Bank Holiday Spa Staycation: All the Stuff I Never Have Time To Do

4 Aug

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND… or rather, some of the stuff I never have time to do. It’s mainly those oils that get short shrift in the regime, which is a pity because I loooove oils and I love the deep moisturising kind of thing that they produce.

Let’s start from the left, though, just to keep everything organised.

The Clinique Sonic {which I pronounce in my head as ‘Sonique’, surely a missed opportunity for the marketing heads} has launched a Massage Treatment Applicator {€25} to go with their new Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask {€48} and I think it is just terrific. This new applicator, which is metal and was developed by dermatologists, feels like it is doing the work of those sorts of facials that inject serum into the skin. This wouldn’t have exactly that function, but using the Sonic to make sure that you’re getting the fullest benefit of the mask is a no-brainer: it gets the product deeper into your skin than your fingers can do.

The scent is gorgeous  and my skin looked fresh and vibrant, but the 50ml tub feels a little tiny, as I felt I used a little more product than I would under normal, non-vibrating-applicator circumstances, but that’s my only criticism < which, in fairness, isn’t negligible, but given the result, I think I can cope.

I am sucker for a cult product, and La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc {€10} certainly qualifies, with the number of women who have had to stock up on this whilst abroad can attest. I don’t suffer from blemish-prone skin, but I do like the odd pore-tightening {TWSS} and this toner promises to do just that. I found myself giving myself the odd spray every time I passed, and the refreshment was of the highest order. I’ve never really gotten into the ‘spray spring water on your face’ thing that has been made famous by other French spas — and the weather certainly hasn’t been roasting enough to encourage that practice — but I am so lazy with toning that I’m hoping I get into the habit with this. Dat price, tho: best value for a toner of any stripe.

I loved the results I got from label.m‘s Brightening Blonde range, and I have to say it may be replaced in my affections by their Honey & Oat line. The shampoo {€14.97} and conditioner {€18.64} are the bomb, although I do find that the conditioner doesn’t do the best job of making my tangle-y tresses easier to untangle. Luckily, the Treatment Mask does a better job, and I did a good job using it — I left it on for a good long while in the shower, and my hair felt like silk when I dried it. LABEL M HAIRLooked like it too, without any styling: just a good blast dry and brushing, and my highlights look rejuvenated as well. I’ll have to be using more of the conditioner than I’d like, perhaps, but I am very happy with this trio. And smelling like a delicious autumnal bowl of porridge is no bad thing, either.

Onto the oils! There’s nothing like applying a scented oil to a damp bod, but who has time for this in the normal run of a week? Not me, so I took advantage of allll the time at my disposal and lashed on Neom‘s new 3-in-1 Face, Body & Hair Oil {€43 RRP}. I tried the Daily Boost version, that comes infused with Wild Mint & Mandarin: On wet skin, a little goes a long way, and two days later, my pelt still feels nice and silky. I am wary of things that say they can go all over you, and haven’t been brave enough to try it on the hair, or the face, TBH.

I was more than happy to use No7‘s Youthful Replenishing Oil on my visage, obvs, and put this on fresh out of the shower as well. Loaded with rosehip and jojoba, and Vitamins C, E and A, I put some on before bed too, which I am sure is something that a beauty expert might caution against — one may get too much of a good thing, mightn’t one? — but I didn’t care. My face didn’t fall off, so.

Vichy Laboratoires have revamped their Pureté Thermale range, and I liked the look of the One Step Cleanser {€14.99} — although, again, not sure that using it to remove eye make up, the third element in the 3 in 1, would be something that I’d attempt. I hate creamy cleaners on my eyes. Otherwise, I found this very effective, even though I only used it once at the beginning of this whole process. It’s kind of scary how, even when you think you’ve done everything to cleanse your skin, there’s still pesky bits of foundation stuck in your pores. This did a good job of getting the leftovers off, and I’ll be bringing it into my usual schedule.

But now, it is the dreaded post-Bank Holiday Tuesday… once more into the breach, my friends!

***

You can find label.m on http://www.lookfantastic.com or on http://www.kaos.ie.

***

 

 

Dr Rescue to the… Rescue

21 Jul

I make no secret of the fact that my nails are manky: my nail beds are shallow, my cuticles grow like weeds, and now that splitting has entered to repertoire, they are simply hopeless. Can this new line of nail product from Maybelline make a difference?
DR RESCUE balm
I love the idea of a ‘lip’ balm for my cuticles and SOS Balm Nail + Cuticle Care is new one on me, and the promise to moisture brittle nails is one that I’m going to hold it to.
DR RESCUE the balm
The actual application is slightly awkward given the flat surface, which doesn’t glide as well as it ought. Applying some to a finger and transferring it to another finger is a fair enough solution, if slightly messy. After one round, though, my cuticles were shiny with health, so that makes up for the awk.
DR RESCUE all in one
There is a separate Gel Effect Base Coat which provides the look of lacquer and a CC Top Coat which helps to whiten and brighten the nails, but if I can do something All-In-One, that is always going to be my choice. This is a base, top and treatment and it’s the way I’m going to go.

At €5.99 for each, you can DIY your manicure for about the same price as you would in salon, if not cheaper. We’ll see how my manky nails and I get on!

***

Bourjois La Laque: New Shades for Summer 15

14 Jul

…and well into autumn, I’d say.

LA LAQUE

I used to love going into Woolworths {RIP} when I was a tween, and would stand and gaze at the rainbow of nail polish on display — back when there was Woolworths, and when there was no such thing a ‘tween’. This range inspires the same awe, and since I am rubbish at manicures, but have found a New York-style pedi right around the corner*, I’m going to go the full NYC vibe and bring along a colour of my own.

No idea where to start! I’ve got a teal-ish hue on my toes at the mo’, so I may go for one of the reds — or that orange! It’s probably the only way I can actually wear that colour. That burgundy and brown with definitely see action in September/October. I do wish there was a black/deep purple; fingers — or toes — crossed for A/W15…

***

€10.49/£6.49/$10.45

***

*New Yorki Nails on Upper Great Georges Street do a €30 pedi that includes dead skin-scraping and a calf massage!

***

NYC Fancy Dotty Nail Polish: Yes

13 Jul

Yes, it is fancy and dotty.
NYC FANCY DOTTY

Shown is Nolita’s Lolita; also available are Greenwich Goddess {white}, Park Slope Fairy {pink} and NY Lady {peach}. The peach is heavy on the yellow rather than orange, FYI.

It is also not the easiest to get off, so brace yourself for many, many cotton pads-worth of remover — but it lasts really well, even when lashed on with no base coat or top coat, even.

Cheap as, if not cheaper than chips, at €1.99, this is perfect for those us {me} who haven’t got great nails/patience/marigolds* — you’ll get a good long run out of one application, and they look fun. Also great for a quick accent nail!

***

 

Snap! Judgement: IsaDora Twist-Up Eye Gloss

7 Jul

On a bit of an IsaDora kick, it would appear. These are perfect timing, as I’ve been self-tanning.
ISADORA EYE GLOSS toobz
From left: Sun Bronze, Peachy and Nude Pearl. I thought they were lipglosses at first {love a good sparkly nude for the summer} but am happy enough to know they are for eye ornamentation.

And frankly, probs for a touch highlighting everywhere else, as well.
ISADORA EYE GLOSS swatch
That’s the same line up as above, from left. The editorial comment is thanks to the Twist-Up Metallic Eye Pen in Golden Khaki, which resisted being photographed. Maybe there is such a thing as too shiny.

Swatch me impressed! Really looking forward to taking them for a spin on the town…

***

Twist-Up Eye Glosses: €13.25
Twist-Up Metallic Eye Pen: €10.95

***

Snap! Judgement: IsaDora Volume Lash Styler Mascara

29 Jun

Oooh!
ISADORA mascara

ISADORA wandEh: it’s not much of a Snap! Judgement, which generally amounts to me reacting to a product as it is, fresh out of the package, but IsaDora’s Volume Lash Styler needed to be taken through its paces.

It is pretty impressive. That spiky little comb gets all up in your lashes, lifting and separating, and getting as much product onto them as quickly and efficiently as poss.

It usually takes several goes to achieve this look — I only did two coats (apply-dry-apply-dry) and got this result. As well, this formula didn’t get glommy and sticky at any stage.

When MUA Stephen Øien was in town presenting the brand’s summer looks, he said this was his favourite mascara —it’s now mine too!

***

€17.95

***

Beautyfull News: Clarins Paris, bliss, CND, The Body Shop, Botanics

23 Jun

CLARINS PARIS Mission Perfection Serum {€60}
***
I always love trying a new serum from Clarins, but this isn’t inspiring my adoration — not like the Double Serum did. Specifically targeted for age spots, BN 16 06discolouration and dullness, and redness, it doesn’t feel nearly as fluid as a serum ought, although the scent of the cherries is pleasant in the extreme. I’m using this at night, and dreaming about delicious fruit salad — JK, although I do feel like I’m dropping off more pleasantly than usual. We’ll see if it makes a difference to my skin.

bliss triple oxygen radiant protection energizing serum {€73}
*****
My very first facial ever, in life, was one of the Triple Oxygen persuasion in an actual bliss spa, in NYC. It. Was. Amazing. This? Is. Amazing. Too. It’s for anti-aging and smoothing fine lines, and is loaded with Vitamin C and cruciferous extract, which means maybe I can bin the kale? It feels like a teeny tiny face lift, about as good as you’re going to get without going under the knife: my skin feels markedly tighter every time I use it, which is first thing in the morning. Better than espresso!

CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner {€10.95}
****
CND are doing an incredible line in nail varnish, but this is my hero as far as the brand is concerned. Be prepared to undergo something of a healing crisis: once you begin daily use of this, your cuticles will start peeling and clearing up well within 24 hours. It takes some time to absorb, which is a good thing, unless like me you keep it by your keyboard so you’ll remember to use it. It gets all over the keys, even when I wait and think I’ve given it enough time to sink in. Nevertheless, the best thing ever for raggy, snaggly cuticles. You can get it on cloud10beauty.com.

THE BODY SHOP Virgin Mojito Bath & Body Limited Edition {€Various: €8.95-19.95}
****
A replication of the famous cocktail for your body, the line includes body sorbet, splash, butter and scrub, minus the alcohol, sadly — it is pretty delicious, even without the rum. I prefer the body butter to the sorbet — the latter feels very sticky to me. Love the scrub, and am in like with the body splash and hoping once we get to know one another better, we’ll really have something. In general: super fresh and invigorating, and it’s got a sort of old school vibe to the fragrance? It feels like high school, in the best possibly way.

BOTANICS Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm {€8.66}
***
I generally have mixed feelings about balms. As much I want to love them, the texture just seems terribly messy to me, unless I’m lolling in a bath and can sweat most if it off. Also, my bath only has a free-standing basin sink and the water just gets everywhere. This didn’t change my mind much: weirdly green in colour {probs from the olive oil in it}, the tub is very small {70mls}, and if I had been wearing a full face ‘o’ make-up, I think I would have made serious inroads into the product. It’s good for a first pass at the face, but I had to do another cleanse to feel really clean. I preferred this in the morning, as the scent is gentle yet invigorating.

***

Snap! Judgement: Scholl Velvet Smooth Intense Serum

22 Jun

Regular readers will know that I hate feet and think they are gross. My own espesh, probably because my aversion to appendages with toes means that I don’t take good care of my feet, so that they are even more gross. Part of it is that when I lived in NYC, it was as easy as walking down the street to find a deal on a mani/pedi {Monday-Wednesday, $20!}, and any randomer could do a decent if not excellent job scraping and moisturising.

I don’t even like touching my feet to put cream on, because of how long it takes for the product to sink in.

This just came in the post today — will Scholl’s Intense Serum be The Thing that will change my mind, and the aversion of a lifetime?
SCHOLL FOOT SERUM
It’s got Hylaluronic acid in it, for anti-aging, and green caviar — possibly mainly for the smell, because it smells green — and Pentavitin™, which is a skin bioactive that promotes deep hydration {THX Dr Google}. I can’t vouch for the first yet, but this serum definitely smells good and absorbs quickly. It’s also actually a serum:
SCHOLL THE ACTUAL SERUM
Well, I’d dispensed some, so of course couldn’t let it go to waste. It felt brilliant: it was invigorating on contact and just got better as I massaged it in. Because it all went so quickly, I had zero time to dwell on the ickiness of feet, and I gotta say, my hooves feel really good, even after just one application.

At €9.49, and for as little a bit that I used, I’m seeing excellent value in the offing. There’s also a new Express Pedi with Diamond Crystals {€49.99} and a Velvet Smooth Foot Soak {also €9.49}, if unlike me you are a foot enthusiast and can think of nothing nicer than spending quality time with your trotters. IDK, I may just go for it, squeams notwithstanding, and see can I mind my toes in my my own home…

***

Available where all good foot stuff is sold.

***

#sparklewithscholl

***

Elizabeth Arden Oxygen Blast Facial is Amazers

16 Jun

I know I say this every time I go to Arnott’s but: there is nothing like the buzz of a beauty hall. I adore the sounds of happy people mooching around looking at lipstick and the sight of all that product. Can’t help it, just love it.

That buzziness, though, is not perfectly ideal for a treatment — or it hasn’t been, until now. The Oxygen Blast Facial from Elizabeth Arden errs on the side of fast rather than pan-pipey zone-out, which is great, because it’s designed to get you in and out of the chair and on your glowy way in 20 minutes or less.

I got one the other day and it was fab. Having gone in barefaced, I nevertheless got a double cleanse, a tone, the blast of the mineral and seaweed extracts that serve to get deep into my cellular layers, and then the follow-up blast of oxygen. The latter two elements were applied with an airbrush, and my aesthetician Lauren made sure that every pore got a good dose of both.
THE AIRBRUSH
Apparently you can get this done over your existing make-up if you’re heading out on the town after work and want to look as though you’ve been lying around at your leisure all day. I kind of get it: after all, we’ve been told for years to use pressurised spa water to set our make-up. Lauren says it totally works, and I believe her.
THE AFTERCARE
Prevage Serum Quotidian and Anti-aging Triple Defense Shield Sunscreen SPF50 were applied after the treatment; I was only sorry I didn’t need to do my face, because my skin felt like new, and like it would be the best make up application ever. My pores felt nice and tight, and the overall glow was impressive indeed.

This is ideal for last-minute revitalising is you’re all made up, and perfect for the day before — even the day of! — a big occasion.

***

Elizabeth Arden’s Oxygen Blast Treatment is priced at €20 for approximately 15 minutes, redeemable against any Elizabeth Arden purchase. This is exclusive to Arnotts, and an appointment is necessary. Ring 01 805 0400.

***

I Try Before You Buy: Oils, From Top to Toe

15 Jun

Almost didn’t get the toes in — and it’s a bit of a push — but ‘top to middle’ just wasn’t doing it for me.

MATRIX Oil Wonders: Micro-Oil Shampoo & Conditioner, €12.50/each
****
I wasn’t sure that this was working for me, blonde {‘blonde’} that I am, and when I initially tried these, as argan oil always dulls down my fresh highlights. As my hair has evened out, however, this combo is perfect: for less than €30, you get salon-shiny hair and extreme manageability. Since my keratin treatment has run out, I am all about any S&C that can calm down the flyaways and the half-arsed waving that my hair does. Love these, but won’t be using them on newly ‘did’ hair, because of that pesky but beneficial argan oil.

SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo, €40
****
It took me a while to get used to the non-sudsy element involved in using this class of oil, but oh boy, this is good. I’ve used the Gentle Balancing Cleanser, and can’t see that this will any less effective: for those who suffer from dry hair and scalp, this promises to bring balance, and the right kind of moisture, to your locks. It’s infused with Neroli essential oil, which is such a useful and versatile oil and is the key ingredient that’s going to get to work on your scalp. One star off because a conditioner would be a nice accompaniment — IDK, my hair is just too tangly to do without one, despite this line making for such silky tresses…

CLINIQUE Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil, €39
*****
I’m using this at nighttime, and finding it to be terrific, brightening my complexion and adding loads of hydration — which is exactly what it promises to do. It absorbs quickly, so my pillow cases are safe, and I feel better every morning after the night before I used this: looking in the mirror first thing is actually quite fun as I notice improvement every time.

I TRY OILS

No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50
***
This is a little bit too oily for daytime, if you’re me and never give yourself enough minutes in the morning to allow something to fully absorb. So: good news in that this is so rich that it does take time to sink in, but bad news if you need to hit the ground running. I’ll use this at night, or on lazy days — oh, and a little bit truly goes a long way, half a drop does the business. Great value!

L’OCCITANE Immortelle Oil Make-up Remover, €26
****
Love a good oil as a makeup remover — there really is nothing like it. This has a gorgeous scent and it is very effective in its job. I find I prefer to use it in the morning, to wake up my skin and to remove the foundation that inevitably did not come off despite my relentless cleansing campaign. Would that be a thing of the past if I used this at night? Not so much: there’s nothing like the spray of the shower and good going over with my Clinique Sonic to do the job properly. Again, a little of this goes a long way, so it’s well worth the price tag.

LACURA Suncare Oil Spray, €3.99
**
This is where I got the toes in, which is a push because I don’t think my toes have seen the sun for about six years. Aldi’s spray has only got 15 SPF/UVB, which seems so 90s, but the texture of it perfect: silky, not sticky, just like it says on the bottle. There’s a top-note of alcohol (the rubbing kind, sadly) but it dries down to a delicious, tropical coconutty fragrance. Sure, at that price you can reapply with abandon, and might only need two for your hols, if you’re lucky with the weather.

JO MALONE Velvet Rose & Oud Dry Body Oil, €62
***
The scent is gorgeous: not too rosey, not too masculine, but the combination of the oud and the rose is rich and sexy. The spray bottle is unwieldy, and as many ways as I tried to get the most out of an application — whether by spraying all over myself without rubbing it in until I was done, or spraying into one hand and applying as I went along —  slippy hands made it hard work. The staying power makes it worth the struggle. #FirstWorldProblems.

***

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,316 other followers

%d bloggers like this: