Monday, September 29, 2014

RSVP / Cork Fashion Week Blogger of the year

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As most of you will know from my facebook and twitter pages, I have been shortlisted for the RSVP/Cork Fashion Week blogger of the year awards. There will be two winners, one will be the judges vote and the other will be selected by a public vote.
I won the RSVP/Oasis Style blogger of the year last year thanks to you guys and I would love to do it again this year and get the opportunity to present a style segment at Cork Fashion Week.
All you have to do it click on this link - http://rsvpmagazine.ie/poll-cork-fashion-week-blogger-2014/ scroll to the second list of names, select the box beside "Nicola McLaughlin - The Sequin Cinderella" and hit vote! It takes two seconds and with your help I could receive this wonderful opportunity!
Thanks to everyone who has voted so far! Voting is open until midday wednesday!
Nicola x

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Inside my Makeup Bag

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I got a lot of mails asking me about my make up in this picture which was taken on the night of the launch of the Miss Derry 2014 pageant. Most of you thought that I had had my make up professionally done but the truth is that I did it myself so I thought I would let you in on my make -up secrets and have a look inside my make up bag!
The first thing I will tell you is that my make up routine doesn't change much from day to night! I am one of those girls who goes nowhere without a touch of foundation, mascara and eyebrow pencil… I have to have my eyebrows! The only thing I generally do differently at night is that I add a few more layers of mascara and a touch of lipstick.
I am not one for wearing eyeshadow, I feel it makes my eyes look smaller whereas with my long lashes I can make them look bigger and more defined through using mascara and some eyeliner (only on the waterline.
I also have a fascination with MAC makeup and their brushes which I swear by for applying foundation.
I'll take you through my routine step by step.

1. I never moisturise too close to applying make up, I like to leave about an hour in between as otherwise my skin goes too shiny. Instead I use a primer and my favourite is the Benefit Pore-fessional. It works really well to keep my dry areas hydrated and reduce shine as I have combination skin.

2. Foundation - I like loads of coverage in my foundation so I go for the MAC Studio Fix Fluid. I find that this works best for my skin. I also tend to swap colours depending on day or night or whether I am wearing fake tan. I wear NC25 during the day, NC 30 at night or NC35 if I am wearing quite a bit of fake tan. I know some people find this foundation a little too heavy but I find if you remove it all at night and use a primer before application it doesn't damage my skin.

3. Powder - I have tried many loose powders ranging in price from £3 to £30 and the one that works best for me is Collection Sheer Loose Powder in Transluscent. I apply it over my foundation using a large powder brush and it keeps my make up intact and shine free for the entire day! Even better than that, it wont break the bank at just £2.50 in Boots 

4. Eyebrows - I have to have my eyebrows filled in, otherwise I simply feel like I am in a permanent state of surprise so I swear by the Benefit Browzing palette. It has a shadow, wax, brushes and a tiny pair of tweezers, everything you need to get the perfect brow! Just ensure to pick a colour that matches your hair, you don't want black eyebrows with bright blonde hair ladies!

5. Eyeliner - I always apply a line of black eyeliner to the waterline of my eye. I never put it on the lid unless I am going for a very dramatic make up look! I feel that the waterline really opens up my eyes and also gives a good base for my mascara. I find Gosh Eyeliner pencil the best as it doesn't bleed or smudge and gives a solid black defined line!

6. Mascara - I cannot live without mascara! My eyelashes are probably my favourite feature and I love to layer them in mascara to make them look their best. I absolutely love the Rimmel mascaras, particularly the Scandaleyes one that they have recently released! It its great for strong colour and definition and affordable too at only £5.99

7. Lip Balm - I always like to keep my lips hydrated, particularly when I will be wearing lipstick for a long period of time so I apply an EOS balm to my lips first! My favourite flavour at the minute is the mixed fruits but I like to change them depending on my mood!

8. Lipstick - In the above photograph I am wearing the Rihanna for MAC - Viva Glam red lipstick! I absolutely love it as it is bright enough to make a statement but very classy and elegant!

9. Touch-Ups - When I am heading out for the night, I always bring the MAC Full Coverage foundation with me. It is easier to use for touch ups than a liquid foundation and gives the best coverage of any foundation I know! It is quite heavy so I generally only use it lightly to fix any errors in my make up but its fantastic for any ladies, like me, who are conscious of their skin!

and thats it, my entire make up routine summed up for you! If you would like to try out any of the products for yourself just click on their names and it will take you directly to where you can purchase them! Let me know if there are any other of my make up looks that you would like me to show you or if you would like a video tutorial!
Nicola x

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Jennifer Rothwell Boutique

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This Summer, I had the pleasure of working with one of Irelands top designers, Jennifer Rothwell, on a project which will be revealed over the coming months. Whilst the excitement for that has been building, I am delighted to announce that Jennifer has opened her own flagship store in the Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin City Centre.
Jennifer's designs are high end couture pieces and her extensive range will be on display in store along with the works of some other Irish designers that she has is stock.
From simple classics to bold prints, her collection features a broad range of designs and is absolutely worth checking out if you are in the area.
Jennifer graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and has years of experience working with top designers. She started her own brand in 2006 and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
It is great to see Irish designers doing so well in the fashion industry and I wish her every success in the future. I can't wait to pop into the store myself to have a look.
Nicola x
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wet Brush

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This week I received the "Wet Brush" to try out and review thanks to Sparkle PR.
As most of you will see from my pics, my hair is so thick and is always very difficult to brush, especially after I wash it. I was very skeptical as I have tried every different kind of brush on the market and I still have to tug and pull at my hair. I always have to spray lots of leave-in conditioner in order to de-tangle it.
When trying out the "Wet Brush", just so that I could get a truthful review, I didn't use any product whatsoever, I simply towel dried my hair and brushed it straight through.
I really couldn't believe how easy it was.
I very rarely review products that I don't believe in and I started out with the opinion that this one wouldn't work but I was very pleasantly surprised.
The bristles on the "Wet Brush" have been specially developed to use on wet hair, they are ultra thin and flexible and glide through your hair with ease. It can even be used to detangle hair extensions or wigs.
The "Wet Brush" comes in a variety of different colours and prints and can be purchased for just £11.99 from Sally's stores www.sallyexpress.comwww.cultbeauty.co.uk and salons nationwide!
If your hair is thick, thin, prone to tangling etc. then this is the perfect product for you.
Definitely worth a try!
Nicola x
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Photos taken on iPhone x

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Aran Sweater Market

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Theres nothing I love more than when a classic style makes a welcome return. Being Irish, I have always had a soft spot for Aran Knitwear so seeing it returning to the stores for this Autumn/Winter season and being made more contemporary has really excited me.
I was delighted to hear from the Aran Sweater Market and get the chance to pick a piece from their website. I found it very difficult to choose from the beautiful selection that they had in stock but in the end, this gorgeous dress stood out from the rest. Aran Sweater Market are a traditional Aran knitwear company, with all items being crafted in the Aran Islands. Whilst I love that high street stores are recreating this look for the current season, there is a whole lot to be said for authenticity of a product and that is exaclt what this company provide with their items.
I have actually been taking knitting and crocheting courses myself with Edel McBride LTD so I am particularly fascinated by this trend and love playing around with it to give it a modern twist.
This dress could be funked up with a belt and some jewellery or made more casual by adding leggings, but for this shoot, I chose to style it in a simple way, adding tan boots from Mango and a classic Burberry Scarf! Sometimes it really is hard to beat the classics and I have to say, its the first time I have ever looked forward to the cold weather!
Have you embraced this trend yet? If you wish to purchase this exact dress for yourself, here is the direct link - http://www.aransweatermarket.com/ladies-knitwear/sweaters/aran-sweater-dress
Nicola x

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★ DRESS THANKS TO ARAN SWEATER MARKET 
★ BURBERRY SCARF 
★ BOOTS FROM MANGO 
★ GUESS WATCH 
★ RINGS FROM TOPSHOP 
★ WOODEN BRACELET FROM CLOSET CLOTHING, DERRY/LONDONDERRY 
★ EARRINGS THANKS TO THE EMPORIUM 




Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Hand Crafted Emporium

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On Friday past, I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the "Handcrafted Emporium". 
I was delighted when Emma, the lovely proprietor of the store, asked me to be the special guest at her launch. I have always loved Emma's handcrafted jewellery so it was amazing to be there and see all of her pieces together in one beautiful little shop.
Emma is renowned for making stunning jewellery and head pieces for bridal or formal wear and has made her name circuiting the wedding fayres across Northern Ireland, but now she has her own base in which brides-to-be can come to her and experience this fabulous treasure trove.
The Hand Crafted Emporium is situated in Feeny, right on the main street and is approximately 15mins from the centre of Derry/Londonderry.
I fell in love with all of the stunning headpieces, which are not only the perfect accessory for any bride on their wedding day but are also bang on trend for formals or even a night on the tiles.
In the store, Emma stocks her own range of bespoke designs as well as some stunning ranges of ready to wear pieces and beauty products.
I was absolutely thrilled when Emma gave me a sneak peek at the stunning customised gift she has been working on for me… a pair of my very own "Sequin Cinderella" shoes. They are decorated with Cinderella material and the entire heel is covered in sequins. I love them and I am so looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Girls, if you live near by and are getting married, or even if you know someone getting married and you need the perfect gift, be sure to check out the "Hand Crafted Emporium". I have no doubt you will find exactly what you are looking for!
I would like to wish Emma good luck with the store and say a huge thank you for asking me to be a part of your opening!
Nicola x
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Champagne and Cupcakes - What more could a girl want?
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Beautiful custom designed "Sequin Cinderella" shoes thanks to Emma 
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Find the Handcrafted Emporium on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Emporium/1494509300784583

What I wore:
★ VEST TOP FROM TOPSHOP 
★ BAROQUE PATTERNED SKIRT FROM BLUSH BOUTIQUE 
★ KURT GEIGER STUDDED HEELS 
★ NECKLACE BY MI MONEDA 
★ GUESS WATCH 
★ EARRINGS THANKS TO THE HANDCRAFTED EMPORIUM 

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Hammer Time

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When I'm on holidays, a trend I absolutely love to rock is the "harem pant". They have a certain exotic "hippie chic" vibe to them that I am fascinated by, so this year when I saw them for sale on the beach in Marbella I just had to buy a pair. 
Two years ago I bought a pair in beige (Which you can see HERE) and ever since then I had been on the hunt for a black pair, so I was delighted to find these.
I paired them very simply with a black zip cropped top from Zara and some gold and turquoise accessories to add a little colour.
As much as I love the silhouette of the look, I couldn't resist giving in to the stereotype and embracing my inner MC Hammer by busting some moves as you can see below!
Enjoy!
Nicola x
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★ HAREM PANTS BOUGHT ON THE BEACH IN PUERTO BANUS 
★ BLACK ZIP CROP TOP FROM ZARA 
★ GOLD DETAIL SANDALS FROM PRIMARK 
★ YSL ARTY RING 
★ GUESS WATCH
★ BRACELET FROM THE "ANNA DELLO RUSSO" COLLECTION FOR H&M 
★ ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SKULL CLUTCH BAG