Looking back at 2017

So here I am, New Year's Eve in my Christmas pajamas and Marauders dressing gown in bed. James is downstairs ordering in a takeaway. We were supposed to be getting all dolled up and hitting the town tonight but I've the first draft of my thesis due in two days and to be honest I'm far too stressed about it to give up my evening as well as spend half the day tomorrow recovering. Also I'm fighting off a head cold, I've been working all day and I'm just wrecked! Instead of celebrating the end of 2017 tonight, I'll celebrate it next week with my bestie Anne-Marie when we've handed in our theses and have some time to relax.

I have tried writing more on my thesis tonight, honestly I have but I cant help reflecting on the past 12 months. I'm awful sentimental and genuinely love reflecting on the past, so New Years is usually one of my most favourite times of year. Over the last week or so I've seen so many people reflecting on 2017 and sharing their favourite moments and I've felt a little envious that I haven't had time to do the same. So instead of doing my thesis I'm taking an hour or so out to reflect.

I've seen so many people online, bashing 2017 and willing it to be over as soon as possible. While there were some pretty crappy things that have happened worldwide like Trump and all the terrorist attacks, for me 2017 was actually quite good. I seen a thread on twitter the other day and the moral of the thread was basically saying not to compare your year to anyone else's, some years in your life are for travelling, some years are for your career, so years are for education, family, personal growth etc. So just because your friend traveled a lot this year and you didn't, that doesn't make your year any less great or doesn't mean you aren't progressing through life in the right order or quick enough. 2017 for me was definitely all about education and to a lesser degree all about personal growth. From January to May, I had without a doubt the toughest semester in college I've ever had, I've never done so many late nights and early mornings trying to get assignments done and solid works, OMG, my solid works module still makes me shiver even just thinking about it! Even though it was one of the crappiest semesters, I had countless breakdowns, was constantly stressed and exhausted and had every moment of my life scheduled to make sure I could fit everything in, I actually came out with really good grades, probably the best semester in terms of grades, that I've had in a long time. I'm still so proud of myself for getting through that semester!

Sorry we arrived late and intoxicated, promise we'll behave at the next one Anne-Marie x

Always my best friend x

Moving into the summer, looking back I can see that was more about personal growth, I moved house, started a new job and put all of my energy into taking care of myself physically and mentally. I lost a stone, grew in confidence and spent my days doing what I love, YouTube, social media and a few blog posts for good measure. August was a super busy month, James graduated, which was absolutely amazing, we went to a graduation ball with all our college friends, followed up by going to my Aunty Vera's wedding in September and another wedding the week after and by the time all that was over I was well and truly in my final year of college.



My last third of the year was again all about education. This semester is very different to last semester though. This year it all feels far more serious and there's a lot less deadlines but there's more expected from you. I'd basically only 2-3 days of college and everything else was up to me. It's been stressful but sure look, there was lots of fun throughout to distract me, like going to Oktoberfest, going out for my Birthday and lots of other random nights in between out too.





I learned quite a lot this year about myself. I've learned that it's ok to love your selfies, it's not vain or self centered. I spent years hating my skin, my teeth, my nose, my forehead my tummy, pretty much everything physically about myself. Even though I'm a bit heavier on the scales these days, my skin still has it's flare ups and my teeth,nose and forehead haven't changed I now actually like how I look. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and a little more mature (at the ripe old age of 23 haha) but I've learned how important it is to love yourself. I've also trained myself (to a certain degree) to stop talking shit about myself in my head. If I try on a dress that isn't flattering, instead of saying something awful about myself, I simply say 'nope not for me' and smile. It may sound silly but I'm honestly so much happier in myself these days because of it and don't get me wrong I still have my off days (don't we all) but they are few and far between thank god.

As well as learning about myself I've also learned more about others. I decided quite early in the year when I was super busy that I'd only be putting time and energy into the friendships and friends that were willing to do the same for me and valued my friendship as much as I valued theirs. I definitely have put quality as a main priority over quantity and I'm much happier for it.  I've also learned to accept how my different friendships have changed over the last few years and for the first time I'm actually ok with them changing.

Reflecting on 2017 there's lots of little things I'm proud of. This year my mental health has been the best it's been in probably five or six years, I've recognized some of the triggers to my anxiety and can now stop them in their tracks, I've had the least amount of panic attacks this year than all my years in college and as I said above, I like myself again which is a major win in my opinion. Aside from that, I got to do a lot of fun things this year, I was invited onto the Xpose Beauty Bus and even got a bit of airtime on TV3, I was invited to Pennys HQ to see their Spring Summer '18 collection, I got to go to two weddings, I went to a fancy ball, successfully documented my whole year on my monthly vlog series, I did my friend's makeup for her graduation, went to my first Hen party, went to the spa with my mam, attended my besties first art show and loads of other fun things.

Along with the good can also come the bad, this year I moved house twice which was so stressful, did no travelling as I've been broke AF, done a million stressful assignments and exams, dealt with family illnesses but thankfully this year the good has far outweighed the bad.

I have the deadliest friends!

I feel like 2017 was my last safe year for a while and what I mean by that is next year everything will change. This was the last year that I could kind of predict what would happen. From January to December I'd be here in Limerick in college, whatever little bumps I had along the way, I knew I'd end up here in Limerick in college. In 2018 I'll graduate (fingers crossed) and will have to make my way out into the big bad world and try to find a new normal. Where will it take me, I've genuinely no idea and to be honest that thought absolutely terrifies me. Will I be looking back at 2018 in Limerick? Dublin? London? New York? Back with my parents? Who knows! But this year, this year was safe.

Thank you 2017! x

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Let's Catch Up!

SO I accidentally took like 3 months away from blogging! It wasn't intentional, it just naturally happened. This is my third year blogging and this year was the year I blogged the least. A lot of it had to do with my lifestyle but I also kinda fell out of love with writing.

Let's start at the start, at the beginning of the year I was so excited, as I always am for a fresh start, a new year. I had a list of resolutions and was hell bent on achieving them. Then college came about and slapped me in the face, mega hard!!! From February to May, I was under constant pressure, so many assignments, so much stress (I documented it all in my monthly vlogs if you're interested!). I honestly just didn't have the time or inclination to sit down and write. I was keeping up with my YouTube channel and loving that so much more, I was posting at least 2 videos a week and updating all my social media too. I did manage the odd blog post here and there but found I was only forcing myself to blog.

Once summer rolled around and the stress of college had faded away, I had lots of time on my hands. To be totally honest, I just wasn't inspired to sit down and write. I had lots of ideas, still have about 10 posts in drafts but my heart wasn't in it and I felt it showed. I became far more interested in my YouTube channel and posting on social media so I let myself go with that and slowly but surely I stopped blogging altogether.

So now we're in October, I've moved house (twice but that's a story for another day), I've started my final year in college (which is kicking my ass already), I've a part time job and I kinda want to start writing again. I feel really inspired and want to go back to where it all began, right here on this little site. Being honest, I have no clue how often I'll be able to post on here but for the first time in a long time, I don't feel pressured or forced into writing on here, I feel excited, really bloody excited!

If you didn't already know, I do a monthly vlogging series where I essentially vlog my entire month and stick all together into one video! Those videos will give you more of an insight into what I've been up to and how I was feeling so far this year! I feel really positive about being back on here and can't wait to get stuck in!

So basically, I'm back bitches! 

Erin X 
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Influencers That Actually Influence Me

I'm not a big fan of the term influencers and I don't think I'm the only one! I personally don't like it because I think it cheapens what bloggers actually do and represent. We're not (most of us) walking advertisements that try to trick or pressure or 'influence' people into buying things. I really do wish there was another name but for the moment bloggers and the like are being called influencers so I guess I'll have to get over that. I've been following bloggers, YouTubers and digital media peeps for the guts of five years now. I've said before on here, that I follow an insane amount of people across all my social media and following a crazy amount of people results in a crazy amount of recommendations. Here's a little list of influencers that ACTUALLY influence me...

Jen aka TooDollyMakeup : I've known Jen for years now at this point and she's such a lovely genuine person. She's inspired me so much, every time she snapchats at 2am saying she's just finished filming and then she's up bright and early for work, I'm in awe. Her determination and dedication is outstanding. In terms of influencing, seeing her work so damn hard and seeing it all pay off for her actually has made me work that little bit harder and made me believe in myself that little bit more.

Karen aka Lovely Girlie Bits : Karen was actually one of the first Irish bloggers I ever came across online. Immediately I warmed to her bubbly personality and humour and I was only delighted to find out when I eventually met her that she's so freaking nice too!! I love that Karen shares a mixture of high end and affordable makeup on her blog, perfect for my student budget. Her photography skills are on another level! Her work ethic is also very inspiring! When I go onto Karen's blog I know that I'm going to get complete honesty as well as a few laughs (I just loves the way her mind works sometimes). I've actually gone out and spent money many times based on what she's recommended. I've also not purchased things thanks to her recommendations and saved myself a few bob.

Sinead aka The Beautiful Truth : I am such a big fan of Sinead's blog, have been since the minute I clicked on her website ! I've met her in person a few times now and she's always been so lovely to me.  I admire Sinead so much, of all bloggers and influencers she's the one I trust the most! I love that there's just no bullshit with her and whenever I see a disappointing products video pop up in my subscription box, I always watch it immediately. I've bought so many things on her recommendation and if I'm unsure of a product, I'll usually check her blog to see if she's reviewed it, before I buy it!

Aisling aka Dramatic Mac : I look up to Aisling so much! I've seen her YouTube channel grow so much over the last few years and honestly it's just amazing to watch! I love seeing the hard work that goes into growing her channel. Not a lot of influencers show that side, but I'm glad she does because it makes me up my own YouTube game. I'm no where near her success but watching her succeed makes me feel like if I keep working hard, one day it'll all pay off! I've yet to actually meet Aisling, but I'm certain it will happen at some stage and I can't wait to actually meet her.

There's a quick list of people who influence me in one way or another on a regular basis. There's so many more people I could mention and maybe I will do a follow up post, but for now there's four 'influencers' that ACTUALLY influence me! Tell me, who influences you? 
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Summer Goals & Plans

How is it July already? This year is flying by and so is the summer! I have loads that I want achieve this summer and although we're halfway through the summer I'm only getting a chance to write this now as I've been working six days a weeks for most of June! Anyway I have so much going on inside my head and so much I want to achieve before I head into my final year of college in September so here goes...

  • First and foremost, my weight! This won't be news to any of you who follow me on snapchat and I've mentioned it in passing in previous blog posts. For the most part of 2017 I've been exceptionally busy, which I hate saying because it sounds like an excuse. But it's been my reality. Now that I have about 8 weeks of summer holidays left, I have a lot of time to exercise and prepare really good healthy meals. I've a good bit of weight to shift but I'm fully motivated as I've two weddings in September! 
  • I need to learn to drive! I've been putting it off for years but now it's becoming increasingly frustrating so enough is enough and I'm forcing myself to do some lessons! 
  • I really want to save as much money as I possibly can because I'm planning a trip to Florida next summer as a little treat to myself for finishing college. But that trip will cost a bucket load of money so I really need to start saving! I've worked out a little plan and if all goes well I should be able to afford it comfortably but I do need to be quite strict on myself! 
  • I want to get a headstart on my FYP (Final Year Project) for college. Even though it's summertime and I should be relaxing and enjoying the time off, I can't help but stress about next year already. So I do want to have a solid plan and idea on what my FYP will be and hopefully get going on it before I go back to college. Some of my lecturers have recommended we start during the summer as it will ensure we get a good grade so I'm definitely taking their advice on board. 
  • I want to get back being consistent on here, my YouTube channel and all my social media. I love blogging and making videos, creating instagram pictures and everything that comes along with it so I really want to give it my all this summer and make content that I'm really proud of!
  • Memories! I want to create loads of memories this summer, as most of you will know, I do a monthly vlog series in which I capture my entire month in one vlog. I want July and August to be bursting with memories of friends and family so that I can cherish them forever!
So there you have it! My plan for summer, learn to drive, save some money, do some research, lose some weight, create some great content and most of all have fun!!

Erin X
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Sleek Solstice Palette Review

When this beauty launched, it had the whole beauty world in a frenzy. I had seen the Sleek Solstice palette all over social media, but never got my hands on it until the lovely Breda from O Meara's Pharmacy gifted it to me. I was ecstatic! But did it live up to all the hype? Well...

I don't think I've ever fallen in love with a product so quickly before. The packaging looks so luxurious. It's a small plastic golden palette, perfect to pop in your makeup bag. Inside you've got a big mirror, four highlighting shades, one cream and three powder and a small brush (which let's face it, no one ever uses, it still baffles me that companies put these little brushes in).

The highlighter shades themselves are...
Ecliptic - A luxiourious cream highlighter
Hemisphere - A purple toned highlighter
Subsolar - A golden blinding highlighter, perfect for my pale girls!
Equinox - A rose gold, orange toned highlighter

Here's some swatches...

And there you have it! I actually cannot fault this highlighting palette, if you want a soft glow or a blinding highlight, this palette has it all. The packaging looks high end and is actually practical. The shades are such good quality. They feel silky smooth and are insanely pigmented! It costs around €14.49 and is fully worth it in my opinion!

Erin X 
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Double Cleanse Pixi X Caroline Hirons

In the last few years, I've become a skincare junkie! I'm always trying to better my skincare, having suffered with acne for over 10 years, I'm very selective in the skincare I use. I've followed Caroline Hirons for a while too, she's a skincare genius and when I heard that she was teaming up with Pixi, a raved about skincare brand, I knew I had to try whatever she was making. She created a double cleanse product. I'm a big fan of double cleansing so I was thrilled to see this is what she was creating.

For anyone who is unaware of what double cleansing actually is, it's essentially cleaning your skin twice. For example, if I was to remove my makeup with either an oil cleanser or a micellar water, that would be my first cleanse.The first cleanse is to remove SPF, moisturiser from the morning, makeup etc. Then I would go ahead and cleanse my skin a second time with maybe a foam or cream cleanser. The second cleanse is to actually clean the skin.

So overall my thoughts on the product, the packaging is really nice, the tub is divided into two halves in a ying yang design. Half of the tub is a hard balm that when applied to the face or hands, melts almost immediately and the other half a cleansing cream. The balm/oil is really nice, it doesn't feel greasy, doesn't leave any residue and it removes my makeup really well. It doesn't budge my Inglot 77 gel liner, but not much does. The cream cleanser is lovely too. It's a little heavier than you'd expect but I really like it.

It does what it says on the tin, or rather, lovely packaging, but I'm not sure I'll repurchase it. I ordered it from Beauty Bay for €30.95. I found I went through it really quickly, especially the balm half. I actually used the cream cleanser half as my morning cleanser too and both halves ran out, pretty much at the same time. I reckon, you'd probably get about 6 - 8 weeks with this, depending on how much balm you need to remove your makeup. I like that it's a very simple product, it's not complicated. It's unscented and it's good for your skin. And while I like the product, I just don't love it, I can't put my finger on it, so I'm not sure I'd repurchase. However, if you need a cleanser that is very simple and has good ingredients then this is definitely worth checking out!

Erin X
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Sleek Ultra Matte V2 Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Sleek are fast becoming one of my favourite affordable/drugstore brands. This is the Ultra Matte V2 palette. I actually had this in my collection for quite a while and only recently reached for it as I wanted to use the green shade for a St.Patrick's Day makeup look. I was pleasantly surprised by this palette and have been reaching for it quite a lot over the past month. 

The packaging is nice, it could definitely do with being a little more sturdy. I have four of these palettes (all different but the packaging is the same) and two of them don't close probably. It's very slim which is handy for storing and travelling. It has a big mirror on the inside. It came with a brush that I never used (does anyone ever use the brushes that come in half these palettes? I wish companies wouldn't bother). The palette itself has 12 matte eyeshadows and they are swatched below.

Above are some swatches and to be honest the camera doesn't do them justice. They are so incredibly pigmented, bar one of two of the skin toned shades, which are really good as transition shades. They blend really easily and aren't patchy which is quite rare for budget makeup brands I find. This palette isn't for everyone, I personally love the colours that are in it. I think they're actually really unique shades and I've loves creating some more colourful looks. here's just two looks I created using this palette...

This palette is a winner in my eyes. It costs €11.49 and can be bought in boots and in pharmacies nationwide! 

Erin X
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Seventeen Define N Conquer Contour Kit

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that my skin is super duper pale! As a result I find it really difficult to find a contour shade that's not too warm and not too cool. When I seen that Seventeen (one of my favourite brands) had a contour kit, I picked it up straight away. I bought mine in Boots and it cost €8.49!

So as you can see from the pictures, there's two pans in the kit, one for contouring and one for brightening. Both are powders. The packaging is nice, it's slim so it's easy to store and travel with, it's quite sturdy and it also has a large mirror on the inside. The pans themselves are also quite big which is great. I hate when companies make the pans a little bit smaller in order to fit in a brush (that no one ever uses anyway), so I'm glad Seventeen didn't go down that route. It also came with a little guide that shows you where to apply the contour shade and where to apply the brightening shade. Handy!

Above is swatches of the two powders. The contour shade works really well with my skin tone, both when I'm tanned and also when I'm pale (which is 99% of the time). It looks quite contrasting against my skin in the picture but when it blends out, it really is beautiful. The pigmentation is really good, it works well if you're looking for a natural look or you want to build it up for a night out. Whichever you prefer, it easily achieved with this powder. The brightening shade is quite nice too. I usually use it as a setting powder. I like applying it under my eyes as it's not a very heavy powder so it doesn't give that cakey look.

All in all I really like it, since buying it, I haven't used anything else! The standout is the contour shade but the brightening shade is good to have in the kit as well. For €8.49 you can't go wrong with this little contour kit. It's a great size and performs really well. Seventeen also do offers quite regularly in Boots so it's no harm keeping an eye out for those 3 for 2 offers! 

Erin X
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March Favourites

It's been a while since my last favourites post, I only like to do them every second month so that I can try out a product for a decent amount of time. There's been loaaaaads of things that I've been loving lately and I can't wait to share them with you all! So let me know in the comments what you've been loving recently whether that's a beauty product, film, an event you went to or a happy memory! 

Erin X 

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