Festive ’14: LUSH

17 Dec

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMASI’m going to be honest: I’m keeping Lush’s 12 Days Of Christmas for my very own self. It is full of the brand’s top seasonal offerings, and everything in there will last well into next year.

There are so so many stunningly packaged parcels on hand at your local Lush, quite literally something for everyone, all along the spectrum of price. It’s like the Beauty Division of Santa’s Workshop all up in there.

LUSH assortment

Amazing! I gotta say, though, that I am the ultimate fan I know of the Lush line, of their bath additives specifically — I wrote ‘addictives’ three times! — and I’ll put these to good use. If you know someone like me, then you will not go wrong with this one.

The box itself is gorge, and is shaped like a storybook. Here’s what’s inside.

LUSH 12 DAYS inside

Faves: top left, the Snow Angel Bath Melt; second row, all the way right, Hot Toddy Shower Gel; third row left, Golden Wonder Bath Bomb; third row all the way right, Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb; bottom right, Karma Soap.

I am willing to be beguiled by the others, which include Holly Golighty Bubble Bar (top right) and… all the rest.

Here’s to fragrant bathing in 2015!

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€64/£49.95/$99.95 << There are a few substitutions in the American box, FYI

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Festive ’14: Bulldog

16 Dec

I HEART THINGS IN TINS.
BULLDOG
I think dudes like tins, too? And you will A) like the Bulldog price point, which is a snip for all these full-sized samples; and B) love the results when your dude uses these.

I also heart the design of these tubes, as they are not black and silver. Now, there’s plenty of men’s products that come in black and silver that I adore {or: j’adore, as Chanel Allure Sport falls into the category}, but these are refreshingly white and clean, and won’t make your bath look like a James Bond film has exploded.

This is pretty much a clean, manly face in a bucket: serum, face wash, shave balm and moisturiser. The only thing wanting is the exfoliant, which is terrific — I know because I used it myself when the brand first landed on Irish shores.

There are other gifts to choose from, but this one is the best!

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Bulldog Limited Edition Expert Skincare Set, €25.50

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Festive ’14: Benefit

15 Dec

Love the look of this year’s gifts from Benefit, who do such a good line in same. BENEFIT
Clockwise from left: Fun-size Flirts, with handbag portions of the brand’s most-loved, best-selling cosmetics; Sweet Tintations, two pairs of the tint paris of lip balm and stain; and Cheeky Sweet Spot, for the gal who who can’t get enough of Benefit’s blushers, they are all here in one place.COMPLEXIONS GIFT SET

They’ve also got their b.right skincare all in one clever tin. Complexion Confections contains a POREfessional mini, an Instant Comeback Facial Serum mini, Triple Performing Facial Emulsion and It’s Potent Eye Cream. This particular set makes the best use of the tin it comes in, as some of the other sets don’t fill them as nicely as this one does. Love the tin just for itself, nothing like a good tin.

And here’s the full effect of all the gifts in one place, thanks to Debenhams.
BENE GIFTS
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Fun-size Flirts €43/£29.50
Sweet Tintations €29.50/£19.50
Cheeky Sweet Spot €43/£29.50
Complexion Confections €43/£39.50

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Festive ’14: A Boots Miscellany

12 Dec

‘Miscellany’ sounds so… miscellaneous, but I mean it in the best possible sense, because where else can you go to find a whole bunch of stuff that is beautifully packaged and priced for every level of necessity?
SOAP MOLTON L'OREAL

From left: Soap & Glory Kiss Much, €6.50, a lovely lip balm that comes in a bauble; speaking of baubles, Molton Brown’s offering is filled with Black Pepper soap, €12; and L’Oreal Professional’s Christmas Cracker Absolut Repair Lipidium, €8.49 has healthy sized samples of the hair treats inside.

I could have gone on and on — there is so much in Boots, including their own No 7 line, I could wander all daydreamy amidst their aisles for hours. Shopping for others, of course! {Uh huh.}

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Festive ’14: The Body Shop

8 Dec

BODY SHOP
Love the packaging and equally love the contents: The Body Shop have put together an assortment of vanilla brulée scented goodies, including the trend-setting body butter. This is Joy; you could equally choose Love (frosted cranberry) or Peace (glazed apple).

And what’s with the schoolbook vibe?

Bring harmony to the world with this inspiring Schoolbook of Joy. Proudly made by our Community Fair Trade supplier in Nepal, and full of some of the world’s finest ethically sourced ingredients, this gift has been hand-crafted in book-shaped packaging in honour of our Children in Education initiative with War Child.

I love the gifts that give and give!

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€23: includes body butter 50ml; shower gel 60ml; lip balm 20ml; heart soap 25g

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Thinking About Packing: Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

2 Dec

Only mumble mumble weeks ’til The Christmas, and I am already thinking about packing up the big bag on wheels. Unsurprisingly, I always end up taking loads of stuff, as per here, and yet find the whole grooming-situation-away-from-home to be unsatisfying. My skin almost hardly ever feels as shiny and clean as it does when I have all my stuff to choose from. I like having options, and in the interest of leaving space in the big bag for the fruits of two+ weeks in America, I try not to load up on too much product.

CLINIQUE SONICHowever! I think my skincare dreams have come true thanks to this cute little number.

Here is Clinique’s new Purifying Cleansing Brush. It powers itself up via USB, which is great for me as a standard Irish/UK plug wouldn’t suit me for travelling, and the little holder it sits in while it charges is no size a’tall. The thing itself is of no size a’tall as well, and yet it is as good a cleanse as any of the larger, heavier brushes I’ve tried in the past. Its slimline design makes it a much more attractive proposition to take along on the road — although I do wish there was some class of equally lightweight carry case. It’ll end up wrapped in a baggie, tucked into a pair of socks and then stuffed in a boot — I really am thinking about packing — but I wish it had something a little more protective to keep it in.

CLINIQUE SONIC 2
See! Just the right size, both for the hand and the bag. It does take some getting used to for sensitive skin, so it is advised to start with a quick but thorough 30 second cleanse, and building up from there. The white bristles take care of the cheeks, while the green ones are designed to do the business on the pesky T-zone. The cap has many big holes in it, allowing the brush to dry whilst keeping it safe from getting smashed. FOAMING SONIC SOAP

This has been on-counter for an age; I was waiting to write until I got me paws on the Foaming Sonic Facial Soap. This is a a cream, not a liquid, but thicker than your usual cream cleanser. It is hard to squeeze out of the tube, and the first time I used it, I erred on the side of more rather than less. It was an err for sure: you need less than a pea-sized amount to get the best out of it — maybe half a pea, or two-thirds. It is rich, and applies easily all over a damp face, and then it foams like a boss. I feel like I could use anything with the brush and it would be grand, but I like this best.

I keep pronouncing it ‘Clinque Sonique’ to myself. #lulz

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€89 for the brush, €22 for the soap!

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Festive ’14: Here We Go!

28 Nov

What few standards I have, I stick with, one being: no mention of The Christmas until after Thanksgiving. So Happy Black Friday, everyone: let the gift shopping begin.

FESTIVE 14!Let’s try that again: let the gift shopping begin!

I’ve got a load of ideas for lady-beauty prezzies, and even some stuff for dudes, that won’t tax your pocket or your brain. In the best possible sense, of course.

Gift packages have improved enormously over the past few years, and many of my favourite products are being presented beautifully this season. I’ve been shooting {‘shooting’} them this morning, and in a fit of meta-tasticness, above please find the pre-shoot non-styling.

I’ll have offerings from The Body Shop, Lush, Bulldog, Roger & Gallet and more, including some Guaranteed Irish products. Stay tuned!

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Right, FR.ed: Let’s See What You Said

24 Nov

Hey, this is fun! Thanks to The Perfume Society {www.perfumesociety.org}, you can use their clever fragrance editor, or FR.ed, for short, to figure out how to expand your vocabulary or scent — or possibly replace something long and lamentably gone.

It’s easy: Just type in your responses to the internet’s easiest form. I had a blast from the past and remembered how much I had loved Jil Sander from the 90s. It was, I thought, the only Jil Sander fragrance in the world, but no: there was a much longer list than I suspected possible. A quick Google, and I found that the EDP that I’m thinking of is No. 4. This perhaps points up the limitations in scent in duty free more than anything else, and also what’s available in Ireland.

FR.ed simple quiz

And I’m also presuming that anyone anywhere in the world still carries this particular perfume. Anyway! Let’s go.

FR.ed Jil results

Hmmm. I actually had some Boucheron and remember it to be much sweeter than I remember the Sander to be. Also, Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle seems a sweeter match than I would have thought… it doesn’t help, I suppose that I haven’t smelled the Sander in donkey’s.

I’m almost out of Coco by Chanel, which I haven’t worn in years. I noticed that it was almost gone and reckoned I may as well Use It All Up, and fell in love with it all over again. Here’s the results from this edit:
FR.ed Coco results

Cinnabar? Helllllloooo 1970s, hang on a sec, I’ve got some perfume that wants to talk to you. I’m interested in the Penhaligons simply because I haven’t ever tried anything from them — are they pricey? {Uh, whoops!} Eh. I can still buy the Coco, so no big deal.

Well, that was fun. I may try to see if I can actually get the original somewhere*, but if not, I think a visit to Macy’s ground floor goes on the holiday to-do list…

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Play with FR.ed here.

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* Hey hey! Sold! Heart you/hate you, internet!

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I Used It All Up: Buff Make-Up Camera Ready Primer

19 Nov

What does it take for a beauty journo/blogger to Use Something All Up? A really good product…

It’s that time of year.

BUFF MAKE UP PRIMER IUIAU

All gone

I didn’t even realise how often I was reaching for Buff Make-Up Camera Ready Primer until it turned up empty.

Unless someone was sneaking in here and using it behind my back.

What I loved about this was its clear appearance and its gel-like consistency: it provided the perfect base for foundation without adding any colour. It also felt feathery soft on application. Also! It did exactly what all primers are meant to do and minimised my pores and fine lines.

This will be missed.

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€26

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Love This: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Gloss + Rimmel Mascara

14 Nov

BURT'S BEES LIP GLOSS

This is Ruby Moon: it’s a gloss with all the pigmentation of a lippy. It is light as a feather and it sparkles. Need I say more? Oh, it’s a tenner.

Also: dem lashes? Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara, less than a tenner {€6.49}.

Just had to share.

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Edit: A rogue ‘This’ thanks to the not-terribly-good quick post function. Anyone else not in love with it?

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