Review of Aviary Lane

So I have had the same hair colour and style FOREVER, and I rarely even get my hair cut as almost every trip to the hairdresser ends in disappointment and sometimes even tears. Looking back at old photographs I would see so many different versions of my friends, different years different hair, and I am always the same!

So recently I decided to get balayage and go as far blonde as I could keeping dark brown at the roots and blending down the hair from dark to blond. The plan was after I achieved this, was that I would then go pink and then maybe purple – before finally returning back to dark brown and getting a big cut to get the coloured ends chopped off! I was really planning to go all the way.

So I booked into Aviary Lane after reading some good reviews online. It’s a really pretty salon on South Anne’s Street, off Grafton Street in the city centre. The décor throughout the salon is really interesting and funky and the staff are really nice.

You are offered tea, coffee, wine etc. on arrival and I ordered a green tea which came out in a pretty teapot (one that I had wanted to buy ages ago but felt it was too expensive) on a tray with a little biscuit. The water also comes out in very funky little jars and jugs.

So onto the colour. At this stage I have been twice, well actually three times with Michael, who is really nice. The first time the colour went well but wasn’t as light as I hoped. It was really well blended though and there was no big ugly line of colour across my head but I wanted blond.

I went back about two months later to go lighter and the result was great – except for some….green tinges. The horror. Amidst the blond that came out really well there was some definite greeny grey streaks. Possibly a reaction to the henna conditioning treatments that I regularly used and had no effect on my dark hair. A toner later hadn’t really helped so I was asked to pay 80% and come back in during the week.

This was pretty much my first time since I was a teenager getting colour and god it’s such a nightmare – why is hair colour this complicated. So I went back in during the week and things went much better the toner pretty much almost got rid of the green (I’m just trying to pretend it’s completely gone but it’s definitely not) while keeping the blond and I also got a bit of a cut and conditioning treatment thrown in.

I’m mostly happy with it but if my hair isn’t curled the greenish parts really jump out at me. I’m quite unsure now of what to do next.

Anyway I think Aviary Lane is really nice and the staff are good – the complication with colour I think could happen anywhere so I would recommend trying it out.


The prettiest restaurant in Dublin

Fallon and Byrne
For those that haven’t been, the People’s Park in Dun Laoire is really lovely. It’s Victorian in style, built in the late 1800’s, it’s beautifully maintained with blooming flower beds, pretty fountains, a bandstand, and wrought iron gates and railings – it’s by the sea and altogether very picturesque.

Beautiful old fashioned tea rooms stand at the top of the park – which for years were in disuse. Fallon and Byrne recently took over and beautifully updated the tea rooms, keeping their charm yet making some changes that perfectly blend the old and new.

Great restaurant, great setting – I had to go.

I finally went the other night. They had a three course set menu on for Christmas at €34. The staff are really friendly and attentive. The food is lovely – though I actually didn’t enjoy my main course, there was nothing wrong with it but I just wasn’t loving it so I put it aside annoyed at myself for ordering the wrong thing. The manager noticed and was very kind offering me something else and insisting they wouldn’t charge me for it. I had no intention of complaining it was really my mistake but they were so lovely about it. I thought it was excellent customer service. My starter and main were gorgeous and the bread (my weakness) was divine.

I definitely recommend it. Visit for more information.

Bedtime listening


For anyone who needs something to go to bed with, these are my favourite podcasts at the moment:

  1. Serial
    Ok so after the phenomenal season one, I wasn’t expecting season two to be as good. It is good but very different – worth checking out.
  2. Guys We Fucked
    Two cool, New York comedians talking to and about guys they fucked amongst other things – great but perhaps not for the faint hearted. (I kind of want them to be my friends!)
  3. This American Life
    Always on the list, this one is just great! If you’ve never listened to it – do it now.
  4. The Allusionist
    For anyone who loves words, Helen Zaltzman is a total treat and just listening to her makes me feel smarter.
  5. Criminal
    Interesting stories about the nature of crime and criminals told from different perspectives.



Bow Lane


I love brunch in Whitefriar Grill. The food is consistently good, and the music and atmosphere is always buzzing.

When I heard they were opening a bar next door I was excited.

I visited Bow Lane last weekend and really liked it. Lots of aged leather, industrial lighting and big sturdy hooks under the bar for your handbag (it’s the small things!).

The crowd was a mix of people too which was great – really nice, cool vibe without being pretentious.

Cocktail menu is excellent but pricey as usual – €10+, so in line with a lot of other fancy cocktail places but always a killer to pay.

The have the Whitefriar signature cocktail the Camden Banger on the menu and it’s delicious – rum, crème de banana, malibu, pineapple juice and tobasco sauce don’t necessarily sound great together but they are. Worth a visit and they do food too.

Bow Lane, 17 Aungier Street,

Brow Make Up

Here are some handy tips I’ve pick up over the years for shaping your brows.

  1. You hold a pencil straight against your nose on the right and no hair should be on the left side of it
  2. You then move the pencil diagonally from the base of your nose across your pupil, this is where the highest point of your brow should be
  3. You hold the pencil against your nose diagonally just under your eye and no hair should be below the pencil

I use this system as a guide when tweezing or applying brow make up. It will just give me a general idea of where to fill in or where to take from.

Obviously everyone naturally has a different brow so you can’t manufacture a completely different shape than what you have but this can act as a handy guide!


Mostly I use a brow pencil, an old rimmel one I have, and NARS brow gel. The brow gel is clear it just keeps my shape groomed, I really like it.

There are much better brow products on the market and powders do look much better than pencil but for day to day make up I just think the pencil is quick and easy. For special occasions I use Benefit Brow Zing.



Where to get the best spray tan

Tanning is a tricky business – to get the right shade, avoid streaks and blotches and the dreaded tan hand, dodgy knees, patchy feet and stained elbows.

I go through phases when I largely abandon at home tanning and accept my paler skin.

However for a special occasion a spray tan is a must for me, but even getting a professional job is fraught with prep work, and I always try and follow these rules:

  • Exfoliate, body brush and moisturise a few days leading up to the spray
  • No deodorant or moisturiser on the day of the spray tan
  • Loose clothing – no bra/socks post tan

I guess it doesn’t sound like that much effort but it just feels like it is.

So you have your prep done, now where to go – see two of my tried and tested favourites below:

Carter Beauty Blackrock

What I like:

  • they open late, you can get appointments until 9pm, you can usually get parking very nearby in the evening so you can dash in and out and hopefully avoid seeing anyone
  • they do a lot of spray tans here – so you’re in and out and they know what they are doing
  • really good brown colour
  • it’s cheap, you really can’t argue with €15 a pop
  • develops fast, you can shower 1 – 4 hours later


What I like:

  • if you’re on the green luas there is one in Sandyford and South William so you’ve got options, lots of parking in Sandyford. I generally go to South William and have to face walking around through town back to the luas – not ideal but not too bad
  • good colour, golden undertones
  • easy to get an appointment and again they do a lot of tanning so the set up is good
  • develops fast, you can shower 1 – 4 hours later
  • it’s a good price, €25 a go and you can very often get deals (around Christmas I got 4 tans for €50 which was amazing value)

My own tip is to get the latest tan time as possible so you can just go home, watch TV and go to bed soon after avoiding any activity or sweating that might ruin your tan. Even though you can shower after 4 hours I still prefer leaving it overnight when I can.

Happy tanning!






Tom Forde Shade and Illuminate contouring palette

tom forde s+iI’m sure contouring has been around longer than ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, but let’s face it Kim K is almost as well known for her famous mid-contouring selfies as she is for her big booty.

I had been contouring in a fairly subtle way for years using a cold tone bronzer and highlighters like Benefits’ Moonbeam and Nars Copacabana (though I would never have called it contouring), but inspired by Kim K I wanted to go further so I decided to invest in the ‘it’ contouring product – Tom Forde Shade and Illuminate.

I mulled over this purchase for quite a while as I do think it’s an exceptionally expensive brand – so it was hard to part with the cash. I got it in Brown Thomas for €67.

The palette is a cream duo – one dark shading cream and one light for illuminating as needed.

I usually did my shading with powders so using a cream was new to me. The product is really easy to use once you get used to it and if I do say so myself – looks great. I use the real techniques setting brush to apply and it works well. While I haven’t gone quite as far as Kim K but I like the results and would recommend it to those who love doing make up.

I don’t use the illuminrt brushating side of the palette much as I have lots of other highlighters that I prefer, but the dark side is great, though I am noticing more contouring products coming on the market now so there may well be a dupe to rival this one in the near future! I have seen great and reasonable powders but not other creams like this yet.




Babyliss Thermo-Ceramic rollers

I toyed around with the idea of getting heated rollers for years, YEARS! But I held off because let’s just say I have a history of buying hair products that end up residing in a box in my room gathering dust. My curling wand, bendy rollers, sleep in rollers, finger curl clips and metal rollers – had all met this fate, some of which had NEVER been used (the shame!). The only hair products I don’t regret buying and truly get a lot of use out of are my ghd and my hair dryer.

But time and time again the answer to ‘how did you did you hair?’ was – heated rollers. So on recommendation of a friend I got the Babyliss Thermo-Ceramic rollers (for €40 from

The set includes 20 rollers (8 large, 6 medium and 6 small), 10 clips, 20 metal pins. There are two 2 heat settings (I really have no idea who would use setting one but I have always had quite a mane so naturally I set any product to max power!).

They are very easy to use. You switch on to your selected heat setting and wait for the ‘Heat ready indicator dot’ on one of the rollers to turn from red to white and then you are good to go. You take the roller by the ends and wrap your hair around it using a clip or pin to keep it in place. I generally leave them in as long as possible and then carefully undo them. (Sometimes this is where things go slightly awry as my hair does get a bit tangled.)

My main aim is for body/volume, with a slight curl being a lower priority. Each time I use them I have slightly different results – maybe I’m always doing it slightly differently and for me whether my hair is just washed or a day old makes a difference. But generally I am always really pleased with the results.

There will be body, my hair feels lightly and there is movement, and varying degrees of curl. But I’m always pleased. I’m not great at doing my own hair and it is exceptionally long, so I think if I can use them – anyone can.

So my verdict on heated rollers is a big thumbs up! I have no experience of other brands but I think €40 is a good deal for these ones. Happy heated roller-ing!