Monday, May 30, 2016

5 Things To Do For A Happy + Productive Summer | #HappyIs2016

REST: This may seem like a pretty obvious one but if you've just finished up in college or school for the summer or you're off work for a few weeks, your brain and body need some serious TLC time. Make sure you take the time out to relax whenever you can; using a day off to chill at home and take a breather does wonders for the mind. Put your phone away, lie out in the back garden (if it's sunny) and embrace the fact that you are FREE to unwind (for now). It's great 'to do' things but sometimes the days where you do nothing at all are just as satisfactory and beneficial.

TRAVEL: Again, an obvious one to most but summer is the ideal time to travel and go on adventures. It's the perfect way to breakout of your comfort zone to experience new and exciting places. Travelling in between work and college will not only be a form of necessary escapism for you but it'll inevitably open your mind and help you to grow as a person in the long run.

I travelled around Europe last summer and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I can safely say it genuinely made my grow as a person and ignited the flame inside of me that makes me want to see and explore the world. I'm off to New York and L.A in less than 3 weeks on my own - I wouldn't have had the courage to merely book my flights if it wasn't for last summer. Just go for it! Remember: travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

START SOMETHING NEW: Summer is the ideal time to start something new that you've wanted to do or learn for ages but keep putting off. Whether it be blogging or taking up a skill, it's the right time to experiment. Not every hobby requires money or a "school setting" - there's countless tutorials and free courses online, whether you want to learn how to code or learn how to apply gel nails, the world is your oyster when it comes to boosting your talents in the 21st century.

HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS + FAMILY: When life takes hold, sometimes we can become a bit of a recluse and rarely see our friends or family as much as we'd like. It's important to take the time to hang out with friends that you mightn't see often enough or family members that need company. It's sounds cheesy but as I've gotten older, I've realised the importance of arranging to see friends that I might drift from or family members that are getting older.

DISCOVER YOUR CITY: If you don't have the budget to travel or do much during the summer, fret not! Every summer I try and discover new things and places about Dublin that I haven't experienced before. Thoroughly exploring your city and what it has to offer is generally purse-friendly and a really rewarding experience. Whether it be visiting a museum, exhibition or flea market, you'll be thrilled with yourself for getting to know your hometown that little bit more. 

My favourite things to do in Dublin during the summer are attend fairs or markets, check out exhibitions that might come in handy for my upcoming college year and have random wanders around areas that I mightn't be too familiar with. I also love getting the bus out to Glendalough in Wicklow for the ultimate brain-break and mini-getaway; it's an hour away and pure magic.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Summer dressing can be tough - especially if you live in a country that can have days of sunshine and torrential rain the next (Ireland). The key to summer dressing is layering; wearing layers at the beginning and end of the day is necessary when and if it's cooler but having the option to remove them when it warms up is a must. 70's-style dressing is still lingering for another summer, with florals and floaty materials seen in most high-street shops. However, it's more polished this season. 

Instead of dressing head-to-toe 70's groupie (my fave way to dress, mind you) opt for statement pieces like embroidered biker jackers or jeans and team them with simpler, classic items. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

OOTD feat. Dolcis & ASOS

CLICK TO SHOP: Vintage fringed jacket* - Rokit (similar) | Boyfriend tee - ASOS | Embroidered jeans - ASOS | 'Voletta' sandals* - Dolcis | Hat - Forever 21 (similar)

Photography - Patrick Quinn Byrne


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

San Francisco Trip | #LiveThere with Airbnb

Last month, I was invited over to San Francisco to explore the city and 'live like a local' by the wonderful people over at airbnb. It was my first time EVER in America and to say it was a dream come true, would be a complete and utter understatement. 

The city itself was heavenly; colourful, eccentric, friendly and everything I could have expected it to be and more. I squeezed in a lot of exploring and sight-seeing in the two and a half days I was there, thankfully. I even got the chance to hang out with my friends Sarah Hawkinson, John Michael and Lexi, which I never thought would be a reality - meeting online friends IRL is always amazing! They travelled down from Sacramento and we had an absolute blast.

There were dogs everywhere, rainbow-painted streets and the most gorgeous Mexican food I have ever tasted. I no doubt will return to San Fran and drool over the incredible Addams Family-esque Victorian architecture again. Enjoy my vlog and photos!

Thanks to Erin at airbnb for providing some of the snaps above!

Friday, May 6, 2016

OOTD feat. Dolcis & Dr Denim

CLICK TO SHOP: 'Caden' leather jacket* - Reiss (similar) | Black tee - COS (similar) | Trousers* - Dr Denim | 'Zenia' iridescent sandals* - Dolcis | 'Mia' sunglasses* - Boohoo | Choker - ASOS

Photography - Patrick Quinn Byrne


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Smashbox 'Shape Matters' - Contour for Brow, Face & Eye Palette Review

I remember discovering contouring in mid-2013. Beforehand, I hadn't a clue what it was or how to even go about doing it. After many mess-ups (cue overly-orange stripes going across my face), I eventually found my ideal routine and shades for my super-pale Casper skin and face shape.

Palettes are always a great starting point when it comes to new makeup methods or products; you can trial and test the various shades and textures to see which ones suit you best. Smashbox's 'Shape Matters'* contouring palette is a go-to for your eyebrows, eyes and face alike. 

The range of shades makes it accessible for most skin tones and for use for both 'day' and 'night' looks. The brow shades are perfect for anyone with dark blonde - mid/ dark brown brows and offer a pigmented, yet workable finish. I sprayed setting spray on an angled brush to darken the 'Soft Brown' shade to define the ends of my brows and used the wax to mess them up. (I prefer my brows to look boyish and bushy so tend to use wax to purposely make them look this way. If you prefer yours more polished, it's a fantastic product to neaten hairs and the shape into place too)!

The eye-shadows are a dream, particularly for anyone who loves makeup on the grungy-side like myself! I used 'Vanilla', 'Posh' and 'Aubergine' to create a toned-down, yet dramatic, smoky eye with lots and lots of layering and blending. I completed the look with a felt tip liner on the upper lash line and a soft kohl smudged into my lower lashes to give a cat-eye effect. I opened the eyes up more by applying a mix of 'Highlight' and 'Glow' to my inner tear duct area and brow bone. 

I usually have to go quite light-handed when it comes to contouring, due to my skin tone. Many contour shades can come across too orange and warm on my skin so I tend to use shades on the ashy side to give it a more natural look. The 'Contour' shade in the palette is ideal but quite pigmented so I tapped any excess off of my contour brush before applying and went over the applied product with translucent powder to blend it into my face (cheekbones, forehead and jawline) further.

I'm pretty obsessed with highlighter as it can instantly brighten and wake up a face! I tend to apply a lot of it and love it looking quite "obvious" on areas like my cheekbones and brow bones to lift my chubby-cheeks up. Alike to the eyes, I mixed 'Highlight' and 'Glow' together for that perfect sheen.

The 'Shape Matters' 3-in-1 palette is currently available in all Boots stores for just £40 (approx €51) from April 26th - May 2nd. It's also available on Boots online from April 30th - May 2nd. The palette comes with 16 shades, a double-ended eyeshadow brush and super-cool interactive 'how to' cards that you can use via your phone. It's a brilliant palette for anyone wanting to give contouring a try or for those who want a versatile palette that gives them all of the options in one go.