Red or dead! West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week Press Launch

event, fashion, Hotel, Local events, makeup, mua, NI blogger, photography, Shopping, style

Hi, 

Last Thursday 24/08/17 was the press show launch of the 24th season of West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week and yours truly was lucky enough to be invited by none other than Cathy Martin of CMPR! (Thanks Cathy!)

The show was held in Bullit a fairly new hotel/bar/restaurant in the city centre. I hadn’t had the chance to visit yet so I was really pleased to see this was the location for the event! It was held at lunch time 12-1 so a little different to most other events I have been to. Working full time and not in the city centre I normally wouldn’t have been able to make the event but as luck would have it I had booked the day off well in advance as I was heading to a wedding reception that evening so it worked out great! I am so glad I was able to attend my first fashion week launch! 

We were greeted with a complinatary west coast cooler on arrival in the most stylish glasses (I need to get one). And we got our photos taken as we went in. The place was packed with PR people, journalists, influencers, bloggers and fashionistas all of whom were really excited to see the show. There was a great buzz and it was so nice to see so many people I knew. 


After a little catch up it was time for the show. I had a prime spot at the beginning of the catwalk so I could see the CMPR models as they began to strut their stuff and also got a little sneak peek of who was up next. 


The biggest theme was definitely RED. It’s really got me thinking what red items I have in my wardrobe and I will definitely be on a look out for some statement red pieces coming into the autumn months. 


There was a mixture of highstreet as well as designer which I love as this makes it accessible for everyone. Some of the highstreet pieces I was sure were designer, it was so hard to tell! One of the pieces I know caught a lot of people’s eye was this shearling coat form George at Asda at only £35 I believe! 

-What I wore-

With only a couple of days notice to prepare I had a slight panic as to what to wear. We were sent out a list of all the inspirations behind this years AW17 show in order to help us plan our outfits so thankfully I had a little something to go on! I wouldn’t say I am fashionable but I do like to follow the trends (assuming they suit me and aren’t too out there!) to a certain extent. I had a rummage through my wardrobe and came across a dress I had bought recently in the next sale for only £20. I didn’t have anything in mind when I bought the dress I just thought it was a good bargain and when I tried it on I felt comfortable and dare I say it ‘stylish’. I felt the dress was flattering on me and although a bold lime green, the black panelling made it look a bit more sophisticated. I don’t have too many mid length dresses in my wardrobe so I went for it despite the daring colour. I noticed on the list of AW17 trends coloured fur was mentioned and although not fur I thought the brightness of my dress might somehow lend itself to the theme. Also bare in mind we are still in August and it was a particularly warm day so fur really wasn’t an option! With the dress I knew I needed something to go with it and so my trusty leather jacket from George at Asda which I wear all the time came too! As it would happen leather was also noted on the AW17 trend list- winner! 


For shoes I was a bit stuck! With a midi dress I would tend to wear heeled sandals but it felt too spring/summer when I tried them on. And then I had a brainwave! I had recently bought a gorgeous pair of cut out shoe boots from primark which I had yet to wear! Personally I don’t think I would have paired them with my outfit had I not been going to the fashion week launch but I guess the invite made me be a little more daring with my choices and pushed me out of my comfort zone which is great! The shoes have insect embellishment which is huge at the minute and I’m sure will be going into autumn/winter 17. The shoes also have a red floral design which fell into one of Cathy’s other inspirations for the show, RED.  The shoes although only having a little pop of red still (I hope) gave a little nod to the trend. I picked them up in the abbey centre primark recently and they were a huge hit in my Instagram at the time! (@scientist_in_the_city)


Overall I loved my outfit and what I put together, I got so many compliments and I felt really good in it. I loved that an invite to the fashion week launch pushed my fashion boundaries even just a little and gave me the confidence to wear something I hadn’t worn before in way I normally wouldn’t. I can’t wait to wear this outfit again over the autumn winter season!

Me and some of my blogger buddies! Photo credit: Debbie Deboo

When we were leaving we were given a fabulous goodie bag filled to the brim with some local producers. From Ballymaloe relish to He-Shi tan! We were very well looked after so a huge thank you to all those involved.

I can’t wait for fashion week to begin now! It’s running from 26th-30th October and the shows are being held in Belfast St.Anne’s cathedral, a beautiful venue! Top of my list is the highstreet heaven show on 27th October! 

For tickets and more info visit:

https://visitbelfast.ticketsolve.com/event-categories/126495828

http://www.belfastfashionweek.com

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

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Curvy Chic Bridal – Northern Ireland’s first plus size retailer 

Beauty, Bridal, Curvy, Curvy Chic bridal, NI blogger, NIWeddings, Plus size, Weddings

Hi guys, 

Last week I was kindly invited down to Curvy Chic Bridal in Dundonald for a sneak peak of what they have to offer in the world of weddings! 

Now, I’m not married nor am I engaged so I have to admit I was not only a bit naive in terms of how much weddings can cost but totally unaware of the struggles women can have when trying to find the dress of their dreams; especially if they happen to be larger than the ‘average’ girl on the street. 

I was greeted on the night by the lovely owner Rebecca who you may know as Rebecca Bryson MUA! Rebecca is a makeup artist by trade and specialises in Bridal and fashion. Rebecca welcomed me with open arms into her family home which is where the boutique is located. Her family were so welcoming and warm and really added a personal touch to the blogger event. I can imagine going to pick a wedding dress could be quite intimidating, particularly for a bigger bride so I think they have hit the nail on the head with this store. Appointments are longer than most other Bridal shops at 1.5hrs so you get a proper chance to have the full experience, try on lots of dresses and feel less pressured to make your mind up quickly. Rebecca and her lovely family gave me the back story to the foundation of the business and explained how that through Rebecca’s line of work they discovered a real gap in the market for a plus size Bridal retailer in not only Northern Ireland but Ireland as a whole. The stories of how women are struggling to find dresses to fit without having to order online were heartbreaking. The amount of women who aren’t able to get a dress to fit without being made to feel ‘fat’ in other wedding dress shops is alarming and that really shouldn’t be the case. 

Many girls dream of their wedding day and this shouldn’t be tainted by your dress size! Every woman is beautiful and deserves to be made to feel special and even more so in the lead up to (and on) their wedding day. 

Curvy Chic Bridal through customer feedback has quickly become a one stop shop for wedding attire! From Bridalwear to bridesmaids, to mother of the bride/groom as well as a stockist of boleros, veils and sparkly accessories; Curvy Chic Bridal has it all in one place! (Check out Kitty’s Jewels another local business!)


Curvy Chic carry UK sizes 16-44 in wedding gowns. It’s important to note however that Bridal sizes tend to be 2-3 sizes smaller which is something I was never aware of! In other words; a Bridal size 16 may actually be a size 12 on the UK high street!

And don’t worry if your bridesmaids aren’t plus size! Bridesmaid dress as well as mother of the bride/groom are carried in sizes 6-44 which is just fab! 

Zoe who works for Curvy Chic and model for the evening was on hand for any questions we had and showed us some of her top picks! Zoe also had a gorgeous Bridal makeup application by Rebecca on the night which was fascinating to watch. Sadly I don’t have Rebecca’s skills and so will therefore be unlikely to recreate! Haha! Rebecca is just home from Paris fashion week….as you do! Amazing! 


Brides are coming from as far as Tipperary to experience what Curvy Chic Bridal has to offer and I’m really not surprised that word is travelling far and wide about this little Bridal safe haven! Curvy Chic Bridal have really got something here and I wish them all the luck in the world. A truely inspirational local business who I hope go from strength to strength!

Special shout out to Betty’s bakes for the delightful cupcakes! Yum!


**Rebecca is offering 10% off wedding hair and makeup for any bride purchasing their dress from Curvy Chic Bridal so don’t miss out!**

For more information check out:

http://www.curvychicbridal.com

Twitter: @curvychicbridal

Instagram: @curvychicbridal

E-mail: @curvychicbridal.com

Debenham’s Spring Summer 2017 #DebsSS17 

Beauty, fashion, NI blogger

Hi there,

Last Tuesday (31/01/17) seen myself and a bunch of NI bloggers travel to Dublin for the #DebsSS17 fashion show and press launch. We were kindly contacted by Debenhams and invited to the event a few weeks prior and I must say the organisation and planning that went into getting us all down there was superb. Kelly from Debenhams Ireland who was the first to get in contact left no stone un-turned and was excellent in making sure we were looked after and picked up swiftly by Belfast mini coaches who also deserve a kind mention for getting us down to Dublin and back safely 🙂

I decided to take a half day in work in order to make sure I could attend the event so once I finished it was a race home for a quick change (and a speedy makeup touch up!). I decided I wouldn’t have had time to drive to central station and park so booked my first uber which I will definitely be using in the future over a regular taxi! So quick and efficient! I will pop my referall code down below for anyone who wants to give them a try #notsponsored 😉

I met the rest of the bloggers at central station and it was a laugh a minute from then on! I only knew one of the bloggers from a previous blog event and the rest I either followed on Instagram or snapchat, so it was surreal to finally be speaking to them in person! I met a lot of new people especially bloggers and I would like to thank Debenhams for putting on the event and organising our travel as I feel it was a fab way for us all to get to know each other. Already we have decided us NI bloggers should stick together and hope to have some meet ups soon!

After all the craic on the bus we were dropped off at the spire in the centre of Dublin. We were escorted over to the denhenams Henry street store by Tracey from their Rushmore store who deserves a very special mention. Tracey traveled with us from Belfast on the bus, making sure we were all present and correct and provided some information on the event. She was very friendly and I had to keep reminding myself she wasn’t a blogger as she just fitted in with the group so well! Can’t credit her highly enough and I will for sure call up to Rushmere for that personal shopper experience she offered!

On arrival to the Debenhams Henry street store we were greeted by Kelly who had been the initial contact. She was lovely (and so trendy!) and couldn’t do enough to make us feel welcome. There was even a lovely spread put for our arrival which was very welcome as I was a bit peckish! 

Whilst tucking into our goodies Kelly handed each of us a 50 euro gift voucher for Debenhams to spend in store on anything we liked which was very kind and generous and again I would like to say thank you! I haven’t spent mine yet but I’m thinking about trying out the Kat Von D foundation with it perhaps, but I will do a follow up post on this don’t worry!

After a little shopping time and a chance to look around the massive Debenhams Henry Street store it was time to head to the event and fashion show in the Pillar room at Rotunda Hospital. I will admit it seemed like an odd choice of venue but what a stunning building with a lot of character. Once there we were refreshed by Gunpowder Irish Gin who provided freshly made gin and tonics for everyone and the Balm cosmetics were on hand to let us try out their new photobalm powder foundation which I must say goes on very smoothly and feels lovely on the skin. The balm cosmetics also treated us to a little gift which was their ‘batter up’ eyeshadow stick. I got given the colour ‘curveball’ which is a gorgeous golden colour. I swatched it on my hand and it doesn’t budge and is extremely pigmented…highly recommend!

Then it was time for the main event, the fashion show! I was very impressed by the stunning pieces on display from Debenhams. There were a few sport luxe pieces which would be fab for the gym to get in shape for the summer or simply lounging as well as some fab wedding guest and occasion outfits which has given me some inspiration for the few weddings I’m attending this year. The Debenhams models also donned swimwear and strutted their stuff down the catwalk in beautiful wedding gowns..the sparkly details were my fav!

All in all I was very impressed with what Debenhams has to offer for spring/summer 2017. The pieces on display at the event would cater to a wide age range and certain pieces particularly the gowns didn’t look like highstreet fashion! One thing I would have liked is  for there to have been perhaps some menswear, kidswear and even some mock-ups for home wear dotted around the event to see new bedding, luggage etc; but without doubt a fab event and I can’t thank Debenhams enough for inviting me! Check out all links and photos below 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Emz xx

http://www.debenhams.com

http://www.debenhams.ie

http://www.thebalm.com

http://www.gunpowdergin.com

https://www.belfastminicoach.com/

*Uber referral code:emmam5290ue*

‘Spring made stylish’

Beauty, Local events, makeup, NI blogger

Hi all, 

On Saturday 16th April I was lucky enough to enjoy one of the many fabulous events organised as part of the ‘spring made stylish’ initiative put together by Armagh city, Banbridge and Craigavon borough council. Spring made stylish ran from 15-17th April and aside from organised activities there were numerous fashion outlets running promotions in conjunction with the glamorous girly weekend in each of the towns. The event I chose to check out was the makeup lesson by S.A.K design in Banbridge town hall. As a lover of makeup and as a person who, like many others watches far too many YouTube tutorials, I thought this would be a good class in order to learn some new tips and tricks and really just to have fun playing with my makeup (of which I have far too much!) Zoella watch out! 

I rang to book onto the class as soon as I heard about it which was maybe only one or two days after the brochures got released. I spoke to a lovely and super helpful organiser Anna who sadly told me the event had already sold out! And, that I could be added to the reserve list but I would be number 6! I figured it was worth a shot and I’m so glad I did because a few days later I got the call to say a few people had dropped out (they had also organised an overflow class which I think some people opted for instead) so I was delighted! Huge thanks to Anna who genuinely seemed to go out of her way to make sure I got booked onto that class! 

The lesson cost a mere £5 as it was part funded by the council, what a bargain! I had recently been looking into makeup classes and some are in excess of £100. Of course I didn’t really know what to expect or what I would be getting for £5 but no matter what I knew I would enjoy it and for that price I really couldn’t complain. 

The only instructions were to bring a free standing mirror and our makeup bags. I had a rummage through my bag that morning and brought my favourite bits and pieces not really knowing what we would be getting up to. 

When I got there we each had a seat set out with a makeup lesson sheet where we could make notes and there was a blank face chart were we could plan out where to place particular products such as highlight and contour.

We were introduced to our instructor which was the very talented makeup artist Stacey from S.A.K designs who specialises in flawless bridal makeup as well as body art, winning UK makeup specialist in 2016. From that point on I knew we were in good hands!

Stacey gave us an overview of her work and experience and got each of us (there was about 12) to introduce ourselves and say a little bit about what we wanted to achieve from the lesson. At this point I should probably mention the class was scheduled from 2.30-5.00pm so we had a good amount of time to to learn as well as having a bit of one on one time with the artist in order to ask any specific questions. 

Stacey did a really stunning day time look on her model and as she did it she explained which products she used and why, some high end and some highstreet. She then made that look into a glamorous evening look which I endeavour to (attempt to) recreate! Stacey taught us important things like where your brows should start and end, how to properly find your cheek bones and therefore the exact places to apply blush, bronzer, highlight and so on. As I mentioned I am an avid YouTube fanatic so some of what Stacey said I had heard before but I definitely felt I left having learnt a lot. 

I found a lot of the people who attended were people who felt clueless or lacked imagination with their makeup and I could see a real improvement in their skills after, it was such a good day and all the ladies were great fun. 

I think the council were really astounded by how popular the class turned out to be, it sold out in record time! In fact all the activities for Spring made stylish turned out to be a roaring success. I think this shows just how popular events like this can be and I hope it inspires the council, who in my opinion put on some of the best initiatives in the provence, to do it again!

I have heard a rumour that there is another class planned for October, fingers crossed! Keep tuned to my blog for further updates. 


*Check out SAK designs on Facebook and Instagram*

Action Cancer’s Ladies’ Night

charity, event, fashion, fundraising

ladies night

Hello there,

Last Wednesday (21/10/15) I attended a charity event in aid of Action Cancer hosted in The Ivory restaurant within House Of Fraser, Victoria Square, Belfast. Over the years I have participated in a number of Action cancer fundraising events including the annual Mothers Day walk in Hillsborough park as well as the Moonlight Walk around Belfast city centre. Last year I went to a ladies lunch in The Albany on the Lisburn Road and thoroughly enjoyed it so when I seen there was going to be a ladies’ night I quickly booked my tickets!

action

Action cancer is the leading local cancer charity within Northern Ireland. Their aim is to ‘save lives and support local people affected by cancer through detection, support, prevention and awareness.’ Action cancer does not receive any government funding and so depends solely upon kind donations from the public and business community. Each year action cancer will provide support for around 50,000 individuals including breast screening services for up to 10,000 women.

I have always found that action cancer put on a great variety of fundraising events to suit many interests and one thing I always notice is the professionalism of the events and ladies’ night was no exception. Tickets cost a mere £20 and this included a light supper (fish and chips..yum!) and goody bag as well as a fashion show followed by hair and makeup tips from the pros such as Brenda Shankey. There was a fantastic showcase of some amazing autumn/winter fashion available from House Of Fraser and the show catered for low to high end budgets which was great. There was a number of prizes up for grabs on the night from some of the many local sponsors (sadly I didnt win any) and it was great to see so many getting on board and donating what they could on the night.

My advice is keep your eyes peeled for future Action Cancer events, they really are great fun and you will be doing your bit for charity at the same time…win, win!

To stay up to date with Action cancer or to donate, check out their website http://www.actioncancer.org

Emz xx