About Me

Saturday, 5 December 2015


This year black friday fever spread to Europe in a big way and I found myself poking around online to find some deals! Here are the few bits I picked up:

From Cloud10 Beauty -

  • Blank Canvas Round Top Blending E25

  • Blank Canvas Nude Palette (88 Matte/Shimmer Neutral Colours) 


From New Look -

  • Black Crepe V Neck Cami 

  • Navy Bird Print Slim Leg Trousers

  • Burgundy Airtex Boxy T-Shirt

Over the Christmas period I plan to have some going out looks up using these items!

Did you shop online or in stores for Black Friday? Did you find any amazing items? Let me know below!

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Old Ways.

 Top & Skirt - ASOS
Boots - Topshop
Hat - Penneys/Primark
Bag - New Look

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Take Shelter.

Hat - H&M 
Sweatshirt - Penneys/Primark
Jeans - River Island 
Boots - Topshop
Coat - New Look (bought on ASOS)

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

REVIEW: Maybelline The Falsies Volum Express Mascara

Another quick review for you!

After using up all of my beloved Collection 5-in-1 mascara, I decided it was time to venture out and try something everyone has been talking about for years: Maybelline’s The Falsies mascara! I picked one up in my local boots in the Volum Express version (as I love a bit of volume). Here are my thoughts:

It certainly gives volume, like a LOT. Borderline clumpy, but I am completely okay with that. It’s super black and only took a coat to make a massive difference to my lashes. It can be built up more, but I did end up with spider lashes when trying this and being a little heavy handed. The wand is curved (see below) which makes it really easy to get all of my lashes and give them a nice fluttery, girly look.
All this sounds great right? It was, until after about 2 weeks of solid use I noticed my eyes were very dry and cracking. I thought “change in the weather”, moisturise more and it will be gone in a few days. Skip to another two weeks later and my eyes continued to be inflamed, dry and cracked all around. I couldn’t understand why, so I popped into my local pharmacy and they reckoned I had a reaction – possibly to a cosmetic product – and it clicked, the only new product I had used was The Falsies! I am not sure what I reacted to, but I can’t use it anymore which I am very sad about, as I really enjoyed the results! This is why I have no specific photos to show the mascara on!

Let this be a cautionary tale to sensitive skinned ladies (or gents) out there – this may not gel well with your eyelids. Overall though, the mascara gave great results –my lashes were full and fluttery with one coat, so if you are not so sensitive and have not given it a try, go get it!

Here are some other reviews of this product that I liked:

Monday, 14 September 2015


Hat - H&M
T- shirt & Trousers - Dunnes Stores
Shoes - Korkys
Necklace - Newbridge Silverware
Lipstick - Wet N Wild "Cherry Bomb"

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Work Edit: Part I

So last month has been crazy as I moved out to a shared apartment and started my new job! The blog has taken a back seat, but I am back now with a series of posts on what I wear to the office! I am trying to shape my work style and build a wardrobe, so I thought I would track my journey to my ideal office outfits! Right now it is quite androgonous, with occasional feminine looks. Here are two I have captured, with more to come in the next few weeks.

Let me know what you think and comment below your tips for office/work wear! 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Simple Skincare Review: Kind to Skin Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser

Hi guys!

My most popular post so far on this blog has been a review. I love reviews, I always read them before buying products to see if they will work for me. Mostly, I do this for skin care products. I have had many skin issues, with consistent hormonal acne since I was 14. I have very oily and sensitive skin, so finding products that helped clear my acne and reduce my oilyness has been tough. I am no skin expert clearly, but I hope this might help some of you considering trying these products, with the same skin type as me!

The products I am discussing are from Simple; the Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion, Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner and the Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. Here is the Simple website to read more on the product descriptions: http://www.simple.co.uk/our-products/category/374539/kind-to-skin

First off, I love these products! I didn't think any cheaper skincare brands would have such a good effect on my skin, but the difference I have seen has been amazing. I began this routine around 4/5 months ago, so I have had a long time to know if they work. I was using a Nivea routine before this, which I liked and did the job, but these products have changed my skin.

Starting with the Cleansing Lotion, this is really gentle on the skin. I use this after a light Garnier makeup remover to remove any remaining dirt or oil on my skin. It leaves my skin feeling really clean and fresh, and with oily skin that is great, as I can tend to feel dirty.

Once I rinse the lotion from my face, I use the Soothing Toner. This removes anything that still has not been washed away, and closes my pores. This stuff really is soothing, it cools my skins redness after rinsing it with water. I leave this to settle into my skin for about a minute.

Finally, I use the Light Moisturiser. I had read the most about this and it was the first thing I tried from the range. It is so light but my skin really feels hydrated and soft after it soaks in. It dries super fast, so it is perfect for under makeup. This moisturiser sold me on the brand. I often found that moisturisers were too heavy, and I could feel them sitting on my skin, which I did not like, My skin soaks this right up, and looking plumper and healthier.

In terms of my acne, I think these 3 products in combination really did the trick for me. The cleanser does a great job of removing the oil and dirt, without causing a reaction in any breakouts I have. The toner reduces redness in my breakouts. The moisturiser has reduced my oilyness as my skin has the required amount of hydration. My skin does not react to the products in any way, it never has broken me out.

I would highly recommend these products to anyone with a skin type and issues like me. The picture here of my skin shows what it looks like now, I unfortunately dont have any pictures of before I started using them.

I hope this review was insightful into my experience and might help you!


Monday, 18 May 2015


Skater skirt - New Look
Black T-Shirt - Dunnes Stores
Shoes - New Look (old)
Choker - ShopMoonChild
Necklace - Made by me
Bracelets - Penneys/Primark

Foundation - Seventeen Stay Time (review here)
Eyes - Essence Quattro eyeshadow
Lips - Wet N Wild Just Peachy
Lip Liner - Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses 004 Indian Pink 

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How to Survive College: Exams

Hi all!

I begin my final university exams tomorrow, and although I should be studying, I decided to take a break and put together a blog post on my best tips for studying and de-stressing! I want to make a series on my tips on university that I have picked up in my 3 years, so let me know if you like this/find it helpful, and I will write more.

No one likes it, It's boring, you may feel you are achieving nothing, the hours seem endless. There is ways to make yourself more productive and achieve more in your study sessions:

  • Make a study plan: This is one of the most helpful things for me! Write out everything you need to get done. Maybe by topic or subject. Then organise when you will study them and how. For example, I have an accounting exam, with 3 questions on different areas of our course. So I laid out that I would pratice Q1 past exam questions on Monday, Q2 on Tuesday etc. This helps you to feel more accomplished after a study session; you can tick off an area and the list of what's needed gets shorter! 
  • Clean your study area: For me this is super important. Its easy to let your desk get scattered with pages of notes, pens, snack wrappers, you name it! The cleaner you keep your desk, or wherever you study, the more de-cluttered your mind will feel, and will leave you more focused on whats directly in front of you and your goals.
  • Make your study area different from your relaxation area: If you have a desk in your bedroom that you study at, don't watch movies or TV there. It's very hard to stay focused on studying if your mind associates that area with other things. Some people like to use their college library or study facilities for this reason. Choose what suits you.
  • Keep your notes organised: If you like to write out your notes so as to learn them, make sure to keep all the notes for a topic or subject together. This will help to keep each piece together in your mind, as well as help you later when you want to look over them. This really helps with keeping your stress levels down; having sheets of paper and books all messed up make you feel all over the place in your mind as well!
When you aren't studying:
My main tip coming up to and during exams would be to take lots of breaks! Not only is it best to do so for health reasons, you will also study better if you refresh your mind every so often.
  • Go for a walk, or exercise: If you already like going to the gym or playing a particulur sport, keep that routine. The exercise releases all the good chemicals into your brain and body, and you will make much more use of your study time if you feel good! Eat healthy too, but treat yourself every so often to reward yourself for good study!
  • Do something with friends or family: Getting away from study or thinking about exams for a couple of hours is very important. I went to the cinema last weekend with a friend, and I completely forgot about worrying about all the studying I needed to do! This is like the exercise, it helps to de-stress and refresh you for more work.
  • Meditation or yoga: If you have anxiety (like myself) or are just generally very nervous and stressed out about your exams, try some mindful meditation or yoga exercises from YouTube or elsewhere. This is another great way to clear your head, and to relax yourself.
  • Talk to classmates/friends/family about your studying and exams: If you feel stressed out about anything, it's always best to talk about it. So discussing everything with someone else will help to lighten the burden, and more than likely that person will boost your confidence and tell you that you are doing great!
  • Plan somehting to look forward to after exams: Rewarding yourself is important. Plan a night out, a holiday, a shopping trip, a movie day or whatever you like for when your exams finish! This will help you to feel great after your exams are over.
The most important thing to remember is you can only do your best. If you work hard and make the effort, you will achieve good grades in your exams! Don't pressure yourself or feel pressure from others. Sometimes hearing what others are doing can make you feel behind, but focus on yourself and your studying and you will be fine.

This page on exam stress from Headspace has more tips specific to exams that might help too! 

This is a quick overview of some of the things I have learned about the run up to exams so I hope it is helpful. If you have any questions or need someone to talk to, comment below, or message me on tumblr either at http://lifeofablacklily.tumblr.com

Good luck if you are doing exams in the next few weeks, and wish me luck in mine!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Took a walk around the river where I live and decided to blog it! I always forget how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.

Instagram - @gemmagarvey28
Twitter - @gemmagarvey_

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dark Eyes And Lips - Rihanna Inspired

Hello everyone! 
Even though I have been taking an extended break from blogging while I finish out my university course, I have still been playing with make up and fashion. This weekend on my night off I got inspired by a photo of a look Rihanna wore and decided to create my own version! 

This is my bare face (don't be scared!) I used the Seventeen Stay Time foundation and Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer to create a flawless base. I then put tape on my eyes to help get the winged out effect. I have quite hooded eyelids so using the tape helps me get the right angle. I then used a cool brown on my outer corner and into the crease.

I continued to build this colour up, then added a dark purple colour to darken it. I did my brows using Collection's Work the Colour Nude Eye Palette, which I also used for the first colour on the eyes. I used a fluffy brush from ecotools to blend, this is very important! I lined my eyes with a Natural Collection black liner and then smudged that on my top and bottom lashes.

I used a bronzer from NYC to contour and warm up my face as Rihanna had a quite warm complexion. I used it as a blush also and used a shimmery eye-shadow to highlight my face.

I used "Willow" lip liner from Wet N Wild as a base on my lips, then used "Cherrybomb" lipstick, also from Wet N Wild, on top.

This is the finished look! If you liked this look and these types of posts do let me know! I am considering starting a YouTube channel in the summer also, so if you think I should comment below!
*Lil' update: My makeup idol Sam from Pixiwoo just uploaded a video on this look, its amazing so go check it out!
Rihanna Makeup Tutorial

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Where have you gone...

Hi all!

So Monday marks the first day of my final semester in university, and I am aware that my time will be crammed with studying, sleeping and eating for the next 3/4 months. As a result, the amount of blogging I will be doing will decrease dramatically, I would imagine. I will try to blog when I can, but I have to focus on my studies as you can understand. I plan to write a pretty comprehensive post about my experience in college as I think it may help some people. if you would be interested in that let me know in the comments. I just wanted to post a little note about it to anyone who does read my blog, so stick with me as I have big plans for this once I finish up the term! Thank you to anyone who reads my posts, its much appreciated!

Peace and love,

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Monday, 5 January 2015

SEVENTEEN Stay Time Foundation Review.

This is my first review on this blog and I thought I would start off with a product I have recently bought and have to say a lot about! I will say first, I will never bash a product here on Life of a Black Lily. I think that is disrespectful to companies and others who use a product and love it. I also will only talk about products that I love! Now that is out of the way, lets begin!

The product I am reviewing is one of SEVENTEEN's new foundation's, the Stay Time. I heard about this product in December some time courtesy of Leanne Woodfull's (thunderandthreads) twitter. I am very pale, as you know from my outfit posts, and I am always on the hunt for a good pale foundation that will actually match me, at a cheaper price. I also have very oily skin, so long lasting foundations are a must for me. So obviously, my interest was peaked about this. I instantly went and bought the product in the shade 'Porcelain' and fell in love!

The product description on the packaging is;
Its time.Time that your make up had staying power! This full coverage foundation gives a flawless smooth skin finish. That lasts. And lasts. Foundation that stays put for up to 25 hours. Its time. Stay Time.

I think it is best to review this product on three areas: shade, staying power and finish.

This colour is awesome for us pale girls, although I may add it is a little yellow, so blending is essential. The range of shades that I saw on the Boots website were as follows; porcelain, soft ivory, natural, biscuit, fair and honey. The range is aimed at pale skinned ladies (and men!). I am considering trying the fair shade next time, as it seems a bit pinker than porcelain.

I also found that the product lasted a long long time on me. I wore this to an all day event and had it on from 7 am to about 6 pm and it was still perfect! I was so impressed with this, no other foundation has ever lasted that well on my skin. I don't know if it "stays put for up to 25 hours" as they claim, but it does last a long time.

I don't wear foundation on a daily basis, but when I do I like it to be flawless but not cakey. The product has great coverage, it definitely is full coverage, and sits really nicely on the skin. I found that doing it in light layers is much better, as just throwing on such a heavy coverage will definitely look cakey and crease very quickly. I used an EcoTools brush designed for BB or CC creams and I find that is really helps to distribute the product and stop it from being so thick on the skin.

Overall this product really impressed me. At this price of €8.19 (Boots website) it is very affordable but great quality. I would definitely recommend the range to any oily/pale girls out there on the hunt for a cheaper alternative foundation.

If you have any suggestions of things you would like to see on the blog let me know in the comments, and also comment below if you have tried this product and what did you think?