Friday 23 December 2011

Day to night shoes.... sounds too good to be true!

I always have the dilemma of what shoes to wear! It's so hard to find a good pair of shoes that work for day time, can look good at night time and will be comfy enough to get you through a whole day! I'm intrigued by this new pair of shoes by Day2Night. The heels, which range from 1.5 to 3.5 inches in height can simply be screwed on and off by the wearer. A flexible sole, which the company says has been rigorously-tested, works with the full range of heels.

At $300 per pair, the Day2Night shoes don't come cheap, but in theory, could replace several pairs of shoes, making them relatively cost-effective. Check out now, then let me know what you think? Is this the future of high heel wearing?

Lust after item of the week - Reiss Eva shoes

Loving these fab bronzed snakeskin shoes! Would be perfect to help jazz up any simple black dress! What's even better about them? They're in the sale! Only €123 and are available in store and online

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Jo Loves....

Now that her exclusivity period with Estee Lauder is up – the artist formerly known as – Jo Malone is back and as expected her latest incarnation, Jo Loves, is quite gorgeous. The master perfumer is known for her clean, pure, crisp, nature-inspired and infused fragrances, a far cry from the over-powering, artificial wafts that hit you walking down the high street. Each perfume has a unique smell and each has been given it’s own launch in the UK. The first to go on sale was “Pomelo”, followed by “Green Orange and Coriander”, “Orange Tulle” and then “Gardenia”.

It's currently only available in the UK and is priced £95 for 100ml. Pricey for what it is but in the nature of Jo Malone perfumes... a little goes a long way. Hopefully this will be visiting Irish shores soon so watch this space!

Monday 19 December 2011

Designer coffee cup sleeves?

Just in time for Christmas, footwear and accessories label Jimmy Choo has come up with faux croc and snake skin coffee cup sleeves! Talk about glamming up your morning caffeine fix! An expensive but cool stocking stuffer for coffee lovers and fashion fans alike! The coffee cup sleeve comes in a range of colours designed to look and feel like crocodile and snake skin. It also features the signature Jimmy Choo logo on the outside and Jimmy Choo stitching on the inside. Plus, it will actually keep your drink warm – and hands cool! The only downside? The Starbucks/Java sleeves may be ugly, but they’re free. The Jimmy Choo coffee cup sleeves retail for $165 in the USA, making it an expensive accessory for your cheap cup of latte! This is one pricey trend I don't see taking off......

Thursday 15 December 2011

Versace for H&M Cruise Collection

The stand-out feature of the garments of the Cruise 2012 Collection, which will be available online only, is the vibrant fruit print on both a white and pale blue background. This very summery collection has a mixture of tropical patterns and a pale pink and blue theme running throughout.

The collection includes bikinis, shorts, cardigans, belts, bags and shoes, as well as a range of loungewear. This summery vibe is carried through onto the jewellery, which features delicate butterflies, flowers and even a palm tree.

Shoppers desperate to get their hands on the new line will have to wait until January 19th, when it will become available on H&M's website.

Vita Liberata - the xfactor tan

I was in Heaven beauty salon last weekend to get a spray tan done. I haven't really branched out from many tans other than St Tropez and Wow Brown so I was excited to try their new spray tan by Vita Liberata. This tan has been favoured by many a celebrity and used by all the xfactor contestants. The company promise it's odourless, organic and paraben free. I went for the medium option (I've had a few disasters with dark before in other brands.... tangoed!). I can honestly say this was one of the nicest tans I have ever had done. I've never received so many compliments from friends about how natural and golden it was.

To top it off Heaven had a special offer on so it was only €25. A snip to beat the winter blues. I'm going to investigate their at home tans so will hopefully have updates on those soon for.

If you fancy trying it out for yourself you can buy it directly from their site or it's also available in Heaven Beauty Salon Rathmines or Glow in the Merrion Shopping Centre.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Last minute presents/stocking fillers from Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters has an abundance of great stocking fillers, small gifts and k.k presents that work for everyone from your boss, your bff, crazy uncle and even your mom and all at a really reasonable price! Check out some of my top picks below!

Is your brother always out partying too hard at the Christmas season? If so then this might be the perfect present for him. The Hungover Cookbook helps you self-diagnose yourself and attempt to make it all better with recommended meals and recipes designed to help show that hangover where to go! Only €10.00 for this handy gem!

This Pugs not Drugs t-shirt might be perfect for your ott GBF? Only €34.

Boyfriend is a budding science geek? These test tube shot glasses might make the perfect present! €16

I'm always trying to find presents for cousins that aren't huge and I love going the stocking filler route. This nail glitter is just up their street! Simply paint your nails, sprinkle some glitter on and secure it with a top layer of clear polish. Only €6.

Get the stateside look with Paul & Joe’s Empire State Eyeshadow. Featuring a glamorous paisley tub, this golden charcoal colour is sure to dazzle. This might make the perfect present for hmmmmmmmm....... me! Love the gorgeous packaging and all for only €20.

These are cute mugs for your favourite gossiping friend that always pops over for a good chat over some tea. These retail for €10 each.

This Elevate Carousel by Joseph Joseph would make a lovely gift for anyone that's in to cooking. As part of the brand’s Elevate ™ series, the device features innovative weighted handle with an integrated tool rest that makes sure the head is always raised off the work surface. Plus the colours of the handles are fab - a good way to make any kitchen funky! €66.

Last but not least - this gorgeous girly, two shelved jewellery box would be a lovely gift for any of the ladies in your life. It's only €46. It's silver detailing would work with any sort of room, be it traditional or modern.

All of these items are also available directly from the website. Order quickly to avoid disappointment!

Monday 12 December 2011

Still struggling to find a present for Mom or your auntie?

Loving these gorgeous Christmas crackers from Lancome! They are being sold exclusively at Brown Thomas for €44 a box. In every box you'll get a mix of their top selling products that includes Bifacial (30ml), Genifique (7ml), Visionnaire (7ml), Hypnose (2ml, original black), a Juicy Tube (7ml) or Absolue Rouge 1.65ml (in shade 06). These are the perfect luxury and fun gift for the women in your life who have everything!

Shopping trip to London? Pick up some limited edition Vaseline

Our old favourite, Vaseline, has had a bit of a make-over of late. Their new, limited edition, Créme Brulée (£2.99) version has launched into Selfridges in London, Manchester, and Birmingham sold 6000 tins in just four days with one being sold every 30 seconds. Demand was such that Selfridges had to restrict customers to 5 tins per person. Sounds almost edible! No doubt these will be for sale on ebay in no time if you aren't making the seasonal shopping trip over.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Amazing 12 days of Christmas offers from Yvonne Collins Sandymount

I'm a big fan of this salon. I've had a few facials here and found the staff to really knowledgeable, helpful and also lovely! There are some fantastic offers on the list available from the 12th - 24th December so book early to avoid disappointment!

On the first day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
immaculate manicure €25.00

On the second day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
dermalogica prescriptive facial €30.00

On the third day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
Eye combo €20.00

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
spray tan €10.00

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
full body massage €30.00

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
pristine pedicure €25.00

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
make up application €25

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
microzone eye treatment €20.00

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
sea salt body scrub €30.00

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
1/2 price waxing

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
clean start

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my therapist sent to me
guinot essential facial €35.00

To book any of these contact Yvonne Collins salon on 01-6674088

Schuhs for less!

Being a total ebay addict I can't believe I didn't discover this sooner. The highstreet shop Schuh have their own ebay shop. Instead of hopelessly trawling through their sales and not finding the size you want you have way more chance to get that fab pair of shoes you've had your eye on!

Check it out at Schuh-Online

Wednesday 7 December 2011

The closet clear out - Saturday December 10th

Fancy picking up a designer bargain? New handbag? Party dress?

Do you love fashion and want a perfect Saturday afternoon surrounded by gorgeous finds? Then pay a visit to The Closet Clear Out, taking place at Andrews Lane Theatre (ALT) this Saturday 10th of December.

The Closet Clear Out gives you the chance to browse through rails packed with pre-loved high-street, designer, and vintage finds.

Celebrity jewellery designer Merle O'Grady will be selling her gorgeous jewels, while Ireland's leading stylists and fashion bloggers, will be clearing out their closets, so expect a serious fashion feast.

It starts at 12pm and runs until 7pm at Andrew's Lane Theatre, just off Trinity Street, (2 minutes from Grafton street), Dublin 2.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Lust after item of the week - Warehouse one shoulder drape twist dress

This fab one-shoulder floaty layered dress by Spotlight is pure fluid elegance. The twisted strap is dotted with studs and sparkles. The gorgeous drape of the material will flatter almost any body shape. Currently available in Warehouse stores and on their website for €84.

Avoiding Christmas weight gain

Here are some brilliant tips for the Christmas season from Carl Cautley - owner of Fitness Together

Gobble, gobble...that's your cue that Christmas is upon us and it's time to start putting on the brakes NOW before the real damage is done. The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" really applies to this time of year. The following tips will help you fend off the Christmas weight gain so that you won't end this season with a New Year's resolution to lose those added Christmas pounds!

How Much Weight Do We Really Gain?
Most people think the average European gains about 5 pounds over the holidays. In actuality, most of us gain an average of 1 pound (5 pounds for overweight people) between the end of November and New Year's Day. The problem is, we fail to lose that 1 pound of weight gain, which adds up to many excess pounds over the years.

Why Do So Many of Us Gain Weight over Christmas?
When you think about it, it all really boils down to just three days:Christmas Day, St, Steven's Day and New Year's. If you gorge only on those three days, you probably wouldn't cause too much damage. However, many of us take on that holiday mentality of six weeks of nonstop feasting and putting our regular exercise routine on the back burner. Plus, let's face it, this time of year is very hectic and stress filled-many commitments compete for our precious time. So start now to strategise how you'll move yourself to the top of your Christmas gift list by making you and your fitness and healthy eating habits a priority.

Five Tips for Fending Off Christmas Holiday Weight Gain
1. Get off the "I'm on a diet" mindset. Now is no time to diet-in fact, a wonderful goal for the next six weeks is to simply maintain your current body weight so that the number on the scale reads the same on New Year's Day as it does on 1st December. You can accomplish this by allowing yourself (and planning ahead for) indulging in small amounts of your favourite Christmas treats. But be sure to make sensible eating choices the rest of the time.

2. Exercise more to offset Christmas time overeating. Don't let your shopping and party commitments squeeze out your workouts. Now more than ever is when you need to up your physical activity so that you can balance out the extra Christmas splurges. If you have an exercise partner or a personal trainer, make a "contract" with them to get an extra weekly workout in to cover your inevitable Christmas indulgences.

3. Follow good eating guidelines: Eat breakfast, don't skip meals, drink all your calorie-free liquid, and eat small, frequent, lighter meals at home. Carry healthy snacks like fruits and veggies and light yogurt, and never, ever arrive HUNGRY at an event where Christmas treats are being served. These yummy delights are impossible to resist when one is famished. Before you go, appease your appetite with some light snacks such as whole-grain crackers and string cheese, veggies and humus dip, or a glass of tomato juice. And don't forget to bring your own "lighter" Christmas makeover dish to the party.

4. Use only small plates and load up on salad first if you attend a buffet. Take small tastes of the food and eat only what you love.

5. Limit alcohol consumption (liquid calories). Alcohol is highly caloric, plus it can sabotage your best laid plans by affecting your judgment. After a few drinks it's much harder to refrain from eating all those rich gooey desserts. If you do drink, stick with the lighter choices: A 4-ounce wine or champagne weighs in at just 80 calories versus a 5-ounce cocktail, a heavy 300 calories. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a sparkling water and lime.

Monday 5 December 2011

Miracle little hair treatments by Kerastase

I'm a big fine of buying my hair products online. One of my favourites and must have hair items are the salon quality hair treatments from Kerastase. They have lots of different treatments available depending on the needs of your hair but one of my all time favourites is the Aqua Oleum. It will leave you with the most gorgeous, lush, silky hair.

I use it about once a month after I've shampooed and towel dried my hair. Put the full vile in your hair (avoid going too close to the roots or it might leave you a little greasy) for about 30 minutes. It's best if you can wrap the hair in a dry towel for that time as it seems to help the product work.

In terms of buying these viles I haven't seen them on sale in any stores but only used in top end salons. I buy mine on ebay. They usually retail for about €5 a go and are sometimes less when you buy them in bulk. Be wary of the ones coming from Asian countries as they're not always real. Best to try buy from a UK or USA ebay seller. If you've tried these too let me know what you think?!

Christmas Egg Nog recipe

I've always wondered what Egg Nog actually was until my Dad made me a batch of it last year. Quite tasty and definitely something you have to try once! Why not bring some along to the next Christmas party you're going to?

Here's a simple recipe for it.

Ingredients12 eggs, separated
6 cups milk
2 cups heavy/ thickened cream
2 cups bourbon
1.5 cups sugar
¾ cup brandy
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DirectionsIn a large bowl and using a mixer, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for approx 10 minutes (you want the mixture to be firm and the colour of butter). Very slowly add in the bourbon and brandy – just a little at a time. When they have been fully added allow the mixture to cool in the fridge (for up to 6 hours, depending on how long before the party you’re making it) 30 minutes before people are going to have it, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture and voila - Christmas Egg Nog!

For an extra treat you can also sprinkle some flake on top and use a cinnamon stick to decorate... yum!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Halo Hairdressing - charity day this Monday

Halo is having a charity day this Monday, 5th December. They're doing blowdries for €10 and cuts for €20 with all of the proceeds going to Focus Ireland. They're open late till 8pm to cater for everyone on the day. To make an appointment call 01-4721700.

Friday 2 December 2011

Hayworth Vintage pop up shop open today!

The fabulous Hayworth Vintage specialise in gorgeous vintage dresses, jewellery and accessories. They sell stunning one-off originals that include evening wear, bridal wear and quirky one-of-a-kind day dresses. Each dress is hand-picked by the Hayworth Vintage team, sourced through Europe and the USA. Their range includes pieces from the 1930's right up to the 1980's.

If you want to have a peek at the collection why not drop in to the pop up shop on 29 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2. It's open today Friday 2nd from 10.30-6pm.

Alternatively you can buy online at

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Lust after item of the week - Mango hard structured gold clutch

Loving this new party clutch from Mango. It costs €69.95 and is available directly from their website This will definitely complement/dress up any outfit!

Monday 28 November 2011

Fashion and charity - the perfect match

I recently came across this fantastic US website that uses limited edition fashion to boost charitable giving. Community Collection is an online shopping portal featuring designer merchandise for limited periods, with 20 percent donated to charity.

Community Collection launched last month, and works with influential fashion designers to offer “the most current fashion and accessories” around. Each designer — from a roster which currently includes Tibi, Helmut Lang and Diane Von Furstenberg — is paired with a charity. When an item is bought, 20 percent of the purchase goes directly to the charity associated with that designer. They also work closely with organisations to measure the impact of contributions made from the site, feeding this information back shoppers to demonstrate the tangible effect of their purchases.

This is a really inspiring way to boost profits and create a positive social impact at the same time.

Amazing product alert - Benefit’s They’re Real mascara

Benefit have recently launched their latest mascara - They're Real. Their advertising promises visible lift, base to tip curl, and dramatic length and volume i.e so good they could be fake! I couldn't resist trying this one out.

The brush is quite big with plastic bristles which means there was little if any clumping. I found that it definitely increased the length and volume of my lashes substantially with no flakiness- the consistency of the product is perfect.

The colour is a really nice solid black, perhaps not the most pigmented on the market given all of the ‘carbon black’ mascaras but still a good colour. It also fairly smudge proof.

Definitely worth the investment in my opinion! It's currently available from all Benefit concessions. A lovely kris kindle present perhaps?

Saturday 26 November 2011

Tomato and avocado - goat's cheese crostini

Having the girls over this evening for some pre drinks and dancing dinner. I found this gorgeous recipe online for my starter.

1 loaf baguette bread
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
4 ounces mild goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced 1/4-inch
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Small basil leaves for garnish


Preheat oven to 180c.

Slice bread into 1/4-inch thick diagonal slices. If you're working with a large loaf, you'll then want to halve each slice again.

In small bowl, combine garlic and olive oil. Brush bread slices lightly with garlic oil mixture. Arrange on sheet pans in a single layer. Bake crostini approximately 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. NOTE: These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Be sure to let cool completely before storing.

In medium-sized bowl combine avocados, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Mix until smooth. NOTE: Add a little fresh lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.

In separate bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, pepper, and basil.

To serve, spread each crostini with approximately 1 tablespoon of avocado mixture, then top with tomato-basil mixture. Garnish with small basil leaves if desired. Place on a large serving plate.

Try not to top too far ahead of serving, as the bread can get soggy.

Chanel cotton pads.... really?

I just heard that Chanel have brought out new cotton pads for removing your make up. They are called Le Coton. These three layer pads are made from selected cotton flowers from Egypt and Australia. They are currently selling in the states for $20 per 100 pads. Hmmmmm think this might just be one trend that's a bit too expensive to keep up!

Friday 25 November 2011

Jennifer Collins - Make Up Artist

Check out the incredible new website from make up artist Jennifer Collins. It's a thing of beauty!

Jennifer does everything from make up applications, magazine shoots, private and group lessons. All at a really reasonable price. Perfect in time for the party season!

Great gift ideas from asos

Here's some fab gift items from! One month to Christmas today.... must get started! Eeeeek!
Benefit Ticket To Glossy Town - €26.23

O.P.I Best Of The Best Mini Nail Polish Set - €36.99

Kath Kidston Spotty Nail Files - €6.73
Nars Orgasm Lust - €29.59
Cowshed Mixed Candle Set - €29.59

Asos Multi Horse Clutch - €40.35
Elemis Glowing Beauty Face & Body Essentials - €48.42

Thursday 24 November 2011

Ireland's Hidden Wardrobe with Barry McCall

Ireland’s Hidden Wardrobe is an exhibition curated by LCF MA Fashion and the Environment student, Katriona Lea to celebrate the artisan craft and skills of Ireland’s fashion industry and gives thought to future designers. Viewed through the eye of Barry McCall’s photography are works by Paul Costelloe, John Rocha, Jen Kelly and Claire O’Sullivan, just to name a few.

Ireland’s Hidden Wardrobe will show from November 24th -28th 2011 at the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dublin.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Get ready for the Christmas Season - €15 spray tans with Carter Beauty

Carter Beauty in Blackrock (just off the main street) have a fantastic offer of €15 for a full body spray tan. The tan comes in three colours - light, medium, dark. The medium seems to suit most skins. Be aware, the dark is VERY dark!!! I've had in done a few times here and it's been really good. Well worth checking out their recessionista prices!

Book of Shadows IV by Urban Decay

The long awaited… and FINALLY here palette from Urban Decay has arrived.

This much-awaited collection of 16 neutral, smoldering and vibrant Eye shadows (10 never-before-seen!) features a Book of Shadows first – a portable speaker and how-to videos revealing five new looks created exclusively for this palette. There are airy shades to elevate a wide range of day looks, and then create smudged and deeply shadowed nighttime effect with this palette’s array of deep blacks, greys, browns, purples and greens. Also included are a full-size 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, a travel-size Eyeshadow Primer Potion and a travel-size Supercurl Curling Mascara.

You can also instantly download five how-to videos to your phone! All you need is a camera and a web browser to scan the QR codes.

They're available for €52 from all Urban Decay concessions. Lovely idea for a Christmas gift!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Cauliflower veloute recipe

I was in Still in The Dylan one night and had a taster of their cauliflower veloute. Not expecting much (I wasn't a big cauliflower lover to begin), I was pleasantly surprised. It was one of the loveliest, most warming soups I've had. Here's a similar recipe you can make:

1 large head cauliflower
2 stalks celery
1 large white onion, peeled
1 leek, white parts only
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
1 qt. chicken stock

1/2 qt. heavy cream
salt and pepper

Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and chop into small pieces. Roughly chop the celery, onions and leeks. Wash everything under cold water.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the 1/4 lb. of butter; add the celery, onions and leeks. Saute until tender, 5-7 minutes, being careful not to brown the vegetables. Add the cauliflower and chicken stock. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

When the cauliflower is tender, add the heavy cream. Bring to just under a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Puree and strain through a fine strainer. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.