Thursday, 19 November 2015

Beauty - Natural Collection Eyeliner, Lipstick and Lipgloss Review

Hi everyone, and welcome back to my blog!

Natural Collection is one of a few make-up collections exclusive to Boots.

If you're as broke ass and on a budget as myself, you'll be keen to try out this range, as every product is less than £2/€3 and there's often 3 for 2 offers available. But is it any good is the question we all want to know?

Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black'
First thing's first about this brand - it is quite basic. The packaging is nothing too fancy at all, basically white or black with the brand name written on the front and a few sentences detailing what it is and that it is all of natural ingredients (well I'd like to think are as natural as possible). It is dermatologically  tested (if it gets in your eye it won't sting the absolute bejaysus out of you!) and has no fragrance either, which means if you have extremely sensitive/dry/troubled skin, you should definitely try out at least one of these products!

The smell off this liquid eyeliner is quite unusual, it weirdly smells a little bit like fake tan. The brush is super thin as can see from the picture to allow for easy application which to be honest is nothing short of a godsend if you're unfortunate enough to have clumsy and shaky hands like myself. The lasting power surprisingly is amazing for the price paid! My eyes water sometimes due to my frequent wearing of contact lenses and yet this baby stays on and won't run - no panda eyes yay! But I did find the product's consistency to be slightly watery so I really would advise applying the eyeliner line first, then repeating the process and going over it to make sure it looks really defined and more there than just barely there. It costs £1.99/€2.79 for 8ml.

Moisture Shine Lipstick in 'Rose Bud':
I've been on the hunt for a natural looking, everyday, easy-to-wear lipstick for quite a while so the next thing to try in the range was obviously this lippy! Again, basic packaging.  It applies very smoothly to the lips and has no yukky taste, horrible smell and no irritation.
This one looks very pink in the tube, but it's actually quite wearable and is actually the same colour as your lips. It's super soft and moisturises too. Great buy. It costs £1.99/€2.79.

Juicy Lips Lipgloss
As the name suggests, this lipgloss smells like juicy fruit (not the chewing gum, like actual juicy fruit, strawberries most likely!). It applies very smoothly to the lips, doesn't drag across the lips at all like many more expensive products do. Most importantly, it tastes unreal, good enough to eat actually (but please don't eat it!). It looks very natural on, so suitable partner for your dramatic eye makeup looks or for everyday wear, and the staying power is pretty amazing too! It costs £1.99/€2.79.

Instagram and Twitter feeds are to the right of your screen if you're on a laptop, and here is my facebook page link:

Thanks for reading everyone!

Shelly xxx

Friday, 13 November 2015

"My Happy Place" in association with

Hi everyone!
For their 'Mind Yourself' campaign, I was asked by (online version of an Irish newspaper), to discuss my "happy place".

Everyone's happy place is different.

For me, it's the beach.

Not any beach, mind. My local beach in situated in the small, quiet town of Enniscrone in County Sligo in the west of Ireland holds a special place of importance in my heart. No other beach seems to compare, quite frankly.

If the sun was ever kind enough to make a rare apperance in summer-time in Ireland, that's where myself and my family used to always go to, as the beach is approximately less than fifteen minutes drive away from where my home house is. The sun would be cramping and distressful elsewhere, but at the beach the temperature was off-setted by the cool, salty Atlantic Ocean air.

When I walk out onto the beach, I feel calm. Life goes round us in a frantic blur, so it's always a good idea to just stop and remember to breathe sometimes. It helps massively as a stress reliever and I used to frequent the beach a lot when I was busy revising for my final year school and college exams. Hearing the rhythmic pulse of the ocean waves is so peaceful. Having a quick walk on the beach and also around the pier worked all sorts of wonders for my physical and mental states.

When I was feeling down about life, it helped me to gain some perspective. Life appears difficult, crazy and often unfair... until you witness a beautiful Enniscrone sunset, and you wonder why you were ever down in the first place! It makes me appreciate that I can see, that I'm alive, that I can witness such beauty. So many are not in the fortunate way that I am, and I am grateful for it. It's a reminder that it's the little things that are important in life.

When I'm there, I remember with fondness growing up around the beach and the memories connected with the beach.

I remember the memories I had there during the summers as a child. Bucket and spade in hand, making a sandcastle. Flying a kite and watching the colours of the fabric float gently in line with the clouds. Getting an ice-cream cone with a 99 flake from the ice-cream van that was parked precariously on the edge of the shore (even though it would be near melted by the time you'd get back to your place on the beach!). Running into the water and splashing friends and family with the water was the best laugh and I remember some of my time spent at this beach as the happiest time of my childhood.

It was for all of these reasons that, before I left for Dublin Airport to get a flight so I could begin university studies in the UK, there was not another place that I most wanted to spend my last evening in Ireland. It did not disappoint, obviously. The sunset was amazing and I left the beach with a smile on my face, well ready for my new adventure. I'm really looking forward to going there when I'm back home in Ireland at Christmas-time.

For more information on this lovely beach, please do check out the website (though this is not a promotional blogpost by any means):

Thanks for reading everyone! The photos featured in this blogpost are my own, please give credit if you wish to re-publish.

Please do not hesitate to interact with me on my social media sites, which are to the right of the screen if you're on a laptop! xx

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Fashion - Primark Haul!

Hi everyone! :) If you follow any of my social media sites, you'll know that on Monday night my little blog reached a major milestone and finally made it to a whopping 10,000 views. Wow, that's crazy! Needless to say, I'm very grateful for the support, and when I started blogging only eight months ago in March I thought no-one would be interested in it, so thank you so much for taking the time out to read and support my blog. Here's to the next 10,000 views! In celebration, I started tweaking some elements of the blog last week to make it a bit easier for you guys to find me on my social media sites, as I only publish a  blogpost every few days but I post on Twitter and Instagram quite a bit! You can access these at the right of the post.

Anyways, my blog today features my Primark haul from a few weeks ago. Apart from the few things I brought over to uni with me from Ireland in September, and a few bits here and there, I haven't really bought many clothes for myself recently. There's no Primark where I'm living in Cumbria and although there's a New Look, it's more than a bit on the expensive side; grand for a few emergency pieces of clothes like interview wear, but you wouldn't exactly get much change back from £50 to shop in there. In short, I've been looking like a hobo around university; I don't think anyone there that's seen me the last few weeks would guess I'm a fashion blogger! So I took a very necessary trip down to Preston a few weeks back and took full advantage of the Primark there.

Preston is a city in Lancashire and is about an hour and a half away from Carlisle. It's an average sized place really; slightly bigger and busier than Carlisle but less busier than let's say, Manchester or Liverpool by far. The Primark there is big enough, not as big as the Primark (Penneys) that's in my home town in Ireland but a decent size. After over a month of not being in a Primark, I got a little distracted at first and quickly forgot about my shopping list I had scribbled down in my diary prior to the visit (always the way!). But I did manage to get a good few bits of clothes for myself. I'm not going to include the prices, but I did give my debit card a good battering as they say in there. I'm not one to spend a lot of money in one go, but I won't be in a Primark until I come to Ireland at Christmas time and I did spend my earned wages on the clothes, so I like to think of it as treating myself.

Anyways, I guess you want to see what I bought...

First thing up is a bright yellow neon hoodie. I had a complete lack of hoodies in my wardrobe, and needed something to just throw on if I'm late for uni (or can't be bothered to make an effort!) and this fits the bill. I really liked the bright yellow colour too, it's so eye-catching and may even be as good as coffee to help to wake me up in the mornings!

Item two is a pair of dark blue skinny jeans. I brought some of my jeans over with me, but I think I've ranted before about Primark's skinny jeans; they have stretched in the wash and aren't so skinny anymore. I hate it when skinny jeans become slightly baggy; they just lose all appeal in my eyes. So I needed a new pair that I can team with a jumper or a top.

Item three and four are just plain white T-shirt vests. I must have brought at least five of these over from Ireland and bought another three in New Look when I came over, but I had a bit of a misfortune with the washing machine a few weeks back in which I stupidly put all my clothes into the wash together and mixed these with dark blue jeans. Obviously, they came out light blue and were pretty much ruined (silly me, better not do that with my white placement uniform!). These are really handy wear under a shirt or a jumper on these chilly mornings.

Item five is a pair of purple tracksuit pants. Again, like the hoodie, these are just basics that are easy to throw on if I'm lazing around the house or if I can't be arsed to get done up for uni in the mornings.

Item six is a 2-in-1 shirt and grey jumper top.  I must confess; I've had my eye on this one for a while! I fell in love with it when I was still back home in Ireland but hadn't the spare monies back then to buy it - devestated! I think it's super super cute and can't wait to wear it with jeans, boots and a leather jacket.

Item seven is a brown faux-suede skirt. I really have a lack of skirts in my wardrobe and thought this one looked super cute. I'm looking forward to teaming this with a pair of tights, a cute top and black boots in the coming weeks.

Item eight is a tartan scarf. I brought some scarves over with me from Ireland, but they were really thin ones, which won't keep out the chill these days! I really think this one is so cute and it's so soft too!

Item nine is a boho-inspired playsuit that was actually reduced to just five pounds so I had to! No, I really had to! Even though it's obviously a summer outfit (hence the reduction), I really think it will work well for the cooler months teamed with a pair of thick tights, boots, a scarf and a warm jacket.

Item ten is just a basic T-shirt - black and white stripes. Good for wearing under a jumper or a hoodie or just lazing around the house.

Item eleven is this really cute monochrome top I just fell in absolute love with (who needs a boyfriend when you have clothes this cute?!). Black and white is a colour combination that is so effortlessly classic and I thought the bow tie neck detail was just too adorable to not have.

Item twelve is a wooly forest green (looks black in my idiotic phone camera's photo!) polo-neck jumper that is just so snuggly and cosy. Perfect for chilly days!

Item thirteen is this white jumper with navy stripes, which is a nod to the nautical trend. I thought it was super cute and had immediate visions of paring it with red lippy (as if I needed an excuse to wear red lippy!).

Item fourteen is a black and white striped skirt that goes to my knee. If you couldn't tell already, I love wearing black and white and this striped skirt also gives a nod to the nautical trend (more red lippy!).

Item fifteen is a checked shirt. I have some shirts in my wardrobe already, but as they were bought during the 'warmer' months (in Ireland that means when the rain gets warmer, we don't get much sun, poor us!), they're not really appropiate for wearing now unless you have five vests and T-shirts on underneath! This one is slightly thicker so warmer for the changing season. I love wearing checked shirts, I think they're easy to just throw on with a leather jacket and look sooo effortless!

Item sixteen is a pair of patterned trousers. This is another item I've just wanted to buy for so long. I constantly see these trousers online and really wanted to invest! Surprise surprise, it's also black and white! I can't wait to wear these on a night out with a cute top, high heels and my trusty leather jacket!

Item seventeen is a pair of eyelashes by Primark beauty. I've used many of their eyelashes before, but I haven't seen these 'Intense' style in any store in Ireland I've ever visited so had to invest! I'll have to try them out soon and let you know my thoughts...

The last few items are some makeup brushes. Just before I left for England, Primark brought out their make up brushes and I didn't feel like buying more at the time, but I've heard these ones are all right so decided to give them a go for myself! I picked up the blusher brush, the liquid foundation brush, the concealer brush and the eyeshadow/concealer brush. I hope to do a seperate blog post on these guys once I use them over the next few weeks and let you know what I think!

Hope you enjoyed my Primark haul! Happy shopping!! xx

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Thoughts: Social Media - The Great Illusion

Following on from my blogpost about women's rights being restricted in Ireland (if you want to check that out please do so HERE), I have decided to do a blogpost every so often about my opinion on an issue in the news. (I'll try not to rant, and be as objective as possible).

So this blogpost was inspired by a news article I came across during the week, in which an Australian model named Essena O'Neill made the decision to shut down all her social media sites, like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc. As it was ironically flooding pretty much every form of social media I use, I decided to check out the article and the reasons behind it. Basically, she explained she shut down her social media sites because she felt it was "fake" and "an illusion". She said that people saw her as this "blond, confident model" but behind the scenes she was a "lonely and depressed teenager".

Of course, the critics waded in, claiming she just did it for attention and maybe she has done, as it did propel her from a virtual unknown only really known in the land down under to all over the globe, but whatever her reasons for doing what she did, it did get me thinking about social media. Initially, Facebook was created as a means of communication between people, Twitter was created for a similar (albeit, shorter!) reason, and Instagram was created as a visual way of communication. In many ways, it has greatly improved the way we live. Just before I moved over, my Dad spoke about when he was in my situation when he was in his twenties, having moved from Ireland to England. The only form of communication he had with family members was a letter every few months. Telephones were not as common as they are now and mobile phones didn't come into existence until decades later. Needless to say, there was no such thing as Skype or even a computer, so he didn't see them at all until he actually travelled home occasionally to see them in the flesh. Compare it with my experience today; having moved over to England, I have Facebook to keep in contact with family members friends in Ireland as well as well as my new classmates, Skype to see my family and friends back home and Instagram allows me to communicate my visual experiences of my new life here as well as seeing a visual representation of my friends and families life back home, every one of these accessible through my mobile phone.

As a blogger, I find social media invaluable for reaching my target audience. I'm not so keen on Facebook, as it only allows a few to see your posts at any one time unless if you have plenty of money to fork out (which needless to say as a student, I don't have), but I'm very active on Twitter and Instagram and as well as promoting my blog on these forms of social media, it's great to interact with other bloggers, who are for the most part very supportive and encouraging.

There is however the flip side of the coin, which is in a nutshell is what led O'Neill to her social media exit. I'm not going to discuss cyber bullying here; I feel like that's an issue so big that a whole blog dedicated to it couldn't even do it justice. And I'm also not going to go into how it's a huge method of distraction and procrastination tool. I, for one, have not been under any illusions since I've started using social media, especially Facebook, that it's just that: an illusion. It's human nature to highlight your best bits and leave out the not-so-good bits, which is why you're more likely to see a university graduation snap rather than someone making the emotional decision to drop out of university (for whatever reason). You're more likely to post a snap of a "lovely" family photo rather than the photo where the young kids have been arguing. You're more likely to take a selfie with full make up and a pretty dress on rather than one with no makeup and your pyjamas on. You use an Instagram or a Snapchat filter because your skin isn't so good. We've all been there, myself included, I'll hold my hands up and admit to that. But we need to take a step back an odd time and realise that this is not necessarily "real" life at all. 

Some people have an addiction to social media, and feel they can't "function" without it. The addiction to likes, the addiction to having a huge number of Facebook "friends". Lonliness and isolation and the struggle with identity of self and where you fit in (especially as a teenager) means that social media is something that people cling to that they feel will provide them with some stability and a means of belonging. Everything from a new relationship to a new job is posted online. Growing up, it was something that tended to frustrate me. Why did people I did not percieve as being nice have more Facebook friends than me? Why did this girl get more likes than me on Instagram? These are insignificant matters now, and the days where I used to get frustrated if my selfie didn't get more likes on Facebook or Instagram are now thankfully gone and buried with the rest of my teenage years. Today I only add people as Facebook friends if I genuinely like them (I have to really like them if they tend to post a lot!) and ignore the other requests, and I won't take it personally if my selfie doesn't reach 200 likes on Facebook.

I have made no secret of the fact I find the way mental illness is addressed on social media is insufficient to say the very least. I remember some years ago watching a YouTube clip by the comedian Kevin Breel, in which he spoke in a similar way to O'Neill, in which he said that he thought that mental health was not being addressed on social media, because it's "not fun, it's not light" and as a result people just don't see the severity of it. People would rather speak about cancer it seems, and before you jump down my throat, I'm not pitting both against one another; they are both horrible diseases to be faced with, and I speak as someone whose family member has gone through cancer - but why are we more likely to talk about one than the other on social media? This in my eyes only creates a world where people who are suffering with a mental illness feel like they cannot admit their problems, which only threatens to make the problem ten times worse. I, for one have been trying to be more vocal with my own issues with mental illness on social media - however emotionally difficult it is - because I feel it might encourage someone else to feel that they are not alone, but I feel sometimes like I'm the only one that does it and I often feel discouraged when I get more views for other blogposts about fashion or makeup than writing about my experiences with an invisible illness of the mind. I believe that social media plays a prominent part in mental illness; not so much causing it but definitely not helping it. I mean, how many times have you innocently scrolled through your Facebook feed in a bad mood, only to see something that makes you feel more down, be it a photo of the guy you like with his new girlfriend, or a picture of someone younger than you graduating when you haven't really decided what you're doing with your life. I'd go as far as to say that it literally changes your mood in an instant. We start to compare our real life situations with other people's highlight reel. The issue of jealousy stemming from one's use with social media is something that has undergone several studies, but you don't need any expert to tell you this. Social media jealousy ends up fragmenting relationships and friendships, which is pretty much the opposite aim of why it was created in the first place!

Ironically, as people spend more and more time online and we tend to live in a fast paced, commerical world, it's easier to communicate with others through an online group or message than actually making the time to meet up with the person in "real" life, leading to feelings of loneiness and isolation.

 To read more about Essena's story see:

To check out the Kevin Breel YouTube clip I mentioned, see:

Hope you enjoyed this post!

As always do not hesitate to check out my social media links (the irony, I know!!)

Snapchat: shellfoody92

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Beauty - Superdrug Haul featuring Collection, Make Up Academy, Make Up Revolution & Beauty UK

Hi everyone!

I popped into Superdrug a few weeks ago and got a few make up related things there. As I'm primarily a budget blogger, I decided to try out some of the budget brands that were there. Some of these brands I'll mention Irish readers may not know about, I'm not sure are they available in Ireland as well as in the UK.

Collection Lasting Perfection 16 Hour Ultimate Wear Foundation
I couldn't bring liquids on the plane over here so that unfortunately meant that my Rimmel Match Perfection foundation I'd usually wear for day time (see review of that product HERE), was left behind in my bedroom in Ireland (sob!). So obviously the most essential piece of makeup I needed to buy was a new foundation. (the other make up I bought that I'm going to discuss in this blogpost was purely me being distracted quite easily in Superdrug!). I decided to try out the brand Collection as I had never used it before and I'm always open to trying out new brands. Collection is a British produced brand but is available in Boots in Ireland as well as here in the UK (though for some reason I had never tried any of the brand out while in Ireland). This foundation claims to last for 16 hours, provide 'flawless coverage' and 'minimize imperfections'. The packaging says it contains SPF 20 which is always good to have (even in British rainy weather!) and claims to be oil free also. I tried this out the next day after I bought it. To test the lasting power of it, I tried it out with very little setting powder. My skin is usually not very oily, but after just a few hours of wearing this foundation I saw that it had become particulary oily. I have tried to use it with quite a bit of powder but I just don't like applying too much powder - I think it looks a bit cakey - but with this foundation I felt like I had to.
Another thing I really disliked about this product was the shading. Even though Ivory is the perfect shade for me throughout pretty much every make-up range, this foundation in Ivory looked more than a little orange on my face. I try not to buy the lightest shade in any foundation, because it tends to make me look drained and washed out more than I look at the minute, but with this one really had to because I was walking around uni looking like one of the Oompa Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Even so whilst wearing the Porcelain shade, it still ended up slightly orange on my face, which means I can no longer use the two foundations I shelled out over £13 for altogether - ugh! I don't know is this related to stress or what I'm eating, but I did notice while I was wearing this that I kept breaking out in new blemishes every single day!
I am keen to try out the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer  though - it's nearly always out of stock here and it's meant to amazing, so when that comes back into stock I'll have to buy it and chat a bit about it! But as for this foundation - it's a definite no no for me!

Collection Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner

I couldn't find my usual liquid eyeliner - Essence Liquid Eyeliner - when I first moved to the UK due to the amount of bags and clothes I was trying to sort out, so I bought this one, which is also by the Collection brand I've mentioned above. This eyeliner is a bit of a strange one. It does have quite a sharp point to allow for better definition and precision which is great if you're desiring a really defined cat eye liner effect, but I just found that when I was applying it, it was a bit too sharp and slightly sore on my sensitive eyelid. I'd much prefer a brush tip like with the Essence one (which I eventually did find by the way!) that is softer which doesn't irritate the delicate eyelid skin as much. Once on though, the lasting time for this eyeliner is average really - it doesn't last too well with watering eyes and smudges before the day is out. It set me back £2.99.

Make Up Academy Mega Volume Mascara

Make Up Academy is a mega affordable brand here but unfortunately for my lovely Irish readers this budget makeup brand is only available in the UK (soz!). The makeup stand in Superdrug caught my eye as much of their products only cost about a pound each, which is enough to make even the most hard-pressed for cash student stop and have an auld look! Because of the cheap price, the packaging is understandably very basic - all plastic and looks like it would break quite easily. However, I picked up this mascara, at just £3 I figured I hadn't much to lose. This mascara has a good brush size, with tiny bristles which ensure that every lash is coated. It wears off within a few hours, which means it won't win any beauty awards anytime soon, but is still a good day time mascara for a very subtle makeup look. I would advise to layer a few coats of mascara if you're after a noticeable effect at all, i.e. apply a coat, wait for it to dry and then add another or another if you want, depending on how dramatic you want to go, but do note that you won't get the false lash effect with this guy.

Make Up Academy Translucent Pressed Powder.

This is literally the worst ever powder I have ever tried! I applied a small amount the first day I used it to see what it was like but combined with the Collection foundation above, it made my face look like a good place to fry an egg on! I applied a bit more the next day but it just made my face look super cakey and I hate the look of cakey powder on my face and even though with a lot applied it doesn't seem to fufil it's role of setting foundation all that well! I did only pay £1 for it so really wasn't expecting much but my Primark Loose powder was €2.50 (which isn't too much more expensive when you convert it into pounds - £1.43), and that to me was a far better product.

Makeup Revolution Focus and Fix Liquid Concealer

Makeup Revolution is another budget British makeup brand that I was interested in trying out. This concealer was affordable at £2 so I said I may as well give it a go. I thought this concealer was only just all right. It's nothing too amazing, quite average really. I found that I had to add a lot of product to get it to even have any effect in covering up my dark circles (and compared to other times in my life, my dark circles at the moment aren't even that bad). As for trying to conceal spots, I felt a foundation worked much better.  Having said that though, Make up Revolution is a brand that I really want to try out more over the coming months. Their eyeshadow palettes are dupes for the Urban Decay Naked palettes, and are only £4, which truth be told was what really attracted me to the brand!

Beauty UK Lipstick

This is a budget beauty brand but as you may have guessed by the name, is only avaliable in the UK. I got it in the shade 'Passion', which is this beautiful pink shade as you can see and applies very smoothly to the lips and has a peppermint smell. It does last if you don't eat or drink anything, so you would need to constantly reapply. By the end of the day it turns to a pink liptint which I actually found to be a lot more wearable so it doesn't vanish completely. It does normally retail at £3.20, but I got it for a reduced price of a pound.

Hope you enjoyed this post! xx

As always do not hesitate to check out my social media links:

Snapchat: shellfoody92