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5 ways blogging has changed my life

I’m not a big blogger. Let’s just get that out of the way by stating the obvious. I have a couple of thousand followers on various platforms, and for that I’m very grateful – that anyone would care about my weird ramblings about various things is quite astounding.
Despite me certainly not being big in any way, I suppose I’m lucky to be a blogger in a country where the industry is big, but not too competitive. This means that what I do impacts on my life in quite a huge way. Whilst feeling reflective about this, I thought I’d share 5 of the ways (both shallow and more monumental) ways that blogging has changed my life completely, since I sat down a year and a half ago and first wrote a post.

STUFF I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE OTHERWISE 


Okay, so maybe this seems fairly obvious/the biggest one.. I’ve done so much I never would have done if I didn’t do this. I’ve attended launches/events, been a VIP at a concert, stayed on a weekend break at a beautiful resort, modelled for a photoshoot, been in magazines/newspapers, organised an all-day event for 22 other bloggers.. That’s just off the top of my head. There are so many cool things that 16/17 year olds don’t really normally do on a Thursday after school where I’ve had to stop and think oh my god, this is so cool!. There will be so many more of these, and I’m really grateful for that.

CAREER PATH

When I started this, I was really interested in makeup and fashion. I still am. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life at all, I had recently turned 16 and people were asking questions about university for the first time and it was scary. The (minor) successes I’ve had and passion I’ve sparked from doing this have made me very interested in marketing and PR as a career, as well as media in general. Because of blogging, I know the sort of direction I want to go in, what course I want to do, and I’m giving myself experience in the field. That’s such an important thing to me.

PEOPLE I’VE MET 


I have met so many fabulous people in the past year and a half. A friend, photographer and lady that gets mentioned a lot is Rachel – I dm’ed her on Twitter because I was walking to my first blog event and didn’t know where to go in Dublin, so she came with me. It’s been over a year since we met, and she’s now one of my best friends. I’ve met countless other wonderful people too – Recently there’s been a picture in the press of me with the first blogger I ever read who totally sparked my interest in makeup and fashion when I was 14. That’s been a real “pinch myself” moment.

CONFIDENCE 


I’ve always been fairly outgoing, but confidence? Less so. Always a surprise to hear from someone who’s worn purple hair since they were 15 and has a soft spot for blue lipstick and glitter. However, before I blogged, I went through a period of trying to tone down my style a bit to seem a bit more normal. I totally regret this now, and do quite the opposite – push myself to find the coolest, weirdest things possible. I wouldn’t really have the confidence for that without this!

HARD WORK & CREATIVITY 


Two things that I love that this has given me – it encourages me to work hard. I’m quite a busy person, I’m going in to my final year of secondary school and I dedicate quite a lot of time to the blog, in various ways. Blogging has encouraged me to work harder in school to get the right grades to pursue the career I want, but it also makes me work hard because I put so much effort in to it. It makes me think creatively all the time – whether I’m putting together an outfit, looking for cool locations to shoot in or coming up with new ideas to write about. It gives me something to work hard at every day that I love, and for that, I’m very grateful.

Do you blog? What motivates you to do it?

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette

 

 

 

It’s rare I do a post on a specific product (although I seem to be doing this more regularly lately!), but the Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette deserved a post all to itself.. It’s just so beautiful! Obviously, this really isn’t going to be everyones cup of tea, but I’m so in love. I can’t stop staring at it.
I won the Galaxy Chocolate x Frock Advisor #GalaxyStyle competition back in May, giving me a €250 voucher to spend online. I mainly bought new threads, renewed my domain and bought my new design.. I restrained on makeup. However, I couldn’t resist picking this up. It was pricey, at €40 (with shipping) from Love Makeup, but I’d wanted it ever since it was released.. It’s a bit extravagant and the kind of thing I’d never usually buy myself, so a voucher was a perfect excuse. It’s so gorgeous, I’m so glad I did!

Let’s start with the packaging.. Garish, tacky, kawaii and damn adorable. This is going to be a real love it or hate it kind of thing. I personally adore it. It’s in a cardboard casing which is quite big, so it’s not ideal for travelling. To be honest, this isn’t really the kind of thing I’d bring travelling with me. It’s a bit out-there for average travelling!
The shadow pans themselves are absolutely huge. Like, way bigger than anything else. For a bit of product comparison, your average MAC Eyeshadow is 1.5g a pan, Urban Decay Naked Palettes are 1.3g, and the Sugarpill Sparkle Baby has 3.5g. So that’s an awful lot of bang for my buck, I can’t see myself ever hitting pan on any of these shades!

Kitten Parade is the first shade in the palette. It’s a gorgeous peach with a pink undertone and gold shimmer. It’s probably the most accessible/neutral of the whole palette and has probably become my new favourite shadow. This would look gorgeous just all over the lid with a bit of winged liner. It would also make a gorgeous blush, which I will definitely use it as! The texture is lovely and soft, and the pigmentation is very good – better with a primer of course, and I didn’t have any issue with creasing.

Frostine is a satin finish lilac colour. This is the most impressive pastel shade I’ve ever come across, I don’t think there’s many brands that could pull of a matte (generally sheerer anyway) pastel (aka, translucent) shade this well. It’s slightly drier in texture than Kitten Parade, but not anything major. There’s no shimmer, and this looks lovely in the crease with CandyCrush all over the lid. The wear time wasn’t as good as the rest of the shades, but it fades evenly rather than creasing/getting patchy and still lasts for 6+ hours.

CandyCrush is a shimmery light blue. This has a similar texture and colour intensity to Kitten Parade, with virtually no fall out. Blues don’t have to be reminiscent of bad 80’s makeup – this can be worked into a smoky eye, made fun or colourful, or even toned down for a neutral look all over the lid with a taupe colour through the crease and a winged liner. It lasts 8+ hours, I haven’t tested it for longer than that!

Hotsy Totsy is my (and many others, from the reviews I’ve read) least favourite shade. I like it, but it will definitely be my least used. The other colours are all very pastel princess, this is a bit much, I feel it sticks out a bit. Especially considering Sugarpill already carry a similar shade! I think a mint green would have completed this palette perfectly instead.. But that’s just me! It’s a hot pink with flecks of pink glitter. It’s the driest shade in the palette, with quite a bit of fallout. Hardest to work with and blend, but still able to be used without any issue.

Sugarpill are totally cruelty free and the majority of the products are vegan, too, so they’re a really fantastic brand. This palette has been a great introduction to them and has kind of given me the bug.. Their loose pigments are calling me, and I’m praying they start doing lip colours one day soon!

Would you use this, or is it a bit much for you?

OOTD // Toning It Down

 

 

 

 

If there’s one thing you have to say about my blog, I’m pretty diverse. My last outfit was my Space Princess outfit, which was blue lipstick and holographic sparkles. Now? We have ourselves a very chilled, laid back look. I like to keep it interesting!
This was just an outfit for going for coffee with my main gal/always photographer Karis. I’m not massively in to the whole 70’s boho thing, but have incorporated elements of it here with a bit of fringing and the hat. This is the kind of thing I’d wear day-to-day/out and about – especially with the holographic bag, that makes it a bit more Zoë. I love that these jeans are size XS as well.. Nothing makes you feel better than fitting in to extra small jeans!

Hat* – Boohoo
Kimono – H&M
T-Shirt – H&M
Jeans* – JDY via ASOS
Bag* – Boohoo
Pumps – F&F Clothing @ Tesco
Moon Choker – Forever 21

The Unexpected Lime Crime Cashmere Dupe

I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes, I get obsessed with finding the perfect product. About two years ago, it was the perfect champagne eyeshadow. Cue me researching and buying about 20. A year or so ago, it was the perfect shade of green eyeshadow. A few months ago, it was the perfect nude lip… Which has transformed in to an all-out hunt to find a dupe for Lime Crime’s Cashmere Velvetine, a grey/brown/purple nude that has stolen my heart.
“Oh, Zoë, if you love it so much, why don’t you just buy it!” I hear you shout at your computer screen. Well, my friends, that would be because I hate Lime Crime as a company and every lie they stand for. For a bit more on why I’ll never buy from Lime Crime, google “Lime Crime Scandal” or “Lime Crime Controversy”. They’re a morally bankrupt, lying and generally deplorable corporation. It’s a shame their makeup is so pretty.

Because of this, I am forced to scour the internet for dupes of their products. This is one solution I’ve found (but not seen written about elsewhere!) for duping Lime Crime’s Cashmere Velvetine. It’s way cheaper, you’ll get a lot more product, and it’s available throughout Ireland, the UK, the US and Europe..

That is the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe. Yep, a cream eyeshadow as a lipstick! I find this is best applied with a mauve/dusty purple lip liner underneath (I use Fuschia’s Passion*, NYX Mauve would be another great option). Then I use a lip brush to put the eyeshadow colour all over my lips! This dries to a very matte finish, so I would recommend prepping your lips with a balm and applying a little balm over the top. It’s long lasting, and I think looks beautiful!

This is the first of two “Lime Crime cashmere dupe” posts, I am going to be testing another very affordable product to see how they compare, too!

Would you wear Permanent Taupe as a Lipstick?

The Weekend Away Makeup Bag

 

Over a year ago, back when this blog was a mere little baby, I did a post about my travel makeup bag (there’s a trip down memory lane!). Since then, this has changed a lot! This year I’ve started doing frequent 1/2 night away stays, but I’m usually going to things that require a full face of makeup. This might seem excessive for short stays, but I couldn’t pick something I’d be happy to leave behind! Since when this post is going up I’ll be going away to the UK for a few days, I thought I’d share with you the items that come with me frequently – the most loved, easiest, most versatile pieces that I can’t bear to leave out of my routine..

My Summer Bodycare Routine

 

One thing that just doesn’t really get talked about enough on beauty blogs (at least I find anyway), is bodycare. It’s only this year that I’ve become very in to looking after my skin, on my face, and everywhere else! I’ve really noticed a difference in the texture of my skin since I’ve begun moisturising it every time I wash. I was very eczema prone as a child, meaning I’ve always had dry skin, but I’ve been effectively combating that. I’ve seen a HUGE improvement in those awful teenage stretchmarks every girl suffers with, as well as less of the “chicken leg” syndrome.. I’ve also noticed my susceptibility to tanning improving, rather than just burning straight away.. It’s all coming up Millhouse. It’s definitely worth taking care of yourself, and it is something you’ll notice a huge difference with. I thought I’d take you through my summer routine for keeping myself together!

First thing’s first (I’m the realest), SPF. YOU NEED TO BE WEARING AN SPF DAILY. I don’t care if you “don’t burn”, that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t doing an obscene amount of damage. Unless you fancy looking like a vintage leather handbag with a melanoma scar (if you’re lucky enough to catch it in time) by the time you’re 60, wear SPF. In all seriousness, preaching over.

My best friend this summer is the Bioderma Photoderm Brume Invisible SPF 50+*. This is specifically designed for very fair skin, perfect for a translucent lady such as myself. It’s like a suncream and then some. It’s an oil, but it doesn’t feel greasy – it sinks in to the skin very quickly and just feels lovely and moisturising. It can also be applied to wet skin, so you can use it instead of body lotion after a morning shower and know you’re protected. It’s water resistant, smells fantastic (sort of like chamomile tea) and has an SPF of 50, so it’s ideal for anyone prone to burning. This is honestly the best sunscreen I have ever tried – Bioderma have just launched nationwide, so head to your nearest pharmacy and grab some! It’s not the cheapest at €30 a bottle, but a little goes a very long way, and sunscreen is generally quite expensive, and you are getting that little bit extra for the bit of extra cash.

I want to keep my body moisturised, but don’t particularly want a thick and heavy body butter when it’s sunny/warm at night, it can be too greasy. The Body Shop Body Sorbet in Pink Grapefruit* is perfect for this. It’s a gel-like consistency which applies smoothly, so it’s moisturising without being overwhelming. It also smells really sharp and fruity, so it’s perfect for summer! I also love that it’s a squeezy tube, as I find body butters can get a bit manky looking/feel unhygenic.. Digging your fingers in to the cream.. Not great. They have a huge range of scents so these are worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little lighter. I love this in the evenings as a sort of “After Sun”.

Something else I find important is exfoliating.. It removes all of the dead skin leaving me feeling all soft and lovely, and if you’re in to your tanning, this will help keep it more even. I’m loving the Shiseido Body Exfoliator* at the minute. It’s coarse enough that it feels like it’s doing something, without being way too harsh. I tend to wash my body, exfoliate and then moisturise and adding the extra step to my routine has upped my bodycare game to the next level. Bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing as a bodycare game, huh.

What are your summer body care essentials? Or do you even have any, and am I just a bit of a freak?

My Favourite Brands for “Alt” Beauty Products

 

I think it’s pretty clear, if you’re a regular reader, that I’m a fan of alternative makeup. It wouldn’t be unusual to see me out and about with a bright blue lip or an eye coated in glitter, and that’s the way I like it.
In the photo above is a collection of some of my favourite slightly “whacky” beauty products, so I thought I’d do a post highlighting some of my favourite brands that do the slightly more out-there stuff, both high-street and high-end, for anyone interested in experimenting a bit more with their look!

Bits of Life: May 2015

 

May has been one HECTIC month.. This time of year is always a bit mad, but this month has been particularly cray. What with exams, me being up and down the country for various events, and just generally a lot going on, it’s been a little much, I’m certainly delighted that by the time this is up, I’m free for summer! Having said that, it was a good month. Despite all the stresses, it’s great to look back at what I did and see how much good stuff went on this month, as it felt a bit constantly tiring. As with every month, I thought I’d share a few of the bits I’ve been up to and what’s been generally going on in my life. To see all of this stuff as it happens (if you’re REALLY interested), feel free to follow me on Instagram – @zoewithumlauts!

 

May 2015 Favourites

I know what you’re thinking – deodorant? Tablets of some sort? What the HECK kind of Favourites is this??? WHERE IS THE PRETTY EYESHADOW, DAMNIT?! To which I would say, calm yourself friend. You know we don’t do it by the books around here. Disregard the rules of beauty blogging, because these are the “beauty” products that I’ve been using the most. If there’s one thing I’ll never do, it’s fake it for the aesthetic.
Another reason for my slightly odd assortment is, it’s been exam season. I’ve been up and down to Dublin for various events and functions, and, honestly, I just haven’t had time to vary my makeup routine that much. This month, it’s been more functional than fun. Nevertheless, I’ve had a few products that I’ve gravitated towards/enjoyed!

Recent events: Bioderma Launch, Blog Awards and Wet n’ Wild!

Last week I headed up to Dublin for a few different events, so instead of just doing a post on each one, or just neglecting to write about them entirely, I thought I’d just to a post catching you up on what was going on! Going L-R, the first image is from the Beauty Blog Awards, the 2nd two are from Bioderma and the last two from Wet n’ Wild. Got that? Good! Here’s what I got up to..

Summertime Base-ics

More and more lately, I’m obsessed with achieving the perfect base. When I say base, for those not necessarily acquainted with the term, I mean my primer/foundation/powder – the skin part, the basis for all other makeup to be built on. Currently, this means something light coverage that brightens and evens out my skin, covers my dark circles and generally brightens my complexion. I’ve been trying different products for ages (literally since I started wearing makeup!), and I think I finally have a mix of products that suit me down to the ground for the perfect summer base..

Nudes, Glorious Nudes..

 

 

Okay, so, cheesy and perhaps slightly misleading title aside, I frackin’ love nude lips. The whole
Cara-Kylie-90’s grungey nude and smouldering eye look is one I opt for on a regular basis. My skin tone is pretty flexible in terms of shades, I can pull off brown, pink and mauve tones with relative ease, provided they’re not too pale giving me that oh-so-unattractive concealer lips look. I’ve been slowly accumulating more and more, from lipsticks to glosses to pencils. I did a post a while back illustrating what was at the time my perfect nude lip (which you can read here), but now I’ve fallen in love with more, I thought I’d share my go-to products, and how I like to wear them..

Masking the Problem

In my sudden found love for skincare, I have also fallen a little bit in love with face masks. Taking care of my skin has become a big priority this week, and I find masks are so great for taking the cleanse to the next step. I have various masks for various tasks (little rhyme for you there), from just a basic once a week affair that draws out any excess impurities, to the kind where you just sit with a glass of wine feeling a bit more refreshed. I put together a few of my favourites, all of which are great in their own right for doing different jobs, so there’s bound to be one to suit you. They’re also all at varying price points, from under a fiver to about €30, so it spans the budgets, too!

The Marriage Equality Referendum: From the perspective of a nearly-adult.

This is usually a relatively harmless, inoffensive space for talking about pretty lipsticks and for me to prance about wearing dresses. Every so often, we get a little deep, introspective, or topical on here. Thanks for sticking by.
The media has been set alight with the referendum for marriage equality – You cannot leave your house without being bombarded with posters, leaflets, badges, t-shirts; you can’t open twitter without a barrage of campaigning, or turn on the television without seeing some sort of debate. I think it’s fantastic to see people so politically engaged.
Now, I’m not here to give you facts and figures, and although from the bottom of my heart I hope for a YES vote, I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong for voting no. This is just my perspective and thoughts on the state of affairs as a nearly-adult living in this country.

HUGE Empty Products (#6)

 

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My new years resolution of using products up has really worked, huh! I’ve been tearing through stuff, vigilantly using stuff daily in order to properly test it and wade through the absolute sea of stuff that I have (A method that hasn’t been working too well on account of new stuff coming constantly. Not that I’m complaining!). This is what I used up from February-March! I know this isn’t going up until May.. That’s just how organised I am.

Empties #5

 

 

I’m on a bit of a use up everything mission this year. My major goal is to clear the frankly monstrous backlog of products I have, and it was the only new years resolution I have. This means bringing hand cream everywhere with me. No more not being bothered with body lotion. Actually having a skincare routine. I buy and get gifted such an obscene amount of products, I have no excuse but to get through them! I also recently had a bit of a streamline of the ol’ makeup collection, getting rid of things that I ought to have got rid of a long time ago, but that’s for another post.