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The best of beauty 2013


2013 was the year I felt like I've found the best "face" for me- flawless skin, a peachy highlighter, loads of mascara, dark eye-liner and a nude lip. At heart, I suit the makeup of the 60's the best. The above 6 products have helped me achieve this face and will continue to be repurchased for years to come. I'm still working on my favourite eyeliner and eye-shadow (although MAC's Satin Taupe is up there) so these will be what I'm searching for in 2014. However, if you are searching for your perfect products, maybe my class of 2013 will give you inspiration.

L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution
If there is one thing a makeup lover like me needs, it's a swift and effective makeup remover. I've repurchased this at least 5 times. The bottle lasts for AGES, it's affordable and it gets all my makeup off. Using a baby sized cotton pad and a bit of this, there is absolutely no reason why in the name of Barbra Streisand you would chose to grab a makeup remover wipe. Tut tut. I follow this up with my full cleansing routine (although I must admit, after one too many Bombay and slimlines I only manage this but sure it's better than nothing!).

L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream
I have a bit of an aversion to makeup on Sunday's. Actually, 2013 was the year that I became comfortable to running about with no makeup on (much to the horror of one friend in particular who had never seen me without my face on). CC cream is a revolution. It takes out the redness in my skin and makes me look like I'm wearing no makeup. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon brunch with a splodge of mascara and a hit of lip-gloss. 

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
2 words: Holy Grail. This is by far the best foundation for me. It has medium coverage which can easily be built up. It's not cakey. It looks flawless. It is the PERFECT foundation for any girl that loves a dewy look with a highlighter. In probably 75% of the photos you see of me I'm wearing this foundation. I'd encourage anyone to try Laura Mercier foundations. The girls at House of Fraser Belfast are absolutely lovely and will try out a full face of Mercier products on you. Give it a go! 

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara
I've tried so many mascaras. I like Maybelline mascaras. They are great but dry out quickly. I like Benefit mascaras but think they are a bit over-priced. I LOVE Armani Eyes to Kill but we don't have an Armani counter in Belfast (yet, I'm praying one will appear soon). Max Factor Masterpiece Max has been my staple. It gives volume, length and it costs £10.99. In November I decided to have a little flutter with other drug store mascaras. They all gave me panda eyes and I cried back into the corner with my Max Factor glory. In fact, all of the Max Factor mascaras are great. I have a 2000 Calories in my handbag currently. I know some of my readers have tried Masterpiece Max and absolutely loved it. 

Rimmel Kate Moss 03
As aforementioned, I have discovered that a nude pout looks best on me. I've toyed with many lipsticks from very expensive Chanel numbers to this super affordable Rimmel number. Kate 03 is the most perfect nude which seems to suit every skin tone. It has a good amount of brown in it to stop your lips from looking like you are wearing Panstick on them. I think every single of my friends has gone out and bought it. The perfect lipstick for any occasion. For a night out I will line my lips and throw some gloss on top for an ultra Kardashian full pout. 

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
I've become obsessed with Real Techniques brushes. They are cheap, easy to wash and work a treat. The Buffing brush (which is part of the Core Collection) applies makeup seamlessly and makes my Laura Mercier Silk Creme in particular look amazing. It's the ultimate brush for a lazy girl as you can easily apply your base in under a minute. I'd also highly recommend the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge but I shall do a full review soon!

I hope you have all had a really great holiday season. I'm excited to see what adventures 2014 brings. As always, thank you for all your support and stay tuned.

That Belfast Girl x 

Falling back in love with eyeliner


In my teen years, I was obsessed with eyeliner. I have quite big eyes and I always loved how it looked on me. I was also a big Amy Winehouse fan and I wanted to have massive, over the top eyeliner like her. Since my Elizabeth Taylor tutorial a few months ago, I've been back to eyeliner with a bang. I thought I would share my three favourite eyeliners at the minute. I will admit that I am not the the most skilled at putting on eyeliner so my current favourites are fairly fool proof!

Gel eyeliner is the ultimate tool for any girl dreaming about an Alexa Chung eye. I've tried out many different gel eyeliners and I must say that I genuinely like this the best. Using an angled brush, I dip the brush into the little pot and apply. Gel liner is ideally the best option for anyone looking for a cat eye flick. If you love the look of gel but find it messy to apply, keep a cotton bud and some makeup remover on hand to correct any mistakes. 

I picked this up on a whim as Superdrug were doing a 3 for 2 offer. I liked the idea of the Kajal which is essentially a black waxy pointy lipstick! It is a merge between a gel eyeliner and a pencil. I have loved using it as it is very easy to apply. It's also the size of a lipstick so I can throw it into my bag. I would recommend this for anyone who finds eyeliner a bit of a struggle. It is great for tight-lining as the shape of the product really lends itself to this. Make sure to keep your eyes shut for a minute to make sure it sets! 

This has been the liner I have been using the most. A pencil is the easiest way to line the eyes as it is quick and it is harder to smudge. The Body Shop formula is soft and easy to blend, making it perfect for a quick run along the outer corners or as part of a full smoky eye. I just noticed on the website that this also comes in a lovely navy shade which I must remember to try out. 

Let me know what your favourite eyeliner is so I can give it a whirl!

Current Hair Favourites


I have totally unruly hair. I often say that if Russel Brand and Kate Bush had a love child, it would look somewhat like me. My curls are great but in the winter I usually brow dry my hair straight. Curls, for me, are better in summer when it is warm and I can afford to leave my hair to air dry. I am trying to grow my hair so I am trying to wash it less, put it up more and keep it in tip top condition.

My "go to" shampoo has been the Kiehl's Amino Acid shampoo*. This smells absolutely stunning- like Hawaiian Tropics sun cream! I am a huge fan of coconut oil and this product contains a fair amount of it. It also is paraben free and silicone free meaning it does not weigh my hair down. It makes my hair feel squeeky clean. Like many people, I have an easily irritated scalp and I have found that products with no silicone in them are better for me. I follow my shampoo up with a conditioner. My conditioner of choice at the moment is the Ever Sleek conditioner by L'Oreal. I am a big fan of the sulphate free range of L'Oreal products. They seem to work really well with my often coarse hair. This conditioner makes my hair less frizzy and makes it more manageable to blow-dry. I apply a 50p size amount in the shower, brush it through with my Tangle Teezer and leave it on 2-3 minutes before rinsing (I usually shave my legs during this time!).

Post shower, I towel dry my hair. I will usually moisturise (I'm being a very good girl since I've started to use my Creme de Corps from Kiehl's), get dressed then finish my hair. A big mistake people make is putting products in soaking wet hair. Your hair should be at least half dry before you put products in. I sometimes would take the hairdryer to my hair and just "blast dry" it until it's not as damp. I will then apply 2 pumps of Tresemme Platinumn Strength Leave In Conditioner*. I have found this makes the ends of my hair look much healthier. I blow-dry my hair and usually follow this with a quick run through of the GHD's. Finally, I finish my hair with a pump of Dove Pure Care Dry Oil*. I have been using this for months and a little goes a long way. It easily rivals many of the high end oils on the market. It makes my hair smooth and adds extra shine. I also love this dry oil as a treatment the night before I'm washing my hair. 3-4 pumps in the ends to help combat dryness has been working a treat!

*PR Sample

Dealing with dry skin during the winter


In my previous post I had mentioned that I had been dealing with a cold turned chest infection. Not only has this been making me feel rubbish, but making me look a bit rubbish too! I have quite good skin which would tend to be on the more oily side. However, when I get a cold, my skin turns into a dry mess. Like many people, I get dry skin on and around my nose (glamorous, I know) from blowing it so much. I have been using three products to battle my dry skin problems and they seem to be serving me very well. 

Firstly, on my body I have been using Kiehl's famous Creme de Corps*. I have purchased it before when I was in the US but now we have our now Kiehl's store in Belfast, I feel like it will now be a permanent feature of my beauty collection. The sweet smelling cream which contains nourishing soy milk helps to soothe and moisturise skin. I will admit that I hate moisturising post shower/bath. I loathe the idea of moisturiser being  really sticky. However, Creme to Corps sinks in quickly and a little goes a long way. I think I'll be off to buy a litre bottle soon! 

On super dry patches, the good old Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream comes out. I have on occasion used this as an entire face mask (I only recommend this if you are recovering from a particularly hideous bout of flu or have very dry skin). It is also a great products for lips and brows before bed. 

Finally, as my weekly face treat, I have been using the Kiehl's Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque* I have used other overnight masques before, but like with many moisturisers, I have found them sticky. The Kiehl's formula is a clear gel which is applied all over the face. After 10 minutes, the excess is removed then the rest is left to work it's magic overnight. There is no real scent off it. The tub is also HUGE meaning this will last me forever! From first use, I thought my skin seemed more plumped and hydrated. I will be using this weekly from now on as my skin can get dehydrated easily if I have been wearing a lot of makeup or I have been very stressed out. I would highly recommend this to anyone who feels like their skin is looking a bit lack lustre or it seems like your makeup isn't looking as nice as lately.

Let me know what you are using to combat your dry winter skin!

That Belfast Girl

*PR sample 

Why I've Ditched Fake Tan

More olive toned as a child, now my natural skin tone without tan 
It has easily been three months since I whipped out the fake tan in order for me to look brown (and smell like a giant digestive biscuit). I've been fake tanning for a long time. I remember going to my best friend's house after PE in my final year of primary school. My BFF's grandma noted how tan my legs were and I said "It's fake tan!". I can still recall the horror on her face!

The past year has seen me become so discontent with tans. I was sick of the smell of them. No matter what tan you buy or the promises it makes, it will smell dodgy at some point. I was sick of ruining bed clothes with tan. I was sick of the patches that gather around your hands, knees and elbows. But most of all, I was sick of the hassle of it! In the winter months, standing in your knickers doing your tan is not fun nor is it appealing. I've been fake tanning for 10 years and rarely did it come out evenly. For a while I was subject to almost weekly spray tans but they became a fortune, time consuming and my skin seemed like it never had a break!

I've never been the palest of girls. I would always describe myself as a "medium" skin tone and I have very dark hair and eyes. I realised the obsession was not with being tan but with seemingly covering up things. Tan is a wonder for covering up things like scars and stretch marks. However, fake tan wasn't doing anything to combat these problems. So I've ditched the tan and started moisturising more. This is not saying I'll NEVER wear fake tan again but I will reserve my tanning to a) spray tans for special occasions and b) using Clairns tan (which is the best in the entire world) on my legs if I'm wearing a particularly short dress.

The biggest testament to my lack of fake tan is that no-one even seems to have noticed that I've stopped wearing it! So for now, pale and interesting it is!

That Belfast Girl 

1960s at 22

The past week, I turned the grand old age of 22. I keep telling people I feel so old but it's only because I feel like I've blinked and skipped from the last day of school to my post-graduate degree. Thus far, 22 has been very fabulous. 21 was a bit of a crazy year but it was one of the best of my life. At lot of things happened that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

For my 22nd birthday, I was kindly invited to the media launch of the owner's of The Merchant's new venture: The Dirty Onion/Yardbird. This bar/chicken joint is located just around the corner from The Merchant and is really chilled out. The chicken restaurant Yardbird is really simply but delicious. The atmosphere was really fun and the live music was brilliant. For my evening out, I was inspired by the recent Nigella Lawson shoot in Stylist magazine. Her 60's inspired makeup made me reach for some different things in my beauty stash. I got ready very quickly, so my ode to Ms. Lawson took me a mere 5 minutes!

Stylist Magazine Shoot- Makeup by Tricia Woolston and Photography by Matthew Shave. No copyright intended. 

I first prepped my skin with Marks and Spencer Autograph Instant Radiance Primer and then followed this with Urban Decay's Naked Skin Foundation. I like this foundation as it is really buildable. I then filled in my brows (which are hideously out of shape as the moment as I am growing them) with the HD Brows palette. I then used Benefit's Hoola to contour my cheeks and some MAC Skin Finish in Red Head for a highlight. The eyes were super quick- a MAC 217 brush with a limited edition Marks and Spencer baked eye-shadow quad. The quad is no longer available but NYC make very similar shades which would be a good  cheap dupe. I prepped my eyes with a Benefit cream eye-shadow and then put a silver colour all over with a dark grey in the crease. I lined my eyes with Collection Black Gel Eyeliner and coated my lashes with Max Factor Masterpiece Max mascara (Sidenote: I've tried 3 mascaras this month and came back to this. It's easily the best drug store mascara EVER!). And finally, for my nude pout, my favourite Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 03. If I had more time, I would have extended the eyeliner up into a cat eye and added some false lashes. I shall try that next time!

I hope you've all had a great week,

That Belfast Girl. 

Growth


I am a nightmare with my hair. For anyone who has read That Belfast Girl for a considerable amount of time, they know that I change my mind about my hair like the wind. It's been blonde, auburn and my natural almost black colour. Lately I cut in a fringe to prevent me from cutting my hair back into a bob. I also haven't coloured it for 8 weeks and I currently have an inch and a half of grey roots. Lovely. I don't know if I've spoken about this before but I started going grey very young. My hairdresser found a grey hair when I was 8 and my mum was traumatized. However, my hair has starting "growing grey" i.e. when my hair is getting longer the roots will be snow white. I suppose it's quite a common thing for very dark girls. I'm pretty convinced that I probably will let it go white when I'm in my 30s and have hair a la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. I spend so much money on trying to maintain the grey and it does upset me! I have a hair appointment for next weekend so stay tuned to see what the outcome is! 

While I've been letting my hair just do it's own thing, I've been using a couple of things which have been life savers. Firstly, I started taking MorEPA supplements about a month a go. These high level fish oil capsules have made my nails really strong and I'm convinced they have helped my hair grow too. I've tried out a lot of supplements for healthy skin, hair and nails over the past year and these are the only ones which don't make me feel sick and have had great results. Omega 3 has a range of health benefits and as I am going through quite a stressful time in my post-graduate course, they are also great to help as an all rounder. You can buy them on Amazon and in many good health stores.

Secondly, I LIVE for my Tangle Teezer. My naturally curly hair can be a nightmare. I get into the shower and wash my hair and after I've put my conditioner on, I brush through my hair with my Tangle Teezer. It means the conditioner is divided out well and that my hair is silky soft and easy to blow-dry when I get out of the shower. Aiding in this blow-drying process is the Tresemme Platinum Strength Stay Soft Leave in Conditioner. I put this through the ends of towel dried hair and blow-dry. It helps my hair to look salon quality (and seems to conceal and nasty split ends!). 

Finally, my grey is so bad that I've been trying to conceal it using many different things but since I am a little lazy (and always in a rush), the classic Batiste Dry Shampoo for dark hair which has brown pigment in it, will help to a small degree to conceal my ever growing roots. It also helps for 2nd day hair if I just happen to be sticking it up into a pony tail. 

I'm trying my best to grow my hair but I don't know how much will power I have! And Kim Kardashian's blonde hair isn't helping....

Stay tuned to see next weekend's results!

That Belfast Girl x

That Belfast Girl reviews: The MAC's Jazz Supper Club


I'm a massive supporter of the MAC in Belfast. If you haven't been... you need to visit. It's a restaurant, theatre, gallery and much more in one. There is something for everyone and they are really inventive with what they bring to the MAC, right down to the food they serve in their restaurant which is called Canteen. I was delighted to be able to sample their Jazz Supper Evening featuring the Casa Havana Trio which features three of Belfast's finest and hardest working musicians. The singer, Jolene O'Hara has a stunning voice. So while the jazz flowed throughout the building, myself and my lovely mum enjoyed a relaxing 2 course supper. I loved the really chilled out atmosphere of the evening. It was my mum's first time in the MAC and she was really taken with it and described the staff multiple times as "lovely". Mum and I both enjoyed the Flank Steak for main but we were in love with the sweet potato chips which came with it My mum and I both were addicted to these on a trip to Las Vegas and the MAC's were the first in Belfast to match up to those in Vegas! 

Flank steak and sweet potato chips.... yum!
For dessert, my mum picked an apple and berry crumble (She's a simple woman). I opted for the orange and cardamon panna cotta as I have a bit of thing about panna cotta.. I love testing it out any time it is on a menu. Both were beautifully presented and you can tell that presentation is something which the MAC pride themselves on. My panna cotta was really lovely and light. The flavours were evident but not overwhelming. My mum enjoyed her crumble (I stole a taste and it was lovely).

Apple and Berry Crumble
Panna cotta
We loved the jazz music. It felt so nice just to chill out and enjoy something rather than worry about the stresses of life. I'd definitely try to hear the Casa Havana Trio if they are playing near you. A cool new sound for Belfast and something a bit different. Tickets for the event cost £20 and included a glass of wine. For the food alone, I would pay more than this and it's a great offer for the economic climate we are still in. It would be a great alternative girls night out or date night. 

Thanks to the MAC for having me for the Jazz Supper Club.

To see what is happening at the MAC, including lots of fun food events, click here. To see what the Casa Havana Trio are up to, have a look on their Facebook.

That Belfast Girl x

The Maxi Scarf


I'm very much of the "the bigger the better" opinion in life. Big hair, big handbags, big eyebrows (particularly in this picture- I need them sorted!)..... and now I can add my new tartan scarf to that list. I am feeling the cold weather this week in Belfast so I've needed to wrap up warm on my travels. Tartan is such a huge trend this season and although I'm not brave enough to wear a tartan dress, a scarf is the easiest way to incorporate this trend into an existing wardrobe. I picked up this scarf in Zara for £19.99 which I think is such a bargain. The scarf is a glorified blanket. I have worn it wrapped over a jumper in a cape fashion and wrapped around me numerous times as featured in the picture about. It i honestly so warm and cosy. At some point I'm sure I will actually use it as a blanket (I'm just imagining myself curled up in it during a lecture... university is cold!). A fantastic buy that I know I will have years.

That Belfast Girl x

My Winter Scent


Winter means 3 things to me: Starbucks Red Cups, a new coat and a sexy winter scent. I love perfumes and I easily have ten on rotation but my daily "go to" for this winter is Givenchy Dahlia Noir. I received this as a Christmas gift last year but I put it away after the winter as it's a very deep scent. I'd say out of all the fragrances I own, this is the most ornate but it's also the one which men and women both compliment. That in my books, it a sign of a good fragrance! Givenchy Dahlia Noir is descibed as "A classic, unique fragrance with the femininity of a powdery rose and the sensual mystery of vanilla". On first spray, Dahlia Noir has a very strong powdery floral scent but when it settles, there are more sexy musk tones to it. I feel like this scent is very grown up but also still fun. I can't wait to use this over the next few months as the reactions I've received when wearing it so far have been great. A friend who hates perfume even commented that it was nice!

What is your winter scent?

G x

My New Obsession: Urban Decay's Shattered Face Case


Every so often a product comes out that answers my prayers. I've turned into that person that spends the day doing work then has to run to meet friends or a blog event which has taken some of the joy out of getting glammed up for me. However, I recently saw that Urban Decay had created "Face Cases" which include all the products you need to go from day to night. And boy, am I impressed! The Shattered Face Case includes 5 gorgeous eye-shadows- from a dark brown to a cream colour. I love the purple shade as it makes for a perfect, but not too harsh, smoky eye. The shadows look quite shimmery in the palette but they don't transfer or make you look like a disco ball. Teamed with this is a 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Zero (Black). If you have never tried the 24/7 eye pencils, I urge you too. I'm not a big eyeliner fan but these are so easy to use and are super blendable. In the underneath layer are 2 blushes and a highlight- a more peachy pink, a true rosy glow and a subtle shimmer highlight. There is also a Super Saturated lip colour in Lovechild which is a super glossy lipstick/gloss, Apply 2 coats for a solid pink or apply one layer and blend with your ring finger for a nude glow. There is also a huge mirror on each layer meaning that my girls who commute won't have to make a dash for the train bathroom. Overall, it is an amazing palette which I am sure I will use lots over the next few busy months. It's getting popped in my bag with an eye-shadow and blush brush (Real Techniques of course) and not moving!

Urban Decay is available at Debenhams Belfast and Rushmere. The Shattered Face Case is priced at £30 but it's limited edition so go and snap it up! 

G x

That Belfast Girl visits the new Kiehl's Belfast store

I am totally skincare obsessed. The older I become, the worse it is becoming. So when I heard that Kiehl's were opening up a Belfast store, I was over-joyed. Prior to the stand alone store, Kiehl's was only available to us via Space NK. The store which is located at the Corn Market side of Victoria Square, is utterly beautiful. It is a really open space with great lighting. The store is really hygienic but still very inviting, incorporating the history of Kiehl's in the decor. Kiehl's is a really famous American skincare brand and it has been in operation since 1851. What started out as 1 single New York pharmacy has expanded into a world wide brand. The concept behind Kiehl's is simplicity: simple packaging, simple ingredients for effective and easy skincare. They were also the first skincare brand to create a special range for men which remains one of the companies highest selling product ranges. Kiehl's a brand with a genuine history and they focus on "giving back" to charities such as AIDs research and prevention which I think is amazing. 

The thing I loved about the store the most was the friendly attitude. The girls are so lovely and helpful. It isn't a "pushy" environment. You can book in for a skin consultation where you will be told top to toe which products are perfect for your skin and aid your skin to get in the condition you want it. They are also very kind with samples which is fab, especially with skincare. I will be trying out some of the products over the next few months so make sure to stay tuned!


For now, go visit the Kiehl's store! You won't be disappointed. My recommendations are the Creme de Corps body moisturizer (which Beyonce uses!) and the Midnight Recovery Concrete. Both are suitable for all skin types.

Let me know if you visit,

G x

Blowdries & Bubbacue

Sometimes you need a wee day to relax and breathe. I am absolutely loving my post-graduate course at university but I'm still somewhat stressed. When I suggested to my blogging BFF Avril from School Gate Style that we have a chill day, she was on the phone to Andrew Mulvenna to book the appointments in an instant! We headed to Andrew's beautiful salon at 10am for 2 bouncy blowdries. My stylist Manny was lovely. He is also a Kerastase specialist and we talked a lot about my hair texture and type. I have naturally curly hair which I find hard to manage but he agreed with me growing it... the curls will definitely sit better!
The products Manny used on my hair
Avril and I with the lovely Andrew Mulvenna
Avril looking like a hair advert! 
My bouncy blow-dry
Rows and rows of product for all hair types!
Did you know Andrew Mulvenna is the only stocklist of Keraskin in Northern Ireland? I must try it out! 

On our way to Victoria Square we stopped at Gloucester Street for a little OOTD. I am wearing my new favourite coat which is from Primark. They have some amazing coats this season. The mac style with leather arms is classic but still young and fun. It's also not too heavy but keeps the heat in. I teamed it with a denim polka dot shirt which is also from Primark. On my bottom half are Matalan leggings (which are great quality and very like the Zara pair I frequently wear) and my knee boots which are last A/W from M&S. These boots were one of the greatest purchases I ever made. They cost me £100 at the time but I get so much wear out of them and they are so comfortable. As with my last OOTD, I am carrying my bag from TK Maxx. 



After a little trip to buy myself some new cardigans, we met up with Avril's husband, Brian and our fellow blog chum Jeff from the Belfast Times for a Bubbacue lunch. I love Bubbacue because it's kitsch and great value for money. Their homemade sauces are simply delicious.  


Overall, a fabulous day!

G x

Brow maintenance



I am addicted to brows. I have friends who hide their brows from me when I talk about my love for them. At the moment I have a rather heavy fringe which is allowing me to hide my brows for a few weeks to grow them out. I have been growing them for a few months and thought I would let you know my at home brow tips. I will preface this with the fact I haven't had my brows professionally seen to for over 3 months. I usually switch between waxing and threading. I will probably get them threaded in another month or so once I have grown them a bit more! I also fill my brows in using an array of things- HD powder, a Laura Mercier pencil or sometimes I just stick a bit of clear mascara on them. This post is for you if you are like me and trying to thicken up or grow out you brows- I dream of Elizabeth Taylor's big brows! 

BRUSH
This might seem like a logical step for many but a brow brush is essential! Brush your hairs down and see if your brows could do with a trim or brush super bushy brows into place. I picked up my brow comb from my local Superdrug. 

TWEEZE
I have said it before and I will say it again- Tweezerman tweezers are well worth the money! I have limited edition Gwen Stefani ones which I picked up in America a few years back. They are just the perfect angle and out of all the tweezers I have ever owned, these hurt the least! There's nothing worse than tweezers which feel scratchy on your skin! 

TINT
I have recently discovered the world of home tinting. I usually reserved brow tinting for holiday time but I have realised using a black tint (especially on the front of my brows) makes my brows look so much thicker. Tinting picks up all of the little tiny hairs which you spend so much time filling in. I use the Eyelure tinting kit from Boots and do them every couple of weeks. I surround my brows with 8 Hour cream so the tint does not get on the skin, apply the tint with a cotton bud and wipe it off after 5 minutes. It's very easy and saves a lot of money. Make sure to do a patch test to ensure you are not allergic to the tint.

GROW
I was given a PR sample of Rapid Lash a long time ago but only recently rediscovered it. I didn't like it on my lashes as it always felt a bit sticky but it has been the most amazing things for my brows. I keep it beside my bed and put it on with my night cream. It has really helped the fronts of my brows to become more full and overall, I've just seen a huge change in how fast my brows are growing since using this. So inspired!

Let me know how you look after your brows!

G x

Getting to know Temple Spa







My friend Pauline is a Temple Spa consultant and kindly invited me to a party at her house. I knew little about Temple Spa as a brand.... only that it loves natural ingredients and Nigella Lawson has major love for their cleanser. 

So armed with this information, off I skipped to Pauline's house. Myself and four other girls decided to go for a Friday night of girly treats! Pauline lives in the most beautiful, tranquil home which really lends itself to an evening of pampering. We all sat around a big table, lit with candles, listening to come cool music and sipping water to hydrate ourselves in preparation for our skin treats. Pauline went through every step of the Temple Spa process from cleansers to moisturisers, right down to the amazing gift sets they have out for Christmas (which are amazing value for money... I think I'd like to buy myself all of them!). I found out that the products are inspired by the Mediterranean and that the ingredients are natural. Some of the products are even hand blended! It's a really exclusive brand and it's stocked in Harrods... ooh fancy! We got to try the products catered to our skin. I have quite sensitive skin which is prone to break out if it doesn't like the products I'm using, but all of the Temple Spa stuff felt lovely. I particularly enjoyed the Be Calm mask which left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Pauline also told us the ingredients of each product- it turns out a lot of the range I was using contained calming ingredients such as Vitamin E and Chamomile. It also helps that Pauline is a qualified beauty therapist and makeup artist (along with being a counselor! Talented lady!) so she was really informative on each person's skin type and why our skin might not be in tip top condition. 

I really enjoyed my evening getting to know Temple Spa... so much so that I ordered a new cleanser! Thank you so much to Pauline for hosting a great evening. Pauline lives about 20 minutes outside Belfast making it handy to get to. She can also travel to host a party at your home. If you would like to host a Temple Spa party or purchase any of the products, check out Pauline's website at www.templespa.com/paulineboyce. If you would like to avail of Pauline's many other talents (makeup, counseling or beauty), check out her website at www.edentherapies.org.

G x

Business Bright OOTD

On Wednesday evening I was kindly invited to sample the new Bailey's Chocolat Luxe for National Chocolate Week. And oh my, it is divine. I am not a big fan of the original Bailey's but the chocolate variant is amazing. It is literally like drinking the most yummy chocolate you have ever tasted. It took 3 and a half years to make... so no wonder it's good! 

Display of Bailey's Chocolat Luxe

For the event, I was running from my university placement to Victoria Square. I kept on my dress from day time which I picked up recently in the M&S sale for £17. It's a great fit with a draped upper half. It is also a great length considering I am 5ft10 (this may have been why it was in the sale!). I teamed this with black tights (Primark's finest 100 denier!) and some H&M shoes courtesy of Folyside Shopping Centre, Londonderry which were  £14.99. The clear and fabulous addition to my outfit was my jacket. I picked this up in Primark for £19. They have so many different printed and tapestry jackets at the moment. They are such good value for money! It  makes me feel very 90s/a little bit like DJ Jazzy Jeff but I rather enjoy that! A statement jacket is a great way to amp up any boring outfit. My bag is very old but sturdy from TK Maxx. 


What do you think of my fringe? I think this is the first I'm I've had a fringe and liked it! It's a nice winter addition.

G x

The best Belfast people to follow on Instagram

I'm addicted to Instagram. I love lying in bed in the morning and see what people have been getting up to, buying or eating. It's like living vicariously through someone. There are some amazing Belfast Instagram-ers that you must follow so I thought I would let you know about them below. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, @gemmalebond.




@frenchforcupcake Claire is a blogger and owner of the Lily Pink Bakery which sells the MOST delicious cupcakes EVER! Claire also owns a very cute dachshund called Lola who features regularly on her Instagram. Follow her for cakes, cuteness and all round fun. 


@dressjunkie Arlene is one of my most favourite people on Instagram. She has been on a fitness journey and it has been amazing to follow her during this. She also loves all things beauty and fashion and always inspires me to buy many things. Like me, she's also obsessed with her hair and currently is working some amazing extensions. Follow her for fitness, fashion, hair, beauty and some serious health motivation. 



@belfastimes Jeff is an amazing Belfast blogger. Under the name Belfast Times, he posts about everything going on in Belfast right now. He somehow manages to pop up and Instagram at just about everything! His pictures are always amazing- he just has a knack for it! Follow him for events, behind the scenes and general Belfast banter. 




@strawbryblonde Nic is my opinion is the best beauty blogger we have in Northern Ireland. Her reviews are so superior to everyone else. She always has the latest products and throws some hidden gems in with them too. Follow her for all the beauty biz. 

@pamcginnis My friend Patricia is an interior design goddess. She takes the most beautiful pictures and her soon to open business (stay tuned!) means that she has been travelling lots to look at beautiful interior design pieces. She is also about to get a little pug which will add even more cuteness to her Instagram feed. Follow her if you love the colour orange and general interior design and homeware glory. 


@schoolgatestyle My blogging partner in crime, Avril from fashion blog School Gate Style, has been really getting into Instagram lately. I love her updates of what she is wearing and her ever growing obsession with scarves. Follow her for wearable and fun fashion.

Let me know who you love on Instagram below!

G x

My Favourite Restaurants: Celebrating Belfast Restaurant Week 2013

If there are two things I am good at in life they are talking, closely followed by eating. Like most good Belfast girls, I love my grub! To celebrate Belfast Restaurant Week which is running from 5th-13th Oct (meaning lots of fabulous offers and events), I thought I would tell you some of my 'go to' places for good food in Belfast. I love good Italian and comfort food so nothing I am recommending is absurdly priced! Take a little nosey below:

Carlito's
Situated on Botanic Avenue in the heart of the student buzz, Carlito's is an often over looked Italian. The staff are lovely, the food is great and appealing to the student in me, they do great deals! The soup and bruscetta is a hearty and filling lunch and their pizzas are also delicious. A definite must visit for all QUB students looking for a feed!

The House
The House has been a haunt of my friends and I for the past year. At the bottom of the Stranmillis Road, the bar and restaurant is literally a big House converted. I've been to House for every possible occasion- a drink, lunch, dinner, a night out.... and I've never had a bad meal or a bad time. I highly recommend trying some of their cocktails. They have an extensive menu and if what you want isn't on it, they will make it for you! One evening we even felt like a jug of sangria and the fabulous bar man Mark rustled us up some.... it instantly took us back to our holiday in Portugal. The House is great for all ages... students to OAPs! 

Bubbacue
If you love the Food Network or in particular, Man vs Food, Bubbacue is the place for you. Pulled pork, mac n cheese, pickles.... need I say more? Read my full review of Bubbacue here.

Green's Pizza
The original and the best! I have a long love affair with pizza and love all sorts (I also have a massive soft spot for Little Wing) but Green's is the best. Pizza so packed with flavour and amazing Dragon Bread... I always leave Green's feeling stuffed. I mean... they make a pizza with peppered steak on it. Need I say more? Visit their Lisburn Road branch or recently opened Ballyhackamore branch to try some of the aforementioned drool worthy pizza goodness.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Mairtin O’Muilleoir joins local broadcaster, Emma Louise Johnston to prep for Belfast Restaurant Week’s ‘starter’ event, which will see the grounds of City Hall transformed into a mini food city for a special outdoor ‘Taste and Dine at City Hall’ extravaganza on 5th & 6th October. The two-day event, which will see the grounds of City Hall transformed into a mini food city, will be hosted by Celebrity Masterchef finalist, writer and broadcaster, Hardeep Singh Kohli on Saturday 5th October and local broadcaster Emma Louise Johnston on Sunday 6th October. 

I hope you all get out and have a meal during Belfast Restaurant Week. Our city has seen some closures of very well loved restaurants and it would be a shame to see anymore of our fabulous eateries disappear. 

To find out more about Belfast Restaurant Week visit www.visit-belfast.com/food

G x

4 Brushes You MUST Have


If there is one thing I am repeatedly asked about, it's makeup brushes. I constantly shout at my friends who put their makeup on with their hands. A huge part of a flawless face is your tools. I think a good brush can take your makeup from nice to WOW! If I was only left with 4 brushes in the world, I'd ask for these 4! 

MAC 263 (Angled Brush)
This brush is an essential for any brow obsessed girls. I've had this for about 5 years and it's still going strong. MAC brushes can seem pricey at the time but they are amazing quality and last for ages. Use this brush with powder to fill in your brows, apply gel eyeliner and to bring your eyeshadow under your eye. A real all rounder!

MAC 217 (Blending Brush)
I think the 217 is the first MAC brush I ever bought. I've had it a LONG time (and it still washes super white!). Use this to get the most out of your eye shadow. Use it to buff your cease, soften lines and create the most fabulous of eye looks. Many people also use the 217 as a great alternative for a concealer brush again making it as multi-purpose as the 263. 

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
The holy grail of foundation brushes! I have found that since I've started using this brush that a little product seems to go a very long way. Squirt a little foundation on the back on your hand and buff over your face using this brush for a flawless finish. Perfect!

Real Techniques Blush Brush
I have used this brush for everything possible- blush, highlighter, contour. It's the perfect size for all of the aforementioned. The slightly tapered edges allow for great contouring on the go.

G x