Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Create 2017 At Brown Thomas

Create is an annual showcase of Irish designers and Irish design that takes place in Dublin's leading luxury department store, Brown Thomas. In its seventh year, Create has always presented wonderful designers, both upcoming and established, in a beautiful setting but the display this year is particularly lovely; black and white palm leaf wallpaper, sprawling greenery (how trendy), neon signs (how very trendy) and white looping geometric rails.

Showcasing the work of 22 designers this year across ready-to-wear, accessories, scarves, jewellery, millinery and interiors, the display is curated by Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery and features beloved established Irish designers such as Mariad Whisker, Helen Cody and Úna Burke, as well as newcomers such as the recent NCAD grads Colin Burke and Laoise Carey.

My own personal highlights, however, have to be Domino Whisker's cute and tongue-in-cheek embroidered collars, badges and framed images and the beautifully crisp, modernised tradition of 31 Chapel Lane's linen clothing.

The showcase remains on display on the first floor of the Grafton Street store until the 13th of August 2017 and it is well-worth popping in to check it out.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Ireland's First Standalone Urban Decay Store and Must-Have Products

A couple weeks ago I was invited to come check out the new Urban Decay store on Grafton Street and to attend a masterclass with MUA Danielle Roberts. As I am a big fan of the brand (and the fact that it is one of the few, readily available cruelty free high-end makeup brands in Ireland), I was delighted to see Ireland's first standalone store and some of the new launches and in-store exclusives.

I was less enthused about being the guinea pig for the demonstration as I'm potentially the most awkward blogger in the country (no official confirmation yet but fingers crossed), but felt it would be rude to decline and it was good to see the products first-hand and on my own face.

First thing's first (I'm the realest), the store is everything I wanted it to be and more. There's a bathroom (that's just handy), there is LOADS of natural light (why is this not a thing in all purveyors of makeup?), it's pretty and there is a second floor that can be reserved for parties and events, which is just genius. I knew they'd do a good job but there are lots of little touches that really make sense and make the place better: eg. the makeup stations downstairs have outlets to charge your phone, there are reflective surfaces everywhere, mirrors have ring lights, etc. It all just makes for a pleasant shopping experience.

On the day in question, we were in the upstairs section of the store and experienced what it's like to have a private function. It kind of is an ideal spot for the likes of a bachelorette party: perfectly located to toddle on to the next venue once made up; compact but well-laid out so everyone could have enough room, but still be able to interact; and a dream destination for makeup lovers.

As I sat in front of my gathered peers and tried to remember my posture, the lovely Danielle took us through an easy-breezy look using some new launches, personal favourites and in-store exclusive. I was heading back to the office after so I was glad to hear she was doing a light, natural look and I really liked a lot of the products that Danielle used. After using the B6 prep spray, she mixed the Naked Skin foundation with Liquid Aura, a new product that is on my must-have list - it's a serious babe. Liquid Aura is a little like the Custom FX Enhancer Drops but a lot more natural, leaving you glowy and dewy and fresh, rather than Tin Man glam. It can be mixed in with your foundation for a glowy finish, added on top to boost the dew or used as a subtle, natural-looking highlight. Basically, if you want to look like you always drink enough water and get enough sleep, this is the product for you.

Next, Danielle went in and boosted the glow a little more with the Naked Illuminated highlight in a new shade called Fireball, a pretty peachy-toned highlight shade from the popular range. Then it was on to lips and Danielle prepped them with Lip Love, the new balm from Urban that she personally swears by and another item for my own shopping list. Another new product was one of the Vice Special Effects lip toppers that was added to a classic red liquid lip to mix it up and make something new. This is part of a line of twelve new products that feature different glitters and shimmers and can be worn alone or used on top of other lip products to create some different, and rather incredible, looks. Finally, to finish, Danielle spritzed my face with the Chill Cooling And Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray, locking everything in place but keeping that dewy, fresh look.

Having seen everything in action, I have to say that the Liquid Aura was my own star product of the day as it suits the kind of makeup I normally like to do (if I bother at all) but I am definitely intrigued by the Special Effects line and would love to play around with them some more. Maybe I'll pop in store some day and do just that. Because we can now, now that we have our very own standalone store in Dublin - yay!

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