Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Lo Down - My Journey to being more Positive

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Being positive, some people find it so easy to be just that while others find it almost impossible. I was the latter three years ago, I was so negative no one could say anything to me without me having a little hissy fit. It was during my bad mental health stage and most of the time I wanted to spend time on my own which of course wasn't the solution either.  I was beyond down and no one could bring me out of my rut at the time.
Fast forward three years and I'm in a much better place right now. I'm happy, I'm doing exactly what I what I want to do in life, I'm going out with a boy that seriously is my everything and things are just going well in general. It wasn't all that easy to get to this stage I'm telling you, it took hard work and determination on my part. Of course I had alot of support aswell from my family, friends and mental health professionals which was definitely needed.

So how did I become so positive you may ask? Mindfulness helped alot, I'm not going to lie it wasn't for me to begin with. I didn't like it at all and I dreaded going to be my classes but once you get into it it's really helpful. It's all about living in the moment which I don't think we do quite enough at all. I feel much more relaxed when I practice Mindfulness if you can't find a class near you, there's always really good books you can get on it aswell. Next I think it is really important to have like minded positive people around you. When I was being really negative I noticed that a good few of my friends didn't want to be around me which was hard I must admit but I totally understand why now. People don't like when you are negative as it does but a downer on everyone elses day which isn't fair in the slightest. Once I started being positive again all those friends came back and we're way happier to see me back to my old self. So I feel it's really good to be around positive people as nothing beats those positive vibes.

I think it's also really important to do regular activites, if I was sitting around the house all day I would just get more and more inside myself. To beat that I decided to make plans for everyday be it go out for a short walk or hang out with my close friends, both these things for me made such a difference to my life. I also found reading a good book helped me alot. If you sit down with a good book I automatically think you feel happier and you have something to talk to your friends about when you seen them. I think Ruby Wax books are really good. She's an amazing mental health advocate and I found her books interesting as well as really informative.

All in all I feel alot more positive over the past few years it definitely took time and effort but I got there in the end and I'm definitely feeling alot happier which is always a plus.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Prison Break is Back!!

Hey Guys and Dolls,

One of my favourite shows growing up in my teens was Prison Break. It was just so good, it ended a couple of years ago after 4 seasons and I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I was really happy to hear earlier in the year that the show was coming back for a fifth season. It started on Fox in Ireland last Monday and of course I had to watch it.
The new season focuses around Michael Schofield. Is he still alive? Sarah has remarried and Lincoln has learned from Teabag that Michael might possibly be alive. Teabag got sent a picture of Michael so could it be true. I'm not going to go too much into it as I'm sure you guys will want to watch it for yourself. I really enjoyed the first episode, sometime when a show is brought out again they tend to ruin it but this time around they definitely didn't. I can't wait to watch some more this week.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Lee Stafford Coco Loco Shampoo and Conditioner

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've never tried products from the haircare brand Lee Stafford until I was recently sent their shampoo and conditioner to try. I was really excited to try these products as I'm always looking for new great products for my hair.
Coco Loco is a coconut oil based haircare line which as you all know is amazing for your hair. First off before I talk about the product itself, just look at that packaging it's so pretty love it. As I said I'm always on the lookout for new products and these tick all the boxes for me. My hair can be quite quite sensitive at times and Lee Stafford products don't aggravate my scalp at all. I am really fond of these products even after using them once on my hair it is left feeling silky smooth and looks amazing. A little bit goes a long way aswell, I use the smallest amount. After trying these two products I can't wait to try some more products from this brand, I'll definitely keep an eye out for these the next time I'm in Boots. 

Laura<3

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Lo Down - My Easter Weekend with my Boyfriend

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Last weekend was the Easter weekend so it was time for me to take a break from college. I spent the weekend with my boyfriend Daragh which was so nice. On Friday all the pubs were closed in Ireland as it was Good Friday so we had some drinks in his house and the chats which is just what I needed. On Saturday we watched the football and some Fast & the Furious movies as we're going to see the new movie this week I think.
On Sunday we just chilled out for the day and I did some of my study for college. Of course it was Easter Sunday, I got Daragh a Galaxy egg and he got me a Lindt Easter egg my fave. Plus his Mom got me a Lindt Easter Bunny so I definitely was off my diet over the weekend that's for sure. The weekend went by so quick and on Monday I went home to my house to get stuff organised for college today. I had a presentation today and I nailed it so delighted with life. I have an advantage though as I did a marketing, sales, advertising and pr diploma a while back.
All in all I had a great weekend, it was nice to chill out with Daragh and spend more time with him as we don't get to do it that much.

Laura<3

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Lo Down - Vivid Brights Liner

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I was sent a product recently and I wasn't too sure how I was going to make it work on me. The product in question is NYX's Vivid Brights Liner in Vivid Petal, a light pink shade that I'm not going to lie I wouldn't usually go for.
As I said above I wasn't too sure how I was going to wear this product on my eyes that is until I went to the NYX counter in Arnots. The sales assistant was so lovely and even gave me a list of their best selling products that I should try next. Basically she told me to pair this liner with a black liner so there would be a bit of a contrast between the two and it works really well.

I've gone from not thinking I'd be able to rock this product to trying to come up with more looks to incorporate it in. I think this product would be amazing for over the festival season. Plus like all NYX products it's very affordable aswell so it's a win win.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I have pretty good eyebrows it has to be said, their thick so I don't usually need much products and I get them shaped regularly as they would probably look like caterpillars on my face otherwise. Sure no one likes the caveman look. I have been using the NYX Micro Brow Pencil though recently and I thought I'd tell you guys about it.
I do really like this product as it's quick and easy to use, great when your in a rush. It's dual sided with the products on one side and the spoolie on the other. I'm a really big fan of NYX, their products are such good quality, I love them. I'm actually going to pick up some more of their products really soon as their new highlighter powder looks amazing so I can't wait.

This product makes my eyebrows look amazing, it's such a nice product. It comes in different shades and I use the shade Espresson which is perfect for me. I always have this product in my makeup bag now. It's so affordable like all NYX products aswell which is pretty good too.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Weightloss Update #11

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I can't believe I'm on my 11th weightloss update, like where does the time go? It's hard to believe that we're half way through April, the Summer months will be upon us before we know it. Its crazy! Of course I want to get Summer ready, I may not be rocking a bikini this year but I want to feel fitter by then so you know what that means alot of hard work thats what.
I've been working hard the last week anyways thats for sure. I'm down a further 4 pounds bringing my total weightloss up to 2 stone 8 and a half pounds in a 2 and a half month time frame. I know unreal like I couldn't be happier right now. I'm smashing all my targets left right and centre plus I just feel really good in myself all round to be honest. Exercise has taken a back seat since I started college as I just don't have the time but I've started getting off the bus stop before mine just to get that bit of a walk in and sure I've been walking everywhere these days anyway so that's really helped.

I'm still staying clear of the college canteen, I just can't chance eating college food or lets be honest I just won't stop. Sad but true! I am really enjoying college by the way my course is really good but you are sitting around for pretty much the full day which can be a pretty much a pain but I'm working around it. Now that the Summer is nearly upon us Marley Park is opening later which is good. My Dad and I actually went on a long walk last week. I love going on walks up there even just to clear the head so I'm going to be going on a lot of walks up there in the coming weeks. I'm going to bring my phone aswell as there's so many photo opportunities up there as it's such a beautiful park. I wish I was going to one of the concerts up there over the Summer who knows I just might treat myself to a ticket if I keep doing so well I think.

In the coming week I'm still going to work my ass of eating well and walking as much as I can to get some form of exercise in. Sure we'll see how things go and I'll definitely keep you updated on my progress that's for sure.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Sleek Cream Contour Kit

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I haven't tried too many products from Sleek Cosmetics. It's never been a brand that I've been particularly drawn towards to be honest. I've recently purchased some products from the brand and one of them is their Cream Contour Kit.
I've always wanted to try one of these and at €13.95 it's not too pricey either compared to others out there on the market. I've always sort of shied away from cream contour as I thought it would make a mess and look dirty on the face. I was wrong though this product is really good and I like it.
The palette itself comes with two highlighting shades and four contouring shades which is everything you need for contouring. This palette is also very buildable and blendable. I went for the shade light as I'm pretty pale at the moment.

This palette is perfect for me as my face is pretty round and I have like no cheekbones and contouring is much needed sometimes. This palette gives the effects of cheekbones. This product is also compact with a good size mirror so it's great for travelling and for popping in the oul makeup bag. Boots ususally have offers on Sleek products which is worth having a look at. A recent offer was buy one get the second product half price which is a pretty good offer if you want to stock up on your favourites.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Urban Decay Naked Skin One and Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector

Hey Guys and Dolls,

After loving the Naked Skin Foundation I decided to pick up Urban Decay's Naked Skin One and Done Hybrid Complexion perfector aswell while I was doing my Urban Decay makeup course. I know the name is a bit of a mouthful indeed. I've been trying this product  alot lately and though it may not overtake Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation but I do like it.
This product is a hybrid between a foundation and tinted moisturiser. It also has a tonner of skin benefits including reduced pore size and more vibrant skin. A little bit goes a long way with this product. It has a pump so you can control how much product you use. I feel this product applies best with a brush and it gives such a good finish.

It has pretty good coverage for a complexion perfector I have to say. I think this would be a great product for the Summer months or if you are on holidays. I do like this product but I'm uncertain if I will purchase it again. I'm sure this tube will last me a while though.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I love Urban Decay, I have alot of their products and I'm in love with them all. I used their old foundation when it first came out and I didn't like it, it clung to my skin in all the wrong places. When they launched their Naked Skin foundation I couldn't wait to try it and of course I was in love.
I've gone through a couple of bottles of this foundation and I'm in the shade 3.0, I did a Urban Decay makeup course in Debenhams last year that came to €200. The €200 was redeemable on products which was amazing. I bought a couple of items and this was one of them.

This foundation is medium coverage but it's buildable and blends beautifully into the skin. I use either my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or one of my Blank Canvas makeup brushes to apply it. I'm really looking forward to trying their new All Nighter foundation.

Again this is another highend foundation at €34.50 but I've already gone through so many bottles of this stuff. It's definitely one of my favourite foundations.

Laura<3 

The Lo Down - Uriage Hydrating Lip Balm

Hey Guys and Dolls,

My handbag is definitely a place where most of my lip balms turn up seeing as I get really dry lips I have quite a few. No wonder my bag is so heavy sometimes the amount of makeup I keep in there.
As you know I've tried a couple of products from French skincare brand Uriage lately. The most recent product I've tried from the brand is their Hydrating Lip balm. It has such a nice consistency and does exactly what it says on the tin or should I say tube in this case.

I use this product morning and night plush before I apply my lipstick and I find it really helps with the application of my lippy. All and all I think this is a great product and as you get it with a free gift with their hand cream it's amazing!

Laura<3

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Lo Down - Garnier Micellar Gel Wash

Hey Guys and Dolls,

As you all know I love Micellar Waters so when Garnier brought out their new Micellar Gel Wash I was intrigued and couldn't wait to see what it was like. I bought this one in Boots and it's the original but it does come in a oily skin version aswell, I decided to go with the original though.
This is such a nice product and I'm pretty sure I got it on special aswell but I can't remember the price off hand. It wasn't too pricey thought from what I can remember. One to two pumps of this product is all you need to clean all the makeup off your face. After adding a bit of luke warm water it turns into a rich lather and when washed off it leaves your skin looking fresh. I really like this product and I can't wait to try more Garnier skincare in the future.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - VH1 Ed Sheeran Storytellers Gig in Whelans

Hey Guys and Dolls,

In 2015 I was lucky enough to go along to Ed Sheeran's VH1 Storytellers gig in Whelans in Dublin. I won the tickets online and I brought along my brother Ger as we are both really big fans. The night itself was was amazing, we both had a lovely time. I wish I could get tickets for his gig in the 3 Arena but tickets are like gold dust and are pretty pricey. I'm going to other gigs this Summer though so I'm looking forward to them.
Back to the gig in Whelans, the atmosphere was unreal like nothing I ever experienced before. We both had such a good night. He sang lots of his hits from his first and second album e.g. Lego House, A Team and Sing etc.
We definitely danced the night away and I'd love to see him again. I'm so jealous any of you that are going to see him tonight in the 3Arena. I love Ed Sheeran's new album especially the song Galway Girl.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Loreal Glam Bronze Cushion de Soleil

Hey Guys and Dolls, 

I haven't really tried too many cushion products, I've just never been really drawn towards them to be honest. I recently started using Loreal's Glam Bronze Cushion de Soleil lately that I purchased a while back and I've been really loving it.
Basically it's a liquid bronzer in a cushion, you can get a foundation aswell which I own but I can't say I've used it much since I bought it. This on the other hand has been used lots lately. It comes with one of those sponges aswell that no one ever uses.

I apply it using my SoSu Pro Blender. It goes on so lightly can't make a mistake and gives the most gorgeous glow. I love it! It retails for in and around €16 but Loreal products are usually on special offer in Boots depends on the time you go in. If you can get your hands on this product I'd definitely recommend it.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Touche Eclat Le Teint + Pinceau Y Brush

Hey Guys and Dolls,

As you all know I love a good foundation so I was delighted when this amazing duo came in my letter box, the Touche Eclat le Teint foundation and Pinceau Y Brush. I've used both before and I was left beyond impressed by them. The foundation is a dream, just look at the packaging it's beautiful! It gives amazing coverage, is great during the Summer months and gives a lovely glowy finish. I received so many compliments when I use this foundation especially from the boyfriend who gave it his seal of approval.
To get the best results you should use it alongside this foundation brush. It has a reservoir like a little well that holds the product and you can then buff it into your skin for a beautiful flawless finish. The perfect combination!

They are on the pricey side of things at €42 for the foundation and €42
for the brush but they are both definitely worth it in my opinion.

Laura<3 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Lo Down - Weightloss Update #10

Hey Guys and Dolls,

 Sorry with the delay in putting this up, I had so many posts to put up it and it completely slipped my mind. Here we are now though so let's get into it.
So you may be wondering how did I got on last week with my weightloss, I'm down another 1 pound bringing my total weightloss to 2 stone 4 and a half pounds, it may be a small amount but I'm still happy that I'm making progress. It's been hard  as I've started college which means there's alot of nice lunches in the canteen  and of course there's not a healthy option in sight. I've had to have really good will power there.

I'm trying to have a really healthy week this week so we'll see how I get on. I do miss my fitness classes though as I feel like they helped me lots, once I get though any free time I'm going to go back to one for sure.

Laura<3

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Lo Down - Nimue Face Masks

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've done quite a few reviews on Nimue products in the past, they are by far my favourite skincare brand out there at the moment. I was recently sent two of their face masks to try from the brand so I'd thought I'd share my thoughts with you guys. I definitely don't use face masks enough and I should as my skin hasn't been in the best condition lately, it's soo dry. These products have been a lifesaver and have left my skin looking alot better thankfully.
The two masks I was sent are the Anti Ageing Leave On Mask and the Super Hydrating Mask. I've been using them both lately as I am getting to that age where I have to start using anti ageing products, I knew this day would come.

So I've been using the Super Hydrating Mask alot and it's amazing! I don't know where I'd be without it. This mask leaves my skin looking so hydrated and smooth just what it says on the tube which is what I needed. The Anti Ageing mask is a leave on mask so I put this on before I go to bed and cleanse my face as usual in the morning. This mask does not have a scent so it would be perfect for people who don't like scented products. The Super Hydrating Mask does have a light scent but it is really nice. I've recently heard about multi masking so I want to try that out soon. It's basically where you use multiple masks on your face in targeted area. I'm definitely going to give it a try soon.

The Nimue face mask retail for €36.25 for the Anti Ageing Leave On Mask, this mask actually won a Image Magazine Award recently which it thoroughly deserves and €23.95 for the Super Hydrating Mask. I f you want to give your skin that extra bit of TLC definitely check these two beautiful products out.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've owned lots of MAC lipsticks over the years as I'm quite a big fan, I sold nearly all them in a blog sale a while ago when I was doing a bit of a clear out of my makeup collection. My favourite lipstick of theres by far is Velvet Teddy. It' a beautiful neutral shade that actually goes with every makeup look, just what I need.
I have mine quite a while now which you can see in the picture above. My parents bought it for me in the Airport when they were going on holidays a while back. Daragh is going to Manchester soon so I'm going to get him to pick me up another one as I'm literally nearly finished this one.

I'm wearing this lipstick in the picture below and it definitely completes my makeup look for sure, I love it. MAC lipsticks can be expensive, I do believe they are in and around €20 which is pricey but I will be repurchasing this gem as I don't know what I'd do without it.
Laura<3

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Lo Down - My Marathon Running Experience

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Seeing as I'm into my weightloss and fitness journey I thought I'd tell you about my Marathon Running Experience. I've talked about it a bit in past posts but not too much and not in a long time. When I lost weight the last time I decided to get into running and I really enjoyed it.
I competed in three 10km, 2 Women's Mini Marathons and the Samsung Night Run. The latter was definitely my favourite run, it was so amazing running around Dublin City at night and the atmosphere was great. The medal for that run definitely stands out aswell. I ran one of the Women's Mini Marathons for one of Ireland's leading newspapers, The Herald to be exact so that was something different.

I definitely want to get back into running again. There's nothing better than the sense of achievement when you cross the finish line. I finished all my runs in and around the hour mark which made me so happy. I also love my medals alot, there so pretty and I display them in my room with pride.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Catrice Aqua Ink In Gloss Lip Stain

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I like a good lip product I think they completely change a makeup look. I recently got the chance to try the Catrice Aqua Ink in Gloss Lip Stain. The shade I got to try is Pink Waterfall Swoo-Hoosh, which is a gorgeous pink fuschia pink shade.
Catrice is a budget brand I love, all their products are so affordable. My favourite products have to be their foundations. Back to the lip products, this lip stain is so pigmented and looks really pretty on the lips. It smells amazing too, it has a lovely sweet scent. I really like the packaging on this product it looks so sleek. All in all I really like this product, I feel all the products from Catrice's Spring collection is on point.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - My Mental Health Recovery #1

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've done a couple of posts over the last while which have been mental health related, they focus mainly on my experience with my mental health problems in the past. I've gotten lots of amazing lovely feedback from these posts so I thought I'd do a post on my Mental Health Recovery.
Mental Health Recovery is a long hard journey. I had really bad mental health problems for about two years and I'm still recovering now. I suffered from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression. At the time I didn't really know what was what and I was stressed to the nines. It wasn't a particularly good time for me or my family and my friends. I didn't know what to do and of course they didn't either so it was a extremely tough time. 

As you all know by now I went into hospital twice over a 8 month period. I already did a post on my hospital experience but boy was it hard. It wasn't something I was used to as I wasn't used to the controlled hospital environment. I quickly got used to it and I made lots of friends that I'm still close to to this day. 

When I left hospital I went into a program that helped you live with mental health issues. It wasn't really for me so I left after a while and decided to do things on my own. This did make things that little bit more difficult for me and people around me as there was many ups and downs plus a few wobbly moments but we got there in the end.

I do take medication daily morning and night to help treat my problems. I was apprehensive about this as if you read up on meds they can say they make your symptoms worse which scared me completely I'm not going to lie. In the end I decided to take them regularly and after time I definitely saw a difference in my mood as of course these things take time after all.

I did attend a clinic every six months after I was discharged from hospital in South Dublin. We would just discuss my recovery plan and how my mood was in general. I didn't particularly like these sessions to begin with as I didn't think they were helping me at all but I came around after a while and began to realise they were the best thing for me at that time. The last time I was there they actually discharged me so I was delighted it showed that I had turned a corner with my recovery.

All in all my mental health recovery hasn't been easy by no means but it has definitely made into the woman I am today. I really appreciate everything everyone in my life has done to help me, they all have been amazing and I don't know what I'd do without them at times. If you are going through a hard time just know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and always a way to get better you just need to think positively which is sometimes easier said then done but you can do it! I always say my mental health illnesses don't define me as a person, it's just a part of me that is sometimes hidden that I can over come with the right help and when I work on it. Nobody is a illness!

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Seavite Super Nutrient Radiance Face Serum

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I don't have too many serums in my skincare collection so I was intrigued when I received the Seavite Super Nutrient Radiance Face Serum in the post. I've tried other products from Seavite and I was really impressed with the brand you can see my review here. I've been using this serum on my skin for the past while and I've been really happy with the results.
This serum is amazing, I love it. It's deep penetrating so sinks instantly into the skin instantly hydrating and brightening it. It works like s dream, perfect for even sensitive skin. It has many skincare benefits and contains ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, E and Quince. It feels really cooling on the skin and soothes it aswell in the process. A little bit goes a long way and I use a bit more than a pump for my whole face, considering it's a big bottle it will last ages.
It costs €57.50 which is on the pricey side but I believe if you have a good skincare regime your makeup base looks and feels amazing which is what everyone wants. I've been so impressed with Seavite, their products are definitely some of the best I've tried and if you haven't tried them yet I recommend you do so.

Laura<3

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Lo Down - Arnotts Style Sessions - Sali Hughes

 Hey Guys and Dolls,

Last night I went along to one of the Style Sessions at Arnotts in Dublin. The two speakers were Melanie Morris, editor of Image Magazine and Sali Hughes, beauty writer. I really enjoyed the evening and I brought along my boyfriend Daragh along with me on the evening, he had a good night aswell. The talk was really informative, Sali is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things beauty. The event itself was so busy, my boyfriend and I didn't get a seat but we stood and listened to the talk.
I learnt so much at the event and at the end you could ask questions. I was one of the first fifteen people to ask a question and I received a goody bag which you can see below. I'm delighted with it, it contains so many amazing products including my favourite moisturiser Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream in a beautiful tub. It was such an amazing prize.
Sali Hughes also signed my Pretty Iconic book on the night and she couldn't of been nicer. Arnotts Style Sessions run til tomorrow and there are alot of amazing speakers so definitely check out their website for more info about this great event.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Olly Murs 24 Hours Tour at the 3Arena

Hey Guys and Dolls,

On Monday 3rd of April, I went to see Olly Murs and his 24 Hour Tour with my Mum in the 3Arena. I had won the tickets on Spin1038 last year and I was so excited for this concert to come along. My Mum loves Olly Murs so I knew I was definitely going to bring her.
Olly Murs is such an amazing showman, he puts on a fantastic show and we danced the night away. He sang all his hits, old and new which included some of my favourite songs e.g. Dear Darling. I had such a great night I'd definitely go to see Olly Murs again, I think he is playing the Iveagh Gardens in July so I might buy tickets and bring my boyfriend Daragh with me as I'm sure he would enjoy the show aswell.
I bought two wristbands as momentos on the night and I love them both. They cost €3 each which isn't too bad compared to what merchandise usually costs. This was my first concert of 2017 and definitely not my last. I'm already heading along to Damien Dempsey during the Summer with Daragh as he is one of his favourite artists. We received our tickets last week and we can't wait. I also want to go and see George Ezra next month with my Dad so I'm hoping the tickets haven't sold out yet. Either way both gigs look amazing so if I get to go to both in the end I'll definitely do a post on here about the show.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - My First Week of College!

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Sorry for the serious lack of posts this week, on Monday I started college and I didn't really get the chance to blog. I have early mornings up at 6 and don't get home until 6 in the evening which is such a long day. When I get home I like nothing more than to chill out so life has definitely got in the way of blogging but I promise you I'll do lots of posts over the weekend that's for sure.
Now back to my college course, first off I'm really enjoying it and it's certainly the perfect course for me. I'm studying Social Media for Business, it's a diploma course in case your wondering. As I'm into all things social media with my little corner of the internet, I think it's always a good idea to better yourself and become more knowledgeable in a certain area in the process.

I've learned alot so far in a week, branding, marketing and photoshop. The latter is definitely my favourite and alot of fun, I really enjoy it. My course has been so helpful, it's very informative and I'd definitely recommend it. It's very intensive but I'm sure everyone would be well able for it. I've met so many lovely people in my class aswell and we're always having the chats plus helping each other out if we need it.

I'll definitely do a couple of posts throughout my course and keep you updated on my progress but so far so good I'm really enjoying it.

Laura<3

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Lo Down - NYX Custom Pro Palette

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I like finding nice and affordable eyeshadow palettes, sometimes it's almost impossible to afford the more highend alternative. I recently saw the NYX Cusom Pro palette as my friend Megan had bought one so I had to pick one up myself and I'm so glad I did. I got mine on the Boots.ie website and I always find that the service is really good whenever I've used it anyways.
I purchased the shade J'adore and Sex Kitten which are two beautiful neutral shadows that I really like. Don't you know I always go for neutral shadows I wouldn't wear anything different. This palette doesn't contain a mirror which doesn't really bother me but I wish they had the shade names on the bottom of the shadow itself, there's none to be seen though. Both eyeshadows are very pigmented and I love them alot. I've been using them quite a bit to achieve a simple eye look and the looks always turn out really nice I might purchase a darker shade the next time I make a purchase online which will probably be sooner than you think.
The palette itself costs €5 and then each individual eyeshadow costs €5 which isn't too bad at all when you consider highend palettes. I've been really impressed with this palette and I'm definitely going to pick up another one soon as there are so many shadows that I want.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream

Hey Guys and Dolls,

As you all know I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting skincare products. There is so many out there it's so easy for them to slip between the gaps. I was at a Skincare event back in February and I got to try some amazing products from brands I hadn't heard of before. One of the brands is called Mustela and it was completely new to me. It is a French brand and of course their skincare is always amazing. All their products are aimed at babies and mothers to be but there was one product that I got to bring home that I've been using alot myself.
The product itself is called Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream and is used for many things but skin discomfort in particular. I have pretty bad eczema on my elbows and I've been using this on it recently and I've definitely found that it helps alot which is good. I hate having this skin condition as it can be quite irritating and itchy but I find that this product soothes my skin lots. Some may compare this product to Sudocrem but I think it's much better.

My eczema feels and looks well after starting to use this stufff, I'm definitely going to keep using it for the foreseeable future. There are alot of products in Mustela's range, there available to buy in many pharmacies nationwide.

Laura<3

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Lo Down - A Small Book Haul

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've been reading so much lately, I really enjoy a good book. I've read about three books in the last week or so that's really good going I think. I find it hard to go into a book shop without picking up a book to be honest. I always find one that I like. When I was in the Bookstation a while ago I picked up a couple of books from the same author. I don't know if you have this book shop in your country it's great though as you do get books at pretty good value so that's why I like it. It can be hit and miss sometimes but the last few times I went in was successful. 
The three books I bought are by the author Ransom Riggs you may of heard of him. He wrote Miss Peregrine's House For Peculiar Children which was recently made into a film. I haven't seen it yet but I'm definitely going to watch it soon once I finish the book because of course I want to do posts comparing them. I've started the book and so far it's pretty good I'm enjoying it so I'm glad I bought it.

The other two books I bought are the sequels Library of Souls and Hollow City which I will certainly read once I finish the first one. I do have a lot of books to read at the moment but I'll definitely do a review on them all. I really like the covers on these books they look very unusual indeed and I was immediately drawn towards them I'm not going to lie. I like a good book so if any of these are like the first one I'll be happy.

If you have any book recommendations yourself definitely let me know I love finding new ones to read so tell me your favourite books.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Mane 'n Tail Hair Strengthener

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've been using Mane 'n Tail haircare recently and I've been liking it lots. You can find all the reviews I've done so far here. I've been really impressed with the products I've tried so far. The latest product I've tried is their Hair Strengthener. This is a Daily Leave In Conditioning Treatment that you can use in dry and wet hair, it actually smells amazing.
Basically this product helps to provide essential protection to the hair to achieve longer, stronger and healthier looking hair. This product does so much so it's pretty much a all in one product. It also protects hair strands from heat and chemical styling which is exactly what I need as I am forever straightening my hair. I use this whenever I wash my hair and I'm about to blow dry it or when my hair needs a little pick me up. So far it's been working really well and I see a bit different in my hair, My hair tends to fall out sometimes when I'm brushing it and that doesn't seem to be happening lately at all which is always a good sign.

This product comes in a 178ml bottle so a little bit goes a long way. I just spritz some in my hair, about 2 to 3 sprays and that's literally all I need but this probably depends on the person. When I spray it in dry hair it doesn't become greasy at all which I happy to tell you guys as some products tend to do just that. I'm definitely a big fan of this brand and I'm looking forward to trying some more of their styling products soon.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - What's in my Makeup Bag?

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've decided to do a What's in my Makeup bag post as I thought you guys would find it interesting. I decided to do it in a video format as it would be easier for you to see whats in there. I think it turned out pretty good and I hope you like it. So lets get started.
That's what's in my makeup bag I love the bag it's probably my favourite one I own. It fits everything into it which is always good. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed making it which is alot I have to say.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Weightloss Update #9

Hey Guys and Dolls,

So it's Friday again so that means another weighin of course. I love when it comes to Friday as I love to see the progress that I have made so far. I've always struggled with my weight throughout my life to be fair and seeing as I'm getting on pretty well now it makes me so happy! So I'm down another 2 pound this week, the same as last week but it's still amazing progress and I haven't had a gain since I started my weightloss journey back in January. In total I'm down 2 stone 3 and a half pounds now which is huge and I'm well on track to lose another 1 stone 10 and a half pound in the next 7 weeks. It's definitely achievable and I'm going to blow my target out of the park.
So what did I get up to this week. I didn't get to my fitness classes as I'm quite broke and everything costs money these days as you probably all know. I didn't let that deter me though and I went on a walk to Marley Park a couple of times this week which you can see on my Instagram. I actually ran into some peacocks up there one of the days and I had no idea peacocks were even in the park, sure you learn something new everyday. Marley Park is super close to my house like a twenty minute walk at most away. It's really nice to have this right on my doorstep, I literally go for a nice walk when I'm up there then I read a bit of my book. I'm still reading Unseal by K.M. Langdon and I'm loving it so far, it's such a great read I'd definitely recommend it. She's definitely going to be the next Nicholas Sparks that's for sure.

I thought I'd keep this post short and sweet. I'm starting college on Monday as you probably read in my last post so I'll be beyond busy all next week so hopefully that shows on the scales on Friday.

Laura<3

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Lo Down - I'm Going Back to College!

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Yes you read it right I'm heading back to college. My course starts next week so I'm very excited indeed. The course I'm enrolling in is a Diploma in Social Media For Business which I'm very much interested in right now. Social Media is a big deal for me with my blog and what not which means I use it quite a bit in my day to day life. I only heard that I got a place in the course today and I start on Monday so things are moving pretty quick.
I really enjoy the college life to be honest, I like the lifestyle and learning new things. I don't think you can be ever too educated and new things come out all the time so there's always stuff to learn. I'm going pick up some bits and pieces over the weekend, notebooks, backpack etc, I actually saw a really nice bag in Penneys/Primark today so I'm going to get that over the weekend. You may definitely see a haul post of all my college stuff over the weekend.

This course is right up my street and I feel like I have so much to learn from it. It will help my blog alot in the long run aswell I think. I'm really looking forward to meeting some new people aswell. Basically the course in a nutshell is to understand how social media can be practically, proactively and constructively used as a viable business mechanism which sounds very interesting. It will definitely help that I have my social media platforms active already.

So yeah college life is going to start on Monday and I'll definitely keep you guys posted on how I'm getting on and what I think of the course itself.

Laura<3

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Lo Down - My Life as a Blogger

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I've been blogging almost 6 years now and I love my little part of the internet lots. My blog as you all know by now is called All-Made-Up-21. I named it that as I like nothing more than being all made up and I started my blog when I was 21 years old which seems like a while ago now.
My life has changed alot since I started blogging, first off I've met some amazing people while blogging and I'm now happy to call them my good friends. I've also gotten lots of great opportunities like going to product launches, landing amazing internships and liasing with press officers.

I've gotten the opportunity to work in Market Match PR and The Fragrance Shop Head Office in Manchester. Both were wonderful experiences and I'd definitely recommend anyone to give it a go. I learnt alot during the weeks I work in both office.

I also enjoy going to events and meeting up with fellow bloggers and learning about new and exciting launches. Life couldn't be better right now, I think blogging has really helped me with my fight against mental health problems and for that I'll always be grateful. 

Lastly all of you readers mean the world to me. I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog and I hope you take something from it. If any of you ever want to start your own blog yourself, definitely feel free to contact me and I'll give you the best advice I can.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Mane 'n Tail HoofMaker Hand & Nail Therapy

Hey Guys and Dolls,

As you all know I'm a pretty big fan of Mane 'n Tails Haircare products, I just think there so good and I enjoy using them. I always feel my hair is in such good condition after I use their range of products, I've actually done a couple of reviews that you can check out here. I recently was sent two more products from the brand to try and one was their hand cream, Hoofmaker. I had no idea they did products other than haircare so I was really looking forward to giving this a go.
Basically this hand cream was originally developed for horses to moisturize dry, cracked and brittle hooves. So in my head if it worked well doing that it must be an amazing handcream and that's true this really is. Hoofmaker has a really nice consistency, a little bit goes a long way so don't go too mad with this product. It smells really nice and fresh plus it leaves my hands feeling so nice and soft. It's a pretty good size tube aswell so this will definitely last a while that's for sure.

I've been so impressed with all Mane 'n Tail's products so far and I can't wait to try some more in the future. It's such a nice brand and I'm surprised I only started using their products lately.

Laura<3

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Lo Down - Catrice Liquid Metal Long Lasting Cream Eyeshadow

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I'm not a huge fan of cream eyeshadows as I feel that they crease pretty badly but the Catrice Liquid Metal Long Lasting Cream Eyeshadow is something different altogether. The shade Smart Mauve is a beautiful metallic neutral shade. It's so pigmented, once you put this on your eyelids it doesn't crease at all. I've used it with and without eyeshadow primer and it works just fine.
As you all know I love neutral eyeshadows so I really like this shade alot. I'm hoping more neutral shades are released in this range. I'm definitely going to have a look at my local Catrice counter very soon that's for sure.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - My Current Goals

Hey Guys and Dolls,

2017 is seriously going by so fast like a blink of an eye, not going to lie it's kind of scary I have to admit. I've been thinking alot lately about what I want to do with my year and I've come up with a couple of goals that I want to share with you guys. I think all of them are fairly achievable so I'm hoping that I'm going to be able to look back on them in a couple of months and tick them off my list.
Lose 2 stone in 2 months.
My weightloss journey started in January 2017 and it's going really well so far. I've already lost
2 stone in 2 months which I think is really good going so I want to keep up the good work. I've set myself a goal to lose another two stone in the next two months which will be hard but definitely achievable in my opinion so I have high hopes. My parents and nephew are going away in mid May so I'm planning to have accomplished this by then. They've already told me that there going to buy me some new clothes which will include a Gryffindor hoodie from Harry Potter so of course I'm very excited. I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing at the moment, heathier eating and alot of fitness classes so we'll see what happens. 

Read More Books
I'm a big reader it has to be said, I've been reading books since I was about six and I'm pretty sure my parents read to me before that. I just like getting stuck in a good book and drifting off to another world, nothing beats it in my opinion. I've finished two books (Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them & Taking a Chance), I'm currently reading Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney and I'm loving it so far. I'm going to start doing more book reviews on my blog as I enjoy them alot and I hope you do to.

Start Running Again
Running and weightloss come hand in hand really. I love running, I don't do it as much anymore but I do enjoy it when I do get the time. In the past I've run marathons and done them in a pretty good time too which is always great. As I still have a bit of weight to lose I'm going to start off small and take baby steps, sure I don't want to do a injury or anything. My goal here is to fingers crossed run another 10km run by the end of the Summer,

Get a Job
I left my last job in December after almost nine years, I just thought it was about time to pack it in. I've enjoyed my time off but now I'm getting a little bit bored if I'm to be honest and I hate being bored. I am filling up my days blogging and doing stuff which I love but at this stage I definitely want a new job. I've been applying for a couple here and there but nothing yet. I would love to have a job by April, I'm so broke at the moment which isn't too good so a little bit of money would go a long way.

Go on a Holiday
I haven't gone on a holiday in years and I think it's about time I go on one. I wouldn't even mind going down the country to be honest, I just need to get out of Dublin for a while I think. Ideally I'd love to go to either Portugal or Spain as they both have the sun and yummy food. I've been to both countries and I love them alot so hopefully I get to go to one of them. Of course I have to tick off getting a job first.

Do a Makeup Course
This is probably the goal I'm most excited about. I love all things makeup and I've always wanted to a a makeup course and never gotten around to doing one. I've gotten the opportunity recently to do one, it may be only a beginners course but I always love learning new tips and tricks. I'm not going to let this pass me by, sure if I really like it I'm going to sign up to do another makeup course so I'm really excited to see what doors this opens for me.

So there are all my goals I'm going to do a update in a while maybe at the end of the Summer to let you guys know how I'm getting on with things but I'm expecting to do well, fingers crossed!

Laura<3

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Lo Down - Blank Canvas Dimension Series Hamper

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I love a good Irish brand and Blank Canvas ticks all the boxes. It has great quality brushes that I love and they're pretty affordable too. The F20 is amazing for foundation application, followed closely by the F06 I love both these brushes alot and use them all the time. I bought the Dimension Series Hamper just after Christmas when their sale was on. I got this set for around €50 which is unreal value. In the hamper you get  brushes, a candle and a brush holder. The products come beautifully packaged in a Blank Canvas Hamper box aswell.
I'm so impressed with these brushes, for what I paid for them they couldn't be any better. The brushes are new to the brand and have a mixture of brushes in beautiful new colours. My favourite is the rose gold and black & the purple handles. I already have my eye on a set that includes eye and lip brushes. I can't decide what handle colour to go for, hot pink or rose gold and black.

There is some great brushes included in the brush set I purchased. I love the contour brush the most as it's like nothing in my collection at the moment.

Laura<3

The Lo Down - Happy Mother's Day Mum!

Hey Guys and Dolls,

Seeing as it's Mother's Day I couldn't let the day go by without mentioning my dear Mum. She is my rock and is always there for me without a shadow of a doubt. We've been through alot together over the years and she's been by my side through it all, I don't know where I'd be without her most of the time. She seriously is my Best Friend!
Being born on the 15th February I was basically her Valentine's Day baby. I'm the second child of three children, if you didn't know already I already have a brother, Ger and a sister, Lisa. We're quite a close knit bunch it has to be said. We all love our Mum to pieces and we like nothing more than all meeting up and treating her to a day out in town or a nice dinner because of course she deserves. My Mum is also Nanna to my wonderful nephew Ryan who absolutely idolises her. He loves his Nanna Lisa and he loves nothing more than coming over to our house and having the chats. He loves getting all the weekly news, he's beyond his young years.

I love spending time with my Mum, we are both always busy but do try to find the time every once in a while. I love our shopping trips to Town they are definitely my favourite. We always come home laden with shopping bags and going through them is always the best thing ever. We did have our sad times though aswell but we were always the better for them. Our hardest time by far is when I had my mental health issues. I'm doing a couple of posts now to highlight mental health as I don't think it's talked about enough in Ireland but I still find it pretty hard to discuss myself as it was quite a hard time for not just my Mum and I but my whole family. We all found it difficult but as a family we powered through it like we always do and came out the other side. My Mum was amazing then like she always is, she had all the advice I could ever need. Everyone has ill mental health through times in their lifes so to hear my Mum talk about stuff made me feel that little bit better to be honest.

Now for the good times as I've said before my Mum and I are really close, like best friends. I love the times we spend together and there has been many. I love our weekly chats about what we got out up to over the last couple of days, we always have them over a cup of tea. She also have been to a couple of events with me and she absolutely loves them, she's ever so proud of my blog and the work I out into it. We've also gone on lots of amazing holidays together, one of my favourites was when we went to Manchester. We literally shopped til we dropped and had such a great time. That will always be one of my best memories. I was doing work experience over there and my Mum came over for a weekend. I was so upset when she had to get the train to the Airport on Sunday night but that's all a part of growing up I guess.

So this was just a post to celebrate my Mum, she does mean the world to me now and always. I'm sure we'll have many other amazing adventures abroad and lovely chats over a cup of tea in the future.

Laura<3

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Lo Down - Essence My Must Haves Palette

Hey Guys and Dolls,

I recently purchased the Essence My Must Haves palette in Penneys in Dundrum Town Centre and I'm so glad I did as it's so amazing! The palette itself costs under €5 so it's cheap as chips, then each individual eyeshadow costs around €1.90 I think. If it's different I'll let you all know.
I bought the eight pan eyeshadow palette but it is also available in a smaller version if that suits you better. I got three shadows this time to fill up my palette and they are actually a fairly big size and they are very pigmented. Sometimes I get disappointed with the pigmentation of some shadows from Essence Cosmetics but these are actually top notch. I picked up the shades, 05 Cotton Candy, 07 Mauvie-Time! and 01 Go Goldie!, of course they are all neutral shades (my favourite) there so pretty. I'm glad I picked these up! I don't think the two lighter shades show up too well on camera but there a gorgeous shimmery gold and pinky colour.
All in all I'm really impressed with this palette, I think if you wanted a custom palette but the prices are too high like they can be I'd definitely recommend checking this Essence Cosmetics offering out. You sure won't be disappointed if you do. I've been using these shadows alot and there so good.

Laura<3