Obsessed with Orange OOTD

I have a serious addiction to the colour orange. Twice this week I have stepped out looking like a giant mandarin but I just can't help myself! Orange has been my favourite colour for about a year and since then I seem to have brought everything in sight in orange.

This all orange outfit is not my usual. I would never usually wear dresses this shape but I have been told it is flattering for my small waist (but I have huge hips!). The dress is a year old from H&M, the necklace is from Warehouse, the belt is from Primark, the bag is a limited edition Longchamp and the shoes are Michael Kors. I will admit that I bought the sandals last year and they cut the feet of me. However, this year, the leather seems softer (or maybe my feet have toughened up!) and I've been wearing them much more.

Overall, a super colourful outfit and not something your will often see me in! I'm starting to see weight come off me so I feel like I can be a bit more colourful and not just stick to my usual black uniform. What colour should I try next?

G x

Bargain J-Lo legs with Dove Summer Glow + Soft Shimmer

I have always been a fan of gradual tanners as they are the easiest way to get a colour without a great amount of fuss. I used Dove Summer Glow a lot when I was at school so I would have tan legs for PE. It also has the added bonus of being very moisiturising. I had somewhat abandoned the gradual tanners over the years in favour of very deep, dark tans which can be messy and ruin many a white duvet cover. However, I recently was sent Dove Summer Glow with soft shimmer and I've fallen back in love with gradual tanners. It doesn't smell strange, gives a lovely colour and doesn't streak. It also is very cheap. It usually varies from £3-£5 in most chemists. 

After our recent good weather, I managed to catch a good wee colour on my top half, but as nature has it, legs are so hard to tan! So I have been applying Dover Summer Glow on my legs every other day when I come out of the shower or when I'm going to bed. The soft shimmer gives a light sparkle effect. Some people may be put off by this but it gives a fantastic effect if you are going for a night out. I know when my tan starts to fade I will be applying this all over my body for a summer glow in the autumn and winter months.

I'm definitely re-converted to gradual tans. I've realised there are a lot of products I've given up on but when I look back at old pictures, I wonder why. I think you'll see me falling back in love with a lot of stuff over the next few months. 

Stay tuned!

G x

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Elizabeth Taylor

I am a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan. I've never done a makeup tutorial before so deciding to do Elizabeth Taylor for my first one may not have been my greatest idea! This whole plan was spurred on to by the upcoming Burton & Taylor programme airing on BBC4 starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West. Her makeup in the promo pics is BEYOND AMAZING. Helena has very similar colouring to myself so I thought if she could look like Elizabeth Taylor, maybe I could too! I'm not a makeup artist so please go easy on me... I'm just a normal girl who likes makeup! 

Burton & Taylor promo

I used products I already had to create the Elizabeth Taylor look. A gel black liner would have given a better effect but I recently got rid of mine because it had dried up. I also used Fresh Look coloured contact lenses (from Specsavers Newtownabbey) in blue to change my hazel eyes to look more like Liz. I back-combed my hair and pinned it under using clips. I curled the front of my hair with my GHDs to give it a lift. 

FACE: Elizabeth always had quite a matte but flawless face. I used Benefit's Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer under my Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Medium Ivory. Stay Flawless gives the Laura Mercier more of a matte effect as opposed to the usual very dewy finish. I blended my foundation to within an inch of its life with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Elizabeth was naturally quite tan so she didn't seem to use a bronzer. Instead I used Topshop Cream Blush in Pinch on a Real Techniques Stippling Brush.

EYES: After applying my contacts, I primed my eyes using Urban Decay Primer Potion. Using MAC All That Glitters as a base colour, I then used MAC Fig in the crease to create the perfect Elizabeth eye. I blended the Fig eye shadow lots to create more of a shadow effect rather than a very smoky eye. I used Benefit Bad Gal liner along my top lashes and the Body Shop Black Liner along the inner and outer corners of my eyes. Along the bottom water line I used a gold eye liner from Miners (NYC also make a great one) to help open the eyes up. A white liner would also be great. I finished with a coat of Benefit They're Real mascara and a set of false lashes (mine are from China... my friend gave me them!) but any full and flirty lashes would be great. 

BROWS: The main focus of most of Taylor's iconic looks come from her brows. Although I have thick brows, they in no way match up to Elizabeth's! Using my HD Brow Kit and an angled brush, I filled in my brows using the darkest available shades, making sure to make the front of my brow round (and not angular like my own brows). I used an almost black shade at the arch and end of my brows to enhance the shape. Under the brow bone I used Soap & Glory Arch de Triumph highlighter. I also used this highlight above my cupid's bow and down my nose. 

LIPS: For lips I finished with my new favourite lipstick, 03 Kate Moss for Rimmel. I didn't want to do the classic red lip as it didn't work as well with the eye makeup. 

G x

My First Louis Vuitton Item: The Emilie Wallet

Wallet closed, inside the wallet

For the three years of university my mother promised me that at the end of my degree I could have something I always wanted: something from Louis Vuitton. I initially wanted a Speedy 35 but due to the multiple price increases, I felt I didn't want to ask my mum for something so expensive. I thought I would instead ask for a Emilie wallet in the classic monogram print. I needed a new purse and thought a wallet was a great place to start with Louis Vuitton. I would get to see the quality of the leather, see how it wears and hopefully, save to buy my own bag which I would appreciate more. During our London trip, we decided to get my wallet in the flap-ship Bond Street store. I picked the green leather inside the wallet (it is also available in red and blue) as green is one of my favourite colours. I also really like contrast of the emerald green with the classic monogram print. The Emilie wallet is a great size with room for 4 cards (or more if you double up), notes, coins, a section at the back where I keep loyalty cards and compartment at the back (where my initials are) where I will keep receipts. I can also fit my iPhone inside if I am running to do errands. I opted to get my initials hot-stamped on my wallet which is a signature, free service at selected Louis Vuitton stores. You can print your initials in many colours, shapes and sizes and it only took 10 minutes. 

My initials

Overall, I am really impressed with the quality of my wallet and look forward to seeing how the leathers wears over the coming months and years. The Emilie Wallet currently retails for £265.

G x

Beauty & the Brunch

Left: My chipped manicure from graduation
Right: My lovely Tropix Shellac

Today was one of those days that I love being a blogger. I was kindly offered to review a new offer running over the summer from The Beauty Company (Montgomery Street) and St. George's Market Bar & Grill. I also brought one of my lovely friends along for a treat.

Firstly, you receive a choice of a gorgeous main course with tea, coffee or a drink for £10 from the lovely setting of St. George's Market Bar & Grill. It is hidden up the stairs of the market but it is honestly a lovely setting. We sat in one of the big booths which was really comfy. I opted for a yummy risotto with mushroom and asparagus and my friend had the chicken and cous cous combination. Both were both delicious and very filling, so much so that I forgot to photograph them! We then walked the short distance to The Beauty Company.

The Beauty Company are offering three treatments for £15 each- a spray tan, a manicure or a Shellac (gel polish) manicure. This is half of their usual cost meaning you get a meal and a treatment for less than a treatment alone! My friend and I both opted for the Shellac as it lasts about two weeks. My friend is going on holiday soon so she opted for a classic French manicure which matches everything and I picked a pinky/coral shade called Tropix. The girls in The Beauty Company were really lovely and we had good fun having a bit of a gossip while having our Shellac applied. This was my first visit to The Beauty Company but I definitely think I'd go back based on the staff alone!

Lynda's lovely French Shellac

Overall, the Beauty & the Brunch package is a brilliant girls day out. Perfect for sisters, BFF's, mum's and daughters or would even make a fabulous package for a hen party! £25 for a manicure and a yummy lunch, it's definitely one of my summer must haves!

For more information ring The Beauty Company on 028 9033 2546.

G x

That Belfast Girl Graduates

Without gown, with gown! 

Yesterday was such a special day for me. After a very long three years, I can finally call myself a Queen's Graduate! I did a BA in Politics and I loved it, even though at times the work was very challenging. I also had some personal medical struggles during the past three years which resulted in a lot of time off but I'm glad my last year of university was largely unscathed and I had a fabulous time. 

I was the first in my family to go to university and I thought it was really important that my little cousin who is 8 come with us. I hope he will go to university one day too. It was a really emotional day and I will miss the daily banter with my friends, along with the "where shall we go for lunch today?" questions. Between Parlour Bar and French Village, we usually were happily sorted! 

Me and That Belfast Mum! She wears jumpsuit by Isme, shoes by M&S and bag by Dune.
I wore a plain white dress from Autograph at Marks & Spencer. It was from the The Outlet in Banbridge. It was a bargain £18.99. I always say I don't care about the price of something, as long as it's what I am looking for! I had been very sure for a long time that I wanted to wear a while dress. As my robes had white fur on them, I thought wearing white would make them look ever better. For shoes, I had a pair of teal heels (admittedly, probably a bit too high for a lady of my height!) from L.K. Bennett at the Outlet which I was kindly gifted. I teamed this with a very old Dorothy Perkins flowery clutch (I think my mum got it in the sale for £4!) and a pair of gold knot earrings from H&M. I just wanted to look classic and be able to look back and still love my outfit in 30 years! I did my own hair and makeup (to many people's surprise!). I washed and blow-dried my hair straight and then proceeded to curl it with tongs and set these in a clip to cool. Lots of hairspray and some dust in my roots and I was good to go! I kept my makeup really simple, wearing mostly my usual makeup routine. All in all, probably the cheapest graduation outfit EVER! 

Me and my little cousin

I had an amazing day and would encourage anyone to go to university. I have changed so much in the past 3 years. I cannot wait to see what new adventures will begin this year!

Thank you to all my readers for your lovely messages,

G x