Bringing you tips on all things girly - makeup, beauty treatments, where to get your favourites online for less, best restaurants, recipes and even some holiday tips for the ultimate travel experience!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
The Cooks Academy located off Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock offer a wide variety of cookery classes for all skills levels. They offer everything from evening, day, week and month long courses. I recently attended the cup cake making/decorating evening class. We had a super time learning everything from how to make different flavours of sponge to the various types of icing and then the extra fun part of decorating the cup cakes. We also brushed a little on sugar craft which was really interesting. As you'll see from above it's not always as easy as it looks to perfect the butter cream icing swirls but we certainly had a great time trying!
They have a new class schedule out at the moment and are offering lots of evening classes including Elegant Edible Gifts, Canapes and Tapas for Christmas and Cooking for Friends. They also have a Pop Up Restaurant Night where you can bring a gang of friends (or just the other half) and have a four course meal with a glass of champagne. Classes start around € 45.
Especially in time for Christmas Carton House have published, Carton House, Bringing the Taste Home, a beautiful 145 page book of luxurious recipes based on a year in the life of one of Ireland's busiest kitchens. Each mouth-watering seasonal recipe is accompanied by photography of both the food and one of Ireland's most beautiful venues and all carefully selected by Executive Head Chef Cathal Kavanagh. I'm really looking forward to trying out the fig, goat's cheese and proscuitto skewers and the roast vegetable bake. You can buy this perfect stocking filler from their website shop.cartonhouse.com
The limited edition collection has started to arrive! It will be available in selected stores throughout the county. This seasons limited edition collection is sexy, sophisticated and girly. It's also suitably glittery for the Christmas season! The first of these pieces have landed in stores and are available for a limited time only. The best part, prices range between only €13 to €25.
This Saturday in the Dundrum Town Centre they are running a moisturiser bottle amnesty to promote their new range of Essential Moisture body lotions. The Unilever owned brand is inviting people to bring an old bottle of moisturiser along to the centre tomorrow between 12pm and 3pm and to swap it for a free 200ml sized bottle of Vaseline Essential Moisture.
“The bottle amnesty demonstrates our confidence in this great new range,” said Lauren Brooking, from Vaseline Ireland. “The amnesty is a fun and new way to encourage women to streamline their hoards of products and be rewarded with the only body lotion they need, Vaseline Essential Moisture.
I know it seems like a really really long time away but now is the optimal time to start with Laser Hair Removal if you’re thinking about doing it in time for next Summer. Here’s the down low on my experience of the process:
The place: Laserway Dundrum (located in the Dundrum shopping centre)
The therapists: All of them are fab!
The process: Over the space of about a year I went every month to get a treatment done. The treatment lasted about one hour each time (I was getting quite a few areas done so this can be a lot less). They have a fantastic new laser machine here that is virtually pain free. It’s a little bit like the whole waxing thing where you will find that some areas are more sensitive then others but overall it’s not too bad at all. You’ll have shaved the area in advance of coming in, they then apply a cooling aloe vera gel and the laser is rubbed over your skin for short periods of time.
The results: Were incredible. I can’t speak highly enough of this treatment. If you have strong dark hair it’s a must. I’m still waiting to hear from someone who’s had lighter hair try it out but from my experience and a few of my friends so far I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Things to note: You cannot go out in the sun during or before the process for a few months – hence now is a good time to get it done while you’re wrapped up in your winter woolies.
You also can’t use fake tan during the process – again good time to be wrapped up in tights etc!
It is so important to go somewhere reputable. This is not a treatment where I would recommend going for the cheapest deal. It’s too risky when lasers are involved. Do your research before you sign up!
I really love the new Bobbi Brown's Christmas collection - they've really pulled out all the stops this year to make sure there's something for everyone in this palette-centered line.
Their signature plain black packaging has had a glamorous makeover, adding a chrome border to the cases for the party season. Their collection includes a fragrance, brush sets, a travel kits, eye shadow, eye liners and their lip palette celebrating their 20th birthday.
One of the highlights of this collection has to be their dual ended eyeliners. I really like this silver and black one. It has good staying powder and the silver ads some glam to the look!
The collection is available from all Bobby Brown concessions.
This is a take on the Gordon Ramsay no bake cheesecake recipe. It's a really easy dessert to make in advance of friends coming over. It's lovely served in little shot glasses as you only really need a taster it's so rich and delicious!
8 Digestive biscuits
6 tablespoons caster sugar
100 g unsalted butter
White chocolate and raspberry cream cheese
400 g cream cheese
6 tablespoons icing sugar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Vanilla pod split
600 ml Double cream
white chocolate bar
Grated white chocolate to dust
Make the base first. Coarsely grind the biscuits in a food processor. Melt the sugar in a heavy-based non-stick pan until it begins to caramelise, then carefully add the butter, shaking the pan to mix the caramel with the butter as it melts. Add the ground biscuits and toss to coat in the caramel. Put a small amount of the biscuit mixture into each glass.
For the vanilla cream cheese, put the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod and beat until smooth. In another bowl, lightly whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the cream cheese mixture. Add the raspberries into the mixture and grate the bar of chocolate in too. Then stir.
Fill with the shot glasses with the cream cheese mixture and level the tops with the back of a knife. Chill until ready to serve.
If you've any raspberries left over add to the top for decoration before serving and grate some more white chocolate over them. Voila! Amazing easy cheesecake!
Back by very popular demand, Dundrum’s Shop & Rock takes place this Thursday November 17th, from 9pm until Midnight.
For one night only, stores will offer amazing discounts. An exciting line-up of entertainment will include live music acts and the return of the popular West Coast Cooler bar to keep shoppers refreshed.
Discounts will be revealed to the Shop & Rock mailing list 24 hours before the event! Stores discounting on the night include:
Accessorize | Aldo | awear | Bose | Brambles | Bertoni | BCool | Best Menswear | Carraig Donn | Cath Kidston | Champion Sports | Coast | Du Pareil au Meme | Dune | Early Learning Centre | East | Esprit | Fat Face | Fast-Fix | Fitzpatrick’s Shoes | Fields Jewellers | Fran & Jane | French Connection | Gap | Gant | Gerry Weber | G-Star | H&M | Harvey Nichols | Hobbs | Hughes & Hughes | Hugo Boss | Inglot | Karen Millen | LK Bennett | La Senza | L’Occitane en Provence | Laundry Room | Lifestyle Sports | Lipsy | Mc Cabes Pharmacy | Mexx | Monsoon | Name It | Neola | O2| Oasis | Office | Pamela Scott | Pink | River Island | Schuh | Sisley | Sony | The Body Shop | Timberland | Tommy Hilfiger | Urban Outfitters | Vodafone
For the month of November Sansana Spa in the Dun Laoghaire Marine Hotel have a special offer of €60 for two treatments. You can choose between a back massage, mini facials, pedicure and manicure. You will also get use of the swimming pool, sauna, float waterbeds and relaxation room.
It really is a gorgeous spa. Perfect for a bit of rest and relaxation either on your own, with your friends or nice also with a partner. There are so many lovely little restaurants in Dun Laoghaire too it's the perfect chance to make a day out of it with lunch and some treatments to cheer up a wintery month.
I really like the new jewellery collection from House of Harlow 1960 by Nicole Richie. Very boho chic. The big statement rings are particularly fab. You can buy the collection from one of my favourite fashion and accessories websites http://www.singer22.com/
Not so sure about the latest offering from shoe designer Christian Louboutin. These sparkly lions paw heels have been seen on Blake Lively in New York this morning. Also Sarah Jessica Parker wore the Louboutin heels to the Moscow premiere of We Don't Know How She Does It in August.
With winter and the cold weather here I'm finding my nails are really splitting and breaking easily. The heat on at home, in work and in the car are doing them no favours! I went in to Boots the other day to find something to give them a boost and came across this product. It's a bit of an oldie but definitely good enough to get a mention. Since using this (even after one day) I've noticed a big change in my nails. They are stronger, more flexible and have stopped breaking. A brilliant product to get you through this chilly season.
I was grabbing a quick bite to eat in Dundrum last night in Mao and noticed there new special menu for Christmas. They have a fantastic offer of 3 courses for €20. Mix this with their very reasonable wine and cocktail menu and you've got yourself a great deal! Delicious CosMAOpolitans for only €4.95.... you can't go wrong!
Also I had a quick look at the website there and spotted that they now have a delivery service. Mmmmm. It's currently available from only Baggot Street but they're also opening up a Donnybrook location soon.
Check out the Versace for H&M designs. This very vivid collection is rich in tropical prints and bright tones. It very much lived up to the Italian designer's reputation for high-octane glamour, bearing all the hallmarks of the flamboyant design house. Personally a little out there for me! Would love to know what you think?!!
This is the second year of the wine festival in Ranelagh. There are numerous events happening the whole week in the village. If you're in to wine then this is the place to be! The event will kick off this Sunday 13th November with Flamenco Night at La Bodega. The entrance is free to book Tel: (01) 497 5577. Followed by:
Monday 14th November, 2011
Charity Food & Wine Quiz. Price €50.00 per person. An evening of entertainment based around food and wine.
To book, contact the Wild Goose Grill Tel: (01) 491 2377
This new Bust Fix serum is the brainchild of NIP + FAB. According to The Daily Mail it's flying off the shelves at a rate of 1,000 tubes a minute at its peak and, in the last fortnight alone, sold 100,000 in Boots UK stores nationwide and online!
The bust serum uses an ingredient called mangosteen, taken from the skin of the fruit, to prompt the production fatty acids in the breast tissue. It also ‘plumps up’ and enlarges the fat cells which already exist to more than 100 times their size. The serum differs from rival collagen-boosting creams, which tend to target the skin around the bust – rather than the fat stores under the skin – to lift and plump up the breasts. I'm running in to Boots at the weekend to check the price but if the sterling is converted fairly it should be roughly €22. UPDATE ON THIS - BOOTS DON'T SEEM TO STOCK IT ANY MORE.... YOU CAN BUY IT ON THE NIP AND FAB WEBSITE INSTEAD.
If the reviews online are anything to go by then it's looking positive! It says you need to use it for roughly 4 weeks and you should go up almost a cup size. Sounds a little too good to be true but here's to hoping! Will let you know how I get on!
Menupages are offering a brilliant deal for Christmas. Buy their voucher for €75 which gives you a €100 voucher to any of the following restsaurants....
Bella Cuba Buenos Aires Grill Ocean Restaurant Maximillians Bistro Essence Bistro Scotch Bonnet The Restaurant at Dublin Wine Rooms Casa Pasta
The voucher is valid till the end of Feb so it's perfect for a pre Christmas night out or a post Christmas catch up dinner!
You'll find a Trade Secret store in almost every mall, outlet or shopping centre in the USA. It's a brilliant store for hair care and nail products at an amazing price. I've found the Jessica clip in extensions before for much cheaper than in a regular store, Redken styling products and I just did a massive stock up on OPI nail polishes for only $8.50 each. A bargain price!