Friday, April 30, 2010

Winning 'Best Dressed Lady'

Subscribers to my Facebook page will have seen me congratulating my friend Kay Mulcaire (owner of the fabulous Isobel Boutique in Adare Village), on her fantastic win as Arnotts’ Best Dressed Lady at Punchestown Festival last Thursday.

Which got me thinking…

What does it take to win in the style stakes? A fabulous outfit clearly, but what else?

Here are my top tips:

Practicality: It’s critical that you dress to suit the occasion. Yes, glamour is important, but so too is dressing appropriately for your environment. Many’s the time I’ve seen ladies in flimsy dresses and skyscraper heels at a bitterly cold race meeting. Think ahead – what will the weather be like, what is the walking surface like etc. – and tailor your outfit, hair, make-up and accessories to suit. Comfort is key.

Uniqueness: Judges are looking for someone with the x-factor and, typically, they love to see something that has a story e.g. something you found in a vintage store / handed down to you by a relative / that you customised yourself. It’s not uncommon that a winning ensemble would feature a mish-mash of expensive/inexpensive, plus old/new. Seasonal trends aren’t of paramount importance as ’style’ inevitably trumps ‘fashion’ in these competitions.

Accessories: Winning ensembles are characterised by great accessories. Choose selected pieces that crate an impact but take care not to wear too many adornments or you will look like you tried to hard. ‘Matchy matchy’ isn’t essential, but coordination is. Try customising you own piece of jewellery, fascinator, shoes or bag. You’ll be amazed at what you can create with a needle and thread and embellishments from your local haberdashery.

Charisma: To me, confidence is the epitome of style. Being comfortable in your own skin is of paramount importance. Don’t mimic someone else’s style; dress to suit YOUR personality and physique.

Finally, the most important thing is to have fun with your outfit - relish wearing it, enjoy the event and don’t get caught up in trying to win!

Yours in style,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Selecting Sunglasses

Although there’s a few days left in Spring yet, I’m already in the mood for Summer. Maybe it’s our unseasonably warm weather, maybe I’ve been eating too many cones, or maybe it's because I’ve spent the last hour googling possible holiday destinations. In any case, I’m going to run with the mood and discuss something summery today. And that topic is sunglasses!

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of shapes, colours and styles, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind when selecting specs:

  • Protection: Always choose lenses that have 100% UV protection.
  • Scale: Choose glasses that are proportionate in size to your face ( i.e. small face – small glasses, large face – large glasses).
  • Shape: Choose a frame shape that is in contrast to your face shape (e.g. round face – angular frames).
  • Width: Choose frames that are as wide or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face.
  • Eye Position: Your eye should be positioned in the middle of the lens.
  • Brow Position: You shouldn’t see your full eyebrow above the frame.

Choosing the Right Colour:

  • Hair Colour: Any frame that is similar to your hair colour will suit you e.g. gold frames flatter those with blonde hair, silver looks great with grey hair and brunettes look good with brown/tortoiseshell.
  • Eye colour: Observe the flecks of colour in your eye (brown, blue, olive, gold, grey etc.) and try out frames in complementary colours.
  • Skin tone: If you have a warm skin tone, try gold, tan and warm browns. Cooler skin tones will suit black, mocha and silver.

Choosing the Right Frame for your Face Shape:

  • Oval: All frame styles suit you. Rectangular or square will look especially good. Celebrities: Cheryl Cole, Cindy Crawford.
  • Round: Go for wider, rectangular shaped frames. Avoid round shapes. Celebrities: Christina Ricci, Kate Bosworth.
  • Square: Choose rounded styles which will soften your angular features. Avoid angular styles. Celebrity: Demi Moore.
  • Heart: Choose rounded, narrow styles. Avoid wide, top-heavy frames or decorative temples. Celebrities: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston.  

Styles of Sunglasses:

You will notice that I have selected designer examples below. Note that there are loads of pocket-friendly equivalents on the high-street so you don’t need you flash the cash in order to get a great pair of sunglasses.

Aviator Sunglasses: These promise to be the most popular style for Summer 2010, inspired mainly by Carrie Bradshaw’s ‘all that glitters is not gold’ look, featured in Sex and the City 2. They're a great style as they suit nearly everyone. Try these Gucci Aviators on for size:

Round Sunglasses: Suitable for all except those with round faces. I really like these Gucci Round Frames:

Square Sunglasses: Ideal for those with rounder or softer faces. Again, Gucci comes up trumps with their Square Frames:

Rectangle Sunglasses: Again, these are tailor-made for anyone with a round face. I like Ray Ban’s Rectangle Shades.

Butterfly Sunglasses: Over-sized butterfly styles are flattering for those with larger faces. These are Ray Ban butterfly shades:

Cat-eye Sunglasses: This vintage style is recognisable by it’s signature outer corner angles. Suitable for heart and square shaped faces. These are Gucci’s Cat Eyes:

Last Few Tips:

  • Shop around & don't be afraid to haggle as sunglasses tend to vary wildly in price. Don't forget about Airport Duty Free, where there are great bargains to be had.
  • Try before you buy.
  • Use proper cleaning cloths to clean your glasses.
  • Store your sunglasses carefully.
  • Visit an optician if you require prescription lenses.

Happy shopping!

Yours in style,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review: Maybelline 24 Hour Foundation

I have a degree in marketing. I have written a thesis on marketing. I have worked for 5 years in marketing. Goodness, I’ve even taught marketing classes.

So, with all that experience, you would think that I would be immune to the hysterical claims made by cosmetic companies in the name of marketing.

Well, you would be wrong, dear reader, for I am a gullible fool when it comes to make-up.

Not only am I a gullible fool, I also love, LOVE, a challenge - and that is why my bathroom shelves are littered with so-called non-chipping nail varnishes, moisturisers that turn back time…and now, a foundation that apparently lasts 24 hours!

Ah yes, the latter. I’m referring to Maybelline’s Superstay 24 Hour Foundation. Having seen the glossy TV advert for the first time this week, my immediate reaction was one of horror; “ugh, why would you not wash your face for 24 hours!” Ah, but then a beguiling voiceover mentioned something about a unique “Microflex formula” which ensures 24-hour durability and no transfer, which got me thinking, “I wonder does it ACTUALLY work?”. Before you know it I was in Tesco scouting the cosmetics aisle like a woman possessed!

Maybelline Superstay

The Official Road Test

I was excited to try out this product as I have had somewhat of a foundation crisis in recent months. My skin type has bizarrely changed from ‘very dry’ to ‘combination’, and so my beloved moisture-rich foundations have been given a P45. Since then, I’ve struggled to find a foundation that (a) keeps my oily T-zone at bay, (b) covers blemishes and (c) doesn’t look cakey. Poor ole Maybelline had a lot to contend with eh!

Righto, so here’s the science bit: Maybelline tells us that this foundation contains a unique “Microflex formula” (you gotta love Marketers!) which ensures 24-hour durability and no transfer. Furthermore, they say that it can withstand heat, sweat and humidity.

Big claims. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s see.

Things I Liked

  • Colour: The shade was an excellent match for my skin (I chose "005 Ivory" as I’m Pale McPalerson). The other shades on the shelf looked like good 'suitably Irishy' shades too.
  • Packaging: No-nonsense packaging with a sturdy bottle and easy-to-use pump.
  • SPF: It contains an SPF19 - an essential in my book.
  • Coverage: My skin felt very soft while wearing the product. I liked the light consistency and it didn’t feel at all heavy or ‘cakey’.
  • Consistency: Note that this is a very matte foundation – which suits me, but may not appeal you if you like a ‘dewy’ look.
  • Price: It’s very reasonably priced. Mine was €9.99 in Tesco.
  • Feedback: I received two (unprompted!) compliments.

Things I Disliked:

  • Durability: It didn’t last 12 hours, not to mind 24! Despite using a foundation primer underneath and a setting powder on top, I noticed after only an hour that the sides of my nose were starting to shine, and after 4 hours, my nose was looking decidedly patchy and after 8 hours, the sides of my nose looked a bit naked! After 12 hours, I felt that the drier areas of my face (cheeks) began to develop at 'crepe pape look'.
  • Settlement: Alarmingly, it seemed to settle in my crows feet laughter lines – these are not areas that I wish to draw attention to.

The Verdict:

Right, confession time: I didn't actually wear this foundation for the full 24 hour quota - I just couldn't bring myself to go to sleep while still wearing make-up. I gave it a good 15 hours though, which was more than enough time for me to put it through its paces.

Overall, I quite liked this foundation. I was a little disappointed that it didn't deliver fully on its promise of durability; in saying that however, it’s equally as good - if not better - than some of the designer brands I’ve tried, at only a fraction of the cost! Personally speaking, I’ll definitely use it again…but I’ll be sure to put some clarifying powder in my bag.

So, would I recommend it? Yes, it's a good all-rounder and will suit most people with youthful 'middle of the road skin' (i.e. not too oily, not too dry, relatively clear) . I suspect that the moisture content and coverage may not be sufficient for mature skin however.

I would love to hear how others got on with this product. Remember, everyone’s skin is different so what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Don't be shy in sharing your thoughts in the comment box below.

Hope this info helped!

Yours in style,

Cure High Heel Pain

This article is taken from Style by Caroline's April enewsletter. To subscribe to my monthly style enewsletters, simply fill out the subscription form at the bottom of each page on my website,

As much as I adore my high heels, I must admit that I really don't enjoy the agony of wearing them for longer than a few hours! (Sore feet = a very cranky Caroline!)

As this is a common grievance amongst heel-wearing women, I asked Mid West Physiotherapy Clinic to provide some High Heel Management Guidelines that I could share with you.

Dangers of Wearing High Heels....

Wearing High Heels can lead to a myriad of musculoskeletal problems, which can be extremely painful (e.g. lower back pain, tendon damage in legs, cartilage problems in knees, deformation of the feet). Injuries from falls are not uncommon, many resulting in fractures, strains and sprains. Plus there’s the risk of corns, bunions, blisters and calluses to contend with.

Prevention is Better than Cure...

  • Choose footwear that fits you comfortably and correctly.
  • Minimise walking/standing in high heels for prolonged periods.
  • Give your feet a break by switching low-heeled shoes for a time.
  • Go barefoot when you can (say, around the house).
  • Choose footwear with a chunkier heel for extra support.
  • Wear cushioned inserts under the balls of your feet, such as Foot Consolers (available from Penneys) or Scholl's Party Feet.
  • Do the daily exercises outlined below.

For Instant Pain Relief...

  • Switch to a lower heel or go barefoot, if you can.
  • Massage the soles of your feet.
  • If your feet are hot & swollen, apply ice to soothe & reduce the swelling.
  • If you experience persistent and/or unexplained pain, contact your GP or Chartered Physiotherapist as soon as possible.

3 Easy Exercises to Help Eradicate High Heel Pain...

Do each of these exercises once a day.

  1. Strengthen Your Arches: Curl your toes towards your heel and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Strengthen Your Calf Muscles: Rise up on your tip-toes and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Stretch Your Calf Muscles: Stand on the edge of a step, with your heels over the edge. Drop your heels as far as possible and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise with your knees straight and your knees slightly bent. Repeat 3 times each exercise. (Hold on to a secure object while doing this exercise to maintain balance.)

Physiotherapy Advice Courtesy Of...

Castletroy Park Medical Centre,
Co. Limerick.
Tel: 061-201444

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easy Accessorising

Following on from the accessories showcase of the year (High Heels & Handbags last weekend), I thought it might be fun to delve into the exciting world of accessorising for today's blog post. Now, I'm not going to talk about every type of accessory (with my penchant for waffle, we could be here for a week); instead, I'll run through the main rules, and then pick out a few of the most popular accessories for discussion. As always, if you have a question or query, don't hesitate to put it in the comment box below.


  • Position carefully: Accessories draw attention to the area where they are worn, so be careful to only place accessories at/on.around your best features!
  • Size matters: Choose accessories that are proportionate to your figure i.e. if you are petite, then over-sized bags/necklaces etc. will only swamp you; likewise, if you have a fuller figure, small accessories will look lost on you.
  • Quality, not quantity: You should wear no more than 13 accessories at any one time. That may sound like a lot, but believe me, they add up quickly, for instance, shoes and earrings both count as 2 accessories!
  • Colour me beautiful: If you want to liven up your wardrobe, then colourful accessories are the cheapest and easiest way of doing it. Transform an outfit from day to evening, or work-wear to social-wear, simply by substituting your shoes, handbag and jewellery for glitzier versions. Et voila!


  • If you have a broad or short neck, avoid short or choker style necklaces. Instead, choose longer styles that hang in a V-shape, which will elongate the neck.
  • If you have a very long neck, avoid long, thin necklaces which will only exaggerate this feature. Go for shorter, funkier or chunkier styles to break up the space, like the beautiful Red Sea Waves necklace by Carol Shaw (€79), pictured below (also available at Serendipity Shoe Boutique).
  • If you are quite busty, then avoid chunky necklaces or scarves that sit on the chest. Instead, go for more delicate styles that sit around the collarbone, drawing attention away from your chest.
  • Likewise, if you have a neat bust, experiment with bulky and funky styles.

Carol Shaw Red Sea Waves


  • If you have a short neck, avoid long earrings. Delicate drop earrings will flatter you tremendously, like the stunning Round Drop Earrings from DiamondLite (€80), pictured below.
  • If you have a long neck, longer, more dramatic styles are made for you!
  • I strongly advice that you wear either a dramatic pair of earrings OR a dramatic necklace - don't wear them both together or the result could be, well, traumatic!
  • Avoid styles that are too heavy for comfort - red, stretched earlobes are not a good look.

Diamondlite Drop Earrings


  • Choose a bag size that is in proportion with your physique e.g. if you are petite, opt for a smaller bag.
  • If you are busty, avoid bags with short straps that hang just at the bust; instead, choose a bag with longer straps.
  • Likewise, if you have a neat bust, by all means wear a bag with shorter straps, like the summery Pauls Boutique Bag from Asos (£60), pictured below.
  • If you have broad hips/thighs/bum, avoid carrying a bag that hangs around these areas (it will draw unnecessary attention to them); instead consider a more flattering length (say, waist-length).

ASOS Pauls Boutique Bag

Finally, in the immortal words of Coco Chanel, check in the mirror before you leave the house and remove one accessory. Why? Because less is more of course (see above).

Yours in style,

High Heels & Handbags: The Lowdown!

If you've been wonderding where I've disappeared to in the last week (there have been sightings of tumbleweed on my Facebook page and Blog), it's because I have been otherwise occupied by a very exciting project...

For the past number of months, I had the privilege of being involved in organising High Heels & Handbags - a unique fashion fundraiser which took place last Saturday at the Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick. The whole event was so exciting, that I have decided to dedicate a blog post especially to it, so you could share the experience too!

The story behind High Heels & Handbags...

High Heels & Handbags is the brainchild of Elaine Cronin - owner of Serendipity Shoe Boutique in Adare, Co. Limerick. Elaine was looking to host an exciting, never-before-seen event that would: (a) showcase her fabulous footwear and accessories, (b) delight her customers, and (c) raise much-needed funds for a very important local charity, TLC4CF.

With this brief in mind, Elaine assembled a SWAT team of organisers around her, including Fun Ireland Event Management, the Dunraven Arms Hotel and Style By Caroline, who then set about of creating a fashion experience that would be talked of for years to come.

Now we know how Willy Wonka must have felt...

From the moment that Elaine unveiled High Heels & Handbags, we knew that we were onto a winner. Word of the event spread like wildfire , so much so that the 120 tickets sold out within a few short weeks on going on sale. Local media, national media and Tv3 picked up on the buzz surrounding the event, resulting in a veritable stampede of telephone calls, emails and letters from women looking to attend this coveted affair. Indeed, so great was the demand that we ended up with a cancellation list of hundreds!

The Day Itself...

At 1.30 pm sharp, our guests began to arrive. Dressed in the most beautiful outfits, it was clear that they were all set for an afternoon of fun and glamour! Having presented their golden tickets, they were welcomed into the fabulous Dunraven Arms Hotel foyer and treated to a glass of pink champagne. The atmosphere was electric! Finally, at 2.15pm, the doors to the function room were opened, to a collective gasp of amazement. The room, which was exquisitely decorated by Fun Ireland, was quite literally breathtaking!

Décor by Fun Ireland & Rebecca May (1MB)

Having eventually collected themselves enough to take to their seats, our delighted ladies were introduced to our host with the most, Mr. Richard Lynch (pictured below avec moi). With equal measures of wit, enthusiasm and flattery, charismatic Richard immediately charmed our guests, leaving them in no doubt that they had a treat of an afternoon ahead!

Caroline Ryan & Richard Lynch (1MB)

With everyone in fine form, it was time to get the show on the road. Part 1 of our fashion show commenced with our "Casual" looks - Day at the Beach, Shop 'til you Drop and Lunch with the Girls. As our models sashayed gleefully through the room, Richard talked our guests through each look whilst DJ Gordon Hayes pumped out uptempo beats.


With part 1 coming to a close, Richard then introduced me to the floor to do a style talk! Rather than do a rehearsed speech, I decided instead to let the audience set the agenda. Immediately I received a question from a lady asking me "how to make legs look longer and sexier?"! As regular readers of this blog know, this is a subject oft-discussed, so I got great mileage out of it! When I finally surrendered the microphone, it was time for afternoon tea.

Cue trays of melt-in-your-mouth scones, sumptuous sandwiches and decadent desserts. Although the food looked too good to eat, thankfully we didnt let aesthetics hamper our appetites. (Why is it that miniature food tastes so much nicer than full-scale food?)

With our appetites sated, Caroline Heffernan, Patient Advocate Officer with the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland, took to the floor and delivered an excellent testimony on the experience of Cystic Fibrosis patients in Ireland, as well as the great work being done by CFAI. Then, Liam O'Kelly from TLC4CF delivered an empowering speech on the great work being done by his organisation for CF sufferers in the Mid West. Following these two inspiring speeches, our 120 guests were invited to put an anonymous donation in the envelopes provided at their tables (more on that later).

Following the speeches, it was time to resume the fashion show and our 6 models (including Caroline Heffernan from CFAI) took to the floor for our "Glamorous" themes, including; Wedding Belles, Night on the Town and Day at the Races. Wearing beautiful dresses from C. O'Donnell's Boutique in Limerick City, our models sported a covetable selection of footwear, fascinators, jewellery and umbrellas available from Serendipity Shoe Boutique.

Just as the fashion show was drawing to a close, our star guest of the afternoon made her grand entrance - to shrieks and whoops of surprise from our audience. it was none other than Heidi Hot Lips, reigning alternative Miss Limerick! Heidi modelled the Fifi Belle range of footwear available at Serendipity Shoe Boutique, which goes up to a size 13.

Once Heidi left the room, and the excited chatter died down, Richard announced our grand prize draw. Remember the 'secret envelopes' I mentioned earlier, well each envelope was put into a large silver bowl and 12 winners were drawn, to share in a prize pot worth over €5,000! Nobody went home empty handed though, as Serendipity Shoe Boutique kindly donated €20 Gift Cards to everyone in the audience.

At this stage, it was time to draw the show to a close. So Heidi Hot Lips and her troop of dancers to took to the stage again and did a remarkably good impression of Britney Spears' and Lady Gaga's more famous dance routines! At one stage even Richard joined in, which well and truly got the crowd on their feet!

All that was left at this stage was for Elaine Cronin, owner of Serendipity Shoe Boutique to take to the stage. As Elaine entered the room, all 120 ladies present gave her a standing ovation as a show of appreciation for all her hard work. Elaine duly thanked everyone involved in the event (see list below) and gave an emotional tribute to all her customers who have helped to make Serendipity the success that it is today.

Mark, Elaine, Sam & Thomas

As the clock struck 5, it was time to wrap up the event. It is said that all good things must come to an end, but Elaine made sure that this ending was especially good as she gave everyone a deluxe goodie bag upon leaving! With that, the 120 women reconvened at Serendipity Shoe Boutique for a spot of retail therapy. Not a bad conclusion to the evening eh!

Amount Raised...

In the midst of all the fashion fun, our fabulous guests didn't forget to put their hands in their pockets and donate to TLC4CF. We are delighted to announce that High Heels and Handbags raised €5,000 with every single cent going to the charity!

Photographs & Video...

I haven't had a chance yet to go through all the photos but as soon as I do I will be sure to post them to my Gallery. Video coming soon also!

High Heels & Handbags 2...

If you missed out on High Heels and Handbags, I'm pleased to reveal that High Heels & Handbags 2 will take place in October 2010! Updates regarding the date, tickets etc. will be revealed exclusively here on the Style By Caroline Blog. Click here to subscribe via RSS.

Roll Call of Thank Yous...

Not Forgetting Our Kind Sponsors...

If you see that I've missed any names, please be sure to mention them in the comment box below!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jean Genie

I should really write a nice card to Kathryn Thomas to thank her for contribution to my Style Blog - for this is the second time in as many weeks that I find myself citing her as inspiration for a post!

Sitting in as guest presenter on RTE Radio 1's The Tubridy Show this morning, Kathryn and her guests - including style blogger and journalist, Annmarie O'Connor - discussed the dos and don'ts of denim.

As a stylist, one of the most common laments I hear from clients is that they don't know how or where to find jeans that suit them properly.

I remember when I was a young 'un, deciding on what denim to wear was a simple affair. No such thing as boot-cut this and low-rise that...a pair of Levis 501s took you everywhere. And weren't we happy. Delighted, in fact - shur we thought we were only gorgeous!

Fast forward 20 years however and some say that you would need a degree in denimology to figure out what colour, style, shape, shade to go for. We're spoilt for choice, and therein lies the problem, there's so much choice that it's difficult to see the wood from the trees.

If you can identify with the above statement, here are some tips that will turn you into a jean-ius!

  • Colour: Darker shades will make your legs look slimmer. So, if you want to minimise your hips or thighs choose a dark colour such as indigo. If you have slender legs, choose a lighter shade that will show off your slim pins.
  • Cut: If you have broad hips and thighs, go for a boot-cut style that will balance you out. If you have slim legs, go for a narrower style.
  • Waist: If you are conscious of your tummy, choose a mid- or high-rise waist which will give you great comfort and support. Hipsters are strictly the preserve of youngsters with flat toned tummies!
  • Pockets: If you wish to ‘magic away’ a large bum, choose jeans with large, close-set, rear pockets that tuck under the bum. Those with larger derrieres should avoid small rear pockets or pocketless styles – plus avoid anything with embellishments, sequins etc. If you have a neat bum, then the reverse (pardon the pun) applies.
  • Length: I like jeans to err on the long side – your jeans should finish 1cm (or ½”) off the ground if they are to look perfect. If you have short legs, avoid turn-ups (trouser cuffs) which will only make your legs appear shorter, and vice versa.

Go forth and shop!

Yours in style,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Journey to

Fans* of my Facebook page will have heard me mention a groovy website called in recent weeks.

* I always feel a bit silly using that term - it makes me feel very vain!

Style Odyssey offers a huge selection of vintage and "pre-loved" clothes under the following guise, "if you love it, we'll list it"!

Well, I love vintage clothes so, as you can imagine, this website is to me what The Cave was to Aladdin.

The site is extremely well-organised and offers a vast catalogue of products. Crucially, the photos and descriptions are excellent but it was the quality and selection of wearable styles that impressed me most; a jumble sale it ain't! Clearly, there is a critical eye running the show over there and it shows.

Check out this gorgeous pale pink frilly chiffon vintage shirt for €48, which is bang-up-to-date with this season's penchant for nude colours & romantic lines.

And what about this 90s polkadot dress which has an unbelievable pricetag of just €32!

Or this sumptuous Chanel silk scarf, in pristine condition - again only €38. Chanel! For 38 quid!

Have I convinced you yet? If not, go check out for yourself!

Yours in style,
Caroline for Gifts

Birthdays. Like buses; you wait for ages and then 3 come along at once.

Or 6, as is my case at the moment!

For some curious reason, all but 3 of my friends celebrate their birthdays in April. I can't imagine why I seem to gravitate towards Arians but there you go. Anyway, time is pressing on and I need to think out buying gifts for the birthday gals.

Now, I pride myself in being "creative" with my gifts. I'm not one for buying a bottle of wine or stuffing cash into an envelope (much as they would like I'm sure) - however, with 6 birthdays to tend to over the next 3 weeks, creativity is giving way to practicality. I'm looking for gifts that are pretty, useful, and, where possible, I like to support Irish.

Which brings me to, a new Irish website specialising in beauty gift sets. If your friend likes perfume, then you're bound to find value on this site. They also are delving into Glo Minerals make-up and are doing a roaring trade in fake tans (St. Tropez & Tantastic included). With free delivery on all orders over €20 and a free gift with all orders over €100 you can see why this is a rewarding site to use.

Have a peek and see what you think. As I say, it's lovely to support local Irish business. Even lovelier when it's just a click of a mouse away.

Yours in style,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You're never fully dressed without a...


Cheesy but true.

Yours in style,

Sunday, April 4, 2010



  • Blacktrouseritis occurs when a woman's wardrobe contains more than 3 pairs of black trousers, with an excessive supply of matching black tops and accessories. Bright colour is in scarce supply and is often regarded with a mixture of fear and apprehension by the wardrobe owner!

Blacktrouseritis in Ireland:

  • It's pandemic in Ireland. "Why have one pair when we can have ten pairs!", is the modus operandi. Then, of course, sufferers require items to match the black trousers so they buy black tops, black jackets, black shoes...and LOTS of them. Resulting in a wardrobe that is entirely, well, black!

Causes of Blacktrouseritis:

  • In research conducted by Style By Caroline, blacktrouseritis sufferers reported the following reasons for choosing to wear black: "black is classic", "black is easy to wear", "black is slimming", and that..."black doesn't show up stains"!

Problems of Blacktrouseritis:

  • Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
  • Lack of diversity.
  • The 'boredom' factor.
  • Black doesn't always flatter pale Irish complexions.
  • You miss out on the fun of colour!

Cures for Blacktrouseritis:

  • Start by incorporating colour into your look with vibrant accessories i.e. jewellery, bags, shoes, scarves, belts, buttons etc.
  • Then, expand your wardrobe basics (suits, trousers, coats etc.) to include lighter hues, such a grey, navy, brown, burgundy, green etc.
  • Observe the colours that are naturally in your face and hair. Example 1: if you have blue eyes, pink cheeks, brown hair, you will find that shade of blue, pink and brown will always flatter you. Example 2: If you have golden blonde hair, hazel eyes and sallow skin, then you will wear warm hues such as gold, yellow coral, olive and tan very well.
  • Try and position colours near your face to enhance your natural skintones.
  • Have fun with colour!

Come on ladies, it's time for colour to come out of the closet! More in-depth tutorials to follow.

Yours in style,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Likes & Dislikes

My March 'Likes':

  • Redken "Anti-Snap" Leave-In conditioner: It smells absolutely gorgeous, it doesn't dull my hair or leave a residue, and the bottle lasts for ages. My kinda hair product.
  • Daylight: The "Grand stretch in the evenings".
  • Instant Tan: Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan warms up my pale skin in an instant, without looking orange.
  • Chunky Heels: Oh so fashionable, oh so comfortable (well, compared to stilettos anyway).
  • Miniature Eggs: Kinder and Creme - more fun and less gluttonous than Easter Eggs.
  • Fun photoshoots: Pictures to follow soon!
  • Sparkling Water: I could drink it by the gallon.

My March 'Dislikes':

  • Ladders in Tights: I've lost count of the number of new tights I've ruined this month.
  • Scratchy Neck: I recently cut my hair into a bob and while I love the look I'm not sure that I like the constant scratchy feeling on the back of my neck!
  • Yoyo Wardrobe: No sooner does the sun break the clouds and I'm out wearing my SS10 wardrobe. But then a hail shower appears and it's back on with the woolies.
  • Mean Tycoons: Is it me or is Irish Dragon's Den distractingly cruel this season? Too much focus on playing up for the camera methinks.
  • Bad Cinema: I actually made myself fall asleep in a cinema theatre this month in an effort to avoid the dirge on screen.
  • Filthy hedgerows: Our beautiful countryside is being destroyed by litter. Irish people, clean up your act!
Yours in style,