The Irish Girl Boss Series – Custom Vintage Dublin’s Ali Delaney.

“Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.” – Anne Klein.

 

Ali Delaney is the creative mastermind behind the Irish clothing company Custom Vintage Dublin (CVD) and at the age of just 22, has achieved remarkable success. Her designs are personalised, unique and ultra trendy – so much so that Ali has built up an impressive celebrity clientele. I mean, how many of us can say that Kylie Jenner has worn our own designs? Yes that’s right! Kylie along with other celebs such as Ireland Baldwin and Vogue Williams are all fans of CVD and, we have the Instagram pictures to prove it.

 

Kylie Jenner Custom Vintage Dublin

This week, as part of my “Irish Girl Boss Series”, I had the opportunity to interview the fabulous Ali and I cannot wait to share our chat with you. This lady will be taking over the world in no time at all!

Ali Delaney Custom Vintage Dublin

Can you tell us what inspired you to create Custom Vintage Dublin?

It all actually happened by accident – I didn’t set out to start up a business at all! I just started to make some denim shorts for my sister and my friends for festivals and other events. Once I had made a few pairs, I set up some social media accounts for CVD and it all kind of spiralled from there and it has been growing organically ever since!

I adore the fact that every piece designed by CVD is one-of-a-kind. When you were creating your company, how important was the ethos of the brand — the idea of self-love and individuality?

I always thought it was important to be allowed to be individual. And, with something as simple as denim shorts, it doesn’t take much to be a bit unique, allowing girls to be more involved in the design process. For example, choosing the length and cut of the shorts that they feel will work the best for their body shape gives the customer a sense of confidence, knowing that they won’t be too short or that they won’t feel conscious or uncomfortable in them! Equally, some girls prefer the super-short style and some might prefer a brightly coloured or patterned pair of shorts. It is so nice for them to be able to email back and forth with me, and this really allows me to get a feel for what they are looking for.

Custom Vintage Dublin

Photo credit: Image.ie

 

Often, it’s our flaws, blunders and setbacks that actually allow us to advance in life by altering our perspective. In your early days of working in the business world, what do you think was the most important mistake that you have learned from?

I am still learning from my mistakes to this day. I am not sure I can place a specific mistake or blunder but you definitely learn from experience. There is absolutely no way of predicting how things are going to go from the outset, so you really just need to take it as it comes and work with it, always moving forward. It is easy to make a small mistake and let it get you down but you’re only human at the end of the day and there is no “rule book” or set plan to follow, you just have to do your best and learn as you go!

 

Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

I definitely do! I follow and keep up to date with so many amazing Irish women in business through social media and every single one of them inspires me. When I go to events, for example the Cocoa Brown #KindGirlBoss Brunch last week, and get to meet all of these other women who run their own businesses and who go through the same struggles/highs and lows, it is so nice to get to have a chat with them and share ideas etc.

 

Do Not Disturb Hat CVD

“Statement Sun Hat”

 

In my opinion, Custom Vintage Dublin strives to reflect the state of mind of women who believe that fashion is a reflection of personality. What item of clothing do you own which you would say best describes your personality?

That is SUCH a hard one! I don’t think I could pick just one thing, but I LOVE shoes. Not designer shoes in particular or anything, but I always feel like shoes make or break an outfit and most of mine are a bit of a statement.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

Day to day I am SO casual! I work from my office in Dalkey alone most of the time so I am usually found in gym gear mid-week! Also, with the creative nature of the shorts and hats etc, where I am constantly around dye/bleach/glue/sewing machines, I would always be in something that I don’t mind if it gets too wrecked (although I did splash bleach all over a brand new jumper last week which I still haven’t gotten over). At the weekends, my style would either be quite casual (jeans/flats/top) or if I am going out for the evening, I love getting dressed up and have quite a polished style I would say, simple hair/makeup and a nicely tailored/fitted dress or skirt.

 

Custom Vintage Dublin Wanderlust Shorts

“Wanderlust Levi Shorts”

 

At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

At this very moment, I just got back from a long weekend down in my mobile home in Wexford, so it is bit messy. But, I have my phone charger, hairbrush, lip liner/lipstick/lip gloss (ALWAYS), purse and keys! Nothing too exciting!

 

My favourite item on the CVD website at the moment is the “Wanderlust World Map Print Levi Shorts”. If you were going to Marbella for a weekend break and could only take three favourite pieces from your current collection, what would you pick?

Oh this is a good one, I was in Marbella earlier in the summer! I would definitely bring a pair of the mirrored sunglasses. When I went in June I brought the Aqua “Fly” sunnies, one or two of the bikinis, probably the “Wine Crochet Bikini” and the “Blush Pink Bikini”, and finally I would bring a classic pair of Levis – I have a few pairs I have made for myself but I always leave them plain because I can never decide on anything. Spoilt for choice!

 

Crochet Bikini CVD Dublin

“Blush Pink Bikini”

 

What are your top entrepreneurship tips?

My top tips would be:

A) Not to overthink things, it is SO easy as a business owner, especially if you work for yourself/on your own, to OVER THINK things, this is so dangerous and can completely freak you out and halt your progress. Try and just take things as they come.

B) I have only learnt this after a few years, but try not to worry about what anyone ELSE is up to, just focus on yourself and your business, don’t be worrying about another businesses that might be copying you or that you might feel you need to compete with, just do you!

C) Say yes to every opportunity that comes in your direction. Again, this has taken me a few years to discover, but just try and say yes to as many things as possible – even it it throws you completely out of your comfort zone. I am still learning this one but it definitely helps!

 

For more information and a peak at Ali’s designs, you can visit the Custom Vintage Dublin website here.

And, if you enjoyed this piece, you can also read my interviews with “Irish Girl Bosses” Siobhan BoyleSuzie O’Neill and Julie Danz.

Let us know if you have any feedback in the comment section!

Rouge x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Irish Girl Boss Series – Sculpt Cosmetics’ Siobhan Boyle.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. – Coco Chanel.

Chanel, Nars, Clarins and Benefit – these are just a few of the international cosmetic brands that every Irish woman stockpiles into her beauty bag. Last week, I interviewed Suzie O’Neill, creator of AYU Make Up who illustrated to us that home grown, Irish beauty tools could be manufactured to equally as high a standard as their foreign counterparts so, what about make up itself?

 

Sculpt Cosmetics

Let me introduce Siobhan Boyle, the “girl boss” behind Sculpt Cosmetics. Sculpt is a diverse brand who offer everything from in salon services at the “Sculpt Studio” in Co. Donegal to professional training courses at the “Sculpt Academy” to the sale of a diverse range of products online and in store, including their own brand formulas. Sounds like an awful lot of work for one woman, doesn’t it? Well, this week, I caught up with Siobhan to find out how she manages to juggle it all – with a 7 month old baby to boot!

Siobhan Boyle Sculpt Cosmetics

  • What inspired you to create and develop Sculpt Cosmetics?

As a make up artist of 12 years, I felt that there was not a mid-range brand that focused on giving women what they needed. Most brands tell us what we want, they don’t actually help us figure out what suits us. It grew from there! I opened up a make up studio and began offering training courses, finding that the demand was huge! I started my first training course and I knew it would work. I had a really extensive training, make up and professional background in this industry – I am a qualified trainer and assessor. Then, I started with a cosmetics range. That took me a year to perfect. Now almost 4 years later, I have a training school offering professionally accredited (by VTCT) courses, full services and a full make up retail store. It really has been an amazing journey but we’re not finished yet. We are currently looking for the right premises to offer a stand alone retail store focusing on make up and beauty products – an Irish Sephora!

  • What does your typical day look like?

I will be honest, my life is crazy at the minute! I just married my husband, Barry, and we have a gorgeous baby, Gia, who is just 7 months old. We just moved into our new home and I am working full time! So I really don’t have typical day. I get up early with my baby girl Gia, the three of us have breakfast and then I start getting ready for work and getting Gia ready to go to her babysitter. Then, if I am not teaching my make up courses; I am in the studio and usually have clients for the majority of the day for make up, tanning, brows etc. I also do a lot of bridal make up and this is a much earlier start of about 6am and I always go to the brides venue to make it easier for her! Weddings are amazing to see from my side as an artist so I really enjoy those. Most weekdays, I teach night classes so I don’t get home until 10pm or after.
Sculpt is currently being transformed into a full-blown make up haven with my main focus set on turning our store into the ultimate make up boutique. I hope to make us the main shopping destination for make up junkies both online and offline, so I am am always researching the best stock for us and restocking. There is a lot of boring admin squeezed in everywhere too – not all make up is super glam! My job and lifestyle is tiring. So many people tell me I am crazy working how I do, but I love my work and the mixture of work I do – teaching, clients, retail and brides!

  • Sculpt provide numerous “Personal Make Up Courses” for women who wish to improve their make up techniques. Can you tell us what make up technique you have found the most difficult to master?

When I started out in make up 12 years ago, I really struggled with not perfecting things and gave myself a very hard time. However, I learned that with practise and great patience, you can become better. My first proper job was in TV. I worked for TG4 as a trainee artist and I struggled with my timing as we were always under time constraints on set. It was the best training I ever had – directors do not wait for trainee artists, so I had to get better and I did.

  • Do you take inspiration from other women in business and if so, who?

Oh, there are so many ladies that I admire. I am a huge Beyoncé fan. I am in awe of her rise to the very top of the world, from performing in local talent competitions. I also admire how private she is. In terms of the beauty industry, I have always loved Bobbi Brown. She started off her line of make up with just a few lipsticks and built an international brand based on enticing women to appreciate their own natural beauty! That is pretty amazing in my eyes. Marissa Carter is a huge Irish inspiration – she took the beauty and tanning industry on and rose to the top through hard work, knowledge and persistence!
In terms of bloggers, I absolutely respect the success of Suzanne Jackson (So Sue Me) and Joanne Larby (The Make Up Fairy) for showing that with self-belief, hard work and talent -anything is possible!

  • Who is your style/beauty hero?

I adore Victoria Beckham’s fashion. It is sleek, sophisticated and practical (at times). I like clean lines, block colours, black, whites and neutrals for work so I envy her wardrobe in a big way. There are so many talented make up artists out there, I love Paula Callan’s make up artistry style – she loves to see skin look like skin. Skin looking stunning is my make up philosophy, so her work is a huge inspiration for me. I believe if you can build a look based on flawless skin, then everything that follows is bonus. I can’t but mention Pat Mc Grath here as her MAC campaigns from the noughties are what inspired me to get into make up in the beginning! That whole “MAC mania” era from 2001 – 2004 was like an addiction for me. I would go to Dublin a few times a year and pick up the art work that accompanied their ad campaigns to try and recreate them! Those were the days of internet dial up in my house so I couldn’t access things as quickly as I can now! I remember my first few MAC eye shadows were bright and fabulous – “Electrical Eel”, a bright blue and “Chrome Yellow”!

  • At this very moment, what is in your handbag?

I have recently switched handbags to a bigger one to carry more bits – my other one was breaking! I have a large Longchamp tote so I can fit my laptop into it. Other than that; it holds my purse, keys, my notebook, pens, my make up bag and 7 lipstick & glosses (these are all nudes or pinks in a mixture of cream and matteformulas). I go through lip colour phases and I am in a nude phase now. Having my baby girl Gia means that I also have 2 dummies, a few bibs and a set of plastic rattle keys – all pink of course. My phone is usually in my hand so it never makes it into the bag!

  • If you could only take three of your own brand’s products to a desert island, which three products would you choose?

Oh god, just three?? I’d definitely have Sculpt’s “Great Lengths Mascara” – essential to open up your eyes. The “6 Well Powder Palette” which has contour, blush and highlighter in it – that on his a bit of a cheat! And, the final item would be the Sculpt “Oil-Free Foundation” to keep the shine at bay and give me gorgeous coverage. That question was the most difficult to answer!!

sculpt cosmetics foundation

  • If you could give your 16 year old self some beauty advice, what would you say?

Be more confident in yourself and your look, individuality is beautiful! I would of liked to have given myself more confidence in general and allowed myself to believe in my own creativity. I found school very focused on the straight route to college and career. I would have preferred exploring what I wanted to do or was good at doing!

  • With so many brands on the market at the moment, why should we choose to purchase Sculpt Cosmetics?

The beauty of my brand is that I truly won’t sell you anything you won’t use. I encourage clients to purchase what they actually need and what suits them, rather than what they think they need. This way, I build a relationship with my customers and people come back to me. I also built the brand based on what was missing from the Irish market. In Sculpt, we stock other brands as well as our own range. This allows you to browse various brands, should our own range not suit your needs. That is what really sets us apart from other beauty brands. We have various brands like Paese, Amazing Cosmetics, Flormar, Morphe, Dermalogica, Sleek, NYX, Sculpt, SOSU, Bellamianta Tan, theBalm and Lilly Lashes to name a few so if one thing doesn’t suit you then we can find something that will! We are constantly adding more and more brands so you have more choice.

  • Any tips for aspiring business women?

GO FOR IT! Look to others for support and guidance – you cannot do everything yourself and must take help and guidance in areas that you struggle in.

 

For more information on Sculpt Cosmetics, you can visit their website or Facebook.

Now, tell me. What do you think of the second post in our “Irish Girl Boss Series” and, who would you like to hear from next?

Rouge x

My Fall Favourites.

I was very kindly nominated by Sarah Jane of Siren and Soul to complete a list of questions about my fall favourites. I love these ‘ask and tag’ type posts because they give me a real opportunity to interact with other bloggers and our followers. Here goes:

Favourite Halloween Costume?

It took me awhile to hunt down this photograph. I once dressed up as Katy Perry and actually won €100 in my local nightclub. Granted, I probably spent that purchasing the sweets to super-glue on to the dress.

  

Favourite Candle?

I am obsessed with Yankee candles. They’re the only scented candles that produce a scent that lingers for a considerable amount of time. My favourite scents at the moment are from the ‘Out of Africa’ range – I’m loving ‘Serengeti Sunset’ in particular. It is a citrus and floral scent, perfect for Autumn.

  

Favourite Fall Movie?

I will admit that I am definitely not a film fanatic. But, ‘Dirty Dancing’ – always!

  

Favourite Lip Colour?

How can I pick just one? At the moment, I am loving Wet n Wild’s ‘Bare it All’. It retails at €1.99 and I find myself reaching for it more often than any of my high-end lipsticks.

  

Favourite Fall TV Show?

I love a good TV series so please leave any suggestions below. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is my favourite and ‘Gossip Girl’ will always have a place in my heart – mainly because Chuck Bass stole my entire heart!

  

Favourite Drink?

Is it too early for mulled wine? Never too early..

  

Favourite Thanksgiving Food?

There’s no Thanksgiving in Ireland but I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallow crust. Now I’m starving!

  

Favourite Blush?

The weather is getting chilly so the majority of us will be seeing a natural pinch in our cheeks pretty soon. For that reason, I will probably be sticking to cream formula blush – perhaps MeMeMe’s ‘Boho Balm’. You can find my full review here – this one is a handbag essential.
IMG_3542

Favourite Clothing Item?

I am MADLY in love with these boots from River Island. They’re €85 and worth every single cent. You can read more about them and view all my footwear picks for AW15 here.

  

Who I Tag? 

To continue the ‘Fall Favourites’ challenge – I want to nominate a few of my favourite bloggers. Check them out:

  1. The Pharmers Journal.
  2. Cool Rhubarb.
  3. The Fashionista Observer.
  4. Pure Irish Sugar.
  5. Shawna Beauty.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara.

As a beauty blogger, it’s not often that I come across a ‘Holy Grail’ product. For weeks now, I’ve been avoiding the allure of high-end mascara in the hope of finding a trustworthy ‘bargain buy’, but I’m sorry – I just can’t locate one. As a redhead, I have naturally invisible lashes so I need something show-stopping. I need volume, curl and length – is that too much to ask?


Apparently Lancome doesn’t think so. Meet my new best friend, ‘Grandiose’ mascara. This baby is just beautiful! With it’s “swan neck” wand it grabs lashes from the root, fanning them out, whilst creating divine volume. It is also pretty moisturising which is great if your lashes are in bad condition.

My pet peeve regarding mascara is that I seem to have an inability to coat my lower lashes without creating smudge similar to that made famous by Marilyn Manson. However, the ‘Grandiose’ wand simplifies the process (although it does take a little practice).

I have simply been wriggling the wand from root to tip (two coats) to create the illusion of full and even lashes. Be careful though, if you don’t ‘wriggle’, you will end up with clumpy lashes!

You’d like to see the proof for yourself you say? Well here you go:

Pretty impressive, huh? I know I won’t be letting this beauty escape from my make-up bag!

‘Grandiose’ retails at €30 which is very expensive but every now and then, you’re entitled to “treat yo self” – yes, I went there! I picked mine up in Arnotts, if you want to pop over to their website for more details.

What do you think? Would you be willing to spend €30 of your hard-earned cash on a ‘Holy Grail’ product?

Rouge x

Fab Fillies – Review.

Special occasions often prove difficult to prepare for. As a lover of the casual ‘jeans and tee’ look, I always struggle with accessorising and coordinating for glam affairs such as the races and weddings. We won’t even talk about the throwback that was my ‘Debs’. So, when a friend of mine spoke fondly of her visit to ‘Fab Fillies’, a Co.Cork based boutique specialising in accessories for special occasions, I was more than intrigued. Cue, stealing her purchases and trawling the internet to discover the boutique’s website.

‘Fab Fillies’ is a 100% Irish owned company brought to us by the fabulous Ellen Martin. Before opening the boutique, Ellen worked at the Cheltenham Races for years, witnessing many a ‘Ladies Day’ in her time. Therefore, it is safe to assume that she knows all there is to know about glamorous dressing. I’ve found that while preparing for an event like a wedding or dinner dance, purchasing the dress is the easy part. Then there’s jewellery, sashes, gloves, fascinators and handbags to think about!

‘Fab Fillies’ has you covered for every element described above. The friend who recommended the store to me spoke of how Ellen took the time to consult with her on her outfit choice, and made recommendations based on the information given. Check out some of the beautiful pieces she purchased:

I wore this gorgeous bracelet to ‘Ladies Day’ and the Dublin Horse Show and received numerous compliments on the piece.

And, what do you think of this brooch? Pretty ‘vintage glam’ isn’t it? Reminiscent of the style captured by elegant ladies like Audrey Hepburn, I love this purchase!

You will be delighted to hear that the prices of the accessories stocked by ‘Fab Fillies’ are generally very affordable, allowing you to add a little glitz to your outfit without the need to re-mortgage your home!

If you would like more information visit the ‘Fab Fillies’ website.

Let me know what you think – you know that I love your feedback!

Rouge x

Ladies Day at the Dublin Horse Show 2015 – Hair Fascinators by Michelle Foley.

I enjoy hats. And when one has filthy hair, that is a good accessory. -Julia Roberts.

Many of you will already know that I attended ‘Ladies Day’ at the Dublin Horse Show this year and thoroughly enjoyed the event. As a first time attendee, I didn’t know what to expect from the show but I was majorly impressed by the fantastic atmosphere. A day filled with fun, food and fashion? What more could a girl ask for? A few of you have asked that I share my outfit details and as ever, I aim to please.

  
One of my favourite shops at the moment is Ollie and Mac, a boutique based in Co. Meath. They have an excellent selection of elegant party-wear and from there I picked an irresistable tulle skirt in a lavender shade. I paired it with a simple cream, halterneck top from Topshop – similar can be found here.

  

However, the stand out piece of my outfit on the day was definitely the hat. Lots of you have been complimenting the design all week, and I’m delighted that you loved it as much as I did. The hat was a bespoke piece from Hair Fascinators, created by my favourite milliner of the moment, Michelle Foley. Taking the time to discuss ideas with me, Michelle focused on creating a hat which would accentuate my outfit. I highly recommend contacting Hair Fascinators if you need a hat for any occasion – I know that the A/W ‘wedding season’ is fast approaching!

  

Above are some more hats designed by Michelle, aren’t they exquisite?

Let me know what you think of the look, I would love your feedback!

Rouge x

Flormar Fabulous!

Ok, so anyone who is following me on Instagram or Twitter will know that I’ve become obsessed with Flormar, a brand who have just recently introduced themselves in Ireland. I’ve been posting little snippets of my favourites for weeks now, so today I’m going to share a full post reviewing my must-haves.

Bronzer

With contouring remaining a huge trend on the make-up scene, a good bronzer is an essential tool in any kit. Check out Flormar’s ‘Bronzing Powder Face and Body’. Those of us who don’t tan will know that finding the correct shade of bronzer is a tough task, unless you favour the oompa loompa look. However, this Flormar powder is available in a perfectly subtle shade for fair skinned folk – result! The RRP of the bronzer is €9.95 and because it is positively huge in size, the value for money is insane. I’ve been using the product by applying it to the hollows of my cheeks with an angled contouring brush.

Flormar Lip gloss
Next up, I am madly in love with the ‘Long Wearing Lip Gloss’ in the shade ‘Backstage’. When I first received this colour in a goodie bag, I was majorly apprehensive of the super bright shade. However, I quickly learned that the formula can be layered for desired colour intensity. At €5.95, I couldn’t walk past one of these glosses in a pharmacy without picking it up.
Flormar Primer
Finally, we have my favourite Flormar product. This ‘Illuminating Primer Make-Up Base’ is liquid gold. I’ve tested it for both day-time and night-time wear and love the results. The formula creates a smooth base for make-up application. It is super hydrating and evens out dry patches while retaining a mattifying effect on skin. The best part is that the primer ensures that make-up remains on the skin for an extended period of time, eliminating the need for foundation touch ups. At €9.95, this product will be replacing more high-end versions in my make-up kit.

Here’s a look at the three products discussed upon application:


Flormar products are available in selected pharmacies nationwide and online at Simplyfoxy.com. What do you think? Will you be purchasing?

Rouge x