Shopping the Dublin launch of Isabel Marant for H&M 2013


H&M’s high end designer collaborations are notorious for selling out within minutes of going on sale, and then selling for three or four times the price on eBay within hours. You have to practically camp outside the shop to get a chance at buying anything. And this seasons collaboration was no different! The collection hit stores last Thursday the 14th, and yours truly was there waiting at the door for the 9am opening ready to give you guys the inside scoop.

Now, not being a fan of freezing to death overnight in a pop up tent Bear Grylls /Blaire Witch Project style, I decide to skip to camping overnight part, and rocked up at the store at 8:30am, after a good night sleep in my house, thinking “Mama didn’t raise no fool” “I’ll be way ahead of the crowds and be at the front of the que”- I wasn’t! There was already a que outside that could give Coppers a run for its money. Some had been there since 6am to ensure a good spot, bringing long suffering boyfriends and best friends in tow to mind their stop in the line while they went on bathroom breaks. But the atmosphere was friendly, everyone chatting about what pieces wanted (the fringed boots, embellished Aztec jacket, silk speckled dress and the red leggings were on everyone’s list) and not unsurprisingly, most had no intention to wear them, they were just going to sell them for three times the price on eBay the second they got home (Mama didnt raise no fools in this que).

When the shop assistants rocked up at 9am to open the shop, and issue out the “VIP wristbands” allowing you shop the collection, and present at the till or else you couldn’t buy. This was fine I thought, but then they issued the bombshell news- They only had 30 wristbands available! You could only buy 10 items! No buying of multiple items! And then – WE ONLY HAD 10 MINUTES TO SHOP! Well, there was no chit-chatting after that! This news was met with shifty glances counting the people ahead, sizing up the competition, like a heard of wilderbeast standing across the watering hole from lions.

Once the doors opened, there was a stampede towards the collection! It was a bit like an episode of supermarket sweep! Everyone was grabbing their loot and running to the til.

In the end, all that was left behind were earrings! Everything sold out in under ten minutes! But I did manage to get some pic’s just before the madness really broke out. And I gotta tell ya, the hysteria isnt worth it – they’re just like any other H&M clothes, just with fantastic marketing and re-sale value. There expensive for their quality, and they’re not particularly well cut, despite being designed by Isabel Marant, and they are nothing like her main line pieces. So when you consider that these things are going to sell for nearly €500-600 on eBay, it makes me wonder should people just buy from the main line instead, given they are close enough to the same price at that point but the quality is better…..well unless you can get it on the day from H&M that is…. Anyone got a pop up tent I could borrow for next year?

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9 Crow Street – Dublin’s hottest Vintage store AW 2013

Extra 9 Crow 109 Crow Street 4

Extra 9 Crow

If you havnt heard of 9 Crow Street vintage store yet, then you soon will! It is one of Irelands hottest new vintage boutiques, featured in every Irish magazine you pick up these days. They have even been featured in British Vogue, as in-BRITISH VOGUE the style bible everyone in fashion would give their right arm and more, to be featured in!….but never are, because they just arnt BRITSH VOGUE standard….But that’s not the case with 9 Crow Street.

They are a cut above the rest of the vintage market, hand selecting each piece, to ensure that it is of the highest quality, always on trend, dry cleaned, and without that “vintage shop” smell. Every time I go into their shop, or look at their facebook updates, it’s as if they read my mind, and knew what I was looking for, before I knew I was looking for it! The vibe of the shop is very 90s – think of the cult classic movie “Clueless” and your right on the money! Its a bit like walking into Cher’s computerised closet! Check out the slideshow at the bottom of the post to see some of their stuff.

Unlike allot of vintage stores, 9 Crow Street are very driven, constantly updating their cool and edgy website, delivering worldwide, using Irelands coolest edgy stylists, photographers, and models for their photoshoots, and interacting with their customers through social media – they even ask their fans to send them their wish lists when they are heading to the states on buying trips. And all of this is the brainchild of three early twenty something’s! Expect even bigger things from these guys in years to come!

So, you would think that with this level of cool and quality, that everything in 9 Crow Street would be super expensive, but its not! Expect to pay between €20-€30 for knitwear skirts and trousers, €35-€70 for coats and jackets, and €20-€70 for going out stuff.

If you want to head down and pay them a visit, their new shop (not actually located on 9 Crow Street anymore) is on 57 Amiens Street, IFSC, Dublin 1, Ireland. Or check out their website , or add them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Chanel AW 13 show

This is one of my favourite AW 13 shows. Karl Lagerfeld, head designer for Chanel, says that the concept for the show has two dimensions. First that the first Chanel boutique opened 100 years ago in 1913, and now there are 300 Chanel boutiques all over the world. But secondly, because now from China to the Middle East, everyone adores Chanel. And this is because even after 100 years, they are making a product that is still desirable and still relevant. “A tribute to the world if you will, and a tribute to the brand of Chanel” says Lagerfeld of his collection.

The giant globe in the middle marks with a small light, the location of each Chanel store in each country across the globe. The set and the globe itself took over 400 hours to make and there was even a question that this could not be done as something like this had never been attempted before. But with typical Chanel ingenuity, the impossible was made possible.

In keeping with the global theme, the show also had the highest proportion of Asian and Middle Eastern models of any show at fashion week this year. Which is a great step in the right direction for high fashion, but this is also because these markets (unlike the west) are still booming economically and are now Chanel’s biggest consumers, so it makes sense to represent them on the catwalk.
They are also quite conservative dressers in Asia and in the Middle East, but at the same time they are very fashion and design conscious, so the chic ladylike designs that Chanel creates are a perfect fit for these markets.

I want everything in this collection! Expect to see allot of greys and shadows on the high street this season, allot of flat shoes, and allot of chains on accessories, as seen here, because Chanel is the go-to designer for the high street designers inspiration. And as everyone in fashion knows, where Tsar Karl leads, everyone follows.

What are your hair, skin, and beauty must haves 2013?


Confession time- My name’s Louise – and I am the biggest beauty junkie on the planet! I have three huge makeup bags that are overflowing…along with a million other products littering my dressing table. I’ve had flings with almost every product out there, staying faithful to some, and ditching others after one night (Bloggers are such a fickle bunch).

But I want to know which products YOU, my faithful fashionista followers use? What are your favourite -cant live without – would buy no matter what- sell your granny for- products?

Just Copy and Paste the categories below (filling them in of course) and then email them to
All information is 100% confidential, so let us know what products you love love love.

Cleanser :
Moisturiser :
Serum :
Night cream :
Zit zapper:
Dry Skin Saver:
Exfoliator :
Fake Tan:
Secret Weapon:

Eye shadow:
Secret Weapon:

Hair :
Best Tools:
Home Dye:
Heat protection:
Secret weapon:

Snapshot of my week

camera 1

1 Listening to:

2 Eating: Seasonal dishes like Butternut squash and sweet potato, Colcannon with venison sausages, duck breast with plum sauce…I really need to see if there’s a foodie version of AA…
3 Doing: TRX suspension training at Mint Fitness in Terenure…wish me luck…they use this to train Navy seals for battle!!
4 Reading: ooh lala magazines Christmas issue. Us bloggers were sent advanced copies, and loads of free Cocoa Brown goodies. You guys are in for a fantastic issue!! click here to see their free digital edition – I still cant believe this is an Irish magazine, its so good!
5 Wishing: The Simone Rocha style pink coats weren’t sold out in Penney’s
6 Using: Cocoa Brown night and day tan, Cocoa Brown “tough stuff” exfoliater and their hot pink tanning mitt – review posted on Thursday.
7 Wearing: Dark Berry lips with AW13’s signature lived in blurred edge finish.
8 Loving: Having an extra hour in bed- on a bank holiday weekend.
9 Watching: Out for false widow spiders!
10 Google-ing: Scary Halloween makeup tutorials

Going Straight: Japanese YUKO hair straightening

going straight

A few weeks back, I looked in the mirror and thought: that’s it, I’ve had it with all this kinkyness, I’m going straight! Permanently!….With my hair that is! We’ve all heard about the 12 week blowdry, were even gotten used to the organic 16 week blowdry. Which are semi permanent smoothing treatments, that are weak enough to still let you curl your hair if you want, but strong enough to harness frizz and curl by 50%.

But you probably haven’t yet heard of Japanese YUKO straightening. It’s actually been around in Japan for over 10 years, but it’s only come to Ireland in the past year or two. Unlike the 12 and 16 week blowdrys, YUKO is a 100% permanent chemical straightening treatment. This means that it cannot be curled no matter what you try, and if you don’t like it you cant reverse it, you just have to wait for it to grow out like a bad dye job. And just like hair dye, you will need to top up the roots as they grow out.

But on the plus side, you can just wash your hair in the morning, point the dryer at it, and your hair will look as straight and frizz free as it does after a good GHDing. Which is almost like a dream for most working women.

So what exactly does it involve and how much is it? Well, to be honest it is very similar to the process involved in the 12 and 16 week blowdrys. The folks at Brown Sugar on number 50 South William street Dublin tell me that it involves four steps, first: the spray in a primer The primer replenishes your hair with essential nutrients and prepares the hair for processing. Secondly, they begin the processing stage by spraying in the straightening solution, this completely restructures your hair by breaking down the protein bonds in it that make it curly. Thirdly They go over the hair while the solution is still init with a specially designed straightener. This not only straightens but also revives the tresses. Finally they wash out the first treatment, and apply another called a neutraliser, which stops the first treatment in its tracks (if you let it keep going your hair would eventually just fall out) and then they rinse it out, and blowdry your hair which conditions and cements the straight shape for the future.

How long it will take to do depends completely on how curly and thick your hair is to begin with, but the folks at Brown Sugar say that 3-4 hours is the average. But they have had people there for 6-7 hours before, so that’s why they ask you to come in for a free consultation beforehand to assess how long it’s going to take. They usually like to schedule chemical treatments for as early in the morning as possible so that they aren’t up all night doing your hair.

They also say that there starting price for YUKO straightening is €105 but this could be more depending on the type of hair/how long it will require to do/whether it’s done by a senior stylist or junior etc. Cowbows and Angels South William street, start at €300 with the same considerations, as does Salon19, But Foxy Brown on Grafton street charge just €35 for long hair and €25 for short hair.

There are a few drawbacks to YUKO treatment, you cant wash your hair or get it wet at all (not even a little bit of drizzle) for two days after the treatment or it will deactivate and your hair will go back to being curly. And you cant tie up your hair or even tuck it behind your ears for two days, as it will permanently kink. I also recommend bringing food with you when you go because when I got it a little while ago, it took 4 hours and I was starving by the end of it cos I went in at 11am and had to wait til nearly 4pm before they finished blowdrying and everything. I admit at around 2:30 I was wondering could I get away with getting up and walking to the corner shop to buy a hot chicken roll, with all the stuff still in my hair and the hairdressing cape desperate skouse-wives stylie…but unfortunately guys, I cant quite pull off that look, so I stayed put and dreamt of an eddie rockets chicken burger, and going straight…

Mane and tail shampoo review

mane and tailMane and tail horsemane and tail 2

When I was a nipper in the 90’s this was the animal use only shampoo I bought for €1 a bottle for ”my lovely lovely lovely lovely horse” called Lady, running around the equine supply’s shop Homestead saddelery, while my mam was around the back buying bags of feed and de-wormer. (for the horse, not herself)

Then in 2001, it became a “wonder product” after the original hair envy celeb Jennifer Anniston revealed in an interview that it was the secret of her famously luscious locks. Sales of the equine product went through the roof overnight and so the folks at Mane and tail thinking cha-ching, brought out a full hair care range for humans with conditioners, shine enhancing sprays, leave in conditioners, de-tangling sprays, and even nail strengtheners called “Hoofmaker”.

Jaysus! I thought, why didn’t I make the connection earlier! When you take a horse straight from the field, they have extremely thick course hair (three times thicker than human hair) that gets matted and dry – the total opposite of soft and silky. But after just one wash with all this stuff at shows and races the horse’s hair and coat always looked amazing and silky like the picture above.

But I never actually tried it til last week, when I saw it on sale in my local chemist for €3.50. Ah I’ll give it a whirl I thought, see if it’s worth the hype. It’s super moisturising and is rumoured to contain allot of the smoothing and strengthening ingredients that salon brands use, and is sulphate and detergent free. VERY promising I thought, almost exactly like a salon product, and its only €3.50! So I gave the shampoo and the conditioner a go.

But unfortunately, it was a bit meh. While it behaved very like a salon brand shampoo in that it didn’t foam up very much (detergent is really damaging for your hair, so its good that it doesn’t have much ) and my hair felt like silk when it was wet . Once I finished blowdrying and GHD’ing. I realised it was a bit too moisturising and made my hair limp and heavy! I was hoping it would be bouncy and shiny – and that Id have a big sexy mane blowing behind me, like a big galloping stallion swishing in the wind. But to be fair, my hair is naturally quite strong and silky to begin with so all the extra moisture and strengthening was probably overkill.

This range gets allot of mixed reviews in the blogosphere. Anyone that says they have extremely course, frizz prone, dry, colour damaged and over processed hair raves about it. But anyone with thin silky hair hates it. So it just depends on the type of hair you have. Also to its credit, I think it could be perfect if you have hair extensions (which are almost always 95% horse hair and just 5% human -no matter what they say on the label) so this would be perfect to counteract the tangling and matting you encounter after a couple of weeks wear, and maybe give you swishy stallion hair.