Monday, 30 October 2017

Belfast Fashion Week - High Street Heaven

On Friday 27th October I headed to Northern Ireland's biggest style event - Belfast Fashion Week. Directed by Cathy Martin, BFW consisted of the Local Boutiques and Designers show, High Street Heaven show, The F Words brunch and Style Sunday. I only attended the High Street Heaven show but the other events looked equally amazing! Without further ado, here are the ins-and-outs of my experience at the A/W17 BFW...
I'm going to be honest, I was so excited for this event that I had my outfit planned weeks in advance. I wanted to include some of the latest trends without going over the top and this dress did just that! I wore this stunning, blue starry print dress from Marks & Spencer. I loved the fluted shape combined with the midi length. It's a super flattering dress with such a stand-out colour! I paired the dress with monochrome heels, also from Marks & Spencer (Yes, M&S is no longer just for your granny) as well as, my new favourite bag from Therapy at House of Fraser - it's so chic! To accessorise I wore my Betty and Biddy red tassel earrings, my Cluse watch and a simple bangle. 
The shows were held in BFW's new location at St Anne's Cathedral which created the most beautiful venue for the shows! The runway was incredible! Me and one of my lovely blogger friends opted for Front Row (Frow) tickets and I'm so glad we did. Our seats made for a fabulous view of the clothes and allowed us to take lots of photos and videos (my Instagram story was rather large by the end of it...). The show was presented by lovely Cathy Martin and Melissa Ridell. They showcased a huge range of clothes from stores such as Debenhams, George at Asda, Boux Avenue and Remus Uomo. The show finished with the 'Director's Cut' which featured pieces from ASOS, Topshop and Zara to name but a few. 
The whole show was brilliant but my favourite part was the 'Director's Cut - The Best of the High Street' as it featured clothes from some of my favourite places to shop. It's hard to pick my favourites as there were so many clothes however, there were a few items that stood out in particular. I've linked the same, if not similar items below so you can check them out too! Forgive me if I can't remember the exact items...

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

My Autumn/Winter Makeup Bag

I did a post all about my Summer makeup bag a while back (now seems like a lifetime ago) so I thought I'd share the ways in which I've updated my makeup bag for Autumn and Winter. Some items have stayed the same so I've left them out but as for the new additions...

I wanted a cheaper alternative to my Smashbox primer for everyday wear and this primer is perfect! It has a creamy consistency and creates a smooth base for applying makeup. This prolongs foundation wear and can also be applied on no-makeup days to protect and brighten the skin. 

I've been meaning to try this foundation for a while now and I actually really like it. I would say it's medium to buildable coverage with a fairly matte finish. It claims to last 24 hours and I mean let's be honest that never really happens, however it does have pretty good staying power. I have the one for normal/dry skin and it feels moisturising and lightweight on the skin. I apply this with a large buffing brush which I find gives a lovely finish!

When it comes to A/W I don't like to go overboard with the bronzer, however I'll never go a day without blush. The Natural Collection blushers are so affordable and so good! I have the shade 'Rosey Glow' and it's a gorgeous dusky pink colour. However, make sure you apply this with a very light hand as you don't want to look like a clown...

I'm not going into detail here as I have a whole blog dedicated to this palette here. However, what I will say is this is literally Autumn in a palette - stunning!

If you're anything like me you'll have read 'Joan Collins' and thought no, I'm not fussed on looking like an 84 year old just yet! BUT I couldn't have been more wrong! This mascara is fabulous, it's so lengthening and thickening which is right up my street! Also, the packaging is seriously stunning. 

I have this in the shade 'Meet My Pink'. It's creamy and moisturising with a semi-matte finish. This shade is a beautiful berry colour, perfect for A/W. Obviously, we sadly can't access Sephora that easily here so, a lovely alternative is a Topshop lipstick in 'Devotion'. I love Topshop lipsticks and this shade is perfect - similar here and here

So there's a quick roundup of my A/W makeup bag, what's in yours? 

**Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the Joan Collins Mascara but all opinions are my own.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Wardrobe Essentials

Never mind the LBD, there are some pieces that your wardrobe simply can't be without. Items that can be taken from day to night, dressed up or down. You can throw in your statement pieces and your trend led items but these are your fail safe essentials! 

Biker Jacket
A biker jacket will be your best friend. Whether you're on a night out, walking the dogs or having a shopping trip, you can throw a leather biker jacket on over anything! Real leather jackets can be pricey but there are some fabulous faux leather jackets on the high street. I have had my eye on an All Saints leather biker jacket for a long time though...

Denim Jeans
We all love a good pair of denim jeans, right? For those days when you fancy being casual, blue denim is essential and when you want to dress it up a little, black jeans step in. Personally, I love a pair of Topshop jeans - skinny, straight leg, boyfriend or mom jeans, whatever you like! 

Winter Coat
When your mum insisted "You aren't leaving the house without a coat", I hate to admit it but she was right! Especially at this time of year we all need a decent coat. My essentials are a camel winter coat and a black duster coat - they'll go with everything, look stylish and keep you warm! 

Who doesn't love a cosy jumper? I mean we can't all justify a closet full of cashmere but if you have a few decent quality knits you can't go wrong! If you have one in every colour that's even better! My go-to shop for knitwear is H&M, they always have an abundance of stylish jumpers!

Basic Tee
You can't go wrong with a simple slogan tee! For a stylish, casual outfit, tuck a tee into straight leg jeans and throw a biker jacket over the top. Or for a slightly dressier look pair a slogan tee with culottes. The high street and online has lots of great basic tees from bretons to slogans!

Ankle Boots
My favourite thing about A/W is definitely the boots! I like to have a couple of statement pairs in my wardrobe but a simple pair of heeled black boots are must have for me! They go with everything, smart or casual. I recently got a pair of black heeled sock boots from Topshop which are super flattering and comfy! 

Last but definitely not least are flats. This ranges from sneakers to loafers, whichever you find comfy. You can spend a little more on flats to get the best quality and long wear out of them. I'm more of a heel girl but I'd never be without flats for those days I want to be a little bit more casual!

What are your wardrobe essentials?

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

The New Addition To My Skincare Routine

I was invited down to receive a skin consultation at Radiance Beauty & Day Spa, a local business located in Belfast. As a blogger I love getting to test out brands and their products, particularly ones I've never heard of. However, it's even nicer when it's a local brand; getting the chance to support businesses that are just around the corner. Radiance Beauty & Day Spa houses 11 treatment rooms, a nail bar, hair salon, makeup and skin bar. Alongside the expansion of the salon, they have recently launched their very own skincare line. To celebrate, I was invited down for a consultation ahead of the launch on 13th October.

In the stunning venue, the consultation involved a discussion about my skin and any issues I have with it, a skin scan using their very fancy 'Observ 520' machine (this was amazing) and then deciding which of their new products would suit my skin the best. The consultation was very thorough and Carly who did my consultation was very helpful. 

The new collection includes 11 products, so there's something to suit everyone's needs. I was given the product 'Reveal' which is a Glycolic Wash. The packaging feels sleek and luxury. The product claims to remove the build up of dead skin cells through the work of the AHAs, glycolic and citric acid while removing excess oils and impurities with the salicylic acid. The product is said to increase cell turnover and cleanse the skin. So, how did I get on with it? First, the product smells incredible with a citrus/grapefruit scent. It's a gel consistency that lathers up slightly when massaged into the skin. After letting it soak on my skin for a couple of minutes, I rinsed it off with warm water. Immediately after, my skin felt extremely soft and fresh. I have been using this every other night which I find works well. I will continue to use it to see the long term benefits but my first impressions are pretty positive. My skin appears brighter and my makeup is applying very smoothly; it's a welcomed addition to my skincare routine. I definitely recommend trying this product out! 

Be sure to check out the new Radiance skincare line and let me know if you try anything!

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**Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the product by Radiance but all opinions are my own.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Urban Decay Naked Palette Dupe

eyeshadow, palette, eyeshadow palette, maxfactor, masterpiece

eyeshadow, eyeshadow palette, urban decay, naked palette

If you're anything like me seeing the word 'dupe' in a title really excites you (I know, sad). Especially when it comes to makeup! As much as I love higher end products that have that luxury feeling, often more affordable products can have similar, if not the same, results. 

One of my favourite eyeshadow palettes is the Urban Decay Naked Palette, a cult classic. It's such a versatile, wearable palette but for some the price may not be their cup of tea. When I was in Boots I spotted a palette that instantly reminded me of the Naked Palette; the Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in '01 Cappucino Nudes'. While there are fewer shades in the Max Factor palette there are many similarities between the two. 

So, what's the difference?
The main distinction between the two palettes is the price. At a reasonably high cost of £39.50 is the Urban Decay (UD) Naked Palette while the Max Factor Masterpiece palette is priced at £14.99! Quite a difference! As for the actual eyeshadows? They're pretty similar! Both palettes range from pinky tones to golds and browns. In each palette there's a combination of both shimmer and matte eyeshadows. The Max Factor eyeshadows aren't just as creamy or pigmented as the UD shadows however, they do have good colour pay-off. As with the Naked Palette, the Max Factor palette is versatile giving you the option to create a simple day-to-day look or smoke it up. In both of the palettes, the eyeshadows have slight fall out but for the price this doesn't bother me. The Max Factor packaging definitely isn't as luxe as the UD packaging but it is handy and compact. 

Creating a look
You can certainly create a similar look using each of the palettes depending on what you're going for. I love creating looks that are slightly smokey with a bit of interest while still being completely wearable whatever the occasion. To do this, I usually turn to the Naked Palette but you can easily create a similar effect with the Max Factor palette. Take the shade 2nd from the left and apply it all over the lid to simply warm up the eye. Then taking the shade 4th from the left, sweep it through the crease as your transition shade and to add a little definition. To smoke it up, place the shade 3rd from the right on the outer corner of your eye in a 'v' motion. If you want make the look even more dramatic take the 1st shade on the right and blend a tiny bit into the outer corner of your eye. Go back to the first two shades used and sweep them lightly underneath your eye. 

Do you have any eyeshadow dupes?

Until next time, Katie x


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Getting Style Inspo From Fashion Bloggers

Sometimes you look inside your wardrobe and feel so uninspired by what's staring back at you, am I right?! They are lots of places to find ideas whether it's magazines or fashion books but my go-to for style inspiration is fashion bloggers (and their Instagrams). Now, when I say 'fashion blogger' that doesn't mean they solely focus on fashion but it's a huge part of what they do - in hindsight all of the people I've chosen are also vloggers. So, whether you're into watching videos, reading blogs or scrolling through Instgram, here are some of my favourite fashionistas!

EJ Style (Emma Hill)
If you're looking for advice on the essential pieces to have in your wardrobe aka 'the capsule wardrobe', Emma Hill is your girl. Blogger and recently turned vlogger, she has such an effortless style that never fails to look 'put together'. Think tailoring, casual vibes and biker jackets. Her blog is equally as stylish as her clothes! Be sure to check out her Instagram too.

Fashion Slave (Sophie Milner)
Queen of styling the tea dress, Sophie Milner has a feminine style with an edge. She's your go-to for tips on taking an outfit from day to night, what to wear on a date or the best slogan tee. While she has a blog with beautiful photos and writing style, she also has a YouTube channel. So, with both of these to browse through you won't be short of fashion inspo! Her Instagram is equally great!

Love Style Mindfulness (Sinead Crowe)
Initially Sinead Crowe's Instagram and stunning pictures are what caught my eye - she has a feed of beautiful outfits. She styles everything from denim skirts to chunky knits to pretty tops. She gives you an insight into designer dupes, specific brands and the latest trends to name but a few. Sinead Crowe also has a YouTube channel full of hauls and styling videos.

Kate La Vie
Aside from her lustworthy interiors and incredible flatlays, Kate La Vie also has stunning style. She wears beautiful, feminine outfits; think tea dresses, ruffles and patterns. Her outfits are photographed in such a visually pleasing way that'll make you want to buy everything! While her clothes are fabulous, her handbag collection is also something I'm very envious of!

Lydia Elise Millen
If you're into classy, luxurious and elegant style then look no further! While she has expensive taste, she's definitely one to glean a lot of inspiration from. Lydia Elise Millen is the kind of girl that looks classy even if she's heading to the gym! Her style is all about the high end pieces and excellent quality. She puts outfits together so beautifully. If I could just have her whole wardrobe I'd be a very happy girl indeed!

So, be sure to check these stylish bloggers out! I've shared my favourite destinations for style inspiration but where do you look for inspo?

Until next time, Katie x

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