27 Mar 2017

Bridal Skincare Must Haves


Since our engagement (yes, I've gotten engaged since I last posted on my blog and if you'd like to know more about the wedding you can watch my bridal series on my YouTube channel HERE), I've been trying to put skincare to the top of my priorities list. When it comes to an inconsistent skincare routine, I have to admit, in the past I have been a huge culprit. With quite oily skin, I have always made taking my makeup off before bed a priority but after that my past skincare routine starts to fizzle out. 

Realistically, skincare should always be a priority but for some reason, it tends to take a big event (like your upcoming nuptials) to make you actually take it seriously. Having said that, in the months following our engagement I've stumbled across some real gems that have kicked my skincare routine into high gear. Wether it's to clear up unwanted blemishes or to give your skin a surge of hydration these products are must haves for Brides-To-Be!




CLEANSER & TONER

Finding the right cleanser has been a real task for me but I really think I've found my holy grail. Having dabbled in using a couple of other cleansers, I've always found myself reaching back for this one. The Eve Lom Cleanser is a cleansing balm that softly melts away your makeup whilst it gently exfoliates and tones your skin leaving it looking visibly brighter. Perfect if you find your skin looking a little dull or lacklustre (wedding planning can take is toll) and great for all skin types!

Toner - the unsung hero of skincare. I'll be the first to admit that I thought toner was a completely unnecessary step until I found products that made it totally necessary. Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a cult classic that I was immediately drawn to because of it's claim to help with acne scaring. It is basically a skin resurfacing treatment - think of an over-night facial to help brighten your skin. Anything with Glycolic acid is going to remove dead skin cells and leave you with glowing skin. This toner in particular can only be used every second day.

Another toner that you will find atop the list of the beauty community's most sought after products is Pixi's Glow Tonic. Glow Tonic can be used everyday - I tend to use it on the days that I'm not using Liquid Gold. You'll notice an immediate difference in the luminosity of your skin with this product too! 


MASKS

Weather it's to minimise pores, deep clean or hydrate, masks are a great way of giving your skin an extra boost in the run up to your wedding.

Having fallen for Alpha H's Liquid Gold the obvious progression was to try out Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask. This mask is designed to treat all types of problematic skin, clearing up clogged pores, pigmentation, acne etc. It has 15% Glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells. I like to use it once a week for brighter skin!

Wedding planning can really stress your skin out leaving it feeling congested and dull. This is when I like to reach for the Eve Lom Rescue Mask to give my skin the boost it needs. It's a really luxurious mask that will deep clean your skin without leaving it feeling stripped. I notice an immediate difference in my skin after using this!

If you have oily skin and it's in need of a detox the First Aid Beauty Purifying Mask with Red Clay your answer. It's going to draw out any impurities, reduce pores and matify your skin. This is also a peel off mask - so that's kinda fun. 



SERUM

A 25 step skincare routine isn't everyones cup of tea (it certainly isn't mine) but one step that I've grown to love is serum! Serums tend to be a little more strongly formulated and because you apply it after toner and before moisturiser, it sends those ingredients directly into your skin. 

I tend to use serum mostly at night - Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a firm favourite. Fantastic for dehydrated or dry skin, this serum will leave you waking up glowing - every bride's favourite! It's also made of 99% natural ingredients so great if you're sensitive!

If I'm ever to apply a serum in the morning, it will always be the Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum. It's lightweight and velvety finish makes it the perfect serum to apply before makeup. 


MOISTURISER, EYE CREAM & LIP BALM

Three products to round off your bridal skincare routine.

A good moisturiser is always an essential. My go to is the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. A little really goes a long way with this product but it will will keep your skin hydrated all day long. It's intended to help reduce moisture loss in the skin, so great if you're on a flight, in air conditioned rooms or colder climates!

To hydrate the under eye after a long day or a sleepless night, I reach for Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado - one of very few eye creams that I find leaves a noticeable difference. It's a super luxurious product to give your under eye area a surge of moisture leaving you looking bright eye'd and bushy tailed. 

To combat dreaded chapped lips, I find the Eve Lom Kiss Mix to be a life saver! This is one product I've picked up from my Mum, who uses it religiously. It protects your lips from UV rays and the wind (I always wear it when I'm out walking) it can also be warn over lipsticks for a glossy finish or as a simple gloss on a no makeup day. The menthol might be my favourite part though - hello tingly, pouty lips!


SPOT TREATMENT

When you put so much effort into your skincare routine, you'd expect never to get a spot again. Sadly that's not the case as what you put into your body makes just as much impact (if not more) to your skin as your products do (cleaning up my diet is my next obstacle!). For days that I'm battling blemishes I like to use spot treatments. Eve Lom Dynaspot and the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion are my go to treatments for zapping spots. They are both very similar products that will have you saying bye to your blemishes in no time - I like to keep the Dynaspot in my bedside locker / in my travel bag as it's a little more travel friendly.

Whether you're in the run up to your big day, a special event or you just want to get you skin into ship shape, all of these products will leave you super hydrated and glowing!


Grace.




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15 Feb 2016

Investment Pieces • The Céline Phantom


When it comes to my everyday bags I always have been and I always will be someone who invests in a really well made item that will stand the test of time... and the test of a busy schedule. On occasion, I've strolled out of River Island thinking that I snapped up a bargain after finding a stunning bag for under €30 only to find it falling apart after a few weeks wear. As I've gotten older, I've found that these off the cuff purchases are always the ones that I regret. 

This leads me to the crux of this post. There aren't many 'bold' things that I like to spend my money on - I don't smoke and I very rarely drink - but for the longest time bags (and fashion in general) have been a penchant of mine and I would rather invest my money in a classic, timeless bag that will hold its shape, style and quality forevermore in comparison to the short shelf life of its high-street counterpart. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to these types of investments I certainly don't make my decision lightly, in fact, sometimes I take an annoyingly long time milling over the purchase but it is always worth it in the end.



The Céline Phantom

I purchased the Céline Phantom two weeks ago and I can without a doubt say it is my favourite purchase of 2016 thus far, although I feel as though it will be the stand out purchase of the year come December too. 

I wear it with absolutely everything. It is the perfect day-to-night bag, large enough to (carefully) throw your diary, phone and basically the kitchen sink into but sleek enough to take out to dinner. I decided on the medium size in black. Over the past year or two I eyed a number of different Céline Phantoms in a plethora of colours but the black is much more timeless and as a result, holds its value to a better degree - not to mention the fact that it is much more 'me' than the colour blocked versions (you know me and my neutrals!). I love it for it's simplicity, it's classic shape and it's durability - it's quite the sturdy little bag.




The Purchase

I purchased my Céline Phantom from the little treasure trove that is Designer Exchange. Designer Exchange is a consignment store tucked away in Dublin City Centre. It buys, sells and exchanges designer bags (and other accessories too) so you're guaranteed to pick up a little discount on your purchase. I've only had the most fantastic experiences dealing with Paddy in store. I can't recommend their services enough. They make sure all of their bags are authenticated and in the best shape possible before selling. As you can clearly see, although my Céline was pre-owned, there is barely any sign of wear - it's as good as new! It also came with it's dust bag and all of the original authentication tags which are both things I love to see when purchasing a pre-owned item. What I love most about the store is that every purchase has a back story - when it was bought, why it was being sold, who the previous owner was - it has a little bit of history!




Before You Invest, Consider...

As I mentioned, I really do put a lot of thought into these types of purchases as I want to ensure that I'm making the right decision. A few questions I like to ask myself are, 'Will it work with your wardrobe?', 'Is it durable?', 'Can you use it for all occasions?' or 'Would you be happy only using it for special occasions?', 'Is there another bag you would rather at this price point?' and 'Is this piece timeless?'.

These are all things that I think are important to consider before you invest, no matter what your price range... even if it's just a quick run through in your head before you purchase!




 The verdict thus far? I'M IN LOVE!





What I'm Wearing
Coat: Zara
Dress: River Island
Boots: River Island
Bag: Céline
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12 Feb 2016

Product List: My Everyday Face




For someone that loves makeup, sometimes the process of actually putting on my makeup in the morning isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world... mostly because I know I could be doing 5 million other jobs instead of sitting in front of the mirror for an hour BUT I have finally nailed down a go to look that takes all of 20 minutes to achieve. 

This look is for days when I know I have a few jobs to do out of the house and I want to feel fresh but a little more glam than usual.





Although there are days when nothing feels better than a strong lip or a smokey eye, generally I like to have a bit of a difference between my day and night makeup looks, that way I feel a little more glammed up when I have somewhere special to go!

This is the perfect in-between for me. Whispy false lashes (because mine need a little help sometimes), a little winged liner and a whole lot of highlighter are my go to! My lip colour can switch out but I'm having a moment with MAC's 'Velvet Teddy' (heads up, it looks amazing with a tan!).






Products
Ingot AMC Foundation
NARS Radient Creamy Concealer
Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
Ingot Gel Liner
MAC 'Velvet Teddy' Lipstick
MAC 'Whirl' Lipliner


What's your go-to daytime glam?

Grace.
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11 Feb 2016

A Glimpse At My Apartment + My Thoughts On Moving Out Of Home


I've done it! I've moved out of home.

After months of working on this little project with my Mam, I've finally packed up my things and moved them into a little place that I can call my own. A few years back, I remember asking my Mam when was the right time to move out of home (like there was an unwritten rule that you have to move out at a specific age) and she told me that I'd 'just know' - for me, I guess that age was 23. 

Although I love my family home (I've lived there for two whole decades and then some) I don't think you can beat having a space of your own. In the few short days that I've been living here I've been finding myself being so much more productive. You mightn't think it but living with a large group of people can really shape the way you spend your time - even if it's something as simple as the time you eat at. Haha. 





Moving home has felt like starting the year all over again. When decorating the apartment it was really important to me that it was super bright but still very cosy and homey. Honestly, waking up in the morning to a super bright room gives me so much motivation. 

Paying bills, rent and all that jazz is a little bit of a new thing to me (I didn't experience it to the same extent in College). Trying to organise little things like waste bins, phone lines and parking are all things I haven't had to deal with before but to be completely honest, it pushes me to want to do things that I'm not comfortable doing. You'd be surprised how nervous I get talking to people on the phone that I don't know! Haha. Even though it's a bit scary sometimes being uncomfortable is a good thing! If you stay in your safe zone forever you'll never move forward, experience new things or achieve your goals!




Packing was another thing that I didn't anticipate being so difficult. I figured out that I have way too much clothes, most of which I haven't worn since I was in school and a lot of which I had to leave behind! Also, who knew a girl could own so many chargers... the things you find when you're pulling your bedroom apart. 

The first food shop was interesting. I never realised how long it actually takes to push a trolly around a supermarket when you're in bargain hunting mode, nor did I realise how much it was going to cost when you have to pick up all the staples like oil, sugar, ketchup and coffee (which I don't drink, but what if someone else wants it?).




The place isn't completely finished, so for now I thought I'd share a few snippets of how I've decorated different areas of the apartment. It's coming together nicely and is 100% my taste. If you follow me on Snapchat (Username: grace.edenny) you'll know I picked up some unbelievable pieces  over the last 6 months in TK MAXX which is amazing for kitting out your home with pretty things at discounted prices, so if you're in the market, you know where to go! 

All is going well with the big move so far! I have a feeling I'll never be finished picking up little bits and pieces for this place. Who'd have thought that at 23 I'd be spending my Saturday nights scrolling through interiors boards on Pinterest and searching the length and breadth of the internet to find the perfect bedding? I don't think I'd have it any other way! Haha.

Grace.
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9 Feb 2016

How To: Perfect Fluffy Pancakes


Pancake Tuesday has arrived! What's better than an entire day dedicated to stuffing your face with pancakes without having to feel guilty about it? Not much. This is my first year not living at home for Pancake Tuesday and I've been excited all weekend just thinking about cooking up a pancake feast for breakfast in my very own kitchen (it's the little things)!

I'm more of a fan of the American style fluffy pancakes for Pancake Tuesday (or for a cheeky Sunday Brunch) and after years of watching my Mam perfect her method I seem to have picked up a few things! They are easy peasy to make and are perfect for stacking.



What You'll Need
3 Large Free Range Eggs
115g Plain Flour
1 Heaped Teaspoon Baking Powder
140ml Milk
1 Pinch Salt

Serves 3 - 4

How To
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place in two separate bowls. Combine the egg whites with the salt and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Electric whisks / mixers are your friend if you want to save your arms - I decided to hand whisk mine... it was interesting. Haha.

In your second bowl combine your egg yolks with your sifted flour, baking powder and milk. Beat these ingredients together so that they are well combined (make sure there are no lumps / pockets of flour). Once you're finished, gently fold the egg white mixture into this bowl. Be very careful not to over mix, you'll want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture - this is what gives you the perfect fluffy texture. The final product should have an airy consistency - not runny like a crepe batter.

Using a ladle, pour your pancake batter into a good non-stick pan on a medium heat - no butter necessary if your pan is pancake friendly. When you start to see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake it's time to flip! Cook until your pancakes are evenly golden. You'll only need a few more seconds on the second side.

Now it's time to decorate! This part is perfect for getting kids involved or for throwing a little pancake buffet with your friend! Stack them up high and add fresh fruit and cream, butter and sugar, jam, Nutella or, my favourite, a generous drizzle of maple syrup (which is also very tasty with bacon!) - so much choice! 






I think they look so impressive (and very Instagram worthy). This recipe from Jamie Oliver is a great base to start from. It can be doubled or halved depending on the number of people you're cooking for. Whether your pancakes are drizzled with sauces and syrups or sandwiched with fruit, marshmallows and chocolate everyone thinks that you've gone to a lot of effort to make them when really it only takes about 15 minutes!

Let me know if you give them a try! Snapchat me (grace.edenny) or tag me on Instagram (@gracedenny). 

Happy cooking!

Grace






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