately Clinque does not agree with my skin. I think my skin is to sensitive for the harshness of the Clinque 3 step system. I found that it irritated my skin and left it red. I finished this by using it as body moisturiser as I didn't want to put it on my face.

Oilatum Face Cream 
I use this cream as my daily moisturiser and have been for years so this is definitely a product I would repurchase. However, I have recently changed up my skincare routine and I am currently on the market for a new moisturiser without mineral oil. Do you have any suggestions? I have dry skin so would like a rich moisturiser.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation True Ivory
Now this is a product that I love and it features regularly in my empties as I have finished yet another bottle. I seem to fly through this foundation. I don't know is it that I am a little heavy handed with it or what but I can't complain it is fairly cheap and a fantastic product. I have a review on it here.

Have you finished any products this month? Were they good or bad?


Monday, 16 September 2013

Updated: What's In My Bag

It has been over a year since I wrote a What's in my bag post so I thought, no time like the present to write an updated version. The main thing that has changed is the handbag itself. I received this navy Longchamps bag for Christmas and I have been using it nearly everyday since. This is very unusual for me as I regularly swap my handbags depending on what I am wearing. The Longchamps bags are fantastic as they are huge and you can carry around half the house with you. It has being my saviour throughout my college year as I had an abundance of folders and books to cart around. 

Anyway, onto the contents, we have the usual suspects, phone, car keys, deodorant and headphones. When I was in college I always had my iPad in my bag as I would use it regularly for my college work. Now that I am finished college I either tote around my iPad or my kindle so I have something to read incase I get held up somewhere. I am an avid list maker. I find it much easier to organise myself when I write everything down so for that reason you will always find a notebook and a biro in my bag. The current pink dragonfly notebook I am using is from WHSmith. 

My wallet is from Michael Kors. I received it for my birthday this year and I love it. You know sometimes with wallets you actually have to put them to the test to see whether they are suitable or not. I have purchased purses in the past and my cards don't fit in snugly or they won't close when you have more than €4 coin in them. Well, this one is perfect, there is loads of room for all your cards and two slots for notes and even a separate coin purse that you can slide out if you don't want to take the entire wallet with you. 

I also carry two little make up bags. The cream one with the bow is from Primark and I use it to carry my make up. I usually pop the make up I have applied that morning into it and then I can touch up during the day. The next make up bag is a little SOS bag. I rarely leave the house without this bag. It contains, painkillers, girly essentials, a mini toothbrush/toothpaste, mascara, hair ties and deodorant. I can do a separate post on this to show you everything if you would like to create your own. 

Finally I just have some bits and bobs such as a USB key and two lips glosses, usually there is more than two floating around. 

Are you a fan of large handbags or do you like to stick to small bags to prevent you carrying around so much unnecessary stuff? 


Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Revlon Lipgloss

I picked up these two Revlon lip glosses ages ago and for some reason they got forgotten amongst my makeup. I was shopping my stash the other week and came across them and I have fallen in love with them. I am a fan of the Mac creme sheen glosses and these are very comparable but are much more pigmented. They feel beautiful and smooth on the lips and don't leave a sticky residue. They also have good staying power. I am hoping to pop into Boots during the week and see what other shades they have on offer. These most definitely get a thumbs up from me.

Have you tried Revlon lip glosses? What do you think of them?


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

August Favourites

It's been quite a while since I have compiled a favourites list. Sometimes when the end of the month comes around, I find I am using the same items as the previous month so it is pointless to blog about them again. Hence, why my favourite posts are so sporadic.

Nars Sheer Glow
I switch up my foundation depending on how my skin is behaving. If I need a pick me up I tend to reach for my Nars Sheer Glow. I don't particularly like how this foundation applies on my skin, sometimes I find it sits on my face rather than blends in but when I wear it I always receive so many compliments about how flawless my skin looks. So this will always remain a firm favourite of mine.

Revlon Lipgloss 
I have had these glosses for ages now and for some reason they got lost in my collection. I don't know at the time did I not feel comfortable embracing bright colours or what? Anyway, I rediscovered them recently and I adore them. My next post is a review dedicated to them.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner
I read all about exfoliating toners from Caroline Hirons blog and this was the only one I was able to get my hands on. I am still lusting after the Pixi Glow Tonic as it is a stronger formula but it is gold dust at the moment. Anyway back to the product on hand. I have seen significant changes in my skin since using this in conjunction with my Hydraluron. I find my skin gets extremely irritated when I use harsh scrubs on it so this is the perfect alternative. It has eliminated all my dry patches and evened out my skin tone. For the first couple of weeks I was using this twice a day but now I only use it daily as it gives the same results and honestly I was flying through it and it doesnt come cheap.

I received this for my birthday in July and I adore it. I can't imagine it not being in my skin care routine. If you would like to know my in-depth thought on it I have a review here.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush 
I purchased the Real Techniques core collection when they were first released and fell head over heals in love with them. Since then every time I am in Boots I always have a glance at the single brushes in the range. I usually always talk myself out of buying them as they are fairly pricey in Ireland and I find it difficult to justify adding more brushes to my collection. However recently I took the plunge and boy am I glad I did. I use this as my foundation brush and I love it! It gives me a beautiful flawless finish and I find the shape of it is fantastic for getting into the contours of your face.

I have just finished my studies so I have been throughly enjoying reading some fiction. I adore reading but find when I am in college I just don't have the time to read and when I am concentrating on books throughout the day the last thing I want to do in the evening is more reading regardless of the content. Lately, I have been enjoying catching up on some James Patterson novels. I am going to start Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn now as I have heard loads of rave reviews.

30 Day Shred
I started the 30 days shred back in June but only completed 2 weeks of it as my back was acting up. But even after only 2 weeks I was starting to notice a difference and I was feeling confident in my body. So I have started it up again, but I only started on the 20th of August so hopefully I will keep it up this time around.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Seeing Is Believing

I was an extremely lucky lady recently as, Specsavers contacted me and asked would I like the opportunity to choose a new pair of glasses and in turn feature them on my blog. I jumped at the chance as Specsavers is always my port of call when I need to get my eyes tested and purchase new glasses.

First, let me give you a bit of background on my eyes in order to give you some insight into my glasses situation, excuse the pun. I have needed glasses since the tender age of 12 and every year since then my eyesight has deteriorated so now my eyesight is a whopping -9.25 in both eyes. For those of you not familiar with this terminology it means I am pretty much blind without my glasses. For example if I fall asleep with my glasses beside me and they manage to fall on the ground during the night. I have to call for back up to retrieve them. I am always whinging about how bad my eyesight is but I realise I am blessed that I can just pop on my glasses and have perfect vision.

Specsavers provides an incredible service from using state of the art equipment to test your eyes to having fantastic staff who are there to assist you in picking out your frames. I always rely on the staff's help as they are trained to know what style glasses suit your face shape. I have never being disappointed with a pair I have chosen from Specsavers and I think I could possible be on my 10th pair. On my last visit I had a lovely girl called Rachel assisting me and she even offered to take pictures of me on my phone wearing different styles of glasses. I struggle to see myself in the mirror when trying on new glasses without my prescription. Yes, I am that bad! So I really appreciated Rachel's help. I will be wearing these frames everyday for a year so I want to make sure I love them. People always question why I choose glasses rather than contact lenses. I have contact lenses and wear them on occasion for sports but I feel because I have worn glasses for years they are apart of my style and I would feel self conscious without them.

I choose a Specsavers own brand pair in the style "Dion" as I want to opt for the trendy darker frame look. I love the large nerd glasses you can buy but I don't think they are practical when I wear my glasses 24/7. It was a toss up between this pair and Armani pair both were pretty similar but I loved the little diamonds on the top of these glasses and as I am pretty small in stature most people will notice them on my glasses. I have never owned a plastic frame before and I feel like I have been missing out. They are so light and comfortable. These frames only cost €129 which is a bargain. Unfortunately as my eyesight is so bad my lenses end up on the pricey side. They need to be thinned down so it doesn't look like I am sporting coke bottles as lenses. I have to give Specsavers massive credit on reducing their prices as my lenses now only cost €130 in previous years I have had to fork out €270 alone for the lenses which works out fairly pricey when you need new lenses annually.

I have had these frames for about a month now and love them. I find with plastic frame it is much easier to remove make up from them and I forget I am wearing them as they are so comfortable. I think this style of frame will suit all my new office clothing. You can see in all my most recent blog pictures that I am sporting these frames and they suit all my OOTD's.

Do you have glasses? What is your favourite style of frames?


Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Princess Diaries 2

In June last year I published a post called The Princess Diaries. The pictures in the post were taken on the day I received the news that I had achieved first class honours in my accounting degree. Well, last Tuesday I received the news that I passed my Master of Accounting. I thought it was only fitting to create a similar photo of me jumping for joy in front of a spectuclar castle.

The last year has been the most difficult in my entire life and I burst into tears the moment I got my results. I honestly never thought I would see the day. I am incredibly proud of myself for sticking at it and passing the year as I had quite a few struggles to contend over the year. I have learnt that if you want something enough and are prepared to work hard it is always achievable.

I am wearing a pair of Eden navy jeggings from Dorothy Perkins. I purchased these recently in the sale. They only cost me €18 with my student discount. They are the most comfortable trousers I own and I am definitely going to purchase more in other colours. The only draw back with the navy ones is that every piece of fluff sticks to them. The top is from Next also purchased in the sale. I have worn this so much lately. It is smart but very comfortable and I love the little bows detail on the back.  Finally the shoes are from H&M. I love these shoes so much they have an entire post dedicated to them here.

Now that I am finished college and all the stressing is over and done with, I hope to get back into regular blogging. I have loads of reviews lined up as I have splurged on a couple of beauty products lately.

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