Category Archives:Inspiration

IBC-ft
Jun. 03.

Waffle Wednesday: A Learning Experience – Irish Bloggers Conference

ww-IBC-thAt the weekend I was so lucky to be invited to attend the second Irish Bloggers Conference, by the absolutely wonderful Anita of Dolledup.ie, and held in the delightful venue of the Radisson Blu hotel on Golden Lane. It would have been wrong of me to attend and not make it a learning experience, as the wealth of knowledge on stage was immense. I went armed with my notebook and camera to find out what was what.

Just some of the displays at the conference

Just some of the displays at the conference

Now, I will say that I probably didn’t use either as much as I should have. I am partly to blame for this, though I also assign blame to those who were speaking. You could spend so long paying acute attention to what was being said, that you plain forgot to take it all down. There were, though, a few bits that did make it in to my book, which will stick with me. The first part of the day was mainly about blogging as a business, and was led off by fitness blogger Rob Lipsett, who also has a line of gym gear. Three things stuck with me from his presentation:

  • Build up your name: Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Be unique! Be noticed. This is very true. If you have 50 people all blogging about the same thing, in the same way, everything looks far too identikit, like it is the exact same info on a different template. Make your content unique, make it interesting. Put your slant on something and claim it as your own. It will make it so much easier to recognise YOU!
  • Be good at what you do: If you are doing something don’t half-ass it. Know what you are talking about! If you are knowledgeable and passionate about something it will show in your work.
  • And finally, if you are looking to make blogging your business, DO IT! If you are in a 9-5 job that you are just slogging through, ask yourself WHY? Move from something you are just doing to something you are passionate about doing!

Conor Lynch of socialmedia.ie talked about monetizing your blog – making it pay for itself, and you. Luckily a link to his full presentation is available here, but the main thrust of his talk was about the main forms of advertising, how they work, and how to implement them in a way that will not drive away visitors. There was one caveat he had though. The most important thing you need to have before advertising becomes worthwhile is TRAFFIC! If you think that you can just slap some ads onto the blog and it will become a goldmine, it won’t. You have to work up to it first!

I admittedly didn’t take any notes during Alison Canavan’s talk. We were all ordered to uncross our legs, clear our laps, and be in the present. The group meditation was a nice touch though!

The final speaker in part one was Anita Whyte of Dolledup.ie, who, though battling nerves, gave us two things. She has an app coming out soon, and one piece of advice: Interaction is key. Talking to people, sharing with people, interaction makes a big difference. The social aspect can’t be underestimated.

Artwork on display

Artwork on display

The second part of the day focussed on women in business & media (well, it was a mostly female audience, with the few men being questioned as to whether they were lost or being held there against their will, by the brilliantly funny MC Marcus O’Laoire). Sonya Lennon, of Off The Rails and Lennon-Courtney fame told us to not put all of our eggs in one basket. Keep building your profile. Keep looking for the next thing that you can get involved in. Basically to not expect one thing to last forever, but to keep adapting and evolving.

Writer and broadcaster Barbara Scully gave one of the standout talks of the day about women in media and social media (it’s owned by women and cats don’t you know). Again, I was paying too much attention to her to actually make notes, but a couple of things stood out.

  • Keep disciplined, making regular updates to your blog or social media. Watch the reactions to each post. Does something get people talking or clicking more than others?
  • With social media, particularly Twitter, get your name right from the start. Can you expect to be taken seriously with a name like @aurora111? – this is Barbara’s original twitter handle (Incidentally, I’ve always been @robyntmorton – I got something right!)
  • Know your facts: How difficult is it to say something incorrect and try to salvage the situation. You are better off checking your facts and getting it right first time.
  • Important: PUT DOWN THE WINE! Tweeting/facebooking/whatever after a few glasses may seem like a good idea. It may seem like fun, until the next day when you ask “Did I tweet that?” Think before you tweet!

Mary Carty of spoiltchild.com and Stemettes was talking about women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) and told us that “skills are the new safety.” If you don’t have skills, learn them. If you do have skills, keep improving them. And keep learning new things. Skilled people are always needed! She also told us not to wait on perfect. You will be forever waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Orla McDonagh, the Gym Bunny told us of two important things that are needed – Passion & Ego – before encouraging us to take pictures of a couple of slides that contained important information to keep considering (these are in the gallery below)

Gym Bunny

Picture 1 of 3

After the second break, where I tried to be sociable and passed on the delicious looking cupcakes that disappeared in about 5 seconds we had our final three speakers of the day.

Pete Wedderburn (the vet off the television, yes) talked about how he used old media and now new media to build the profile of his vet practice from having two vets not busy, to having many vets always busy. He also asked us to tweet about why exactly we blog, as he was interested to see the myriad of reasons (I blog for enjoyment, friendship and as a means of relaxation)

Timi Ogunyemi, the picture editor of Picture This talked about the 3 C’s (Communicate, Collaborate, Celebrate). I was more lost in his stage presence & glasses, but did manage to note that we should embrace creativity, and love what you do.

The final speaker was Darragh Dolye, a man who has a simple job description – to get things noticed on twitter. He led us on a 20 plus minute, 211 slide journey, that comprised many of memes and funny pictures, while telling us to know where different sources of traffic get to the blog (he is the reason that Robyn Rants and Raves now has a Whatsapp share button). When I wasn’t doubled up laughing, I did manage to take a couple of photos of his presentation, so, the best of Darragh Doyle is below, minus his naked pictures (yes, there were pictures of him, and lots of other naked people, in the presentation)

Darragh Doyle

Picture 1 of 16

The day finished with a fashion and beauty bloggers panel, including Anita Whyte, Nuala Gorham, Holly White, Joanne Larby, David Cashman & James Butler. One of the interesting questions asked was about dealing with negative comments on blogs and social media. I thought the answer given that negativity will happen (some people just hate seeing others being successful) and while you shouldn’t stifle it unless it gets really bad, do not engage with it. There will be so many more positive comments, and brands may be watching. If you lower yourself to the level of trolls, it does not reflect well on you.

blogger-panel

The bloggers panel (I was in an awful place for pictures of this)

One more thing that was mentioned a lot, by numerous people, was about saying yes to opportunities. There must be a reason for someone offering an opportunity to you, so always, where possible, say YES to the opportunity. There may come a time when you have to balance which opportunities pay the bills or not, but don’t let opportunities pass you by. A Richard Branson quote was used to illustrate this: “If you don’t know how to do something, say yes – then learn to do it.”

It was a fantastic day, and as you can see, I took a lot away from it, which, hopefully, you can take bits of too. It was, at times, a bit overwhelming, and a bit of information overload, but it was a very worthwhile day (without even mentioning the goody bags, the Yamamori gift card that I won, or the drinks afterwards in 10 St. Stephens Green), and in the absence of a video of the full day that I can watch back, I will certainly be in line for tickets for the next one. Major kudos have to go to the team at Cool Events for the effort in putting together the day, which is most appreciated.

Robyn

 

(Thumbnail picture credit: Irish Blogger Association & Holly Shortall)

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ziaja-ft
May. 27.

Waffle Wednesday: Things You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Trans Person

ww-logo-thThere is a video currently doing the rounds of internet land, that was originally made by BBC Three’s Free Speech programme, entitled Things You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Trans Person (But Probably Shouldn’t) that has popped up in my timeline a couple of times in the past two days. It was on The Journal today (where I engaged in the comments, which are a dark soulless place – bad Robyn, don’t read the comments, you know that!), and it does pose an interesting question as to just what is and isn’t okay to ask.

Looking at some of the questions included in the video, you have to wonder just what some people are thinking in believing it is okay to ask these things. Let’s be honest, if you were to go up to a woman at random and say “Can I feel your boobs?” you’ll be lucky to get away with just a slap around the face. Why should someone who is trans* be any different? Likewise, how do you have sex? If that is your opening line, you better have much more than your charming personality to go with, because it alone is letting you down. There seems to be an attitude that trans* people are at best curiosities, and at works (as put by one commenter on The Journal) creatures, seemingly beneath basic human rights and boundaries. That is very much not the case.

That said though, I do believe that sometimes asking questions, in the right way, and at the right time, is acceptable. If you are asking for the right reasons, to learn and understand what trans* people go through, then I wouldn’t mind answering them, and I’m sure most trans* people would be the same. (Some questions may be off limits unless you are really close though). And so, if it helps anyone, here are my answers (though they’re probably nowhere near as good as the ones of the people in the video!)

  • When did you decide to be transgender? I never really decided. I just am, though to give something, I suppose I became aware of it in my mid teens.
  • Have you had the op? Medical questions, woo! I’ve been through so many ops now that I lose track of them, but the ones you are thinking about, no. Patience, grasshopper!
  • Which bathroom do you use? The one that is there when I need to pee. Which one do you use?
  • How do you have sex? In bed with the person I love. Get to know me better and ask again.
  • Are you a drag queen? No. I don’t have the makeup skills for the eyes and contouring.
  • Are you sure you aren’t just gay? Gender and sexuality are two completely different things, with infinite different stops on each scale. Variety is the spice of life after all. Wouldn’t life get boring if we were all the same.
  • Can I see a picture? If you know me well enough to see a picture, great. If not, too bad. There’s not much difference, except for my being much more fabulous.
  • Can I feel your boobs? Can I feel yours? No – then don’t be such a tit and stop asking stupid questions.
  • I can tell you used to be a man/woman – Well good for you, but the thing is I don’t really care. I am who I am and if you don’t like it, move along.
  • I never know what to call them – he/she/they? This is quite simple. If you see a woman you use she. If you see a man – he. If you’re unsure, they is gender neutral and works great until you politely ask. That should clear up and issues. If in doubt, ask. We don’t bite (much)
  • Do you think you’ll ever go back? Happiness is everything. Why go back to being unhappy?

As I said, there are some questions there that should really never be asked. I know curiosity may get the better of you, but stopping for a second and thinking whether you would reasonably ask a cisgender person the same thing will give you a pretty good basis for asking or not.

I must also say thank you to BBC Three for putting together the video, and for their respondants for giving such excellent answers!

Robyn

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I need these for my feet! (Credit: Wikipedia)
May. 06.

Run, Robyn! RUN! Now With Added Cycling

Robyn RI’m now just short of a month in to my whole get fit thing, spurred on by how unfit, overweight and generally unhealthy I am. When I last posted about this, we were about two weeks in, and I was slowly starting to see some progress. The main thing is, am I still progressing?

Fitness:

I’m definitely improving. I’m sure of it. When this all started, I was barely able to walk 1500 metres before collapsing through the front door. Now, I am happily doing double that, or more, and still feeling good afterwards. If that isn’t improvement, then somebody tell me what is!

Weight:

Baseline, still. As checked by my doctor this morning. It’s not an increase, true, but I need to start seeing a decrease. Hopefully as my fitness continues to go up, my weight will start coming down.

Workouts completed (Wed 25/04 – Tue 05/05):

No official workouts from the Couch to 5K. I am still concentrating on walking, and trying to increase the distance and pace as I go.

  • Walks completed: 4
  • Total distance: 11.69 km
  • Total Time: 1:43:12
  • Of note: 25 April – 3.14 km in 28:35 (9:05 min/km avg) – My first time over 3km. Felt really good about this. Obviously I wan to make this kind of walk one of the shorter ones, but still, it is a target to beat and keep moving out.
  • Best Pace & distance: 30 April – 3.27 km in 27.29 (8:24 min/km avg) Getting both of these together was amazing. I knew I was pushing myself a bit, and this is why.

Okay, this is fewer workouts than last update, and shorter total distance, but each individual one was longer, and I have another set of workouts to add.

Cycling Workouts (Wed 29/04 – Wed 06/05):

I have added cycling into the mix for this, having purchased a new bike last week. This is easier for me, as is it much lower impact on the knees. I can last longer on the bike, and by working both cycling and walking in tandem, It provides some variety.

My new wheels! (Credit: Giant Bicycles)

My new wheels! (Credit: Giant Bicycles)

  • Cycles completed: 5
  • Total distance: 58.5 km
  • Total Time: 3:31:57
  • Of note: 29 April – 24.05 km in 1:26:53 (16.6 km/h avg) – There is only one way I had to bring the new bike home. Cycle it. First time cycling in years, and I chose it to be a longer distance, on roads I don’t know. I got there though.

Problems Encountered:

Hill climbing is hard: Hills, the bike and myself are currently not in agreement. Hills are usually winning. I will start eating them up as I get more time and distance onboard for the bike, and my ability improves. It is something I just have to work at though.

Personal Notes:

The weather is trying to be awkward, and raining on me. I am still trying to get out between showers if I can, whether it is for a walk or a cycle. I’ve also been taken off the medication for my blood pressure. I’ve been told that the best way for me to sort it is to ditch the weight, and I have a review with my doctor in 3 months to see what has been done. Time to get to work!

Next steps:

I need to start being more mindful of what I am eating. I am an absent minded snacker. I do, though, have history of laying off crisps. I once gave them up for lent, and was still off them 18 months later. I am not saying I need to deny myself all treats. I just need to be more aware of what I am, or am not eating.

I need these for my feet! (Credit: Wikipedia)

I need these for my feet! (Credit: Wikipedia)

I also, when I have everything for the bike sorted, will need to look at new running shoes. If I can find ones with the right level of impact cushioning, I may be able to up the intensity on two legs too!

Robyn

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r white
Apr. 08.

Waffle Wednesday: Run, Robyn! RUN!

ww-logo-thYesterday, I did something seemingly crazy for me. I got out of the house, went down to the pathways by the beach in gorgeous sunny Shankill, and I went for a run. This is not something I do, but yesterday I started the Couch to 5K program, and after I got clearance from my GP to keep going (she saw no reason not to, but due to my unique health issues I thought it prudent to ask) I am going to force myself to complete it. These will be my chronicles. They will only be every couple of weeks, but making it public makes me want it to be as good as it can be.

Before running baseline:

Fitness: I’m going to use the zombie apocalypse test. Basically, if you were being chased by a horde of ambling zombies, how likely are you to get away and survive. Currently, I’d be lucky to get away from the shambling, ambling ones. The ridiculously fast 28 later style ones, forget about me, go and lead your lives! In all honestly, I’ve been laid up for 18 months nearly, being told to do nothing, and *holds hands up* I’ve been inactive a lot longer than that. I used to play softball, but had to give it up as it was affecting my knees.

Weight: Prefer not to say, but may be equivalent to a small car or baby elephant (only a SMALL exaggeration). When my GP weighed me today, I was 3KG lighter than I was just before surgery in February, but I could still stand, or run, to lose a large amount of this.

First Workout:

C25K, Week 1, Day 1: The most basic workout you can get. The very beginning. Warm up walk for 5 minutes, jog 1 minute & walk 90 seconds repeating for total of 20 minutes. Warm down 5 minutes. Total 30 minutes.

I lasted 20 minutes of it. This disappointed me, as I wanted to hang in there for the full time, but impressed me, as it was about 15 minutes more than I thought I could do. It was not a great start, but it was a start, and in everything you have to start somewhere.

Problems encountered:

Shortness of breath: The 20 minutes took the wind out of me, quite literally. It took me a few minutes sitting down afterwards to get my breath back properly. If I needed proof of my being unfit, that was it.

Earphones: Standard in ear earphones are USELESS for this kind of thing. I found myself stopping every couple of minutes to put them back in (but did stop the clock while I did so) I’ve already picked up some sports earphones for next time.

Personal notes:

Once I got my breath back and was in the shower, I did feel a little good about the fact that I was even attempting it. I’m thinking that if I can keep breaking it into lots of small victories it will be easier to keep going, rather than looking (at the moment) at a seemingly unattainable goal. One step at a time, Robyn. One step at a time!

Robyn

P.S. I know some of you read the title of this post as Run, Forrest, Run! Go on, admit it!

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red-gold-bottles
Dec. 08.

Manicure Monday: Red and Gold

mm-red-gold-thI said during Face Friday last week that there was a red and gold manicure to go with my red and gold face, and true to my word, here we are. As we all know, red and gold are perfect festive colours, and I’ve combined the two here into an alternative French Manicure.

red-gold-bottles

The colours chosen for this manicure are ones I’ve never used before. The red, a shade called Tate from Nails Inc. came free with the December issue of Glamour, while the gold is from Collection’s Work the Colour Nail Polish range and is shade 18, Going For Gold. After basecoating my nails with CND Stickey, my basecoat of choice, I applied three coats of Tate to all except for my ring finger, which got an equal number of coats of Going For Gold. I could have gotten away with two coats each, but in order to build up such a deep intensity of colour I thought three would be better suited (that and it’s the magic number).  I then took a modelling paintbrush, and working with the gold, freehanded French Tips onto the red nails, before adding a second coat to ensure a good solid colour. I would have used tip guides, and then the brush that comes with the polish, but I didn’t have any and wanted to challenge myself a little. Finally, I did the opposite over the gold, but instead of a French tip, I did a half moon in red.

Both polishes were really lovely to work with, with the brushes covering the nails evenly, and the polish spreading and moving with no dragging, leaving behind beautifully smooth coats. I’d happily work with the polishes again and again, such is my love for how well they applied.

Finally, let us have a look at the finished result. Pictures, as always, are taken with and without flash, and are presented for your viewing pleasure, firstly without flash.

red-gold-noflash

red-gold-flash

I am super impressed with how this turned out. Okay, my French tips could have been just that little bit tidier, but the colours work so harmoniously, that I’m not overly concerned by the tips. The contrasting red on gold just serves to do something different, but works in its own right. What do you think of them?

Robyn

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inspiration
Dec. 05.

Face Friday: Magazine Inspired Red & Gold Christmas Look

ff-redgold-thLast week, while reading through a magazine, I saw two looks that combined elements of red & gold. It stuck with me, and I wondered if I could create something of a Christmas party look inspired by it. Well, I gave it a go, and the results are here for you today for Face Friday.

inspiration

Here are the looks that I drew inspiration from, which come from the December issue of Cosmopolitan. I was particularly taken by two elements, the gold eyes from the left, and the gold cupids bow and red lips on the right. It’s these elements that I wanted to combine into one look, so after scrubbing, cleansing, toning, moisturising and putting on a ton of lip balm, I went through my collection and took out the following to be used in creating the look:

Face:

  • Primer: Benefit – The Porefessional
  • Foundation: Max Factor – Skin Luminizer Foundation (40 – Light Ivory)
  • Blush: Benefit – Benetint
  • Blush: Benefit – Hervana
  • Highlighter: MeMeMe – Beat The Blues (Pearl Pink)
  • Contour: Wet n Wild – Coloricon Bronzer (E740 – Bikini Contest)
  • Powder: Benefit – Hello Flawless (Ivory)
  • Concealer: Benefit – FakeUp (01 – Light)

Eyes:

  • Brows: NYX – Eyebrow Cake Powder (04 – Auburn/Red)
  • Primer: Makeup Revolution – Focus + Fix Primer (Brighten)
  • Pigment: Barry M – Fine Glitter Dust (10 – Yellow Gold)
  • Shadow: Makeup Revolution – Awesome Eyeshadow Collection (Various Golds & Silver)
  • Liner: Paese – Liquid Eyeliner (Black)
  • Mascara: Physicians Formula – Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara (Fakeout)

Lips:

  • Lipliner: Revlon – Colorstay Liner (Red)
  • Lipstick: L’Oreal – Color Riche Lipstick (297 – Red Passion)
  • Gold Lip Line: Essence – Effect Eyeliner (02 – Gold Digger) topped with Barry M – Fine Glitter Dust (10 – Yellow Gold)

Brushes:

  • Blank Canvas – F20 – Foundation
  • Blank Canvas – F16 – Powder
  • Real Techniques – Setting Brush – Blush (Apply/Blend)
  • Real Techniques – Pointed Foundation Brush – Apply Contour
  • Blank Canvas – F03 – Blend together blush/highlighter/contour
  • Blank Canvas – E24, E25, E32 – Shadows
  • Blank Canvas – E30 – Undereye shadow/comb lashes
  • Ecotools – Angled Liner Brush – Brows
  • Blank Canvas – L29 – Lipstick
  • Emite Make Up – L312 – Pigment on upper lip line

That is quite a list of products and brushes to work through, but Christmas is a time for going all out. And to answer the question of what all of this gets you in the end, here it is:

face-eyesopen

face-eyesclosed

eye-open

eye-closed

lip

Now, I’ll freely admit I was a little forgetful, and forgot to do photos using flash, which is a pity, as it would really show off the eyes. The glitter pigment used will really make your eyes sparkle, and the combination of red and gold is a classic. The addition of silver in the corner of the eyes added another dimension to them, giving a bit more colour depth, while the mascara created great lashes without resorting to potentially over the top falsies. The only thing I am slightly concerned about is the gold along the top lip, which may have benefited from a liquid gold. I felt that in the minute amount I used, it was just slightly lacking. Not awful looking, but not stand out. I think that once I have somewhere to go that isn’t a hospital, I will be redoing this look and actually showing it off. In fact, I may just have the perfect matching manicure to show off for you on Monday.

What do you think of this look? Would you go for a gold lined lip, or should it be left to editorial makeup? And am I using enough glitter? The comments await!

Robyn

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greenangel
Sep. 07.

Something Else Sunday: Blogger Meet Up

ses-bloggermeetBloggers are known for being social creatures. We love getting together to have a coffee or a cocktail, a chat and to swap tales and favourites. Really, going to blogger meet ups is one great perk of the whole blogging thing. So, I was really happy to be able to attend a blogger meet up in Dublin yesterday, kindly and brilliantly organised by the amazing Anita of Anita’s Beauty Spot.

We found ourselves downstairs in Costa Coffee on College Green (yes there is a downstairs area) in what appears to be a cross between a cellar and a church. The lighting wasn’t great, but as it is a private room, it was a great place for us all to gather to see what was new, including the chance to have a look at a number of new products.

adoreabubbles beauty units

Adoreabubbles Beauty Units

sarah

Sarah from Adoreabubbles

Among the new products and businesses on display were these Adoreabubbles Beauty Units, handmade by fellow blogger Sarah from Adoreabubbles. Being a fellow blogger and having far too much to keep organised, she has turned her idea into a small business, and was on hand to both chat and let us know about her business. I am really impressed by the idea of the nail polish stand, which holds up to 150 polishes. I have to seriously consider getting one, as at 140 polishes I have just maxed out my IKEA picture shelves.

paese

New Nail Polishes from Paese

martha paese

Martha from Paese

Speaking of polishes, we were treated to a visit from Martha, the founder of Paese Cosmetics, who was on hand to launch her new ranges of nail polish, a range of pastel shades (the blue she has on her nails is gorgeous, and a more neutral toned silk range. One of the silk range may just be making an appearance for Manicure Monday tomorrow!

It is great to see people who are so passionate about their products come to talk to us, including Jane from Mondss Underarm Wear. Inspired by a need and the fact that there was no product available that fit what she needed, she created a unique product and a business opportunity for herself, and was again on hand to let us know about it. It is a little difficult to explain the product without showing it to you (so it is on my list of things to review properly) but it is amazing to see the commitment that went in to taking the product from an idea to market.

greenangel

Green Angel Skincare

One product range that I found delightful was the range from Green Angel Skincare, an Irish company that has won multiple awards for their natural products. It’s a pity I can’t transmit smells over the internet because these smell absolutely divine. I didn’t know it was possible to put so many deliciously scented products. I got to try out their award winning body scrub (on my hands anyway) and between the wake you up scent of zingy lemon, the way it really does work, and the moisturising oils, I couldn’t help but be impressed by it.

A small selection of the raffle prizes

A small selection of the raffle prizes

Of course, at these meet ups, there is an element of charity involved, and yesterday was no different, with a raffle in aid of Console. The range of prizes on offer was exceptional. The generosity shown by the sponsors for the raffle prizes, or with little bits and pieces for goody bags was a sight to behold, and I really can’t say thank you enough to all those who supplied something (the list is as long as my arm)!

Sometimes I feel that we don’t get together to chat enough, so it was really enjoyable to spend an afternoon with other bloggers, and of course those who took time to chat about their businesses and products with us, so once again I should say thank you to Peter from Ziaja, Jane from Mondss, Martha from Paese, the commanding presence of Anne-Marie Gannon who made sure we were listening when we had to (and was most complimentary about my radio voice and professionalism with a camera – myself, my voice and my ancient Canon were very happy with that), Sarah from Adoreabubbles, Niabh from Green Angel, every blogger who was there (those who I got a chance to talk to and those I didn’t), and finally Anita (who made the whole day possible). I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Robyn

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face-summer
Jun. 20.

Face Friday: Summertime

face-summer-thWith the weather having been so warm over the past while, I’ve been trying to keep makeup to a minimum, trying to avoid it sweating and melting off my face (NEVER, ever a good look). For the most part, everything has been neutral, with a sheer colour pop on cheeks, and then a bold, bright lip. I think this fits the bill perfectly.

face-summer

Face:

  • Tinted Moisturiser: MeMeMe – Flawless Tinted Moisturiser (02 – Beige Blush)
  • Powder: Mary Kay – Sheer Dimensions Powder (Lace Coral)
  • Blush: No.7 – Pop & Glow Cream Blush (Classic Rose)

Eyes:

  • Brows: Maybelline – Brow Drama (Medium Brown)
  • Shadow: Wet n Wild – ColorIcon Shadow Trio – Eyelid (Walking on Eggshells)
  • Shadow: Wet n Wild – ColorIcon Shadow Trio – Browbone (Walking on Eggshells)
  • Liner: Physicians Formula – Shimmer Strips Kajal Liner (From brown eye trio)
  • Mascara: Rimmel – Scandaleyes by Kate Moss Mascara (005 – Eye Rocks Sapphire)

Lips:

  • Lipgloss: Shiseido – Lacquer Gloss (RD305 – Lust)

Brushes:

  • Real Techniques – Multi Task Brush – Blush
  • Blank Canvas – F16 – Powder
  • Blank Canvas – E32 – Liner (Lid)
  • Royal & Langnickel – C260 Taklon Shadow Brush – Eyeshadow (Browbone, Blend between shadow & liner)

This look achieved what I was looking for, a minimalistic face, using nothing stronger than a tinted moisturiser and powder, with just enough colour to draw out the eyes and cheeks, then a vibrant lip.

Robyn

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thumb
May. 12.

Lets Talk Blog Challenge: Birthday Box

thumbIt’s week 3, and the halfway point of the Lets Talk Blog Challenge, run by At The Beauty Desk’s Sarah. We’ve had a Day in my Life, and Summer Essentials. For week 3, we’re talking about the items that would be in our ideal Birthday box.

There are a handful of things that would have to be included in a birthday box for me. In no particular order, they include:

Nails:

NOTD-French

Image Credit: Me

It’s no secret that I love my nails, so a voucher for a mani/pedi would definitely be loved. It also gives such choice as to what to do with them. Go crazy, or go understated and chic? If you have seen my Mani Monday posts, you’ll know what I mean.

Perfume:

perfume

Image Credit: Shiseido

I don’t have that big a collection of perfume. Currently 5 bottles, but a couple are dupes. One I do want to add to my collection though is this stunner from Shiseido called Zen Sun. It is a delicate sweet fragrance, without being in any way overpowering. It’s a grown up, understated, chic sweet scent.

Coat:

coat

Image Credit: TK Maxx

My birthday falls in the depths of December. I was actually meant to be born on Christmas day, but arrived a week early. Maybe that’s why I love winter (except the rain). I also have a number of winter coats, but would love a really special one, like this number from TK Maxx. It’s from See by Chloe and looks absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t be wearing it all the time, but I would love and adore it and it would last forever!

Travel:

CPH-Library

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Finally, I wouldn’t be able to get proper use out of my understated chic gifts without somewhere understated and chic to show them off. And where is more understated, chic and Scandinavian cool than Copenhagen. I’ve actually been twice already before. Once in 2003 with a youth group, and again in 2009, where I went by myself for a weekend in early November, just because I wanted to and was getting a good deal from the SAS sales manager I used to deal with (Good enough excuse)

There is just something about the city I’ve fallen in love with. I can’t say what exactly, but it makes me so happy to be there. From arriving in Kastrup, getting on the metro, and 12 minutes later emerging into one of the handful of squares in the centre of the city, where last time I was there, you walked into the middle of an outdoor photography exhibition, the city just has a vibe about it that makes you feel at ease.

CPH-Stroget

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A couple of things I thoroughly recommend you do include a stroll along Strøget, the longest pedestrianised street in Europe, with one end starting at the department store Magazin du Nord on Kongens Nytorv, next to one of the most recognisable streets in Copenhagen, Nyhavn, the New Harbour.

CPH-Nyhavn

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

During Summer, Nyhavn is a riot of colour in the sunshine, with people sitting outside bars and hotels having a drink, the boats, and people sitting along the harbour wall, enjoying the weather, having a hotdog (Danes love hotdogs, and you can’t go anywhere without falling over a hotdog cart) or a few drinks bought from a shop. In late November the tables and chairs are still outside the bars, this time with added blankets, and they are joined by huts for the Christmas markets, which open up at this time both in Nyhavn and Tivoli Gardens. From Nyhavn, be sure to join in one of the canal tours, which allows you an impressive view of the city from water level, including the parliament buildings, stock exchange and the library, known as the Black Diamond (top).

Okay, enough of me spilling about my love for Copenhagen, except to say, I still need to see the Little Mermaid up close (I didn’t get there in 2009, and in 2003 when I was there, it wasn’t – IIRC someone had blown it up fairly recently and it was off for repairs) and if I was given the chance, I would certainly want to live there for a while.

Oh, and don’t tell me I’m asking for too much. I spent my last birthday in hospital. I’m making up for it. If you want to help though, anything would be very welcome 😉

What would be in your ideal birthday box? What do you think of my choices? Please do let me know.

Robyn

 

Part of the Let’s Talk Blog Challenge series:

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