Monday, 28 July 2014

The Liebster Award

Hello everyone!

Throughout the time I've been blogging, I've been very lucky to be nominated for the Liebster Award a couple of times. I've seen it's rules change over that time (I swear it used to be for bloggers with under 100 followers?) but the principle remains the same - to reward and appreciate bloggers who haven't reached that 200 milestone just yet. I like that. I know plenty of bloggers who deserve more of a following so I'm doing this post more to give them some recognition, but you also get to know a little more about me! I really liked the questions Amy from Style Storms asked so a big thank you to her and here goes. . .



The RULES

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.

2) Write 11 facts about yourself.

3) Answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you asked.

4) Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and ask them 11 questions of your own.

5) Let your nominees know they're tagged by linking them to your post where they can read the rules.

(You can't nominate the person who nominated you sadly!)

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The ELEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME

1) I have no idea what I want to do with my life.
2) I would love a leopard gecko.
3) Johnny Depp is my favourite actor, closely followed by Leonardo DiCaprio.
4) I currently have braces.
5) I really like the number five for some reason. Always have! I was pretty miffed when I turned six years old.
6) My favourite TV show is Emmerdale.
7) I have an irrational fear of beetroot.
8) I'm going to see The Midnight Beast this Friday!
9) I don't have a middle name.
10) My star sign is Sagittarius. 
11) When I was in nursery, a teacher told me it was illegal to lick the lids of yoghurt pots and although I know it's not true, I've never licked one since.

Now I'll answer the questions!

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The QUESTIONS AMY ASKED

1) What do you love most about blogging?
Ooh a tough one to start! There are so many aspects of blogging I love, from actually typing up a post to interacting with other bloggers on Twitter. I'd probably have to say it's the fact that you're part of a community of diverse people who share a similar hobby.

2) What was the last thing you ate?
A very tasty salad at lunchtime.

3) What colour nail polish are you wearing?
I actually don't have any polish on right now, I'm giving my nails a bit of a break and treating them with OPI's Nail Envy.

4) You're stuck on a desert island and you're allowed to take three things with you. What would you take?
One of my favourite films is Swiss Family Robinson and I'm fascinated with the idea of trying to survive on a island! I watched The Island with Bear Grylls recently and although I believe a lot of things were made easier for them, it just goes to show you you can get by with just the things you find on the island. I'd take a water purification system, a knife and if you count a person as an 'item' I'd take my dad. He'd be amazing at helping survive and it's something he's always wanted to do too.

5) What age did you start wearing makeup?
I've been experimenting with it for ages but I've been wearing it regularly since I was about 13/14.

6) What's your favourite thing to blog about?
I can't pick just one thing - I love doing really informative beauty reviews, but recently I've found outfit posts to be fun as well as nail art tutorials. My post about coconuts was a bit different but I really enjoyed writing and researching it!

7) Who is your role model?
I have to cheat just a little and say two people. My parents both inspire and encourage me in different ways so I'd say them!

8) Besides blogging, what do you do in your spare time?
I like music a lot, both listening and playing, as well as making art and spending copious amounts of time watching Youtube videos.

9) What beauty product could you not live without?
I could definitely give up makeup if I had to but a good moisturiser is something I would find hard to go without. 

10) Chocolate or crisps?
Oh man, does anyone remember those chocolate covered crisps you used to be able to get? Those please.

11) What is your favourite clothing shop?
Surprise surprise, it's charity shops! You can find all sorts of brands and get them at amazing prices too. What's not to love? Alternatively, I could spend a lot of time and money in Primark, aka the mothership.

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The FANTASTIC BLOGGERS I'M NOMINATING

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The QUESTIONS FOR YOU

1) What's your favourite meal?
2) What colour do you wear most?
3) Are you a morning person?
4) What makeup look do you wish you could pull off?
5) What would you like your superhero power to be?
6) Would you rather not have any eyeshadows or not have any lipsticks?
7) Who are your five ideal dinner party guests?
8) What's your all time favourite item of clothing?
9) Would you ever do any extreme sports such as sky diving?
10) Where do you see yourself in five years time?
11) What's your guilty pleasure?

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So that was the Liebster Award! 
I'm really looking forward to seeing your answers and even if I didn't tag you, feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments below!


Thanks for reading,
Maeve
x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Weekly Reflect | #2

Hello everyone!

Well look at me actually sticking to a blog series! I'm usually pretty crap at continuing with series so it's a bit of an achievement to be following up on one haha. If you didn't see the first part in the series, here it is. 


reminiscing about seeing Ed Sheeran back in January 2013


This week . . .

  • . . . the weather was absolutely glorious. I spent many an afternoon in the sun outside in my garden which is something we can rarely do here in Northern Ireland. A lot of people in the UK complain about the heat but I've been quite liking it this week despite being an Autumn/Winter girl at heart.
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  • . . . I was Coloristiq's Blogger of the Week! Coloristiq is a new service offering nail polish rental which will be launching soon and I also happen to be an ambassador for them. Watch out for them this September as brands like OPI and Essie will be part of the the service!
***
  • . . . I treated my hair to a coconut oil mask and it's really appreciative of the benefits. My hair is soft and the frizz is tamer than usual which are two things that deserve a big thumbs up in my book. I posted about the power of coconuts this week and I'll be getting a post up all about the wonders of the oil in the near future!
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  • . . . Ed Sheeran's album x is still on repeat. I would try and tell you my favourites but I truthfully love all of them. I'm incredibly excited to be seeing him live again in October! I recommend giving x a listen if you haven't already.
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  • . . . a lovely package came in the post from The Hut Group who sent me some amazing beauty bits which will be featuring here soon! I've been in touch with the fashion side of THG and now the beauty side and I can safely say they have the loveliest people working for them. Eve wrote me a handwritten note which included a little comment about my watermelon nail art which just warmed my heart.
***
  • . . . I dreamt I married Matty Healy of The 1975 fame. It was wonderful, up until the point where someone at our wedding told him I cheated on him (which I didn't - who could?!) and I had to convince him I was faithful. It was all very dramatic but he believed me in the end though.

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Next week I'll be going to see The Midnight Beast in concert which is all sorts of exciting as I'm a pretty big lover of the band! 

What did you get up to this week?


Thanks for reading,
Maeve
x

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Power of Coconuts

Hello everyone!

Coconuts are pretty cool you know. They may look like the lovechild of a sloth and a bowling ball but it's what's on the inside that counts, right? 


Growing up, coconuts were a special treat to me. On occasions when one would make it's way to our kitchen you can bet your bottom dollar I'd make sure I'd get my fair share! Since then I've come to understand they can do a lot more than just taste good. Today I want to share some coconut goodness with you. I just wish I could share them with you for real! I have the good people at Cocofina to thank for making it that little bit easier for me to do so, in that they've allowed me to try out their products and be able recommend them to you. 

Pull up a chair, get yourself a drink and your snack of choice while I share with you an insight to the power of coconuts!

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The PURE AND SIMPLE

First up is this carton of pure coconut water, claiming to refresh, regenerate and rehydrate. Heck yes it does - especially on hot Summer days like we've been having lately! I sipped on this while sitting in my garden yesterday and I may as well have been on an island somewhere. Bliss.

I think poured into some chopped up fruit and blended this would make a really tasty natural juice too.

If you find yourself reaching for those sugary energy drinks a few times too often, I say give coconut water a go.
If it's good enough for Rihanna . . .





*****



For: The FLAVOUR CRAVERS

So you've tried coconut water, appreciate it's benefits but want something a bit different? Cocofina have you covered with these flavoured varieties.

These are teeny wee bottles but I was genuinely taken aback at how thirst quenching they are!

The Apple & Blueberry lets the apple take the forefront with coconut coming through as an aftertaste, while the Tea & Passion Fruit tasted just like a less sugary Peach Lipton with a twist of coconut in my humble opinion. I'm yet to try the Mango & Guava as I'm planning to take it to a concert I'm going to on 1st August. I'll be doing a 'what's in my concert bag' post closer to the time so stay tuned for that if you want to know my thoughts!



*****


For: The FITNESS NUTS (& those of us who just like a snack)


Beverages out of the way, onto the snacks. And oooh they're good. 
Now, Cocofina says they'd be good pre-workout snacks, which I have no doubt they are, that is if you work out. If you're like me and the most exercise you do is walk to the fridge and back, I can tell you that they're yummy as well as great for keeping you going .

I thought my favourite would be the Cocoa bar but I actually found that to be fairly uninteresting. I much preferred the Coconut & Date offering and the Macaroon bar was by far the best. Man that thing tastes GOOD. They're soft, chewy and have a lot of desiccated coconut texture making them my kind of snack.


*****



The SWEET ESCAPE


The thing I was most intrigued by was the Coconut Flower Nectar.

Honestly, I was never aware it existed so I did a bit of research. However, just from bottle reading I found out it has a low GI, which I actually did learn about from studying Home Economics for GCSE. Knew that would come in handy!

GI means glycaemic index, and basically a food with a low GI releases energy at a slower pace and doesn't rapidly raise your blood sugar levels. This means you get a steady flow of energy to eliminate that post sugar rush slump you can get with high GI foods.


Science lesson over, yes, sugar is still sugar, but having a dash of coconut flower nectar over a boring cereal instead of a bowl of sugary sweet crunchies can make a difference, as can adding it to your tea instead of a heap of sugar. I rarely take sugar in my tea but adding just a spoonful of this makes it really delicious and you get a subtle coconut kick too. It's like a thinner, runnier honey which I've been loving to add a little something extra to my cardboard in the mornings. Uh, I mean cornflakes, but same difference?


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The MIRACLE WORKER


Last but by no means least, the star of the show - Coconut Oil. 

I'm not going to rave about it here as I think it deserves a post of it's own, purely because it can do so much! I'm currently testing out the extensive list of things it claims to be good for and I'll get back to you which my thoughts on all of those.

For now, I will just add that I think this should be renamed miracle oil!




*****

Well, I hope enjoyed this post and maybe you learned something new! 

Do you like coconuts?
How do you stay energised and hydrated?
Are you a sugar addict in need of an alternative?

I'd love to know!

Thanks for reading,
Maeve
x

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♪ Would I lie to you baby, would I lie to you? ♪
No, I wouldn't.
This post contains products which were sent to me for reviewing purposes but all opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Makeup Revolution | 'Essential Mattes' Eyeshadow Palette | REVIEW


Hello everyone!

I'm all for a matte lip, but matte eyeshadows are a territory I've never really travelled to before. That said, I'm always up for trying something new.

Today's post is the last in the trio of products I was lucky enough to receive from Makeup Revolution. However, it won't be my last review of the brand, oh no. I will most definitely be making a purchase in the future, I just need to figure out how to make my basket not total in excess of £100! That's right, even though Makeup Revolution is a very budget brand, you can't help but want everything.

Here's the £4 palette you'll want to add to your collection.




The PACKAGING
On first glance, it's a very standard looking palette. The packaging is made from a black plastic and has a clear window on the top. All very typical of low-cost palettes. It might not be what those with more expensive tastes are used to but personally, I like it. While it's not exactly 'pretty', there's nothing wrong with it! If it's not broken don't fix it, right? It's actually pretty sturdy and doesn't feel like it costs under a fiver. Anyway, it's what's inside that counts!

The SHADE RANGE
In terms of the shade range, I think it comes equipped with pretty much all of the matte shades you could possibly want! You can create anything from a really neutral eye using the various lighter shades to a fully smoked brown, blue or purple. I'm a big lover of purple shades but I generally banish blue eyeshadow to the memories of my early makeup days. On experimentation with this however, it's surprisingly wearable. I believe they've hit the nail of the head with every one of these truly essential shades!

The COLOUR PAYOFF & The CONSISTENCY
Pigmentation and consistency are the aspects which really boost my appreciation for this palette. The shadows are soft like their hues and the colour payoff is quite impressive, so much so that I was taken aback with the quality on first swatch! I do find them to be quite powdery and there is a fair bit of fall out in the palette, but once on the eyes they blend nicely and really stay put.


The LASTING POWER & The PRICE POINT
Upon testing, I've noticed they actually last a really long time - even without primer! They do fade a little coming towards the end of the day but for a purse friendly palette, that's to be envied! For £4 - that's 33 pence a shade - this is without doubt a true winner.


PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Here's an example of what I created using the Essential Mattes and my Real Techniques eye brushes. While there is an applicator included, I don't tend to use those for eyes. Instead, it's a brilliant sized sponge for nail art ombré-ing! 

Here I took some of the brown shades to do some light contouring in the crease, then used the RT angled brow brush and the darkest shade with some water to achieve a cat flick that I'm pretty proud of! While this is a bit more dramatic than your everyday 'just popping out to the shops' look, it is also really easy to create subtle but impactful eyes with the palette. 

Oh, and my one slight annoyance with shimmery shadows is that when you use a black liquid liner on top, the shimmer tends to transfer onto the liner and stay there! Not with mattes. Oh, AND being matte there are a couple of shades which could easily double up as brow powders too!


*****

Although I'm eager to try Makeup Revolution's shimmer palettes, (Flawless palette, I've got my sights set on you!) I'm now most definitely a matte convert! 

Which Makeup Revolution products would you recommend to me?
Which would you most like to try?

Thanks for reading,
Maeve
x

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Click here and here to read my previous Makeup Revolution reviews!
__________________________________________________________________

♪ Would I lie to you baby, would I lie to you? ♪
No, I wouldn't.
This post contains products which were sent to me for reviewing purposes but all opinions are honest and my own.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Watermelon Nail Art! | NOTD + Tutorial


Hello everyone!

Have you seen that watermelon slice clutch bag that's around at the minute?
I think it's so cute! There are lemon and orange and other fruit versions but my favourite by far is the watermelon one.

I got inspired and came up with a Summery nail look that's actually really easy to recreate if you'd like to.
Here's what I came up with!


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Step by Step

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Optional Prep:
I like to start all my manicures with OPI's Nail Envy but this isn't an essential step at all. It's a nail strengthener and does work over time but take my advice - don't pay the full price for it. Shop around and get it on Amazon like I did for less than half the price!


1.
Paint the nails all over with a bright pink polish of your choice. I chose Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine in 'Dragon' which is a gorgeous shade with a few tiny shimmers suspended inside so it sparkles whenever the light catches it. The formula is definitely one you have to get used to using as it's quite thick but once mastered gives a lovely gel-like effect.

2. 
Once your pink is dry, take a white polish along the bottom of your nail, as if doing a French manicure. I went for MUA's 'All Nude' which is an absolute bargain at just £1! If I'm ever using this as a full nail look it does require a few coats to be fully opaque but the end result is worth it.

3. 
Now for the pips! I use liquid eyeliners for detailing on my nails all the time - if you don't particularly like a liner, don't throw it out, put it in your nail art stash! You will need to put a clear top coat over it to keep it in place as well as to smooth everything out. A glitter top coat never fails either!

4.
Lastly, go over the white with a green polish, leaving just a little bit of white peeking out, Then add your top coat and you're done! I used a Collection polish in the shade 'Look At Me!' which barely gets used but since picking it up I've realised I really should get it out more! It's a really unusual but unique colour. Imagine mustard was green, and that's how I'd describe it. The pigmentation is actually really nice, and I want to get some more Collection polishes!

What I used . . .




I'm so pleased with how this turned out! 
It's really bright and poppy. In my opinion, Summer is the best time to go wild with a bit of nail art, especially for those of us who aren't allowed it at school!



What's your favourite Summer mani?
What would you like me to create on my nails next?

Thanks for reading,
Maeve
x