What’s In My Carry On Bag

This morning I came home from my two week holiday in Crete. I’d such an incredible time and (mostly) stayed away from everything WhatSheDoesNow related. Before I went away I published a “What’s In My Carry On Bag” video on YouTube that I didn’t promote anywhere, so it pretty much went unseen. Oops.

Here’s everything that I felt was necessary for a 4.5 hour flight, when I mostly just ended up playing Fruit Ninja on my iPad. Oh well! I hope you enjoy <3 x

Life Lately

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all deep in this post. I just thought I’d write a little update about what I’ve been up to lately and any blog news.

Food & Fitness – The past few weeks, as I said in my post about Get The Glow and Deliciously Ella, I’ve really been trying my best to not only eat healthily, but to fuel my body and give it all of the energy it needs. I’m always tired and I really believe in how food affects your mood and mind, so I’ve been trying to eat things that will make me feel good. To do that, I’ve been using my Nutribullet like a mad woman to make smoothies, healthy brownies, pancakes, protein balls and soups. I plan on doing a post all about my favourite recipes, so stay tuned for that!

I’ve also been trying my best to go to the gym a few times a week, whether it be for a class or to go on the cross trainer and do a (very little) bit of weights. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my attitude to food and exercise, and think I’m all the better for it! I always thought it was a myth, but most of the time when I eat refined sugar now I get massive headaches. Because of that, I eat less of it and instead of heading for the biscuit press I’ve been going towards healthier treats.

Holidays – I’m not gonna lie, my health kick was also pretty much inspired by the fact that I’m heading on my holidays on Sunday (finally!). We booked our holiday back in January, so to say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m pretty much packed and I’m more than ready to go at this stage! I don’t care how many sugar headaches I get, there’ll be Cosmopolitan and Pina Coladas galore once we get over there!

Blog & YouTube – When I’m away, I won’t be putting up blog posts or YouTube videos. Every other time I’ve gone on holiday I’ve scheduled posts, but this time I just really want to relax when I’m away and not worry about statistics and promoting content – I hope you guys understand! Saying that, I’ll still be on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, all linked below.

I attended the launch party for a new brand to Ireland, Flormar, on Wednesday. It was such a brilliant event run by Rachel Dalton Communications, where there was Prosecco, roses, candles and canapés all round. I was hugely impressed by every Flormar product that I saw and tried, and was lucky enough to get to try out a few of the products at home. I’m already bringing them all on holidays with me, so expect a full post when I get home!

I also got the amazing opportunity to be featured on campus.ieI talked all about blogging, beauty and motivation –  pop over and have a read!

Aaaaand breathe! So much for a “little update” – oops! I hope you guys enjoyed my ramble and an insight into what I’ve been doing lately. My YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram links are all at the bottom of this post, so be sure to keep in touch with me there! See you all in two weeks! <3

YouTube // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter 

Tips For Taking Blog/Instagram Photos

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Considering that tip/informative posts are some of my favourite posts to read, I don’t do them myself nearly as much as I’d like to! After my friend asked for some tips about taking blog photos, I thought I’d share them with you guys here!

Taking photos is one of my favourite things to do, whether it be for my blog, Instagram or whether I’m just out and about. For all of my recent blog photos, I’ve used the Canon 1200D which is such a good, user-friendly camera! Saying that, up until Christmas last year I used my iPhone to take pictures, and it did me well! I still use my iPhone to take my Instagram photos. I don’t think there’s a need to buy an expensive camera just to take pictures, unless it’s something you’re really passionate about, your phone can do so much!

Ramble over – here are my Instagram/blog photo tips!

  1. Make sure your lens is clean – This is such a simple one but so many times has a good photo been ruined for me because I had makeup/grime all over my iPhone lens! Make sure you give it a good wipe with a tissue or some cloth and you’ll be amazed at how much better the quality is. Saying that, don’t go wiping a DSLR camera lens, you could ruin it! If you think there’s something on the lens take it to a camera shop, don’t do it yourself.
  2. Know your camera – Whether it’s an iPhone or a DSLR, know your camera and its settings. I like my photos being quite bright so when I’m using my phone, I tap the screen and hold down the “sun” icon that comes up to make the photo brighter. Using my camera, I adjust the ISO levels so my photo comes across bright and clear.
  3. Use the light – As I said, bright, light photos are my favourite! I wander around the house and set up in the brightest spot I can find, usually under a window. Adjust your blinds so as much light as possible comes into the room.
  4. Be creative with your backgrounds – Literally anything can be used as a background for a blog photo. Magazines, newspapers, wrapping paper, books, laptop keyboards, blankets, rugs… the list goes on! I love adding flowers in the background of my posts, and for a plain white background I just use a sheet of A4 paper from my printer.
  5. Play around with it – Try different angles/layouts until you’re happy with what you see. Put things lying down, standing up, close together, spread out – there are endless combinations. It’s always either my first or last photo that I end up choosing!
  6. Personalise it – If you have a cooking blog, add in some crumbs, utensils or cookbooks to add character and that “lived in” feel. For makeup posts, brushes, smudges of lipstick etc always look great.
  7. Take inspiration – Don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge difference between inspiration and actually copying someone’s work, but having a quick browse on Pinterest/Instagram always leaves me feeling inspired.
  8. Try not to over think it – Despite everything I just said, try not to over think it! Taking and creating photos should be fun! Sometimes it’s the simplest photos that look best – just go with your gut!

I hope that these tips might be of some help to other photo-lovers out there! They’re just what I’ve learned from experience and what I like to do, there are no rules when it comes to photography!

If you have any tips for taking photos, please leave them in the comments below – I’d love to hear! x

Summer Tan In A Bottle

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Anyone else who was born without the ability to tan naturally will understand how frustrating it is having to wear false tan any time you want a nice glow. Sitting in the sun for three hours, nope. Taking vitamins that are supposed to help you tan, nope. Nothing works and I just end up frustrated and feeling paler than before.

I love pale skin, but 9 times out of 10 I’ll feel better and more confident with a tan. We all know the extreme dangers of sun tanning, so I’m not sure I’d even let myself tan if I could because of the effect it has on the skin.

After years of dodgy streaks and Oompa-Loompa resemblances, I’ve finally found a few products that would trick anyone into thinking I’d picked up a natural tan. Little do they know…

Last week the sun reared its head unexpectedly in Ireland and I was totally unprepared to wear anything other than jeans. I decided I’d bare my legs and make the most of the weather, but I was as pale as the screen this writing is on. I rooted out He-Shi Gold Foaming Mousse in Medium from the back of my stash and straight away I had a gorgeous, bronze glow.

Instant tanners have never been my thing, but this one has changed the game. It sinks in straight away, isn’t sticky and gives a lovely colour that develops more throughout the day. After 10 minutes of drying, it didn’t rub off onto my clothes and I was so impressed with the results. There was a very slight tan smell, but it’s nothing that couldn’t be covered with a spritz of perfume. Unlike a lot of other instant tans, it didn’t come across as dirty, mucky or green looking (thank God). The mousse is really easy to apply and sits evenly on the skin.

With my holidays coming up next week I’ll be layering this on for two days before we go to give a nice deep colour. No one will know whether I’m heading on holidays or just coming back with this one.

Colab vs Batiste Dry Shampoo – The Verdict

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If you were to ask me my one beauty essential, I should probably say moisturiser or something like that, but in all honesty it’s dry shampoo. I constantly have a bottle on standby and I go through more of these than I’d like to admit. For years I’ve used Batiste dry shampoo, but when the Colab version came on to the market I had to give it a try. They’re two products that claim to do the same thing, but for me they’re very different. Here’s the verdict:

Batiste: 

  • Leaves a white powder in your hair (fine for blondes, but not so much for brunettes)
  • A little goes a long way
  • Absorbs grease (lovely) quickly
  • Gives good volume and texture to the hair…
  • …but also leaves a powdery residue that’ll end up on black jeans if you rub your hair throughout the day
  • No lingering scent throughout the day
  • Hair feels refreshed and texturised after use

Colab:

  • No noticeable colour/powder upon application
  • Nearly twice as much is needed to absorb grease
  • Great for an instant hair refresh, not so much for pro-longing washing your hair
  • Gives good volume and texture to the hair
  • No powdery residue after application
  • Really nice scent (I use Tokyo) that you can smell all day long

The verdict: 

If you’re looking for something to hide the fact that you should have washed your hair, Batiste is the way to go. If you want to refresh your hair, give it a bit of volume and texture, but not so much absorb grease, Colab is your answer. If it’s simply a texturising spray you’re looking for, not a dry shampoo, V05 Give Me Texture is my favourite.

Have you tried either of these products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! x

 

What I’ve Been Loving | June

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While I’m not glad to say goodbye to June (it’s my birthday month), I was so excited for July to come. This month I’m finally heading on my holidays and I cannot wait. We booked our holiday at the beginning of January and I thought July would never come, but here it is!

In preparation for my holidays, this month I really tried to look after my skin and what I ate. That’s not to say that I didn’t consume a few pizzas and treats, but now I feel like I can prepare healthy foods and treats for myself so I don’t go off track during the week.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I’ve been loving Get The Glow and Deliciously Ella, which I think are my two ultimate favourites of the month. At the start of every week I’ve been making soup, healthy chocolate treats and some kind of guilt free cookie or bar, which stops me from heading for the biscuit press every evening.

To look after my skin and prevent myself from looking half human half lizard when I step into the sun, I’ve been loving using Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub. This was recommended to me by my friend Jen and as soon as I smelt how gorgeous it was it went straight into my basket. It contains brown sugar, lime and almond oil, all of which exfoliate, freshen and smooth the skin. I use it before I get in the shower so the water doesn’t wash away half of the product before it even reaches my leg, as I find that dry exfoliating is much more effective. This gets every last trace of false tan off my body and  leaves everything looking and feeling soft!

After exfoliating, I’ve been slathering my body in Green Angel Argan Body Oil, which I got at the Irish Beauty Blog Awards. I’ve such dry legs and this oil is amazing as restoring moisture and making them feel soft. It smells gorgeous and doesn’t take long to soak in, which I love.

As for lips, Wet n Wild Bare It All lipstick and Clarins 05 Instant Light Lip Perfector have been my favourite combination of the month. Bare It All is an amazing dupe for MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Bare Again (my all time favourite lipstick), a gorgeous pink-nude, and the Lip Perfector is the nicest lipgloss I’ve ever tried. It’s non-sticky but gives a really nice sheen to the lips.

Years ago I used to be crazy about wearing earrings, but now I only ever wear them for special occasions or when I remember. That’s until I picked up these gorgeous earrings from Topshop for my uncle’s wedding and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. They’re so unusual because of the detail that comes from the back and they add something extra to a simple outfit.

My favourite scent of the month has been So…? Kiss MeI used to wear these fragrances years ago and it’s such a blast from the past to wear them again. I’m not very good at describing scents, but it’s fruity, floraly and sweet – which I love. The spray is so easy to carry around in my bag and the scent stays on my clothes all day.

I’ve spoken about my love for lace up shoes before, and these flats from Office are the newest in my collection. I’d been lusting after them for months when my boyfriend got them for me for my birthday, and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. They were a little uncomfortable at first but I’ve broken them in and now I can’t stop wearing them! They go with everything and are a nice addition to my usual jeans and tee uniform.

I hope that June was a wonderful month for everyone, and that July is even better! We’re in to the second half of 2015 now, so look back over your resolutions and make sure you give the rest of 2015 everything you have! x

Two Summer Bases

summer makeupNo matter what season, no matter how hot it is outside, whenever I wear makeup it’s always full coverage. Thanks to some pesky blemishes and redness, that’s always the case for me, although they don’t stop me from going makeup free when I feel like it.

For days that it’s too warm to wear a foundation, I always opt for a BB cream or tinted moisturiser instead.

I picked up Garnier BB cream for combination to oily skin a few weeks ago and I love it. My skin isn’t very oily, but buying a BB cream during the summer for oily skin is a good idea as it’s likely that your skin will be oilier because of the heat. The formula is quite liquid-y, but it isn’t very runny. (Does my great use of descriptive words give away that I’m studying journalism? Jokes!) It gives medium coverage with one application and is buildable, so I usually apply one layer, then another on top of my problem areas for better coverage. There’s no SPF in the formula, so be sure to put some suncream on underneath if you’re heading out into the sun! With a small bit of powder on top, the BB cream lasts nearly all day without any touch ups. It wears off evenly and doesn’t cling to any dry patches. I use the shade “light” and it’s a pretty good match.

On the high-end side of the scale is NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. Tinted moisturisers are great because you can build as much or as little coverage as you like. One layer and another on my problem areas (the same as the BB cream) usually does it for me. I love the finish of this tinted moisturiser – it leaves your skin looking fresh and awake, even if you don’t feel it! I use the shade “Finland” and it’s perfect, I just add some bronzer on top when I’ve false tan on! The fact that this tinted moisturiser has SPF 30 in it gives it a slight advantage over the BB cream for me as it saves you that extra step!

Both products are great choices for a summer base as they not only provide coverage but they also hydrate and treat the skin. I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply for a flawless finish and add a little bit of MAC Studio Finish concealer where I need it.

I don’t think I’ll be throwing away my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation anytime soon, but these two beauties are firm contenders for the summer months!

What’s your favourite summer base?

GIVEAWAY! – Thomas Sabo Karma Beads Shopper

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Long time, no giveaway – am I right?! Thanks to the lovely ladies at Revolve PR, I’m giving away one of these gorgeous Thomas Sabo Karma Beads Shopper bags!

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m all about positivity and karma – so this bag suits WhatSheDoesNow so much! Perfect for travelling, shopping or day-to-day use, this bag will take you wherever you want to go!

To be in with a chance to win this gorgeous Thomas Sabo bag worth €98, simply:

1. Subscribe to whatshedoesnow.com via email on the side of this page (be sure to confirm your subscription after you subscribe!)>>>>>

2. Comment your favourite inspirational quote on this post, along with your email address!

The closing date is Monday 13th July, so get entering!

Good luck! <3 xx

 

Healthy Eating Made Easy

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After hearing about Get The Glow and Deliciously Ella nearly everywhere I went for a solid two weeks, I finally decided to add the books to my Amazon basket and make an order. It was near impossible to go on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube without someone mentioning either of the books, so I knew I had to give them a try.

I try my best to eat relatively healthy as it is (although I’m partial to an M&S cookie… or five) but no matter what I’m always sniffling with a cold and am ready to hit the hay by 6pm. Unlike a lot of other “health” cookbooks, Ella and Madeline encourage and promote foods that nourish and feed your body and soul – which is exactly what I need.

I was sceptical of both books at first, presuming they’d tell me that I need a specific grain that can only be found in the Alps between 12pm and 3pm when the sun is at a specific point in the sky, but nearly all of the ingredients in both books are easily accessible and relatively cheap. I did have to go to my local health food store to get tahini, almond butter and coconut oil, but a lot of supermarkets stock these products nowadays.

I stocked up on nuts, quinoa, fruits and veggies and throughout the past few weeks have tried several recipes which I’ve loved. My NutriBullet is so handy to use for the recipes as it can chop nuts and blend everything together easily. I tried Ella’s Simple Oat Cookies which actually were simple to make and enjoyed snacking on them all week long. I’m going to add dark chocolate chips to them next time, though. A gal’s gotta have some chocolate in her life.

I also tried Madeline’s Quinoa Bread, which I was so excited to make. However, there was an error in the recipe that wasn’t corrected, so when I used quinoa instead of quinoa flakes to make the bread the whole thing fell apart and had to be thrown into the bin. I wasn’t too impressed at the waste of money, time and ingredients but I read that using quinoa flakes is totally worth it, so I’m going to give that a try.

My ultimate favourite recipe that I’ve tried so far is Madeline’s Raw Chocolate Brownies. The recipe calls for medjool dates, which can be quite expensive, so I used regular dates and the recipe turned out perfectly. The brownies were soft, gooey, chocolatey and sweet and stopped me from craving chocolate all week long.

Both books are full of information and are really interesting and beneficial to read. Get The Glow includes a six week programme and the recipes are divided into breakfast, snacks etc. Deliciously Ella is divided into fruit, vegetables, grains etc, which makes it harder to browse for specific meals, but I just use sticky notes to mark the pages that I like so they’re easy to find.

So, if you’re looking to try out a few new healthy recipes or to find out more information about different foods and what they do to your body, I’d really recommend picking both books up. They compliment each other really well and although they both promote the same thing, both books are quite different.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any recipes from the books or blogs, or if you have any healthy-treats suggestions! x

Vichy Aqualia Thermale Serum Video!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by one of the biggest skincare brands in the world, Vichy, to film a review of one of my favourite skincare products, Aqualia Thermale serum.

The finished video went live today, and I just couldn’t believe I was seeing myself being associated with such an amazing brand!

I meant every word I said in the video – I absolutely adore this product and would recommend it to anyone! It has become an essential part of my skincare routine and leaves my skin hydrated like nothing else I’ve ever used. It doesn’t leave your skin sticky or leave a film on the skin, it sinks in straight away and leaves your skin feeling smooth and plump!

Pop over and give the video a watch if you’d like to see it :)

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more beauty videos!