Girl About Town

Beauty, Restaurant and Bar Reviews around Dublin City

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Cocktail Confessions in Harry’s, On The Green

I’ve said it before; and I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a cocktail snob (see: my review of The Blind Pig for context). This snobbiness comes with its own brand of judgement and dismissive comments such as “Oh, they “do” cocktails, do they? I’m sure…”

However, as 12 of us stood there, sipping a glass of gin, balsamic and basil we all agreed – we got this one wrong. We were quick to judge, had almost written it off before we came through the door – but Harry’s On The Green blew us away.

I was wrong, and I’m so glad I was.

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FitSpo No-Go

This is not going to make me very popular, but my stance is this – I don’t care if you’re promoting “health” or “fitness” or “strength”:

You Should Never Be Made Feel You’re Not Good Enough By Anyone Else’s Standards

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The Difference Between Writing and Blogging

GirlAboutTown is 1 year old this month. When it started I knew it would take a new direction from my previous blog, but it’s only in the last few weeks did I realise what the difference was to be.

I’ve realised that, for me, there’s a real difference between blogging and writing; in that they are two different styles, two different voices.

I didn’t necessarily set out to write reviews, I just wanted to write.  Yes, I love makeup, and skincare, and coffee, and when a restaurant serves up a great dish; but I didn’t start writing about that sort of stuff to review it – I wrote about it to share it.

I’ve always found joy in sharing news and information with others. I’ve always been that person who can’t wait to share what they heard about a new bar or is simply so excited about their new foundation they have to tell someone. For this reason I never liked the idea of disclaimers, because if I used something and I liked something I wanted to tell someone, my opinion was never for turning.

Over time, my sister and mother were getting tired of me telling them about “this great new cream that does x, y and z” – and so I started a blog.

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Grown Up Fun at Sophies

Growing older is inevitable, growing up – optional; said a wise person somewhere on the Internet. There’s something about Sophie’s, the rooftop eatery and late bar a-top Dublin’s newest boutique hotel, The Dean; that’s both sophisticated and childlike – that made me think of that phrase.

And I think that’s why I loved it so much.

Whether it’s pancakes for lunch or sitting on swings waiting for the lift; it’s a place of polar opposites. Old fashioned, modern, chic and childish. It strikes me as something of a Neverland.

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Why I Shouldn’t Have Been Afraid of my Mid-Twenties

Since I was 17, I have hated birthday. The build-up, the anticipation, the need for everything to go right, all the eyes and the attention are on you. Why? –  “Because it’s your birthday”. Let me tell you something. On any given day, it’s going to be someone’s birthday, somewhere. There’s no one day that’s more special than another. Except, one day a year you get to have the finite nature of humanity and mortality shoved in your face while those around you recount how many years you’ve been on this planet and liken it to milestones in history or lengthy prison sentences. Thanks guys.

I hate birthdays. Mainly because for many years I’ve hated the idea of aging. For about 3 weeks before and after a birthday, the very notion would send me into a whirlwind of anxiety and dread. Frankly, I didn’t want to have to think about it. I still don’t. And I’d appreciate if other people wouldn’t make such a big freaking deal about it.

However, now that the “big birthdays” (16, 18 and 21) are out of the way – for now, hello 30ths fast approaching, it’s become easier to let my birthday slip by with just a few texts from those with calendar reminders and a card or two from family members – now that my age is less of a deal, I can finally take the time to appreciate what it’s brought with it.

Yes, there were the girls in school who, at 17 and 18, seemed to have their sense of “self” all figured out. I didn’t. I spent years hovering, chopping, changing. Unsure. Experimenting. The phrase “late bloomer” springs to mind. It’s only when I stopped trying to cling on to “youth” so fervently did I realise the benefits those extra years had bore.

Now, at a nondescript 26, I can finally “do” my hair. Just about at least. I can now put on my makeup and actually be happy with it, feel like I know what I’m doing. I can get ready for a night out with more ease and less tears than in previous years. I can take a deep breath and get on with things rather than shut down and hide.

It’s empowering to feel like you can put yourself together, and feel like yourself at the end. Seems simple, but that’s a big ask to many of us, myself included. No-one can tell you how to be yourself, similarly no-one can tell you how long it should take to feel that way whether it comes naturally, or, like me, you spend the extra couple years … observing, we’ll say.

Could I have done that ten years ago, as a quivering, self-conscious 16 year old? Not likely. But, while I was worried about getting older, the rest of me was growing up – and it wasn’t so terrible after all.

The Extra Steps

I’m not the best at managing my time. Many days I’m running on the bare minimums. Cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise. Primer, foundation, concealer, mascara. Out the door.

Then there’s times I’ve got a little more time on my hands, and I can go beyond just the bare minimum and take a couple extra steps. Not completely necessary, and maybe they don’t make a hugely significant difference, but they’re a nice extra step. Even if I might be the only one who notices.

Here’s to the extra steps, and why we love them.

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My Best Brow Combo

I’ve spoken about my favourite Blonde Brow Products not long ago, but without decent brows to begin with you’re only going to get so far.

Brows can be a pretty personal thing, and rightly so. If eyes are the windows to the soul, these are the frames. So I’ve been salon-hopping for a while to find my favourite combo to keep my brows in check.

Let me introduce you to my current regime and why it’s deadly.

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Brasserie Sixty6 As A Vegetarian

I have a theory that meat-eaters are afraid of vegetarians. I guarantee you this, if you were to organise dinner I would not be the awkward guest. I will always find something to eat. I know far pickier, meat-eating, people.

Even in a steak house, there is a meat free option. But the real question is, is it any good?

Brasserie Sixty6 is a classic example of a meat-lover’s haven, and yet not long ago my fellow-veggy sister and I headed along for dinner, and guess what – we got along just fine.

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