Showing posts with label model. Show all posts
Showing posts with label model. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 March 2017

A girls' day in McElhinney's

The prestigious McElhinney’s department store of Ballybofey in Donegal had recently invited myself, my Mother and my sister down to wander around their occasion-wear to see all that they had to offer.

Agreeing without hesitation, we ventured down to McElhinney’s, and were greeted by the lovely manager, Sarah.  Sarah was so accommodating and made sure that we were receiving the best care and attention during our visit.

Sarah explained to us that McElhinney’s womenswear may be often perceived as being for the older woman, but that this was not the case, as we soon found out.

Upon exploring the most diverse range of labels, we did not only see that there were styles to suit the woman in her 50s (and above), 30s, 20s, but also to suit every eclectic taste.
What stood out to me the most was the fact that there were endless choices of styles, colours, lengths, and prices.

Mandy of the womenswear department was very kind to help us get insight to all that was of choice, including hats and accessories. Mandy didn’t tell us what to choose, she asked us what we usually preferred and from there she worked around us, adhering to our own individual styles and preferences. She also encouraged us to step outside our comfort zone.

Hat by Jennifer Wrynne

Hat by Jennifer Wrynne 

After trying on the most luxurious dresses, we were then given afternoon tea.
After we had succumbed to the beautiful scones with jam and cream, alongside the most fresh tray-bakes, we fixed ourselves up to try on more clothes.

This time we looked at the casual range, and I literally couldn’t believe they had the GIGI for Tommy Hilfiger in-store. Whilst it’s not my usual style, I nonetheless enjoyed trying it on for size.


The Gigi for Tommy Hilfiger range

Snapchatting (@red_dutchess)

As you've seen, McElhinney's can make you the Mother of the Bride on one day, and every bit the modern, chic woman the next day.
I want to thank ALL the staff at McElhinney's, Sarah, Mandy and a special thanks to Carina. It was a great day for myself, my mum and sister and it really was not only about the clothes, but the entire experience also. It's no wonder McElhinney's has such an award-winning reputation.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Sting

On sunny mornings I’ll usually stand in my garden and breathe in the smells of the new Spring.
This morning, following this routine, I walked out into my garden and saw a huge bumble bee sitting on the garden table. I walked on, and then stopped in my tracks, stopped by some force of nature, and returned to where the bee was.
I instantly remembered about the time I wrote an article for local magazine, Local Women, for the Valentine’s edition. In my unconventional way I didn’t write about romance or love, well love in the traditional way. I actually wrote about how St Valentine is the patron saint of Bee Keeping also.  In the article I chat about how bees are integral to the existence of mankind. No bees, no pollination, No food. 

Albert Einstein once said “If the Bee disappears off the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live.’’

Upon remembering this reverence for the bee, I owed St Valentine, I had a duty.
So I looked. The Bee, not moving at all, was quite possibly dead. The cause of death? A mystery.
Standing in the dewy morning in my mis-matched pyjamas, and a child-like freckly face to match my child-like curiosity, I bent down and observed the situation in my Sherlock inspired inspection pose. I suddenly remembered that I heard somewhere that bees can become exhausted and to give them sugared water to revive them. With excited anticipation to see if the theory worked (my own little scientific experiment) I went into my kitchen, got sugar and some water and put it on a teaspoon. I went back out and sat the teaspoon down right in front of the bee. No movement.
I pushed the spoon further towards the bee and poured out some of the liquid onto the table. A tensed few seconds passed under my held breath.

There it was, the movement I had been scanning for.

The Bee, faded and slow, began to soak up the sweet water with what looked like a long straw and a little tongue bobbing in and out on the end of it. 


I had never been so close to a Bee before.
The Bee sucked at the sugar particles, and at that I remembered ‘Honey, we have honey’.
I ran back into the kitchen to retrieve the honey and brought it back out, put a dollop in front of the Bee and stared in amazement at how this bee reacted to the honey as if it were a drug he was in withdrawal from.


Not five minutes after giving the bee the honey, my close observance was interrupted with the instant buzzing of the bee. He moved, stretched his legs, tested his wings, and at that he flew off…
When the bee flew off I felt a sense of happiness that I was able to help this creature revive and continue its path in the course of nature.


It also made me think of something else. It made me think of people. It made me think of the people in my life who I’ve given my help, time and love, just as I had given to this Bee. And like the bee, they leave.
We have people in our lives, some come and stay and others go. This bee today, upon leaving me could have stung me, but it didn’t. Some people, upon leaving our lives, do sting us, without us previously never knowing that they could have such a poisonous sting.
Why, if we give love, the rich sugar and water of our lives to these people, do they hurt us and leave? Why do these people, on this Earth, stop by in our lives, take of us our resources, what they need and then just unexpectedly leave?
What do we do?
People who are stung and hurt are often left feeling foolish for investing so much time and love. They feel that they are empty because they’ve no longer the sweetness or vitality that they once had, because they shared it with someone who was no longer there.
What should we learn about such circumstances?

We need to learn that it’s not a shame to have dedicated your best self to another, it’s indicative of the kind and sweet soul that you are. The shame lies in the person who stung you.

Learn that just because we are stung, it’s not necessary to sting back. It’s more necessary to stay as the person you are, the giver of the sweet life that revives.

I’ve learned that upon feeling the pain and hurt from a sting, I found myself being revived by another sweet and pure soul who invested their time in me.

I’ve learned that I could never sting a person who revived me, because I know all I need is already in front of me.
I’ve learned to stay true to myself, and the right people will come into your life to stay.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Saturday in Nuremberg, Germany

Once upon a time there was a redheaded Queen (not innocent enough to be a Princess) who travelled to ol' Bavarian Germany to spend some royal time with her monarchic counterpart.
After enduring much exchange of chariots and drinketh of tea, the Queen arrived at her Royal bae’s castle.

O.K, it wasn’t exactly as dramatic as that. The thing is that my boyfriend lives in Germany, and so I went to visit him. After arriving in Nuremberg (the city in which he lives) in Germany on a Friday night, although exhausted, we went to the most cosy bohemian Mexican place where we both had Chorizo Burritos. Delicioso!!  I mean… SCHMACKHAFT!!

Monday, 4 August 2014

I've Been Getting Naked!

I have been getting NKD, in the Vita Liberata sense of the word that is.

 Vita Liberata, in case you didn't know, is an Irish based company (Hooray! for our home brands) that specializes in fake tanning that's, what Alyson Hogg founder and CEO of the brand says is, " safe, healthy, glowing...and non-toxic". Ireland is nation in dire need for a  'wee colour about us' for we're a pale bunch, especially my fellow redheads and I.

I've been in the Sun a lot recently, but I wear Factor 50 which means there's no hope of getting a tan. (Who am I joking, I'm a redhead, it would take a month for my skin to go from blue to white to yellow to an 'alive looking' colour)
However, I always turn to wearing Vita Liberata's  'pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tanning Mousse' as  gives me a nice lasting glow without having to worry about sun damage. It also gradually wears off without leaving me looking like I've snake skin. This tan is actually House of Fraser's 'Tried and Tested: Tan on Trial' overall winner. The brand is also used by the 'Four Seasons Spa' in Paris, the best Spa in Europe and the 2nd best in the World.

Need I say anymore?

So, with all this in mind, you can imagine how excited I was when I recently received a bottle of Vita Liberata's new tan, 'NKD SKN Tinted Mousse' in 'Medium. 

This week is important/busy for me and I've a Wedding to go to, to add to the excitement. That means that there's no better time than to get NKD!

 Time to get down to the nitty gritty (applying the tan that is!!! --- Get your mind out of the gutter here people)

 I showered and exfoliated, then once I fully dried down I pumped the tan onto the mitt.
At first I couldn't believe how smoothly and quickly it went onto my skin, it was also a gorgeous tint.
I had applied the tan in about 5 Seconds... O.K that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I had it on so quickly because the formula is so light, and not at all sticky (Bonus! I was able to put my clothes on immediately)


You can clearly see how natural the tan looks as it's applied. So far I'm very, very impressed with it because realistically, how often are we able to just put on a coat of fake tan and put on our clothes immediately after? We actually have to do some sort of secret dance to dry quicker with most formulas (Or is that just me?)
If you're interested in trying it out I assure that you won't be disappointed.
You can find out more about Vita Liberata and shop their products on their website: Vita Liberata

If you'd like to see how this tan has lasted keep an eye on my Facebook Page: The Red Dutchess
& Instagram: Red_Dutchess

I'll be doing regular posts on how it has developed, lasted and worn off.

 Thanks to Vita Liberata, and thank you for reading.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Edge Hairdressing Photoshoot

In perfect exam revision procrastination, I'm writing a post about the shoot I did for  Edge Hairdressing in Letterkenny, Donegal just before Christmas.
I did the shoot with the elegant beauty, Ashleigh who is the reigning Miss Derry and the stunning Julie, a member of staff in Edge Hairdressing.

After bracing the cold and the jagged bite of winter as I made my way to the Hairdressers, I was immediately soothed with a steaming hot cup of tea the minute I walked into the hairdressers.
The staff were so lovely and welcoming and I immediately felt relaxed. No-wonder they have such  a satisfied and committed clientele. 

I was led into the the 'bridal room' that had the most beautiful Parisian-esque, all-cream decor. I thought about how the bride's day is made so special by just these small touches of luxury and the endeavours of the staff to ensure that the Bride felt like an exclusive client on her special day. 

After having my makeup done and running about in a terry robe and being fed Tunnock's Tea cakes and biscuits I was summoned for the photos to be taken by the unbelievably artistic photographer,  Catherine MacKenzie.     I've worked with Catherine on other shoots which you can see Here

I wore two different looks, a Hollywood glamour look and a Tribal Queen look. The photos were published in January's edition of 'Local Women'

I thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff of Edge Hairdressing and I'm honoured to have met just lovely women. Thanks to Jacqui, Catherine and Darinagh. 

Thanks to Catherine for photos.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Swinging 50s

I had the utmost delight in being part of a 1950s inspired photo-shoot in October.
I’m always lusting after vintage inspired looks and fashion, so to say I was in my element would be quite the understatement. I was privileged to be asked by Northern Irish magazine, Local Women, to take part in this photo shoot with another gorgeous model, Tracey.

When I model I often ask ‘do you need to me wear fake tan’, and the answer is always ‘no, we want you pale’. It’s a relief for me because as much as I like to wear fake tan it’s always such a stinky bother. I, being redheaded and so pale that I’m almost blue, am usually paired with a contrasting skin toned model, and Tracey was just that. Her beautiful long dark hair and olive skin was definitely a stark contrast to my ghostly complexion, but isn’t that what fashion’s about? Showing how beautifully diverse our human race can be.  (I secretly love my pale complexion)

The day started in Harkin’s Hairdressing Group’ Strabane, where I met the talented Kelsey, now there’s a woman who can work magic like it’s her second nature. She did my makeup to a standard that I’ve never seen before, and believe me I’ve been on a fair few photo shoots. After she did my makeup I thought I’d be passed onto another member of staff for my hair, but no, the talent of Kelsey unfolded even more as she did my hair in such a way that left me thinking ‘wow’, and within such a short period of time as well. If you’re looking for avant-garde and high fashion makeup and hair then look no further than the threshold of Harkin’s Hairdressing in Strabane.  I left feeling like I was ready for the Oscars, during the 1950s of course, imagining myself rubbing shoulders with Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and perhaps a few flirtatious smiles over towards Marlon Brando who’d be flicking his cigar and swirling his ice around in his brandy and nodding his head towards me in mutual flirtation…


Then I woke up from my daydream.

I made my way to the Old Foyle Railway train station in Derry/Londonderry where I had the pleasure of meeting our highly esteemed photographer, Catherine MacKenzie.

There we saw our gorgeous dresses, which we would be modelling, hanging like delicate pieces of art from the most beautiful boutique, BlueBirdBoutique, also in Strabane, owned by the lovely Samantha.

I also got  a two page spread in the magazine where I wrote about ‘a few of my favourite things’ and a lovely piece about my blog.
Check out the photos by Catherine MacKenzie and her 'Website for more beautiful shots.


The Beautiful Tracey

My two spread page in 'Local Women'

I loved my make up so much that I decided that it portended the perfect opportunity to go out for dinner, and keeping in with the vintage style, I did my hair in a 1940s Hawiian theme.

Thank you for stopping by! <3
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