Twenty Ten: A Year in Review

One of the great things about blogging is that if you do it for long enough, you can actually look over a whole year in pictures!  I noticed quite a few of my favourite bloggers are doing this kind of post today so here's my contribution :)  Enjoy!

It was at the beginning of last year in January when Albi became our very own little pirate!
 At the end of the previous October his eye was badly scratched when he was attacked by a cat.  He had a big operation and the vet tried to save the eye but it developed glaucoma and had to be removed in January.  After he came out of surgery Albi was like a completely different puppy...he was so happy and energetic since the pain was gone!  It's funny how we never even think of it anymore, it doesn't seem to affect him at all and hardly anyone notices because his hair grows so long, hahaha!

Jonathan (my fiancé) turned 30 in February!  Can you spot Albi under the table?!  Hahaha!

My YouTube channel and blog got A LOT of press!  For which I am so thankful.  :)

In April Albi turned one!  I love my little monster!
For his birthday he got a mini staircase for our bed so he can get up and down by himself.  His legs are too stubby and short, hahaha!  He even had a birthday party at the park with his Maltese friends.  
(Watch the video here!)

My little sister Erika made her Confirmation!  We drove down from Dublin to be there.  She looked so pretty in her white robe!

Probably the biggest highlight of the year...we got engaged!  Jonathan proposed on our three year anniversary, June 3rd 2010.  We've recently set the date for September 1st 2011 in Sorrento, Italy.  (Read the interview about our wedding plans and Jonathan's proposal here!)

Jonathan got offered a job in Cork, where my family live and with that we packed up all our stuff and moved from our apartment in Dublin (see messy bedroom above)... our new home!  Moving from a small one bedroom apartment to a spacious three bedroom duplex was a big change!  I love where we live, being close to family is so important to me.

Shortly after we moved I got my Makeup Artistry Diploma from American Beauty.  I am now a fully qualified stylist and makeup artist...yay!   

Albi turned into a little bug for Halloween...and scared away all the trick-or-treaters with his barking, haha!  

In November I turned 23!  I spent a wonderful morning opening presents at my mom's house while Jonathan was at work and then we went out to a restaurant later that evening.  

We celebrated Thanksgiving together, again at my mom's house.  Jonathan ate all the sweet potatoes...hahaha!

We also celebrated a very relaxing Christmas together and even made our first family Christmas card

Oh, and somewhere along the way...I managed to transform THIS:

Into THIS: 

My proudest achievement for 2010!

Here's hoping 2011 is even better...

Stay Stylish!

Angelina Jolie Inspired: Cat Eye and Full Lips

This is a toned down, more wearable version of the cat-eye look inspired by Angelina Jolie's everyday makeup!  It's also very similar to what I wear most days actually...I guess I just like the neutral lip/dark eyeliner look!  Here's how to get a sexy cat-eye and fuller lips without going over the top:

Products Used

Eyes - I start off with a base of MAC's Prep+Prime for Eyes in Medium.  I apply that using my ring finger all over the lids.  This will keep my eyeshadow and liner from creasing or smudging during the day.  Then using a fluffy brush I sweep a neutral shimmery eyeshadow all over the lid for a natural "open eye" effect.  I use Kiko's Highly Pigmented Eyeshadow in #80.  This is the only eyeshadow I use, as Angelina doesn't usually define her crease or use much else on her eyes.  Her eye shape is quite hooded, so crease shadows have the tendency to look aging which is why we skip that step.  Next I apply a black liquid liner along the top lids, bringing it out a little further than the lashes.  I use Maybelline Line Definer.  Then using a pencil liner (Impala's waterproof one) I line the outer corners of the lower lashline and waterline, and join up with the liquid liner to create the winged look.  I apply one coat of a volumising mascara to the top and bottom lashes.  Then I apply a second coat only to the outer top lashes to further emphasise the cat-eye.  I use CoverGirl LashBlast in black.

Lips - Before applying any makeup I moisturise the lips to create a good base with a lip balm.  I use Made From Earth's Citrus lip balm.  To create a full but natural looking lip, I line them with a neutral liner (I use Davis accent pencil liner).  I then apply a clear or very light pink gloss like Maybelline's Watershine lipgloss in Baby Pink.  This gives a plump, full lip effect without looking overdone!

The finished look is very simple, neutral look which you can actually wear both in the evening and daytime!  For a more intensified look, skip the liner in the waterline and go for a brighter red lip instead.

Stay Stylish!

December Favourites

Most of you probably already know by now that I'm not going to do a Christmas haul video or blog post.  Jonathan and I agreed that we wouldn't blog about what we got for Christmas, just because we don't really feel comfortable doing that BUT that does not mean that we have anything against those of you who are doing it!  In fact, I have watched a couple of Christmas haul videos and thoroughly enjoyed them! :)  It's just not something I want to do personally.  I hope you all understand.  

So as a compromise, I decided to blog about my December Favourites and I included two of my Christmas presents in there...I realise that Christmas falls on the 25th of the month but I have been using these items ever since I got them so I think they qualify as monthly favourites, no?  So here were my absolute favourite items and products from December 2010.

1. Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer in 01 Nude Beige
This product really surprised me.  I was skeptical at first, because I had never tried a Maybelline foundation or concealer from their Dream Mousse line.  I started using this because my Bare Minerals concealer ran out and I couldn't justify buying a new one knowing that I had never used this Maybelline one and it was just sitting on my make-up stand unopened!  This works really well for my skin type (oily) as it dries very quickly and lasts all day, it doesn't settle into any fine lines or crease throughout the day and it isn't cakey.

2. MAC Eyeshadow in Mulch
This isn't a new purchase but I felt I needed to mention it because it's kind of like a revisited favourite of mine.  I absolutely love this eyeshadow but had almost forgotten about it!  I've been wearing it almost everyday this month in the crease and on the outer corners of the lower lashline.  It's a very pretty shimmery bronze/brown.

3. MAC Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker in Point of View
This was a gift from a lovely subscriber of mine, Purrsuasive1.  I wore this in a vlog and got so many compliments on it.  Since then I've been wearing it a lot more and I love the simplicity of this product!  It's a neutral, but shows up like a darker more intensified version of my natural lip colour.  It's so easy to wear and just gives your make-up that extra "lift" without looking overdone.

4. Avon Hollywood Lights Lipgloss in Celebrity Pink
This was a Christmas present from my friend Rebecca from See You in Sweden.  I love her and I love this gloss!  It's the perfect shade of nude pink.  It's so natural and I absolutely LOVE the packaging!  Not only does it have a mirror but the inside of the tube lights up when you open it...perfect for an emergency lipgloss application in a "dark situation".  Hahaha!

5. Sterling silver name necklace from
I know people on YouTube tend to get a bit ratty when I mention things I've received for free in my monthly favourites...but to be honest, I think it would be weird if I didn't.  Being that I only review things that I genuinely love and that work for me, I'm not going to just use them once and then throw them out!  I often use/wear these items for a very long time and even repurchase them if needed.  And I have been wearing my name necklace almost non-stop since I got it so I felt it had to be included in this post.  You can read more information on it here.

6. BaByliss Travel Hairdryer
This was a Christmas present from my fiancé.  I really needed this as my last one broke after 7 years of blow-drying...which is actually a pretty long life!  Maybe it's due to the fact that hairdryer technology has improved considerably over the last few years but this new one is SO MUCH BETTER!  I was amazed by how fast it dried my hair...hahaha I sound like an old person!  But really, it was very quick.  And I love that this comes with a travel bag and bendable bits so it's compact and easy to store places!

7. Purple wool scarf from Mat De Misaine
This was also a Christmas present, but from my mom!  I have been wearing this almost non-stop since I received is sooo cosy!  Purple is generally a colour that I don't wear a lot of but I actually really like it and it looks great with black!  Chunky knit scarves like these are so practical this time of year because they keep you warm but they're also very cute paired with simple outfits to add a pop of colour!

To watch my December Favourites video on YouTube, click here!

Stay Stylish!

Wedding Update and Money-Saving Tips

The date has been set!  We are getting married September 1st 2011.  I'm so happy to have finally decided on a date and venue for our wedding in Sorrento, Italy.  I can't wait!  

In my recent wedding update vlog, unfortunately I had to edit a lot of what I said out because it was getting too long.  So I decided that writing it out would be easier, and wanted to share some money-saving tips with you guys!

As I mentioned in the video, my budget for the wedding is €10,000.  I wanted to mention this because I know how difficult it is to plan a wedding for under the usual amount which is something like €27,000.  That to me is crazy!  And I don't want to get into any debt, especially not just before we even get married.  So far, I've managed to secure some great deals for my wedding...and stick to my budget.  Here are my tips on how to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

1. Get married abroad!  This may originally seem like the more expensive option but it really isn't.  If you live in Europe like me, getting married somewhere like Italy is actually very affordable.  Travel around Europe is not expensive and you can double it up as your honeymoon too!  Also, getting married abroad means fewer guests.  Obviously, if you live in the US getting married in Europe will be a lot more expensive, in which case I suggest somewhere like Hawaii instead!

2. Keep your guest-list small.  I know this is difficult, especially if you have a big family but it really IS possible.  I am only inviting 59 people, and they are very close family and friends.  Think about who you really want at your wedding, who you consider to be important in your life and don't get caught up in family politics.  Your parents' friends and family don't have to be included if you are the one paying for your wedding.  I know I am lucky enough to have parents and in-laws who understand that and some are not so fortunate, but it is important to make that clear from the beginning.  It's YOUR wedding and you can decide who is invited!

3. Pass on the hair and make-up IF you are confident enough to do it yourself!  This is something I definitely do not want to spend money on...when I know exactly what I want and how I'm going to achieve that myself.  It just seems crazy to spend so much money on something I know I can already do.  Think about what you'd like to look like on your wedding day and just practice that!  You will get good at perfecting whichever look you want and by the time your wedding rolls around you'll be just as good if not better than a pro :)

4. Keep the ceremony and reception self-contained.  This means you can pass on things like the car.  This usually isn't too expensive anyway but it's an expense nonetheless.  If you get married in the same place as your reception, it makes everything SO much simpler for both you and your guests.  I am getting married outside, in the gardens of the hotel where the reception is taking place.  This means I'm only paying one fee for the rental of the space for the ceremony and the reception.

5. Be creative with your centre-pieces.  You don't need to go down the route of flowers if you don't want to.  I personally have never been a flowers girl...but that's just me!  I don't really like flowers all that much, and I never wear floral prints...hahaha!  I've always preferred candles so my centre-pieces will be candles in big glass vases.  We are having an evening reception so I think this will look beautiful at night!  Of course the corsages and bouquets will be real white roses but limiting the flower costs to just that makes a huge difference!
6. Shop smart for your wedding dress.  I am a firm believer that you can look stylish on a budget anyway, so I absolutely intend on applying that philosophy to wedding dresses too!  You can find some amazing wedding dresses for under €200.  You do not have to pay thousands to be a beautiful bride.  Women are already beautiful anyway, we shouldn't feel the need to spend that much money on a dress that we're only going to wear once!  I would actually love it if I could find a way of wearing my wedding dress again after I'm married.  My tips are to find something that flatters your body shape, make sure it's made from good quality material and don't fuss too much about the designer/brand.  You can find an original and unique vintage piece, or Nordstrom's have some amazing designer finds for more affordable prices.

Those are my money-saving tips for the meantime...but I will be back with more as my planning progresses!  I hope you found those helpful.  I know they won't pertain to everybody's tastes/circumstances but they work for me and hopefully they will help somebody in a similar situation!

Stay Stylish!

Happy Birthday Oma!

Today is my Oma's (that's German for grandma) 81st birthday!  She is would never know she's that age, she acts like she's so much younger!  You can check her out in our Christmas video here!  We went to a restaurant called Eco for lunch and this is what I wore.  

Black leather jacket - H&M (bought last September in London, also worn here, here, here, and here!  One of my fiancé's favourite items of clothing I own!)
Stripy wool skirt - Zara (about 4 years ago in Naples, also seen here)
Black v-neck top - Esprit
Leather calf boots - Dune (get them with buckles here)
Black leather bag - ASOS
Tights - Esprit (they actually have leopard print around the ends, they're footless tights!)
Purple wool scarf - A Christmas present from my mom
Silver name necklace -
Diamond studs - Christmas present from my other half :)

Sorry for the hypnotic stare...hahaha!

Face - Bare Minerals Foundation in Medium, Bare Minerals Bronzer in Warmth, MAC Blush in Earth to Earth, Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer in 01 Nude Beige.
Eyes - Kiko Highly Pigmented e/s in #80 on the lid, MAC Mulch e/s in the crease and lower lashline, Bourjois Blanc Diaphane as a highlight, Maybelline Line Definer in black on the upper lid, Impala Waterproof kohl pencil in black on the waterline, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara.
Lips - Rimmel Airy Fairy Lipstick

Blow-dried with my new speedy gonzalez hairdryer from Jonathan and flat ironed with my GHD.

I also uploaded some personal pictures from today to my Facebook.  I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and are still enjoying the holidays with your family and loved ones!

Stay Stylish!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
It's Christmas Eve and I am so excited for tomorrow!  Jonathan and I spent the whole day shopping for each other.  (You can watch all of that here!)  I have to say it was hard but I think I did a pretty good job.  Let's hope so!  All the presents are wrapped...I'm exhausted!  Albi has no idea what's going on...he's so confused at all the different smells and weird-shaped objects being placed under the tree!  Also, Mama Claus came knocking at our door earlier with a little elf!  (My sister, Erika...hahaha!)  She filled each of our stockings, but Albi's is the fullest!  It was so sweet of her because to be honest, we had kind of forgotten about our own stockings and only bought a few things for Albi's.  We're so silly!  

Above are our Christmas cards which we sent out to all our family and friends.  I wanted to wait till today to share them with you guys.  I hope you like!  I'm wishing you all a wonderful Christmas filled with love, turkey, stuffing, mince pies and presents!  

Lots of love and thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog this year! <3
Stay Stylish!

Silky Hair on a Budget!

Is your hair dry and frizzy like mine?  Do you have trouble getting it to look shiny, glossy and would you like it to feel softer and silkier?  Are you tired of spending too much money on over-priced hair products?  Well if that doesn't sound like the beginning of an advertisement, I don't know what does...hahaha!  Just kidding, this actually isn't an advertisement, considering I don't even know the brand of the product I'm going to be telling you about!  And for once, it actually really doesn't matter.  

This is a treatment that I have been using about once a week for almost a year now and I can honestly say it has made my hair so much silkier and softer with very little effort and costing me almost nothing!  My hair type is dry, it's very thick and prone to frizziness.  Here's how I manage it without breaking the bank!

My secret?  Olive oil!  This is actually a super cheap-o brand from Aldi, it really doesn't matter what kind you use...just the regular one you use for cooking is fine!  About once a week to once every two weeks, I apply this before bed to the ends of my hair.  I use my hands (olive oil is a great moisturiser for your hands and feet too!) and just coat anywhere that needs treatment, but never touching the roots.  You need to do this on unwashed hair so I usually do it either a few hours before taking a shower or I sleep on it and then wash my hair the next morning.  You can wear your hair whatever way you want at night, just make sure you sleep on a towel!  Here's how my hair turned out today, after sleeping in the olive oil treatment.  I washed it, let it air-dry, then straightened it with my GHD so you could get a better idea of how sleek it really looks afterwards.

If your hair is dry and frizzy like mine, hopefully this tip will help you too!  

On a different note, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for such an amazing response to my last post.  I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!  Thank you so much for all your messages and comments.  I am trying to get back to as many as possible.  I also realise that I am pretty behind in answering my Formspring questions so I'll try and get those done tomorrow. 

Stay Stylish!

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