Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Its not to late to create your own advent calendar!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you will know that the craze for advent calendars has taken on a whole knew level of Christmas extravagance. It also shows no signs of slowing down. This year I decided I was finally going to buy into the trend and try out one of the popular brand produced calendars. However, after some research I discovered there wasn't really one out there for me. I either loved the brand, but the products within the calendar were something I already had, or I knew the products wouldn't suit me. To be completely honest, some were just way out of my price range. So I suggested to my husband that this year we make our own.

This idea definitely holds a certain level of nostalgia, as I remember my mum making me an advent calendar filled with Chocolate coins, plastic dress up beads and trolls! I can't wait till December 1st to start opening our homemade calendar. There's still time to create your own, here are my suggestions for how to create your own this year:

I was pleasantly surprised by the offering of calendars on the market, and picked my own up early from H&M (although it is now unfortunately sold out).
This cute 3D Village Advent Calendar from Moss Cottage is the most affordable out of the two options I found. It would also make a great display, by encorporating them into your Christmas decor. Or, up the fun factor by hiding the little boxes around the house for an added "treasure hunt" element!

The second option I've found is a completely different style, it's this very traditional but elegant Square house advent calendar from Zara.

Gifts for him:

As soon as you have worked out your budget it's time to start picking out presents. For the men in your life, mini toiletries, food gifts and even scratch cards are a great option for filling their calendar with things you know they will love. For the whiskey drinker, this Jameson's mini set would be the perfect size to divide over a couple of days. 

Gifts for her:

Again try to stick to a budget, otherwise it's very easy to go crazy when creating your own calendar. Mini toiletries and bath or skin products are always a great idea. Places like Boots have shelves now dedicated to mini's. At this time of year popular makeup brands such as Benefit (like this Benefit Kissy Missye set) and Mac are bringing out sets of miniatures, this is a great opportunity to pick up a few days in one go.

Day 25:
If your budget allows it and your calendar goes up to Christmas day why not add a surprise present in this day. Concert/Cinema tickets, a voucher or something special like a beautiful piece of Juvi designs jewellery. This stunning, personalised and irish made piece would make anyone jump for joy on Christmas morning!

If you've created your own advent calendar this year, I would love to hear what you received! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Want to create your own at home facial, here's how...

Everyone loves a facial right? I know I definitely do! And although I really enjoy a professional one (especially if it's in a beautiful spa) it's not always within my budget. Which is why I've created my own at home alternative that I know is guaranteed to keep my skin happy, as well as my purse strings.

Another reason for doing my own facials is because it gives me an excuse for some "me time". I like to do mine on a Sunday, when I feel the stresses of the Monday morning blues creeping in. Sunday is a chance to relax before the week ahead.

I would advise that everyone caters their facial to their own skincare needs. I have combination skin and these products really work for me, but if you aren't used to acid exfoliators choose products that you love!

To begin my facial I like to properly cleanse. I do this by first splashing some luke warm water on my face, then squeezing out about a coin sized amount of Neroli Daily Brightening Cleanser (Super Facialist by Una Brennan) onto my hands and massaging it into my face, then washing off. At this point I let my face air dry completely before moving onto the acid.

I highly rate acid exfoliators for removing dry patches and keeping my skin clear. I apply one every day in my usual skin care routine, but I would recommend building up usage if you have never used any before as they can be harsh, especially on sensitive skins which mine is. Also don't forget to use an SPF after application as your skin can be more sensitive to the sun. I love love love the Pixi skincare range. Pixi glow is A-MAZ-ING, a cult product among bloggers and skincare lovers alike; however, I use Glow Peel Pads for ease (and basically laziness) as it's a seriously quick addition to my routine. I basically rub the pre-soaked pad all over my face, around my chin and down my neck using the textured side to get as much exfoliating power as possible. I leave it on for two to three minutes and then bring back my cleanser, squeeze another coin sized amount, and apply it by massaging the product into the face. I then wet a clean flannel with warm water and use circular motions to remove all the product from my face. You may need to rinse and repeat with the flannel to really ensure all the product is wiped off. 

Next comes the fun bit, choosing your favourite mask. I like to pick one dependant on how my skin is at the time/what time of year it is. I have to say I know there are mixed reviews out there but I love a bit of Glam Glow. Although a new favourite which is great (especially as we are coming into winter and will need that extra bit of hydration) is the new Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask from Garnier. It's a bit fiddly to put on at first, but I think I have it down to a fine art now. Once on you can feel all the lovely serums sinking into your face. The packing says to rub in any left-over mask but I think unless your applying product the less contact the better so I let any residue product on my skin air dry after removing the sheet.


Lastly it's time for the finishing touches. I have a few serums I really like but my favourite of them all (Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum) was one I only discovered at the start of this year when the lovely Kathryn O'Neill told me it was something I needed to try, she wasn't wrong. I take three or four drops of product and gently pat it onto my skin. I let it absorb, after which I take my trusted cheap and cheerful Nivea Q10 Plus Day Cream and gently wipe it in to finish my perfect at home facial.

If you love to create your own spa treatments let me know what your favourite products are... 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Molloy & Sons Donegal Tweed returns to Primark

Hey Everyone,

It isn't common place for me to post about Men's fashion, however I couldn't ignore the brilliant Menswear available at Primark / Penneys this season. It's definitely worth taking a peak at, I for one will without doubt be telling the men in my life all about it and sharpish as I predict this will be flying off the rails.

Onto the good stuff... Two exclusive collections are launching in store this October. With affordable prices (although higher than the usual Penneys clothing) and items ranging from coats to three piece suits you can't go wrong. 

The first of the two collections is Molloy & Sons Donegal Tweed. This Irish company is returning to Primark for a second time. The pieces are extremely versatile, fashion conscience or not this collection will please all! The tweed suit comes in a traditional ‘Barleycorn’ weave. While other pieces have taken on a modern update to the traditional tweed.  

The second collection is Italian Wool. I love that Primark have sourced the material from a heritage woollen mill outside Biella from the Lanificio Del Fusero label and the suits are super stylish!

Italian Wool: Suit Jacket €80 / Trousers €45 / Waistcoat €35 /

Italian Wool: Suit Jacket €80 / Trousers €45 / Jumper €22 /

Italian Wool: Suit Jacket €80 / Waistcoat €35 /

Italian Wool: Suit Trousers €45 / Jumper €16 /

Italian Wool: Suit Jacket €80 / Trousers €45 / Waistcoat €35 / 

Molloy & Sons Donegal Tweed: Herringbone Coat €140 / 

Molloy & Sons Donegal Tweed: Blazer €95 / Tweed Trousers €65 / Waistcoat €50 / 

Molloy & Sons Donegal Tweed: Relaxed Blazer €95 / Relaxed Trousers €65

*Not a sponsored post

Monday, 10 October 2016

My Top Bridal Pyjama Picks: To ensure the bride and bridal party are photo-ready

Hey Everyone,

Lately I have been doing (potentially) a little too much online shopping, with ASOS being the biggest hit on my purse. Which is how I noticed that even though we have very recently been plummeted into autumn, ASOS still have an impressive range of pyjamas perfect for those looking to be camera ready the morning of their wedding. 

This year has seen a huge rise in the "bridal party matching pjs" trend... I should know I trawled the web looking for robes for my bridesmaids. So, I've collated my favourites for you into pairs, an option for the bride and an option for the bridesmaids. 

Kicking it off with my favourites of the group, I'm slightly jealous that these weren't available when I got married. They are so pretty with the large floral prints and the option of two colours means the bride can have one while the bridal party has the other, making for great photos of you all getting ready. The tops are also button down meaning you won't ruin your hair or makeup when it comes to getting dressed. 

Bridal robes seem to be the most popular option, especially in the summer months. It also happened to be what I opted for when I got married. These two pink variations are cute, girly and comfortable. They also have an option for the bride and the bridesmaids due to the embroidered font on the back.

These are a stylish and comfortable (which is so important for that morning, don't forget you will probably be in a huge dress for the rest of the day) option. They would be great for a Autumn/Winter wedding and are the cosiest choice from my picks. Again there are two colours to choose from so the bride has dibs on putting everyone in the same, or making herself stand out by wearing the second colour. 

If you are looking for a fun and quirky alternative these would be perfect. Bridal, Barbie/90s rolled into one. The 'Here comes the bride' set is on sale at the moment so move fast to avoid disappointment.

If you're steering away from tradition on the big day another quirky choice are the 'Confetti queen' and 'Team bride' pyjamas. These would also be great for any younger members of the bridal party, who might not suit the more formal pyjama wear. 

The only non ASOS pyjamas to make the cut are these traditional top and short sets. Perfect for a relaxed, on-trend and classic look. There is however a twist, as the River island top has an interesting cutout back detail.

And there we have it, my top picks to ensure the bride and her bridesmaids are photo ready the morning of the wedding. There are even more options available, of course these aren't just for those about to walk down the aisle... I for one will definitely be ordering the floral pyjamas as soon as possible! 

*Not a sponsored post 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Rebrand coming soon!

Hi Everyone,

After five years of blogging as 'Love, Life and Makeup' I've made the decision to re-brand. This has been a long time coming...

For the last few years I haven't been 100% happy with my blog name. I had outgrown it and felt pigeonholed into writing and posting content. When I then began to change how I wrote posts I became even more disconnected because the dots weren't joining up, there was and is a lack of coherence.

So, what can you expect going forward... Firstly the blog name is going to be changing. I hope that there will be minimal disruptions to your viewing by directing you from the old name to the new one, should anyone forget the new URL. All my old content will still be available to view. I will obviously be taking on a redesign which should fit the new style and content. Lastly I will still be posting about Makeup, Fashion and Lifestyle but hopefully it will be more current/have more of my personality injected into it.

I will announce the new name very soon and after that you will start to see this change being implemented on social media and finally right here on the blog.

I hope you will support me in this transformation, I haven't taken this decision lightly after blogging for so long under this name but I feel it's time for a change! 

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

OOTD: Hearts and Grey Days

Coat: Zara
Jeans: H&M (Current stock)
Runners: Penneys/Primark (Current stock)
Heart Shirt: H&M (Current stock)
Vest top: Penneys/Primark (Current stock)
Necklace: Michael Kors (Current stock)
Purse: Parfois

We're back in Ireland and unfortunately we weren't able to bring the Croatian weather back with us. So, on a rainy morning we headed down to our favourite farmers market to pick up some delicious food. 

It was rather muddy so I had to tread very carefully to not ruin my new metalic runners! My warm, grey, drape front, Zara coat kept me warm and dry from the elements. I used my Parfois purse as a clutch, which meant I didn't have to carry round a big bag and had easy access to my phone and money while walking around the food stands. The heart shirt completed the casual look while injecting some fun!  

Friday, 19 August 2016

OOTD Honeymoon #Night4

Jacket: Folkster
Top: Zara
Trousers: Penneys/Primark
Shoes: New Look
I can't lie, this was probably the warmest evening of the trip and the beaded jacket probably wasn't the best idea, but its just so pretty. This Folkster beauty was actually the same item that we turned back to front and put hooks in, to use as tops for my bridesmaids. I was so jealous of how amazing they looked I ended up getting myself one too.
The rest of the outfit reflects the amazing weather. My black Penneys trousers are comfortable, while being versatile enough to dress up, and thin enough to not show your underwear, but cool enough for hot evenings... basically perfect! The Zara vest top was an easy pairing, as the understated piece counterbalanced the heavy beaded jacket. Lastly I finished the outfit off with my tan New Look sandals. These are really comfortable, and the beige tones mirrored the cream of the jacket tying the whole outfit together.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Instagram stories and I've been shortlisted #LWIBloggies2016

Hey everyone,
I was so delighted at finding out the news (last night) that I had been shortlisted in the #LWIBloggies2016 in the 'Fashion Blog' category, that I just had to share the news with you right away!

Voting opens today, it would mean more than you could ever know if you voted for me (details below).

As well as this I wanted to take this chance to chat to you about Instagram stories. Already obsessed with the photo sharing form of social media, this latest update has hooked me in! I'm now posting hauls and first looks at outfits, makeup and lifestyle posts... If you would like to join me in this new exciting channel my username is llandmakeup.

Thank you so much for your continued support! 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

OOTD Honeymoon #Day3

Dress: Penneys/Primark
Beach Bag: Penneys/Primark
Shoes: Penneys/Primark
Sunglasses: INVU

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