Monday Makeup Madness- All about the base!

I’m struggling today, this Monday lunchtime, I’m currently tucked behind my desk gazing out at the blue skies and stunning weather as I attempt to motivate myself to begin trekking through the mountain of Masters work in my path, and sure enough, both the creative and procrastination juices have started flowing and I found my long lost urge to blog….FINALLY!

I decided I wanted to introduce a new segment into my blog, Monday Makeup Madness, where I create a wish-list, or a review on a specific product or range I have been loving. This weeks blog is all about bases and the ones I have been using for a while!

First things first a ‘lil skin back story, I suffer from acne so anything I do tend to use is full coverage and my skin is super sensitive as well as dry/combination, so the sheer hint at something heavy and scented and my skin breaks out! So anything I do use should also be perfect for my sensitive skinned sisters out there!

My main foundation of choice is under €15 and it is one of the best foundations I have every used, and trust me there’s been a lot! NOTE Cosmetics was recently launched in Ireland late last year, with Tara O’Farrell of TARA Makeup representing the brand. I was first introduced to it when I luckily won a competition to be a model for one of her makeup masterclasses.

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#takeNOTE

NOTE cosmetics have a few different foundations in their range from compacts to mineral foundations, but this one is my favourite! The Detox & Protect foundation contains an SPF15, which is vital and it is full coverage. Similar to MAC Studio Fix Fluid and Studio Sculpt, for only €13.95 it is an absolute must-have for everyday wear, I am quite pale but I wear the shade 02 Natural Beige and it matches perfectly. In Cork I picked this up in Sam McCauley Chemists, but it can be bought online here

My second favourite was the very first high-end foundation I have ever owned and I return to it time and again, MAC Studio Fix Fluid has a cult following and it is worth every penny! At €32 (excluding pump) it is a long-lasting, oil free foundation with the fullest coverage MAC offers. Some people love it and some people hate, it is not suitable for those with very dry skin but suits those with normal/combination as it clings to the skin for an all day flawless finish. It has a matte finish to it, but this can be mixed with MAC strobe cream for a dewy glow or you can just use it as an excuse to overload on the highlight!

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MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Again I wear one of the lightest shades in this, NC15, the C stands for cool tone, meaning it’s yellow based to dispel any redness originally in your skin tone, which I would have from acne. I would recommend getting a professional colour match for this as there is a MASSIVE colour range and it’s totally skintone dependent. Once you know your colour you can buy online here P.S there’s a free gift with purchase RIGHT NOW!!

Last but not least is from YSL, now before anyone gasps with shock at the price range for YSL, this foundation was €35 from Cork Duty Free, it retails at approx. €42 in store but it lasts a really long time and the packaging is as beautiful as the product inside. Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation replaced its iconic, dewy light to medium foundation previously released by YSL. And I was so happy they did!

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YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint

Their new formula is a medium to full coverage foundation that STILL gives a dewy all-round glow! This foundation would suit a multitude of skin types, obviously if you have incredibly dry skin then you do need to be careful, but it incorporates to longevity of a full coverage foundation with the brightness and demi-matte (dewy glow) appearance of a lighter coverage base. It ticks all the boxes for me! I wear Bd10 in the summer when I’m slightly darker but generally I wear the palest shade B10 and I bought from Brown Thomas Cork and it’s also available on their site here

But the most important thing about choosing your foundation, after assessing your skin type, is to choose the correct colour, firstly it’s best if you can identify what tone your skin has…

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Skin Tone Matching for Foundation

By checking the back of your wrist you can check what colour your veins appear to your skin, blue veins are cool-toned (which is the colour category I’m in), a greeny-blue colour is warm-toned, usually with a pinky-golden tone to your skin and a purple-green colour is neutral. C on a foundation usually signals cool-toned, with W meaning warm-toned and N being for neutral, there is also a lot of drugstore brands that range their foundation shades this way.

The best place to check a foundation colour is by checking it on your jawline and you should test the best out of three shades, just like below:

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Foundation matching is best on your jawline.

The colour that disappears on your face and neck is your perfect colour, you may not find your exact colour but the idea is to choose the closest shade. The foundation should only be darker than normal if you are planning to wear tan- it is not to give your face some colour, that’s what bronzer and blusher are for!

Now that I’ve wasted enough time away from my coursework I better get back to it!

Have a Fab Monday X

 

 

Afternoon tea with Eimear Varian Barry

On Sunday I met one of the most fabulous people, the most down to earth, friendly and inspiring person. Did I mention she is also a super fabulous, accomplished blogger?! Eimear Varian Barry!

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EVB speaking with IrishFashoholic, Emer O Mahony

Corkonian Eimear started out in RedFm after studying film making, but her love of life and travel has taken her all over the world, not that you’d think it though as she hasn’t lost bubbly cork accent! An inspiration to all of us she started out taking photos of her new life as a mother and turned it into a career- her Instagram feed is the stuff of dreams filled with beautiful thematic images representing her iconic brand. It really gave me the kick up the arse I needed!!

The mother of two spoke so eloquently for 2 hours alongside Lockdown & IrishFashoholic’s Emer O Mahony, who, is probably more stylish pregnant than I may ever be in my life! The talk was held in Cork’s newest Afternoon Tea venue, Electric, where the prosecco was flowing along with gorgeous savoury and sweet nibbles.

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Sweet Tray from Electric Cork

Eimear’s message was simple to us aspiring bloggers in the audience, if you want it, work for it. It is clear that while she has an eye for fashion and photography, Eimear Varian Barry has balls! She made her blog work because she had to- and everything in her life has brought her up to this moment. She didn’t sit at home waiting for her following to grow and for collaborations to come knocking, she went out and asked for them, she made it happen- all this while staying true to the brand she wanted to create, she now collaborates with the likes of Julian MacDonald!

The Afternoon tea was incredible, from Electric’s new menu launch and I already can’t wait to go back!

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It was the loveliest event I have been to, such a different, relaxed atmosphere filled with a wealth of inspiring knowledge about improving my blog and succeeding in a digital environment. So here is to taking chances, putting myself out there and making it work!

live-boldly

Hanging Out At the Fitness Centre- Week 5

Total Starter Program Weightloss: -11lbs

Total pounds lost in week 5: -?-

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Soooo I finished the 4 week starter program and I lost a total of 11lbs! Which is amazing right?! I am the lightest I’ve been in about three years and I am totally hooked on this exercise lark so I signed myself straight up for another 6 weeks, which is really going to be more like indefinitely until I can safely squeeze my fat arse into a pair of denim shorts!

Yes this really is my end goal in terms of weight loss, no it isn’t inner peace or health, it’s being able to wear a pair of nice denim shorts in the summer without the fear of losing them between my thunder thighs.

So at my new-found, lighter weight I began week 5 and I attended my PT sessions with Chris with motivation and determination. I even began monitoring the heart app on my iPhone, making a conscious effort to walk 5k each day while at work, the carpets in my office are becoming threadbare with all the pacing!

But for some reason my willpower & appetite hasn’t caught up with my new lease on life and I swear in the last week I could have eaten every morsel in my path including the kitchen sink and possibly a small goat. And….I’ll be honest I did!

I even ate a takeaway in the middle of the week! I never eat takeaways mid-week, they are a weekend thing as a treat not as a replacement for a home cooked meal. My mom is still laid up on her crutches and I was up the walls organizing a big event at college so I was working every hour under the sun! So I got my family and my boyfriend a curry on the way home, fully convinced I’d make myself something healthy, which I normally do!

But it was nearing 8 o clock, and there was dishes in the sink and the event was the following day, so I caved, next thing I know I’m splitting the curry with my mom and inhaling it in an unladylike fashion. The next day I had wine in celebration of my event, I had hardly eaten anything all day but my brain thought “hey let’s have some wine”…..but let me tell you a secret; wine is my downfall, wine results in cheese and bread and crisps, and believe me it did….

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So there it was, Friday, also known as weigh-day and so I arrived At The Fitness Centre and trained and I trained really hard, because I was annoyed at myself, annoyed at my subconscious attempted to sabotage myself as I wasn’t prepared foodwise and life got to me this week!

And when the training session was over I accidentally on purpose forgot to remind anyone to weigh me, instead of biting the bullet, weighing and letting the cards fall where they may, I quickly re-booked my sessions for next week and sprinted out the door as fast as the afore-mentioned thunder thighs could carry me.

So here I am, week 6 feeling rather sheepish, but being totally honest with everyone, last week everything got on top of me and my healthy eating took the back seat, which doesn’t really affect anyone except me. I’m only letting myself down, but I’m human and this week is a new week, so I am back on the wagon and I’ll be back At the Fitness Centre later this week.

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Confessions of a College Graduate

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am a recent Electrical Engineering graduate, I even managed a 1.1 in a level 8 degree!

Some of may also be unaware that I have never desired nor wished to be an engineer.

My engineering degree capped off the most taxing four years of my life, it signalled my lack of social development and the omission of that so-called college experience.

I will always remember my induction day at my local institute of technology, that tumultuous moment when the student leader named out our class list, the sickening nodules that formed together in the pit of my stomach as I willed the senior student to call out one more name that would mean I was no longer alone amidst the sea of boys, but alas no such name was mentioned, no such solace arrived and on my first day of a new adventure I realised that I was the only girl in my year!

The ugly truth that no one tells you about engineering is that girls should do it, it is a course perfectly suited to our over analytical  young adult mind-sets and attention to finite detail, but seldom girls ever choose it and why would they? Because unfortunately the overly male orientated world of engineering hasn’t changed or vastly improved in the last thirty years and undoubtedly won’t in the next.

Throughout my degree I was the only one asked in my course why I chose Electrical Engineering, I was the one whose possible sanity was questioned, I was the one stared at like an other world alien as I was a girl who had chosen this course. The men however, their decisions were never questioned, as if they had obviously chosen a logical college course that would root a smooth and rewarding career path, I on the other-hand was an unnerving enigma.

I chose engineering because it was logical, 2012 was a difficult time, in the peak of recession there was a job drought and a future decision for an 18-year-old was an obnoxious task during leaving cert year, so I took my first adult breath and made a decision that would stay with me forever, I am good at maths, I am going to be an engineer.

This was not the answer I told lecturers and my peers, I simply informed them that my dad was an electrical engineer and that relaxed them, they could compute this, that made sense to them. The only girls they had ever met in engineering were following in familial footsteps as god forbid a girl could make up her own mind.

Life is difficult in minority, I quickly realised guys find it awkward when you’re the only girl, it irritated them, it resulted in me eating lunch alone. At first the canteen wasn’t so daunting sitting at a lunch table alone, you could pretend you were meeting someone or that you were too busy studying and happy to be alone with your thoughts, but that novelty soon wore off and I retreated back to the engineering department and spent my time isolated, hiding from the world, defeated and embarrassed.

I began to excel academically from the excess time spent on assignments, that no one noticed that my social skills were depleting at such an intense rapid rate that towards the end of my second year of college, I struggled to maintain eye contact with others. My ability to converse with others was diminishing and small talk was a thing of the past. No one noticed that eight-hour college days past without someone so much as looking in my direction, let alone speaking to me.

And yet despite everything, I owe my whole self to Electrical Engineering. If I had done a different course I may not have gotten a retail part-time job, where I discovered the sheer love I had for makeup, blogging and in turn marketing. Had I ended up in any other situation my life would’ve amounted to numerous different possibilities, none of which leading me to where I am now, to a Masters that challenges me daily but sparks my appetite for learning and to an internship that is everything I could have ever asked for.

Engineering broke me, my heart and my spirit but it triggered a series of catalytic occurences that caused me to flourish into a person with the strength and resilience to tackle any challenge and any opportunity.

To Electrical Engineering and CIT, you have made me everything I am today.

Remember that everything that is happening around you, good or bad, is in some way conspiring to help you.
Debasish Mridha

A Solo Performance- A Cut Above the Rest

A year ago I had the worst hair cut ever!

My desire for that “oh so current” grey blonde, lilac washed toned bob was sadly met with a dodgy yellow toned blonde mixed with dark purple highlights which I fondly referred to as my racing stripes. It was a “hair-tastrophy”. Fast forward 6 months of bottle bleaching my blonde to mask the remnants of purple mess that was my hair I nervously took the plunge to once again enter the door of a hair salon! That’s when I stumbled into Solo Hair Design with my brassy, fried tendrils of hair.

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Solo Hair Design

Centred in the heart of Cork City, Solo Hair Design, resting at 2 Camden Wharf is where I met my hair guru, the miracle worker himself, senior colourist Dean.

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Gone was the yellow mess of brassy blonde, as my hair was transformed into an icy mixture of dark and ash blonde balayage.

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From Brassy to Classy

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The Before & After photos just speak for themselves, you really get what you pay for. The condition and shape of my hair lasted for over 12 weeks without a top up, which really gave my hair a chance to recover after months of bleach abuse.

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Solo Hair design- Best Blow Dries

Solo Hair Design is a real gem of a salon, each and every member of staff is so friendly and professional, and above all incredible at what they do. I have gone there, time and time again and their skills are second to none.

They really are a cut above the rest!

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Samples of their amazing work can be seen on their Facebook: here

Happy Shopping,

Not So Dumb Blonde X

A is for Anxiety

actually i havent been well lately

This isn’t a normal post for me, and if you’re looking for something makeup or beauty related, look away now, those posts are coming but this isn’t one of them, this one is about anxiety.

I have been totally non existent on my page lately, why? Because I lost interest in it, well to be honest I lost interest in everything. Now I am one of those people that’s always on the go, working and college, I try to keep up with everything I hardly let myself breathe, I keep myself busy so I never have to deal with things, I just keep going I don’t know how to slow down!

I am a very strong person and I’d never be one to wallow,I just put it in a mental box and get on with my life. However, about 8 weeks, when all the exams were finished, when the Christmas rush had settled down and my college month off was set to begin I fell down the stairs. I don’t exactly remember what happened, I think it was caused by total exhaustion, or my body just had enough of me putting it under pressure, all I can remember is the excruciating pain through my left leg and an insanely swollen ankle. Next thing I know a pair of crutches were going to be my new fashion statement for the next month, my ankle was fractured.

Now I’m not wallowing, I promise, people have it so much worse, and I could have hurt myself a lot more, but suddenly all my independence was gone. I couldn’t manage the crutches, it took me ages to get up and down to the toilet, I couldn’t wash my hair or stand up in shower because I wasn’t allowed get my cast wet, I couldn’t even make myself a cup of tea. I felt totally useless.

Anxiety Quote

With the weather being wet or icy outside, I found it physically difficult to leave the house, with my leg so I ended up spending hours to myself watching TV and Netflix, I had too much time on my hands, lots of time to think, the problem being you can’t stop your thoughts, you can’t escape your own brain.

The anxiety pretty much started with insomnia, I couldn’t sleep or if I did I had nightmares, awfully vivid hallucination type dreams, they were horrifying!

It got to a point where I was afraid to go to sleep because I didn’t know where my mind would wander to, so I had to sleep with Netflix blaring in the background to drown out my own mind, I was exhausted, but it was the darkness and the quietness in my room I couldn’t cope with, it was like I was totally isolated, like I was being swallowed up.

I began to lose interest in everything, I got up because my mom would come check on me, and I ate because she made me my meals, but I didn’t have any interest. I felt if I could just hide out under my duvet, the world would forget all about me and I’d be okay. I was lifeless, energy-less.

Suddenly I was panicky in every situation, I remember being brought to town the week before my birthday and crying in Debenhams, because of the volume of people around me, I was constantly paranoid, I was constantly worried and afraid, like these people were looking at me and judging me, it sounds totally crazy but it was overwhelming and I couldn’t stop the thoughts, I couldn’t shut off my brain. I felt like a weak weepy version of my former self, it was crippling.

Even though the cast went and I was more mobile in the walking boot for my leg, the feeling didn’t alter, I didn’t feel anything either way. I was becoming totally numb to everything even though I was crying all the time. I was out of it, like someone on mind numbing medication, I couldn’t concentrate or even think straight, if I tried to it over whelmed me. It started to get to a stage where my own mother had to remind me to shower, but then I’d snap if she suggested wearing makeup or doing my hair. I NEVER don’t wear makeup!! It’s my thing and I had lost total interest in it. I was lost.

I felt really guilty for being like I was, which added to the anxiety, there is so much in the media about suffering from depression and anxiety I didn’t want to sound like I was jumping on this trendy new bandwagon, but I felt like my insides were tearing themselves apart. I eventually told my mom, now my mom is like me, unless you’re physically sick or something, you tell yourself you’re grand and you keep going. But I just couldn’t anymore.

Now, because we are really close she had noticed the changes in my behavior, but finally voicing what was going on in my head was like lifting a weight off my shoulders, when someone just listened and didn’t look at like I was crazy I felt better.

This too shall pass

Now I’m trying to deal with this naturally through the help of little things everyday like making myself relax or just taking time to myself. I’m really finding talking to your friends about nothing serious and having a laugh really helps, or going for long walks.

I still get nightmares every so often, but it’s getting better, I make little lists everyday and tick them off, so my brain kinda thinks I’ve accomplished something today and therefore not useless, if that makes sense? That makes me sleep a whole lot better!

I’m getting better week by week with dealing with the anxiety attacks and even though I have mini “freakouts” when I’m in college or out shopping but I’m learning to ground yourself.

I know some of you may not have any interest in this type of post, but I know as a young person there is so much we have to deal with and it is so easy to suffer from anxiety, so I just wanted to let people know that I’ve been where you may be and that there is nothing wrong with asking for help! Talk to people, let them know how you feel, don’t feel guilty or embarrassed because its okay not to be okay.

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I was also planning on doing a post on my favourite ways to de-stress and unwind, which I feel helps me out immensely with my calming myself down, please let me know if you guys would be interested in something like that!

Until next time lovelies,

Barbara xxx