The St. Tropez Family

I adore being tanned. It sounds so unbelievably shallow and I can't really justify it. That's just the way it is.

I have tried and tested various self tanners over the years, but for some reason never really veered towards St. Tropez. As a student, I mostly stuck to drugstore versions of tanners, as price usually became priority. Although it was the first 'major' tanning brand I had ever heard of in my youth, I took to glossy magazines and drugstores in search for the perfect St. Tropez knockoff without ever giving it a chance. I finally gave in, after years of evasion, and purchased a few products from the brand. Surprise surprise, I took quite a shine to them, and they have now become a permanent staple in my beauty product collection.

These are the ones I have at the moment.

The Bronzing Gel: €29.99*
 The Bronzing Mousse - €27.89
 The Gradual Tanning Moisturiser: €17.75*
 The Illuminator: €20.38

I use each of these products in a different way, depending on my mood. The gel and the mousse are quite similar in principle, but obviously completely different in consistency, texture, and slightly different in colour depth too. The gel is thicker and richer, it's kind of got a treacly nuance to it, while the mousse is lighter, aerated (obviously!) and easier to apply and blend. I find I get better colour payoff from the gel, as it gives a darker finish, and a slighter more browner tone. The mousse on the other hand is somewhat frothy and gives a paler brown, if slight coppery/rust tone to the skin. Both gel and mousse are applied using a mitt all over the face and body, after exfoliation to buff away dead skin so that the tan has a perfectly smooth canvas and base to work upon. I find applying and rinsing off after 5-6 hours gives a faultless, rich, deep tan, although the tan can easily be applied before a night out without rinsing.

The gradual tanning moisuriser is a nice way to build up a light glow, although personally I'd rather just whack the gel or mousse on because I'm an impatient person! It does moisturise quite well and I sometimes slap it on before bed, as it dries in quite quickly.

The Illuminator is such a stunning product. It's the perfect highlighter. I use this in place of MAC's Strobe Cream on my body to highlight, as it's much thicker and gives a better glow. It contains gorgeous gold particles which sparkle in the right light when applied to the right parts of the body. It's also quite thick so a little goes a long way!
Do you use St. Tropez?
Hope you're all well and having a lovely Tuesday!
If you have Instagram, follow me on it! @noonabean
:) x

La La Love You.

  I love seeing Instagram updates on blogs, so I thought I'd share mine. I finally succumbed and bought an iPhone 4s after owning a tattered Samsung for years, and I am in love. So here are a few pictures of recent ventures! :)

Coco by Coco Chanel; the most delicious fragrance in the world, ever! | Baking cupcakes for a colleague | New Topshop Kicks
Face of the night | Soju Mojito in Izakaya | River Island dress that I didn't buy in the end!
Afternoon Tea at The Shelbourne Hotel | Jeans and Tee kind of day | Brunching with Julie at Dawson 37
River Island tee and Topshop shorts | Louboutin heaven in Brown Thomas | New treat! Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Style
Playing with Siri | Hot Pinks | New Asos Purchases

I am currently sick in bed with a bout of the vomiting bug! Boo! I did receive my huge bundle of Asos goodies yesterday which cheered me up a bit though :)
Hope youre all well and having a lovely tuesday!
  :) x

The Studded Leather Jacket and the Hot Pink Lip

I'm all for a bit of leather. Faux in this instance. Coming into Autumn I always don a leather jacket. I can't shake it off. And this year was no exception. 

 I spotted this number in Pull and Bear a few times over the course of the last few weeks. Pull and Bear is not a place I usually shop in, but this jacket in particular caught my eye in the window display and I fell in love. I decided that it would shake up the wardrobe a bit in the transition from Summer to Autumn, and adds a nice additional layer of warmth as the cooler months approach. The studs add just the right amount of hardware without being too much, and lately I have been wearing it with absolutely everything. 

 My day off this week felt like a hot pink lip kind of day. I have a box in my room that houses all of my lipsticks, and I delved into it in search of a perfect pink that would brighten my face up. In the end, I couldn't choose just one, and so I used numerous products to alter the shade and attain the perfect colour. I used Magenta lip liner by MAC as a base, topped it with a slick of MAC's Impassioned, then to brighten the pink tones I finished with a swipe of Idol by Topshop. 

Jacket - Pull & Bear 
Meow Tee - River Island 
Tie dye shorts - Topshop 
Sunnies - Asos 

 I have literally spent a bomb on new things recently, in one big purchase, which is currently en route to my house in a giant box. I am so excited! :) 

 Hope you have all had a lovely weekend!
 :) x

The Topshop Collar and the Gok Wan Specs

I spotted this embellished collared top in Topshop on a few occasions before finally commiting to purchase. I felt that I had enough Peter Pans in my wardrobe before adding another one. But I couldn't resist. It's a gorgeous short-sleeved little number perfectly paired with jeans or dressed up tucked into a skirt. And I adore it.

 It's a perfect fit with a sharp structure that sits in all the right places. The collar is adorned with pretty little square studs that add a bit of a wow factor to an otherwise plain white blouse. The Specs on the other hand I have had for a while. I am actually quite blind, so prescriptive glasses were required for my otherwise deteriorating eyesight. I liked the frames on these and that's why I bought them, but have since been ridiculed and derided by family and friends for looking like 'a hipster'. I don't care. I love them. And they actually make me see better. Win win. :)
I have been working like a loon and not doing much else, although I am planning a week away in November. I have a mountain of new lipsticks and various other products to show you, I can't seem to stop shopping. :)

If you'd like to see more regular photo updates from me follow me on Instagram (@noonabean).
Hope you are all having a lovely tuesday! :)

The Studded Zara Blazer

I passed this blazer in Zara numerous times before committing myself to purchase it. "It is too much?, too in your face?!", I thought countless times, busying myself at other shelves in the store, occasionally glancing back at the rail hung with several spiked blazers.

I eventually returned to the rail, not finding anything else in the shop that credulously piqued my interest like this spikey blazer. I rifled through, hoping they had my size, when two women picked the first one up and began chattering about it.

"Wow, that is amazing."
"But would you wear it?"
"It's stunning, but I wouldn't wear it".

And they sidled off, leaving the rack of blazers in my possession. Then I thought, why wouldn't you wear it?! It is such a statement blazer, nothing of which I have in my collection, one embellished with spikes and such. So I nabbed it and paid.

The only little teeny problem I have with this blazer is the length. I feel like it swallows me. Just a bit. But then again, I have no blazers this length, which is a good thing. The collar is a bit odd too, in the fact that there isn't really one. It doesn't have any buttons in which to fasten it up, but I like that, I think buttoned up it would look too military. On that note I don't think I have ever buttoned up a blazer! It is very structured, which I love, and fits like a glove. Overall I think it was definitely a worthy purchase.

I wore it out last weekend and received so many compliments, and I am so delighted I bought it!

Top: Topshop
Jeans: River Island
Heels: Topshop
Blazer: Zara
Necklace: Topshop

In other news, I am spending my dosh like a maniac on new ensembles. And I have succumbed and jumped back on the makeup buying bandwagon. Whoops! I think the makeup ban has lasted long enough.

So I treated myself to four new lipsticks. FOUR! Three of which are Topshop, the other, Chanel. I also bought some Inglot necessities and a Chanel perfume.

They make me happy ok!?

My Summer Beauty Essentials.

I have mentioned previously that as of late I have significantly scaled down my makeup purchases. First off, this isn't entirely true. Second, if you meet a girl who can just cut makeup out of her life and stop spending then please introduce me, I'd like to shake her hand. But thats not me. I can't do it.

I have tried to cut out buying new makeup for the main reason being, I can't wear it much. Sad I know. I would love to have a glamorous job where I can doll myself up every day in expensive foundation and sharp, chic suits, but unfortunately for me, that's not the career path I chose. I don chef whites and work with 6 other guys in a hot kitchen in a fine dining restaurant in Dublin city six days a week. When I'm not doing that however, there is nothing more I love than dolling myself up in expensive foundation. Not sharp suits though. That just ain't me.

Over the past few weeks I have infact bought a teeny few makeup things. Whoopsie! And I'm so happy that they are all things I adore. During the summer, I love being tanned, I feel healthy when Im tanned, which is a bit ridiculous and shallow, but it's true. I love having bronzed and glowy skin, as I feel I can get away with wearing a minimal amount of makeup.

My essentials for summer are simple. Bronzed face, chic hair, balmy lips, dewy skin, bare eyes, big lashes.  And that's pretty much it.

I have been told in the past to embrace the pale, as I am naturally quite pale, but to be honest, I feel so much happier when I'm all glowy and bronzed.  I love using the St. Tropez combo when I actually have the time to tan. You know, exfoliate, apply, wait 6 hours, wash off, the whole shebang. I would rather do it all it one sitting, than let it develop overnight. I really can't fathom the stained sheets in the morning! The mousse is perfect, and the illuminator gives a subtle sheer glow. When I don't have the time, I use this Sublime Bronze Spray by L'Oreal, it's so quick, you just spray, and it develops over the course of the day, doesn't leave streaks, and actually smells really pleasant. A tan that smells nice?! Believe it.

Lately, I have been using this Tresemmé hairspray to fix my locks in place when I throw it up, usually in a Lily Bee Bun fashion. It's miniature size, and perfect for on the go. It smells delicious, and gives a perfect, firm hold.

Stobe cream by MAC is perfect for adding subtle highlights to the skin to give it a dewy finish. I apply this on my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and a teeny bit above my top lip. Instant highlight.

I find with mascaras, I use up one, and never repurchase it. The new ScandalEyes mascara by Rimmel is amazing for giving volume and oomph to lashes. Love, and quite possibly will repurchase!

And to lips. I purchased the new 1000 kisses  Lip Tint and Balm by Rimmel in two colours; Endless Blossom and Nothing but Nude. Unfortunately for Rimmel, I prefer just using the balm at the top, with a lipstick of mine that had been banished to the back of the shelf out of sheer dislike. MAC's Myth is something I have had a hatred for for quite a while. I briefly mentioned my distaste for the Satin finish in this post, but now I find it quite wearable paired with a balm. It doesn't make my lips look dry, but glossy, and I have been on a search for a glossy wearable nude for a while. I pair these together and feel very Kimberley from Made in Chelsea. If you don't know what I'm talking about, google her! Not sure why I feel like that, but I do.

I usually throw on a blush or some gel liner, but these are the basics.
 I can't believe it's nearly August already!! What are your summer beauty essentials?


Into the White.

Hello all! Hope everyones well, and hello to my new followers!

I have scaled down the makeup buys quite a bit recently, which I'm quite proud of, although my full attention has turned to purchasing new clothes, hello Zara sale! How the tables have turned! I have become a mad woman, once I pick something up I like, thats it, say goodbye to the rest of the day, we're going on a shopping binge. I can't stop. On my break on Friday I went crazy in town, it was pay day after all, and I scoured out H&M, Zara, Topshop and River Island, and left them all with a massive bag of buys in tow. Here are my favourite purchases.

I've been loving big necklaces lately, and got these ones from Topshop and H&M. The flats are from Topshop, €10 on sale! The shirt is from Zara, down from €70 to €20. The little buttons are actually tiny skulls, which makes me feel very Alexander McQueen. And the heels. MY GOD. I debated with myself whether to get these or not, because they hurt a teeny bit, but I absolutely love them. So glad I got them. Also from Zara. :)

I love reading Instagram update posts, and so I thought I'd share mine, now that I am the proud owner of a beautiful new iPhone.

Asos Heels | Tshirt Dress | 7am sky | Chanel things

New Dessert on the menu, Strawberry Plate | Makeup Mess | Dressing for dinner | Chocolate Pave

Sunday Breakfast; Buttermilk Pancakes, Maple Bacon, Poached Nectarines and Vanilla Yoghurt | Blazing | New Purchases | Rhubarb, Ginger and Rose Trifles

Thank you for reading! Hope you are all having a lovely week :)

My Perfect Day, Part 2.

It continues. After scoffing down a delicious five course fine dining lunch in the Greenhouse, the boss and I scuttled along to a very posh Afternoon Tea. MORE FOOD?!??! You bet your bottom dollar. I'm a glutton see. It was the prospect of having a delicious brew in a floral China tea cup with a saucer that really appealed to me, it makes me feel very ladylike and proper. And for some reason it tastes better too. Or so I like to think.

Carl and I popped along to the Shelbourne, one of Dublin's finest hotels, a 'Renaissance Hotel' they call it. Afternoon Tea was held in the drawing room, and without a reservation, we were assuming we'd get turned away, but decided we'd chance it. And lucky us! There had been a cancellation. So we plopped ourselves down on the huge Baroque style couches and just relaxed for the afternoon. Our Tea in question came with assorted finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones, various conserves, pastries, and little shot glasses filled with gorgeous things. It was quite delicious.

Aprés  a completely chilled and filling afternoon, we were about to burst, but managed to go and down another few cocktails before grabbing a late bite to eat. It was probably way too much food in fairness, but the tipsy heads on us got the munchies. Enter Bang Restaurant, a quaint and stylish establishment off St. Stephen's Green.

We shared a deep fried hens egg with house black pudding and tomato relish to start, while I had Duck and Carl had Lamb to follow. We also got three complimentary courses, but I forgot to take pictures of those :)

After a seriously long and food filled day, it was safe to say that we were spent. And so were our wallets!

I hope you enjoy these posts, I now have Instagram, follow me on it! (noonabean), I will be seriously Instagramming it up, as I have a proper obsession with my new beautiful white iPhone!

Hope you are all having a lovely week :)

My Perfect Day, Part 1.

I mentioned to my boyfriend a few days ago that my perfect day would comprise a few things. Being in the work environment that I am in, that is, working a 64 hour week, only coming home to sleep then back out as soon as I wake, means that the rare day off I do have has to be appreciated and not taken for granted. Lately my days off have consisted of dining out in fancy places, because this is something I love to do. It is a rarity, and has become my weekly treat of sorts. I have pretty much stopped buying makeup altogether, as I have found that my priorities have changed. I mentioned before that wearing makeup for 16 hours straight in a hot kitchen is both ridiculous and expensive, as it either just runs off, and sure, who am I trying to impress anyway?!

Now before you click the ole X to exit this window because you think I have become a makeup hating hippy, that is certainly not the case. I have come to realise that by wearing less makeup in work, I have actually a pretty embarrassing stash sitting in my bedroom, desperate to be used. I used to love having the variety to choose from, but now, I only really get to go mad with makeup on my one day off, out to fancy dinners. Sad really. But I love it. And it means that I am using up what I have, therefore saving up for things that I really want, including expensive days out.

So I decided my perfect day would be comprised of getting my hair done, going for a fancy lunch, cocktails, afternoon tea, shopping and dinner. I am a little bit ashamed to say that I did all but one of those things in the space of a day last week, (couldn't get a last minute hair appointment).

I wasn't actually planning on doing all of these things, I had planned and booked lunch in the Greenhouse, a new restaurant opened up on Dawson Street in Dublin, with an almost certain Michelin star on the way. We dined there for a five course surprise tasting lunch, then kind of.. got carried away. Going into the city seems like such a trek, so we decided to make a day of it, by having drinks in the Westbury Hotel, before popping along to an amazing Afternoon tea in the Shelbourne. This was followed by shopping on Grafton Street, more drinks, and finishing off with dinner in Bang restaurant. I realised this hefty post may be a little picture heavy, so I have split it into two.

Cava to start | Bread in a sack | Truffle and mushroom Gougere Canapés | Lovage Vichyssoise | Foie Gras Royale with Apple | Mackerel, Spring Onion | Lamb Belly, Milk Solids | Pinapple, Coconut Foam, Celery Sorbet | Bellini Cocktail in the Westbury | Writing on chalkboards outside a Burrito Bar

By this point I didn't want the day to end, I was quite full up and very merry after those bubbles. What better way to spend the rest of the afternoon than by having a posh afternoon tea complete with finger sandwiches and miniature sweets in a five star hotel?! Yes, more food. But it was very relaxing. Sometimes there's nothing better than cosying up on a big sofa with a cuppa. In style.

Part two will be my next post. :)
Hope you are all having a lovely week! :) x

Avoca Days

I have been to TWO different Avoca's for Lunch the past two weeks, and I thought I would share with you my dining experiences of both. Avoca is one of those kitsch, adorable, kind of whimsical places that sells odd but cute things, things you can't find in other establishments. I however, go for the food.

I don't go for the busy café takeaway deli part, I go to the fancy schmancy sit down restaurant part. It was my first time on both occasions, and I was quite impressed. I had been recommended Salt Restaurant in Avoca in Monktown by my Sous Chef Paul, and when I had a day off, I had quickly decided that I wanted to nip there to eat. Unfortunately, the sat nav directed myself and my boyfriend to another Avoca, one in Kilmacanogue, and we were none the wiser, so we went in and enjoyed the experience, thinking we were about to have an award winning luncheon. The Restaurant in Kilmacanogue Avoca is called the Fern House, and is actually in Avoca HQ! However, despite landing in the wrong Avoca, the food was delicious, the portions were huge, and the staff were young, hip and friendly.We opted for starters and mains, even though the starters could have easily been deemed main course portions. We ended the afternoon by strolling around the giant food market rubbing our bellies before heading home.

We came upon the actual Salt Restaurant on a recent trip to Dun Laoghaire, which is the only Avoca location to only have food, no kitsch-y cute things, just food. It also has it's own specialist butcher, French-style Rotisserie, Cheese room and Charcuterie. The restaurant itself how I want my house to look, pale blue, fresh and clean, with greenhouse style windows, wooden tables, and vintage wooden pictures. It's adorable. We opted for main courses only this time, and received light but filling dishes, perfect to fill us up before a stroll on the pier.

Fern House | Chairs and Crockery | Feta and Falafel | Parfait and Chutney | Hake, Radish, Broad bean, Coriander | Duck Fat Chips | Lamb, pitta, Hummus, Tzatziki | Dessert Menu | Salt and Sugar | Forky Chandelier | Soaps and Clocks | Homewares and Teas | Teacups | Chalkboard | Kitchen Aid | Condiments | Fresh Bread | Cushions and Teapots | Mint Water at Salt in Monkstown | Salt and Pepper | Elderflower Pressé | Fish Pie | Picture Frames | Duck Confit Salad | Butchers Rotisserie

I hope you have all been enjoying this amazing weather we have been having, I spent Sunday on the beach with an amazing Barbecue to celebrate my birthday!

Hope you are all having a nice week :)