Quality Over Quantity: How To Shop

Quality Over Quantity: How To Shop

One of my favourite pick-me-ups is buying myself a little treat – if it’s a candle from Dunnes Stores or a new Lipstick from MAC, that something new brightens my day and my mood. However, there are some things that you really need to consider before splurging on a new coat or pair of shoes.

When thinking about a luxury piece, such as a designer good or high-price item, you really need to ask yourself, “Is this luxury necessary?” In world when influencers are promoting everything from pens to penthouses, we are constantly bombarded with things nearly every hour of the day. Personally, I screenshot clothes or household pieces at least three times in a day from Instagram alone – I always think that I’ll find somewhere for it in my growing collection of shite. But more often than not I don’t actually go out and even sample anything unless a strong review is posted, especially when it comes to beauty products.

Having worked in luxury retail, I’m a bit more cautious about what I buy because I’m familiar with almost every reason to buy something and every reason why not to buy something. When shopping, I ask myself a variety of questions but there are three that I always ask myself before buying – I call them the trusty three.


1. Can I afford this? Most people have budgets – you have to factor in your basics (food, fake tan if you’re me) and then a few little bits that you may need (make-up, hair spray, tampons apparently). At the end of the week’s budget, you might see that you’ve a bit of extra cash left over. For me, I either spend this on a tasty spicebag or save for a future splurge I haven’t yet planned, like a holiday or something designer. So when I find a delicious top in the Last Chance To Shop rail, high street or luxury, I stop and think, “First of all, do I have the cash to spare?” If I do, I try it on and see how it looks.


2. Can I see myself wearing this again? This is something that really makes or breaks a purchase for me. Sure, the dress may make you look fab in the fitting room mirror and it goes great with your casual look – but can you wear it on a night out? Is it versatile? And most importantly of all, does it suit more than at least two outfits? If your answers are yes, then you need to think about the really important question…


3. Do I really need this? When I first started working and didn’t have any worries about rent, bills or savings, I would literally shop until I dropped (tight shoes are not making for shopping.) Because of this, I’ve had to give so many unworn pieces to charity shops and some I sold on Depop – the amount that still had tags on them shock me, how wasteful! Now, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m a sucker for a black tank top and generally stock up when in Penneys because I use them so much – but when I have four in my wardrobe already and they’re available all year, do I really need to buy another four? Truth be told, I do end up buying one (they’re โ‚ฌ2.50, can’t go wrong) but it’s a totally different story when I’m buying luxury items. While scouting the higher-priced goods, like a winter coat or a leather wallet, this is when this question really matters. Like most women, I have a thing for bags – so when I’m faced with a Marc Jacobs bag that’s the exact same as another bag I have, I almost always say to myself, “You don’t need this.” And just like that, I can afford 35 spicebags.


Can Laptop Light Can Damage Your Skin?

Can Laptop Light Can Damage Your Skin?

When I started working in an office and faced a laptop and desktops a lot more, I noticed my skin had become a little grey. Now that I’ve gone back to retail and spring is coming, I’m upping my skincare routine. However, I’ve really noticed how dull my face has become – it’s definitely not as fresh and bright as it was last spring. Because of this, I’ve been trying various face masks and tricks to add more life to my skin. However, I remembered that when I was younger my mother warned me of playing The Sims for too long, and not because of going “square eyed” but because how it can damage my skin.

As soon as I remembered this, I jumped on my laptop to research how the bright lights from computer screens can damage skin. It turns out that a laptop’s light was quite bad for your skin – but now it’s not as bad.


Marie Claire beauty editor Lauren Valenti wrote a pretty interesting article on how “computer face” can come about. The light from a computer screen can cause premature ageing because they emit UV radiation – so crows feet and frown lines can occur quicker. The good news is that if you have bought a laptop in the last decade, this won’t be a massive problem for your skin because most screens are either LED or LCD, which do not emit harmful rays. But if you work in front of a desktop or own a laptop from the 2000s or even the 1990s (well done if you actually still work on a laptop or desktop from the Zac Morris decade), then it can cause problems.

As it is 2017, it’s more than likely that you do own a laptop from the last decade but if you work in front of a desktop at work or in college, then you need to be careful because some can emit UV radiation.ย Even small amounts of daily radiation will not only makeย a light-sensitive condition worse, but also speed up skin-ageing.

So how do we prevent this? Simply invest in anย anti-glare screen cover for your computer to block the harmful rays. Or work from a laptop from at least 2011.

Something else that you need to do everyday, desktop or not, is to wear a sunscreen daily. I know in Ireland we’re pretty relaxed about this but if you’re not going to wear a sunscreen on your face during the winter, do invest in a foundation or daily moisturiser with SPF. For foundation, I love Bobbi Brown’s Moisture Rich Foundation with SPF 15. I also like using Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish for day-to-day make-up.

The Geek Is Back

The Geek Is Back

It has been SUCH a long while since I last wrote on my blog, and it’s because I literally had no idea what to write about – I hit a wall. So I’m changing things up and going back to what I’m passionate about, which is not only beauty but my home city of Dublin and what goes on here – from festivals to food to the history of it and everything in between.

When I first started a The Sapphire Geek, I had planned to write about my cosplay journey and learning about SFX make-up. However, I quickly found out that having an Instagram is a far better way to show off my looks (follow me HERE.)

But before The Sapphire Geek, I had a blog called Scabby Student that brought forward fun yet cheap things in Dublin for students on a budget – and I want to include those fun aspects into this blog.

With this new direction of the blog, I’m going to be changing around the format of my page – so don’t be surprised if it changes once every half hour in the space of two hours because I’m still testing things out. I just want to get my writing out there so push myself!

So what can you expect from my blog from now on?

There will still be loads on beauty, cosplay and geeky stuff but also expect write-ups on places to check out in Dublin, fun Irish history and much more. Basically, when I’m not writing about beauty or geeky stuff, my posts will be about Ireland – specifically Dublin.

Hopefully with this change you’ll get a better idea of who I am, what I’m passionate about and it will allow me to actually write about stuff I like – such as doughnuts, gin and other wonderful things.

To keep up with what I’m posting and writing about, be sure to follow my Facebook and Twitter.