Monday, 22 December 2014

Requested - Tips: my day to day look

Hey Blog Readers

Happy Holidays! 

I for one have been in the best mood the past couple of days - I'm really happy with life right now and I have family visiting me here in Los Angeles for Christmas so I'm SUPER EXCITED!

Anyway this blog is for Michelle Ryan who requested tips on "what I do to achieve my look"... via my facebook page.

I am flattered by the request but It's a bit of a tricky one because I feel like I'm always changing my look...I love experimenting with different makeup and hair styles and even my fashion doesn't really follow any consistency because I simply dress how I'm feeling that day! anyway I guess there are some simple basics that I do stick to so I'll list them in this blog post :)

1) Eyebrows... they frame my face!(actually everyone's face) sometimes for good and sometimes for not so good! I feel like I've tamed down the penciling in a bit more recently.. but it's definitely a working progress! sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes I get it right... it's very hit and miss! however it's almost the first thing I look at when I look back at old photos and the difference between me then and now.. basically I look back and cringe at my eyebrows! when I was a teenager I had very thin and uneven eyebrows that I would literally shave a slit (or two) into LOL! WHAT WAS I THINKING! my poor left brow is still feeling the pain of the past as it's never properly recovered!ha! thing that is a must for me these days with my current look is professional HD Brows and I get them done at The Beauty Suite in Tuam (Galway) with the wonderful Anna Forde! I'm not sure what I'll do without her now that I live in LA but I'm thinking that I'll visit Anastasia Beverly Hills next time I feel a need to get my brows done!(as I've heard great things). However, the best thing about HD's that are done correctly and professionally is that they are very easy to maintain yourself! therefore once you have the correct shape for your face it's simply a matter of keeping them tidy so that's what I've been doing for the past couple of months!

2) Foundation! I use Make-up Forever hd foundation and I have done for a very long time! it cost's about €35 but one bottle can literally last me 6-8months if not more! because I love light-dewy skin so I literally use the smallest amount of foundation possible. From just 1/2 a pump to 1 pump(even on a night out) for my whole face! I put the foundation on the top of it's lid(because it's a smooth flat surface) and I use the expert face brush by real techniques to lightly buff it all over my face: I firstly dab a bit from the brush on my checks, forehead, nose and chin and then begin to buff and blend it outwards.
3) My staple eye-makeup would be a white or cream shadow all over the lid applied with a fat brush (sin from the naked palette) a light brown in the crease applied with a fluffy brush (naked from the naked palette), a slight shimmer in the corner of the eye(tearduct) and on the brow bone(Twilight highlighter by Youngblood), white eyeliner(Milk) on the water-line, and black gel liner on the lash line which I often create a cat-flick with(blackest black Maybelline). I don't wear lashes on a regular day-to-day basis but if I'm wearing them for work or a night out I stick to very light and natural lashes (such as whispy's). I'm not fussy with mascara but recently I've been using Manga by L'Oreal - I like a lot of L'Oreal mascaras!

4) I don't tend to wear fake tan (which means I'm often very pale). If I do wear fake tan I keep it light. I get a decent colour when I have a chance to sunbathe(which isn't often) but I'm definitely not tan crazy. When I was younger I was extremely allergic to false tan - I would break out in hives and nasty rashes whenever I would wear it! Then one day I went to the Galway Races on Ladies Day..  I had bought a new dress and going out the door I felt like I looked nice but no-sooner had I arrived at the races when this ignorant adult man (I was only about 13) started abusing me because I didn't take one of his leaflets and shouted "put some f**king foundation on your arms(cough it's tan not foundation you IDIOT) Anyway, It immediately made me feel bad about myself and how pale I looked so I put my cardigan on and didn't take it off for the day (despite it being mid-summer!). From then on I started wearing fake-tan! I would constantly put it on and suffer the allergic reactions until I literally wore it so often that I made myself immune and was no longer allergic! The effects an idiot can have on a young girl is crazy!(be careful what you say to people). Anyway.. as I've gotten older I've become a lot more confident in my own skin in every sense of the word! I genuinely believe that god get's it right with everyone and you should keep it as natural as possible! Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colours! and some celebs that I think are drop dead gorgeous who have pale skin would include Megan Fox and Scarlet Johanson! I'm really feeling the old-hollywood glam look at the moment! Nowadays I really only wear tan if it's to cover a bruise or to evanout my skintone if needed! People with dark skin are bleaching their skin to make it whiter, people with light skin are applying fake tan to make themselves darker! People with curly hair want straight hair and people with straight hair want curly hair! My message would be embrace what you have and be the best version of you! that way you'll always get it right!

5) Lips! unless wearing a red-lipstick (in that case I use a red liner) I always use a lip-liner the same colour as my lips (a honey/nude) regardless of what lipstick I'm going for! I am an ambassador for Gerard Cosmetics(Code 'Barry' = 25% off) and I own a lot of their lipsticks and lipglosses so I switch between these! On a day to day basis I wear the colour 'nude' (which is the perfect nude as it doesn't blank out your lips but gives a natural full effect) I pair this with either 'butter cream' or matching 'nude' lipgloss on the cupids bow and bottom lip. I have also been wearing the lipstick '1995' (an ultimate favorite) on it's own a lot lately! This lipstick was designed to match Kylie Jenner's staple makeup so if you like her latest instagram looks this is definitely for you ;) It's funny because that's what it reminded me of before I even discovered that it was in fact modeled after her!(she's become such a trend-setter)

6) Hair: My hair is natural - I don't wear extensions. I just like to keep my hair long (I only cut it maybe twice a year or so). I use a large paddle brush, heat protector and put coconut oil in it from time to time and I always sleep with it in a plait(braid for my US friends, lol). I don't use heat unless I have to! most days I wear it natural..which often means it has a wave from the plait! It's important to keep your hair off your face when you're sleeping-the natural oils in your hair can cause spots and with tossing and turning your hair will encounter unnecessary pulling and tugging which is not good for it! High pony tails/buns are not good for your hair too often or when sleeping either as they cause strain on the roots!

7) Teeth - To keep my teeth white I use 'Dial a smile' by whitening lightning and regularly top up with their whitening pens also (code 'Barry' = 25% off the whole whitening lightning site and sister company Gerard cosmetics). I have two side veneers that Dentist Paul Moore at the Gate Clinic in Galway fitted over a year and a half ago.

8) Highlighter is a favourite of mine! I seriously think their is no make-up product as beautiful as a good highlighter! Although don't make the mistake of getting one with very large glitter particles! glitter particles can block your pores and cause blemishes! stay away from glitter altogether and go for a light thin and airy highlighter! if you have pale skin stick to silvers and if you have darker skin go for golds! I love Twilight by Youngblood! and I always finish my makeup look with stippling some highlighter onto my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and, as mentioned above, on the brow bone and in the corner of the eyes. You can also apply some to the center of the lid over your shadow to make your eyes pop!
Out with friends-you can clearly see the areas I highlight in this pic :)
9) Fashion. I'm inspired by lots of different trends and often save pictures of outfits I like to my phone (not just outfits but make-up looks, hair etc..) but I definitely don't follow 'fashion' or 'trends' religiously! I dress in what I feel comfortable in, what I think looks nice! and I'm always experimenting! I feel like there are many different elements to my personality from girly-girl to hip-hop chick, lol, so it really just depends on what I'm feeling that particular day! I'm starting to buy more day time clothes because for the longest time whenever I was shopping I'd buy a going out dress and rarely a day time outfit but I feel like moving to LA has definitely helped me to express myself through fashion some more and at this stage I really don't care if people like my outfit or not - If I like it that's all that matters! Be confident in whatever you wear and dress to suite you! Afterall you're an individual!
actually someone asked me in a comment where my top is from... It's Boohoo!
10) I think that they are all the tips I have with regards to how I achieve my regular go-to look... but because Michelle asked me on a photo I will finish this blog by giving my best "selfie" tip and that is - good lighting! no matter how great your make-up and hair is everything looks bad in bad lighting! So when you take a selfie or any picture for that matter look for some good lighting! Natural light is the best so if you can stand in front of a large window that's great! If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed I take a lot of selfies in the car.. that's because there is natural light coming in at all angles!

I took this photo infront of a big-bay window! I also find that natural light makes the colour of your eyes pop a lot more!x! 

My ultimate tip would be to dress & style yourself for you! Meaning find what suites you not someone else because we are all different & what suites one person may not suite another! Highlight your good assets & features! Know yourself & yes love yourself because you'll only ever be you so embrasse what you have & work with what you got!x!
Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo
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Friday, 5 December 2014

My every day morning drink...

Hey Blog Readers

Happy Friday! 
Thanks for stopping by! 

So every morning for as long as I can remember I have started my morning with a mug of hot water, lemon and honey! I think it may have originally been my sister, Lauren, who introduced me to this but it's been so long now I can't even remember! Anyway... recently I came across an article which explained just how good hot water, lemon and honey is for you so I thought I'd share some of it's benefits incase anyone is interested in giving it ago! 

  1. It gives you an instant boost of energy and improves your mood! The honey acts as an instant energy booster minus the calories of something sugary or the unhealthy alternative of coffee as a morning energizer, the water clears your mind giving fresh blood to the brain!  and the lemon activates negatively charged enzymes in your stomach - a great way to combat positively charged enzymes that react with the food you eat adversely, leading to poor digestion! Moreover the scent is lemon is known to be a relaxant which can help to uplift your mood! 
  2. Improves oral health and helps to beat bad breath! Since moving to LA I've become more of a coffee drinker than I was ever in the past.. when on set the idea of a caffeine-boost  can seem extremely tempting but what turns me off is that I truly believe coffee gives you awful breath and I feel I've been on both ends: having drank coffee and had bad breath as a results or having been beside someone who is suffering, lol! However the acidic nature of lemons combined with the honey and water can help to beat bad breath almost instantly! The lemon cleanses the mouth, activates your salivary glands and kills bacteria. 
  3. Clear Skin: this concoction of water, honey and lemon lend a unique restorative, antibacterial and  collagen boosting property to your skin!
  4. Increases the chance of weight loss! as well as cleansing the stomach lemon contains a type of fiber called pectin that helps to make you feel full and keeps cravings at bay! the water and honey also creates a more alkaline atmosphere in your stomach which will aid in loosing weight. 
  5. Improves digestion! it assists in the flushing of unwanted toxins from the body! 
  6. Cleanses the lymphatic system! a dehydrated lymphatic system is one of the leading causes of illness. Lack of water and essential fluids in the lymphatic system can make you feel sluggish and fatigued, lead to constipation, disturbed sleep, high or low blood pressure, stress and an all-round lack in mental function. The benefit of drinking this mixture early in the morning is that it helps hydrate your entire lymphatic system that not only beats all the above symptoms but also improves your immunity.
  7. Sore throat and cut-cough.. bye bye! It reduces soreness and irritation of a sore throat! The honey coats the throat while the warm water soothes! It is also great for singers!
  8. DETOX! become regular(lemon increases urination) and flush out toxins from your body! toxins can build up in your body and cause many negative issues including disease! It also maximizes enzyme function and stimulates the liver to help with detoxification! 
  9. Better health! Increases hydration and the level of 'good' cholesterol in your body as well as reducing cardiovascular strain! ... win win! 
  10. Gives your immune system a helping-hand! Honey has amazing bacteria-killing properties! It's full of enzymes, vitamins and minerals that lead the front line in protecting against bacteria! The combination is also an anti-oxidant
What are you waiting for! 
Just take a tall glass of warm (not hot) water, add the juice of half a lemon and one tea spoon of honey to it. Mix well and drink it quickly. Remember not to drink coffee or tea for at least one hour after drinking this mixture.

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo 

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

How did the miracle gel nails hold up..

Hey Blog Readers! 

Last week I posted about the Miracle Gel by Sally Hansen - you can read that post by clicking here! 

So I just thought I'd write a quick entry to let you know how they lasted... well a week and half on and I must say I am pretty impressed! they have chipped a little on the top of my middle nails on one hand so I guess they didn't quite last the 2 weeks but for me that's prettyyy good! usually my nails chip straight away so to get 1.5weeks is excellent for me and has definitely been a time saver! I think that perhaps if I had wrapped the nail varnish around the top of the nail they may have lasted the two weeks! I'll try this next time! but as for review purposes - I would give this product a 3.5 to 4 out of 5! and would definitely recommend to a friend :)

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo
If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Radiant Skin?

Hey Blog Readers

So lately I keep getting complimented on my skin - to the extent where even my mum and sister have rang me to say "your skin is just glowing"...

at first I thought maybe it's new environment and getting more sunshine? but then I remembered for the first month or so in LA my skin wasn't great because it became really dry with dry patches which gave me a need to get a really thick, rich moisturizer to attempt to fix the problem... anyway I spent a little while looking through the different moisturizers in the pharmacy and decided to go with one I hadn't tried before...

Burt's Bees Radiance Night Cream with Royal Jelly
retail approx $14 in Target (less in Euro-Try boots!)
I am now thinking that this may be what has given my skin it's extra glow... after all it is called 'radiance' night cream.. the dryness has cleared up completely and my skin looks and feels great after I use it and when I wake up in the morning after applying the night before!

Anyhow I'll definitely be re-purchasing so I thought I'd tell you guys about it incase I have found a miracle in a tub :)

Follow me on Instagram @ShahiraBarry 

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo

If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.

I've been living on Banana Bread...

Hey Blog Readers! 

So I've lived a way from home before... I spent a brief period in Dublin and 3 years in uni in Limerick but it would be fair to say that I led the typical "student" lifestyle in terms of my diet and what I ahem "cooked"... However, now living so far away from home, in Los Angeles, things are completely different... I've had to learn to plan, prepare and cook lots of different meals and snacks! 
One that I've found myself baking all of the time is banana bread... not as a dinner but as a filling snack that I can eat hot or cold and can grab and bring with me as an alternative snack when I spend long days on set. Basically it's extremely handy and easy to make so I thought I would share... 

PS. Thank you to my sister, Lauren, for telling me how to make it :) Love you!x! 

  • Butter (I use margarine instead) and how much you use is up to you. They say 1/2 a cup but obviously the more you cut down on the butter the healthier your bread will be! 
  • Sugar (I opt for brown sugar if possible). I use about the same amount as how much butter you choose to use. (the real recipe says 1cup)
  • Flour (wholemeal is the healthier option) 2 cups.
  • Bananas (I use two full size large bananas... because I like mine to be "banana-yy, lol). 
  • 2 eggs. 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  1. Preheat the over to 350'degrees! 
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl. 
  3. Add the eggs and mix. 
  4. Break up the banana and mush it in with the other ingredients. 
  5. Add the flour! The recipe says 2cups of flour but It's pretty easy to estimate how much flour you need once you mix it in as it will develop into a paste that you then spread evenly over the baking dish/tray. Keep in mind it needs to be thick enough to work as a bread but still given room to rise a little. 
  6. Add 1 teaspoon (not tablespoon) of baking soda to the mixture before spreading. less is more with baking soda as it is needed to help the bread rise and develop but you don't want to taste it! (Believe me I learnt this the hard way). 
  7. Place in the oven to bake! It takes 45mins to an hour! I usually end up taking it out after 45 and find that that's enough! to test if it's done prod the bread with a fork and if the fork comes out clean it's ready!! 
Finally: ENJOY :) I like mine warm (if it's been a while since cooking 30 seconds in the microwave is plenty) and with a cup of tea! 

Always cover the remaining, allow to cool and store in the fridge or freeze. Break off a piece when you want some and put it in a lunch box to bring with you = perfect snack during a busy day :) 

Once you've mastered it go ahead and experiment! you can add oats, seeds, nuts.. basically what ever you fancy :) I was naughty and added some peanut butter when making mine today and it was yumm ;) haha 

ALSO bruised bananas that you don't want to eat are actually perfect (better than ripe) for your banana bread - so put them to use! you won't even notice once cooked! 

Let me know if you try it!! :) 

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo
If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.


Body Image...the Pressure is the same!!!

Hey Blog Readers! 

For today's post I thought I would write about my feelings with regards to body image and the pressure that is put on females in particular...

Is it just me or has the world become literally OBSESSED with the female body lately???... Ok I understand and realise that the pressure to look good or look a "certain way" has always been there and apart of the society we live in but over the course of the past couple of years, even months, I feel like it's getting out of control?!

Personally I feel like the difference between now and the pressure in the past is that currently "curves are in" therefore people think it's more acceptable to throw it in our face and literally push it on us from every angle because it is promoting a "healthy" body image where we no longer have to conform to trying to fit a size zero...
Don't get me wrong when the likes of Jlo and Kim Kardashian first appeared on the pop culture scene I think they did a great service to guiding us a way from the undoubtedly unhealthy size zero trend that had been dominate previously. It was a great turning point for women, especially curvy or more full-figured women, and I think it's fabulous that it helped so many people to feel more confident within themselves! (Myself included) However... the difference is the super skinny size zero trend was subliminally pushed on us (which I'm not saying is any better!) through e.g. most actresses, pop stars, models etc.. having tiny frames and the general media displaying images of the super skinny body type as being "beautiful". It was pressure and it was in our faces but it wasn't as dramatic as the epidemic that is now sweeping our generation. For example one of the most talked about body parts of late is the "Big Butt".. it is literally everywhere!! from the twerking pandemonium to all the different 'squat challenges', print media, music videos and every song having direct references to the need for women to have a huge booty! It's actually like many pop stars or celebrities are literally trying to out do each other with regards to who has the biggest  and best ass and who can make the raciest video/photoshoot to display that said ass for all to see!

I'm not a prude when it comes to videos/photshoots etc.. and as far as I'm concerned if you have it by all means flaunt it! My only point is that whether it is pressure to be super thin or pressure to have curves the pressure over body image is the same and both can become equally as obsessive and unhealthy! The message should be that we are all equal yet everyone is different! We all come in many different shapes and size and yes we should eat healthy, workout and live a healthy lifestyle but the aim should be to be the best version of ourselves "to be the best you that you can be!". Everyone's frame is different: some people will never be able to be a tiny size zero no matter how much dieting or exercise they do because they just aren't built that way and others will never be able to have those kim.k curves no matter how many squats and waist training etc... that they do because again they just aren't built that way!
Pressure is Pressure! I'm not trying to be a hypocrite: I do like Meghan Trainors 'All about that base" or Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda' and I have a great time twerking (or attempting to,lol) and bouncing around the place to lots of different songs that do speak a lot about big butts, lol. However with that said I don't particularly agree with lyrics such as "fuck the skinny bitches, fuck the skinny bitches in the club" or "go ahead and tell them skinny bitches hey no" just because I feel like it's a double standard towards girls who don't have those curves and are naturally thin and I feel that if that was the other way around there would be outrage. If you're a full figured women or a curvy woman and you listen to songs such as the ones I mentioned above (+there are many more) and they make you feel confident then that is fantastic! or indeed if your stick skinny and you like to bop around to those songs or admire Kim Kardashian's 'Paper' magazine cover - again great! However, if the pressure from the media to now have this super curvy body type that you don't naturally have makes you feel the opposite=unconfident and down then just know that you are beautiful as you are and that we are all different and that's what makes us unique! every different shape and size is beautiful in it's own individual way and while yes it is important to live a healthy lifestyle for your own general health you should always rock what you have and what you can be instead of wishing to be something else! Basically, my only point that I am sharing with you by writing this is that we shouldn't try to be so competitive with each other (the stars included). The only person you should compete with is yourself - that is the only worth while and healthy competition that is going to make you better not bitter! I hope that this phenomenon and pressure to have a huge ass, tiny waist and big boobs will die down soon and that everyone can chill out and get back to the basics: eat healthy, exercise, enjoy life and realise that there are many different forms of beauty in this world and we shouldn't conform and obsess about being just one!

Let me know your thoughts...?

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo

If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

new nail product love!

Hey Blog Readers! 

HAPPY Friday! 

So as I've said a number of times before I HATE doing my nails! I'm a girly-girl in many ways but my nails are always what brings the cat out of the bag in terms of my tom-boy side! I just really hate painting my nails, I like getting my nails done in the salon (shellac normally) but I rarely keep it up and I'm not a fan of fake nails - don't get me wrong: they look uber-glam but they always seem to get in my way (texting/picking things up etc) I just don't have the patience! I wish I did!

However, I recently came across a nail product that I wanted to share with you guys as it may be the answer to my constant messy-nail dilemma :P lol!

The product is....

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel! 

This Miracle gel is, in a nut shell, a gel nail varnish that does not require a light to set and is said to last up to two weeks!

Now this is a new product for me (I only brought it this week) so I have yet to test it's longevity but so far I am impressed! it is easy to apply and the colour is vibrant immediately (although you still need two coats!). It definitely gives the look and feel of a gel or shellac manicure which is a lot sleeker and smoother than a regular polish! The only thing I did notice is that because it is a gel formula it is thicker in consistency and therefore needs a little longer to dry and set! However it is worth it for salon results at home!!
The range has a whopping 45 colour shades altogether so there will definitely be something that catches your eye!

Although, now that I've tried the miracle gel I have a feeling I will be investing in some more colours! I decided just to get one (+ the needed top coat) to start with so that I could test it out and see if it was worth picking up any more!The colour I went with was pink cadillacquer!

This colour is a bubble-gum baby pink so it definitely embarrasses your girly side without being too dramatic!
The Miracle gel is $7.99 in Target (this would be cheaper in euros) but you do need to invest in a top coat at approx the same price! 
Whether or not I'll get two weeks out of this gel nail varnish is yet to be seen but I am hoping and optimistic that it will last longer than regular polish because so far it does compare very favorably to shellac manicures I have had done in the past! (fingers crossed) I will keep you guys posted! 
My tip for using this polish would be to allow plenty of drying time for the base colour before applying the top coat or the top coat may budge some of the colour off and that will ultimately cause more delays! Ain't nobody got time for that! ;) lol! 

Anyway in other news I'm battling my computer with regards to American spelling and I'm not sure what to do about it... Half of my mind is telling me to stick with English/Irish spelling as that's what is correct to me and what I was brought up on but the other half is thinking should I type in American spelling now that I live here and my computer keeps scribbling error lines under my English spelling??.... Mmm I hate typos and spelling mistakes (it's a pet peeve of mine) but I think I'll stick with the British spelling for now because that's what I know and from my blog statistics the majority of my readers are based in Europe... Oh the dilemma! lol!
Snoop Dogg and Shahira Barry
Snoop & I
In a catch up this week I finished 10days work on the movie Ted2, worked with Bruno Mars and was invited back to set with Snoop Dogg! I am feeling incredibly blessed! but now I need to keep it up #NoPressure :) lol

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo

If your company would like a review or specific blog-post on a product, treatment, service or any other item to appear on email with the details.
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