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Instagram Snaps // July Highlights

Friday, 31 July 2015

July has come and gone in the blink of 
an eye and today I'm going to chat
about what I've been up to lately......

Instagram Diary

.......


1. A Cinema Trip: A few weeks ago I headed off to the cinema to see Magic Mike. I hadn't been to the cinema since the start of the summer so I was dying to go again. The one thing that was on my 'summer bucket list' was to go to the cinema regularly as I just don't get the time during the school year. I haven't been going as much as I'd like to but my aim for August is to see as many film as I can! Apologies to my bank balance in advance *wink wink* As for the film in question - Magic Mike - it wasn't great unfortunately. It didn't have much of a storyline but I won't say I didn't enjoy watching Channing Tatum dance with his shirt off because that would just be a lie, now wouldn't it? And also hellloo Matt Bomer ;-) Ever since watching White Collar he has become one of my favourite actors and it was interesting seeing him play a completely different role.

2. My first Mac Haul: If you read my Mac wishlist then you'll know that this month I was planning to go to Mac for the first time ever. I was so overwhelmed with all the choice - I didn't know where to begin! Overall my experience at Mac was really enjoyable but I did encounter one very rude woman. I was quite annoyed about it and I was about to head over to the Nars counter instead when I just thought I'm not gonna let one rude comment ruin my first Mac experience. So I then made my way over to the eyeshadow counter where I met a lovely man called John who went above and beyond to help me. To be continued....... in an upcoming haul post that will be headed to your computer screens very shortly.....

3. Getting Organised: Here in Ireland, at the end of the last year of secondary school we sit a state exam known as The Leaving Cert. This exam is incredibly hyped up and most people act like it's the be all and end all. Yes, it's important but at the end of the day there are other options and ways of getting your dream course. I'm trying not to get too stressed about it but one thing I want to do is get my blog organised so that I won't have to worry about it whilst trying to study. So this month I've been busy writing out lots of plans and scheduling some posts. I have all my posts planned up until the New Year but in terms of actually scheduling I have the month of September done. I just have my beauty and lifestyle posts done as I'm not sure whether or not to schedule my outfits. I might just do them as I go along so that I'm not completely away from my blog (as it is my outlet to get away from stress after all) but I think I'll just shoot a few backups just incase.

4. Bedroom Updates: As I mentioned in my dressing table tour post, my biggest goal for the summer was to add the finishing touches to my bedroom. This month it's been all about the homeware hauls, clear-outs and rearranging furniture. I picked up some new pretty bedding from Penneys along with some delicious candles, pretty fake flowers and a stunning copper lamp. I still have a few small bits to pick up but for the most part my bedroom is finished. I'm absolutely in love with it - It's so cosy! I might even do a blog post sharing the little changes I've made. Now I kinda wish I'd taken some before pictures but ah well!

Things I'm looking forward to in August: Dare I say, it's the last month of Summer and I will certainly be making the most of it. I'm not looking forward to going back to school but I have a few nice things coming up before that.....

1. Lots of cinema trips ~ Like I said before I want to make the most out of the free time I have and go to the cinema a lot more this month. The ones I'm excited to see are Ant-man, Hot Pursuit and Paper Towns. Is there anything else good coming out this month?

2. A spa visit ~ In a few weeks myself and my family are headed away to a hotel spa break for my sister's 30th. I can't wait to switch off and unwind for a few days.

3. A hair change ~ I'm thinking of going a little shorter with my hair but I keep getting cold feet. I really hate how it looks at the moment and whenever I see photos of myself I feel so down about my hair. I might just get a few extra inches cut off and see if I like it, and if not it will always grow back.

What were your July highlights?

Love,
Cliona xx



Are Essie Polishes Worth The Money?

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Reasons why I love Essie nail polishes
 and meet my all-time favourite shade.....

Essie 'Lilacism" review

                                         ......


After having a bad experience with a streaky nail polish I went back to my fail-safe nail polish brand: Essie. And as I was opening up my bottle of 'Lilacism' I asked myself are Essie polishes really worth their €10 price tag?

1. Fabulous Formulas: Essie always steals my heart with their amazing formulas. Most of the time they have a thick creamy consistency and when applied they have a beautiful high-shine, glossy finish. I also find their formulas to be non-streaky and most of them I've tried go opaque after two coats.

2. Wonderful wear-time: Essie polishes last incredibly well on me. With a good top and base coat I get five days wear out of them with minimal chipping.

3. Brilliant Brushes: Essie have the widest brushes I've ever come across which makes them a dream to apply. Their wide brushes allow for easy application with just one swipe across the nail (although I have tiny nails so you might need two or three swipes) and it also distributes the product evenly.

I've been obsessed with Essie polishes for years and I've tried my fair share of them but the one shade that has stood out to me the most is 'Lilacism'. If you follow me on Instagram then you'll be all too familiar with this bad boy. I feature it a lot as not only does it look pretty but it's my favourite Essie shade ever (yes, even beating the famous 'Mint Candy Apple'). Just like it's name would suggest it's a gorgeous light summery lilac shade with a creamy glossy finish. The formula of this one is a little thinner than than any of the other polishes I've tried and I find it applies streaky with the first coat. Normally with Essie polishes I can just apply two coats and it becomes fully opaque but with this one I like to apply three coats. Once it's on though the colour and finish is just stunning. It's the perfect Spring/Summer pastel shade and it looks exceptionally pretty paired with my pink coat. Although it's quite a summery shade I do enjoy wearing it all year round as I just love it so much! It brightens things up in the Winter ;-)

Verdict? Are they really worth the money? Yes! In my opinion they are worth every penny. I have so many different nail polishes from various brands but I rarely ever stray from my beloved Essie (with the exception of Rimmel. Best budget nail polishes!). 

Other shades I'd recommend: 'Chinchilly', 'Mint Candy Apple' & 'It's Genius'

On my wish list: 'Cute as a button' & 'Fiji'

Do you think Essie polishes are worth the money?
And what are your favourite Essie shades?

Love,
Cliona xx




Stripy Tee & Denim Cut-Offs

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

"Even when the sky is filled with clouds
the sun still shines above........"



Weekend Reading // A Few Books I've Read Recently

Sunday, 26 July 2015

3 books I've read recently and what I 
thought of them ..........

book review

Blog Talk | Finding Inspiration

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Today I'll be sharing my thoughts and 
tips on finding inspiration as a blogger....


An Ode To Soap & Glory

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Today I'm confessing my love for a well-known
brand - Soap & Glory! Here's why I love them
and which of their products I'd recommend.....  

Soap & Glory Favourites

......

Soap and Glory has been a bathroom favourite of mine for years now. I instantly fall in love with each of their products and most have become a bathroom staple that I can't live without! I just can't get enough of their amazing products from their body scrubs to the shower gels to the body butters - I've never come across one that I don't like. But Soap and Glory not only do amazing bath and body products they also have a skincare and makeup range too. I've not tried anything from either but I've heard nothing but great things! The 'Brow Archery' is next on my list to try!

But why do I love their products, I hear you ask. Well, first of all let's talk about their packaging. I know packaging isn't the be all and end all but it is a nice touch to a great product. Cute, pink, fun and girly, Soap & Glory sure do know the way to a girl's heart! And let's not forget the oh-so-clever names - 'Orangasm..... cheeky *wink wink* But the most iconic thing about the brand is the scent of their products. There's nothing else out there that could top the scent of an S&G product. They are literally good enough to eat.... they even have to write "not edible" on some of their products, ha! Big thumbs up to whoever is in charge of the scent department! I could sit here and chat about why I love them all night long but instead I've divided my favourite products into three categories and I'll be sharing my ultimate Soap and Glory favourites. Hide your wallets ladies because you won't be able to resist these beauts......

Bath & Shower: There's nothing more I love than hopping into the shower and lathering myself in a S&G shower gel. Somedays when I wake up and I'm not in the best of moods (ahem, Monday) all I want is to have a nice relaxing bath but unfortunately there's never enough time. But thankfully these shower gels feel so luxurious that it's like having a mini pamper session. My favourites are the Sugar Crush (review) and Orangasm. However, when I do get the chance to have a pamper session I go all out with not one bath product but two. My favourite bath time duo is the Calm One Calm All bubble bath paired with the Daily Soothe bath float. Both smell divine individually but when combined it's like a party for your nose! And my last shower companion is Whipped Clean Shower Butter - full review coming soon but for now all you need to know is that it's amazing for shaving with!

Body Scrubs: Soap and Glory are the only brand I turn to for body scrubs. After using an awful one from the Boots Botanics range, I haven't even looked at another brand for body scrubs. That scrub was just awful and I still have nightmares about it..... but I guess that's what I get for cheating on Soap and glory ;-) My first favourite is the Breakfast Scrub (review) and this is the most abrasive scrub I've ever used so it's perfect if you've really flaky skin or it'd be good for fake tanning prep too. Another favourite is Flake Away and I can't get over how good this scent is! With a blend of bergamot and mandarin with floral and fruity mid notes this stuff will have you drooling all over it.

Body Butters: You can't beat The Body Shop body butters but these are definitely up their with them.  My all-time favourite has to be the Daily Smooth body butter (review). It's brilliant on stubborn dry patches and it smells like blackcurrant and vanilla - Yum!

Are you a fan of Soap & Glory?
And if so, what are your favourite products?

Love,
Cliona xx

Sleeveless Blazer & A Blogger Meetup

Sunday, 19 July 2015

What I wore to a blogger meetup last week....

Sleeveless Blazer

Dressing Table Details

Friday, 17 July 2015

In today's post I'm going to be giving you a tour
of my favourite place...... my dressing table......

Dressing table details
Ikea hemnes vanity table
Dressing table styling
White dressing table


........


After years of admiring pretty dressing tables on Pinterest, last year I decided it was finally time tick one up myself. It was an investment that was worth every penny. I'm never away from it, I do absolutely everything at it from applying makeup, styling my hair to school work and blogging. I wanted to create a space that could be used for both school/blogging and beauty purposes. When it came to styling it I knew I wanted it to have a clean, chic look with hints of colour. I wanted to create a space that would make me look forward to early mornings, spark some creativity for my blog and also to make studying less of a chore. After a year of chopping and changing I finally feel that it's 100% ready and I'm just dying to show you around.......

To the left *sings Beyonce style* we have a few little trinkets which includes a pretty little compact mirror, a macaroon box and a lavender candle - such a relaxing scent for when I'm feeling stressed. I also keep some beauty essentials on a plate and I got that idea from Pinterest. I just love Pinterest for handy little tips like this one - You can follow me here. Another cute little storage idea is clear jars, I got my one in Ikea and I store my hand sanitisers in it. I normally have a lamp where the flowers are but I've decided to replace that with some faux flowers but these purple ones are real and they kept the area looking bright for a while. 

And then to the right I keep my round mirror, my everyday makeup brushes and my makeup bag. I also keep some notebooks and my Macbook on the table too to add a workspace feel to the area. And lastly I draped some heart shaped fairy lights around the mirror. I picked these up in Penneys and I just think they add a little magical cosy feel to the dressing table. The mirror and all of the drawers come with it which I love because I'm not a fan of muji style storage, I prefer my makeup to be in drawers. The drawer at the bottom isn't that large but it stores a good bit so I'm pleased with that. 

It's easily my favourite spot in our whole house! I come here to relax, to work, to get ready, to think, to be inspired, the list is endless!

Workspace details
Dressing table
Heart fairy lights

Where's your favourite spot in your house? 

Love,
Cliona xx


Top 5 Skincare Staples

Thursday, 16 July 2015

From high end to budget here's my
top 5 skincare products........

Top 5 Skincare Staples

........

You all know how much I love skincare and I use so many different products that it's pretty impossible to receive a 'staple' or 'favourite' title from me. I'm constantly trying new skincare products and if I repurchase one time after time well that's how you know it's good.....

1. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water: It's safe to say that this makeup remover is a firm favourite as I've lost track at how many times I've repurchased this. I always have a backup so that I never run out because I just don't know what I'd do without this product. It instantly removes makeup with minimal effort, doesn't dry out the skin and it's suitable for my sensitive skin because it doesn't irritate it and it doesn't sting the eye area. Magic in a bottle!

2. Superfacialist by Una Brennan Rose Moisture Mask: Next up is a recent addition to my skincare routine and oh my it is good. I have the driest skin you could ever imagine and I used to always have problems with applying my foundation because of it. I used to always think that I just hadn't found the right foundation for my skin type but when I introduced this into my routine my foundation just started to glide on and there were no visible dry patches any more. This leaves my skin feeling so plump and hydrated and it just gives it a healthy glow. This will be a life saver in the winter months *insert clapping hands emoji*

3. Origins GinZing Moisturiser: Meet my all time favourite moisturiser! After years of searching for an amazing moisturiser I finally found one last summer when I tried this famous little orange tub. What I love most about the ginzing moisturiser is that it hydrates and plumps the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Normally with a good moisturiser I find it leaves a slight residue but there's zero, zilch, nada traces with this! It also sinks into the skin incredibly quickly and it smells like jaffa cakes - need I say more? 

4. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish: I'm prone to quite a few breakouts every now and again and whenever my skin is in need of some TLC I reach for this. My skin is not in great condition at the moment as my current cleanser is just awful so I definitely to repurchase this. This stuff is amazing as it not only removes dirt and makeup but it also gives a deep cleanse to the skin drawing out all of the crap. It also doesn't dry out the skin which is great for me and it doesn't irritate my skin which is prone to sensitivity. 

5. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo: A non-drying/stripping spot cream that not only prevents and treats spots but it also clears scarring too! This product is a life saver if I ever did see one. It's lightweight gel formula is cooling on the skin and it doesn't leave a sticky or tacky residue. Spots better watch their back with this product on the market *wink wink*


What are your favourite skincare products?

Love,
Cliona xx



Fringed Kimono & A Stroll Around Dublin City

Monday, 13 July 2015

Fringed kimono, khaki jeans and studded
plimsolls for a quick Summer stroll around 
Dublin city ..........

Primark fringe kimono

5 Favourite Tv Series On Netflix

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Since the birth of Netflix I think everyones productivity 
levels have gone down. I'm no exception, I love 
getting lost in a series and watching episode after
episode until the sun rises. Awks... Anyway here
are my favourite Netflix Tv Series'.............

Favourite Netflix Shows


.........

1. Orphan Black: This is the most disturbing of the bunch so if that's not your thing then this is one to miss. It all starts when a girl witnesses her 'doppleganger' commit suicide and she decides to steal her identity. But little did she no that she's part of a clone experiment. She becomes friends with a few of her clones and her new life is all about getting to the bottom of this experiment and protecting her daughter. It has quite a few funny bits in it and my favourite character Helena is gas! It's quite gruesome and gory sometimes but the storyline is great - It's incredibly gripping and there's never a boring moment. 

2. Suits: This is a bit more lighthearted and easier to watch than Orphan Black. It's set in New York and is about a man who dropped out of college ends up landing himself a job at one of New York's best law firms. Gripping storylines, amusing characters (Lewis, I'm lookin' at you) and lots of laugh out loud moments. 

3. White Collar: Another lighthearted show but this one has a bit of action to it as well. It's about an ex prisoner who becomes a criminal consultant for the FBI. He works along side Agent Peter Burke and the two become pals. It's incredibly funny at times but it's the exciting storylines that keep me watching. And plus it's set in New York and you get to see all the amazing sites - that's a good enough reason to watch it in my opinion!

4. Between: This is a new release to Netflix and I haven't really heard people talking about it much. It's seriously underrated because it's a fantastic show! It's a science fiction drama about a town that gets hit with a disease that only kills people over 22 and the town is then put under quarantine. You'll be sitting at the edge of your seat with this one! Jennette McCurdy plays one of the main characters and it's such a different role for her but I must say she plays it brilliantly! The only thing that annoys me though is there's only six episodes in the first season and the second season won't be out until 2016! WHY?!  

5. Grace and Frankie: This is another new one to Netflix and this one is a comedy. It's about two women whose husbands fall in love with each other and they become friends after having been rivals for years. It's quite a quirky one but, wow, it's hilarious! And I just love Jane Fonda! I think she's a brilliant actress. Definitely worth a watch!  

Of course I also love Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars but I thought I'd just mention them at the end as I'm pretty sure everyone knows about them at this stage. Or do they?.....

What are your favourite Tv series' on Netflix?

Love,
Cliona xx



Bedtime Beauty

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

There's nothing better than hopping into bed 
and slathering yourself in luxurious beauty 
products after a long day.....

bedside beauty essentials

........


The first thing I like to do after I get into my pjs is take off my makeup. By the end of the day my makeup feels heavy and gross so that's when my Garnier Micellar Water (full reviewcomes to the rescue. It instantly breaks down makeup with minimal effort. It's gentle on sensitive skin, it doesn't leave the skin feeling tight or dry and it's always on offer in Boots for around €4. Bargain! With this on the market, who even needs Bioderma? ;-) I then follow up with the rest of my night skincare routine which I'm gonna save for it's own post. The next skincare product I like to keep beside my bed is the Avene Thermal Spring Water. I love using this for my eczema and for cuts and burns which I'm always getting in the Summer. It's very cooling and soothing so it's perfect for cooling down on a hot Summer's day (although we don't get much of those in Ireland. Yo, heatwave, where you at?).

Once my skin has been pampered it's time to take care of those lips. Nobody wants dry, flaky lips, now do they? *wink wink* The Lush Bubblegum lip scrub is no stranger to my blog as I've mentioned it in my pamper essentials post and I even reviewed it in full too. This little pot of joy keeps my lips flake free and it smells good enough to eat.... no, literally, you can just lick it off your lips! Amazing! Another one I've mentioned in a different pamper post {can you tell I'm partial to the odd pamper session? ;-)} is the Forever Aloe Lips lip balm. It's extremely moisturising and isn't overly greasy. It doesn't have much of a scent but I kind of prefer that in a lip balm anyway, sometimes lip balms can have a strong sickly sweet scent which makes it impossible to apply the product to your lips.

My last bedtime beauty favourites are the Scholl Dry Skin Recovery Cream for my feet and for my hands I like to use The Body Shop Honeymania hand cream. Wearing sandals and uncomfortable shoes in the Summer can be harsh on our poor old feet but this cream is super rich which leaves them feeling soft and gets rid of those pesky dry white patches I often get on my feet. The Body Shop hand creams are one of the best on the market in my opinion and the scent of this one has Summer written all over it! 



What's your pre-bedtime beauty routine?

Sweet Dreams!

Love,
Cliona xx



Blue Skies, Ice-cream, The Pier & Lace Details

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Blue skies, a calm sea, sunshine and a 99 
ice-cream are all you need to have a perfect day......

Beach outfit

Life Lately // June Snaps

Friday, 3 July 2015

Instagram diary

.......


1. My Vanity Table: Last year I decided to do up my room. Nothing major, just a bit of new furniture and a few decor bits and bobs. So I went to Ikea, bought some new furniture and never finished what I had planned to do. The only feature I'm 100% happy with is my vanity table. I got a couple of questions about it when I posted it on Instagram - It's from Ikea and the drawers and mirror come with it. Anyway my mission for the next few weeks is to pick up a few new bits to add to my room. I really want to get it finished before school starts again. I might do a blog post when it's finished but for now I'm just gonna blog about my vanity. Keep your eyes peeled for that one! It's probably going to be my most exciting blog post to date! Well, I think so anyway because I'm obsessed with home decor ;-)

2. Healthy Bakes: I've been baking up a storm lately but I've been ditching my usual bakes which consist of cookies and cakes and opting for some healthier options. I have such a sweet tooth that every night I need to have something sweet with my cuppa (I'm obsessed with apple & pear green tea - I hate the taste of normal green tea but this is delicious!). There's not that many healthy options to buy but there is certainly a lot that can be homemade. I've been baking healthy almond cookies and even though they don't have any flour,sugar or butter in them they're honestly nicer than the real thing. I've also been making coconut oil & almond granola for my brekkie. Whilst browsing Pinterest I came across an almond butter granola recipe so I'm gonna try that one out this weekend. Fingers crossed it turns out nice!

3. Bookworm: My goal for the summer is to read 10 books and I'm doing pretty well so far. So far I've read All The Bright Places and Eleanor & Park. I'll be talking about both of these in detail in an upcoming 'weekend reading' post but I will say that I thought they were both amazing! I was sad to finish them because I got so attached to the characters. A few days ago I went to my local library for the first time in years. I never thought the library would have any good books but I was so surprised to find that they had the newest releases. I picked up four books and I'm a quarter of the way though one but it's so boring that I might have to stop reading it. There's nothing worse than reading a slow/boring book and it totally puts me off reading for weeks or even months! That book definitely won't be getting a mention on my blog, that's for sure! 

4. Blogging & Pinterest Obsessed: Now that school's finished for the summer I have a lot more free time to blog. Yay for that! Last year when I first started my blog I was quite frequent with my posts but unfortunately I've been a bit quiet this year. Because I'm not able to attend school full time I've to put a lot more work in to catch up. That means study all day everyday and I've even been doing a little bit over the summer. I know, I know, it's ridiculous but once the Leaving Cert is over I can fully relax ;-) I've also become completely obsessed with my Pinterest account again. I've been pinning lots of stuff and I've even had a little tidy up of my boards. If that's not dedication, then I don't know what is! 



p.s. Read my last 'life lately' post here


What were your June highlights? 

Love,
Cliona xx




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