Sunday, 28 August 2016

3 High End Blushes To Try

Nars, Mac & Benefit Blush review

I love high street products and some can rival their high-end counterparts. However, when it comes to blushes I always gravitate towards high-end brands as the quality is so much better. I don't own too many high street blushes as I find they're lacking in the pigmentation department. Nars, Mac, and Benefit are my go-to brands for blushes and today I thought I'd share 3 of my favourites that are always in my makeup bag........

|1. Mac Mineralize Blush 'Warm Soul'|

This blush is great for a natural, subtle makeup look as one quick swipe instantly perks up the skin providing a healthy glow. It can also be built up for a stronger look and I always tend to build it up during the cold winter months as it provides that "I've just been out in the cold look" ;-)

It looks quite daunting in the packaging with it's shimmery/frosted finish. However, once applied to the skin the golden shimmer is very fine and provides a subtle glow rather than a high sheen finish. The shade is a beautiful peachy pink shade. I've read reviews of the old version of this where people describe it as a dusty pink but I think they must've reformulated it as it's more of a peachy pink shade now. 

top 3 high end blushers review

|2. Nars 'Luster' Blush |

I would describe it as a golden apricot peach shade. The Mac blush mentioned above is pink toned whereas the Nars blush has orange undertones. The pigmentation of this product is much stronger than its Mac counterpart. The swatch of the Nars blush below is only one layer whereas I had to build up the Mac one to two layers for it to show up on camera properly. I find that I need to use this with a light hand for my everyday makeup. 

The quality of this blush is the most luxurious of the three. The formula is incredibly smooth and it's very easy to blend. The golden sheen is a little more palpable with this blush compared to the Mac one so if you're not a fan of shimmer then this blush isn't for you. 

Overall, it's definitely worth the extra pennies!

|3. Benefit 'Dandelion' Blush |

Benefit Dandelion was actually my first high-end blush and it's still a firm favourite in my collection. The shade is very different from the other two as it's a soft pink shade. It has very finely milled flecks of golden shimmer running through it but it's hardly noticeable compared to the other two products. It's quite light so it suits pale skin perfectly but for darker skin tones I'd say this would be more of a highlighter or brightening powder. 

The formula doesn't feel as luxurious as the Nars one but in my opinion, the quality is better than the Mac blush. It feels silky soft which makes it very easy to blend. In the swatch photo below it looks quite powdery and that's only because I dropped it and it smashed *insert crying emoji* 

High end blush review blog post

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What blushers have you been loving lately?

Cliona xx

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Friday, 26 August 2016

Taking A Gap Year Before Going To College

Lace-up skirt outfit
autumn lace-up skirt outfit
Irish fashion blog - outfit post

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|Results Day|

On the 17th of August I nervously opened a little brown envelope that would be one factor that would decide what path I go down in life. Many of you might not know that I struggled to go to school due to school phobia so the thought of even sitting the Leaving Cert let alone getting the points I needed was difficult. The minimum amount of points that I needed was 380 and for someone that hadn't gone to school in 3 years, it seemed impossible. I ended up dropping to 3 ordinary level subjects and so I was left with 3 higher level subjects - The most amount of points I could've received was 480 out of 600. It was a big risk to take but I took it anyway and worked harder than I've ever worked before. I ended up getting very high grades and I walked away with 390 points. I still can't believe that it happened and it feels like a dream in all honesty.

Missguided lace-up skirt outfit
How to style a biker jacket

|Nabbing My Dream College Course|

Last Monday was the day I received an offer for my dream college course in DCU. Quite a few of you won't be familiar with 'the points race' but basically, they offer college places based on who has the highest points and someone with lower points than required by the course might get a place if they need to fill it up. The points go up and down every year so you're never fully sure how many points you're going to need - In a nutshell, it's a very stressful system and it's all up in the air until the day the CAO offers are released. 

I was completely over the moon that I actually got the course that I wanted and I cannot wait to get started! The course I'll be doing is Communication Studies and the modules are perfect for me as there is a bit of everything in it - From digital media skills to analysing media content to media writing to photography and imaging to press and public relations and many more modules that are incorporated into blogging. It's safe to say that it is the perfect course for me!

Transitional outfit ideas

|Why It's Ok To Take A Gap Year|

Taking a gap year seems to be an iffy subject here in Ireland. There's a lot of pressure to go straight to college and then straight from college into a job. Although I value the importance of education and I love studying (I'd like to go on and do a post-grad as well as a masters) I do think it's important to take a break to go after what you want. Whether that's just relaxing after a stressful year, going travelling, doing a short course (I'll be doing a makeup course as I'd like to incorporate that qualification into my future career.) or just taking time out to prepare yourself for college and think about what you want for your future.

Do what feels right for you! And if going straight to college feels right then do that! But whatever you decide to do don't feel pressurised into doing something that you don't want to do.

How to style a lace up skirt

|My Plans For The Year|

My focus for the year is CBT and saying yes to opportunities that are presented to me. I'm lucky enough to be invited to a few events here and there but I've never been able to go due to school priorities. I'm going to try to attend all of them as best as I can and push myself to do things that scare me. I want to grow as a person and grow my blog in a way that I wouldn't have been able to do if I went straight to college.

I'm very passionate about my blog and I'm hard working so I want to dedicate time to building it up. I want to learn new things about the industry this year and put my heart and soul into it. I can't wait to get more serious about the blog and see where it takes me. Watch this space - There'll be lots more content coming your way...........

Have you ever had a gap year?

What are your thoughts on gap years?

Cliona xx

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Shop My Autumn Wish List:


Saturday, 20 August 2016

My First Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury kidman's kiss review

Confession time: I've never owned a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick before so I was eager to try one. When I saw the release of the new Hot Lips collection I was intrigued, to say the least. It was a very hard decision to pick just one. I had my eye on 'Kidman's Kiss' as well as 'Liv It Up' but I chose the former as it was quite different to any shade that I already own. I was blown away by every aspect of this lipstick and I genuinely can't understand why it took me so long to try a CT lipstick *insert shocked emoji*

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   1. Shade:   

'Kidman's Kiss is a beautiful light peachy pink shade which looks quite bright on the lips. This is the brightest neutral shade I own so I think it would be perfect for those who aren't comfortable with bright lipsticks and you want to start off with something easy.

   2. Formula & Finish:   

The formula of this lipstick is just incredible! It has a matte finish but it's the creamiest matte lipstick I've ever come across. It's a dream to apply as it just glides on effortlessly, doesn't drag on the lips and doesn't accentuate any dry patches. Although it has a matte finish, it's a unique one as it has a slight satin sheen to it. The formula also plumps my lips making them look slightly bigger so when you wear this with a liner it makes them look even bigger - Who needs lip fillers when you have this?

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips kidman's kiss

   3. Pigmentation   

As I would expect with the €30 price tag, the colour payoff is excellent! One light layer of this packs a serious punch to the lips. I often have to build up my Mac lipsticks to two layers depending on the shade or formula but with this particular lipstick, one light layer is all that's needed.

   4. Lasting Power:   

Again, the lasting power is incredible! I applied this around 11am the other day and it was my sister's birthday so we headed to the pub for a carvery lunch. A big dinner, a dessert, a glass of water and a cup of tea later the lipstick was still holding up well. Around 4pm we headed home and I was in the car with my sister when she asked me had I reapplied the lipstick - I answered no and we were both shocked! There was a little bit of breakdown which is understandable but it still looked pretty good. Around 5pm was when I would've needed to apply another layer if I were still out and about. 

Charlotte Tilbury Kidman's Kiss review

   5. Worth The Pennies?   

YES! Not only is the packaging perfection from the luxurious rose gold exterior to the intricate engraving of a set of lips on the product, but the quality of the product is incredible. The lasting power alone is what sets this apart from a Mac lipstick. I will definitely be purchasing more CT lipsticks! 

Charlotte Tilbury Kidman's kiss

Have you tried a CT lipstick?

If so, what's your favourite shade? 
{I need inspo for my next purchase *wink wink*}

Cliona xx

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Friday, 19 August 2016

The Transitional Wardrobe: Lace-Up Jumper

Missguided lace-up jumper ootd
Lace-up jumper outfit details

What I Wore:

   Introducing a new series to!   

I'm done with the Summer at this stage and I'm longing for the shorter days, cosy knitwear and candlelit movie nights under a fluffy blanket. I've already begun updating my transitional wardrobe and this lace-up jumper outfit is the first appearance into 'The Transitional Wardrobe' series. 

In all honesty, I despise summer clothes and my heart belongs to Autumn fashion. I probably would be into summer style a little bit more if we actually got the weather to wear them here in Ireland. I usually only get two weeks wear out of my summer clothes and the rest of the time is spent in transitional pieces. I'm not a huge fan of transitional clothing because we're forced to wear them so much but I like them more when I can feel the weather changing and the excitement kicks in for Autumn.

how to style a lace-up jumper

My favourite lace-up pieces:

   Why I love this jumper   

I wasn't sure how I felt about the lace-up trend when it first started bombarding the shops but over the summer it has grown on me. When I first spotted this one on Missguided I immediately fell in love with the detail front as well as the sleeves, and I also loved the blush pink colour. If you've been reading for a while then you'll know that I'm obsessed with the colour and I even wore it in my recent summer blazer outfit post . Sadly, the jumper is sold out in this colour but they still the white version left which I've linked in the 'what I wore' widget. Happy shopping ;-)

Lace-up jumper outfit details
lace-up top outfit

What do you think of the lace-up trend?

Cliona xx

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The New Highlighter On The Block

Saturated Colour Cosmetics Make Me Shimmer review

Highlighters have promptly become the 'must-have' product in everyone's makeup bag in recent years. People no longer apply their '5-minute face' without even a little bit of highlighter. If you read my Becca Champagne Pop review then you'll have probably guessed by now that I'm hopping on this highlighter bandwagon and I've found some real gems. They come in all forms from liquid, to powder to creams. The latest highlighter I've been enjoying is this highlighting pencil called 'Make Me Shimmer' from Saturated Colour Cosmetics*. 

   1. Shade:   

It's a beautiful golden shade packed with lots of shimmer. The shimmer is quite pearlescent looking on the skin which provides a healthy glow and a 'lit from within' look. It gives a subtle luminous sheen to the skin which is perfect for everyday wear.

Saturated colour cosmetics highlighter review

   2. Colour Payoff   

The colour payoff is excellent for a cream product and considering the £6 price point I'm very impressed! It isn't overly intense so it's amazing for daytime wear but I was able to build it up easily as well. It would also be perfect for beginners as it's very easy to use and you can go light-handed with it too. 

   3. Formula:   

The formula is actually my favourite thing about this as it's really creamy which makes applying it so simple. It literally glides onto the skin effortlessly and is much easier to use than the No7 highlighting stick which drags my skin a little.

Saturated Colour Cosmetics Highlighter swatches

   4. How I Use It:   

The pencil-style applicator makes it very easy to use on the inner corner of the eye, the brow bone, down the centre of the nose and on the cupid's bow. The style of this pen is much more practical than the Clinique Chubby Sticks or the No7 highlighting stick which are neglected in my make collection because what's the point if you can't highlight the smaller areas of your face? I usually apply two layers of it for daytime wear and then if I want my makeup to be a little bit more dramatic looking I apply it under a powder product. I find that this makes a powder that's lacking a little in pigmentation really pop for a dramatic highlight.

   5. Where To Buy:   

It can be bought on Saturated Colour Cosmetics' website and it's a bargain at £6!

The photo below is me wearing 2 layers of the highlighter on my cheekbones and 1 layer on my brow bone, down the centre of my nose and on my cupid's bow - I'm in love with it!

Have you tried any products from this brand?

Cliona xx

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*This post contains a press sample but as always my review is my own thoughts and is 100% honest. For more information read my disclaimer here.


Sunday, 7 August 2016

5 Tips To Improve Your Outfit Photography

How to improve outfit photography

Ever since starting I have become obsessed with photography. I bought a DSLR back in 2014 and I love learning new things about the camera every day. I'm by no means a photographer or an expert at photography - I'm still learning and trying to improve my photos but however, I thought I'd compile a list of things that I've learned about outfit photography so far as I get a lot of compliments about my photos.....

   1. Equipment:   

Do you need a DSLR? I feel like my outfit photos improved hugely last year and that is completely down to my DSLR camera. I have a Canon 1200d and although it's the cheapest DSLR on the market and it's considered to be low on the quality scale, it's still a very good camera in my opinion. As long as you learn how to utilise your camera to the best of its ability then your photos will improve hugely. You can see the difference in the quality of my photos before I learned how to use my camera in this outfit post and this outfit post was taken a few weeks after when I had learned to use my camera properly.

Top Tip: Look up tutorials on youtube and read your manual to become familiar with the settings - it was the best thing I did to improve my photos.

Kit Lens vs 50mm f/1.8 lens:  Personally, I think the quality of your photos all depends on the type of lens you have. I swear by the 50mm lens f/1.8 which is how I get a strong depth of field {blurry background}.

Settings I use: If you're a beginner {I still consider myself as a beginner} then I would recommend NOT SHOOTING ON MANUAL MODE for your outfit photos. I shoot on Aperture Priority as it's the easiest to work with. If you're like me then you usually rope a member of family or friends who has no clue about blog photos and cameras to take your photos so this setting will be much easier for them to use. I lower my f-stop to 1.8 to get that dreamy blurry background, and I usually shoot with a low ISO but I bump up the exposure to get bright and airy photos.

How to improve outfit photography for a blog

How to take fashion blog photos

   2. Angles & Action Shots:   

Capturing Details: I aim to tell a story in my outfit photos and experimenting with different angles for detail shots always contributes to telling that story. I like to take head-shots whilst touching my hair or hat to show off my jewellery as well as sharing a hat, sunglasses or whatever I'm wearing. As you can see from the photo above: you're able to see my hat, nail polish and watch all in one photo without having to take individual photos for everything.

Action Shots: Action shots are also a nice way to tell a story in outfit photos. Some of my favourite action shots are walking towards the camera, putting on a jacket like I did in the photo above or this outfit post or drinking tea which you can see in this outfit post . The aim is to have a few photos where you're "caught off guard" but really they're probably the most staged photos of the shoot ;-)


how to shoot photos in golden hour

   3. Lighting:   

Lots of bloggers suggest that an overcast day is actually better for photos, but I don't think this works well for outfit photography. A sunny day will give a bright fresh look to the photos - You can see a massive difference between the lighting in both of the photos below. The one on the left is bright and airy whereas the photo on the right is quite dull and lacklustre. You're also more likely to get a sun flare in a photo when it's sunny and I always think this adds a nice touch.

Golden Hour: Another great time to shoot outfit photos is at golden hour. It can be hard to get the lighting perfect but when I do, it looks incredible! The photo up above was shot at golden hour, but it was taken away from the light. 

Shoot Into The Light: Most blog photography posts will advise you to shoot away from the light but with outfit photos don't be afraid to shoot into the light - the photo down below on the left was shot directly into the sun and the lighting looks beautiful.

How to get a lens flare: I love getting a lens flare in my outfit photos as it looks magical. To get a lens flare I always shoot into the light and tilt the camera slightly upwards towards the sun so it reflects the light - it's kind of hard to explain and probably something I would need to show in video form. A Snapchat video maybe? I only found out how to get it by an accident as it happens so there's probably a better way of doing it but this is just how I do it.

how to improve fashion blog photography

   4. Location:   

Choose a location that compliments your outfit: I try my best to find a location that compliments the colours of my outfit - It doesn't always work out but when it does it looks amazing! As you can see from the photos above the minimalistic black & white building really compliments my pinafore dress and tights in the photo on the left, and the green bridge on the right matches my jeans. 

Your location should tell a story: I try to choose a location that tells a story as it looks much more interesting than a plain background. One of my favourite spots to shoot in Dublin is the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre (photographed below) as the architecture speaks for itself and to be honest I could probably wear a bin bag and this stunning building would manage to make it look good *wink wink*

Fashion blog photography tips

   5. Tips for your "photographer"   

Take the photo yourself first: What I usually do is take a photo of my Mam first, adjust the settings and then she recreates the photo. 

Teach your photographer the terms: My Mam now knows what I mean by rule of thirds and head shots etc so when I ask for those type of shots she knows what I mean.

Ask them to bend their knees: By bending their knees it makes you look taller and slimmer in photos, and it just looks a lot nicer.

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More Photography Tips:

How do you take your outfit photos?

Cliona xx


Saturday, 6 August 2016

The August Makeup Menu

August Makeup bag essentials

With a new month comes a makeup rotation and today I'll be taking you through what I plan to use this month makeup wise...... 

   The Base:   

For my primer, I'll be using Benefit That Gal which is a brightening primer. It provides luminosity to the skin, instantly making me look healthier and it's also quite hydrating. The main reason why I tend to use these type of brightening primers is for their hydrating properties. My skin gets quite dry and foundation often clings to my dry areas so using a primer like this or strobe cream from Mac prevents that from happening. I only ever buy the sample size of this though because I just don't think it's worth the price - You can get 30ml of Mac strobe cream for €10 and it's much better in my opinion.

The weather here in Ireland hasn't been great so I haven't really gotten the chance to wear much "Summer makeup" so this month I'll be sporting a lighter base and my favourite is the Nars Tinted Moisturiser. It evens out skin tone, covers imperfections and provides a healthy glow to the skin - Love!

My current favourite concealer is a cheap but cheerful little gem from Boots: Rimmel Match Perfection concealer. This medium coverage concealer is great for using both under the eyes and on spots. It has a pen style applicator similar to the Mac Prep & Primer Highlighter {review}. I've really been liking it - It doesn't crease under the eyes and it's quite hydrating. 


For bronzer, I've been using another great budget product: Catrice Sun Glow Mineral Bronzing Powder. It's a light bronzing powder perfect for pale skin with tiny golden flecks running through it. It looks very similar to Mac mineralize powders and the Hourglass bronzers but a fraction of the price, of course! I love it because it warms up my face as well as providing a subtle glow to the skin.

If you read my Becca Champagne Pop review then it will come as no surprise to you that I've been obsessed with it recently. This beautiful golden peachy shade instantly perks up the skin and it can be used to provide a natural subtle glow or when used heavy-handed it packs a serious punch!

And lastly, to finish off my complexion I'll be using one of my favourite blushers: Nars 'Luster'.  A beautiful peachy shade with golden shimmer in it. This looks incredible on and provides a sheen to the skin which I love!

What's in my makeup bag


I'm plan on using my Zoeva Cocoa Blends palette for eyeshadow this month. I recently dug it out of my makeup drawer and forgot how beautiful it was. It's full of statement warm shades from browns, golds to a cranberry shade. I did a 'Get Ready With Me' over on my Snapchat {@clionahill} yesterday and it should still be there until 4pm today. 

For brows, I'll be using my favourite product: Sleek Brow Kit. I love the wax in this as it's very pigmented and easy to work with. However the powder is a miss from me!

To finish off the eyes I'll be using my all-time favourite mascara - the Bourjois Volume 1 Second mascara. Volume? Check! Lenght? Check!  Smudging? Nope! 


Recently my lipstick of choice has been Mac 'Tropic Tonic' - A statement coral shade with a slight orangey undertone. It has a matte finish but it's not overly drying and in fact, the formula is quite creamy so I hardly ever have to exfoliate before I wear it - Perfect for us lazy girls *wink wink* The majority of corals I own look quite pink but this shade is very different to any other coral as it leans more on the orangey-red side than pink. Even if you own 50 coral shades you still need this in your life as it's so unique!

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Previous Post:

What makeup will you be wearing this month? 

Cliona xx


Friday, 5 August 2016

The Best Biker Jackets On The High Street

How to style the biker jacket
How to style a suede biker jacket
How to wear a biker jacket

I've wanted to buy a biker jacket for a while now but I was worried that they wouldn't suit me. I feel that some of the trends recently have been quite edgy and that's the last word I'd use to describe my style, ha! The biker jacket is one of those edgy trends that I was apprehensive to try but when I spotted this Missguided jacket I knew I could incorporate it into my wardrobe. 

The faux suede jacket is really good quality and fits perfectly. It's cropped so it will look great with high waisted jeans but it actually looks nice paired with these low-rise jeans that I'm wearing also.  The material is light but there's plenty of room to add a few layers underneath so this will be a great transitioning piece.

My bomber jackets better watch out because I think the biker jacket trend could become an obsession........

What I wore:

Missguided Jacket // H&M T-shirt {similar} // Penneys Fedora Hat {similar} // Penneys Sunglasses {similar} // Bershka Jeans {similar} // Stradivarius Striped Runners {similar}

Biker Jacket Outfit Inspiration
Suede biker jacket outfit
How to layer necklaces

Shop My Favourites:

Casual outfit details
how to style a suede biker jacket

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Are you a fan of the biker jacket?

Which jacket is your favourite?

Cliona xx

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