The College Makeup Bag

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Just like we need books and stationary for the beginning of a new academic year, so do we need a college makeup bag.

While it might not be absolutely necessary, it’s almost guaranteed that you will get as much, if not more, use out of it than your college books and notes. A good makeup bag doesn’t have to cost the earth, however. Just ten products cover everything you need that will take you from lecture hall to nightclub.

  1. Primer – Primer is a step that’s often overlooked when it comes to makeup application, but adding it to your routine will add longevity to your makeup, as well as giving a smooth, even base. Maybelline Baby Skin primer is ideal for less than €10, and gives a flawless base for foundation.
  2. Foundation – When it comes to foundation, NARS Sheer Glow trumps the rest. It’s light and dewy, but can be built up in layers so you can create the coverage you prefer without looking heavy-handed.
  3. Concealer – Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is a holy grail product to beauty gurus around the world. It’s really affordable and covers under-eye circles, spots, blemishes and is great for touch ups on the go.
  4. Powder – A powder is essential for keeping shine at bay so your foundation doesn’t slide off within two hours of application. Rimmel Stay Matte powder is a firm favourite and leaves skin looking smooth and flawless.
  5. Blush, bronze, highlight – The Naked Flushed palette includes all three of these steps, making it easy for early morning (or late night) makeup application. To go from day to night just add a sweep of bronzer to the temples and hollows of your face, blusher to your cheeks and highlighter along the cheekbones and you’re ready to go!
  6. Eyeshadow – One palette covers all when it comes to eyeshadow- the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It includes 12 gorgeous matte and shimmer shades, every colour you’ll need for day and night
  7. Liner – A slick of liner can totally change any makeup look. Whether you’re a novice or a cat-eye expert, L’Oreal Super Liner is easy to use, allowing you to go as thick or thin as you like.
  8. Mascara – No makeup bag would be complete without a good mascara. Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof is great for both top and bottom lashes, and adds curl, volume and length in one sweep.
  9. Brows – Whether you’re Cara Delevigne or have plucked your brows into non-existence, Anastasia Brow Wiz is amazing for both thick and thin brows. The nib is so tiny that you can recreate brow hairs, so you can fill them in and shape your brows to your content.
  10. Lips – If you’re a nude lip lover or a statement lip girl through and through, Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter range includes every glossy and matte lip shade you could dream of. They’re often on offer in Boots too, so you might have to get more than one…

Add in Garnier Micellar Water for easy makeup removal, and Real Techniques brushes for application and you’re good to go.

As for the makeup bag itself? The queen of luxury makeup, Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup bag literally says it all, ‘Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world.’

A Love Affair With Charlotte Tilbury

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A few weeks ago I finally was blessed with the possession of some Charlotte Tilbury makeup goodies, thanks to my very kind boyfriend George. He bought them for me as a surprise after one evening I dragged him over to Brown Thomas while we were walking down Grafton Street and practically pressed my face against the glass where the Charlotte Tilbury display was. To say I was surprised when he showed me the bag was an understatement. I may or may not have shed a tear (I’m a very emotional person okay?!)

Anyway, after admiring the beauty of the packaging for a few days, I finally decided it was time to try the products out. The first thing I tried was the eyelash curlers, or ‘eyebrow clampers’ as George calls them. I’d been long in need of a new set, with the ones I was using being about six years old and on their last legs. High-end eyelash curlers are something that I wouldn’t be able to justify buying for myself, so they were the perfect pressie to receive! My eyelashes grow straight outwards, yet are really curly at the outer corners (strange, I know), so curling them before applying mascara is imperative as it makes all the difference to how my eyes look. Who knew that curling your eyelashes could feel so luxurious? The curlers are really good at getting right to the lash line, so you can get a really good lift. Basically, they’re like a pushup bra for your lashes. I do five pulses at the root of the lash, five in the middle and five at the very end for Bambi-esque lashes.

As for the lipstick, well it has knocked all of my other lipsticks out of the park. The rose gold packaging is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s weighted without being too heavy, and the ridges make it easy to hold (and it doesn’t roll away when you’re taking photos of it #bloggerproblems). And, of course, it has the oh-so-satisfying click sound when you put the lid on it. The colour, Stoned Rose, is from the Golden Goddess look and it’s everything I love in a lipstick. It’s the perfect warm-toned pink nude, it’s creamy, moisturising, pigmented and has amazing staying power. I chowed down a whole pizza and it was still in tact. It’s not very glossy, nor is it matte, it’s the perfect mix between the two.

And we can’t forget about the makeup bag, now can we? It’s the softest and prettiest makeup bag I’ve ever owned (and as a self-confessed makeup bag hoarder, I’ve owned a lot). It’s the perfect size for popping in your handbag or for travelling and the quote on the back immediately makes it my ultimate makeup bag. You’ll know how much I love quotes if you’ve ever seen my Instagram (@whatshedoesnow).

I know this might sound slightly crazy/obsessive seeming as I’m talking about makeup products and tools here, but hey, we all have something that we’re totally obsessed with, right?

Now to complete the Golden Goddess collection… Good thing a trip to London is on the cards! Selfridges here I come…

 

The Tanning Game-Changers

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He-Shi was the first tanning product that I tried back in the day when I was getting into tanning. I remember that my mam always had a bottle of it and I thought it was so luxurious and grown up. I also remember being at a teen disco *cringes* where someone came up to me and asked if my tan was natural. If that’s not a good sign then I don’t know what is.

So when I got the opportunity to try out some He-Shi products, I was more than happy to oblige. He-Shi have really expanded their range since I tried it seven years ago (insane, I know), to instant tanners, gradual tanners and more.

The first product I tried was the Gold Foaming Mousse, which is an instant tanner that develops over time. I’ve never been a big fan of instant tanners, as they always looked green or dirty on me (not exactly the look I was going for) or streaked if it rained or if I got any water at all on my skin. Luckily, this product does none of those things. It gives a gorgeous golden tan, as the name suggests, and as it’s a mousse it is really easy to apply without streaking. It doesn’t smell like fake tan and isn’t sticky, which I love. I’m quite pale so I like quite a deep tan, so one layer of this is enough for day-to-day, and two layers is ideal for when I want to be a bit darker. The colour develops really well over the course of a few hours, so you can apply it in the morning and go about your day if you want your tan to be darker that night.

I was really excited to try the Rapid 1 Hour Liquid Tan, as the first He-Shi product I tried was liquid. I’m used to using foaming mousses for tanning, so I was apprehensive about how this would apply and if it would drip all over the place (thankfully it didn’t, we just got new carpets!) The concept of a 1 hour tan is so handy because I rarely have the time or the energy to apply tan at night before I go to bed. The liquid formula was really easy to apply and went onto the skin flawlessly with the He-Shi Tanning Mitt. It gives a lovely colour to the skin on application, and develops over the course of three hours, depending on how dark you want it. I wanted my tan to be dark, so I left it on for the full three hours and washed it off to reveal a gorgeous bronze colour. For some reason tan never shows up on my legs, but this one did! It is almost like a stain on the skin, so it has great lasting power too.

Of course, I made sure my skin was exfoliated, shaved and free of moisturiser in the 24 hours before applying both of these tans to ensure a smooth application. Neither product stuck to dry patches, and each faded evenly over the course of a week.

Tanning won’t be such a chore anymore thanks to these two products, which my pasty limbs will definitely thank me for!

The Normal Girl’s Guide To Health & Happiness #5

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To think that I’m starting Week 5 of the BBG is insane. I’ve looked through the workouts for the next few weeks and they look really tough, but I’m ready for the challenge. Kayla says that usually you see results at around the Week 4 mark, and after taking progress pictures at the start of each week I can really see a difference. Although, I’m not exactly prepared to put up photos of my half-naked body on the internet. Maybe by Week 12 I will be ;)

The biggest difference I can see so far is in my stomach, waist and hips. A little bit of ab definition is starting to show, and around my hips has gotten more toned. I can also see a difference in my bum – it’s less ‘I ate all the pies’ and more ‘I squat a lot.’ I can feel the changes too, although burpees and commandos are still killers, I can do a few more at a time without feeling like I’m going to pass out. The same applies to push ups, I can now do 15 semi-decent push ups in a row, rather than 15 pulses. The only place I haven’t really seen a change is in my legs and thighs, but hopefully that will start to change and they will tone up!

An app that I’ve found really handy for doing the circuits is ‘Seconds’. It’s free on the App Store and allows you to enter timers for the circuits, so it’s easy to keep on track. I set four seven-minute timers with a minute’s break in between. It’s easy to keep motivated when you see that you’ve only a minute or so left on the timer.

As for fitting in the LISS workouts, I don’t have a lot of time to go on set walks, so I fit them in by walking to and from college four times a week. I also work in retail so that involves walking/standing for hours at a time.

Being totally honest, I’m finding it hard to keep motivated and to go to the gym, especially as college and work is really catching up on me. But all it takes is visiting Kayla’s Instagram, or knowing that I’ll feel better if I do the workouts than if I sit at home and feel guilty for not doing them, to keep me on track.

We all have our off days, but sometimes you just gotta put your gym gear on, get up and get your ass to the gym!

Let me know in the comments below if you’re doing or have done the BBG, I’d love to hear!

[By the way I'm going to start publishing posts on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays now, so keep an eye out!]

Five Photo Week #16 & #17

I’ve two FFWs to catch up on today, and although the pictures mightn’t seem like it I’ve been so busy the past few weeks. Trying to keep up with the BBG workouts, eating healthily, working part time, going to college and having a social life isn’t easy, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way!

I hope you enjoy :)

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I got spoiled rotten by the boy a few weeks ago, and I’m not exaggerating when I say my jaw hit the floor when I saw a Brown Thomas bag in his hands. Everything is so luxurious and beautiful from the Charlotte Tilbury range, there’ll be a full review up soon!

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Shoutout to my gal Vicky for taking this very flattering photo of me when I was donating blood ;) Weirdly enough I really enjoy donating blood. Although it’s a bit of a strange experience, knowing that someone is going to benefit from your actions really helps.

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‘A grande skinny latte, please’ has become my motto lately, with me grabbing one at every chance I get. Four hours straight of lectures on a Friday morning wouldn’t be possible without Starbucks.

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I made Essie Button’s Power Protein Soup during the week and it was d-e-l-icious. It was super easy to make and really filling, I can see myself making this all the way through winter!

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Berries and Greek yogurt has been my go-to snack on the BBG, it really satisfies sweet cravings. If I’m particularly hungry for chocolate (i.e. everyday) I add in a crumbled chocolate biscuit or a square (or three) or dark chocolate.

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There’s no better way to start the weekend than with lunch with friends. We had curry parsnip soup, which sounds really strange but was actually so tasty!

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With my gorgeous bestie Jen on Monday for her birthday. Isn’t she stunning?! We booked flights to London this week with our other halves, so excited!

I hope that everyone had a great week, let me know what you got up to in the comments below!

The Perfect Black Heels

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A few weeks ago I realised that I had worn the same heels on every night out (give or take a few nights) for nearly a year. They’re Kurt Geiger, nude and so so comfortable, but I think I loved them a little too much. Despite having more heels in my wardrobe than I’d like to admit, I decided it was time to find a new pair of go-to heels. That’s when I came across these beauties.

They’re from ASOS (link here) and for less than €65, you can’t go wrong. (Don’t forget that you can get 10% off ASOS with a UniDays account!) I decided that black would be the perfect colour as it goes with nearly everything, and the delicate strap made them look really feminine, plus the heel and platform combo was just right.

I was so afraid of having blisters, cuts and burning feet after a few hours of wearing them, but after wearing them for five hours straight I can safely say that they are so comfortable. No cutting, rubbing or burning, and they’re pretty easy to walk in too.

So if you’re looking for a new pair of heels, I’d definitely recommend these. They come in a few different colours too, so check them out!

 

A Few Tips For Blogging

While I’m by no means a blogging expert and am still learning everyday, since starting this blog nearly a year ago (say what?!) I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I really enjoy reading these kind of posts so I thought I’d share with you a few pointers that I’ve gathered. Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below, I could certainly do with a few!

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1. Upload regularly - Choose the day (or days) that you want to publish on and stick to them. Whether it be once a week or three times a week, having set days helps your readers know when to check back and when to expect new content. *Slaps self on shoulder because this post was supposed to go up yesterday…*

2. Take bright, clear pictures - The kind of pictures you prefer are obviously up to you, but bright, well lit pictures usually work well. I just use my iPhone 5s and natural lighting, as much as I’d love an expensive camera it’s just not achievable for me right now. Pictures are the first thing the reader sees when they visit your blog so make them as eye catching and appealing as possible!

3. Type how you talk - Let your personality come through in your writing! If you’ve a habit of saying funny things, throw them in. You don’t have to write A+ standard English, just whatever comes naturally to you and what is easy for your readers to understand and enjoy.

4. Reply to all comments - This is so important because it creates a relationship with your readers. If someone has taken the time to write something nice on your blog, reply back and you never know, you could make great friends!

5. Promote yourself on social media - Having an Instagram, Twitter page and Facebook for your blog will really help to promote it. The more people you tell the better! Sure why not, your blog is amazing! You don’t have to be generic or feel guilty for promoting your blog, being personable and letting your personality shine through will really help.

6. Think of what you would like to read - Look through your Bloglovin feed and see what blogs you read everyday no matter what. What is it about them that makes you keep coming back? Write down a few pointers, and think of things that you feel are missing or that could be improved and apply them to your blog.

7. Triple check for spelling mistakes - Spelling mistakes happen to us all, and maybe this just annoys me because I’m studying to be a journalist, but good spelling is so important! I realise how nerdy that sounds but I personally hate seeing spelling mistakes on someone’s blog because I feel that it shows that they didn’t take the time to read back over the post. What’re the chances of me having a spelling mistake in this post after saying this? 110% is my guess…

8. Don’t give up! - When it comes to blogging, success very rarely comes immediately. It can be disheartening if your stats are static, and if the only person viewing your blog is your little sister, but stick with it. If it’s something you really enjoy doing, work hard at it and stick to it, then if success comes from it it’s just a bonus!

9. Pay attention to detail - Especially when taking pictures, I always think to myself, ‘What’s missing? How can I improve this?’ Although I wish I had four hours a day to sit and take the perfect blog photo with all of the props and the best lighting in the world, I don’t. So just make do with what you have and make all you can do the best you can do! All the little details add up, so if there’s a smudge of black on your background (can you tell I’m a perfectionist?) remove it, if a sentence doesn’t really make sense, fix it.

10. Have fun! - Having fun when it comes to blogging is one of the most important things you can do. If it’s stressful or not enjoyable, then ask yourself why you are doing it. Try and find new ways to take pictures, different angles you can write about things. Having a blog is amazing because you have all of the control over it, so you can make it exactly as you like! Go crazy and have fun with it!

 

The Normal Girl’s Guide To Health & Happiness #4

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The fact that I’ll be one third of the way through the Bikini Body Guide this week is absolutely crazy. I didn’t think I’d even make it through week 1, so to think I made it through the past three weeks is incredible.

If I could say anything about the BBG is that it is so easy to incorporate into your routine. I used to never have time for exercise, but now I can see that it was my priorities that weren’t straight, not my busy schedule. I’ve had to do a few of the workouts at home because I haven’t had time to make it to the gym, and it’s safe to say that you really don’t need a gym to complete these exercises. To be honest, I prefer working out at home because  I can blast music from my speakers and groan the whole way through the circuits if I want to.

Week 3 arms and abs made me feel as if I had broken all of my abdominal muscles (although I don’t think that’s possible) but I can really feel the differences already. On week 1 I couldn’t complete even one push-up, but now I can do 15 without stopping. It’s amazing to see progress and to feel stronger. If there are noticeable results between week 1 and week 4’s pictures I will post them next week (eek!)

As for food, I can’t see myself going back to eating the way I used to. I’ve always eaten moderately well, but now the idea of a takeaway or fast food doesn’t apply to me, and when it does I need less to fill and satisfy me. I made healthy cookies this week from @cleaneatscharlotte’s recipe on Instagram, and they were delicious. They were so so easy to make and really satisfying! I still go out and have a few drinks once a week, but try to steer clear of fizzy mixers and cider and drink vodka and cranberry juice instead. I can really feel the difference of eating well and exercising often – I now wake up before my alarm goes off in the morning, which has never happened before. Even after donating blood last week I felt less exhausted and got my energy back quicker.

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Let me know if there are any specific topics you want me to cover in the next few weeks, I’d be more than happy to!

3 College Makeup Looks – The ‘Heading Out Later’

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The final addition to my three part series of college makeup looks is The ‘Heading Out Later’. Sometimes going home to reapply makeup just isn’t an option and slapping it on in a badly-lit fluorescent bathroom is the only choice. I find that if you prep your makeup in the morning for the night ahead that it makes the whole process a lot easier, and no one will know that you’ve had three two-hour lectures that day.

As usual, starting with primer is key. Benefit Porefessional is perfect for giving the skin a smooth base, and will make your makeup last that little bit longer. If I’m going out I’ll always wear a high coverage foundation, like Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. It covers all imperfections and doesn’t contain SPF so you don’t get any flashback in photos. I apply this in the morning, and then add an extra dab or two all over the face in the evening just before I go out. It freshens the base and saves you from reapplying everything from the beginning. Concealer, of course, is used for under the eyes and any pesky spots, and is great for touch ups as needed. The Naked Palette has every colour you could ever need for day and night, meaning you can go for a matte, simple eye during the day and then add some shimmer and smoke on top for the evening.

Adding a slick of liquid liner, such as L’Oreal Super Slim Liner, makes all the difference. Add a bit of kohl pencil along the waterline to immediately take the look from day to night. I love MAC Coffee pencil as it’s not as dark as black but still adds intensity. Do I even have to mention mascara? L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara doesn’t clump when you add layers to it, and doesn’t smudge on the bottom lash line either. I use Anastasia Brow Wiz, as usual, to fill in the brows. Blush and bronze can add so much to your makeup look, so before I head out I apply a swirl of bronze all over the temples and cheeks, and a dab of blush to brighten up the look. Reapplying powder every few hours will keep shine at bay and leave your base looking fresh. I think that most simple way to transform makeup from day to night is with lipstick. Start off with a nude for lectures, then layer some gloss and a bright pink when you’re heading out and everyone will be wondering how you got the time to do your makeup again. Finally, pop on some false lashes for the ultimate transformation and there you have it!

 

3 College Makeup Looks – The ‘I Want To Look Nice Today’

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There are some days when bare minimum makeup just isn’t enough. If I’ve miraculously gotten up earlier than I need to in the morning, or if I know I’ve a long day ahead of me with loads to do, I’ll always try and put a little bit extra effort into my makeup. As I said yesterday, quick and easy makeup is my best friend, so while this has a few extra steps it still only takes 20 minutes or less.

A primer has become an essential in my makeup routine, and the one I’ve been using most recently has been Kiehl’s Micro Blur Skin Perfector. It gives a smooth base, helps to make your foundation last longer and improves the appearance of the skin over time, what more could you want?! NARS Sheer Glow is my perfect everyday foundation. It gives just the right amount of coverage and dewiness, while still looking natural. Of course, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is applied under the eyes and on spots and blemishes as usual. Maybelline Dream Sun compact has a gorgeous blush and bronze shade, which give a really nice colour to the face while still being daytime appropriate. If I’m feeling extra enthusiastic, I add a dab on MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle along the cheekbones, on my cupid’s bow and under the arch of my brow. I use this stuff nearly every day yet there’s no sign of a dent in it – definitely worth the investment! As for eyeshadow, MAC Woodwinked is my go-to choice for when I want to look like I’ve put more effort in than I have. It blends out beautifully and looks great with a slick of L’Oreal Super Liner. Layers and layers of mascara are added to the top and bottom lashes for some drama. L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara literally gives you fake eyelashes in a tube, I love it! As usual I fill in my brows with Anastasia Brow Wiz and finish them off with clear brow gel. MAC Angel lipstick and Maybelline Colour Drama Velvet Lip Pencil in Nude Perfection has been my go-to lip duo for a ‘your lips but better’ look. Finally, a sweep of MAC MSF in Light all over the face and that’s it!

I really love this makeup look because it’s so quick and easy to do yet looks so put together! Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post on my third and final makeup look!