Okay, I promise this is my last post about the #CorkBlogMeet15, I’m sure you’re pretty sick of it by now! I did a post about the goodie bag I put together for everyone, as well as a post all about the day itself. The brands involved on the day were so generous, so I thought I’d share that with you, too! I’ll probably review a few of these at some point.. Essentially, this is just a huge haul. Thank you so much to Debenhams, The Body Shop, MeMeMe and IsaDora for the generosity!
|Photo by Aine|
By the time this post goes live, the #CorkBlogMeet15 will probably just be finishing up. Ahhh!! So nervous, but so excited for the day I have planned for everyone. Keep an eye out, as I’ll have a post live on Monday with all of the days events.
I couldn’t believe the uptake the event had. So many people wanted to go, I allowed for 20 attendees, which turned into 22, but there was a total of 40 people that signed up to attend. I was so shocked that so many people wanted to come, but so excited that there were so many Cork bloggers interested.
I thought I’d put together a goodie bag to say thanks to everyone for coming along for the day. I contacted brands I’d worked with before and put together a rather excellent assortment of items, if I do say so myself! If you couldn’t attend fear not, as some brands rather generously included more products than bloggers attending in their packages, so I’m going to do a giveaway with those next month.
Welcome to my new monthly series, Bits of Life! I have to confess the concept for this was entirely stolen from Karis, who did a similar style of post back in May. I wanted to do this alongside my monthly beauty favourites to illustrate what else I’ve been doing and loving this month – Stuff I’ve been up to, my favourite books/songs/tv etc. Let me know what you think of this feature, I’m really excited to include it!
Bits I’ve Done //
Weekend in Dublin: Last weekend, me and Aran took a trip up to Dublin to visit Karis and Rachel, as you can see in this picture with me at the most unflattering angle. We had a very relaxed time, apart from my inappropriate footwear choices meaning I hobbled around the place like a freak. I love how busy and energetic Dublin is, it’s such a change from my regular quiet country life, and makes it quite therapeutic to return home afterwards. I’ll be up and down fairly constantly over the next month or so for events and some other things I have coming up, which is very exciting, although once you’ve done enough 10 hour round trips in a month, you grow slightly sick of the sight of a coach.
Bits I’ve Read //
Bits I’ve Watched //
Bits I’ve Listened To //
Other Bits I’ve Been Loving //
The meetup will be on Saturday, 21st of February, 2015. I figured this was a date that would hopefully work well for everyone! The exact time and meeting location, as well as brands and businesses involved is still TBA, but everyone who signs up will receive all of this information in the weeks running up to the event.
The event will be capped at about 20 bloggers. I don’t want to totally overrun anyone and have it be mad all day, so the first 20 to sign up will be the ones receiving all the info! Obviously, if there are 21 or 22 interested, allowances will be made for that, but get in quick to ensure you can go!
The deadline for sign up is January 21st, 2015. This gives me a chance to gage how many bloggers are going, as well as putting together enough goodie bags for everyone attending! Once again, a few days late doesn’t really matter, but I’d like to have everyone signed up by then in order to ensure everything is fully prepared for that number of people.
The event will be mainly aimed at Beauty/Fashion/Lifestyle bloggers. Anyone who wishes is welcome to attend, but I’m planning for the events to be based around those topics purely because that’s what I blog about and the community I’m involved in!
Click here to sign up! – Edit: The list has filled in less than 24 hours! If you are still interested in attending then please do enter your details as it is first come, first served so if there are any cancellations you will get next priority for attendance.
I’ll be emailing on the official invitation with the start and end times on the 22nd of January, giving a month to make all necessary travel plans. A week before the event I’ll send on a full itinerary of the days events!
On Tuesday the 25th of November, I was invited to The Body Shop Christmas Collection Launch in their Cork store on Oliver Plunkett Street. I went to an event with them back in May, which was absolutely lovely. I love events in Cork, it’s so nice going to functions closer to home! I got to meet up with Margaret and Fiona again, it’s always nice to keep up with other girls on the Irish blog circuit.
This event was to properly launch their Oliver Plunkett St. store, as well as show off their new Christmas collection. I have to say, I absolutely adore everything in the christmas range. Their vanilla products never fail to have me tempted to eat the stuff, their cranberry range has the gorgeous sharp berry scent that just says Christmas to me, and their new green apple range is lovely. You’re gonna hate it if you’re not a fan of sweet things, but if you do l highly recommend you check this one out. It kind of reminds me of scented gel pens from the good old days of being 7.
I think my favourite thing in the collection this year is the vintage perfume-style atomisers filled with scented glitter. I mean.. What more could you want? Nicely scented glitter in pretty packaging. It’s like they took all of my favourite things and made it into one bundle of absolute joy that would look gorgeous on any dressing table.
A lot of people consider bath stuff/cosmetics a generic last resort, accenct chairs under $200 for Christmas gifts. but if you have an out-and-out beauty junkie in your life (much like myself!) I’d definitely suggest popping in and checking out the selection, excitement is almost guaranteed, and they’re very reasonably priced. I’m totally hyped up for Christmas now, nothing like a festive product launch to get you feeling seasonal! Now, to binge on mulled wine and listed to Fairytale of New York for the next 30 days or so.
The night had an 80’s theme – an abhorrent era for fashion in my opinion. Since they never specified the 1980’s, I decided to go for a more 1880’s feel – a beautiful vintage evening gown, once again designed and made by the wonderful Alice Halliday. I teamed it with my beloved chunky heeled chelsea boots from Penneys to give it the grunge edge that no Zoë outfit would be complete without, as well as very classic, pretty jewellery.
I realised after I’d worn this that 3 out of the 4 items I’m wearing are by small, independent designers – two of which are Irish. It’s pretty lovely to support people I know and wear their creations with pride. When things I wear get complemented, I feel a small sense of pride and happiness for the work people I know have put in to making them happen!
I’d also like to thank my boyfriend for holding a small mirror behind me while I did this updo in a full length mirror so I could see what I was doing. It’s this sort of stuff that fashion-blogger boyfriends have to put up with, poor creatures.
Last Thursday, I attended my first ever fashion show with Opera Lane for Cork Fashion Week. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cork City, Opera Lane is a pretty much the mecca of high street fashion – a small pedestrian street consisting of some of the biggest names in the business – Topshop, H&M, River Island, New Look, Office and Next, to name but a few! I’d say about 60% of my clothing comes from shops on Opera Lane. It’s so easy and convenient at the heart of the city, and most of the shops I’d go to are all adjacent.
Before I focus on the clothes, I have a little confession/self-indulgent deprecative statement – I really struggled with this event. Usually I’m fairly confident with these things, but I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful people in perfectly styled outfits. I definitely felt a little out of my depth, I’m not a typical fashion industry girl in terms of my style or appearance. I doubt anyone was actually judging me harshly at all, but it definitely knocked my confidence a little!
First up, there were a few looks by small Irish designers that Opera Lane had sourced. I really liked this touch, it’s so nice to see what’s up-and-coming on the Irish market as well as big high-street stores.
There were then 3 collections with 6 looks each – 3 womens, 3 menswear. These were made up of clothes that will be available in the coming months from shops on Opera Lane. First up was the classic A/W looks, think chunky knits and boots etc. The second was 60’s mod – sleek, chic and modern vintage. The final looks were all the party wear – Big, statements and sparkles. I’m a crazy lover of all things mad, sparkly and bright, so I was all about dis! Expect your typical A/W pieces and colours, statement sequin pieces, and lots of structured, boxy shapes. There was a serious abundance of the duster coat, this seasons staple must-have coat. I caught a few pictures of some looks on display.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to photograph a fashion show, but it’s surprisingly hard. They move really fast, and when you’re a little nobody at the back and to the side, you’ve got to get creative! Most of my shots are just incomprehensible blurs, but I got a few that were decent enough to share with you.
I was very honoured to be invited to this. I’m only just properly dipping my toe in to the world of fashion, but I’m developing a serious taste for it. I have LOADS of outfit posts lined up waiting to go up, as well as some exciting brand collabs to come!
First we headed in to Lush, a shop I absolutely adore. Always so friendly, and I love the whole concept of animal/environmentally friendly but still fun products. We were broken up in to groups and taken around different stations for 15 minutes each – Suncare, Skincare, Makeup, Bath Bombs and Hair/body care. We got a demo from the incredibly friendly Lush staff and all got to have a bit of a chat about all things makeup/beauty!
I think my favourite part was making our own bath bombs. Mine was certainly no gem, I have a new found respect for the guys at Lush who make these. I know that they hold private parties for occasions like birthdays where you can make bath bombs/face masks, so do pop in to your local Lush and ask about that!
We then headed over to Debenhams, where we were greeted with Cake, prosecco and even more beauty products! We had a chance to sit down and have a drink/something to eat before a demo from Clarins. We then got split in to groups again to go around to the beauty counters and look at some new launches/preview some exclusive products yet to hit the shelves. They were so welcoming and insanely generous – they started with a Clarins gift bag, then they gave us a load of products on the shop floor, then a goodie bag full of product samples, and THEN a €50 voucher to spend on beauty products. We were absolutely spoiled!
After this, we headed to a pub (I can’t remember the name of it now!) where we had demos from Shiseido, GOSH and MeMeMe. This was all very informal, chilled out and chatty which was lovely, as sometimes these things can feel a little bit like getting a lesson at school. It was great to have a chance to see some products in action from brands I’m less familiar with.
It was a really great day, and we were beyond spoiled with the goody bags! They just kept on coming, it was absolutely insane. So look out for the mother of all haul posts soon! Thanks again to Sarah and Fiona for organising the whole thing. It all went really well and it’s safe to say everyone had a fab day.
On the 5th of July I attended an Oriflame blogger event in Dublin, in the Gresham Hotel. Being 100% honest, when I got the invite I had absolutely no idea who they were, but this just piqued my interest in finding more out about the brand. It was a really nice event, I’ve attended a few that leave you all stood around awkwardly chatting and unsure of what to do, while this was well structured and informative while still being fun and had a relaxed, chatty atmosphere. We were greeted with prosecco and cupcakes on arrival, always a lovely touch, and celebrity makeup artist Gary Cockerill/brand ambassador was on hand to talk about some of the new collection and give some demos on Rachel and Beth.
Oriflame is a swedish direct selling brand – similar to Avon. It’s huge in Russia and I believe it’s pretty big in Asia too, but their main development labs are in Ireland, despite the fact that it doesn’t appear to be a huge seller over here. I think their PR campaigns at the moment have the intention of making it more popular here. We got given a selection of products to try, so I’ll be back with my full verdict on whether or not it’s worth looking in to once I’ve given those a try.
The Body Shop currently have a ‘No Retouch Policy’ on all of their photos. This means that all of the photos are entirely as they were taken – veins, red eyes and blemishes left in. Granted, the models they use are generally all-round flawless, I think it is always a good move to let the products speak for themselves – I’m instantly much more impressed with a foundation advert if no photoshop has been used. They’re attempting to empower women through makeup and beauty, sending the message that if you want to wear makeup to give yourself a confidence boost, that’s great, but you don’t need to. You don’t need the 1,000 filters over the top of that selfie, either.
We’re used to hearing ‘you’re beautiful as you are! but still continue to buy all of our expensive makeup.’ from brands, but for some reason, this resonated with me. As someone who identifies as a feminist, and enjoys wearing makeup for my own self-expression, having a brand send out the message that wearing makeup to feel confident is my choice instead of being told how to feel is very empowering.
On a less Spice Girls-esque “girl power” note, the new launches for Summer/Autumn 14 look (and smell) absolutely stunning. I’ll have a full first impressions post coming soon!
I spent last Saturday in Dublin for lots of blogger-y things, which was just bloody lovely if I’m honest. The first was a Wet n’ Wild blogger brunch, which was my first ever blogging event so it was pretty exciting! I met up with one of my favourite bloggers/new friend Rachel, it was so nice to have someone the same age as me there, as being 16 I didn’t want to feel like the baby of the group! We ate some gorgeous brunch and talked all things makeup. It was very weird to be around people that got just as excited as me when I realised their “Sugar Plum Fairy” lipstick is identical to MAC’s Rebel..
Blogging obviously isn’t about the events, but it is always really exciting to be invited as it makes it feel worthwhile in the sense that you know someone is reading. Wet n’ Wild is available throughout Ireland at Penneys’ and Dunnes’ Stores. Thanks to the girls at Publicity Loft for inviting me!