Lookbook

Hey guys! Just realised that since I started Sins and Sparkles I haven’t once written a post about beauty/fashion which is what I was initially going to limit my blog to. So glad that I didn’t end up doing that! But the beauty ballistic beast in me is screaming for acknowledgement so I’m going to do a piece on the look I wore going to Rihanna’s concert in Dublin.

For my hair I took some inspo from Riri herself and decided to do a huge head of poodle like curls. It took me about an hour and I kept burning myself followed by having mini meltdowns after each incident but it was worth it in the end, I loved how fun and voluminous it was! I used a regular curling iron, taking really small sections of hair and wrapping it around the very end of the iron where it was thinnest to make the curls really tight and full. When I had done my full head I teased apart the curls and fluffed them up to achieve the volume I wanted. My hair is naturally very straight so it doesn’t keep a curl very well but these stayed put all night (and the next morning) win win!!

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I kept my makeup quite minimal as I wanted my hair to do the talking. I went for a flawless base which I achieved with my new fav foundation, Charlotte Tilbury “Magic Foundation” in 3 on top of Benefits “pore-fessional primer.” I then added contour with the Anastasia Beverly Hills powder contour palette in fair to medium, Urban Decay’s “naked concealer” in fair blended in under my eyes with a beauty blender and probably too generous a sprinkling of The Balm’s “mary-lou manizer” highlighter which is absolute life! Brows were achieved using my trusty Anastasia Berkley Hills dip brow in “chocolate.” I decided on a matte red lip to inject some colour into my look, in “perfect red” by NYX, one of the best and most affordable cosmetic brands out there, I love their stuff. Finished it off with THE best mascara there ever was, Too Faced’s “Better Than Sex”. It needs to be tried to be believed.

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I wandered into Penney’s on my lunch break a few days ago and saw this gorgeous playsuit on a mannequin that I probably wouldn’t have looked at twice at on the hanger. In my go-to colour, black with cute detailing and a lovely lace back it was a bargain at only €16. I matched it with a brown belt, also from Penney’s and another steal at €4. I teamed them with my new sandals from River Island which I’m literally living in, they were €50 but sooo worth it they’re really comfortable and they go with absolutely everything. My friend and I ended up walking from the Aviva all the way back into the city centre after the concert and I wasn’t even hobbling, thats when you know you’ve found a fab pair of shoes 😉

When it comes to accessories I never really bother, I always concentrate on my makeup more than anything else so I decided to make a bit more of an effort and wore a black choker I bought in Forever 21 for €8 with a whole load of bracelets I had in my jewellery box at home. I also threw on a pair of funky ass glasses I bought on aliexpress for about €5  and bam! I was ready.

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If anyone wants to know anything else, drop me a comment under here and as always, let me know what you guys think! X – AMK

Turning the “grim gym” into a “win win”

Four months ago I joined the gym and actually managed to stick with it. As someone who is fully convinced they are allergic to running (it makes me itch) this was a BIG accomplishment for me. Literally if a car is coming and I’m in the middle of the road, that wont even force me to run. I have two failed gym memberships under my belt and after wasting a significant amount of money, I ended up feeling even worse about myself than I had before for not persevering. I have since been able to change my negative attitude towards exercise and found little ways to use the time I spend in the gym to my advantage. So if anyone reading this is on the cusp of motivation and needs a little push, I hope this helps!

The best thing I ever did for my body was book a holiday to Ibiza this summer, although I’m 100% sure I wont be able to say that afterwards when my liver is hanging on by a thread however it sparked some serious motivation in me and really pushes me whenever I feel like I don’t want to bother. The thoughts of lying up on a perfect white beach for two weeks and squirming feeling like I look like something that crawled out of the sea was a thought I couldn’t allow become a reality. Despite people perceiving me as an extremely confident person, I actually suffer a lot with random bouts of anxiety so even plucking up the courage to walk into a gym and ask them about prices was really hard for me. I went around a few before finding somewhere I felt comfortable. The gym I finally decided on isn’t crazy busy and the majority of the members are old people so that suited me perfectly, no macho men or gamey girls in sight! After being in there a few times I felt confident enough to make an appointment with a gym instructor to get a fitness plan done out for me. It was immediately after this that I copped one of the instructors was a guy I had shifted on a night out and given a fake number to, talk about awks, so I spent the next three days praying it wouldn’t be him I had the appointment with and thanks be to god, it wasn’t.

I felt like if I could somehow slide through that awkward ordeal unscathed, I could definitely pull it together and work my ass off to get where I wanted to be. My confidence started to grow and before long I had my fitness plan learned off by heart. From being in the gym and surrounded by other people with the exact same goal as me, it changed from a place I always thought of as intimidating and isolating to somewhere that I felt comfortable and encouraged. From seeing how other people exercised and through trial and error I learned what exercises I liked and didn’t like, what worked best for me and what didn’t suit me at all. I even braved the weights room and started using the machines that the big muscly guys who make weird noises go on!!! The more I go the more confident I feel returning each time, knowing that I have become a little fitter, a little faster, a little stronger. Its also a great stress reliever, I challenge you to try to think of anything else except dying when your 60 seconds into a plank. Its like I have rediscovered my body and how it works, I have pains in muscles I didn’t even know I had and I can see changes in places I didn’t think it possible to tone. It was while I was realising all of this that I discovered the most important thing of all.

For the first time ever, I was approaching exercise with the single goal of improving my physique and becoming a more confident and healthy person as a result. What I wasn’t doing was thinking “hmmm I’m so much fatter than her I wish I looked like that” or looking at magazines and feeling upset because I’m nowhere near as thin and as perfect as those girls in the photos… Those girls aren’t even as perfect as those girls!! None of it is real and even if it was it wouldn’t matter because focusing on someone else to get somewhere you want to go is never going to work. I am doing this for me, because of me and staying focused on myself. When you stop constantly comparing yourself to someone else you have time to appreciate the results you have achieved and it feels 100 times better acknowledging yourself rather than stressing about meeting false expectations. Everyone is different and people lose weight in different ways, in different lengths of time and from different areas, and the sooner you learn that the better. There is no other feeling like the sheer joy when your able to fit into those jeans you’ve been holding on to for years with the hopes you would one day parade down the street in them like a catwalk, or taking selfies and realising your sans that double chin. Knowing you’ve worked your ass off and feeling good about yourself, thats the ultimate goal.

 

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My Relationship with Alcohol

I am more than partial to a few scoops. And everyone I’m friends with wouldn’t say no to a couple of ice old pints either. There’s nothing like enjoying a Kopparberg in the beer garden after work, downing a few shots to drown your sorrows or sipping on gin and juice to celebrate something special. I like how it can instantly take the awkwardness out of a situation. The Dutch courage it gives me, allowing me to dance and chat to people like I never would if I were sober. Its like a push up bra for your personality. There is also such a social aspect to drinking, if your arranging to meet up with friends/family/a date you usually do so over a few bevys. But lately I’ve started to take notice of all the negatives, which I usually discreetly sweep under the rug preferably while enjoying a glass of Prosecco.

This past weekend proved to be the turning point. As per usual me and the girls decided to go out for the bank holiday, pre drinks at home then out to the club as you do. Only this time I woke up Sunday morning iphone-less. My eyes stung from the harsh light streaming in my bedroom window and as my head started to pound I stretched out my hand to make the familiar swoop under my pillow for my phone. It wasn’t there. Starting to panic now, I check my handbag. Not there. Then I realise I wasn’t even supposed to stay at home last night.. All my stuff including my car is at my friends house. What happened? WHERE IS MY PHONE? After running around the house in last nights clothes wailing and asking myself why I’m such an idiot, it struck me for the first time ever that nothing else only alcohol was the reason for this. If I hadn’t been drinking then I wouldn’t have memory loss consistent with being knocked unconscious. I wouldn’t be minus my phone, which feels like one of my limbs has been severed off. I keep thinking “oh I’ll show one of my friends this funny video” or “that was definitely my phone vibrating” to reach down into the void that is my empty handbag and not be able to feel that familiar rectangle in my grasp. Eating is boring. Lunch at work is painstakingly meme free. And trips to the bathroom have me resorting to reading the labels on soap bottles. The last straw was when I realised I had no way of setting an alarm for the next morning, so I bit the bullet and bought a new iPhone.

It physically pained me having to dip into my savings to replace it and it got me thinking about all of the money I have wasted over the years on drinks I cant remember surrounded by people I wish I could forget. Splashing the cash around my tiny boring village when I could be saving it up to go somewhere new, bigger, better. All the drunken slurs you cant take back, because words can never be unsaid. And those awkward times you’ve woken up in someone else’s bed. Petty fights you’re not quite sure how they started, rowing with your closest friends all because common sense has departed. There was one stage in college where I went through six cameras in two years, a friend of mine lost four purses, one of the other girls had to replace her phone. Three times. At what stage do we all agree its time to take a step back and have a think about our relationships with alcohol?

If a boyfriend or girlfriend was a bad influence, made us argue with our friends and family, told us it was ok to buy that fifth shot of sambuca and proceed to charge for the dance floor like a lunatic, lost some of our most precious possessions and at the end of it all made us vomit our guts up we wouldn’t allow it so why do we let a substance have so much hold over us? I am not saying I’m never going to drink again. I don’t know when I will ever be ready to say adios to it completely. But what I am doing is seriously thinking about the volume I drink and how I drink it. Im 21 years old, its about time I learned my limits s

and respected them. A few jagerbombs are all well and good as long as you don’t wake up regretting what you’ve done the next morning, or even worse, not remembering what you’ve done at all.

So alcohol, my aul pal, I just want to set the record straight. Yes I may want you but no I don’t need you. Kind of like Prince Charming.

The Right to Die?

Hey guys! So I started working in a solicitors office this week, and it got me thinking about the fine line between something being legally wrong and/or morally incorrect. While I was studying for my law degree it became increasingly apparent that this battle between morality and legality, especially with regard to highly emotive issues, was intrinsically linked to the law itself.

Now that my brain is back in law law land, I have decided to write this blog post about a particular area of Irish law that always splits opinions. I hope you find this interesting and informative, let me know what you think and tell me in the comments whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve said!

The law surrounding

Euthanasia.

That being, the administration of lethal medicine with the intention of ending ones own life. Euthanasia, or as i prefer to call it, the right to die” is currently illegal in Ireland. In stark comparison, its counterpart “the right to life” is afforded protection under all international, regional, and domestic human rights documents.

As Irish citizens our Constitution upholds the rights we know and value so highly, like the right to vote, to own property and to integrity and autonomy. What you may not know, is that there is immense ambiguity and uncertainty in both our Courts and Government surrounding the legality and moral legitimacy of euthanasia.

The Irish courts have recently been faced with challenging cases surrounding the “right to life” and corresponding “right to die” in regard to abortion, another highly emotive issue. In particular, they are concerned with the conflict between the mothers right to die with dignity, and the unborn child’s right to life. Following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, it was anticipated that Ireland would take progressive steps towards rectifying the extremely worrying position of women being viewed by the State as incubators for an unborn child, rather than human beings in their own right.

Unfortunately this was not the case and very similar disturbing circumstances arose in the PP v HSE case. This involved a mother who was clinically dead and being kept alive artificially because she was pregnant. Her body suffered multiple infections and medical professionals stated that there was no reasonable prospect of the foetus surviving. Her family as well as the father of the unborn child also agreed that her life support should be switched off. Under Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, the right to life of a foetus must be protected as far as practicable. This put the doctors in an extremely precarious position. If they turned off the life support they could potentially be held liable by the State for ending the foetuses life. After a harrowing ordeal lasting four weeks, the court ruled that this somatic treatment could be terminated, allowing the mother to die naturally and inevitably ending the life of the foetus.

The most perturbing aspect of this case is the fact that the judiciary focused so heavily on the potential survival of the foetus and raises a number of crucial questions. If the foetus had a reasonable chance of surviving, would the mother have been preserved in this vegetative state to protect its right to life? This would be a clear disregard for her right to bodily integrity as well as the right to die with dignity. If the pregnancy had been more advanced would this also be the case? If the couple had been married, and the father decided he wanted to exercise his parental rights and try to preserve the life of the foetus, would it be permissible to keep using this woman as a human vessel?

So as Irish people who are legally entitled to be autonomous, self-determining individuals why have we not been given the freedom to decide whether euthanasia is an option for us or not? Is it the case that the State is in a superior, knowledgeable position making them better suited to determining what happens to a person’s life, than the person themselves?

An increasing number of countries within Europe and beyond have chosen to legalise euthanasia for a number of reasons. So the final question to be asked is this;

Should euthanasia be protected under the right to life in Irish Statute?

For me, the answer is a simple yes. It is legally provided for that no individual, no State body and no organ of any Government can tell an individual that they do not have the right to life, so why should they be able to tell someone they do not have the right to end this life if they wish to do so? By implementing adequate safeguards regarding euthanasia laws, it would prevent vulnerable people from abusing the practice. In Belgium the legislation asserts that an individual must be capable and have presented a “voluntary, considered and repeated” request to die. The Assisted Dying Bill in the UK sets out that a doctor must be satisfied that a patient has a terminal illness, has full mental capacity and is able to make a voluntary decision free from any pressure. Many people who are suffering severe discomfort due to old age or whose quality of life has rapidly deteriorated due to a terrible illness should be permitted to make the decision to end their own lives if they wish to do so. The majority of people do not want to see their loved ones suffer terribly and unnecessarily as a result of their right to die not being provided for.  Euthanasia which comes from the Greek “eu thanatos” literally translates as “good death” and isn’t that all we could really hope for when the inevitable occurs? Providing for the right to die could make that a viable option for those people.