Archives For May 2013

Many of you saw that Wednesday was my 29th birthday, on the 29th of May, or my “golden birthday”.  (I’m guessing a lot of people – especially those born near the beginning of a month never really get to celebrate such a thing!)  I didn’t plan an outfit particularly in honor of my birthday, nor do I think it was a particularly special look.  However, if you follow along with my FaceBook page, you know that I did an Instagram collage called “Behind the Scenes”.  Today’s outfit of the day post is more than just an outfit, it’s the whole package – the behind the scenes.

[A first, so exclusively for you!]

The Beauty Bag:
I’m not usually BIG on make-up, though I do enjoy getting gussied up every now and again.  I bought a face primer YEARS ago before my wedding and I’ve probably only used it twice.  Wednesday made thrice.  And I’m here to tell you, that stuff WORKS.  Not currently pictured, I started my face with Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer.  If you don’t own it, or any other primer, get to a store and buy some now.  Even after all day of shopping, sweating, and partying, my face still looked like I had just put on my make-up and it was 12 hours later.  Miracle!

Ok, so what was actually in my beauty bag?

Beauty Bag - 5.29Foundation: Lancôme’s Teint Miracle in “Buff”
Powder:  Neutrogena’s Mineral Sheers in “Natural Ivory” (link to alternate color)
Bronzer: MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in “Give Me Sun!” (link to “Soft & Gentle”)
Blush: Tarina Tarantino’s Dollskin Cheek in “Charm”
Eye Shadow: MAC’s starflash eye shadow in “Unbasic White” (this was a limited edition shade bought YEARS ago) (link to “Crystal Avalanche“)
Eye Liner: Urban Decay’s Glide on Eye Pencil in “Uzi”
Mascara: Cover Girl’s Last Blast Volume in “Jet Black”
Lip Liner: Essence Liner in “Soft Berry”
Lipstick: Lancome’s Color Design in “Trendy Mauve”

IMG_2225.JPG (2)! TA DA!

The Outfit
A basic black and white outfit was my outfit of choice.  I wanted an elegant, yet classic look.  Parisians are so good at it, aren’t they?!

OOTD - 5.29   Shoes - 5.29   Accessories - 5.29

Outfit Details:
Peplum top: The Limited, alternate style available here (I might have to get this one too!)
Jeans: Red Herring’s super skinny jeans in black
Wedges: Nine West’s “Fannyr”–however, I’ve had these for a year or so, and is one of only THREE pairs of heels I brought with me, here’s a link to a cute alternative “Merle
Bag: Aldo’s “Howson” quilted shopper with chain handles and scarf bow (does it have a Chanel-like feel to you? That’s why I LOVED it!)

Accessories: To be honest, I cannot recall where I got the flower ring.  I know my lovely sister gave me the bangles, but again, I have no idea where they come from! Bangles are all the rage right now, so I have no doubt you can easily find some at ANY retail shop you like to frequent! Both my toes and nails are painted using FiftFlop polish in “Coral”. (This polish came with a pair of shoes, and I’m struggling to find a link for it! Check my Instagram or Tumblr if you want to see it!)

Well, this was a BIG post for me — Fashion and Beauty all under one header.  I hope you enjoyed following along as much as I enjoyed posting! Have a great weekend all. XOXO.

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It’s been a good while since I posted any outfit of the day photos.  Likely because without money it’s hard to find motivation to get up, dressed, and out of the house! Not to say that I don’t leave my house — I most certainly do! I just find myself doing it in an unfashionable sense (shocking, I know!).

Last weekend was an exception.  It was a beautiful day in Dublin and my husband and I wanted to do some touristy things around the city.  (We’ve lived here for 3 months and have actually done very little by way of touristy things!) I decided I was going to match my outfit to the day, bright and cheery! However, I was both playing with the pattern (lace detail) and the colors (neon top, dark pants). Enjoy!

OOTD-5.25.13 (Test1)

Photo: Taken outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, courtesy of my husband!

Outfit Details

Top: Neon pink, sheer and short sleeved blouse with lace detail – H&M (alternate style available here)

Jeans: Dark blue skinny jeans – Target (similar style available here)

Shoes: Flats made of cork (yes!) and gold cap toe – Nine West’s Cacey (same shoe, different colors here)

I have accessorized the outfit, though you clearly can’t see it in the photo thanks to the brightness of the sun! I’m wearing a purple wrap around leather cuff that I got at a thrift store here in Dublin and my Betsey Johnson watch.

Marks and Spencer: Love this store! Let’s just dive right in today.

M&S Sign

1) Home Goods & House Wares
If I had to guess, Marks and Spencer is in direct competition with Dunnes when it comes to home goods and house wares.  The stores are both set up similarly, have similar items, and price point them in the same manner.  However, Marks and Spencer takes the advantage on selection as there seems to be more to choose from.  And of course, when there is more to choose from, you also get a range of prices to choose from.  So if you want a higher end product (with higher quality), maybe Marks and Spencer is your store.

2) Women’s Department
Another store that caters to an older generation, those out of college, who have started careers and up the age scale from there.  I haven’t spent a lot of time in the Women’s department (I prefer the shoe department in this store) but there are two and a half floors of fashion items to chose from.  Jackets, suits, casual clothes; the store has it all.  And of course, prices are really reasonable. So, if you are in the shopping district, you want to stop in the store and peruse if nothing else!

3) Men’s Department
Marks and Spencer definitely does not skimp on the men’s department, particularly if you are a business man.  Suits are sharp looking and priced really well.  If you get lucky, you might even be in the store during a sale and get an even better deal on one – or you might end up with three.  [Side bar: I’ve learned that most men in Dublin are required to dress business professional, so the selection of suits in this town is certainly there.] Dress shirts, ties, and belts; if you need it, find it here.  The casual clothes aren’t too shabby looking either!

4) Fragrance, Beauty, & Accessories
Remember the APIVITA serum from yesterday’s post? You can find it at Marks and Spencer, though it doesn’t appear to be available on the website. You can also find a host of other great beauty products and a handful of fragrances.  The store also has a great shoe department.  Walking around town is hard on shoes here, so they must be replaced often, especially shoes with heels.  Marks and Spencer has a great selection of flats, heels (both kitten and high heels), as well as wedges, sandals, and any other kind of shoe you could want.  If you need to replace some of your shoes and don’t have a large budget, come on in!

5) Website
FINALLY! A store with a website in which you can make purchases online! So, what’s the first thing you look for when you can make purchases online? Why, the returns policy of course. There is nothing worse than receiving a package and something not being the right size or not liking the item. Marks and Spencer allows online returns (at your expense) OR allows you to return in store.  Convenient! (Sorry to rant on returns policies, but they are IMPORTANT. I once made a purchase on J.C. Penny’s website only to find out that when I needed to return it, I HAD to do it through their website, even though the store stocked the item I wanted to exchange). An integrated web and store system is crucial for business these days.

In addition to a great returns policy, the website is easy to navigate, is easily searchable, and you can create an account for easy shopping.  Just add items to your cart and go.

Conclusion: Not only can you make purchases in the brick and mortar stores, you can find what you need online.  Of course, Marks and Spencer also has a grocery line, and the one-stop shopping in store is quite convenient.  (Did I mention they have a great wine selection in the stores that carry wine?).  The store has a great selection of men’s suits, women’s fashion, and of course SHOES.

What are you waiting for? Grab your coat and get to your nearest store and check it out!

*Disclaimer: All opinions contained herein are my own.

Today is my golden birthday – 29 on the 29th.  I know that means it’s going to be G-R-E-A-T.  In honor of my birthday, I’m taking a quick detour away from my installment series of department store reviews to discuss a product that you simply cannot live without any longer: Apivita’s Natural Serum in Radiance.

Apivita

This serum is made of 96% natural ingredients.  Did you catch that, 96% NATURAL.  The bilberry and Vitamin C help improve skin discoloration and improve overall skin tone.  The Vitamin C, along with pomegranate, lycopene, and a few other ingredients also help protect your skin cells and prolong their longevity—which goes a long way in wrinkle reduction and brightening dull skin.  Possibly the coolest part of this product is that instead of using water in the serum, the water has been replaced with green tea, and we all know how many benefits green tea has been thought to have. GENIOUS.

I’ve been using this serum nightly for about three weeks and I see a significant improvement in my skin.  The serum glides on smoothly, leaving your face feeling nourished but not greasy (HUGE in my book because no one wants greasy skin!), and has a scent that is slightly lemony, but is certainly not overbearing.

Of course, if you are looking for an anti-wrinkle, a hydrating, or other specific serum, check out Apivita’s other serums as well.  If these products are anything like the Radiance serum, I know you won’t be disappointed! There are also other face products to try, as well as hair, body, and sun products as well.  I certainly can’t wait to try out a few more!

 

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own.  I was not compensated for this review nor did I receive this product or others in exchange for this review.

Dunnes is the third department store in my series installment.  Dunnes is an Irish company, which prides itself on quality products at reasonable prices—known by all here via its tagline, “better value”.  And folks, this is no gimmick!

Dunnes Logo

1) Home Goods & House Wares
Unlike Clerys, Dunnes does not sell furniture.  However, featuring Paul Costelloe as a major brand, the selection of bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen stuff is grand.  The department is organized by room and each room is organized by color so if you know what you are looking for, its easy to get in and out quickly.  And of course, as I mentioned before the price points are unbelievable.  If you want quality AND price, hit up Dunnes.  The only place I’ve found cheaper prices is Ikea, but those prices sacrifice quality.

Aren’t these Paul Costelloe collections perfect for me?!
Paul Costelloe

2) Women’s Department
Dunnes has a great selection of professional looking clothing, which is great for the working woman.  From business casual to business professional, you can easily coordinate complete looks without breaking the bank.  I’ve also stumbled upon some really cute summer dresses on the racks lately.  For me personally though, this isn’t where I shop for clothes generally.

3) Men’s Department
I’ve mentioned in previous posts about some stores lacking Men’s departments.  In my opinion, Dunnes is one of those stores; particularly the store off O’Connell street.  The men’s department is tiny, with only about a half a floor of items – and all items crammed into this spot (clothes, shoes, etc.)  Men, if you want to shop at  Dunnes, I would use the Grafton Street store.  The men’s department is less crowded and has much more selection.  Again, the professional man (particularly those just starting out) should check out the suits in the store.  Decent looking (don’t hit up any CEO meetings, but, OK for days behind the desk) and great prices.

4) Fragrance, Beauty, & Accessories
Dunnes is on the same page as Pennys when it comes to fragrance.  There also isn’t a lot to select from by way of beauty.  The accessories (particularly handbags and shoes) are noteable and VERY affordable.  I’m  heading to the beach soon, so I’ll definitely be hitting up the store getting prepared for that! If you get lucky, you may even stumble on an awesome clearance shoe with an even better price tag. (How is that possible?! Trust me, it is.)

5) Website
I’m running out of things to say on the companies that don’t actually have retail available on their websites.  If you want a good history of the company, the website it useful; or, if you need to locate a store, the website is handy.  Luckily  Dunnes has many locations throughout Dublin so even if I’m busy and need something popping into a store isn’t inconvenient.

Conclusion:  Dunnes is a great store with good quality products at very reasonable prices.  In contrast to Pennys, which targets a younger audience,  Dunnes focuses on the maturing woman and offers great selection and value in both its clothing and accessories.  Men, shop around! This is a great store for men too, but be mindful of which store you shop in! Another perk? One-stop shopping as you can buy your groceries here as well.  I’m in  Dunnes weekly, so, be sure you’ve signed up for the “better value” rewards card as well.  Get rewarded for shopping!

*Disclaimer: All opinions contained herein are my own.