Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Gift Guide for Her

There is always that one last present to get, regardless of how prepared we believe we are, there will always be at least one last item we'd love to gift someone. Throughout the years it has been proven that the men in my family will usually be the ones doing the last minute panic buying but that's not always the case as I find myself in the same boat this year, despite my best efforts!

Last minute gift buying can be tough and buying for women, though we believe it to be easy, maybe isn't as straight forward as we'd like to think. I've been married for almost 10 years now and I'm lucky that there have been very few bad gifts. I know it's not polite to talk about bad gifts - it's poor form because at the end of the day there is usually thought behind those presents. For instance, my husband, on our first Christmas together, thought he was doing a really sweet thing in buying me a pink electric razor for shaving my legs (because I had mentioned I hated disposables)... These things can happen which is why we have a solid system in place. Stick. To. The. Basics. Do this and you really can't go wrong.

Of course, there may be instances where you've asked outright if there is something someone is hoping for at Christmas. Hallelujah in that case, your work is done! If you're anything like me though you will probably still want to get what I refer to as filler gifts, the gifts that the person maybe isn't expecting. They mightn't cost much but they're great to unwrap and admire!

Gift Guide for Her, Last minute Christmas gift ideas, The Style Guide Blog
Pictured: Be Bright & Sparkle Mug, Bombay Duck London | Marble Rose Gold Watch, Lola Rose | Luxury Soft Scarf, Lou's Boutique | Alphabet Votive Candle, Bombay Duck London | Winter Candle, Bog Standard | Seventeen Strobing Kit, Boots

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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Gift Guide for Dogs

We welcomed Kim into our family a year and a half ago now and it took us a good 5 years after losing our beloved cocker, Fudge, to even contemplate being able to love like that again. Much as though Fudge will forever own a piece of my heart, in the same way my childhood dog pal Fresca will, it is a wonderful experience to be able to welcome another furry fiend into our home. They're a special sort, aren't they? You tell them all your worries, your secrets, they know just when to nose you into giving them a pet in order to cheer yourself up and they become such an integral part of your family unit. Is it any wonder most of us will spoil them at Christmas?

Gift Guide for Dogs, lhasa apso, Christmas dog, Dog in a santa hat, The Style Guide Blog

If any of you are lucky enough to be able to get doggy clothing on your furry pals, I envy you. We tried to coax Kim into wearing a Santa dress (don't judge!) but she was having NONE of it. She's a bit of a diva, a clutzy wrecking ball of a diva and we love her entirely so of course we've made up a stocking for her.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Gift Guide for Him

I know we love them dearly but men can be some of the hardest to buy for at Christmas. Especially when it comes down to filler presents. Luckily, in this house, we've established a handy hinting method wherein Mr Style Guide simply tells me what he'd like. I'll usually try my best to source his request but then I have to admit, I like to pop in a few unexpected presents that I myself have put some thought into.

Through the years, I've been surprised at some of the choices Mr Style Guide has thrown my way. The traditional graphic novels and album specials have been sidelined for the likes of a cosy dressing gown or some new shoes. Seems I'm rubbing off on him!

Christmas Gift Guide for Him, Gift Ideas for Him, Presents for him, Adidas Original

Take these stunning Adidas Original Hamburgs for instance, I never in a million years would have thought my own love of red shoes would be mirrored by my husband and yet, they were top of his picks this year round!

To make things a little easier for you, per chance you're sat browsing at home and you've gone around in so many circles trying to buy for the fellas in your life, I've compiled a gift guide for him based loosely on gifts that have gone down well in this house during recent years.

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Friday, 9 December 2016

Gift Guide for Kids | Stocking Fillers

Kids, much as though we love them be it nieces, nephews, friend's children, even our own, they can be somewhat tricky to buy for at Christmas for a number of reasons. You want to gift them something fun that they will love but you don't want to upstage Santa or their parents and let's be honest, you want to be able to keep costs down where possible!

We've put our heads together here to bring you a gift guide for kids that focuses more on the stocking fillers type of gifts. I had a fantastic helper for this post!

Personalised Stocking, Gift Guide For Kids, Stocking Fillers, Gift Guides, Christmas gift ideas

Kids are great at telling you the lists of toys they would like for Christmas but I've learned over the last few years that when it comes to present opening time, they really are happy with just about anything. It's rather easy to make an effort without breaking the bank and especially at this time of year when we're all  trying to budget to ensure we have everyone covered it can be so easy to see costs spiral out of control, so we've tried to keep these gifts to £20 and under!

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Buy Local and Shop Ballymoney this Christmas

When I say I had an eye opener of a day this past Saturday, I'm not kidding. How often do we all sit and browse online stores and place orders or travel to nearby cities to find that perfect Christmas gift? Have you ever thought, hang on! Maybe there's a store in my local town that stocks that exact item? Admittedly I stopped and thought of that possibility so rarely that when I was confronted with what my town had to offer I was in complete shock, in the best possible way.

Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce invited me to have a browse in and around some stores in my local town of Ballymoney, I was intrigued as some of those stores had become what I would refer to as 'Window Lusts', the type of store where you gaze dreamily at their window displays but never actually go into. Now I've had the chance to go into those stores, I would be hard pushed to believe I'll remain outside in the cold looking in, with my nose pressed up against the glass for if I believed the windows looked amazing... that was nothing compared to inside those stores and the passion of the retailers I had the pleasure of chatting with on my visit.

Why not stop, grab a cuppa and come with me while I take you on a digital tour of the amazing places Ballymoney has to offer.

Restored Coffee and Gifts, Shop Ballymoney, Ballymoney Gift Guide, Blogger
Shop Ballymoney, Restored, Christmas, Mince Pies
Shop Ballymoney, Restored, Christmas Gift Ideas

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Friday, 18 November 2016

The Ultimate Christmas Movie Guide

It's offish that time of year folks, there's no getting away from it, best to just embrace the feelings of festiveness and hunker down with some of your favourite Christmas movies. It's cold outside, the snow is beginning to fall and it's time to light some festive scents, grab some mince pies and get down with Christmas.

There are many reasons why I love Christmas movies, there's always a black sheep character, someone has taken a wrong turn in life or on the road and the movie is about the journey back to finding your Christmas. That one point in every Christmas movie that makes your heart and emotions swell, your eyes fill with tears, you feel the emotion and the heartfelt joy of Christmas. They really are some of my all time favourite movies to watch.

In case any of you adore Christmas movies as much as I do and see them as an integral part of the lead up to the festive season, here is The Ultimate Christmas Movie Guide. All my favourites, all for differing reasons, no one better than the other, they all offer something a little different.

The Ultimate Christmas Movie Guide, Top Christmas Movies, Best Christmas Movies, The Style Guide Blog

Let's start as we mean to go on. Now, remember I'm not listing these in any order because it'd be impossible to figure out top favourites - it's already taken me long enough going through my stash!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Dainty Silver Jewellery with Jewellery Box

Whether it's treating yourself to a new accessory or it's that time of year where you find you're maybe hinting at what you'd like as a gift for Christmas, it's hard to deny the allure of something shiny. I'm a new jewellery addict, it means I'm very easy to buy for - if it's sparkly or shiny, I'll probably love it. This was definitely the case recently when Jewellery Box were in touch to tell me all about their stunning jewellery options.

Jewellery Box, The Style Guide Blog, Jewellery Review

Each piece comes beautifully packaged with such care and attention to detail, this cuts down on wrapping at home!

Sterling Silver Jewellery, Jewellery Box, The Style Guide Blog, Style Blog, UK blog

Jewellery Box offer high quality dainty pieces of jewellery in both 9ct Gold or Sterling Silver, they are also Assay Assured meaning you're buying quality jewellery.

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Winter Fragrances

Much as though I enjoy a light floral bouquet of scents in the Spring and Summer months, when the weather turns frosty and the evenings lose their light I love to start incorporating some of my favourite Winter Fragrances into my perfume rotation. Nothing speaks to my mood more than a fragrance, some people when they're feeling low will opt for some makeup, for me it's all about the skincare and the fragrance. It just lifts my mood immediately.

I thought I'd take you through some of my current winter fragrances that I find I'm reaching for now it's getting darker and colder. A lot of these are full bodied and so perfectly suited for Winter it may even be worth sticking them on your Santa List or gifting one to a fellow fragrance lover!

Winter Fragrances, Christmas Gift Guide, Gifts for Her, The Style Guide Blog

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Casual Luxe Outfit Inspo

Recently I've found myself more and more swayed by the casual luxe outfit styles. You can't knock the appeal of cosy fashion, especially coming into the Winter months. I mean really, who has time for bare legs and dresses with no sleeves when it's baltic outside? Not me!

And so I wandered onto my favourite haunt, Simply Be, to order a few basic bits to try this casual luxe style I'd heard so much about.

The first item I had wanted to look for was a massively oversized slouchy t-shirt, preferably in a soft jersey fabric and some leggings / trousers to pair with it. The idea was to have basics and dress them with accessories, the main feature being the coat that ties the outfit together. I was in luck! Within minutes on Simply Be I'd checked out with some basics to start my foray into the world of casual luxe. Territory I'd only ever dreamed of entering in the past...

Casual Luxe Outfit Inspo, Simply Be, The Style Guide Blog, Adidas, pom pom beanie, style guide
Faux Fur Trim Longline Jacket | Black Pom Pom Knitted Beanie | Mesh Insert T Shirt | Stripe Leggings | Nica Poppy Bag | Adidas Cloudform Race Trainers 

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Devine Nails

My nails break my heart a little, they simply refuse to grow to the lengths I would like them to, however, I'm not quite ready enough to take the plunge into the likes of gel nails and infills. They seem such a commitment! I'm so fickle, what if I were to change my mind in a day or two? It's not like I could just take them off (not without damaging my own nails anyway). The solution recently landed on my desk.

Devine Nails, Reusable false nails, handpainted nails, The Style Guide Blog

Devine Nails are a Northern Irish company who sell re-usable handpainted false nails. Much as though these are a commonplace item, this is the first time I've seen false nails of this quality. Each nail is shaped and painted to your specifications and they arrive beautifully packaged, with spares and nail glue included. I couldn't wait to try them out.

Devine Nails, The Style Guide Blog, Review, Local Focus

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Monday, 26 September 2016

AEOS Skincare

It's very rare to find me raving about skincare, mainly due to the fact that there are so many skin types out there it would be impossible for me to recommend anything that would definitively work for you personally. What I do want to do is to tell you about a range of skincare I have spent the last two months trialing. I want to tell you about this range simply because it has been the best combination of products I've had the pleasure of trying to date.

Re-wind two months and I began what was meant to be a one month trial of AEOS Skincare. A brand that boasts being cruelty free, that prides itself in it's natural ethos and a 3 Phase System that promises to renew, rebalance and replenish the skin. This meant a morning and evening routine that was laid out for me within the leaflet of information that came with my trial pack.

AEOS Skincare Beauty Blog Review

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

ON TREND - Choker Style Tops

The Summer of 2016 will be known as The Great 90s Choker Comeback. Whether it's a wide black velvet affair, a thin satin ribbon style neck choker or a luxurious golden choker, they're everywhere. When I was growing up I was a huge choker fan and wore them pretty constantly, however now I'm adulting I find I have less time to fuss over accessories so I was pleased to see a new choker trend emerge, the choker style top. A top that incorporates a choker into it therefore saving you time, effort and unnecessary accessory spending.

I've rounded up some of the best choker style tops online at the moment, all budget friendly and in a range of sizes and colours. From casual to smart office style, these tops are incredibly easy to wear simply because they take little effort to appear chic and stylish.

ON TREND, Choker style tops, The Style Guide Blog

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Estee Lauder Free Gift at House of Fraser

I love it when free gift time rolls around at House of Fraser Beauty and Estee Lauder's latest offering is fantastic value!

When you purchase two or more products from the Estee Lauder range at House of Fraser you will receive a cute washbag full of mini goodies to keep (or gift, if you're feeling generous).

Estee Lauder Free Gift at House of Fraser, beauty discount, beauty offer, beauty blog,

Some serious favourites included this time around. Within your wash bag you'll receive Pure Color Envy Sculpting Gloss, Take It Away Makeup Remover Lotion, Daywear Advanced Multi-~Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF15, Advanced Night Repair, Advanced Night Repair Eye, New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert SErum and Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner.

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Monday, 29 August 2016

KIKO MILANO

The rumours were confirmed by the signs and store front going up on William Street South in Belfast recently, KIKO MILANO are opening their first Northern Ireland store! Beauty buffs rejoice!

I was very kindly given the chance to have a look over some top KIKO products before the store opens on Wednesday 31st August and this way I can tell you what to look out for so get the notebooks ready for there are definitely some fantastic products that will be sure to have your little makeup heart fluttering.

KIKO MILANO, Kiko Belfast, Love NI, Beauty blog

First impressions, and I do mean first as these are the products I popped my Kiko cherry with, are that the focus is all on the product quality. Fuss free, sleek packaging gives the impression that Kiko needs no pomp or frills. With the exception of the lipstick which I'll chat about in a bit...

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Friday, 19 August 2016

Copper Home Accessories

Even though it's almost a year now since we moved (again), we're just getting around to making this house a home and it was only when I'd decided the colour scheme for our bathroom (greys, copper & greenery) that I realised how deep my love of copper home accessories had grown.

I've always been a fan of metallics for accessories in the home, favouring gold and rose gold usually however I've found with the recent copper boom there are some beautiful ways of incorporating this luscious deep metal shade into your home decor.

Copper Alarm Clock / Copper Pineapple Ice Bucket / Copper Geometric Tealight Holder / Copper Light Up & Sign / Copper Lantern / Copper and Marble Candle / Copper Hammered Bowl / Copper Cushion / Copper Mugs / Copper Chaser Plate / Copper Planter Bags / Copper Wall Clock / Copper Industrial Style Lightshade

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Monday, 8 August 2016

Natural Beauty with Holland & Barrett

My experience with mineral makeup has been minimal to date so when Holland & Barrett got in touch to tell me about their Natural Beauty range that had just launched in Ireland, I was intrigued. Boasting paraben, SLS and microplastic free mineral makeup, I was excited to see just how well natural makeup would cope on my skin.

Natural Beauty Products, Cruelty Free Makeup, Mineral Makeup, The Style Guide Blog

My main concern with Natural makeup (chemical free) is longevity and so I set about trialing the products that had landed with me. I focused on the makeup I would tend to reach for day to day because that's what I would use the most so if I'm trying to eliminate chemicals, this would be a good place to start. Well, aside from the Diet Coke Addiction...

This may seem a small point for others during makeup consideration BUT I have to draw attention to the shade names... Is it just me or is anyone else fed up of all the overly suggestive shade names of certain brands? I liked how Holland & Barrett kept it simple. In particular I loved how the eyeshadow shade, Mississippi Mud was part of a collection called The Earthy Princess Collection - now, that's branding I can get on board with! 

Natural Beauty with Holland & Barrett, cruelty free makeup, mineral blush, irish beauty blog
Mineral Bronzer, cruelty free bronzer, paraben free, SLS free, Microplastic free, beauty blogger

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Why I'll Never Buy Into Jeffree Star

While the rest of the world's eyes were firmly on the Kim vs Taylor fallout following Kim's release of that recording, the beauty world's eyes were fixed on the Kat Von D / Jeffree Star fall out.

Jeffree Star is no stranger to internet controversy. The seeds of this fall out were sown years ago, back in his Myspace days where he saw fit to leave hideous comments on teenager's pages. Since then he has enjoyed internet celebrity and the lifestyle associated with that kind of fame. Scores of adoring Twitter and Instagram fans who will go to bat for him should he put the call out and let's make one thing clear... he's not afraid to put that call out, often causing the one person at the centre of his ire to become the subject of an intense bout of internet trolling and bullying. It's brutal to watch and yet hard to look away at the same time.

Throughout the years we've seen Jeffree Star personally use derrogatory language in regards to women, going so far as to threaten to beat down a well known female makeup artist, throw about racist slurs and drag paying customers from one end of the internet to the other for daring to be a little too honest in their reviews of his products. It's been car crash viewing.

Jeffree Star, Kat Von D, Limecrime, Gerard Cosmetics, Beauty Blogger, Beauty products
Source: Kat Von D Instagram

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

50 years of Boots in NI

Recently Boots celebrated it's 50th year here in Northern Ireland. Five decades of pharmacy care, innovative products and passionate staff, and they're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon!


With the arrival of Boots in Northern Ireland also came big brand names that (at the time) were new to a lot of customers. It gave customers a chance to delve into the beauty world and in a lot of ways, helped boost women's morale at a time when it was needed. They have continued to hold firm to that ethos throughout the decades, with their in-house beauty brand No7 putting women at the forefront of their focus and development.

During the celebration to mark their 50th year in Northern Ireland, we were given the opportunity to learn more about the brands you can find in Boots stores and I'll be honest, though I'm a regular at my local Boots, I tend to either click and collect or pop in for a prescription (and come out with at least a couple of nail polishes each time) but I rarely took the time to really SEE the brands in Boots. Imagine my surprise when I started learning about the big brands you can find there and the services they provide... 


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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Where to buy Catrice Cosmetics online in Northern Ireland

It's a pain isn't it? How some brands never make it in-store where you live? To make matters even more frustrating, sometimes you'd be lucky to find them online. Unless you want to pay extortionate custom charges that can mean, a lot of the time, that you miss out. Such was the story with myself and Catrice Cosmetics. I had searched high and low in and around where I live and there was not one store offering anything from the seriously budget friendly Catrice (apparently there is a chemist somewhere near Coleraine stocking the brand though I've yet to locate this amazing treasure trove) and so I did what anyone would do, I went online. It was slim pickings there too if I'm being honest.

However, after a little in depth Google search and Twitter investigating, I happened across an Irish pharmacy who not only offer Catrice on their site, they also ship to U.K. and N.I. AND their customer service is second to none. They impressed me so much with their service that I felt compelled to type up this post. That's really saying something considering we can be so quick to post about bad customer service and sometimes we tend to forget to praise retail heroes who make shopping an absolute delight!

Meaghers Pharmacy, service review, customer service, Blogger

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours the Brave : A British Beauty Blogger Palette

We all knew when we heard that British Beauty Blogger had teamed up with Makeup Revolution that something special was going to happen. One of my favourite bloggers collaborating with one of my favourite budget makeup brands was music to my ears and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Fortune Favours the Brave palette when it landed. I did though. I waited, I read reviews, I looked at swatches (bloggers read blogs too!) and then I took the plunge.

Makeup Revolution, Fortune Favours the Brave Palette, British Beauty Blogger, Review

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Monday, 13 June 2016

Cervical Screening, why you should book your smear today...

 Updated: August 2016 - one year post abnormal cell smear results
 Updated: January 2017 - a year and a half post abnormal cell smear results

I originally wrote this post as part of Cervical Screening Awareness Week but have made the decision to keep a rolling record of my own journey for your reference and hopefully it will help even just one person make that all important decision to BOOK YOUR SMEAR!

Imagine a life-saving health check that can detect one of the most silent of killers. Then imagine not having that health check. Seems daft, right? Yet so many of us bury our heads in regards to this test. I'm here today, at the beginning of Cervical Screening Awareness Week (CSAW), chatting personal (which I never thought I would do again), in the hope that I can raise just a little more awareness in regards to Cervical Screening. If I can sway just one of you in the direction of your women's clinic / GP in order to book your smear then it's worth it.

Cervical Screening, Cervical Cancer, CIN 1, CIN2, CIN3, Colposcopy, Lletz, blogger

So many of us are guilty of burying our heads in the sand in regards to a smear test, I've done it too. The letter comes in and you glance at it, tell yourself you'll get around to it when you feel a bit more ready or decide it's not urgent or top of your list and sometimes literally bury the letter under a stack of bills or service provider letters. Sometimes it can sit there for so long you almost forget it's there. Almost. If you're anything like me that letter will play on you and you'll think, numerous times, ''I really should get round to booking that smear''. How many times have you put yours off now?

I'd put mine off a little while but one day I was feeling pro-active and I picked up the phone (after a ridiculous amount of reminder letters and even a mention from my GP), and I finally booked my overdue smear.

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Monday, 6 June 2016

My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks Review

I love stumbling across new skincare, even more so when it turns out to be a seriously budget friendly addition to my skincare regime and today's post couldn't be more budget friendly - good news all round!

My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks Review 

I have Lorraine from John It's Only Makeup to thank for this discovery as it was only after watching Lorraine's snapchat (lorrainehaigney) that I finally bit the bullet and purchased some for myself and I am so very glad I did because honestly, they've been an absolute gem of a find.

My beauty diary sheet masks review, budget skincare, budget beauty, beauty blog

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Monogram Gifts

Everything is better when it's personalised, am I right? It just adds a little extra sparkle to a gift (whether that's a gift to someone you love, from someone or even a gift you give yourself!), nothing says ''This gift is for you and you alone'' moreso than an item stamped with either your initials or your name. It's a throwback to the monogrammed handkerchiefs of old, an embroidered piece of cloth was an enviable possession once and it's a vintage notion that has somehow stood the test of time and of trends.

Luckily, as trends tend to do, the initial or monogram trend has come back around again which is good news for us long time monogram fans! Lots of great stores have picked up this trend and initialed home ware, clothing and accessories can be found in all corners of the internet right now.

Monogram Gifts, Initial Gifts, Monogrammed,

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Father's Day Gift Ideas from Lush

Recently I had the opportunity to join some fellow NI bloggers in attending a Lush event, the first ever to be held in their Belfast store, to celebrate the launch of their Father's Day Gifts for 2016 and what a night it was.

Long time readers here (and past readers of The Agoraphobic Fashionista) will know just how much of a big deal for me this was personally and much as though the nerves were sky high before the event, I've come away from Lush Belfast just a little bit lighter - it was that wonderful an experience.

We were greeted at the door by the staff from Lush Belfast who are another level of wonderful. Their sunny nature and light heartedness coupled with their obvious passion for the products was infectious and before long we were all getting stuck in watching demos and even making up our own cleansers. The first thing that hits you when you walk into Lush is the mingled scent of magic. It's the only way I can think to describe it. Initially I had wondered if it would be sensory overload but it was the complete opposite. I found the scents melted together to almost relax the senses. I was hooked...

Fathers Day Gift Ideas from Lush, Lush Belfast, Lush Big Bang, The Style Guide Blog
Lush Belfast, Fathers Day Gift Ideas, Lush Bohemian, The Style Guide Blog
Fathers Day Gift Ideas, Lush, Bath Bombs, Lush recommendations, The Style Guide Blog, NI Blog, Belfast blog
The Style Guide Blog, Lush Belfast, Lush Think Pink Bath Bomb, NI blog
Fathers Day Gift Ideas from Lush, Lush Belfast, Northern Irish Blog, Irish Blog
Lush A French Kiss, Lavender bath bomb, Lush Belfast, The Style Guide Blog, review
Lush Tisty Tosty, Coconut bath products, ethical beauty, cruelty free, Irish blogger

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Boho Silver Statement Ring | Gemporia

The statement ring is a huge trend for Summer 2016, think wide and bold rings with the focus on looking expensive. It's a trend that suits me down to the ground as I'm a huge magpie when it comes to jewellery, rings in particular. An issue I tend to run into sometimes is sizing, my finger size comes up on the (very) small side and so I find a good chunk of accessory stores don't quite cater to my sizing, the small sometimes comes up too small and if I go any bigger then I'm completely out of luck.

Imagine my delight when I came across a store that offers affordable statement rings in sizes I can avail of!

Gemporia offer affordable, stylish and (most importantly) responsibly made gemstone jewellery. Most of the focus is on gemstone style rings in an array of the most stunning colours however they also cater to the bohemian and more simplistic styles, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Boho Silver Statement Ring, Gemporia, Sterling Silver rings, pearl jewellery, Festival Accessories, UK blog, Irish Blog, NI blog

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Friday, 29 April 2016

Allergy Awareness with Allergy UK | GIVEAWAY

This week marks Allergy Awareness Week in the U.K. To mark this week and to try and raise awareness regarding allergies and intolerances, I've teamed up with Allergy UK to offer some useful information and to offer one of you the chance to win a fantastic allergy friendly beauty box worth £100! All of the products included have been specially chosen to suit those with allergy or intolerant prone skin, which can happen at any stage of our lives.

Allergy Awareness, Allergy UK, Skin intolerances, Giveaway, Win, The Style Guide Blog

For instance, did you know...

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Lancôme Juicy Shaker

The lip gloss game has been changed. Long gone are the days where a lip gloss would mean nothing but a sticky and (let's be honest) annoying mess. We were always taking a risk wearing gloss out of the house, especially if it was windy as it meant, inevitably, when the wind picked up your hair would become stuck to the gloss you were wearing on your lips. Not a good look I'm sure we can all agree...

Lip gloss was always, before now, the last product I would ever reach for. Consider me reformed following the release of Lancôme's new Juicy Shaker. A pigment infused bi-phase lip oil.

Lancome Juicy Shaker, Nourishing Lip Oil, Summer lips, Beauty blog, review

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Fashion meets Interiors at IKEA Belfast

You'll rarely find me at events or happenings. I'm simply not that type of blogger (I'd never make it as a socialite!) You'll very rarely find me blogging about events either, unless there's something tangible or a little bit amazing to actually write about. This is one of those instances. Something a little bit amazing took place in IKEA Belfast recently and I think it will become apparent rather quickly why I had to tell you all about it.

I have a few favourite Irish and Northern Irish designers, all of them bringing something exquisitely different to the table and it's magical to be able to watch them grow into their craft. Rare talents and serious skills can be found scattered across this green isle of ours and one such talent has graced these pages before! It's this talent I'm here to chat about today...

A few weeks ago the wonderful Sara O'Neill teamed up with IKEA Belfast for a hugely exciting and wildly different type of project. 

To celebrate the launch of GILTIG, a very new, limited edition collection of homewares, IKEA  Belfast teamed up with the stylist and designer extraordinaire and her dream team. Intriguing, right? Just wait until you see what they came up with!

Fashion meets Interiors, Interior design, IKEA, GILTIG collection, alternative fashion, alternative home style

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The 4 P's Guide for Staying Safe Online

It's not really news to the majority of us, the fact that there is a raging dark underbelly to the internet. More than likely, you've already had experience of it yourself. I know far too many people who fall into this category. Good people, kindhearted souls that just tried to find something good to cling onto online.

The quiet soul who wouldn't say boo to a ghost that is now able to chat freely online to like-minded people, the creative artist who keeps odd and unsociable hours having the opportunity to connect with other artists, the writers who simply love to fill a little corner online with their musings. Friendships have been born, nurtured and maintained throughout many years thanks to the world wide web. There's no doubt in my mind that it can be a fantastic tool to have at your disposal, whether that's to push your business, allow your brand to have more exposure to a larger potential customer base, make friends outside of your real life social circle and you can even avail of help online for a huge number of differing issues.

But what happens when it turns sour? You get into a heated debate online, you think you're the subject of passive aggressive comments and comment threads, maybe you've experienced out and out persistent trolling. You feel unstable, you feel this positive place you've found is damaging you in a way you can't really understand. You maybe consider shutting down all your online accounts, it might seem drastic to others but when you've reached the very end of your tether with any or all of the above, sometimes it can feel like that's the only option left. Your mood is affected, your family and home life is suffering and you become reclusive online, you start to censor yourself, you second guess every comment and soon, the very place that was your escape before can become dangerous. Yes, dangerous.

When we're chatting to kids about social media and online behaviour we are very careful to point out that online bullying is wrong. There is no room for maneuver or misinterpretation. We aim to protect kids online, to never again have a child feel such despair at something they're going through online that they feel they have no other way out... We are concise and we are direct. Online bullying. Trolling. They're wrong. In fact, they are now classed as a criminal offence.

Do we do enough for adults in the same boat?

Adults seem to be expected to take a little 'back and forth', a little 'banter', if you have an online presence there seems to be an expectation (from some) that you are 'fair game'. Every day I see mud slinging across social media. I see people hurling someone elses situation back in their face. I see people being called the most disgusting names and having to brace themselves against hugely offensive language. I see people putting personal information about others online to be judged, ridiculed and ripped apart.

Would we stand for this if it was happening to our kids......?

No. We wouldn't. We teach our kids how to be safe online but what about us? We know, in theory, how to protect ourselves online but in reality the practicality of feeling safe can all too often escape us.

A lot of you know that a while ago I gave in. I became so disenchanted, disillusioned and depressed due to goings on online. I know I'm not the first and I certainly (unfortunately) won't be the last but it is altogether far too frequent. It happens far too much. Those few years of putting up with repeated jibes, incredibly personal insults and untruths being circulated online did however give me a new perspective. After I fought my way back online and it was a battle, a lot might think it was a battle I didn't need to undertake but I was angry, so very angry that I had allowed myself to be chased offline by bullies. There's that word again... I think sometimes we forget that it also pertains to adults. We tend to expect adults to cope with it better when in actuality, bullying is bullying. It is specifically meant to diminish another person, to make them feel unworthy, a lesser person, bullying is designed to hurt, to cause damage and it's not ok. Not for kids and not for adults.

It's a raging ongoing concern online.

So how on earth does one protect themselves online? How do you shake it off? How do you let it go without allowing it to directly affect you. How do you stop it becoming a danger to your own personal mental health?

Staying safe online, the 4 p's for staying safe online, The Style Guide Blog, Uk blog, Irish blog, online bullying, cyber bullying, online crime

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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm, is it the answer to all your primer needs?

Perchance you've been living under a rock and hadn't heard the new 'wonder primer' on the market, only it's not a new product and it's not technically a primer...

Nivea (for men) Sensitive Post Shave Balm has been hailed as a wonder product, a must-have for any makeup lover, a rival for high end primers that we know and love. Is it really all that though?

I admit to feeling a little excited when I came across this little tub of wonder product when I was clearing out the bathroom recently. Mr SGB had long since abandoned it as an actual post shave balm (opting for Bulldog instead which he prefers and does a better job on sensitive skin - diddums!). So, here I was, holding this little tub in my hand thinking all my primer dreams had come true. I'd read the reviews, I'd seen the hype, I was so ready to be wowed.

Nivea Sensitive post shave balm, answer to primer needs, best primer, beauty blog, review

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

PS Love to Glow Face Mask vs Glamglow

When the news was picked up that Primark were to bring out a skincare range, it's safe to say we all got a little excited. By now we've all given penneys budget makeup brushes and makeup a whirl and the verdict is a definite thumbs up by all accounts and rightly so. Their brushes seem to be good at their job and their lipliners are second only to my Essence and Rimmel lipliners in regards to the colour pay off and the longevity. Pretty impressive for the price. In fact, so impressive that we feel we can battle through the untidy and messy shelves at our local Primarks in order to locate the prized products we're looking for on any given day. ''Worth it'', we tell ourselves as we tut and search through the already-opened-and-damaged stock.

So, when we heard that Primark were launching skincare, it was reason enough to get excited.

And then the first  products dropped and the hype went into overdrive. Why? One of the products, the face mask, was hailed as a dupe for..... GLAMGLOW! I was hesitant to believe such a claim, I have glamglow and I adore it. Of course, considering the £40 price tag Glamglow boasts, the best case scenario would be for this Primark Love to Glow face mask to be a dupe, right? Right.

PS Love to Glow Facemask vs Glamglow, review, beauty blog, Irish blog, UK blog

Let's get to it...

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Asos Bridal is Here!

Affordable and stylish wedding dresses are now even easier to find thanks to fashion forward brand, Asos. A long time favourite shopping haunt of many a fashionista, Asos have today launched the first few pieces from their own Bridal range, ASOS BRIDAL, here in the U.K.

When news first broke that Asos were setting their sights on the bridal market, I had high hopes. Visions of Solange Knowles and her stunning caped bridal creation sprung to mind. This was Asos, it was bound to be an all round winner, right?


Now that the first few pieces have dropped, it's plain to see that this might actually work. Asos are clearly opting to aim for the more casual, laid back, less traditional bride and it's a winning formula. With celebrities such as Olivia Palermo choosing to shun the classic wedding gown, deconstructed and less formal bridal wear is having a moment.

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Thursday, 3 March 2016

BIRCHBOX : The Beauty Subscription Box That Had Me Return

I started with Feelunique, followed that with Glossybox and I finished with Birchbox. That was my beauty subscription box story... until now!

Back when I was subscribing to all the above I had to make a choice. Were my beauty box subscriptions actually worth the money I was spending on them. In fairness, the products always cost more than the subscription but I found I wasted so much product, I gave the majority away to friends and family after deeming them unsuitable for me. After a while it seemed silly to keep paying out money for samples and products I simply wasn't using. Made more sense at that stage to treat myself to one or two full size products from my wish list instead.

Then Birchbox teamed up with Spectrum Brushes and the game changed.

Birchbox, The Beauty Subscription Box that had me return, Beauty subscription box

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Monday, 29 February 2016

Oscars 2016 Fashion

It's the red carpet we all look forward to but did our beloved screen stars let us down in the WOW! stakes at last night's ceremony? There was certainly an abundance of straight, shapeless frocks and a fair few 'what were they thinking' moments. It's like some missed the memo that this was THE OSCARS. Still, there were plenty of frocks on display that were incredibly dreamy and everything you wish you could get away with wearing.

A big trend on the red carpet last night was white or bridal-esque style looks and gothic style crept even more to the fore cementing the romantic gothic trend for this upcoming season.

Oscars 2016 fashion, who wore who at the oscars, Dorith Mous, Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore
Photo Credit www.eonline.com

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Valentine's Gift Guide For Her | Budget Version

A lot of us, though we kind of like the idea of pretty Valentine's Day gifts, are realists. February is so soon after Christmas and the New Year and let's be honest... in a lot of households, money is still very tight and spare pennies are scarce. It can really take the fun out of something like Valentine's Day, but it doesn't have to take the heart out of the day at all!

A token of love, a gift given with good intentions and with feeling behind it could cost as much as you want it to or as little as you can afford. Some of my most treasured moments are when my baby hands me a daisy, that he picked from the garden and it didn't cost a thing. Not a penny.

I know though, on something like Valentine's Day, a garden daisy might not feel the best gift to give and I know we can't all be splashing the cash on items like those I included in my High End Valentine's Gift Guide, so I've put together a quick budget friendly version as well.

Valentine's Gift Guide For Her, Budget Version, Asos, Lily O Brien, Chocolates, Heart Pom Pom, Heart LED plaque, tips for Valentine's Day, Irish Blogger, NI blog
Tulips Bouquet £25.00 | In Your Dreams (bath bomb gift set) £9.95 | Lily O'Briens Chocolates £6.50 | Heart Pom Pom Key Ring £8.00 | Karma Necklace €20 | Love Bug Glitter Scented Candle £12.00 | White LED Lights Heart Plaque £9.99

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide For Her | High End

It's almost gotten to the point where we over think Valentine's Day. For a fair few years I barely took notice of it (in part, due to it also being Mr Style Guide's birthday), but now I'm coming more and more around to the idea of using Valentine's Day to gift a token of love for that special someone in your life. As with every holiday, of course it's gotten commercial but it doesn't need to be as complicated as some gift guides would have us believe and so I've put together a classic and wistful Valentine's Gift Guide.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide For her, High End, Gift Guide, What to get her for Valentine's Day, Betty Blue's, The Whimsical Cake Company, Style Blog, Irish Blog
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Perfume, £54.00 | Mixed Birthstone Locket, £48.00 | Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Scented Candle, £42.00 | The Nell Robe, £250.00 | Ombre Pyramid Chocolates £15.00 | Thomas Sabo Engraved Bracelet £159.00 | Mimi Eden Blooms £59.99

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Eloquence Cruelty Free Skincare | Review and a Giveaway

I find skincare a little tricky to navigate at the best of times. Having no real set label of skin type I usually just have to take my chances. Sometimes that means paying out for sensitive skin products and at other times it can mean opting for products that cater more to combination or oily skin. It has a mind of it's own and all I can do is go along and try my best to formulate some kind of regime that looks after it. This can sometimes mean what's great one week is going to cause a reaction the next. It's frustrating and tends to put me off skincare every now and again.

This year I want to make a concerted effort to get to know my skin and to treat it well. I've a foot in my 30s and it's time to start taking skincare a tad more seriously than I previously had.

Lately I've been trialing a fantastic range of skincare from Eloquence, a cruelty free brand of skincare that contains no artificial fragrances and is packed full of goodness including Sachi Inchi Oil, an ingredient that boasts proteins, omegas, antioxidants and is rich in iodine and vitamins A and E.


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