Frowmos in fashion central
For a lover of make-up and fashion there is only one time to visit the city that never sleeps - New York Fashion Week
So I went to the city that never sleeps, hoping to get some sleep, having left my two babies under two at home.
What the hell was I thinking? New York fashion week was all about catwalk, backstage and frowmos - that's front-row moments - with everyone from fashion royalty like Anna Wintour to real royalty like Princess Beatrice, and fashion and beauty-obsessives like myself flocking there to glean fashion's next big thing.
First though, I dropped into the inaugural Ireland Fashion Showcase, held in the Consulate General of Ireland on Park Avenue, where 10 Irish designers including Fee G, Helen Steele and Carol Kennelly showcased key pieces from their new SS 2016 collections.
I bumped into darling Don O'Neill, Creative Director of Theia before skipping off for a late supper at Balthazar's, where model Helena Christensen sat beside us and complimented me on my Tim Ryan neon-coloured cardi.
Just doing my bit abroad for the Irish fashion industry, darling!
Next morning, it was time to devour the SS16 trends, both backstage and on the runways where the world's biggest designers debut their new collections.
The first show I attended was Wes Gordon's, where Princess Beatrice was seated right beside me.
Having hung out with her before at the birthday part of our mutual friend, hair stylist James Brown, we chatted away before the models took to the runway. They were made up by Dominique Samuel from Maybelline New York who created their no-fuss, fresh-faced beauty look accentuated by full brows - a welcome departure from the heavily contoured skin and painted lips that have been trending for the last few seasons. It was perfectly paired with the modern romantic feel of the collection.
Then it was on to Rebecca Minkoff's show, where once again I chatted to Princess Beatrice, joking that she was stalking me now.
A live band called the Borns, rocked the house while models in everything from floor-sweeping maxis to sexy shorts and plenty of fringing sashayed past me! The nails were amazing here as Rebecca, as well as being a fashion designer, is Essie's Global Colour Designer.
Next day, I went to Herve Leger's show, celebrating its 30th anniversary where, again I spotted plenty of stars in his iconic bandage dresses before cabbing it across town to see the Altuzarra show where actress Michelle Monaghan stood out from the crowd in an amazing red, tailored suit by the designer.
That night it was time for the show of the season, Alexander Wang's 10-year anniversary show where he was debuting his first menswear collection at a hangar on Pier 94 along the Hudson River.
The show was star-studded - Kanye West and his sister-in-law Kylie Jenner and rapper-boyfriend, Tyga, socialite Bella Hadid and her rapper boyfriend, The Weeknd, as well as Nicki Minaj, Mary J Blige and Lady Gaga, who did a selfie with me but I was so freaking excited, I never put my flash on my phone on! Selfiefail.
Day four of NYFW, and I was backstage at pistol-hot label Public School, the new dudes at DKNY, to see the make-up by Maybelline New York make-up artist Grace Lee before checking out Jonathan Simkhai's look led by Maybelline New York Global make-up artist, Yadim.
Having studied fashion at college myself, Diane von Furstenberg was always an inspiration so I was really looking forward to seeing her show.
It was great to get to chat with her as well as Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner, Lily Aldridge, Irina Shayk, Gigi and Bella Hadid and Jourdan Dunn before they took to the catwalk with shimmering blue, green eyes and flower adorned curly hair.
While in the frow, I spotted heiress Nicky Hilton, and model/TV star Karolina Kurkova rocking a baby bump as they admired the sexy chiffon maxis, prints galore, wrap dresses and nails dipped in Essie's au natural.
I didn't have time to change before the Prabal Gurung evening show, so I popped in my newly acquired - at Givenchy - nose ring and as I was leaving the show having had Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox tread on my toe, I stopped to adjust my shoe and a blonde girl loitering with what I now realise was her bodyguard waiting on their blacked-out SUV, casually said to me how much she liked my nose ring.
It was only Kylie Jenner and yes, she is unreal looking - all big lips and blonde hair and if that's really the cleavage she claims to create just from her Victoria's Secret bra, than I need one as well!
Then it was time for the Maybelline cocktail party to celebrate fashion week at the Rockefeller Centre, where I met Christy Turlington, whose husband Edward Burns's family hails from my neck of the woods, West Cork. We had a laugh and I gave her a few new Irishisms to go home to her hubby with.
By my last day I'd chatted to nearly everyone except my fashion hero Anna Wintour.
Now, you'd think having watched The Devil Wears Prada, like 237 times, that I'd know better than to ask the Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, and a self-confessed selfie-hater, for a photo but the urge was just too strong to resist!
I actually got a smile out of the renowned Ice Queen when I sat down next to her on the frow at the Carolina Herrera show at the Frick Collection, a renowned art museum, when I told her I'd matched my Essie nails to her outfit especially - a total lie - but it made her smirk regardless.
I thought I was settling in for a right old chin wag altogether with herself, Grace Codington and famed photographer Mario Testino when an officious looking girl with a clipboard and earpiece told me to shimmy back down the marble bench, where I was supposed to be sitting, as Penelope Cruz needed to be seated quickly as the show was about to begin.
So I reluctantly let her sit next to my NBF Anna.
The show was so sophisticated in the romantic surrounds of the rose-filled atrium. I spoke with Carolina herself beforehand and she said, "I always leave something for the imagination. Fashion is, after all, about fantasy" and that kind of sums up my NYFW.
SAY goodbye to contouring and matte skin, as glowy, iridescent skin is in, as seen at nearly all the shows. Sequins on skin is another trend I saw, as sequined eyebrows at Sally LaPointe featured while at Baja East, Yadim for Maybelline glued sequins onto the skin like freckles.
Keep a look out for fun pops of colour on the eyes in shimmery aquamarine greens and blues as seen at DVF and Jenny Packham.
The big word in nails is Ombre.
There were lots of 70s-inspired hairstyles like 'The Diane' at DVF which was inspired by how the designer herself wore her curly hair back in the 70s, adorned with flowers.
Braids are back, as seen at Herve Leger where plaits went over the forehead into a low ponytail.
Then there was the rope braid or 'power braid' as they called it at the Public School show.
The seventies is still the most fashionable era ruling the runways, as seen at DVF and Rebecca Minkoff where the hippie vibe flowed with floaty maxis and flared trousers.
Seventies-style trouser suits, as seen at Jenny Packham as well as trouser/ tunic combos as seen at Herve Leger was another look with retro vibes.
Flower power was in full bloom at Jenny Packham and Caroline Herrera.
Sunday Indo Living