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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