Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Banana Bread Recipe

Before and After!
  • 285g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 110g butter plus extra for greasing loaf tin
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 ripe bananas (I used 3)
  • 85 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
The fun part:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  2. Sieve in flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy in a separate bow. To cream means basically use a mixer.
  4. Add eggs, banana, milk and vanilla to the butter and sugar. Mix well. Then add to the flour mixture and fold in well, basically mix it all up with a wooden spoon until it has a smooth consistency
  5. Grease a loaf tin, spoon the mixture in and bang it in the oven until it is golden brown and well risen.
Estimated baking time: 1 hour
Remove from oven, place on wire rack to cool before turning it out, slicing it up and digging in!
You can swap out the milk for some orange juice, 175 ml.
To make it festive and Christmassy, sieve in some nutmeg and cinnamon with the flour.
Serve with honey, butter or extra bananas!
Let me know how you get on, happy baking!



Thursday, 19 December 2013

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide for Girls!

Clockwise from Left:

1. Cari's Closet earrings and bangle €39. 20% off for a limited time only plus free delivery. Order before Friday 2pm to get in time for Christmas Day!

2. Sarah G Cosmetics 10 concealer palette a must have for contouring, highlightin and concealing. A cheaper version than the sold out Crown Brush palette and it comes highly recommended from Suzanne Jackson of So-Sue-Me Blog. £12 plus delivery costs. Available at

3. Bia Beauty Feed Your Face gift set. Contains all you need for a Bia Beauty facial: Mellow Mandarin Moisturiser, Orange & Grapefruit Exfoliating Cleanser, Stop the Clock Eye Gel, and Lime Pie lip balm. This retails at €50. If you would like something more pocket friendly, the trial size Bitesize gift set is a must have with almost the same products, except replacing the lip balm with Skin Superfood, a miracle product for all skin issues. Bitesize Gift Set retails at €9.95.

4. Yankee Candle in large glass jar, Sugared Apple or Christmas Cookie would make gorgeous Christmas scents. €13.99 in all good pharmacies.

5. So Sue Me, a must have for any female, aged 13-30 a makeup, style and beauty bible. Available in Easons for €19.99. A very inspiring read.

6. And of course, no gift guide would be complete without the Naked 3 palette. €44 available in Debenhams.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

How to: Match your Foundation to your Skintone

Sometimes even Barbie gets it wrong...
The hardest thing in makeup is getting your base right. Once you have a flawless base it doesn't take a whole lotta work to look good. We have all been there, orange face and white neck because the beauty counter lady asked us did we want to "match our skintone or go a few shades darker?" YES, OF COURSE I WANT TO MATCH MY SKINTONE, NO I AM NOT AUDITIONING AS A OOMPA LOOMPA.
A lot of people forget that these are sales people, not trained makeup professionals although some might be, so realistically they couldn't care less if you look good as long as you buy their product.
I recently was giving my Aunt a makeup lesson, and a sales girl had sold her possibly the worst match of a foundation for her skin type in all mankind. Now my aunty,god bless her, doesn't know a lot about makeup and she is the type where they see her coming. She is a professional woman with money to spend on makeup and then has the "so-called" best of brands. This brand in particular was a Laura Mercier mousse like foundation, which gave extremely heavy coverage and was a shade called sunny beige.
The coverage of this foundation was absolutely ridiculous it gave a mask like effect. The shade was also about three shades to dark for her skin. I applied two liquid foundations, a mix of Collection in Biscuit and MAC Studio finish in NC40 and this formed her perfect match.

How to get your perfect match:
  • Find out your skin type. Dry, oily, combination. Dry/Normal skin will be suited to liquid foundations, whereas oily skin is more suited to a cream compact foundation or a mineral foundation.
  • Is your skin more pinky or yellowy toned? Irish skin tends to have a lot of pink tones in it, so if you want to colour correct and get rid of rednesss either use a green concealer on redness or a yellow based foundation.
  • Test your foundation against a clean makeup free jawline in good lighting with a flat foundation brush.
  • Blend the foundation on your jawline, if it is your perfect match it will melt into your skin seamlessly and provide a natural all over base, with no contrast between the face and neck.

  • Try in harsh lighting at a cosmetic counter.
  • Buy the first one the salesgirl recommends, ask for a tester. All good counters should provide one.
  • Rush out and buy new foundation if you have an expensive brand that doesn't match up. Buy a cheaper foundation in a few shades lighter, mix the two and you have your custom colour.
Et voila, flawless skin!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Battle Of The Beauty Brands

Primer: Personally I don't use one everyday, but I have tried Laura Mercier hydrating primer, Inglot primer, Nivea hydrating primer and MUA pro base primer.
The Laura Mercier is the overall winner, I think the Nivea primer was also fantastic at keeping my makeup on. The Inglot primer felt lovely and velvety but I don't think made much of a difference and the MUA primer didn't rate at all.

Foundation: I have tried a multitude of foundations. My most favourite is Maybelline Superstay foundation and Mac Studio finish foundation. I love a foundation that is long lasting and gives great coverage. Recently I have been mixing a No7 foundation in Wheat and Collection foundation in Biscuit and finds it suits my skintone when I am wearing fake tan perfectly.

Concealer: MAC!! It is incredible. I also like Benefit Boing Boing.

Powder: Isadora mattifying powder in matte blonde. It is fantastic. Doesn't cake at all.

Blush: I don't wear blush at all, but I find the E.l.f blush and contour palette in light are fantastic on the majority of skintones.

Bronzer: I swear by Essence bronzer for blondes. It smells like Coconut and suits my skintone perfectly.

Mascara: I have tried many the mascara. Max Factor false lash effect, Catrice Millions and Mac False Lash effect are all great, but I have yet to find my HG (Holy Grail) mascara!

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay is my favourite eyeshadow brand for the highly pigmented easy to blend shadows.

Eyeliner:Rimmel, I've tried Inglot, but it doesn't have staying power.

Lipstick: Catrice do great lipsticks, as do Rimmel and I am loving MUA's maxi moisture lippy in Style Transformation.

Lipbalm: Burts Bees! It is fantastic

  • Cleanser/Makeup Remover No7
  • Toner Garnier for sensitive skin
  • Moisturiser: Bia Beauty Skin Superfood and Mellow Mandarin.

What are your Holy Grail beauty products?


Monday, 16 December 2013

Charity Shop Chic

Ladies, it is time to leave your snobbery at the door and embrace "charity shop chic."
I am a long time charity shop enthusiast. I think it is fantastic, being able to buy great quality, hardly worn items of clothing, books or bags at knock down prices. Most of all, the money goes to charity so without even going out of your way, you are automatically giving back.
Nowadays the high streets are awash with charity shops and some are indeed better than others. Some charity shops take no pride in their stock whatsoever and others display their stock fabulously. The best window display of a charity shop I have seen is in Enable Ireland, in Navan, whoever dresses their window does a fantastic job.
I have a problem with so called "vintage" shops. Will people just drop the hipster pretence and admit it is just a hyped up over priced version of a charity shop?
I am not by any means a label whore or a brand junkie but some great quality brands can be found in charity shops. Only recently I was perusing the St. Vincent de Pauls shop on Maynooth main street and I came across two brand new with tags attached Coast dresses. The dresses would be fantastic for a bridesmaid or a debs. The dresses were five euro each. I also found a Karen Millen dress and a French Connection top, pity both were a size eight!
My favourite charity shop bargains are a red trench coat for ten euro which I'll admit I thought was a bit steep for a charity shop, but which suits my figure perfectly and some brand new studded heeled ankle boots for two euro fifty!
I have seen designer handbags, and bought Hollister, Aeropostale and American Eagle tshirts and hoodies.
The book sections aren't too be dismissed either. Brand new biographies, college books, leaving certificate revision books, driver theory test books are all among the one euro selection, save yourself a bomb!
I know people who have gotten their wedding dresses through Barnardos Bridal, and also debs dresses are usually floating about from spring onwards. A lot of styles will be outdated but you just never know when you will find that gem, like a John Rocha dress for fifteen euro.
I am telling you, once you go thrift shopping, you never look back!
My top tips:
1. Go early on in the week, most people donate at weekends.
2. The more affluent the area, the better the brands that are donated.
3. Try everything on! It might have been altered, and you cant return to charity shops although some may offer a swap system
4. Don't buy anything ripped, stained or that doesn't fit perfectly. Don't buy anything from Dunnes or Penneys, the reason you are there is for better quality brands at knockdown prices.
5. Prepare to dig through rails as some charity shops aren't as organised as others.
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Bia Beauty Review: Feed your face!

First thing is first, all I can say is muchas gracias to the blogging goddesses that set me hot upon the trail of Bia Beauty products, the holy grail of all natural skin care products, and best of all #Irish!
Bia Beauty is the brain child and beauty baby of Tracey, a CIT Herbal Science graduate. Basically she makes fantastic organic bits and bobs for your skin.
To start me off on my Bia Beauty obsession I purchased the Bitesize Gift Set RRP €9.95. Absolutely perfect for a stocking filler, Secret Santa pressie or just to try out a mish mash of these wondrous products! You can purchase it here;
My purchase arrived this morning accompanied by a tester of their Apple Blossom body butter, compliments of Tracey! Btw if you are reading this, thanks a mill ;) The Apple Blossom body butter smells like an apple lolly. It has a gorgeous sweet, yet fresh scent that is actually mouthwatering.
I tested all the face products this morning and I have to say the stand out product was the Orange and Grapefruit facial exfoliant and cleanser. It smelt absolutely divine like the tangy orange out of a box of Roses! (Can you tell, I have a bit of a sweet tooth)
I wet my face, scooped out a bit of the deceptively smooth product which turned into a lovely grainy exfoliator on my skin, and cleansed away. My complexion was left looking refreshed and glowing.
The next product which I was so eager to try was the Skin Superfood. I have been having a bit of trouble with my skin of late and as this product is lauded by many a beauty blogger as a skin saviour I thought it would be rude not to give it a whirl.
Bia Beauty claims this is their answer to Sudocrem, a brave quest. This cream is packed full of the skins superfoods, "immortelle, comfrey, calendula, mallow and heartsease." I didn't like the scent of this cream. It has an almost medicinal smell but for an all natural product, perfumes are the one of the things I am not looking out for. It is too early to tell but i think it definitely soothed my skin somewhat.
The Stop the Clock eye gel wouldn't be a must have for me as I am only 20 so I don't yet have those dreaded under eye bags, but I suppose you are never too young to start your anti-ageing routine. This eye gel contains:
AloeVera which cools
Arnica which depuffs the under eye area
Immortelle which renews
Rose which pampers
Myrrh which firms
The consistency was watery but I just patted it on the under eye area and within minutes noticed a tightening of the skin.
I think this tightening of the skin could also have something to do with the Mellow Mandarin moisturiser. It contains mandarin oil which reblances the sebum in the skin. Essentially, it acts like a natural primer!! The consistency was light yet not watery and it went on my skin very smooth.
I am proud to say ladies that after my experience with Bia Beauty, I decided to be a natural beauty myself for the day and head out into the big, bad world with NO MAKEUP ON WHATSOEVER.
And that in itself is a miracle, so thank you Tracey for creating these incredible products that fed my face and my confidence. Keep up the stellar work!
Keep on blogging it beautiful
xoxo Katie

Sunday, 8 December 2013

DIY Christmas Nail Art

Candy cane Christmas nails

Products I used: 
  • Rimmel nail polish in Celebrity bash (red)
  • Rimmel nail polish in Your Majesty (silver)
  • Essence white tip painter 

Technique used: 

1. First I painted all my nails in Rimmel Celebrity bash red, I love all Rimmel's polishes, the pigment and consistency are fab, and the brush coats almost the whole nail in one go so it saves time too :) 

2. I waited for the red coat to dry then taking the tip painter and a small amount of white paint on the brush I drew two strokes going diagonally across the nail. You have to do this quickly so it doesn't get too thick. Don't be precious about it, just swipe the tip painter across diagonally. 

3. Wait for your candy cane stripes to dry, then paint a half moon of silver in the nail beds. I wasn't too neat about this but I think the silver just adds a nice bit of extra sparkle to your Christmas nails. 

Just add a top coat of clear nail varnish and you are good to go! 

 I'd love to see a snap if you follow this tutorial, just link in the comments below.

Keep on blogging it beautiful xoxo 


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Bucketlist: What's on yours?

What's on yours? Bucket lists are lists people write of all the adventures, trips, and skills they want to accomplish or complete before they die. Climb a mountain, visit a volcano, skydive, get a tattoo, fall in love, go on a road trip...these are all common goals.

Ever since I saw the movie The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson I have wanted to create my own bucketlist. It's good to set yourself goals in life and be aware of how much you really can achieve and what exactly it is that you want to get out of life. I know that my number one goal is to simple: be happy.

As the saying goes, life isn't a dress rehearsal. You have to grab every moment and opportunity to do things you only dreamed of. A bucket list in years to come will also be fantastic experiences to share with your own children, your grandkids, and of course an unbeatable life experience to share with whoever you complete some of your bucket list goals with.

My passion in life is to travel and experience different cultures, food and music. I love to speak different languages, I speak Spanish and German on top of English and Irish. I have a lot of travel related things on my bucket list. I want to go to Machu Pichu in Peru and witness an entirely different civilization. I want to be spontaneous and:

I don't want to be one of those people who at the end of their lives are full of what ifs. I want to accomplish goals, pursue my dreams and not live a standard life of living to work. I would love to find my passion so I wouldn't have to call work, work! I think I am already combining them by studying makeup and journalism.

It's evident in my bucket list as two of my goals are as follows:

1. Get an article published in a newspaper or magazine.


2. Do a makeup course, which I am already doing and will have completed next March.

Something that I have always dreamed of since I ever imagined getting married would be to have fireworks at my wedding. I've always loved fireworks and I just think that they would be the most magical thing on the most special day of your life.

What's on your bucket list? Create one at  Leave me a comment below! :)  *This post was inspired by Fiona @dollydowsie *

Monday, 25 November 2013

How to: Create a Smoky Eye

Purple smoky eye, opaque base and nude glossy lips
Products I used:
Base: MUA Shade 1 Matte foundation applied with a flat foundation brush
Contour: ELF Blush & Contour kit in Light
Eyes: Collection gel liner in Black
Sleek vintage romance eyeshadow in Honeymoon in Hollywood
MUA matte black shade
MUA extreme volume mascara in black
Inglot soft precision liner in black
Lips: Catrice Ultimate Colour 010 nude lipstick and nude lipgloss
Method of application:
1. Apple base as normal. This look is for a night out so a cream based foundation is recommended as it will give heavier coverage. The goal is to create an opaque finish yet not make it look like the makeup is caked on. A smoky eye needs perfect seamless skin.
2. Next step is contouring.


To contour simply follow this tutorial on Kimmy K. The white areas are where you take  a lighter foundation or conealer, the darker areas are where you take your sculpting cream.  Mainly contour under the cheekbones. You can do this with a matte brown bronzer or a contour cream. It really makes your cheekbones stand out.
3. The eyes! The most important feature of this look. There will be a lot of fall out due to heavy eyeshadow so you may want to do the eyes first before the base. If not, fold up a tissue and hold in place under the eye so you don't ruin your perfect base!
  • Fill the eye in with your gel liner into a semicircle never go above the crease. It should look like this:

The liner will provide something for the shadow to grip onto, and it is a quick way of building up into a smoky eye if you don't have the time to layer and layer.
  • Then, take your purple shimmery shadow or whichever shade you want to be your pop of colour and press onto the lid taking it above the crease.
  • Blend it out with your matte black shadow to get that smoked out look.
  • Then taking a pencil brush fluff your eyelashes on the bottom with some dark matte brown, and follow on with gel liner on your inner rims.
  • Squeeze eyelids together to smudge.
  • Then simply mascara those lashes and your eyes are good to go!
4. Lightly apply some foundation onto the lips. The taking a good amount of your nude lipstick, blot, reapply, blot, reapply, and add some gloss!
5. Apply some powder for staying power and voila! :)
Hope you enjoyed recreating your smoky eye
Keep on blogging it beautiful

Saturday, 23 November 2013

What do you love about Christmas? #Falala Blogger tag

I love some mulled wine after a bit of ice skating. This little market in Temple Bar used to do absolutely delicious Jack Daniels hot chocolate so either of them! Yum-yum!


I don't think there is anything in particular, but favourite winter food is of course roast dinner!!

Cosy, cosy clothes! Lots of warm knits, a big coat, scarf, hat, gloves, fluffy bedsocks and Uggs!

All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey is my all time favourite, and also Fairytale of New York by the Pogues because I'm Irish and it is a classic. 

 Lip Balm, I use Carmex and Burts Bees and my lips still manage to be chapped! Also handcream, as I usually forget my gloves...Loccitane is great :) 

Home Alone, every time. I also love Christmas with the Kranks and Elf. 

 It's great for a bit, but then it gets a bit tiresome. Doesn't feel like Christmas without it though! Nothing as magical as waking up to a white blanket of snow. 

 Christmas Eve as I love the anticipation and opening a present on Christmas Eve. 


Going Christmas shopping! 

 Makeup, clothes...etc. I'm heading to New York for Christmas :) 

If you love Christmas, why not try the #falala tag ? 

Leave links below so I can see your answers! 

Keep on blogging it beautiful 


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sleek makeup, E.L.F cosmetics & Collection Haul!!

Makeup haul
First of all apologies for the bad picture quality, but my makeup haul is finally here! I ordered things off ELF cosmetics weeks ago and they finally arrived yesterday. I was ecstatic until I saw the lipsticks! Serious thumbs down! :(
I wanted to include a picture of why I didn't like the lipsticks, but it wouldn't upload. They are jammed into their tubes, and the pink one has weird bubbles on it. They are also horrible colours and look like the ones you used to get in those cheap sets when you were younger.
Sorry to start on such a negative note but apart from that I was delighted with the other products I received from Elf cosmetics.
I ordered a makeup artist brush belt which is decent quality, has lots of space for brushes and an adjustable cord to fit the size of the wearer. I can't wait to get use out of this when I am doing some professional MUA work. It is made of a faux leather material which will be great to wipe clean.
St. Lucia blusher and contour cream is next on the list, at just £3.75 it was an absolute snip and I love it! Contouring is big these days and I can't wait to have fun playing around with it. I got the lightest shade available as I have heard they can be quite dark.
Their ultra cheap white handled  pro concealer brush was also on my wish list and it does the job. The brush head is a little on the small side, it is great for getting into the inner corners of the eyes but for people who are lazy like me it takes a lot of blending. The brush hairs are synthetic fibre which is good for any liquid products.
Elf cosmetics were having a 50% off sale when I ordered so it all came to a very good price. Disappointed about the lipsticks however as I have had such a good experience with MUA cosmetics another beauty brand, and expected other websites to be of the same quality.
I have emailed them however and hopefully they will rectify the situation.

My makeup purchases
Sleek Makeup now have a stand at Boots Liffey Valley. I was so excited and rushed over to buy a few bits as I had yet to try Sleek Makeup even though I hear a lot about it in the beauty blogosphere.
My purchases are above, the Sleek vintage romance eye shadow palette and the sleek makeup fuchsia lipstick.
Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on so I purchased gel liner from Collection also :)
I ended up getting the lippie for free! Bargain!
The eye shadow palette has  a gorgeous selection of jewel toned eye shadows with quirky names such as Court in Cannes and Propose in Prague. Most are satin or shimmer eye shadows but there are one or two matte shades which is great for the crease.

Swatched Fuschia
The swatch above is of the fuchsia lipstick, it is a really strong gorgeous almost neon colour which is fab for a night out, or a day out when you just want a bold strong lip!
Makeup Of The Day
Above, is a makeup look I created with my new gel liner from Collection in black, and Fuschia lipstick from Sleek! I wore this look for college as sometimes I just feel like making an effort! :)
The lipstick is creamy, and you would think it was matte but as the picture above shows it has a little bit of sheen to it.
Handy little pictorial for gel liner application- it's trickier than it looks!
Hope you enjoyed this blog post of my haul, I'll have some makeup looks up soon :)
Stay tooned ;)


Sunday, 17 November 2013

My Makeup Wish List

 I've been trawling through makeup artist must have videos in preperation for my visit to New York, oh yes, I'm heading to the Big Apple on the 23rd of December.
 While this is in no way a conclusive list these are just four products I have heard mentioned over and over again as must haves for any makeup artist or makeup lover. :) 
 ·         Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder
The go-to matte bronzer in most makeup bags

·         Nars blusher Orgasm

Universal peachy-pink blusher to suit all skin types

·         Laura Mercier hydrating primer

The most raved about primer on the market

·         Mac Soft & Gentle Skinfinish


Soft & gentle highlighter is your go to skinfinish
What are your makeup must haves?
Let me know in the comments below,
Keep on blogging it beautiful xoxo

Friday, 15 November 2013

What gets my goat: Girls in the gym

I feel compelled to write this piece after being in the gym today, working hard I might add!

I don't go very often but when I do, I go hard! I did 55 minutes of cardio. Twenty minutes on the treadmill doing HIIT ( High intensity interval training), 15 minutes on the bike, and 20 minutes on the cross trainer which is where I encountered the 'gym' girl.

I was there slaving away, sweat dripping down by bright red face attractively, attired in my typical work out gear when this 'young one' gets on the cross trainer beside me.

Hair done, full face of makeup on, and wearing the most inappropriate clothes for the gym EVER. She gets on the cross trainer and starts doing the most ridiculous version of a workout I have ever seen. It mostly involved her sticking her arse out, holding on to the cross trainer while barely moving, looking all around her to see if she was getting any looks.

Ugh! Pissed me off so much, I just wanted to shake the bubblegum snapping Barbie! For god sake did she not realise how ridiculous she looked?!

I know sometimes going to the gym full of a bunch of guys can be intimidating. But you are only making yourself look like a brain dead fool if you go around in the gym like that. What is the actual point?

I don't know if I sound really harsh but it really iritates me when girls put on an act like that, especially when it makes the sweaty girl next to her working hard look bad!

I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Keep on blogging it beautiful

& making an effort in the gym!



Monday, 11 November 2013

Stuck in a style rut? Get your Christmas fashion inspiration here

Every year I find myself reaching for the usual LBD as my go to Christmas wear, but this year I want to change it up!
I mean how often do we get to wear head to toe sparkle when we feel like it?
Why not try one of Littlewoods takes on the piece below: a navy sparkle long sleeved body con or a figure flattering sequinned wrap dress (pictured below)
Embrace the silly seasons fashion ideals, and mix and match prints and colours that you wouldn't put together normally.
These sexy spike stilettos are from River Island

I normally prefer to go for closed in heels versus open toe as my poor little piggies have a tendency to freeze but these shoes were just so fabulous I couldn't say no.
Littlewoods Ireland have a fantastic partywear shop and great selection of heels. River Island is the go to for party dresses and on trend accessories. New Look is an old favourite for staple pieces and heels that don't tear your feet to shreds.

We also usually forget the all important cover-up. I am loving the long line biker jackets, shearling waterfall jackets and if you are feeling a little Ab-Fab, why not try one of the faux fur offerings New Look are doing? This long line biker jacket will you keep you warm and on trend this Christmas.
 Of course, we can't forget the statement necklace. Pick this one up from New Look and wear it with a plum or berry colour for fashionable colour clashing.

What are your Christmas  party wear must haves? Let me know ;)
Keep on blogging it beautiful xoxo

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