Archive | February, 2012

This Was Meant to Be an Upbeat Mum’s Day Post

29 Feb

BUT IT IS NOT. So Thomas Sabo Charm Club have a gorgeous solution for Mother’s Day: a silver necklace featuring several mummy-friendly charms. I was going to take a photo of my very own charm bracelet, which was given to me by darling friends for my birthday a few years ago. I have added to it since, with loads of horsey charms, and an Eiffel tower, and shells, and a dolphin, and a dragon…

BUT I CAN’T FIND IT.

You know how when you’ve left your purse somewhere, but you keep looking through your bag anyway, taking everything out and putting it back in, compulsively, until there is no getting around the fact that your purse is gone?

I would like to turn this flat upside down and shake it until my gorgeous bracelet falls out. Waaaaaaaaaa!

I am just sick about this. Completely desolated. Plus! I had it in a really, really cute little stripey jewellery box, also a product of Mr T Sabo, also missing! The box contained other bits of glitter, including one of those Sabo bracelets that are made out of semi-precious stones. This one was turquoise, and oh, darn! It had my crown charm on it!

Adding insult to injury, my epilator is among the missing, so now I will be charmless and whiskery.

And I broke my power shower cord today.

The wheel of fortune can only be about to carry me upwards.

Yeah, so: typically lovely work from the Sabo crowd. The necklace is sold separately, of course, so you may want to club up with your sibs if you’ve got ‘em. Take it from someone who knows, these charms are lovely and fun and everyone notices them.

I have nothing else to offer but this.

Best Mom Charm: €29; High Heel with Pearl Charm: €69. Available from Thomas Sabo counters Brown Thomas Cork, Clerys Dublin, House of Fraser Dundrum and independent jewellers nationwide.

HD Brows: In Which I Get the Eyebrows of My Dreams

28 Feb

‘Open your eyes.’

I opened them, to see two intent faces peering into mine. It was like that shot in a hospital TV show, from the POV of the trolley*: the surgeons are huddled over a patient, a patient that they have maybe just zapped back to life, and they are ensuring said patient’s consciousness. I wasn’t in A&E, and the two intent faces belonged to eyebrow artists; despite the lack of cardio machines or whatever, this was something of a crisis situation, and it was about to be resolved. Categorically.

That brow, there, that’s what I brought before Marissa Carter and Katie Fox at Carter Beauty {the other brow, not pictured, is, you know, the same.} That’s a manageable brow for me. I can lay on the brow enhancer, like Benefit’s Browzings, or Clarins’ Pro Palette, and sculpt a decent shape, and take attention away from the stray hairs.

Why not tweeze those strays, you ask? Because I cannot bear the tweezers, as wielded by me. My nose is itching just thinking about it, and my eyes are tearing up. This reaction is why I have been getting my eyebrows tended to, by professionals, since I was 13 years old.

That’s a lot of years between then and now, and I can say with conviction that nothing has ever approached the shaping of my brows with the focus that the HD Brows system brought to the treatment table.

The procedure is delineated in seven steps: assessment of the client’s face shape in order to design a brow to suit; tinting to even out the colour of the hair; waxing; threading; tweezing; trimming; finishing {< which entails soothing lotion and application of colour to cover any pinkness of skin, but this was the least painful eyebrow treatment I’ve ever gotten, and there was barely any reaction.}

During the assessment part, Katie used a thread to get ratios of distances between my nose and the outside of my brows, between my pupil and what would hopefully be the arch I’d always pined for. She attended to the specificities of my face the way I imagine the people who cleaned the Sistine Chapel attended to its restoration, but with less scaffolding.

It’s not as though the guts of the above are not fairly typical to a brow shaping treatment, but in this case, I’ve never experienced such a comprehensive use of all of the elements. By this I mean, it wasn’t like, slap on the wax and rip out the hair, zip-zip. Or the scrinch-scrinch-scrinch of threading, boom, you’re done. I suppose it’s not like that because the seven steps don’t come in rote order — both Marissa and Katie went back and forth between the steps, waxing, tweezing, threading, re-checking the plumb lines, and yes, peering down at me until they were satisfied that they had crafted the perfect brow for me and my face.

Okay, you’ve gotta see this now: Continue reading

It’s Leap Year, and You All Know What That Means: Reprised*

28 Feb

Right? You know what that means? If not, get this:

On the British isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, this is dubious, as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century.

Wha’? I don’t even — it’s an Irish thing? This is from Wikipedia; naturally, I took that with a grain of salt and went off a’googling. Now, it occurs to me that the internet is just a massive self-fulfilling prophecy, in that information is taken from one website and put in another, because where else are we going to get our information, and everything you see on a screen is true. Right? I don’t know, it just hit me, that this is so, and made me wonder about the things we think we know… I’ve always been easily led, but today is the day I question everything.

From about.com:

St. Bridget’s Complaint
It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.

Plus the whole Sadie Hawkins thing started in a comic strip? Really?

I didn’t really get Lush’s Leap Frog Bath Ballistic. I mean, he smelled fantastic, and was made of all of my fave essential oils: jasmine, neroli, ylang ylang, sandalwood and rose. < Seriously, all of them in one place, I couldn’t believe it. He looked to be a good size, one that would keep fizzing until he melted, rather than fizzling out. LOL.

The Leap Frog’s particular thing is that he comes with a special message inside. Now, let me tell ya, there is nothing like the promise of a secret thing inside another thing to get me going. Or a prize of some sort! Lucky Dip, Cracker Jacks, piñatas — holy wow, watch me go for it.

The special, secret message, though, has to do with being a female and popping the question to the male? I have no use for such a message at this stage, but: I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE FROG. And if I got the special, secret message that’s supposed to help you go about proposing {???} then I would put it aside for future use. Maybe. I already been married, sistuhs, so, you know, no big deal.

BUT I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE FROG. I needed a bath, anyway. Are you the kind of person who needs baths? I prefer showering for cleanliness, but need baths for relaxing and unwinding. So, into the bath I went, with the Frog, who was as fizzy and fragrant as promised and although this was a scenario designed to create the relaxing and the unwinding, I was completely focused on the disintegrating Frog, waiting for the SPECIAL MESSAGE.

When it appeared, I couldn’t read it anyway because I had the candles going and I didn’t have my glasses. Did not relax or unwind much because I COULDN’T READ the special message that I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR.

<This is what I got!

Okay! I am down with this! I actually had a dream a couple weeks ago about a dude called Robert! WILL THIS SPECIAL MESSAGE COME TRUE?!?!?!

€3.50/£2.95/No sign of this in the US

Are you superstitious? Don’t go here.

*I first posted this on 23 January — what was I thinking? I was thinking, ‘Hey, I get stuff from Lush all the time, and never seem to stay caught up with reviews.’ So there I was, being all efficient, and this got buried. So here it is again, a little over a month later. Still no sign of Prince Rob, *sob*.

Brightening and Re-Beautyfying, Stage One: HD Brows

27 Feb

What is it about eyebrow hair that makes it grow so silently? I mean, I’ll look down and go, ‘Oh, I better shave my legs,’ but something about the eyebrows always makes me go, ‘Whoa, I have to get my brows done!!!’ It’s not like I don’t see them every day. It’s weird.

Anyway, my brows are completely whoa, and frankly, they were easy to ignore this past week or so, but no more! I am off to go get the HD Brows treatment at Carter Beauty in Blackrock, and this is what they have to work with:

There are seven steps involved, and I’ll get into those when I write up the after post, but can I just say that there is tinting involved? Much excite.

Celebrity brows in 3…2…

How to be Bright & Beautyfull Whilst Moving House

27 Feb

Yeah, sorry, I have no idea. Continue reading

Haiku Review: Ógra 100% Peat Face and Body Mask

22 Feb

Deep black in the jar,
But not as thick as I wished.
{That’s What She Said; LOL.}

My thoughts are ordering themselves as bullet points:

>Excellent heft to the jar; the majority of Irish brands seem to cheap out on good packaging. Ógra lead the minority in making good choices re: design.

>Was surprised to reveal a liquidy kind of product. I guess I expected something more… muddy.

>I may have used more than someone else would, since I wanted my face to just be covered in peat, no skin showing.

>Eh, achieved that to a degree. Sat down, despite lack of glasses, and finished yesterday’s post, complete with skeereee photo of self with peat mask.

>Whilst proofing said post, the mask began to do its thing: its delicious, tingly thing, that as it dried, got just the right amount of tight — not so much that all the moisture was going to be sucked out of my skin, but just enough to feel like it is an active mask.

>It felt so good, that I wondered if I might keep it on for 2,500 years after all.

>Was strangely captivated by the way it dried: all crackly. Look how weird: one of my eyes totally looks bigger than the other.

I could probably look at my edit timeline to see how long I’ve had this working away, couldn’t be more than ten minutes at this stage — and I should really read the directions, should I remove this now? — and ooooh, baby, the tingles continue. It feels goooooood.

Also to hand, and what really ought to be the perfect follow up, is Ógra’s Nourishing Facial Moisturiser (€30). I took the unique route of  taking a bath to remove the mask — well, not just to remove the mask, I also needed to relax — and so I cannot report as to how much of a mess this may make in your sink*. As a rule, I give myself masks in the a.m. and then shower them off, ‘cos I hate the splash and mess otherwise.

I basically sweat this off. It felt a little grainy when I was washing away the hard-core hangers on, you know, the bits that are by your hairline? Just me? Otherwise, as far as I could feel, it wiped off easily.

The website pointed out that your skin may appear to be pinker than usual, and this down to an ion exchange {? Googled it; too sciencey} which draws the blood up to the surface of the skin. Given that there was a steamy bath involved, I may look dewier than I ought. Also, the lighting isn’t the greatest, but:

I wonder why I did that with my mouth. But: dewy! I let the, er, dew dry and then applied the moisturiser, which is a pleasing coffee ice cream-colour. It smells powdery, which I like, and it feels like the perfect complement to my newly de-peated complexion. I will quibble that it absorbed a smidge too quickly {that’s fancy beauty journo talk} but frankly, I was happy enough to apply another round.

What can I try next?! There’s a body exfoliator, which is a favourite category of mine, but really, I think next time I’ll do the whole bod and see how that works. Fewer pictures though — after all, this is a family blog.

Once again, the online store can be found here.

*I can report that it left some residue in the tub. Eh, no big, because my skin still feels great.

Irish for Youth: Preserve Your Looks with Peat

22 Feb

If there’s one thing about which I can wax lyrical, it’s the smell of burning peat. Out of all the places I have lived here, I’ve only enjoyed an open fireplace once, but I loved, loved, loved burning peat briquettes, and once, even got actual hand-harvested peat straight from a friend’s bog allotment. Or whatever it was called. There’s a special name for it, and I can’t remember.

What is peat, you ask? {Heathen!} It’s a really, really old by-product of decomposed vegetable matter. Which doesn’t sound very appealing, but trust me, once somebody digs it up — it’s mud, basically, but really complex and rich mud — and dries it out, it fires up like a dream, it smells delicious and homey, and it is one of the most relaxing fires to sit before, musing and dreaming.

Now, a company called Ógra {which is… Irish for youth} have brought out a skincare line that speaks to peat’s other amazing properties, that of preservation and healing.

Founded by Bill Kenny, the peat comes straight from the heart of Ireland in  Co Offaly, and has been incorporated across a range that includes all the usual suspects of cleanser, toner, moisturiser, eye, and body cream. For me, though, I am all about cracking into the face mask: not only because of the opportunity to take a scary picture, but also because being able to sit back and relax and let all the peaty benefits sink into my skin over a period of time — well, how relaxing does that sound? Plus, look! It’s a body mask as well! I think I am going to go run a bath…

Before peat is dried out for use in our hearths, the stuff is bursting with essential oils, fatty acids and lipods, all of which help the skin retain moisture, which in turn makes the skin look bloomin’ youthful.

And of course, we all know about the preservative qualities of peat, don’t we?

I don’t plan on keeping this on that long.

And since I need my glasses to type, I’ll catch you up on my opinion later.

Ógra 100% Peat Face and Body Mask, €30.00 (50mls).

The online store can be found here.

Where’d I Put My Serenity?

21 Feb

Just had a trawl through my post history, hoping that I had already written something that I’d forgotten publish… no such luck…

Hmmm, let’s talk about stress. Continue reading

An Ojon Hair Care Extravaganza

20 Feb

Oh, man, I hate moving house.

I’m signing a new lease tomorrow, and I’ve been purging and packing for days. Every time I get up to do something, I end up doing something else, either throwing something random into the rubbish, or re-opening a box I’ve already packed to see if I really need to take that — what ever it is — with me to the next place…

In the spirit of this disordered thinking, I decided to do a hair treatment, because, why not have beautiful hair in the midst of the madness? Continue reading

Day Cream v Night Cream: Ah Ha!

17 Feb

Sometimes the stars align, and synchronicity engages, and you’ve just blogged about something, and then you go to a presentation that very evening, and the expert lady addresses the very issue that you had been pondering!

Or: the issue is a fairly common talking point, so NBD.

Either way, on the evening of the day that I had posted this, I went to the Dylan Hotel for a presentation hosted by Dermalogica, and given by Sally Penford of the International Dermal Institute. Sally is an independent skin professional, so wasn’t there to flog the brand {which hardly needs flogging, in fairness} but to address several common assumptions one makes about skin care and the use of product.

Imagine my surprise when we got to the question regarding whether or not everyone should use a night cream. And the answer is… Continue reading

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