Shopping…what else?

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great week. I’m very bold for not writing a blog in ages but here’s a little read for you this Sunday morning.

As you will have seen from my recent posts, I was asked to present a style segment in the Spring Style Sensation in Athlone Towncentre last weekend.

When I was invited by Shirley, Aoife and the team in ATC H.Q. I was absolutely thrilled and terrified at the same time. My blog is my hobby, an outlet from my day to day life. It’s a bit of fun, a lot of fashion with a mix of beauty, travel and general ‘stuff’ thrown in. I am not always great for sitting down and writing blog-posts as I am a bit of a workaholic the last few months and never seem to find the time but I still love posting something small every day. I have decided though I will write more blog-posts during Lent…well, I couldn’t be giving up my lovely coffee or wine so I felt this was a compromise!

Holly and models and me

With the gorgeous Holly Carpenter and fabulous models from Catwalk Model Agency – little ole me stuck in the middle 2 foot smaller than them all! haha

Being asked to style six outfits and then present them at a fashion show was pretty daunting. It’s all fine and well running around Athlone Towncentre snapping everything I love (that’s just too easy) but coming out from behind the phone/computer screen was hard. For anyone who knows me, I would talk ‘til the cows come home, but talking on a microphone to the public had me absolutely petrified. After an upset stomach, sweaty palms and tear-filled eyes along with a shaky start I got through it. Sometimes you gotta face your fears and just get on with it…that’s something I could write a book about, nevermind a blog-post.

Anyway. I am not writing this blog post to tell you about overcoming fears. I am not writing it about the fun I had in Athlone Towncentre last Saturday either – you can clearly see all that in my photos which have been circulating around social media and the local papers in the last week (I’m not too morto). I thought I’d write a quick blog post to tell you why ATC is my ‘go-to’ shopping centre.

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Pretty in pink – adore this jumpsuit from Warehouse

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My ‘Work to Wine’ look from Next – love it!

 

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My look from Vero Moda and the fab boots from Shoe Lace, modelled by the stunning Aisling.

 

So why do I love Athlone Towncentre? Well like I said earlier, my blog is a hobby and an outlet, as is retail therapy! It’s not always about ‘buying’ (that is of course is a bonus). It’s really about the experience. For me, just pottering around the shops and unwinding on a morning or afternoon off is a great way to clear my head (and sometimes clear out my purse too). To be truthful, I am happiest when doing this by myself. I find a few hours in the shops just chills me out and is waaaay better than shopping online – you just don’t get the same feeling scrolling around a website. I could head up towards home in Meath and nip over to the bigger centres on the outskirts of Dublin if I wanted but really, why would I? The shops I generally go to are here in Athlone anyway and I can be there in under 5 minutes, if all the lights are green on the way in! *this has been timed accurately haha.

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Katie styled head to toe in River-Island – loving the sunnies!

I am lucky that way. but Athlone as they say is the ‘belly button of Ireland’ so it’s really accessible from all parts of the country.

When I pop into ATC I love stopping off for a coffee (there’s lots of amazing coffee spots in there for refuelling) and lunch too, chatting to the staff in the stores and seeing all the new style hit the rails, touching and feeling everything as as I go along and trying on all my favourite picks. The staff in all the stores really are super-helpful. If something is not in your size they will order it in and there’s free delivery to all stores as far as I know (well any I have ordered from anyway, such as Next, Oasis, Zara etc. definitely offer free speedy delivery to their stores).

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Molly in Born Clothing bardot style dress – super-tall 6 foot Molly would be a perfect Zara model

Aisling. Oasis

Oasis – chic and comfy in one of my fave items of clothing…the jumpsuit.

Athlone Towncentre really has it all, without sounding like a cliché, with over 60 stores under one roof. I have bought everything from light fittings (our house is filled with light fittings from Next) to quirky finds in Tiger, sushi in M&S, notepads and wall prints in TK Maxx. I am not always nipping in for clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and make-up…mind you one of those items usually slips into the boot of the car too!

With such reasonable underground parking prices, €2 for 3 hours (saves the hair going fuzzy on rainy days) and free wifi I can snap my way around the stores. I can usually fill my phone with blog content in a few minutes and I have been known to stop and re-charge the battery in Starbucks…a recent discovery I spotted when queuing for their amazing flat white coffees…plug sockets! It’s the little things!!

My ‘go to’ clothing store is Zara and that’ll come as no surprise to anyone who follows my blog. The jumpsuit I wore to the style event was from Zara – I bought it the Thursday night before the show and spent Friday night altering it myself. Zara like to dress tall people…a category you will never find me in, but a few quick stitches had it sorted in jig time!  It’s currently still in stock in the store and was just so comfortable.

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I am not going to list out all the shops in the centre that I love, you can find them here.

End of the day

End of the show! The nerves were gone…Great fun with these gorgeous gals! Yep I am there hiding 🙈

This isn’t an ad for Athlone Towncentre by the way (apparently all the bloggers have to say this!).

I am just writing this blog post to tell you how amazing I think Athlone Towncentre is and to thank the team there for the opportunities they have given me since I have started my blog – inviting me to events, sharing my posts and just generally being so lovely and supportive all the time. Thanks x

I am not thanking them though for putting temptation everywhere and causing my bank balance to to take a nose dive on occasion – that’s a separate conversation I need to have with my bank manager!!

Have a great Sunday everyone, take it easy and sure if you’re in town I might bump into you! I’ll be in the grocery aisles ONLY today *wink, wink!

Love

T 💖 x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your address?

Yesterday I sat down and wrote Christmas cards to my friends and family and I spent half the night texting people for their addresses….some friend I am! Some of my friends have moved house recently, others have purchased new houses and some have emigrated. While I was writing the cards I was thinking about how lucky I am and the ‘card recipients’ are to have a house, a home…an address.

Tomorrow night I am fortunate enough to be able to go to Dublin to see a band I love called ‘Ham SandwicH’ in Dublin and see the sparkly Christmas lights, which is something I have always loved since we were brought to see by my parents as kids.

I am saddened though to think that there are a large amount of people in Dublin and in other cities and towns in our little country who will see the Christmas lights every single night these next few weeks, and on other nights they will see the moon and the stars…these are the people who sleep under them. These are Ireland’s homeless.

Women, men and children have no home. They have a cardboard box and maybe a blanket, if they are lucky. It is Winter and there is a storm coming.  They are cold and they are hungry. They are lonely too. They are on the streets because our Government doesn’t care.

I know tomorrow night as myself and Colin walk to the gig we will pass so many homeless people. We can’t change this, but we can do something small to help.

We decided that we will give all the homeless we pass a ham sandwich…it’s not world changing but it’s something small we can do as we walk the streets of Dublin. There are so many others doing so much more for the homeless but if each of us do one little thing we can make a small changes.  If there is anything you can do this Christmas, please do.

God forbid, some day it could be one of us who needs help.

Tanya x

homeless

 

 

 

Athlone Fashion Trail

 

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Hello there,

It’s October…eek, where is the year going?

Mine kick-started with a fashion-filled day last Saturday, 1st October attending Athlone Fashion Trail– I am sure your heads were all melted as I snap-chatted my way around the town. My poor phone nearly burned out!

I was thrilled to be invited as a blogger on the first ever Athlone Fashion Trail with 24 other fabulous bloggers from Into the West Blogger Network. So firstly I want to say a huge thanks to the wonderful Sinéad & Saibh for inviting me and co-ordinating the day so seamlessly…I am certain this entails alot of preparation work in the week’s preceding such an event, but as I expected,  just like the Galway Fashion Trail it was superbly planned . The girls from Galway Now Magazine and Golden Egg did trojan work with all their planning  on the lead up to the day and on the day the day itself…well done to all you ladies (men too) –  you are really worked so hard to create such a fun day.

Of course, living in Athlone for so many years I am familiar with all the boutiques and shops which were on the trail but t it was extra special to be part of this group. It was a great opportunity for all of us to see the retailers showcasing their Autumn/Winter style through the fashion shows they presented. Each venue kindly offered discounts on the day and they spoiled us with sweet treats and prosecco along the way. They also bestowed us with generous gifts and vouchers too, so a huge thank you for these. It really was over and above any expectations we had.

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All the bloggers met at Colm Quinn BMW Showrooms for 9.30am. I was in my element surrounded by shiny BMW’s but my heart lies with the little Minis…being a Mini driver myself (I’m on my 3rd Mini now) I loved looking at all the new models and of course the vintage ones too. I bought my current Mini from Colm Quinn’s and I have to say their customer service is second to none. Here we were treated to a fabulous breakfast and fuelled up with coffee and prosecco too….a few bubbles for breakfast is no harm now and again! The models from Catwalk Model Agency were made even more beautiful than they already are by the very talented Aileen Duffy Make Up Artist and their hairs were done by one of Athlone’s most well renowned hair-dresser Maeve O’Healy Harte. Then we were chauffeured into town in style by the guys at Colm Quinn…honestly, it was very glamorous altogether and I felt like an A-lister celeb – ‘A ‘being for Athlone!!!

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First stop was Kadee Bridal Boutique on Pearse Street. I hadn’t visited their new stylish boutique but wow, it was absolutely stunning. For any bride-to-be I would highly recommend booking an appointment here. Dee and Kathleen are just so professional and stock some of the most stunning designs from Suzanne Neville, Temperley London and Martina Liana, but to name a few. Head-pieces and accessories were created by Laura Hanlon Designer who is a personal favourite of mine (she made my head-piece for the Galway races). She showed an amazing pearl head-piece which received many gasps when Katie from Catwalk Model agency sashayed out in it.

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A quick totter over the Shannon bridge and we arrived at our next destination, Burgess Department Store. Now, as I am sure you all know Burgess is a well established department store styling the midlands since 1839. Another fashion show commenced here with some fabulous outfits, coats and menswear. I had a good browse in their Carl Scarpa section which had some beautiful bags and Winter boots and the lingerie department there stocks some great labels as well. We also returned to Burgess for the final fashion show of the day. It truly is a beautiful store with very friendly staff and stocks everything from stunning homeware to kiddie’s wear – everything under one roof, isn’t that what we all want?

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Up from Burgess on Church Street  is Olivia Danielle boutique which is another well-known fashion mecca in the town. I am nearly always crashing the car when I am driving by looking at their window display. They house many Irish and International designers and they put on a truly glamorous fashion show with lots of glitz and sparkle. Here I fell in love with a hot pink coat which I was posting on my social media accounts during the week – it’s divine. Olivia Danielle’s also stock Freddy jeans which I didn’t realise; these promise a bum-lift to defy gravity – I can tell you now my ass needs a fork-lift sometimes so I will certainly put these to the challenge! Suzie Mahony also showed some of her amazing head-pieces and hats , and she was there herself too on the day offering style advice – she really is such a talented milliner and a lovely person.

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Then off we went to be re-fuelled by The Fatted Calf restaurant. Honestly the food was the prettiest I’ve even seen. That didn’t stop me devouring it and they served THE most amazing salted caramel doughtnuts I had ever tasted. I inhaled one and I was too polite to take another, but the inner piggy inside me was dying for a second one! It really was such a delicious lunch.

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Before and after lunch Athlone Town Centre showcased all the style from their various shops – this is a shopping centre I didn’t even know existed until last Saturday…ok, ok you know I am only joking!! Sure if I am not at home you will find me roaming around here! Even the other day when I got into my car, some maps thingy popped up on my phone saying ‘You are 5 minutes from Athlone Town Centre with no traffic’ – even the car and the phone are automated to go there. I think I need a therapist! Anyway, I spotted many pieces I wanted here (as usual!) but I particularly loved this Tommy Hilfiger jumper which Demelza was rocking…it’s part of the Gigi Hadid range and would match a multitude. Maybe I’ll get it for Christmas…just sayin’…like if anyone is stuck for ideas!

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Then we hobbled down to Boutique Clodagh – well when I say hobbled, I mean I hobbled in my heels – most of the other sensible bloggers had shoes you could actually walk in but myself and the gorgeous Pam from Pams Live Love Fashion blog just stuck it out in the heels…such a little pair of rebels! (well actual eejits if you saw my feet the next days…oh lordy they weren’t well at all!) She was my fashion side-kick all day long, snapping and chatting away and running into shops for purchases when we got a gap!

Clodagh’s boutique is a fabulous shop with something to suit all ages. They had the prettiest scarves and coats and lots of casual pieces to mix and match.

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Next it was back over town to Nell’s Closet – another one of my favourite window displays in Athlone. When I drive by here I always hope for a red traffic light so I can gaze in at their style. There were ooohs, aaaahs and squeals of delight out of everyone here as one outfit was nicer than the next! They also stock a huge selection of jewellery and handbags, so really it is a one-stop shop for style lovers…perfect for occasional wear. We also got to view pieces of contemporary jewellery from Celtic Roots,  by Irish artist Helen Conneely. These unique pieces are carved and sculpted from bogwood. So very unusual and eye-catching.

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We ended the day with a wrap party at Radisson Blu Hotel….a hotel I am very familiar with as I worked there for 4 years. It was just gorgeous to sit in the Riverside Lounge and sip a cocktail while nibbling on the delicious finger food they had ready for us. We all sat over-looking the Shannon chatting about our great day. Of course I had one eye on the Mayo vs Dublin match too – that was the only disappointment of the day…Mayo’s defeat. I knew one sad husband would be returning from Croke Park that evening!

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Having a bubbly breakfast with my fabulous friend Pam from Pams Live Love Fashion blog.

It’s was so great to be part of such a fun and fashionable day and I always meet so many bloggers from all over the country who I have been following already  – it’s  great to meet the face behind the blog. They were all so lovely and were absolutely blown away by the great style they saw in our little town of Athlone.

I have to say I was really proud to say on the day I was living in Athlone, and it pleased me even more to say that this lovely stylish town is where I now consider my home.

Enjoy your weekend my lovely fashionistas!

Tanya x

feet

Oh yes they may have looked stylish on the day, but boy were my feet sore the next day! Epsom salts at the ready!!

Me time!

Hello all,

I hope everyone is having a great week…we’re nearly at the end of it now, praise the lord!

The Summer is well and truly over – I think we are all starting to feel a nip in the air! I know you are probably thinking ‘sure Summer was over at the end of August’…well not in our house. Summer ends when September ends – Colin makes his annual voyage to Electric Picnic, I go somewhere as far removed from Electric Picnic I can find, and then we usually take a week off and head to the sun together after a busy Summer.

This year was no different except I didn’t want to go too far for my weekend away as I needed to pack my bags for holidays and I was working too on the Saturday. I remembered Colin had bought me a voucher for Sirana Spa in The Sheraton Athlone Hotel as part of last year’s Christmas present and sure I was only dying for an opportunity use it. This was the perfect time…while he was ‘mucking it’ at the picnic!

Working in the hospitality industry myself you would think I would tire of hotels and spas and run a mile from them on my days off – not me…I’m the total opposite. I love being the guest, enjoying all the pampering and of course watching it all from the other side.

I am forever popping in and out of The Sheraton Hotel in Athlone.  If it’s not for lunch or to meet up with the girls for drinks, we might pop in to watch a match (groan!) and have some food in the bar. We actually held our engagement party there a few years back and had a fantastic night in a private area off the main bar.  It’s a super stylish hotel and of course it’s beside Athlone Town Centre which makes it too handy for that sneaky glass of wine when running around the shops! But I am kinda mortified to say, I had never been to the spa there.

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So off I went with my pal (who joins me on my annual escapade every year) and we set the sat-nav for Gleeson St.  After a weary 5 minute drive from the house, we arrived at our destination! Haha.

I have to say I am a sucker for all things modern and stylish and Sirana Spa at The Sheraton was right up my street. The dark wood, the gorgeous smells and the relaxing music took effect the moment we walked through the spa entrance. We looked at each other approvingly and thought ‘yep, we’re gonna love this!’.

The therapist who greeted us on arrival was absolutely ‘adorable’…I hope she won’t mind me using that word! She chatted away happily as we filled out our consultation forms and swapped our heels for cosy slippers, then off we padded into the spa.  She took us around the changing area (very swish indeed with Hollywood light mirrors, beautiful décor and and more gorgeous smells). Then she walked us through the tepidarium, steam temple, rasul etc. and explained all the features and benefits of each area.

After she left us we floated around in our snuggly robes for 45 minutes or so trying out all the areas (snap-chatting as I went along!), then we were taken to our treatment rooms. My treatment was simply amazing. It was called the Aching Muscle Body Bliss and it included body brushing, a back, neck and shoulder massage and a head massage. And oh my, it was soooo blissful! I am always racing around and never seem to stop. My head is forever thinking, planning and organising, and for once this treatment stopped me in my tracks. There was piano music playing in the background and it was just so soothing, I completely zoned out and just listened as each key played. That never happens to me! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mairéad my therapist was absolutely brilliant and I could tell she was very passionate about her job and she was an excellent masseuse.

We had decided that we would treat ourselves to afternoon tea as well and we had booked this in advance – sure when you’re out, you’re out! It was nearly too pretty to eat – there was a lovely mix of wraps, crusty bread and brown bread open sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and an array of calories disguised as desserts, which we absolutely devoured. I had a green tea to wash down the bold stuff…but we all know that calories and carbs don’t count on the weekends. Right?

 

The spa dining area was very plush with crushed velvet seating and it overlooks the swimming pool. We looked down guiltily at guests and members who were swimming lengths of the pool as we munched our way through the afternoon tea, but we did spy them looking up at us enviously too – I bet they were wishing they were eating all the yumminess in front of us!

After that we headed to the relaxation room with our bellies full. We could’ve had fresh fruit and infused waters there,  but we just lay back under the cosy blankets and read all the fab glossy magazines and had a natter. It really was the ultimate girls day out.

Since then we have been away on holidays and now it’s back to work and it’s all ‘go-go-go’. Writing this post has made me think of how we all spend our time off. But really is there such a thing as ‘time off’? And if there is, don’t we always find a way to fill that time gap with more things to do? We should really look after our body – afterall it’s the only one we have. Down-time is what we all need and here’s a suggested idea…

When it comes to Christmas (I know I said it…the dreaded ‘C’ word) myself and my sister don’t buy each other a Christmas present – instead we always go away for a ‘spa-day’.  We are usually both so busy throughout the year it’s always just snatched time we spend together. This way we can re-charge the batteries, catch up on life and just have a girly day out. I would highly recommend doing this with a sister, friend, mum or your other half. It really is so relaxing and it’s so much easier that traipsing the shops for pressies. So maybe you could try this too?

When I told her I was writing this post, she announced that she now wants to go to The Sheraton Athlone Hotel and when we do, we are going to stay there too – sure why not? Then she said perhaps we could go to the January sales next door in Athlone Town Centre! Woohoo, you would know she is my sister…spa, shop and stay – I’m looking forward to it already.

So why not give Sirana Spa at The Sheraton Athlone a shout. They have amazing Autumn offers – check them out here or maybe like me and my sis, you would like to plan a Winter/Spring break too as a Christmas pressie to yourselves.

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Forgot to take pic of my treatment room, so stole this from their website! It was gorgeous.

I love promoting everything that Athlone has to offer and it’s hard to believe this calm little oasis is right in the middle of our town. I really can’t wait to go back. So go on treat yourselves, or better still, get someone to treat you. We all deserve a bit of pampering from time to time…

Tanya x

Contact Sheraton Athlone Hotel:

Ph: 09064 51000

Log onto their website here

Follow them on facebook here

 

Spot the Dot!

Hi everyone,

Another week done and dusted and now we’re into September – gosh, dare I say it but it’ll be Christmas soon! Blog-posts have been a bit less frequent recently as I started a new job so it’s all go, but I do hope to get back into regular blogging in the next few weeks. In the meantime I hope you have been enjoying my ‘fash-dash’ photos that I post frequently on facebook and snap-chat. I’ll always allow a bit of time each week to run into the shops…you know, incase I miss anything!!

If you were following me over on snap-chat you will have seen I received a bespoke necklace from Stella & Dot recently. Some of you may know that I used to be a stylist for Stella & Dot but due to work commitments and the blog, unfortunately time doesn’t allow me to do everything. However, I am still a huge fan and most of the jewellery I wear day-to-day is all Stella & Dot. Carmel Finn is always my ‘go to’ stylist now when I want to make a purchase – she is one of Ireland’s top Stella & Dot stylists and is based in the midlands.

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Some of my favourite Stella & Dot pieces

The bespoke range was just recently launched and I have to say the minute I spied the pieces I absolutely loved them. I saw Glenda and the girls on Xposé wearing different chains, and Rosanna Davison, Pippa O’Connor and Kathryn Thomas are others who I have also spotted (excuse the pun!) wearing the Stella & Dot bespoke range. Sure I am easily influenced!

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In the bespoke range you will find necklaces, bracelets, rings and even cuff-links which can be engraved with letters and numbers depending on the piece you choose. There’s also various font types which makes them very unique to the individual. You can engrave your own initials, initials of a loved one, a child or a memorable date…there are so many options depending on the piece you choose.

My stunning necklace is the silver bespoke disc necklace, which is sterling silver. It’s was engraved with my initial ‘T’ for Tanya, ‘C’ for Colin (my hubby, or as he likes say, ‘the better half’, I’ll argue that!) and ‘H’ for our surname, and I absolutely adore it. You can wear it on it’s own or layered.

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Stella & Dot have also started retailing watches since I was a stylist and I have to say one of my favourites is this leopard print one. Wouldn’t it make a lovely Christmas gift?…just sayin’. You can check it out here.

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Stella & Dot products can only be purchased online from a stylist, or you can host a ‘Trunk Show’ which is basically a jewellery party with the girls (wine and prosecco are also welcome!). I hosted so many trunk shows when I was a stylist and I loved doing them as they were really just a gathering of all the girls trying on jewellery and having a great evening of fun. The best part is the host of the party receives free jewellery so it’s a win-win for everyone. I recall one night last Christmas I was at home and 7 girls in our local pub were wearing the ‘blessed’ bangle –  and 4 of those girls had received them free from hosting parties. Any excuse ladies to hold a porrrtay! Stella & Dot jewellery is delivered very efficiently to your home by courier and who would’t want to see these pretty parcels landing on your door-step. They make a perfect gift too.

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If you fancy booking Carmel for a party or if you want to purchase directly from the website it’s http://www.stelladot.eu/sites/carmelfinn or just click here. You can also follow Carmel on social media.

Facebook:  facebook @stylistcarmelfinn

Instagram:  carmelfinn_sdstylist

And Carmel just told me to let you know that she is kindly offering prosecco for any party booked in September – how nice is that? I have her booked for a party before Christmas and I’m already making my list. Well I have been a very good girl this year!!!

Chat you all soon and enjoy the Stella Shopping.

Tanya x

 

Simone Mahler…my new BFF!

Hi there,

Here we are mid-week and mid-Summer…hard to believe really? Clouds all day and now I am actually cold this evening.

Recently I was contacted by Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic in Athlone  to see if I would like to try out a new French skincare range they are now retailing, Simone Mahler. I was honest with Catriona and told her I had never heard of it before. After doing my research I found out Simone Mahler started her ‘dermo cosmetic’ company  over 60 years ago and it’s in distribution globally over 40 years but only launched in Ireland early this year. ‘Dermo Cosmetics’…I was interested!

Having a beauty background, being a beauty junkie and always wanting something new for my skin I thought I would give it a go! Dermo cosmetics sounded a lot more scientific than the usual word ‘skincare’ so I was curious. I did explain to Catriona, the owner of Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic that my blog is called ‘My Little Love Stories’ for a reason –  I write about what I love, so if I didn’t like or love these products I would not write about them. I think that’s fair enough when you are blogging as we all know the paid endorsements that bloggers get to promote a product which of course is a great revenue line, but I also think there needs to be some credibility and transparency too as I mentioned before in previous posts. I am not getting paid to say I like them or I don’t like them – I am simply giving my honest opinion on the range that was specifically mapped to my skin type and needs.

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3 weeks ago I met with Catherine from Simone Mahler who carried out a full computerised skin analysis on my face (eek I was dreading the results!). Basically it was like an ipad that took close-up photos of my skin for rigorous monitoring. My concerns were lines, wrinkles, lines, wrinkles! I was delighted to hear that the findings weren’t as bad I had thought though and Catherine was very complimentary to me…well she said the camera was honest!! Hmmm, maybe all is not as bad as I think!

I have normal/dry skin which was what the camera showed. I also had some slight pigmentation too under my eye area (years of sun holidays definitely being the main cause of that) and there were some open pores around my nose/chin area.  The lines I loathe on my forehead are going nowhere  – by using dermo-cosmetics it will slow down the ageing process but they won’t vanish. The only solution for those pesks  is some kind of cosmetic surgery or needling and I am going to be honest and say that the needling is something I am definitely going to consider…so watch this space! So really ladies no cream will turn back time, it will only help slow down the ageing process so you really need to be looking after your skin from an early age! Ooops too late now for me!

The range that was specific to me was Decrisp’line – this is the preventative range and slows the effects of time – it’s used to reduce the signs of fatigue, to recover suppleness, tone and brighten and to combat the first signs of ageing.

So how have I been getting on? Well so far brilliantly – I think anyway. I guess the hardest part for me is using everything twice daily. I am a divil in the morning – all I do is moisturise my face…occasionally I tone if my skin feels clammy, but other than that its moisturiser, slap on the make-up and out the door. So getting used to a few more steps has been tough and time consuming but I guess if I want my face to show results, getting up a few minutes earlier is only a small effort!

My night-time regime is always my favourite as I love cleaning the day off and this product, the Gelée Satin is without doubt a product that I will 100% continue to use in the future, and my absolute favourite in the range. Firstly it’s so easy to use – you just apply a small amount to your face, massage it in and it turns into an oil-like formula which can be used on the eye area too. Then using a warm face-cloth remove the product from your face. When I say your face feels ‘so soft’ I genuinely mean it – there is ZERO tightness and I have used some high-end gel cleansers/oil cleansers and I have always felt a slight tightness. My sister used it on Monday night and she would have sensitive skin. She commented that she felt she didn’t even need moisturiser after using it…that’s how soft your skin feels afterwards. And she’s a beautician and has literally tried everything on the market!

Gelee Satin

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Looks like a soft coconut oil

Next it’s onto the toner, Tonic Bleu which is light and refreshing and a quick wipe is all that is required as the Gelée Satin has removed all your make-up. Again it is soothing as it contains no alcohol.

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The serum and moisturiser are absolutely amazing and my skin drinks them in quickly – there is nothing worse than waiting for moisturiser to sink in so you can apply your make-up…like seriously who has time for all that waiting? Plus they leave a lovely dewy finish on your skin. A few people have commented that my skin is ‘looking glowy these days’ and even Colin said I looked ‘a bit different’ (mind you that could be the few beers talking during Euro 2016!!).

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The eye-cream is lovely and rich and a small blob goes a long way…I was advised by Catherine, the Simone Mahler skin specialist to gently massage it in under the eye and over the eye area (each eye 30 seconds). I’m going to be honest and say I only do this at night-time! Well every minute counts in the morning! I just rub it in quickly.

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I know you are probably reading this and wondering what’s the difference between Simone Mahler and the pharmacy/supermarket brands that we are all so familiar with.

Well here are a few facts about your skin (which I remember from my beauty course) and which I was reminded of when I met Catherine from Simone Mahler. It’s the skin science stuff and maybe this will explain why Simone Mahler isn’t just your regular skincare range.

Elastin production stops at puberty! Jeez…

Peptides work in the dermis (the base layer of skin – the living tissue) and are a component of collagen which plumps the skin. Stem cells work in the basal layer  where new skin cells are produced. Alot of our favourite brands only penetrate the top layer of skin (the epidermis) never reaching the basal layer where all the collagen and hylauronic acids are produced.

Collagen keeps the skin plump and wrinkle free but here’s a few scary stats –  we lose 1-3% of collagen from the age of 18 years and up to 6% during menopause.

You might ask (like I did) why can’t Simone Mahler products be purchased in  your local chemist/online? The answer is that it’s too active and your skin has to be fully analysed before using it. Then after the diagnosis, a beauty prescription with a clear and personalised solution is drawn up.

I am also trying out the exfoliant scrub and I will let you know how I am getting on with that next week. And I am ‘supposed’ to be using the SPF50 daily too but I am very bold and haven’t even opened it yet! Well I am doing well with what I have so far so I am happy with my routine. I am popping back in for a facial treatment tomorrow too so will have another blog-post for you next week and I’ll let you know the results of that as well!

If you want to find out more information you can contact any of the therapists at Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic, Castlemaine Street, Athlone on 09064 74127  – they are the exclusive retailer of Simone Mahler Dermo Cosmetics in Athlone. Give them a follow on facebook too – Catríona’s Health & Beauty Clinic.

Righteo, I’m off to have an epsom salt bath now…get rid of a few toxins but then I might have a glass of wine and put the toxins back in again! It’s a vicious circle!! Well I am off this week, so  it’s allowed!

Chat you soon lovely ladies.

Tanya x

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty begins on the inside!

bodyHey there ladies,

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster of events with me recently between having a trapped nerve in my shoulder and then falling down the stairs nearly 4 weeks ago and breaking a rib. My body is slowly coming back together but at a snail’s pace and I have myself wrapped in cotton wool these days (a suit of armour might be more appropriate though!).

So when I was invited by Fiona Conlon Nally to try out reflexololgy at Therapeutic Treats in Mullingar recently it actually couldn’t have come at a better time.  I love any type of pamper treatment but I had never tried reflexology before I so really didn’t know what to expect. I was delighted to accept the treatment considering my body was crying out for a bit of TLC.

Fiona Conlon Nally is the owner of the business and is a certified reflexologist, massage therapist and reiki practitioner which are holistic therapies that balance the body, mind and soul.  Therapeutic Treats suites are located over Whelehans Pharmacy on Pearse Street in Mullingar (a fab chemist too which I had a good

root around before I left!). From the moment I arrived  there was a sense of relaxation in the room as aromatherapy candles burned and soft music played…I would’ve happily popped up on the bed and had a snooze without any treatment.

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I asked Fiona to explain what reflexology was and how it would benefit me and my body. She explained in simple terms that we all have reflex points in our feet, face, hands and ears which correspond to organs, glands and tissues in our body. When these reflex points are stimulated (mostly on your feet) it improves circulation and removes waste and toxins from the body. Fiona believes that you have physical and emotional energy lines from  your feet which help parts of your body and brain, and when you clear these energy lines it aids you, both physically and emotionally. Lots of people end up quite emotional and teary after the treatment as they are so relaxed as their body releases stress they may have been holding onto. Surprisingly though I didn’t cry (I am no tough cookie by any means and I actually thought I’d be bawling as I cry at the stupidest of things…soaps on tv,  old couples holding hands, every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy ever!..such a wuss!) To be honest, I was just raging it was over as I enjoyed it so much.

So basically Fiona worked on both of my feet,  gently massaging different areas of my foot and toes (it wasn’t tickly or it wasn’t painful, it was just so soothing). Then she applied an oil at the end and gave my feet another gentle massage. For me this was sheer bliss – I just lay back and wandered into dreamy land.

She was able to tell at the end of the treatment that my broken rib was on the left side of my body and she worked on the area of my foot which related to my left side alot. She advised by doing this she would not heal the rib (which was a pity!) but it would help relax the body in that area. Overall she found no problems with me only a little bit of tension on my shoulders (which I do suffer from  –  driving alot and slouching over keyboards and a phone will do that to you!). She also said she usually finds that most people have issues with their throat/tonsils whether it’s from tiredness, hoarseness etc. but she could find nothing wrong with my tonsils. It was then I told her I had no tonsils so she would be a long time looking for a problem with them!! I was very impressed by this! Overall she thought I was in good order considering the tumbles and recent aches and pains!

The reflexology session lasted 50 mins and I was advised to drink lots of water to rehydrate and relax for the remainder of the day to gain the full benefits .

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My bed for 50 mins – sorry the image is so dark but it was dimly lit for the purpose of relaxation.

Fiona also holds Mother & Baby reflexology group classes which help mothers bond with their babies (for example premature babies which may not have bonded early or babies born by c-section).  She also performs reflexology on babies who may be suffering from colic, reflux, constipation or severe teething. I was absolutely amazed at this and I asked her if the babies enjoyed it. She said they loved it as most babies love someone touching their feet and alot of them just fell asleep. One mother told her afterward a session that her baby had cut it’s first tooth without any tears or pain after a course of reflexology, so this is something you mums might like to consider for your baby. And if you would like to train in holistic therapy yourself such as massage or reflexology Fiona also carries out certified training courses.

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Fiona Conlon Nally

So did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I go again? For sure. I guess we are all caught up with looking good on the outside but your physical health is not going to look well if your body and mental health is not balanced. I suppose I never really thought about it too much until I landed literally on my ass at the bottom of the stairs a few weeks ago. We are all rushing along in life; we start in the morning at A and get to Z as quick as we can bull-dozing through the day to tick the boxes; whether it’s getting to work on time, getting the kids to school, organising the dinner, picking up the kids from football we are all under pressure to get to the next place and we never really stop. 50 minutes of reflexology costs €40 and is so worth every minute and every euro. We buy creams and make-up  to put on our stressed heads (paying alot more  sometimes),  but no make-up or cream will work if our inner self is not in good health.  It’s true that you must glow from the inside.

But if you don’t have €40 to spare that’s ok because the fabulous Fiona has kindly offered a reflexology treatment to one of my lovely followers. All you have to do is pop over and like her facebook page – click here: Therapeutic Treats Holistic Therapies and leave a comment on her page with  your name or the name of a deserving friend and a winner will be chosen after the weekend.

For further details or to book a treatment you can contact Fiona.

Ph: 086-0780566

Em: fiona@therapeutictreats.eu

http://www.therapeutictreats.eu

Facebook: Therapeutic Treats Holistic Therapies 

Is there love in the air? Yes, it’s the smell of nail polish!

Hi ladies ,

I hope everyone enjoyed the fab sunshine and was lashing on the sun cream too…long may it last!  I was going to post this last night but thought too many of you would be out on the town or having BBQs – literally everyone I know was going somewhere so I thought it might be better to have some hangover reading for ye today!! I don’t have a hangover (*smug smile) as I was Cinderella last night but I did have one of those new Solero mojito ice-pops…oh my god deeeelish and no hangover after one haha!

If you follow me on snap-chat you will see me snapping my nails every month. There are two beauty treats I love in life; one being a blow-dry and the other is getting my nails done.

I have been a customer of Bagira Nail Bar since it opened back in August 2008. Even when I lived in Galway last year I still made my monthly visit to the salon as I was usually heading home to Meath, or up visiting friends in Athlone so it was easy to work my appointments around around my road-trips.

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On my last visit I noticed they had expanded into another room within the building and I was chatting to Julija the owner about the success of her business and how it has grown over the years. She told me it wasn’t always like that, and when she opened first in August 2008 she actually used to have a snooze in the pedicure chair while waiting for the phone to ring or someone to walk in. As any new business owner will tell you the first year is pretty tough as you have to build your client base and then hope for repeat business. Julija was new to the area too at this time so this was challenging in itself and it included moving her family to Athlone and settling into a new town.

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Before…needing refills.

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After.

But she faced the challenge head on and now Bagira is open  5 days per week, Tuesday to Saturday and she has 4 staff working there!

They offer shellac, gel nails, acrylic nails, pedicures, manicures, file and polish and they have 2 amazing spa pedicure chairs which massage your back and neck, so you can sit back and read a magazine while your piggies are being pampered.

In the beginning I used to get gel tips (to add length to my nails) but now that my own nails have grown I just get gel over-lays (which is gel over my own nail) with a shellac top coat. For years I only got the French polish finish (boring me!) but now I’m a bit more adventurous! The girls there also do fabulous nail-art but I guess I just keep them plain for my job and usually just go for one colour. I have seen the nail-art on others and it’s amazing.

Julija has been very fortunate to grow her business by word of mouth. I certainly know I get lots of compliments on my nails, as do many other customers who go there so I guess we are all walking advertisements of her salon’s excellent work.

Unfortunately, years ago I damaged my large toenail when I was dancing at a wedding. I literally got stamped on and my toenail broke in half…yes, it was sore at the time but I danced through the pain! I went to a podiatrist a couple of years later to see if it would ever grow back but as the nail bed was damaged he advised me it would never grow back fully. So I am now just left with a small stub of toenail (the state of it!). Anyway you will never see it!! Julija builds up an acrylic nail for me every few months and it looks perfectly normal  – well as normal as my horrible feet look! Then she pops shellac polish on my toe-nails. I have to say for this nail-fix I am eternally grateful. I can see myself in my 80’s sitting over in her pedi chair getting my acrylic toenail done! I’m not sure she will appreciate my mangled toes at that age though! haha.

So why do I go there all the time? Well firstly my nails always look brilliant as Julija is such a perfectionist and she knows the shape, length, colours etc. I like (they have soooo many colours). The client care is amazing. My acrylic toe-nail broke off just after my wedding and she opened the salon on the Monday night before we headed to the airport to go on honeymoon so I wouldn’t have a gammy looking toe in flip-flops! Now that was superb customer care, and an outstanding example of the service they provide. Each and every one of the nail technicians/therapists who work there are super-friendly, yet professional (I know I am just mentioning Julija but I have always been her client since day one, but on occasion when she is on holidays I have been to the other girls and I would have no hesitation recommending them too as they are equally as brilliant). I love having the chat with Julija too – we yap away throughout the treatment and the time flies by.

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Not only do they offer nail treatments,  they also offer a full range of beauty services – waxing, facials, massage, lash and brow treatments and they also have a sun-bed. I haven’t availed of any of the beauty treatments as I do most of my own bits and bobs or my sister does them for me as she is also a qualified beautician. She loves when I visit as I have a list for her!! But I know in Bagira salon they are very busy too with beauty treatments as I see the clients coming and going for their their appointments. And they are also expanding further and offering some new services soon, so watch this space and I’ll keep you posted.

The other great benefit of this salon is the location and you can avail of free car-parking as they are located in Monksland (close by Super Valu and The Athlone Springs Hotel) so you can pick up your shopping or pop into the Athlone Springs for lunch/coffee, or if you are like me you can run into Roma for the nicest bag of chips if you have a late appointment!

So if you want to get your nails done for holidays, for the Summer, for an occasion or just a treat, I would highly, highly recommend Bagira salon…but I would also advise booking well in advance as they are extremely busy.

Follow them on facebook.com/BagiraNailBar or you will find them at Suite 1aA, Block C, Gateway Tuam Rd, Monksland, Athlone. Phone: 085-1383012

I hope the sun comes back to see us later…but while it’s hiding I’m going to hit the road to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre for a little look!

Chat soon and have a great week.

Tanya x

Note: I offered to write this blog-post for Bagira Nail Salon – I wasn’t paid or given a treatment. I genuinely believe these girls do a great job and as I am a regular customer for the last 8 years I wanted to give them a shout out on my blog!

Quote nails

Happy Little Piggies!

Hello there ladies

I hope your week is going well…

I’m having a bit of a mad one and I am literally running around like a crazy woman…in heels, I’d like to add!

Being the short-ass I am, I do wear heels every day. But on saying that I love nothing more than kicking them off the minute I come in the door in the evening, jumping into the shower and then walking around bare-foot for the rest of the evening. And as I mentioned before the colder the tiles on the floor, the better! Sometimes I soak my feet in a basin of warm water with some peppermint foot-soak or peppermint oil (see pic). Oh, and there are no ‘feet healing’ benefits in the wine but while one is relaxing, one should treat oneself!

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For long days in heels (say like a wedding) I would always suggest you wear your heels in advance especially if they are new shoes to break them in – nothing worse than hobbling around like a new born calf on the day of a wedding…not a good look for guests, and worse if you are the bride!

Never, ever take off your shoes during the meal of a wedding – I learned that the hard and painful way at my brother’s wedding. I thought my feet would have a nice little break under the table during the meal but eh, no…your feet will expand and then you have to put them back into the shoes, and this is torture!  Of course I stuffed my feet back into 5 inch heels and after a few hours of dancing they actually bled! Thank god for the old G&T – it must have acted like an anaesthetic! I have great memories of that wedding despite the ‘feet drama’ and I literally have the scars to prove it!

Speaking of anaesthetics…when I am going to an event now where I know I will be a while in heels, I pop on some topical numbing gel like difene or nurofen gel – we all have some in the back of a first-aid kit when we were prescribed it for an injury. So my tip is to slather this all over the soles of your feet before you head off and it will numb the pain. Ensure you let it dry before putting your feet in the shoes, and be careful not to mess up the tan if you are wearing instant tan.

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Also, another trick is to use medical tape around your toes. If you tape your 3rd and 4th toes together this will alleviate the pressure on the ball of your foot when wearing heels. I read this years ago and I’m not sure why it’s those two toes, but  I’ve done it, and it works!

Also while I’m on the subject of heels I  recently purchased new shoes and much to my dismay they were too big – I have size 2/2.5 feet so it’s a disaster getting shoes to fit.  I usually buy a full insole or a gel insole when I buy size 3 shoes. I find with the full insole my shoes end up pinching my feet, and with the  gel insoles (the little half ones – the ‘party feet’ type) they seem to come out the side of my shoe. (So  there I am running along and my gel insole is hanging out the side of my shoe – the state of me sometimes haha). Anyway, recently I bought these fab size 3 shoes in River Island – I thought I’d never get them and they were reduced from €87 to €30 in the sale. Bargain! Sadly they were too big and after saying I was returning them I was contacted by two lovely ladies from Paul Byron Shoes in Athlone through snap-chat who suggested I buy half insoles. So in I went immediately and bought them – €2! The biz. Now unfortunately these particular shoes were still too big and ten pairs of insoles wouldn’t have worked but I am using them in all my other shoes and they are just brilliant. Thanks ladies…I’ll be in for more soon.

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€2 half insoles in Paul Byron Shoes, Athlone – the biz! Thanks ladies x

 

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Awh they were sadly returned…

 

So there you go –  a few of my little tips and tricks for looking after your piggies!

Later heelaholics.

T x

feet image

But first…foundation!

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Hi ladies,

It’s Friday and it’s a 3 day weekend…woohoo!

This evening I wanted to write a short blog-post about choosing your foundation. These days we are all glued to our favourite bloggers and you-tube tutorials and we feel we ‘need’ to have the foundation they recommend. Of course, hands up, I am as guilty as the rest and I am as easily led, but I have to say I am a little bit more cautious about just running out and buying the latest ‘must-have’ one!

Consider a few of the below points before you buy a new foundation…

Age: Are you the same age as the person promoting the foundation? I remember when I was in my 20’s I could slap any type of foundation on my skin and it looked flawless (well I thought it did anyway). As we get older our skin changes and we may be looking for a different type of coverage (gone are the days of the Max Factor pan-stick  rolled all over our faces!! Oh the good old ‘Nouveau Beige’!).

Skin type:  Remember different foundations are suitable for different skin types so just because it suits one person, it may not suit you.  Any beautician will carry out a skin analysis for you, so just ask the next time you are in a salon.

Marketing: Lots of bloggers, make-up artists and tv programmes are paid to promote a specific foundation they receive from PR companies. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing as they are just another marketing tool that companies use, similar to placing an advert in a glossy magazine, but more effective these days. I would suggest that you follow this person’s blog for a little longer and see if they continue to use the product and then you will see the transparency. Is it just an advertising campaign they are paid to do or a product they genuinely do love?

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So the reason I am writing this blog is because I recently purchased the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation  – of course it’s constantly mentioned by all the top bloggers and make-up artists and that’s how it came on my radar a few months ago. But I did my research on it and I do see alot of beauty bloggers continuously wearing it, so I thought I’d give it a whirl! (If it’s good enough for Pippa, Marissa Carter, Triona McCarthy, but to name a few, it’s worth a try)

Since I mentioned I got it though, I have had so many people asking me what it’s like, saying they are going to buy it and asking me what shade I bought as they will buy the same!! Eh, hang onto your purse for a minute…we are not all clones of me!! God help us all if we were! 😂

Before you fork out your well- earned cash I’ve listed a a few tips on ‘how to buy foundation’ and this applies to all brands and budgets!

  1. Decide firstly if the foundation you are going to buy will be an every-day foundation . At this price (€45 for Giorgio Armani) it won’t be for me! I wear make-up every single day and I couldn’t justify the price of replacing it frequently. That’s a very important factor to consider – the price!
  2. If it’s a night-time/occasion-wear only foundation, you could likely be wearing tan too, so remember that when choosing your shade. Now, you don’t want a big dark head but maybe a half shade or one shade darker than your day-time make-up.
  3. I NEVER test foundation on my arm/wrist/back of my hand….sure why would I? I don’t wear foundation there? Do you? And your skin tone and texture is totally different. If testing foundation on yourself, put a small amount along your jaw-line.
  4. If you don’t already know this, you can book a full make-up application at most of the department stores make-up counters which is free with the purchase of 2 products. So if you are going to an event why don’t you do that? Then you get the face done and you can buy  the foundation and maybe the lippy to top up during the day/night. It will cost a bit more than getting a make-up application done in a beauty salon, but you do leave with 2 products.
  5. Alternatively, you can ask for a small amount to be put on your face and then maybe go off for an hour and review how it looks before you buy. If you don’t have time to do this, most make-up counters give out samples so don’t be afraid to ask…’try before you buy!’ I can’t stress how important it is to check out your foundation in natural daylight. Department store/pharmacy lighting can either be dimmed down/too bright so after application you should walk towards the door with a mirror – the girls on the counter will give you one!

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Finally, this is my top tip and what I did when buying my foundation. I brought the foundations I currently use into the Giorgio Armani counter to do a colour match. These are ones I always use and re-purchase, so I know I am happy with the colour. My every-day foundation is the L’oreal Colour Match and my ‘going out’ foundation is the Lancome Visionnaire (hard to beat,  I might add). The make-up artist popped a blob of each of my foundations on a make-up pallet and then we colour matched the most suitable Armani Luminous Silk shade to those and then I popped it on my face to confirm I was happy with it. Turns out my colour is 3.5 and it’s perfect for me.

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I have to say so far I am loving it. It has buildable natural -looking coverage and while I can’t say it has a ‘dewy’ finish on my dry skin it certainly is ‘glowy’! You would know upon application it is a higher-end brand as it applies seamlessly and moves easily on the skin.  I wore it last Sunday during the day (on a very tired head, so it was hard to review it then) and I did wear it one of the days this week to work to see how long lasting it was, and I must say I was very impressed. It was roughly slopped on at 6.15am and still looked pretty good at 7pm (without any top-up). I have a  few night’s out planned  for May so it’ll be well road-tested then!

Remember you don’t have to spend the world on your foundation – find one that suits your needs, your budget and your skin type and always try before you buy!

Have a fabulous weekend x

T 💖 x 13081953_10207413694793409_1649392965_n