3 High End Blushes To Try

Sunday, 28 August 2016

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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Taking A Gap Year Before Going To College

Friday, 26 August 2016

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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My First Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick

Saturday, 20 August 2016

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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The Transitional Wardrobe: Lace-Up Jumper

Friday, 19 August 2016

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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The New Highlighter On The Block

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

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.

5 Tips To Improve Your Outfit Photography

Sunday, 7 August 2016

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...

The August Makeup Menu

Saturday, 6 August 2016

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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What makeup will you be wearing this month? 

Cliona xx

The Best Biker Jackets On The High Street

Friday, 5 August 2016

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

Mac Amber Lights Dupe

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Mac Amber Lights Dupe

Gold eyeshadow is a firm favourite in my makeup wardrobe. I love how versatile it is: It can be worn on its own during the day or paired with a few eyeshadows for a dramatic night-time look. If you read my first mac haul blog post last year then you'll know that one of my first Mac eyeshadows was 'Amber Lights'. I fell in love with it and there was nothing like it in my collection until I stumbled upon this little Kiko gem. Of course, there are a few minor differences between the two but the similarity in shade is uncanny........

   Mac Amber Lights:   

Shade: This beautiful golden shade is unique to any other golds in my collection as it has copper/bronze undertones. The colour makes my blue eyes pop like no other eyeshadow can - it looks incredible on! 

Finish: It has a frost finish so it looks quite metallic or foiled and it kind of reminds of the Makeup Geek foiled eyeshadows - stunning! The finish is quite intense when used dry but if you use it wet it makes an even bigger statement!

Texture: As with all Mac eyeshadows, it has a buttery soft texture which is easy to blend and the colour payoff is fantastic. 

Other Details: Although it has a frost finish it still wears really well and doesn't fade or crease throughout the day. It looks amazing on its own or paired with some matte browns. My favourite combination is Mac 'Texture' in the crease, 'Swiss Chocolate' on the outer corner and then 'Amber Lights' all over the lid.

Price: It costs €10 for the pro refill pans or else €17 to buy on its own

Mac Amber Lights Dupe Blog Post

   Kiko High Pigment Eyeshadow No. 18:   

Shade: This Kiko eyeshadow is half the price of its Mac counterpart and there are only a few differences between them. The shade of this is very similar to the Mac version as it is a shimmery golden shade with bronze undertones. The only difference between the shade that I notice is the Kiko eyeshadow has more bronze undertones whereas the Mac eyeshadow has slight coppery undertones, making the Kiko version a tad bit darker looking. 

Finish: The Kiko eyeshadow has a similar high-sheen, foiled finish. The intensity of the finish isn't as strong as the Mac shadow when used dry but once you spray a bit of Fix+ on your brush it gives the exact same finish.

Texture: The texture of this eyeshadow is silky smooth just like the Mac one and it's also very easy to blend. The texture feels very luxurious and is just as easy to work with as Mac or Urban Decay shadows.

 Pigmentation & Staying Power: The colour pay-off does lack a little compared to the Mac shadow but when used wet the pigmentation is incredible! For the swatches below I had to build it up a few layers so it does take a little longer to apply. It wears pretty well for the price; There is a little fading and creasing towards the end of the day but that's to be expected for the price point. The only major difference between the two products is that the Kiko shadow has quite a bit of fallout but that's easy to clean with a bit of concealer.

Price: It costs €5.90 and can be bought on the Kiko website

P.S. My one received a little battering as you can see from the photos. My 2-year-old niece loves to route through my makeup bag but unfortunately she doesn't quite grasp the concept that makeup breaks when you throw it on the floor *insert the monkey with his hands over his eyes emoji* At least it wasn't expensive, haha!

Mac Amber Lights Dupe Swatches

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Further Reading: 

Have you tried any of these eyeshadows?

Have you any makeup dupes to share?

Cliona xx

How To Style The Little White Dress

Monday, 1 August 2016

How to style the little white dress
How to style LWD blog post

The little white dress is promptly becoming a style staple in everyone's wardrobe. This summer they seem to have taken over the high street as I see them absolutely everywhere; from shop windows to online shops. I don't really have that much black in my wardrobe as I like to keep my style bright and fun. I admit that I don't own a little black dress {I know!!} but the little white dress is definitely a piece that I can get on board with. I could've kept this look simple and classic but if you're a long time reader of then you'll know that my style is all about statement pieces and the little details.

How to style a peplum dress

   1. Choosing The Right Dress   

When I stumbled upon this dress on Missguided I knew I just had to buy it and if you follow me on Snapchat {username: clionahill} then you'll know that this dress was the culprit that motivated a mammoth haul *wink wink* I fell in love with the intricate lace and the peplum detail is a nice feature too. Speaking of peplum, I've wanted to get a dress in that style for what seems like forever so I was excited but also apprehensive as to how it would look on. But I needn't have feared because it looks well on.

Top Tip: Choose a versatile dress that will bring you from Summer to Winter. I usually stay away from light summer dresses as much as possible because we just don't get the weather for them in Ireland. You'll get a lot more wear out of a dress that can be worn during all of the seasons so you can justify your sneaky purchase ;-)

Top 5 Little White Dresses:

   2. Add A Splash Of Colour   

If you read my 3 fashion tips for Irish/Uk Summers blog post then you'll you know that I'm a fan of wearing bright colours. My style is most definitely not classic or minimalistic; I like to have fun with my style by adding colour and texture. A statement jacket {outfit post} is my favourite way to make an outfit more interesting and there are some beautiful pink and purple jackets/cardigans on the high street at the moment. I have my eye on a few of the bomber jackets down below ;-)

Top Tip: Pink and purple shades look the best with a simple white dress in my opinion and they look particularly great with brunette hair!

Top 5 Bright Jackets & Cardigans:

Rose Gold Jewellery Blog Post

   3. Rose Gold Details   

You all probably know from my Instagram that I am rose gold obsessed: From makeup packaging to jewellery to homeware! Adding a few rose gold pieces to an all white outfit is a simple way of adding subtle colour. The rose-gold pinky hue looks really well against white and I think the jewellery stands out when it's paired with white.

Top Tip: You don't need expensive pieces of jewellery as there are loads of beautiful rose-gold pieces on the high street that are very affordable these days. My watch is from Parfois and that's where I get all of my watches from as they're affordable but very good quality.

Rose Gold Accessories On The High Street:

How to wear a lace dress

   4. Tan Shoes   

A pair of tan shoes completes the look well and contrasts against the white which I think adds a lovely detail to the outfit. Mine were cheap from Penneys but sadly they were not cheerful. They're currently in the bin as they cut into my ankles leaving a nice big cut - The joys! Next summer I'll definitely invest in a good pair of plain tan pumps but for now, I'll stick to my Zara espadrilles from this outfit post and when the Autumn comes {not long now - Eep! Hello cosy nights in, oversized jumpers and pumpkin scented candles.....} I'll switch to my Chelsea boots which you can have a peep at in this autumnal outfit post.

Top Tip: You can trade your tan sandals or pumps for a nice pair of tan ankle or Chelsea boots - Paired with a cream or stone-coloured jacket would look lovely with your little white dress!

Top 5 Tan Shoes:

What I Wore:

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Further Reading: 

How do you style a white dress?

Cliona xx

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