Worth The Fuss? Batman & Harley Quinn

Worth The Fuss? Batman & Harley Quinn

When people ask me who my favourite comic book character is, I say Deadpool. But who was my first love? Batman. Honestly, I think I might ever prefer Batman over Deadpool – I KNOW. For years, I’ve always raced to the cinema to see the latest Batman flick and I’ve spent days tracking down the animated films online. In fact, I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve seen all Batman animated films. Even when I was wrapped up in the South Dublin world and rocking slouchy Abercrombie hoodies with knee high Uggs, DC Animated Universe was my guilty pleasure. While I can still be seen in the odd pair of Uggs, I’m more confident in my love for comic book films. So when a friend of mine invited me to see Batman & Harley Quinn after winning tickets from Big Bang Comics out in Dublin’s Dundrum Town Centre, you bet I said yes instantly.

When I first heard that Batman & Harley Quinn was being mad, I assumed that Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong would team up again. However, Tara wasn’t coming back. Instead it was The Big Bang‘s Melissa Rauch.

Before I dive into my thoughts, let me fill you in on what Batman & Harley Quinn is about. A global catastrophe is being set up by Harley’s best buddy Poison Ivy, who wants to turn the whole world into plants – plant people, plant cats, plant rats, plant EVERYTHING. Batman and Nightwing need to find a way to track down Ivy and her new partner in crime Jason Woodrue, aka The Floronic Man. And the best way to track down a gal? Find her best pal, Harls.

I was so excited to see this film, but as I was walking into the cinema I was worried. I walked into The Killing Joke, which was released in 2016, thinking it was going to be fantastic. While they did stick to the story, they added in a ridiculous sexual story between Batman and Batgirl. I was really hoping they wouldn’t do something so silly in Batman & Harley Quinn.

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Well, they kind of did. BUT it didn’t take over the whole film, like it did in The Killing Joke. Batman & Harley Quinn was a new storyline to fans, but The Killing Joke was a loved classic that, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been toyed around with so much. I’m all for adding your own creative flair to classic stories – but don’t add a silly sex story for the sake of being edgy! In Batman & Harley Quinn, there was no sex story. There was sex, but no story. It didn’t take over the plot but did add a comedic flair to elements of the film.

Throughout the film, there are some amazing moments. What really added to it was that the cinema was full of fans who laughed and cried at the same moments. DC know their audience and they know that the audience who went to see this film had grown up with Batman The Animated Series. There were so many sexual innuendos but also a few throwbacks to the not just TAS but to Batman from the 1960s. Honestly, I think they added in one whole scene just for the late, great Adam West.

I also have to mention Melissa voicing Harley. Not going to lie, it took me a while to get used to hearing her as one of my favourite DC women. That said, after her first few lines, I liked her. In one of her first scenes, Harley fights Nightwing is an epic and hilarious brawl. Hearing her voice go from gentle, calm Harley to screeching, angry Harley is impressive. As it is for anyone who takes on an iconic character, it’s not exactly easy. However, I miss Tara’s voice as Harley and am baffled as to why she was replaced. What went on during the production meeting? Was there a clash? Did DC just want to try something new? WHAT HAPPENED?

A tweet posted by Tara back in April is quite telling. She wrote, “Any actor says they’re happy being replaced is full of [sh*]. You put your [heart] into everything, but NEVER upset [at] new performers & truly wish ’em well.[sic]” Fans immediately suspected that she was talking about Melissa replacing her – and to be honest, I would be upset too. It’s clear she’s not upset at Melissa but at the situation. Tara has worked with Kevin on various Batman projects since 1997. Having originally voiced Batgirl, it wasn’t until 2011 when she first voiced Harley in the video game Batman: Arkham City.

But can Tara be annoyed by that she was “replaced”? That depends – if she was approached before the production and casting team asked Melissa, then no. If she wasn’t told jack, then yeah – I would be RAGING. When Tara took over from Arleen Sorkin, the original voice and the inspiration for Harley Quinn, Arleen praised her fellow DCAU actor. In an interview with Batman Online, Arleen said she was happy to be replaced by Tara. “Whenever I would work with her, I’d marvel at how talented she is,” she said.

Since it aired in cinemas for the film’s special one night showing, Tara has not commented on what she makes of Batman & Harley Quinn or if she’s even seen it. However, my man Kevin took to Twitter to say he was “really pleased that everyone seemed to get the comedy” they went for. And for sure, everyone in the cinema with us that night definitely got the comedy.

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So, was it worth the fuss? Honestly, yeah. Fair enough, I’m a little biased as I’m obsessed with Kevin Conroy, but I really did have such a good time watching the film. There were some cringey moments but wasn’t The Animated Series a little bit cringe too? I’m definitely going to be adding Batman & Harley Quinn to my movie collection.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the one night only showing of Batman & Harley Quinn, you can buy the film online now for €11.99 from iTunes or wait until August 25th to snag the DVD or Blu-Ray – some which come with a Harley Quinn figure!

batman harley nightwing kiss

These Harry Potter Liquid Lipsticks Are MAGICAL

These Harry Potter Liquid Lipsticks Are MAGICAL

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, no doubt you’re enchanted by anything to do with your favourite wizards and witches. You’re loyal to your house and sometimes spit out Petrificus Totalus before your sibling rats on you for taking the last biscuit (just me?) So when a new Harry Potter product launches, we get a little (a lot) excited. Thanks to stores like our own Penneys and the States’ Hot Topic selling Harry Potter clothing, cups and more, our Potter passion can literally be shown to the world. Now, you can rock a total Hogwarts look thanks to Storybook Cosmetics.

The beauty brand has hit the nail on the head time after time when it comes to creating fairytale makeup and tools. When they launched their eyeshadow palette, beautifully titled the Wizardry And Witchcraft Palette, the internet freaked out. The colours are stunning and their names are perfect – Charm, Broomstick, Potions and Jinx, just to name a few. Beauty guru Jeffrey Star reviewed the palette and was “shook” by how pigmented and long-lasting the shadows were. So you can imagine my joy in hearing that Storybook Cosmetics are now releasing four liquid lipsticks to match the palette!

Abracadabra 🔮 Wizardry & Witchcraft LIP EDITION! #Fall2017

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On their Instagram, they have shared a little teaser showing fans a look at their latest product. If their liquid lipsticks are anything like their eyeshadows, you can imagine just how beautifully pigmented these will be. There is no word yet what they will be call, but the shades are very similar to shades in the palette.

First in the photo they shared on Instagram is a bright red lipstick, like the shade Sorcerer. The vibrant green lipstick is quite similar to the shade potions from the palette. Next to that is a faint pink shade, which isn’t too far off Charm but has a hint of Prophecy to it as well. Last but not least is a fantastic blue shade, perhaps to go with the only blue shade in the palette, Merlin.

It's National Lipstick Day! Stay tuned we are working on a sale!!!

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However, Storybook already have a fab collection of liquid lipsticks if you can’t wait until the Wizardry And Witchcraft release. First there is Adventure, a bold gold metallic lipstick. Next there is Horror, a blood red that would be perfect for any creature of the night. Their pretty pink shade is Fantasy, a shade that would suit any princess or prince. Finally they have Romance, my personal favourite because of it’s dusty pink shade.

And if that isn’t enough, Storybook have revealed they are working towards a magical holiday boxed set! So be good this year and ask Santa for something really special – like these lipsticks.

Mean Girls Make-Up Brushes Are A THING

Mean Girls Make-Up Brushes Are A THING

Yes, you read that right – Mean Girl make-up brushes are actually a thing. The iconic movie is still one of the most loved films of the century and it’s quotes help me get through the day. Now, to transport me back to the beautiful 2000s, Mean Girls brushes are going to be available very soon!

These brushes are so fetch! And they are created by one of the most popular make-up brands this decade, Spectrum Collections. If you recognise this name, it’s probably because of their stunning and colourful mermaid-like brush collections – their Pearly Queen set is a personal favourite. However, I now have a new favourite – boo you, whore!

Spectrum shared a hilarious and wonderful video to debut their latest glam collection. Based off one of the most iconic scenes from Mean Girls, it was only fitting that pink was in abundance. The brushes feature the brand’s well-loved ombré style, pink fading into indigo. They are truly something special as each brush features a different Mean Girls quote.

The Mean Girls collection will be available on August 31st from Spectrum.

Psssst… How cute was their launch party by the way? Have a cheeky look below.

My Favourite Trailers From SDCC 2017

My Favourite Trailers From SDCC 2017

It’s one of the biggest events for any pop culture fan. Comics, films, tv shows and more – San Diego Comic Con is mecca for us comic book fans. Someday, I’ll fly over and get the chance to experience it.

But for now, I can enjoy all the dozens of trailers that have come out for upcoming films and tv shows. Last year, I listed my favourite trailers that were released and this year there are SO many more to pick from. Narrowing my choices down to ten in TV and then in film was really tough – there are just too many amazing shows and films. Have a gander at what I picked and let me know what trailer was your favourite!

TV Shows – Top 10

10. Star Trek: Discovery

One word: Klingons. I’m so EXCITED for Star Trek: Discovery to land on Netflix. While I slowly warmed up to the first two films, I’m seriously buzzed for the TV show. The visuals look amazing and the colour aesthetic draws me in instantly. Not only does star Trek: Discovery look exciting but it looks pretty terrifying. Unknown horrors in space? I don’t know about you, but I’ll most likely be shitting myself with fright.

It’s not known when Star Trek: Discovery will land on Netflix for Ireland and the UK, but most likely it will be around October 2017.

9. Westworld

Westworld season one had me hooked. I thought it was so interesting and was a great take on the original 1970s film. With the reminders from the last series still dotted around the theme park, the trailer begins with misery – death, struggle, more death. The second series’ story begins just after the first season’s end as the androids have taken over and are killing all who are against them. But will the be stopped?

Westworld returns to HBO in 2018.

8. Preacher

I’ve never actually watched Preacher – but now I’m going to binge it. Irish lass Ruth Negga stars as the strong Tulip O’Hare in the TV adaption of the comic book and she should be reason enough to watch Preacher. However, while the show isn’t a straight adaption of the book, the second trailer looks hilarious and very interesting. Hello, a deadpan German assassin in a snazzy white suit? I’m sold.

Preacher returns to AMC on July 14th, 2017.

7. Gotham

Since Gotham first aired, I’ve been a fan. I know many people have dropped out from watching it over the years but I’m still hooked. Batman was the first superhero I loved and Catwoman was the first villain I loved. So you can imagine how excited I am to see these characters finally appear in Gotham. The kids are growing up – a first kiss will now be a first fight as Selina becomes Catwoman and Bruce is Batman. There are also far more villains popping up, and, if the rumours are true, some favourites are coming back.

Gotham returns to Fox on September 28th, 2017.

6. American Horror Story

There wasn’t a whole lot in this teaser trailer – but perhaps a metaphor? A lone blue clown stands out a sea of red clowns, clones of each other. Is that a sacrifice in the middle? The seventh series is said to be based on the recent 2016 election, which resulted in a TV star becoming the United States President. One thing is for sure, as with all other series of American Horror Story, it’s going to be nice and creepy.

American Horror Story returns to FOX on September 5th, 2017.

5. Stranger Things

Stranger Things took over the world in 2016 – I don’t think I knew someone who hadn’t watched it. Most people I knew watched it in a week. This proves how gripping Stranger Things was. The mystery of where was the Upside Down and what happened to 11 had us hooked. Of course, we were very interested in where Barb went, which is said to be explained in season 2. But as this trailer shows, there are a lot more concerns coming to Hawkins. Will has returned but even more stranger things (lol) are happening in the town. Watch the trailer to see who returns to the show.

Stranger Things lands on Netflix on Halloween, October 31st 2017. What a perfect date!

4. Marvel’s The Defenders

Jessica Jones has teamed up with Iron Fist, Daredevil and her pal Luke Cage to fight the bad guys together. One bad guy in particular wants to tear Manhattan to the ground – Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver. She is training Elektra to destroy the city and fight against the new team of heroes. I’ve loved both Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, they’re two of my favourite Netflix shows. I also really enjoyed Luke Cage and Daredevil, so you can imagine how excited I am to see the whole team come together! Like in most other members of the Marvel family, there are plenty of cheap shots and jokes thrown around to keep us entertained during the madness and destruction. This will definitely be a show to binge watch when it’s released.

Marvel’s The Defenders lands on Netflix on August 18th, 2017.

3. Arrow

I love Arrow. I’m obsessed. Watching this trailer reminded me of how horrible the season finale of the last series was – Oliver on a boat with his son, facing off against Prometheus – and then everyone he loved dies. Half-way into the trailer, the badass starts. Arrow appears to be going back to it’s dark roots, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Arrow returns to The CW with season 6 on October 12th, 2017.

2. The Flash

My heart is breaking! The last season finale was a tough one to watch. There were so many shocking moments, I gasped far more than a fish out of water. The next season’s trailers shows how the group are dealing with Barry’s departure as they try to bring him back – and then they actually need to bring him back. Kid Flash and Vibe are not enough for their next victim. They need to bring The Flash back, they need him to defeat their next villain. But how will they bring him back? More importantly, how is Iris so chill?

The Flash returns to The CW on October 10th, 2017.

1. Riverdale

I’ve become obsessed with this show since I found it on Netflix. Riverdale has seriously gripped me. Like many others, I was familiar with the Archie comics and only last summer I read Afterlife with Archie written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, with art by Francesco Francavilla. I loved the spooky twist on it and went on to read the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, also written by Roberto. In the final episode of Riverdale season one, there were many witchy hints that perhaps the Spellmans might make an apperance in town. However, this trailer was dark – darker than the previous season was. Season 2 is going to revolve around who shot Fred Andrews as Archie prepares himself to be the next victim.

Riverdale will return to The CW in America and will air on Ireland and the UK’s Netflix in 2018.

 

Films – Top 10

10. Rocko’s Modern Life

This is one for all the 90s babies out there. Rocko’s Modern Life was one of my favourite shows growing up as a kid – and now he’s back! Just like Crash Bandicoot has been thrown into the 21st century, so has Rocko and his pals. They all have to adapt to modern culture in the 2000s as technology grows bigger and bigger each day. What I like the most about the trailer is that they have taken the piss out of our want for the next great iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. Maybe this TV film might make us reign in our technology obsession? Probably not.

Rocko’s Modern Life will air on Nickelodeon in 2018.

9. Jigsaw

He’s back! But how can that be? Didn’t he die? Isn’t he gone? Jigsaw’s trailer left me feeling very curious. I’m a sucker for gore horror films, and this one does not disappoint. A lot of cheesy jokes are made and it appears to be very gruesome. When it comes to films in the Saw franchise, not a lot can be said. It’s exactly what you expect it to be – blood, limbs flying, terror and more blood. But who is the revamped Jigsaw? Is he a copy cat or the real deal? Definitely on my list for 2017.

Jigsaw hits Irish cinemas on October 27th, 2017 – just in time for Halloween.

8. Pacific Ring: Uprising

Is this an ad for the new iPhone or something? I’m almost influenced to buy a Jaegar and take on the bad guys. The start of the trailer is very calm and almost majestic as a sooth voice tries to convince you to join the fight – but as the last ten seconds approach, the real awesomeness starts. I loved the first film and honestly, I can’t wait to see Uprising.

Pacific Ring: Uprising hits Irish cinemas on February 23rd, 2018.

7. Bright

Who doesn’t love a Will Smith movie? (We won’t mention El Suicide Squado) This time around, Will is returning to a role he best suits – a buddy cop. Bad Guys II is one of my favourite films to re-watch and Bright might be another one to add to the list. The jokes and the banter is typical Smith style and it’s one of the best plots I’ve heard of in a long time. An LAPD officer fights crime against humans and other worldly beings with an orc (yes, an orc) beside him as his partner. But when they discover a girl has stolen a magic wand, all hell breaks loose. What I really like about this film is the race divide – humans and other worlds. Smith’s department takes on an orc as part of their diversity hire to help break down the barrier between “them and us.” It’s a topic that is still hotly talked about, especially with the recent tragedies around the world today. I think this film will not only be hilarious but will also make us think about how we treat others.

Bright hits Netflix in December 2017.

6. The Shape Of Water

As with every Guillermo del Toro film, the visual aspects of this film are beautiful. As the trailer progressed, I became more and more intrigued. I’m obsessed with water and how graceful bodies can look as they move in it. I’m also scared of how scary water can be. This film’s trailer captures both the beauty and the terror of water. The Shape Of Water is a stunning story of a mute worker bonding with a water creature and how their relationship grows. Set during the Cold War, this film captures both the nostalgia of days gone by with the modern way of living with unknown wonders discovered every day.

The Shape Of Water hits Irish cinemas on December 8th, 2017.

 

5. The Lego Ninjago Movie

From the same hilarious team that made The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman movie, The Lego Ninjaho Movie is born. This film is definitely appealing to the younger market – but I’ve the mind of a 12-year-old so it’s right up my alley. I love how wonderfully cliché it is yet how hilarious some of the gags are.

The Lego Ninjago Movie hits Irish cinemas on October 13th, 2017.

4. Ready Player One

Okay, not going to lie, but I didn’t think this movie was going to be great. But this trailer proves me wrong – it’s a pop culture goldmine. From The Iron Giant to Freddy Kruger, there are so many loved (and feared) characters that we remember from our childhood. Stephen Spielberg has created a film that I think might be one of my favourites in 2018.

Ready Player One hits Irish cinemas on March 30th, 2018.

3. Deathnote

 

I only watched the anime series recently (I know, I’m a sham!) and I would say it’s in my top five anime’s I’ve ever watched. I found out shortly after I finished the show that they would be making a film adaption. Deathnote is, and probably will always be, one of the most well-known anime series in the world. So it was a no brainer that they would eventually turn it into a live-action film! Their choice to make it an English version instead of a Japanese made film did make me question what it would be like. However, from this trailer, I’m pretty pleased. I was most concerned about how they would show Ryuk – but with Willem Defoe voicing him, I knew he would bring the character to life. It almost takes away from Light’s badly dyed hair.

Deathnote lands on Netflix in Ireland and the UK on August 25th, 2017.

2. Justice League

Now with more Wonder Woman. But doesn’t she kick ass? Those moves. I like that there is a lot more of Cyborg, too, as he was one of my favourite DC characters as a kid. I really like how the well the music and the sound goes with the visuals. Basically, I LOVE this trailer. It shows more than ever before and is a lot darker (but with one or two jokes, of course). From this trailer and how well Wonder Woman did in cinemas, Marvel’s time is over and it’s now time for DC.

Justice League hits Irish cinemas on November 17th, 2017.

1. Thor: Ragnorak

I used to be a massive Iron Man fan – now I’m a huge fan of Thor. In this trailer, we can see just how funny he is and how his character has changed from the first film. Character development done right, guys, done so right. Another aspect of the trailer is the electric 80s music that is playing. With films like Guardians Of The Galaxy receiving such huge praise for it’s soundtrack, I would love to see more Marvel films do the same.  This trailer is exciting from the get go and leaves you wanting way more – exactly what a trailer should do. Also, Thor and Hulk’s conversation at the end is just gas.

Thor: Ragnorok hits Irish cinemas on October 27th, 2017.

My Irish Gin Wishlist

My Irish Gin Wishlist

I told you guys before that I’m taking my blog in a new direction and writing about what I know and love. What do I really love? Gin. All my friends know I’m a gin fanatic. I only ever had my first gin and tonic when I was 22 – but I’ve been hooked since. It was an old boyfriend who told me to first try it and now I’ve become obsessed. So if you want to blame someone for my gin snobbery, blame him!

I’m especially obsessed with Irish gin. Sure, I enjoy a Hendricks and Monkey 47 (when someone else buys it) but my favourite gin has to be Thin Gin. When I first learned of Thin Gin, I thought “Unreal! A gin with less calories, how cool!” Eh, WRONG. The name comes from the creator, Isaac Thin – a Jewish New Yorker who never planned to end up in Waterford. However, he did end up in Waterford and thank God for that because he created a tasty gin along the way. Thin’s history is quite interesting and you can find out more here – but we’re not here to talk about gins I already love.

We’re here to talk about Irish gins that I have always wanted to try and intrigue me. I think of gin like wine – it’s an acquired taste that you develop as you age. In a previous job, I’ve attended a wine tasting but I also got to attend Thin Gin’s launch in Dublin (which left me very merry.) I was a gin fan for two years by this stage but it was at the launch I made a bigger effort to look into gin and in particular gin in Ireland.

Almost every season there’s a new Irish gin launched and every time there is, I want to dive in. On my list there are a few well-known gins that you’ll be shocked to find out I haven’t sampled but there are also some new gins that I’m sure you’re also dying to try.

Special shout to Peter from Blackwater Distillery for a few extra nuggets of information that I’ve included in this post!

And of course drink responsibly!!

1. Gunpowder Irish Gin

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First up is Gunpowder Irish Gin. When I heard gunpowder, not going to lie but I thought “Like, for guns?” Yes, I’m a fool – but it’s from gunpowder green tea. I’m a huge green tea fan so when I found out this, it made me more intrigued. With eight botanicals slow distilled by hand in Medieval copper pot stills and four vapour infused botanicals including fresh grapefruit, Gunpowder have carefully crafted their recipe.

Hailing from Co. Leitrim, Gunpowder Irish Gin was created by PJ Rigney who travelled to familiar lands but also places off the beaten track. Through his travels, he ended up in the wild and unspoilt landscape of Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim and created this gin. I’ve been told that it’s delicious on the rocks but also like nectar when served with a simple tonic and cucumber.

2. Mór Irish Gin

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I was first introduced to Mór Irish Gin when Aaron Wall talked through different Irish gins on The Late Late Show earlier this year. Mór strives to create a “consistently excellent gin” and do so by using the simplest and purest flavours to craft a “bold gin” that’s “true to it’s botanical flavours.” As you can tell from my inverted commas, I’ve no idea if this is true but it won me over. It sounds like it has a distinct flavour that’s earthy.

Based in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Mór say that their home is more than just a setting but runs through their gin “just as the Slieve Bloom mountain does.” How beautiful does that sound? It’s a place I’m interested in now visiting because of that one line. When I do finally get to sample this gin, I hope I get to taste the green grass.

3. Blackwater No5 Irish Gin

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As you know, I’m in love with Thin Gin. Thin Gin is my favourite and there’s no arguing with that. So when I heard that Blackwater No5 Gin was distilled in Waterford, where Thin Gin’s story began, I knew it was going to be added to this list. Each batch of Blackwater No5 Gin is carefully made in their micro-distillery in small amounts from pure spirit, soft local water and fresh botanicals. Not only that, but it’s made surrounded by fresh air – which some say help give it that smooth flavour. On their website Blackwater say that they do everything by hand and eye, which takes longer but they insist that it’s worth it in the end.

Based in West Waterford, the scenic views is the perfect setting for gin making. Imaging waking up at the crack of dawn and seeing a beautiful green landscape in front of you? Actually, do you think I could take a holiday there and help them out? I promise I won’t steal all the gin (just most of it.)

4. Ha’penny Pot Still Gin

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Ha’penny Gin is a craft dry gin based on the iconic Ha’penny Bridge. They say that each botanical was specially selected and inspired by the Victorian Walled gardens of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. The botanicals they use include blackberries, lavender, geranium and dandelion flowers as well as traditional juniper and other popular gin ingredients. While I doubt I’ll be drinking this on the rocks, I’m definitely eager to try it with a tasty flavoured tonic.

Based in Kerry (not Dublin, I know!) the gin is named after the well-known bridge constructed in 1816. It was the first pedestrian link to the North and South to Dublin and to this day is marched across by hundreds of people every day. Ha’penny Gin’s label is also inspired from some of the design details found on the Victorian ironwork of the popular landmark – pretty cool, right?

5. Glendalough Dillisk Gin

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This is a newbie but a goodie (from what I’ve heard on the grapevine) (that would’ve been a great pun for a wine wishlist.) Lovin.ie praised Glendalough Dillisk Gin while it was on limited release but now it has hit the market and becoming a fast favourite. The seasonal gin is handcrafted using Dillisk seaweed. Like Irish weather, each seasonal gin is different. Thanks to our hormonal weather, this results in a unique taste every time because of the ever changing array of botanicals, berries and fruit.

Created in their Glendalough distillery, it’s part of their ‘Ginteresting’ releases. Right off the bat, I was won over by the bottle’s label design. It instantly made me think of holy water – but a tastier type of holy water. Each season, the distillers spend a week in the wild Wicklow countryside foraging for the freshest and most interesting local botanicals, berries and fruit. This handcrafted gin is sure to bring a different flavour each season – so I guess that means I have to keep trying it every new season.

6. Bertha’s Revenge

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What got my attention with this gin is the story – but first, the flavour. Their Irish milk gin is the one I’m keen on trying. Using whey alcohol from the local dairy farmers in Cork, where they’re based, along with their own natural well water and locally grown botanicals, they have created a very special gin.

But who is Bertha? She was a cow, and she was a fantastic cow at that. She was reared locally, and was bought as a calf by a farmer called Jerome O’Leary. When she passed away on New Year’s Eve 1993, just three months away from her 49th birthday, the Droimeann cow had become somewhat of a local celebrity in her hometown of Sneem, Co. Kerry. She gave birth to 39 calves and with this achievement, along with her age, she became famous the world over and earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. The team behind Bertha’s Revenge didn’t know the cow personally but a friend of theirs had stumbled upon her wake in the Blackwater Tavern on the day she passed and learned about her. So when they were thinking of a name for their gin, they “wanted to find something that was eye-catching, distinctive and that dove-tailed with the pedigree of what we are working with and what we have set out to achieve. The dairy farming heritage of Ballyvolane, our use of whey alcohol in the gin, and our shared love of the gorgeous and gentle characters that can be found only in Ireland led us back to Bertha.” And so, they immortalised her memory and brought her back in spirit (waits for laughs.)

7. Von Hallers Gin

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Alright guys, I’m not going to lie – I was drawn to Von Hallers Gin because of the bottle. Like Gunpowder, the bottle and label are just too pretty not to give this a go. That said, it also sounds pretty tasty. The slow-distilled gin has ingredients including ginger, lemon verbana, halleria and other traditional gin botanicals such as the basic bitch that is juniper (still a goodie though.)

Von Hallers is a collaborative product that takes German grown botanicals and then distills them at the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo in County Leitrim. Created by physicist, poet and botanist Albrecht Von Haller in 1736, the Göttingen botanical gardens he established still stand today and send their rarest botanicals to Ireland. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I can’t wait to have a taste.

8. Eglinton Gin

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Launched just over a year ago, Eglinton Gin has received high praise from people across Ireland. It has yet to hit the east of the country but no doubt it’ll stretch across soon. It’s distilled in small batches with delicate citrus and floral botanicals. The gin’s creators say their gin has a distinctly perfumed aroma with perfectly balanced citrus notes. That sounds just a little sexy to me, I’m sold.

Galway’s premier Irish gin, it’s sold exclusively at An Púcan on Forster Street – so obviously, a trip to the west is going to have to happen.

9. Echlinville Gin

echlinville

Echlinville Gin is Ireland’s first super-premium single estate pot still gin. That’s a mouthful but it basically means it’s the first high-quality Irish gin. For this reason alone, I’m interested. On their site, they claim that they “truly are producing spirit from field to glass.” Local botanicals including whin bush petals and Strangford Lough seaweed create flavours of the land and sea in this unique gin. You can enjoy Echlinville Gin neat or with elderflower tonic, lemon and mint.

The Echlinville Distillery became Northern Irelands first licensed distillery in over 125 years distilling its first spirit in 2013. They also create whiskey and offer tours in their distillery – again, I’ll need to make a trip out of Dublin to really make the most of tasting this gin.

10. Bonac 24 Gin

bonac 24

I’ve seen Irish celebs like Roz Purcell promoting this gin and, not going to lie, I was influenced (sure I told you before I’m easily influenced.) I then looked up more about Bonac 24 which made me more curious about this gin. It’s ingredients include juniper, angelica root, cassia, coriander, star anise, cardamom, cucumber, spearmint, pear, lemon, bergamot and curacao – all which are illustrated on their label’s botanical bird. The handcrafted gin is said to be expertly balanced, perfectly distilled and bottled with care.

The high quality gin is the first product from a new distillery established in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow. Father and son duo Michael and Gavin Clifford created their brand after years of discussion between the two on opening a hands on family business. The idea for the distillery came from a passion of Gavin’s and also his time spent working in the drinks industry in New York. After studying in college here in Ireland, Gavin emigrated to the United States where he saw an opportunity to turn a passion of his into a business. But where did the name come from? The father and son sampled many different recipes, but it was the 24th recipe that they agreed on – and so Bonac 24 was born.

And again, drink responsibly – read more on Drinkaware.ie.

Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

When it comes to The Avengers and the Justice League, I will always pick the Justice Leagure. Why? ‘Cause they’re badass but also because Wonder Woman is a huge role model for women all around the world. I love her because she is such a strong character inside and out. She embodies femininity and strength. MAC released a Wonder Woman collection a few years ago and I kick myself for not picking up a few bits.

However, with the new Wonder Woman film such a huge success, Maybelline are bringing out a brand new collection. At the moment, it’s only available in Italy but rumour has it that if it does well over there, it’ll be available in more countries. While Ireland was often overlooked, we’ve become a lot more popular for brands to branch out here. For example, Kat Von D wasn’t available in Ireland until 2016 when she brought her brand to Debenhams. She even flew over for the launch with her WHOLE make-up squad (who are all #makeupgoals.)

The collection will have a selection of matte lipsticks, Maybelline’s iconic Colossal Big Shot mascara and nail polishes – dreamy!

Beat The Burn This Summer

Beat The Burn This Summer

As a painfully white Irish person, I freckle like crazy and burn like a crisp in the sun. Normally when I’m on holidays, I just chill in the shade and lather on SPF 50 every day. However, at home in Dublin I’m not so careful. With the summer sun finally making an appearance, I’ve looked into the best way to take care of my skin before, during and after spending time in the sun.

Before

skincare

Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail. To keep your skin soft and smooth, you should moisturise your skin every day. in the morning and at night. The best way to protect your skin during the day without even think about it is to use a moisturiser with SPF. Even when it’s cloudy, there are still UV rays breaking through – yes, even when the sun is a distant memory. But who likes wearing sticky sun cream every day? Instead I use Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. It’s light, dries quickly and isn’t sticky. However it’s hard to track down so if you see a bottle, snap it up! I bought mine from Boots a little while ago but iHerb also sell it for €10.99.

If you can’t find a daily moisturiser with SPF, just be sure to invest in a good cream. The best way to get and maintain a tan is by having hydrated skin. I’m obsessed with body butters and especially love The Body Shop‘s almond milk and honey range. It’s just €20.95 and will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and ready to tan.

During

sun pool tan burn ring holiday

While you’re out in the sun, living it up, sun cream is your go to. There are so many options out there to protect your skin – from Liz Earle to Nivea to Penneys. But what SPF should you use? The American Academy of Dermatology say that dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Another report says that SPF 15 blocks 93% of the suns rays.

However, don’t think that products with the same SPF offer the same protection. You should also look out for UVA protection. But why? UVA forms the majority of UV light and contributes to skin ageing and the development of skin cancer, as it penetrates deeper into the skin. So you should make sure that the product you are buying is EU compliant against both UVA and UVB rays, while the SPF should vary depending on the UV levels and the amount of time you will be in sun.

But what about your tan? Does the higher the protection affect how dark your tan is? The simple answer is yes. Sun cream helps prevent sun burn but you will still tan, it will just take longer.

After

sun tan cream spf blonde happy sunset

Is there anything more painful that wearing a bra over your sun burn? To speed up that burn and stop it from peeling, invest in after-sun. Simple as. I use Garnier’s Ambre Solaire After Sun Moisturiser Gel because it’s so nice and cooling but I also use their spray for my back – because I’m no way that flexible, can barely slap on fake tan on my back! The aloe vera in the after sun will help cool your sunburn and speed up the recovery process.

A strange – but good tip – for sun burn is to invest in apple cider vinegar. I’m not saying lash it on your burn, that would be a back idea, but pour it into a hot water bath. Just add a cup or two to your bath and jump in. Make sure it’s diluted as vinegar can burn the skin if concentrated. But how does something I throw on my chips help sunburn? Vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of a burn. Bathing in apple cider vinegar has other benefits too, such as reducing body odour and provides relief to joint pain.

Most vinegars will work but for the best results look for raw, organic apple cider vinegar. I buy mine from Nourish and it’s €8.99 for almost a litre.