Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

2014 highlights

The new year is creeping up on us rather quickly. This year has just flown by but it has been a pretty good one and for that I am very grateful. Before it's time to count down and sing 'Auld Lang Syne' once again,  I thought I'd take a look back at my year and share a few of my favourite things to happen to me this year......

Starting a blog
2014 has been my favourite year purely because it was the year I finally started a blog. I won't say too much about my blogging journey as I have my first blogiversary coming up so I'll save all the soppy details for then. But what I will say is, it's been the best decision I've ever made. A couple of months ago I wrote about how blogging has affected me and I still feel the exact same way. I can't wait for more blogging fun to continue in 2015!

Blog Awards Ireland Finalist
Not only did I start up a blog but clionahill.com actually made it to the final stage of the Blog Awards Ireland. I never in a million years thought my blog would have been good enough to even get onto the long list let alone the finals! I hmmed and I ahhed about entering, I had even filled out the form but was backing out at the last minute but then I just thought 'what the heck' and sent it. As soppy as it sounds, I've never been more grateful for anything in my life.

Anxiety achievements
2014 was a big year for me in terms of overcoming my anxiety. Prior to this year I had been out of school for about a year and a half. But that all changed in September when I started attending classes again. It was tough at first, I had a few panic attacks but now I'm thoroughly enjoying going to school. At the moment I'm doing 10 classes a week but I hope to extend that in the new year. I've also been getting out a lot more, sometimes it's to a busy shopping centre but sometimes it's just for a little walk around our estate but every time I go out is a huge accomplishment for me.

Making Memories
Last December there was a new addition to the family - my niece Elsie. It's been so much fun watching her grow up this year - she's changed so much! - and making lots of memories. I also got an SLR camera this year so I've been snapping lots of pictures for her to look at when she's older.

A trip to Portugal
During the summer my Mam and I took a trip to Portugal. It was such a fun and relaxing holiday. We mostly spent the holiday at the beach or by the pool - We badly needed to relax and unwind. We also went to some beautiful restaurants and cafes and I kid you not when I say I had the BEST chocolate cake ever! Portugal, you have da best food! I also documented all the outfits I wore in this style diary post.

I'm happy with how my blog has progressed this year and cannot wait to see what next year brings! If you have any suggestions or posts you would like to see then please do let me know as I'm always looking for ways to improve my blog. I'd love to be able to post more often and step outside my comfort zone next year. 2015, I'm ready for you!

I'd like to wish you all a happy new year!

 And remember to follow your dreams in 2015 as you never know what could happen :-)

What have been your 2014 highlights? And what are your 2015 goals?

Cliona xx


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

Merry christmas message

'Tis the night before christmas and all the presents are wrapped and under the tree, the christmas clothes are laid out, hot chocolates have been made, the christmas pjs are on and Home Alone is waiting to be played. That's what Christmas Eve looks like in our house. I'm so excited to spend the day with my family and see them open their presents tomorrow! Oh and eat my bodyweight in food ;-)

I just wanted to say a quick thank you for following my blog this year - I'm so grateful! And I wanted to wish you a very merry Christmas!

I'll be back on the 26th for the last outfit post of 2014. 

See you then!

Cliona xx


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

POTW {14} - The Body Shop Vitamin E Toner

The body shop vitamin e toner

Winter is by far my favourite season of all but my skin would most certainly disagree. It may be holly and jolly around but my skin has been feeling very miserable due to the harsh cold weather. Lately I've been drawn to any skincare product with the word 'hydrating' on it like magpies are drawn to shiny things. So with that in mind, today's little 'hydrating' gem comes from the Body Shop....

The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner is a clear thick liquid that is alcohol free. It's very rare to find an alcohol free toner but I'm so glad I did as it means that the toner doesn't dry out my skin or cause any tightness like normal toners do. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and supple. I apply a small bit onto a cotton wool pad after using my ginzing cleanser. A small bit really goes a long way with this and I find that if you use too much it leaves a sticky residue. Not good. Moving onto the scent, and this was something that I wasn't really too keen on. I thought it had quite a strong scent so initially I thought it would be rather harsh on my sensitive skin. But it was quite the opposite - It was very gentle! The packaging is simple but still very pretty with a pink bottle and easy to use cap (oh so important, am I right ;-))

This toner would be ideal for all skin types but it would be particularly great for dry and dehydrated skin types as it leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated instead of dry and tight.

It's a little bit more expensive than the usual toner - €10.95 - but so worth it just for the fact that it doesn't make my skin feel tight.

I'm quite sad writing this post as it's the last 'product of the week' post for 2014 :-( What do you think of these posts? Do you like them? Or should I start a different beauty series for 2015? I'd love to hear your opinion! 

Cliona xx


Saturday, 20 December 2014

What's On The High Street // Top 5 Capes

Top 5 capes
1. River Island Cape - €45 // 2. Asos Cape - €35.72 // 3. Asos Multi Stripe Cape - €35.72 // 4. Asos Check Cape - €35.72 // 5. Oasis Faux Fur Collar Cape - €37

It's time for our fortnightly dose of 'what's on the high street'. Today it's all about the stylish cape. It's probably been the most popular trend this A/W and with good reason. They're cosy, versatile, they come in all different colours, patterns and sizes and they're a stylish way of layering - Perfect for these chilly winter days!

I've been looking for a nice cape since the beginning of Autumn but I just can't seem to find a nice one that doesn't cost about a million euros. So today I made it my mission to find five capes that look stylish without costing a small fortune.

1. Up first is that lovely stripy number from River Island. This would look so lovely paired with tan or brown jeans and a white jumper. I love the colours - They compliment each other so well. It'd be lovely in the summer time too.

2, 3 & 4. These next three are all from Asos. They definitely have the best choice when it comes to capes and they're the cheapest I've seen. Score! My favourite of the three is the grey and white one. It's so simple but could be worn with so many different outfits. It's just the perfect everyday cape.

5. Maybe I'm going wrong by trying to find a patterned one. Maybe plain is the way to go. The plain black one from Oasis might be just what I'm looking for. I mean, you can't go wrong with a bit of black! And how cosy does that furry collar look?! I'm all about the faux fur at the moment.

Have you spotted anything nice on the high street recently?

Cliona xx


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Product Of The Week: Origins GinZing Mascara

Origins ginzing mascara review

Oh hello 'product of the week', it's been a while. I was feeling a little uninspired by my beauty posts recently and so decided to take a little break from them and just write about fashion for a while. It was just what I need as I feel recharged and ready to talk about all things beauty once again. I've had a long think about my content and in the past my content wasn't very balanced. So I've decided 2015 is the year where they'll be a balance between fashion and beauty posts with a lifestyle post thrown in every now and again. I'll be talking a little bit more about this in an upcoming post. But for now here's what I love about the Origins GinZing Brightening Mascara. ....

I've been a fan of Origins skincare products for a while but I never thought they had a good makeup range. I got this for free with my ginzing cleanser and moisturiser (Review here) so wasn't really expecting it to be good but oh how wrong I was. It has a fat bristle brush that grabs every single lash. The only downside to this is it's harder to get into those inner corners. But I can get by that because it lengthens my lashes like no other. It also separates and lifts the lashes giving them great definition. There's been no smudging and it doesn't flake either. Splendid. It's a great everyday mascara giving a very natural look. Just one coat gives an amazing result but I always add another layer 'cause why not?   ;-) It's a true black colour and is really easy to remove.

If you're looking for an everyday mascara that lengthens and separates then this mascara is the one for you!

What mascara have you been loving recently?

Cliona xx


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas Is In The Air

dublin christmas markets
Dublin christmas markets
Burgundy floppy hat
Faux fur gilet
Alex & Ani
Burgundy hat
Winter outfit

December is filled with cold days, icy winds and the occasional visit of rain. There's definitely a chill in the air but that's not all, Christmas is in the air too. Everywhere I turn there's lot's of excited children, shopping hustle & bustle, sparkling christmas lights, festive markets and big, beautiful trees. I just love Dublin at Christmas time. There's no better place to be. I'd even go as far as saying the atmosphere is as good as New York. 

Just over a week ago, it was my niece's first birthday so we headed into town to see the Christmas markets at Stephen's Green. The setting was so pretty so I whipped my camera out to take a few outfit pics. I was photobombed badly that day so I ended up only getting one decent shot under the Christmas lights :-( We wandered into Stephen's Green instead and even though it's not very festive looking it's still such a pretty location!

It was a cold, cold day so the winter woolies were out. I wore my new faux fur gilet from Penneys paired with a grey & white jumper from H&M. You'll never guess how much the gilet was! €15! I wore my cosy cream Uggs. Seriously, guys these are the cosiest things ever - It's like walking on clouds! If you didn't believe me when I said I'm obsessed with floppy hats in this post then I'm sure you'll believe me now. Ha! I picked this one up from Penneys for only €9. Penneys stock is amazing this season. Someone needs to ban me from there. Must. Stop. Buying Things. Oh, and as usual my Fossil watch, Alex & Ani bracelets and Mi Moneda chain made an appearance too. Do I ever wear any other jewellery ;-)

I'm off to put up the Christmas tree now. Exciting times! Make sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter  to see a pic :-)

Have a great evening!

Cliona xx


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A Christmas Beauty Wish List

Christmas beauty wish list
*Sponsored Post*

Good morning! Christmas is fast approaching and the Christmas shopping chaos is in full swing. Every year I always treat myself to a little something as soon as all my Christmas shopping is done. I'm nearly done buying for my family so it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to splurge on this year. 

As I mentioned earlier the shops are manic at this stage so online shopping is the way to go in my opinion. A few months ago I discovered a great online shop called Unineed. They're a fashion and beauty retailer based in Glasgow that stock a wide variety of my favourite High End Brands such as Benefit, Clarins, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel as well as the Budget brands like Revlon, Maybelline and L'oreal. But wait, that's not the best part - They sell all of these amazing brands at discount prices. Did I hear someone say bargain alert?  So, this morning I've picked out some of my fave bits from their website and share them here on my blog. Let's just hope Santa is reading this ;-)

The Makeup: First up, is the highly coveted Clinique Chubby Stick. I love these style of lip crayons - I've tried the Revlon, Sephora and Bourjois versions and loved them so the Clinique version would be very welcome to my stash. Another lip product I've had my eye on is the gorgeous YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick. That packaging! Wow. 
Next on the makeup wish list is Benefit's Erase Paste and YSL Touche Eclat. I have pretty bad dark under-eye circles at the moment and both of these sound amazing! And lastly is the Maybelline Volum' Express One By One mascara. I use lots of Maybelline products everyday but one thing I've never tried from them is their mascaras. I've never heard a bad thing about their mascaras so I must get my hands on one. 

The Fragrance: Unineed have so much choice when it comes to perfumes! This Marc Jacobs perfume smells amazing and the packaging is so cute. WANT!

The Skincare: I'm torn between two cleansers - Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel and Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. I love French Pharmacy brands but one I'm yet to try is Nuxe. My hands have been so dry lately and their Reve de Miel Hand & Nail Cream sounds lovely.

What's on your Christmas wish list? 
And are you treating yourself to anything this Christmas?

Cliona xx

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*This was a sponsored post but all views and opinions are my own.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Obsessed With Floppy Hats

Floppy Hat

The weekend is finally here! And the weekend is looking even better now that I don't have to study! Whoop! I'm back to the blogging game now that my exams are finally over - yay! I've been out practising using my camera so there's lots of outfit posts to get through this month. So I thought I'd kick off December's outfit posts with this duffle coat and floppy hat ensemble.

Outfit Talk: Uh-oh I smell a new obsession brewing {Imagine monkey with his hands over his eyes emoji here} Yep, brace yourselves people you're in for a lot of floppy hat features here on clionahill.com. I've just bought another one in burgundy this time which I'll be posting next Friday. Anyway, the hat is from Asos. I decided to go for an (almost) all black outfit with my black Zara jeans and my black knitted Uggs. I got these in New York about two years ago for around $50 (Bargain alert!) and at first I wasn't really sure about them as they're bit different but now I love them! I think they look nicer than the plain old Uggs and I think they add nice detail to an outfit.

Another bargain comes in the form of this beige duffle coat for only €30! Yep, you guessed it, Penneys/Primark. I mean, where else would you get a nice coat for that price? You've gotta love Penneys! I paired it with this snood which was a birthday gift from my sister - it's also Penneys! The sun was quite blinding that day so my Topshop sunglasses joined me and I completely forgot to wear my new ones that I got for my birthday :-(

Goodnight! And I'll see you tomorrow for a beauty wish list :-)

Cliona xx


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Cosy Winter's Night {ToyShow Traditions}

Pamper products
Pamper evening
primark pyjamas
Bambi pjs

The last Friday of November is always a special one here in Ireland as The Late Late Toy Show is on. For those outside Ireland, it's basically a show where kids showcase the best toys by explaining how they work to the host, Ryan Tubridy and children perform. It's quite funny sometimes and it's always a cosy and magical affair for both kids and adults ;-) I remember the days when I used to have my notebook and pen out and I'd jot down all the must have toys that I was going to ask santa for like it was yesterday. Oh to be a kid again. We also have some treats - Hot chocolate (of course. Best winter drink!) and we opened up our first box of Christmas chocolates, Heroes. This is always our first tradition of the season and it always gets me in the festive mood.

I also had a mini pamper session with some of my favourite products. What would a cosy night be without a little pampering ;-) I also had a little read of my book. At the moment I'm reading An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green but to be honest it's not great. For some reason it's really hard to read and there's not much going on. It's such a shame because I loved his other books.

Oh, and not forgetting my new pyjamas from Penneys! How cute is this Bambi pair? You can't beat a new pair of pjs!

What are your cosy night essentials? And what gets you into the festive spirit?

Cliona xx


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What's On The High Street // Winter Woolies

High Street Winter must haves
H&M Hat < Boohoo Cape < H&M Scarf < Boohoo Jumper < Zara Jumper < Zara Cardigan < Boohoo Gilet < Boohoo Faux Fur Collar < Zara Top < Asos Gloves

Hi and welcome back to 'What's on the High Street' where today it's all about the winter woolies! Winter is definitely my favourite time to dress for and it's finally cold enough to wear lots of layers and hats and gloves {All the excited emojis} For today's post I'll be showing you lots of lovely clothes to keep you cosy this winter. Get your pen and notebook ready because you'll definitely want to pop a few of these onto your Christmas list. I know I have.......

I love them all but if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be the faux fur collar. I mean, just look at how soft it looks! Faux fur collars are everywhere this Winter so you'll be right on trend with this little pile of fluffy. Another cosy item is the black and white cape from Boohoo. It's very similar to one that River Island had recently but it's also a lot cheaper. But don't tell them I said that ;-) I also have my eye on the Zara cardigan. I think it would look lovely with the camel scarf from H&M.

That's it from me today! I'm so happy to be able to sit down and get my blog game on once again. I had my biology exam today and I just have one more on the 5th and then I'm all yours! I'll be bombarding you with lots of posts in December to make up for the lack of them this month. Watch this space!

What are your favourite things to wrap up in during the Winter?

Cliona xx


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Faux Fur

Faux Fur Gilet
Faux fur gilet outfit
Autumn/Winter boots

Sorry things have been a little quiet around here but this month my anxiety has been quite bad and with Christmas exams coming up I just haven't been able to sit down and type up a post. But worry not because I have a little outfit post for you today and normal posting should resume in December. Even though I'm only doing two exams this year I'm still finding it really stressful as I only do ten classes a week (due to anxiety) and am trying to catch up and learn everything for the exams. I'll be happy to see the back of these exams that's for sure!

Outfit Talk: Anyway, on to the outfit! I treated myself to this gilet from Vero Moda and a "few" other things last month for my birthday. You gotta treat yourself on your birthday, ya know! ;-) I've been on the hunt for a gilet for ages and I finally found the one! I can't even begin to describe how soft it is. The top is also Vero Moda. I'm loving their A/W stock at the moment! They're definitely my favourite shop - They're prices are a lot lower than the likes of River Island and Topshop but the quality of their clothes is just as good and the staff are always so nice and helpful. Highly recommend!
No Mi Moneda necklace? What is this madness? Yep, for once I'm not wearing my Mi Moneda and decided to debut this necklace from Parfois I got back in the summer. You may remember it from this haul and yep, I haven't worn it once.... *Hangs head in shame* And lastly, the boots are from Pavers a couple of years ago. They have a fur lining on the inside which is super cosy.

What are your thoughts on the faux fur gilet trend?

Cliona xx


Thursday, 13 November 2014

What's On The High Street // Festive Fashion

Christmas Partywear Ideas

{It's the most wonderful time of the year.... with the kids jingle belling.... and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"..... La la la....}

Yep, that's right, Christmas is well and truly on it's way! The shops have their decorations up, santa has arrived to some of the shopping centres, the chritmas tunes are playing and of course the magical Christmas ads. John Lewis wowed us all again this year with one of the cutest ads ever and word on Twitter is the 'holidays are coming' ad has been aired. Please tell me I'm not the only one who keeps missing it? 

Although I adore all those things about christmas we can't forget the most important thing about the festive season.... The Clothes! All. The. Glitter. Just sayin'

Here's the low down of all the festive fashion in the shops at the moment.

The Glitzy Dresses:
The first dress on the left is so pretty, it makes me want to cry. That €143 price tag also makes me want to cry but if you're not allowed to dream around the holidays then when can you ;-).
All you GG fans listen up because this next one is very Blair Waldorf. I'm only talking about that stunning velvet number with the embellished neck detailing. I think this would go so well with the New Look heels as the stunning details at the very top and bottom of the outfit is so elegant and classy looking.

The 'Oh So Sparkly' Shoes:
Oh wow... let's talk about these beauties, shall we? My favourite pair are the plimsolls from Boohoo. I love that they're so casual but all that glitter will jazz up any outfit so you're Christmas ready. And have you ever seen so much sparkle? As Dorota would say "All a blur of sparkly".

The Casual Wear:
If it's causal Christmas wear you're after then your first stop should be Boohoo to order that amazing 'What the elf?!' jumper! I'll put my hand up and admit I cringe at the sight of christmas jumpers. They all look ridiculously hideous but I quite like this one. I think because it's really simple and would be a lot easier to style than the, let's call them 'out there' jumpers. If slogan jumpers aren't your thing then why not try a sparkly jumper like the black one above. I think this would look lovely with a burgundy or faux leather skirt.

I'm off to order a Christmas outfit now! Sincerest apologies bank balance.....

Do you have a christmas party coming up? What will you be wearing on Christmas day?

Cliona xx


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sensational Skincare: Origins GinZing

Origins ginzing

Winter is creeping up on us very quickly and dull, dry, flaky skin has become a major problem for me. I've been using two energy boosting products from Origins to battle lacklustre skin for the last few months and *spoiler alert* they're both a-ma-zing!

Origins GinZing scrub cleanser
Origins ginzing refreshing scrub cleanser

Refreshing Scrub Cleanser:
I had originally only planned on buying the moisturiser but at the time this cleanser had just been released and I was intrigued to say the least. It's a clear gel with tiny exfoliating particles in it that turns creamy when massaged into the skin. I apply this to wet skin and rub in upward circular motions every morning and follow up with the matching moisturiser. It washes off quickly and easily; I find that splashing water over your face and gently patting dry with a face cloth is the best method. Using a muslin cloth to wipe it off takes a lot longer and I was always left with some of the little beads still on my face.

My skin is quite sensitive so I'm not one for exfoliating everyday but I found this to be very gentle and not irritating at all so it was perfect for everyday use. I tried using it in the evenings after removing the bulk of my makeup with micellar water (review here) but it wasn't great at removing the last traces of dirt and makeup. I had to use another cleanser after to get my skin clean and makeup free and it's not appropriate for use on the eyes so it just ended up being a pain to use in the evenings. But for morning use it was brilliant! My skin was left feeling smoother and makeup was easier to apply. It also looked a lot brighter which is just what I need for the winter months. Even the best manual exfoliators dry out the skin ever so slightly but not with this.

It has quite a hefty price tag at €34.50 but it lasts ages (I've been using it for two and half months and I still have just under half left) and is worth it in my opinion. Best morning cleanser I've come across so far!

Origins GinZing moisturiser
Origins GinZing moisturiser

Energy Boosting Moisturiser:
Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to the best moisturiser in the history of skincare. My favourite thing about the ginzing moisturiser is the gorgeous scent of oranges. Even though it's two main ingredients are coffee beans and panax ginseng it smells nothing like either of those, in fact it reminds me a lot of jaffa cakes. Yes, as you can imagine I was VERY tempted to dip my finger in and have a little taste. But I resisted, instead I slathered it on my face and here's what happened.......

It sinks into the skin in seconds and there's never a patch of greasy residue in sight. So so lovely. It has a light gel texture that soothes, refreshes and hydrates the skin leaving it smooth, soft and plump. And of course not forgetting the radiance properties it has, my skin looks brighter and healthier. This is perfect for my combination skin type but as my skin gets very dry in the colder months I do need to use Hydraluron to give it a helping hand. Due to it's lightweight and oil-free formula it also makes for a great makeup base. Is there anything this moisturiser can't do?

And if it's good enough for Nina Dobrev well then it's certainly good enough for me!

The woman at the counter told me that it lasts six months but I'm telling you that was a either a lie to get me to buy it or her skin is very parched because she's only using a minuscule amount. Sales people do amuse me sometimes with their fibs. Despite that it does last a pretty long time as a little bit truly does go a long way. My only issue is that it comes in a tub which isn't particularly hygienic so I would love to see them bring out a tube or pump form as well. Other than that it's absolutely perfect!

Both of these products are very effective and I've noticed wonderful improvements with my skin. The zesty orange scent is so refreshing and it instantly wakes me up on early mornings. Both products feel so luxurious and left my skin feeling a whole lot softer and looking much brighter and healthier. Just wow.

What sensational skincare products have you discovered recently?

Cliona xx

- Origins skincare can be bought in Debenhams stores nationwide or Boots Liffey Valley or Boots online

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