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5 things I learned from the Charlotte Tilbury Masterclass




I have made no secret of my love for Charlotte Tilbury. That love has heightened even more now we have our own counter in House of Fraser in Victoria Square. 

I was delighted to attend their first masterclass at the House of Fraser counter with lead artist Adrianna who came up from Dublin for this special event. I felt I already knew lots about the brand but I learned a few tips & tricks I thought I would share with you. 

1. Products work better together
I am a huge fan of the amazing primer/illuminator Wonder Glow and also love the Magic Foundation. However I chop & change with things and don't always use them together. Charlotte designed all her products to work together and sends all her celeb clients her skin prep to make sure their skin is red carpet ready. I got up this morning and did what she does for the A Listers: Magic Cream, followed by Wonder Glow followed by a light layer of Magic Foundation. My foundation has lasted all day & definitely looks a lot better than usual!

2. Natural brows are life
Team Tilbury love a natural brow and their Brow Lift pencil comes with an angled brow wax plus a highlighter powder hidden inside in order to give your eyes a wider look. I LOVE natural brows and I am so glad to see a beauty brand embrace this creating products that enhance natural brows. There is also a new brow gel called Legendary Brows which I can't wait to try when it launches on counters soon!

3. Pillowtalk is the greatest lip-liner of all time
Ok so I did actually discover this at Christmas when Santa brought me Pillowtalk liner but the masterclass confirmed this for me. I think it looks good on EVERYONE! It's a fabulous colour, texture and generally it goes with every lipstick imaginable. (P.S. Pillowtalk now comes in a lipstick too. Note to self - must order). 

4. The Dolce Vita look is all you ever need
If you are familiar with Charlotte Tilbury you will know that her makeup is divided up into looks. My favourite of these is the Dolce Vita look (inspired by Sophia Loren) which Adrianna demonstrated. A bit like Pillowtalk liner, it's a great option for everyone. A smoky eye that can be built upon with a pop of glitter for night and a nude lip - what more could a girl need? 

5. Less is more 
I really loved that the masterclass didn't encourage really heavy makeup but rather building up makeup to enhance your natural looks. It really emphasised to me how much I love the ethos of this brand.

Many thanks to Team Tilbury Belfast for the invite. More masterclasses are coming in February so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Tall girl army



Being 5ft10 is no joke. Often I have to size up in regular sized clothes to get good length in things. As well as having long legs, I also have a  really long body with big boobs- double the fun! This has either meant belts or a seamstress has come in very handy in my life!

However, over the past year I've definitely found stores that cater for tall ladies or stores which just seem to run a little longer or bigger which helps in finding your perfect items. I feel like investing in pieces that fit to your body will help you feel better. I know it is so disheartening when you have to size up in things for the length - it makes you feel bigger than you actually are.

I hope my tips are helpful for my fellow tall girl army! You can click above to shop any of my current favourites from lots of my most loved stores.

ASOS Tall
I never really got the ASOS bug until I started shopping in their Tall line. A lot of their best selling items are available in the tall line which is aimed at women 5ft9 and over. It's a great option I find for dresses for more formal occasions such as weddings & the races. I find standard sizing can mean that I have to size up one-two sizes to ensure the dress comes to my actual knees! I am loving this Tall Kimono Plunge Midi Dress as it's flattering but still sexy. I've also purchased jeans from the ASOS Tall line and love them - they definitely have more room around the bum & hips making them much more flattering for taller girls. Also, their tall swimwear is fantastic & most welcomed (They also do a great fuller bust swimwear range).

Topshop Tall
I've loved Topshop my whole life and I can still wear probably 70% of their mainline products but often I find I have to get a size 16 in a top for the length. However, if I buy from the Tall line I feel things are more true to size for me- I can get away with a 12 or 14. I find the in store Tall offering (unless you go to the Oxford Circus London store which has a fab range) to be a little lack lustre but they often have some great basic items - jeans, leggings, shirts and jumpers that have become wardrobe staples for me. However, their online offer is more inspiring for the tall girl army!

Warehouse
I've heard so many things about sizing at Warehouse over the years but I have consistently worn Warehouse jeans since I was about 15. They come in a few different leg lengths which really helps but I find their skinny jeans in particular a lovely fit. I also pick up a lot of work dresses in Warehouse and these are always a great length & true to size in a 14. They also go up to a size 18 online which is great for my curvy readers. 

Zara
Zara notoriously has small sizing but I've found that the Belfast store has started to carry a lot more of the XL size across the store making things like dresses & shirts much easier to find. I wear quite a lot of Zara stuff but I tend to go for stuff that is a little oversized to make it sit better - this has been easy over the past year as they have so much stuff that is in a relaxed style. 

Nine at Debenhams
Nine has been my favourite discovery of the past year. Designed by Savannah Miller (sister of Sienna), their jeans are my absolute favourite fit. I've been wearing these coated skinny jeans all winter.  They also do fantastic jumpsuits - something as a tall person that I find hard to get the fit right on. They have a fantastic sale on at the minute that I encourage you to check out! 

& Other Stories and COS
Although we don't have either of these stores yet in Belfast, they have fab Dublin branches and their online offering is super. Both part of the H&M family, the ranges are much more well cut and a bit more pricey than their hughstreet sister. However, the items wash so well. From coats to dresses, I've bought so much from both stores in the past year. COS in particular is great for all shapes & sizes. This draped collar jersey dress is one of my most worn & loved items from COS - it's so flattering on.

Need more inspiration? Tweet me or Instamessage me: @gemmalebond

Simple is good


Photography by Kellie Scott. To book her & see more of her work, please visit: www.kelliescottphotography.com

So new year, new blog layout! I wasn't really feeling my last one. I was definitely trying to be something I wasn't - too trendy and imagery focused. I am no photographer ( I leave that to my lovely photographer Kellie!) - I feel I'm better with words!

This is the first time I've been excited for a new year I think EVER! I notoriously hate new year but 2016 was so random. I felt a little bit all over the place and I became really weighed down by this notion of having somewhere I needed to be. I spent a large amount of the year worrying about trying to save for a mortgage and all that brought with it. I have this new feeling of wanting to be free & happy. My focus is no longer on the plan or the destination but on the journey. I've seen so many people get sick and be taken unfairly before they had time to enjoy their life. I refuse to be one of them. 

For once and all, I am dealing with my stresses before they deal with me. In fact, it is that crippling stress that then for me turns into unmanageable anxiety that stops me in my tracks - even from posting on this very blog. In essence, stress makes you sick. So I'm dealing with that. I'm reading more, I'm writing more and I'm taking more time just to simple things - a coffee with a friend, a walk on the beach or having a much needed lie in!

In my 25 earthly years, I've always been told how hard I am on myself. It's only now that I realise how true that is. I've always been scared of doing the wrong thing - I think it comes from a fear of getting a bad grade in an exam!

This year I'm travelling & enjoying life - where that will take me I don't know and that's the exciting part. 

I'm so thrilled to have lots of great new content to bring you - in my own unique style through my chatty posts, Live Streams and social media.

Here's to a magical 2017!