Favourite Dresses, Oscars-2016

Leo, Leo, Leo… I am delighted for him, it is a great achievement. I’m glad he used the opportunity to raise awareness for global health and indigenous culture. Hopefully people will listen and decide to make the changes necessary. Brie Larson deservedly won Best Actress for her role in Room. In other news though- The Gunas.

It’s fair to say Armani has won the style stakes this year- both dresses that truly made my heart leap were Armani creations!

1. Cate Blanchett                        2.   Naomi Watts

It wouldn’t be the Oscars without old school glamour and I think many of the attendees thought the same. Sticking with classic styles and not pushing the limits too far. Our favourite Irish gal Saoirse Ronan looked superb in green, sadly not her night but she is definitely heading the right direction! Saoirse-Ronan-Oscars-2016-Red-Carpet-Vogue-28Feb16-Rex_b_426x639_1

The best dressed bumps went to Hannah Bagshawe in Alexander McQueen, who is married to Oscar nominated and winner Eddie Redmayne and Anna Hathaway who stunned in Naeem Kahn at the Vanity Fair Party.

Two classic Best Dressed Couples were easily the beautiful Isla Fischer and Sacha Baron Cohen, who had to return as Ali G, it is amazing that he keeps being invited back! And Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel- who wore Tom Ford suit and Zuhair Murad gown.

  1. Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton              5. Rachel McAdams in August Getty
  2. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior                          6. Rooney Mara in Givenchy
  3. Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell                7. Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney
  4. Margot Robbie in Tom Ford                       8. Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy

Sadly two gowns did not do it for me and looked as though they were made with the contents from a cupboard under the sink. Kate Winslet in a Ralph Lauren silk gown, which when photographed looked like a bin bag. A hero of mine is Vivienne Westwood- who could forget the Carrie Bradshaw wedding dress? Although her dress for Lily Cole looked like she was wrapped in tinfoil. Reminding me of the chicken roll that you so crave after a big night out. Sorry guys, you’re both beautiful, the dresses not so much.

Award season is over for another year, it was a shame that it was boycotted by so many stars due to the nominations. Hopefully next year will be better! Which stars wore your favourite creations and did you agree with my choices? Until next time-

ebony

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Images Credit- Vogue and Getty Images.
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Beauty Blogger Award Tag

Hello! It has been years since I have done a tag post but when the lovely Sarah of Blogs Vlogs Etc tagged me I thought why not? I answered the questions straight away and got thinking about my own. I hope you will join in too!

Questions from Sarah-

  1. What are you doing right now? I’m currently sitting my kitchen table with a giant cup of coffee.
  2. The last thing that made you laugh so hard your sides hurt? Trying to help my sister out of a swamp she got stuck in as we tried to climb a mountain!
  3. Mac or Urban Decay? Mac- especially Face and Body foundation.
  4. Do you prefer drugstore makeup or high end makeup? Rimmel foundation is still my go to, all time favourite so drugstore all the way.
  5. Why do you blog? I finished up my college course, I had more free time and thought it would be lovely to write and blog again. It is such a great from of escapism and the community that comes with blogging is amazing!
  6. What is your favourite kind of food? Anything carb based. Pizza, I could eat pizza everyday.
  7. Do you prefer flats or heels? I am on my feet all day at work so flats for comfort.
  8. If you could only choose one-Lashes or Eyebrows? I sadly have no eyebrows so I need to apply them everyday to leave the house.
  9. Instagram or Twitter? Instagram. I’m a sucker for the pictures of cake you’re about to eat!
  10. If you could tell your 16 year old self one thing what would it be? Don’t touch home hair dye kits. You will learn to love your curly hair. Leave it alone! to answer my 10

Now my nominated 10 Bloggers to answer my 10 questions-

  1. Sinead- ablueskyblog.com
  2. Marie- thebeautmum.wordpress.com
  3. Stephney- s2ubeautyblog.wordpress.com
  4. Cliona- leanmeanmomma.ie
  5. Erin- chasingrubieschasingpearl.blogspot.ie
  6. Ciara- foodfashionandthefight.ie
  7. Meggan- cardiganjezebel.com
  8. Louise- fitnessfashionmom.wordpress.com
  9. Aoife- aoifeweefa.wordpress.com
  10. Tess and Edel- sunflowersandsparkles.blogspot.ie

My 10 Questions

  1. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
  2. Are you a tea or coffee lover?
  3. Which is your favourite city?
  4. Go to wardrobe staples?
  5. Favourite perfume, fragrance or smell?
  6. Skincare routine, do you have one?
  7. €50 to spend on yourself- what would you spend it on?
  8. What are your 3 favourite books or movies?
  9. Indoors or outdoors?
  10. Why do you blog?

The Rules-

  1. Tag the blogger who nominated you
  2. Answer the questions you were given
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers who blog about beauty/fashion/lifestyle topics
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Inform your nominees that you have nominated for the award!

Thank you again to Sarah for the nomination- I hope you enjoy the tag as much as I have!

ebony

x

Monday on Mangerton- SOS

I used to see people making their way up a mountain and I’d laugh at them. Who wants to trek up the side of a hill in the rain, sandwiches and spare socks in a bag? Well me now actually.

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As a promise to myself I’m staying active. Not everyday and still no sight of a kettlebell, I have become obsessed with being outside. Rain or shine I will go walking or for a run. Sitting inside in a funk isn’t going to help, even if it’s lashing I’ll feel great after! Today we attempted Mangerton mountain. Kerry has enough of them so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Why do I see people giving up a Sunday off to end up cold, wet and tired?

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We set off and the ascent was grand (turns out we missed the path completely and literally made our own route) getting covered in mud but laughing the whole way. My sister is great- she will either bully me into something I think I can’t do or will encourage me to do something stupid. Like crossing the swamp that was our chosen path. When we reached the Devils Punchbowl we were too cold to care about the mud. Our sandwiches were devoured overlooking the breathtaking views (although this was probably a mixture of altitude and the snow) We made our descent slowly as we had turned into ice sculptures.

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Once we were back at the car I was very proud of us. In 2 weeks we have gone from couch to 10km to 754 metres up to be exact. Recently a lady told me we all need SOS- Sleep, Outdoor Activity and Spirituality(Whatever floats your boat). 3 things I’ve been more aware of since and it has completely changed my attitude. The advice I would give anyone who is feeling down- just get outside! Positive mental health is everything.

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Cold, wet and tired? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. I don’t know what the next adventure is but I’m already looking forward to it!

ebony
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Favourite Dresses- 58th Grammy Awards

Good morning! Did anyone else trawl over Twitter and Instagram last night? I love award season, I am obsessed with the dresses. I followed the Grammy Awards last night to see who wore who. Here are my favourites-

  1. Lianna Le Havas in Vivienne Westwood
  2. Tori Kelly in Gauri and Nainika
  3. Ellie Goulding in Stella McCartney (not photographed faux fur stole also Stella Mc.)
  4. Janelle Monae in Jean Paul Gaultier
  5. Meghan Trainor in Gahlia Lahav
  6. Florence Welsh in Gucci

It is difficult to stand out on the red carpet as a male, they are constantly overshadowed by the amazing gowns. These guys really stood out for me-

  1. Mark Ronson and Josephine de la Baume- Best Dressed Couple
  2. The Weekend in Givency
  3. Wiz Kalifa
  4. Justin and Jaxon Bieber in Saint Laurent
  5. Sam Hunt
  6. James Bay

I would hate to say anyone looked awful, but here are my least favourite. Throughout the years these ladies have worn some amazing gowns, so I was disappointed to say the least when I saw these choices!

  1. Taylor Swift in Atelier Versace
  2. Demi Lovato
  3. Lady Gaga in Marc Jacobs

Let’s hope that the Oscars will have as many beautiful creations!

ebony

x

 

All Image Credit: Vogue.com– Getty Images.

 

 

 

Valentines Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Valentines Day lovelies!
We are the least romantic people in the world. Celebrating the day goes as far as medium rare steak, nice bottle of red and Hannibal marathon. And cake. Any excuse for cake! Using an Odlums recipe, I’ve changed it up ever so slightly.

Ingredients-
150g (room temperature) butter
125g caster sugar
175g Self raising flour
1 tbsp Bournville Chocolate Powder
3 tbsp water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon red food colouring

Icing-
125g (room temperature) butter
300g icing sugar
2 tbsp buttermilk

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Method-
Preheat oven to 180* and line 12 tin with cake cases.
Beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Sieve in flour and chocolate powder and mix. Add eggs, food colouring and water and mix until smooth paste.
Carefully add the mix to cases and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Begin the beat the butter until creamy consistency. Sieve in 1/3 icing sugar and mix. Continue to sieve the icing sugar in stages, making sure the two are well combined. Add a tbsp of buttermilk- add 1 to begin with- this should make the icing more pliable and fluid. Add another tbsp if you prefer.

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Give to loved ones or keep them all to yourself! I know what I’ll be doing…

ebony
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Failing Better.

So for a while now I’ve realised that I’m not getting anywhere quickly in life. I’m 25, I have a part time job, I rent and have house plants that suffer as much as my social life.

The lifestyle I am accustomed to is fine, it’s grand. Living week to week gives me the means to pay my rent, bills, get petrol and occasionally purchase lipstick. My family are only too kind to ‘invite’ me to dinner. Our recent trip away was weeks in the planning but also in the saving. The hours I work allow me to enjoy my life, I spend a lot of time outdoors, being able to write and see friends. It will not however see me make those steps from renting to mortgage. Deposits are a thing of myth and are well and truly whispers in the circles I frequent. The desire for my own home is like that of a woman who has heard the call from her internal ticking child-bomb. I would just rather have gorgeous mirrored furniture and white walls without handprints and questionable stains.

Turning 25 I realised something, as much as I enjoy spending a weekend away or dinner out, I have to put my big girl pants on and start ‘looking to the future’. Saving for a rainy day is something I just can’t appreciate especially with the car insurance quote that just came in the post. Moving home is not an option, I may have to live in my car. Maybe Alan Bennett could write a bestseller about me.

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Image Credit: Movie Junkie News

All jokes aside I am lucky I’m in a position to pay these things. I have had a job since I was 15, from making beds to teaching art classes. I’m very proud to be independent and that is something that cannot change. It is part of my being. I just suffer from a case of the Azealia Banks’- Broke with expensive taste.

 

I know I’m not alone in this either, friends and I discuss at length the issue of pay, hours and how the population is going to die out if everyone under 30 keeps leaving. The appeal of running away keeps me going some days. Somewhere with a drought season seems appealing. We’ve said goodbye to plenty of people who have ventured beyond our shores.  It is a sadistic revolving door; some in and more out.

Let us continue to fail better and may the odds be ever in your favour,

ebony

x

 

 

 

 

Alfaparf Milano to the rescue!

 

At the Cloggers Afternoon Tea Event we were gifted with some Alfaparf Milano products to review. They were mainly aimed at blonde haired ladies- both natural and coloured- but were assured they would work for any hair colour. I was delighted as my own barnet was in need of some love and attention after travelling. The humidity and air conditioned Underground, airports and hotels had turned me into Monica in Friends. Nothing short of cornrows was going to help.

I had the week previous used a Bleach London colour and for a few days looked like the mermaid I had always wished to be. After several washes though I needed restoring. Hello, Alfaparf Milano to the rescue! I used the ‘That’s it’ Blonde Ambition Shampoo for Cool Blondes and ‘That’s it’ Blonde Parade Every Blonde Mask. Both sulphate and paraben-free they are kind to your damaged locks.

Blonde Ambition is a neutralising, pigmented shampoo to banish any brassy or dull colour. It worked perfectly to rid my hair of any leftover colour and restore my hair to it’s original shades. As well as the pleasant smell it also left my hair feeling clean which is something I haven’t  found with any other ‘silver’ shampoo. I have along the years used every silver shampoo going. From Philip Kingsley to Provoke- they would work but none as well as Alfaparf Milano. I’m converted before I’ve even used the hair mask.

Blonde Parade is a mask to condition, brighten and soften. With naturally dry curls I am usually sceptical of any mask claiming to do all of the things- I was pleasantly surprised! I did leave it on for about 10 minutes longer than it states but I saw the benefits straight away. Once washed out my hair immediately curled up and felt so soft! I will definitely keep using these products each week.

Alfaparf Milano ‘That’s it’ range also has products for warm blondes, white and grey hair. The range is available in selected Alfaparf Milano salons nationwide. Blonde Ambition Shampoo RRP €12.95 and Blonde Parade RRP €14.95, both very reasonable compared to other ranges.You can find more information at Xpertpro or on their Facebook page AlfaparfMilanoIreland.

Feeling suitably blonde again,

ebony

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Galway

For nearly 3 years we tried to plan a trip away, things got in the way though- work, exams, a baby. The last time we had been away was for my 18th birthday to see the Mighty Boosh in the 3 arena?..the Point to you and me.

An escape and celebration of how far we have come was well and truly overdue. My exams were over, the baby was now 2 and half and Killarney had about as much appeal as something on the end of our shoes. Where would we go? Galway was calling. I was taking part in the Ring of Kerry Cycle for Down Syndrome Kerry in July so this was just another excuse as I needed to train. Gill planned for weeks, I’m not the best at planning and the window was tight. The greatest achievement to me was actually getting there. I drive a Renault Clio (extreme) and we wanted to bring our bikes… after plenty of swearing and roaring a reluctant Eoin came to the rescue and sorted it for us. No seats and two bikes in the back of my car, supported by our suitcases and helmets and we were off!

The excitement, our first time away without the baby, I missed him chatting away from the back seats so I couldn’t fathom what she was going through. I didnt bring it up we were free! As plenty of our friends had relocated here we planning to meet them, eat and drink and be Galwaygians for a few days.

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Our hotel, the Victoria was so accommadating of us, storing our bikes and retrieving them whenever we needed! Galway has so much to offer and is such a young city that it makes you sad to come home to the beautiful but very old Killarney town. We were taken on a tour (I say that loosely) of the city; to an estuary (WOW!), Spanish arch, Tiger and their local haunts.

On both nights we ended up in the Roisin Dubh and I can safely say I loved it! Who gets to dance like a woman possessed to Stevie Nicks and told to fuck off when a friend requests Beyonce? Killarney is lacking in so much. We did cycle, although appreciating Connemara with a hangover isn’t the same!

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If anyone was thinking of a quick weekend away or second guessing one- just go! Go to Galway or anywhere along the Wild Atlantic Way. It is beautifully wild, both people and coastline. Take your best friends and dance. Gill has supported me through the past 10 years and is like no other. When I eventually cycled across the finish line a few week later, she was waiting with limes and a bottle of gin. That’s friendship! So this post is dedicated to her-

Go hug your besties,

ebony

x

 
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My love affair continues…

So on my travels I had to visit the newest addition to Convent Garden and her first stand alone store, Charlotte Tilbury. This woman is my Woman Crush Everyday, proving that hard work pays off! Check out her Instagram for makeup inspiration and just her being generally fabulous!

As far as photographs go I didn’t take any, insert bad blogger scolding here. The shop front was so busy, as was the store and I wouldn’t want to make people uncomfortable by snapping away. You can take my word for it though the shop is insanely beautiful. Mercury glass and mirrored furniture, palm tree chandeliers and feathers everywhere. Very glamorous Gatsby style! It is definitely the walk in wardrobe/office dream!

I couldn’t leave without lipstick so I picked up Very Victoria-inspired by Lady Beckham herself. Too beautiful and more nude than I usually go for. I am obsessed with this range of lipstick- matte hues that are long-lasting and don’t dry out the lips. They are available to order from the Brown Thomas online store, ranging from €30-€40. I also bought a pencil sharpener which is honestly the best thing I’ve ever purchased. The battle for perfect lip liner is over! If you are ever in London go, you won’t be disappointed! As if you need to be encouraged…

ebony

x

ps. Read more about my love for CT and her lipstick here https://wordpress.com/post/littlethingsbyebony.wordpress.com/268