Your Best You - My Trip to Dublin!

Last week I was invited to Dublin to take part in a photoshoot for a new style & image book called 'Your Best You'. The book comes from the team behind the Irish fashion programme 'Off the Rails'. The presenters of this RTE programme, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney were looking for Irish women of all shapes and sizes to come and have hair and make-up done and to give soundbites for the book...I didn't need to be asked twice! So at the ungodly hour of 6.30am, I got on the train at Central Station, Belfast...make-up free!


I used to live in Dublin so enjoyed taking in the sights again as it's been 3 years since I last visited. The picture of a certain Bank headquarters is for my ex-work colleagues. It used to be reason why I travelled to Dublin every week, so it was nice to walk past it this time!
It was a gorgeous day so I walked down to Ha'penny Bridge and through Temple Bar, bringing back memories of student shopping there way back in the early 90's. So many of the vintage and secondhand shops are now restaurants.

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Then I arrived at 'The Laundry', which is based in the old St. Kevin's Female School, off Camden Street, where the 'Off the Rails' team have their styling rooms. And look at the sight I was met with...every girl's dream!
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The previous day, the team had styled all the different body shapes for the book so the rails and rails of gorgeous clothing were still there. Unfortunately, ours was a head & shoulders shot so they were just there for us to admire, not to try on. 
By now, I had a partner in crime, the lovely Helen from Co. Clare so we had a great time looking through the shoes and outfits provided. During this time, we had the opportunity to have our bra size measured by Clodagh from Bramora, a Dublin based lingerie shop. Everyone had the wrong size on! I'll spare you the details but I have been wearing 3 cup sizes too small and two chest sizes too big all my life. The difference was astounding. I would never have thought wearing the right bra size would make such a difference - I have been converted!
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Brendan and Sonya, the Off the Rails presenters made us feel very welcome and we got to observe them planning for AW12 as they trawled through boxes of clothing during the morning. Then it was my turn to have my hair teased into shape by the lovely Kylie, make-up done by the team from Mac and then we were summoned for a group shot outdoors (unfortunately while my hair was still in clips - it's a look I guess!)
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And outside, Sonya & Brendan were kind enough to pose for a picture with me and we had a chat about the blog. Sonya even recorded an interview with me to include in the book. Exciting!
Finally, I was ready to be primped and preened for the final shot - this time by Zara from the hair team. I now appreciate how unreal celebrity and model photo shoots are. It's all about the hair, make-up, lighting and camera. I hardly recognised myself in the finished shot, which I'll share as soon as I get a copy - to prove the point!
Then I strutted my way down Grafton Street (very bouncy hair going on) and resisted the temptation to go into Brown Thomas to lust over the Louis Vuitton display, instead heading to Primark on O'Connell Street (oh, the contrast since my working days!) and then to the train back to Belfast, looking lots more groomed than on my earlier train trip..
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What an amazing day! Thanks to the Off The Rails team for pampering everyone and making us feel like supermodels for a few hours. The book is called 'Your Best You' and will be in the shops in September. I'll have a couple to give away on the blog at the this space!


  1. What a fab day A.v jealous but thrilled for you. You look gorgeous. Looking fwd to seeing the final photo!

  2. Lily21:45

    Wow, that's so exciting! And even with your hair in clips you look great - can't wait to see the final pic! Book sounds like an interesting read too, I'll have to pick up a copy.

    [Note to self: get bra size measured ;-)]

  3. Wow - this sounds like the perfect way to spend a day - getting pampered by experts ! Looking forward to seeing the book Avril.

    I'm now following you


  4. Congratulations Avril! Looks like you had an amazing day in Dublin! Laura has met Brendan through work and said he is hilarious!!I can't wait to see the book in September! Have a good week:)

  5. Catherine20:24

    How lovely! Looking forward to the pics!

  6. What a treat - you look great!

    Nic x

  7. That sounds like a fab day! I love Dublin and that sounds like a pretty much perfect day, what fun. Isn't that funny that you all were wearing the wrong sized bras! :)

  8. Looks like you had a gr8 day !


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