The Festive Red Lip

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If there’s any time of year to wear a red lip, it’s Christmas! I’m not much of a bold lip-wearer, but at Christmas everything changes. A red lip is the norm, and I feel almost naked without it.

The upkeep of a bold lip is what turns me off the most, so whenever I wear one I always make sure it’s long-lasting, won’t smear all over my face and is easy to reapply if needed.

I’ve established a three-step formula to cover all of these areas, and tested them to ensure they’re food-and-drink proof!!

1. Lip Liner - Before Kylie Jenner said lip liner was the secret to her suddenly full pout, beauty gurus were using them to prep bold lips. I use NYX Lip Liner in Hot Red to outline my lips and fill them in, which makes the colour last longer and makes your lips look fuller.

2. The Lipstick - Although matte lipsticks tend to stain your lips and make the colour last longer, my lips are quite dry so I need something creamy and moisturising. MAC Red is my go-to red. It’s not at all drying, yet isn’t shiny or glossy. It’s really pigmented and easy to apply as well – what more do you need?!

3. The Gloss - A gloss isn’t always associated with a red lip, but I think glosses are great to use to top up bold lip colours. The doe-foot applicator of NYX Xtreme Lip Cream  in Spicy, as well as the smooth, creamy formula makes it easy enough to apply without a mirror.  Whereas you need to sit down and apply a bold lipstick in a mirror to make sure it doesn’t go all over your face, there isn’t that problem with a gloss.

I’ve read for ages that a bold lip gives you great confidence, but I always thought it would just make me conscious of having it on my teeth for the entire time I was wearing it. Since wearing this combo a few times over the past few weeks, I’ve totally changed my mind and seen the true power of a red lip!

If you’ve ever wanted to wear a red lipstick, but haven’t had the confidence, now is the time to try it out! You won’t regret it!

 

 

Melanie Murphy Interview: The Irish Girl Taking YouTube By Storm

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I recently had an assignment in college (I’m studying journalism) to interview someone who has an interesting lifestyle or career, which led me to interview the lovely Melanie Murphy, who has an amazing channel on YouTube. I thought I’d share what I wrote with you as Melanie gave such interesting and inspiring answers!

Visit Melanie’s channel here – PS: Prepare plenty of tea and biscuits, you won’t be able to stop watching her videos! 

‘Hey guys and dolls’, Melanie Murphy chirps, her voice happy and enthusiastic. This is how the YouTube sensation, who has received over 11 million views since she started her channel in March 2013, starts the majority of her videos. It’s hard not to smile along with her as she talks about makeup, skincare, health, as well as countless other things.

The 25 year-old has sky rocketed to success in the last year thanks to her YouTube channel. ‘I can’t describe what it’s like to go from being a relatively shy girl with a very ordinary life, to collaborating with Buzzfeed, Channel 4, RTE, TV3 and YouTube megastars like Michelle Phan. Every single day I get a new opportunity’.

Melanie’s video on how to cover acne and scars has been viewed over 6.5 million times since it was published last year, taking her channel from a hobby to a full-time career.

It would be easy to think that this bubbly young woman has always been full of confidence, but it was her lack of confidence that encouraged her to start a YouTube channel.

‘As a teenager I was fairly shy and self-conscious… I became depressed, overweight and developed anxiety issues. By nineteen I felt like I’d been sucked into a black hole that I’d never escape from. Then I found YouTube!’

‘I started to watch people who were really confident and positive, and they gave me back that drive I was missing to make a change in my life.’

‘I always wanted to be ‘the confident girl’ and I never was. So I thought, I’ll fake it until I make it.’

After completing a post Leaving Certificate course, Melanie studied Education and Training in DCU, graduating with a first. ‘Since graduating, I’ve been working full-time online and am totally self-employed now, doing something that I love. Living a dream that I never had, because there was no YouTube a few years ago!’

What makes Melanie stand out from other YouTubers is her openness to discussing topics that others would avoid or pretend don’t exist. Acne, scarring, eating disorders and confidence issues are just some of the things she discusses freely with her viewers.

‘I’m so open about my flaws, and being a regular human being, something that many YouTubers hide away. I want to be as ‘myself’ as possible on my channel, but I work hard to present it in a nice way that’ll make people smile.’

‘I’m just a normal girl with a camera and a big dream! I realized that anybody can build a platform for themselves and with that comes huge opportunities.’

‘I really feel that I’ve been successful because I believed I could be. That self-belief is everything, it makes you do what needs to be done to make your dreams become reality.’

Melanie’s initial struggles with public speaking and confidence have since diminished. ‘When I talk to the camera I imagine one girl, in her room tidying up or getting ready, listening in and glancing every few seconds at the screen … Picturing it like that makes it easier.’

With over 140,000 subscribers, it’s inevitable that not all comments left on Melanie’s videos are positive or constructive. She says, ‘In all honesty I just don’t care about the negativity and the haters. If people don’t get it or don’t like it, so what? Really, so what? I don’t like or get football but that doesn’t mean a footballer should lack confidence around me… I’ve built a pretty unbreakable skin.’

Being a self-employed YouTuber means that Melanie’s days are non-stop. Checking e-mails, keeping up to date on social media, recording, editing and uploading footage, Skype calls to her Canadian-based network or companies looking to collaborate with her are all just part of Melanie’s daily routine.

‘My phone is on the go all day every day, as is my laptop… My office is also my area for relaxation, so cabin fever is unavoidable. But don’t get me wrong, it’s literally the best job in the entire world.’

‘It sounds pretty cliché, but my favourite part about it is making friends and making people feel happier. Some people have told me that my videos helped them at points in life where they’ve felt suicidal… That by watching me be so happy and fulfilled after going through so much, they feel hope. That, to me, is beyond anything I could ever hope to hear from another person.’

With such huge success within a year, things are bound to only go upwards for Melanie. ‘I do vision boards and practice ‘the law of attraction’, it sounds a bit corny but that’s my secret.’

‘We’re so lucky to be living in Ireland and have access to education, the internet. Nothing is off limits, only we can limit ourselves.’

London Haul!

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After what felt like years of saving, I finally got to splash out and spend in London. I can’t remember the last time I really treated myself, so it was amazing to walk into the shops and be able to have a bit of a splurge. The best part is, nearly everything I bought had been on my wish list for months. There’s no better satisfaction than that, am I right?!

Muji Acrylic Makeup Storage - Muji’s prices are insanely high in Dublin, so picking up this two drawer storage set for £10.75 was an absolute bargain. I filled the top drawer with my day-to-day face products, and the bottom with my day-to-day lip and eye products.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation and Harmony Blush - I ran out of this foundation nearly two months ago, and realised as soon as I used it again that there’s a reason I keep repurchasing it. It has really good coverage, and it’s lasting power is incredible. I picked up Harmony blush to use as a contour powder, as I’ve heard so many good things about it and have been trying to get my hands on it since July. After using it a handful of times I can already tell it was worth the wait!

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in East End Snob - Lip liner was one of the biggest makeup rediscoveries of 2014, and this colour is supposed to be an amazing dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. I’ll be sure to report back!

L’Oreal Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara - A girl can never have too many mascaras, right? Again, I fell in love with this one straight away after using it. It really lifts, curls and separates the lashes.

Nike Roshe Runs - The search for these was long (even the Nike store on Oxford Street didn’t have them) but I finally found them in Selfridge’s. I think they’ll look really nice with skinny jeans, comfortable yet stylish.

Real Technique’s Nic’s Picks Set and Powder Brush - Real Technique’s are my favourite brushes, so it was inevitable that I got my hands on this limited edition set. As a powder fiend, I can see this brush becoming a firm favourite.

Tanya Burr Lashes - Superdrug isn’t great in Ireland, so I raided the stands in London for these lashes. I got Date Night and Bambi Eyes lashes, which will definitely be used over the Christmas season!

Topshop Jamie Jeans - Topshop is my favourite brand for jeans, but recently I’ve moved on from Leigh to Jamie. Jamie jeans are much thicker and have a higher rise, which I love. I picked up a black pair and a denim-blue pair after my blue Leigh’s ripped while I was over there!

Brandy Melville tops - We don’t have a Brandy Melville in Ireland, so going there was a priority on my list. Although I don’t agree with their ‘one size fits all’ standard, the clothes are exactly the kind of things I love wearing.

My bank balance is in tatters after all of the spending, but after working and saving hard for months it was so worth it!

A Christmassy Weekend In London ❅

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On Friday morning I boarded a flight to London with my boyfriend, my best friend Jen and her boyfriend. Excited was an understatement. We spent four days there and came back last night and I can honestly say that I’m already mentally planning my next trip over there!

I’d been to London years ago, but this was the first time I got to fully experience it. Jen and I had made a long list of everything we wanted to do and everywhere we wanted to see, and I must say that we did a pretty good job at squeezing it all in! Our friend Gavin lives in London so he was amazing at showing us around and making sure we made the most of the trip.

We stayed in Blakemore Hyde Park Hotel, beside Hyde Park, and I’d really recommend it. The staff were lovely and very accommodating, the rooms were gorgeous and it had a really good location. It was central without being smack bang in the middle of everything.

We did some major shopping over there, hitting Topshop and Selfridges on Oxford Street of course! There’ll be a haul tomorrow of everything I bought. I’d saved for so long so it was great to finally be able to shop! We ate in loads of different restaurants over the four days; The Diner, Chiquito, Pizza Express, Maxwell’s and Wetherspoon’s were the best. Calories don’t count on holiday, okay?!

On Sunday we went to Spittafield’s market, and that was definitely one of my highlights of the holiday. I genuinely ate the best brownie in the world while I was there, I wish I bought some to bring home haha! We did some sightseeing too; Big Ben, the London eye, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace being some. It was great to see everything in real life. We visited Madame Toussaud’s on Monday, although it was a bit expensive (£30 for a ticket) it was definitely worth it.

We visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which was another highlight. In fact, the whole experience was a highlight! If you’re visiting London over Christmas I’d definitely recommend going – there are loads of stalls, rides, bands and an amazing Christmassy vibe!

Although my bank balance is in tatters after the weekend, the experience I had was invaluable! Cheesy I know, but it was such an amazing few days with really amazing people!

Keep an eye out for my haul post which will be up tomorrow!

*Shoutout to Jen for being the most amazing selfie and photograph-taker of the holiday!*

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – Gifts For Yourself/ Wishlist

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As I write this I am currently on the plane to London for the weekend and am fully in the Christmas spirit!

With presents being bought for friends and family all throughout December (and November if you’re very organised!), there’s bound to be a few things that we spot for ourselves or that are on our wish list.

I thought I’d share with you my wish list I’ve built up over the past few weeks, so maybe you could get some inspiration for your own list or for presents.

NARS Lip Cofrett – I’ve had NARS lip pencils on my wish list for a while, and I think this gorgeous set might just be the push I need to finally purchase them! There’s five gorgeous colours, and one is limited edition. Need I say more?

Missguided Shoes – These caged shoes have my name written all over them. They’ll look just as nice with a pair of jeans as they will with a dress – I can see myself wearing these all year round.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Neutral Palette – There’s 28 neutral shades in this palette for €10.95. At that price, buy one for yourself and for your friend!

Instyler – I got my hair styled last week with the Instyler and I absolutely loved it. It gave volume and held a curl like nothing else I’ve ever used, it’s the perfect at-home blow dry!

Makeup Forever HD Foundation – This foundation is made for photographs, television and basically making your skin look (even more) flawless. With my skin acting up at the minute, this is something I could really do with.

Zoeva Rose Gold Brush Set – This is the most beautiful brush set I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying something.

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer – This stuff is apparently better than MAC Soft and Gentle, which I’ve been using for years. That’s one statement I have to test out for myself.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer – I think primers are really good to invest in as no matter how good the foundation you put on your face, if your base isn’t smooth it’ll be useless. The hydrating properties of this one would definitely be beneficial in the colder months too!

Glam Glow Trio - This set includes three face masks, one full size and two (relatively big) minis. Perfect for trying them out and seeing which works best!

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Gift Guide this year, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – Girly Gift Ideas Less Than €20

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As much as I’m sure we’d all love to spend a lot of money on our friends and family at Christmas, the €50 top or €35 lipstick isn’t always possible. Although, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get someone a really good Christmas present. There are loads of things on the market to suit whatever your budget is.

So, I’ve picked out 10 really good (if I may say so myself) presents that won’t cost any more than €20. Even better, you could pick two or three little presents and wrap them up instead of one big present, which always goes down really well. I’m not mad about most gift sets as I find that the products aren’t usually that great and go to waste most of the time, so you could even put some of these things together and make your own personalised gift set!

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Contour and Highlight Palette - Contouring is the new black, don’t cha know? Since Kim K’s viral Instagram snap of how she achieves her killer cheekbones, everyday contouring has become the norm in the beauty world. This palette has six contour and highlight shades, and for around €10 you really can’t go wrong!

Tangle Teezer - Gone are the days that brushing your hair meant losing around 20 strands as you went. The Tangle Teezer is designed to brush hair without breaking or pulling it, even when it’s wet. Perfect for your best friend who loves her hair.

iPhone Cover – This metallic iPhone cover will turn your phone from a necessity to an accessory!

Unicorn Ring Holder - The picture of this didn’t transfer too well, so click on the link and see how cute it is for yourself! It would be really nice to get this as a gift and put some rings on it as part of the present.

Tanya Burr False Lashes - Any girl who loves getting dressed up and doing her makeup will surely love these. They’re only €7.04, so if you’ve a bit left in your budget you could buy a few and wrap them in a bow together.

Barry M Nail Polish Trio - Now this is one set I wouldn’t mind buying! It’s on sale on ASOS and has three gorgeous, glittery shades.

Zoella Makeup Bag – How cute is this guinea pig makeup bag?! Again, if you’ve a bit to spare in your budget you could buy a few makeup essentials and pop them in the bag.

MAC Lipstick  – At €19.50 this fits just inside the budget, but is a really nice way to give someone a present that’s luxurious but doesn’t break the bank.

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes - If she’s just getting into makeup, or has been wearing it her whole life, this book is full of tips and tricks that even a professional could learn from.

Unicorn Slippers - Who wouldn’t want to receive a pair of these on Christmas day?! Super cute and super fluffy, they’re sure to put a smile on someone’s face.

Let me know what you think of my suggestions in the comments below, and stay tuned for my last Christmas Gift Guide post on Friday!

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – Gifts For The Men In Your Life

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I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find buying gifts for men one of the most difficult tasks that I face when I go Christmas shopping. Between my dad and my boyfriend, there’s nothing they really need, and I hate buying them things for the sake of it. The result is me wracking my brains in the weeks coming up to Christmas, and then finally thinking of some ideas that I know they’ll love.

Whether it be for your dad, boyfriend, best friend or grandad, I think there’s a present here that’ll be suitable for them, whatever your price range.

For The Foodie - Man Food Cookbook – If the thought of a burger makes him more excited than he’d like to admit, this book it for him. I bought my boyfriend a cookbook last year and he loved it, plus it meant I got to eat lots of nice food ;)

For The Guy Who Always Smells Good - Paco Rabanne One Million Aftershave - Although he might not think he needs a new aftershave, One Million is guaranteed to be a great addition to his collection.

For The Guy Who’s Always Tuned In – Earphones - Earphones are one of those things that tend to go missing a lot, so an extra pair is always welcome. Just don’t blame me if he won’t take them out!

For The Guy Who Has Everything - ASOS Gift Set - ASOS is the website to go to for men’s gift ideas. I couldn’t believe it when I saw this wallet and belt set, I think any man in my life would be more than happy to receive this.

For The Guy Who Secretly Loves To Pamper Himself - Soap and Glory Set - While he mightn’t admit it, he loves to pamper and look after himself. This retro shower gel and body spray will make him proud to say he got it for Christmas.

For The Trendy Guy - ASOS Scarf - He likes to dress well, and will happily (well, maybe not happily) wander the shops with you. You can’t go wrong with a scarf as it’s guaranteed to fit him, and this tartan one will see him through the winter months.

For The Book Buff - Kindle - If reading is his thing, a Kindle will make him wonder why he didn’t buy one sooner. It’s a good present for someone you might want to splash out on, and it’s guaranteed to get its value for money.

For The Guy Who Loves A Bit Of Luxury - ASOS Watch - This watch looks way more expensive than it is, and will make all of his friends question when he got so slick and stylish.

For The Man Who’s Always On The Go - 2015 Diary - For any man who’s schedule is always packed, a diary is guaranteed to come in handy. It’s something he mightn’t buy for himself, but he’ll be glad you did once the Christmas break is over and life gets busy again.

For The Guy Who Lives In Trainers - River Island Boots  - Shoes might seem like a strange gift to get someone, but I got my dad a pair of boots like these last Christmas and he loved them. While he doesn’t always wear trainers, the guy who spends his life in Nikes will soon realise why us women love shoes so much once he gets a pair of these.

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas gift guide for men, there’ll be a new post up tomorrow with gifts under €20, so stay tuned!

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – Gifts For The Women In Your Life

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With today being the 1st of December (woo!), I decided to begin the festivities on WhatSheDoesNow with my Christmas Gift Guide! There’ll be a post up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to cover all of the different categories of presents you might need.

What better way to kick it all off than with gift ideas for the women in your life? I’ve picked 10 gifts of varying price ranges and styles that will hopefully give you a present idea for every woman in your life, whether it be your mam, your best friend, or your granny!

For The Girl Who Loves To Be Comfy – Dressing Gown – I don’t think there’s anyone I know that wouldn’t like to receive a neon pink fluffy dressing gown as a gift! Perfect for lounging in after all of the food has been eaten and your Christmas clothes don’t fit anymore.

For The Makeup Maven – Real Techniques Brush Set - Whether it be for your 12 year-old cousin who’s only getting into makeup, or your best friend who can do her makeup with her eyes closed, this limited edition brush set would surely be hugely appreciated.

For The Organiser – 2015 Diary - A new year means a new diary. This pretty floral one from Paperchase would be perfect for the list-maker in your life!

For The Quote-Lover – Alex and Ani Bracelet - Alex and Ani bracelets have been everywhere this year, and for good reason. There is a huge selection of bracelets with different quotes, signs and symbols on them, so pick one that suits the person most and they’ll be amazed by your thoughtfulness.

For The Girl Who Has Everything – NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette - This baby is on back order on spacenk, so it’s almost guaranteed she won’t have it. This is a present that anyone who has a makeup stash, big or small, will appreciate. Place a backorder now, or put yourself on the waiting list to get one in time for Christmas.

For The Girl Who Loves A Treat - Kerastase Hair Masque - A hair masque isn’t something that a lot of people would splurge on for themselves, but it’s a present that’s great to receive! There are loads of types for different hair conditions, so have a look and see which would suit the person most.

For The Girl Who Has Six Lipsticks In Her Bag - Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick – A girl can never have too many lipsticks, right? The packaging alone of Charlotte Tilbury products is to die for, and there’s a shade for everyone in the Matte Revolution range.

For The Fashionista - So Sue Me Book - If she’s obsessed with makeup, hair or fashion, this book is for her. Blogger Suzanne Jackson shares her tips and tricks from life to career, a guaranteed must-read.

For The Girl Who Loves A Splurge - Michael Kors Wallet - To me, nothing says luxury like a designer wallet. If you’re looking to splash out on someone this Christmas, you really can’t go wrong with a wallet. It will always fit, it’ll never go out of style and it’s something she’ll use everyday.

For The Pamper Queen - LUSH Gift Set - We all love a pamper now and again, and this LUSH set contains everything for the ultimate pamper session. It includes five best sellers – a bath bomb, a scrub, a bubble bar, a moisturiser and a body lotion.

I hope you enjoyed my gift ideas, and maybe got some inspiration for your Christmas list (even if it’s for yourself!) Gifts for the men in your life will be up tomorrow!

 

November Favourites 2014 ❅ ❄ ❆

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Some months go by so quickly that I can’t believe they happened at all. November was one of those months. Heck, the last six months have been one of those months. I’m more than happy to be into the swing of winter, and with two days to go until December I can’t contain my excitement! December is a jam-packed month for me from the very first, with a weekend to London (this time next week!!), Christmas parties, assignments – not to mention Christmas shopping. I’m so excited for the month to come and am going to make sure that I finish 2014 on a good note – who’s with me?!

November was a month full of books for me. I can’t be the only one who goes ages without reading, and then reads three books in the space of two weeks, can I? I saw Mockingjay last week and all I can say is it was amazing. As soon as the movie finished, I went home and found my copy of Mockingjay, then continued on from where the movie finished and read 350 pages in the space of a day. Obsessed, me?

As well as that, I finally got my hands on So Sue Me‘s new book, What Happened Next. It’s amazing to see how successful Suzanne has become from her blog – it’s so inspiring! I loved flicking through the book and read it cover to cover. Perfect for a cozy night in with a cuppa tea!

I continued on with my book obsession and ordered a few picks from Amazon, including Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I’d 100% recommend reading it if you’re looking for a new book, it’s heart warming and heart breaking at the same time! With over 3 million copies sold, hopefully a movie will be in the pipeline. Reading is so therapeutic, usually in my spare time I watch YouTube videos and read blog posts to relax, but once all of that is done I’m usually stuck for what to do, but not anymore! (It’s not like I’ve assignments and essays I could be doing or anything…)

My skin has been breaking out left, right and centre (literally) this month, so I’ve been scared to use anything that might aggravate it. For moisturiser, I’ve been using E45 all month and it’s been great at keeping my skin moisturised without breaking it out as it’s for sensitive skin and is dermatologically tested. I also picked up Nivea Refreshing Cleansing Lotion, which is really gentle and calming on the skin and does a pretty good job at removing makeup easily.

An oldie but a goodie, Maybelline The Falsies mascara has made its way back into my collection. I find the formula is best a few days after you open it and let some air in, otherwise it’s a bit too liquidy. I use the waterproof formula, and it’s long-lasting without being impossible to remove. Definitely worth picking up if you’re on the hunt for a new mascara.

Seeming as it’s freezing outside and the days are getting shorter, I can’t help but find myself wanting to have a bath on the cold, dark evenings. The Comforter bath bomb by Lush has been turning my bath pink and pretty all month, as well as somehow being really moisturising on the skin too!

I thought I’d mention candles as a favourite because I’ve been lighting them at every chance I get this month. Every room in the house has at least one Yankee candle in it at this stage, they give such a nice atmosphere!

I hope November was an amazing month for everyone, and that December is the best month yet of 2014!

Boohoo Christmas Heaven

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Forget spring/summer, autumn/winter is where it’s at. Sparkles , sequins, fur and glitter are acceptable at any time, day or night. In fact – the more sparkles the better. With excuses to dress up at every corner, there’s no reason at all to not to do a bit of shopping, is there? I’m a sucker for ordering things online when I’m cuddled up in bed, surrounded by blankets while it’s freezing and blustery outside.

As per usual, boohoo.com have knocked it out of the park with their Christmas range. If it’s a jumpsuit, a LBD, a full length dress or a LGD (little gold dress ;)) you’re looking for, boohoo have it all.

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I’ve my eye on the fur-rimmed LBD for my work Christmas party, which will look gorgeous with a statement red lip and a shimmery eye, as well as the Harley Cowl Back Sequin Shift Dress, which also comes in black, for New Years Eve.

If I’m lucky enough to be going somewhere fancy, I might mix it up a bit and wear a jumpsuit. The cobalt blue one is the perfect way to make a statement, or I might tone it down with the snow-white maxi and let my makeup be the statement.

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to go all out, so wear that gold dress that you’ve always wanted to, dare to work a jumpsuit and wear fur at every opportunity – there’s no better time of year!

Keep an eye on www.boohoo.com for all the latest drops in their Christmas range – after all, we need to give ourselves a present too!

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