Archive | April, 2012

Ach, Me Head: How I Contrived to Look Well, Despite It

30 Apr

It is almost 3pm and I am only having my first coffee right this minute, which is … I can’t express how this is both a nightmare, because it is early afternoon, and also the most glorious moment in my life to date, because I am finally drinking the delicious, delicious coffee.

What happened was: wine taken, crashed at a pal’s house, which is a million miles away from my coffeepot, which wouldn’t be an issue because I am not friends with people would refuse to give me coffee — but my lift to the train station was leaving RIGHT THEN so I flung myself into the car, and flung myself out and then there was no train for an hour. No coffee, not even rubbish train station coffee. So I had a bag of cheese and onion crisps and a Coke, which both saddens {how old am I?} and thrills me {still crazy after all these years.*}

I hadn’t been prepared to wait for the first mug of life-giving coffffeeeeeee for two and half hours. However! I had been prepared to fling myself out the door of my friend’s house, so I packed what I consider to be the best morning-after-the-night-before products — well, I do now, because I managed to look youthful, not dreadful.

>L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream (€14.99/£9.99) I am digging this stuff all the way to the earth’s core. Flawless coverage, with just the correct degree of light reflecting qualities, so that you look radiant rather than sweaty from toxins seeping out of your pores.

> Also from this line, L’Oréal Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighting Pen (€12.99/£8.49) did an amazing job of covering up the dark circles, and because I was so delighted that I didn’t look like the dog’s dinner, I felt perkier.

> Eyebrows! So important! Especially as I was in no way going to bother with mascara. Clarins ‘Pro Pallette’ Eyebrow Kit (€39/£32.99) has everything you need to groom yourself awake and alive, but I’d leave the tweezers if you’re feeling a little blurry. I have gotten very bold about the impact of my brows, and use the black pigment (upper left).

>A swipe of Clarins Gloss Prodige in Papaya (€17/£15.50). I am hoping to test a pinkier version of this gloss, because it is indeed prodige.

>Finally, had to see to the The Hair, and brought along the Ojon™ Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray (€20/£18), which was fine; next time, I think I’ll take the Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39), to see how they compare. Here’s a pro tip if you’ve got long hair: I find it hard to really get the stuff on the roots, which is where it is most useful. Even flipping The Hair over doesn’t help. So! I kept the ponytail I had slept in {with? in? why is this taking so long to wriiiiiite} and pulled it up a bit and sprayed the dry shampoo right where I wanted it.

Hey, I thought that was genius. But then, I’m down several thousand brain cells at the mo’.

Sorry, no pictures, it was beyond my capacity. Do take my word that when I got home and looked in the mirror, I was surprised that I didn’t look like the walking dead, and owe it all to the above.

*Or at least not bothered to act my age.

Snap! Judgements: Clean Your Face and Smell Good

27 Apr

Among other things.

Snap! Ah, the sheer joy of opening up something from Chanel. It’s not just that the signature black-with-gold box is so evocative — I think it’s the little black velvet sleeve that everything comes in? It’s little a little tiny posh sleeping bag. After having enthused over the elegance of the packaging, I gave my face several well-placed swipes of the Luminous Bronzing Powder in Sable Beige (€42.70). It seems a bit… subtle, which is not my usual self-tanned-mode, but it takes more to be a Chanel Woman than simply having the stuff around the house. Am I up to it? Time will tell.

Snap! My supermodel thumbnail is threatening to get an agent. While she dithers, I gave her a dose of Sally Hansen Complete Care Extra Moisturizing 4-in-1 Treatment (€10.95). This claims to do all the things that my manky, manky nails need to demankify themselves. It’s meant to smooth the ridgeyness, strength ‘em, grow ‘em, and when applied as a top coat, protect ‘em, too. Initial application looks good, and the ridges have been noticeably minimised. I need to grow ‘em a bit before we move forward with this product.

Snap! Are you getting married? Aura by Swarovski Collection Mariage Eau de Toilette (€56) is really pretty. It looks pretty: very shiny and with a lacy detail, and the Swarovski crystal on top, oh wow! And it smells pretty: powdery, but not too light, it’s actually got a bit of a bite to it, like, ‘Okay, dude, I am pretty, but I am also fierce, in case you haven’t figured that out by now!’ I am imagine this little internal monologue happening just when the bride arrives at the altar, and the groom turns to her, and he picks up this thought psychically, which would be amazing. You light like to get this if you want to get married, and the dude who infers all the above and totally gets it, then he is the man for you.

Snap! The round gold thing is Maybelline 24 HR Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in Eternal Gold (€7.99). I love me some sparkly, and this is sparkly, and when I opened it and rubbed some on to the back of my hand, I thought: You know, I’d like to use this as a highlighter. And so I did! Blended some on the cheekbone area (because I don’t have discernable bone structure) and it worked. It was good on the lids as well, but I am looking forward to using this all over my face, like an escapee from Cirque du Soleil. Will get back to you re: 24 hours.

Snap! I just used this VOYA Cast Away Facial Wash (€26) in the shower, so I can’t really say at this juncture whether it effectively cleanses away all the make up and grime one applies and collects on one’s face (hopefully in that order!) It’s a nice soothing gel that feels cool, literally and figuratively. I felt it was a bit slippery, and almost lost the palmful of product down the drain. This is unique in my experience, and those prices, be careful!

Magical Amazingness: Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray

26 Apr

Once upon a time, I used a non-aerosol hairspray that will not be named. I used it because it absolutely froze my hair into submission. Like, I could walk out on a day like today {rainy/blowy, for all my foreign readers} and my skin would wobble like on that Memorex advert, but The Hair would not move. Which was the point.

But then, should anyone want to run his fingers through said coif, there’d probably be blood, because the hair was so crispy, it would cut a bitch. {Bastard? Eh.}

This was so many years ago, I would prefer not to say.

I would still like my hairstyle to have some hold, but I’d rather not look like I’ve had my head shellacked. I’d also prefer that the product actually smell lovely, which I think we might agree that one of the more popular hairsprays on the market does not. Also! I’d like a bit of body, too, please.

Is this too much to ask?!? Not if you’re talkin’ to Moroccanoil’s Luminous Hairspray. During the hair fashion show — at the Westbury, BTW, very fancy — this can of miraculousness was employed rather relentlessly by the stylists as they crafted each new hairdo. Hmmm, I thought, I bet their hair is going to break right in half. I mean, that was a lotta hairspray to be sprayin’ on  the same head, over and over.

When I got home, the first thing I did was shake up my sample of the product and — if you’ll excuse for a moment, I’m just gonna give my hair a little blast — ahhhhh. Wow. The typically delicious Moroccanoil scent meets a spray that is light yet strong, and if you direct it at the roots, you get a nice bounce without any gunk at all. Which is all a girl can ask for, really.

Oh! I didn’t ask for this, but you get shine, too! Magic!

€21/£16.65

Burt’s Bees and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

26 Apr

Yes, that makes sense, because whenever I see something like this…

… in my head, I exclaim ‘It’s cuuuuddddddddde!’.

It gets better!

Those are perfectly sized samples of all you’d need to be well-cleansed and moisturised all over your travellin’ bod.

From left:
>Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream
>Hand Salve
>Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion
>Beeswax Lip Balm
>Coconut Foot Cream

I can’t imagine a better way to treat yourself when you’re treating yourself to a holiday; this kit has got it all, and it’s utterly packable.

I think I’ll spend this dreary day dreaming about what I’ll pack in this wee case when next I hit the road. A sunny road, a road that leads to a beach and a lounge chair and cocktail. A frosty, fruity cocktail, that is on sale, three for the price of two…

Essential Burt’s Bees Kit is €16.95; case not included {sorrrreee ladiezzz!}

What Am I Waiting For?

25 Apr

The self-tans are rolling in, the bronzers are ready to be cracked open, and yet…

And yet, I hesitate. Mainly because I look out my window and see this:

I wish I had video on this blog {soon…} because the rate at which those trees are swaying, and the horizontality of the rain — it is inexpressible, really.

So I look at that and think, I’m supposed to be tanning?

And then one of the other parts of my brain/mind goes: Yeah, but, why not? A little bronze-goddessy-ness would be a great pick-you-up.

Maybe. See, for me, the whole tanning thing is located firmly in an immutable part of the year, and it is attached to specific actions: laying out, the ritualistic application of suntan lotion, being at the beach or the pool, being on holiday — it is the mark of actually having experienced actual sunshine.

Here in Ireland, tanning is an activity that we use to fool ourselves into thinking that the months from June to August signify a period of time in which the weather changes for the warmer and brighter, i.e. ‘summer’. Or, we just do it because we feel like it, or we’ve got a wedding or a christening to go to <— this is generally more for the people who are personally involved in those events, but not always; I’ve got a wedding to go to,  and I’m thinking I may go get a spray…

I cling to this notion that tanning is only for ‘summer’, but on a day like today, I’m thinking it might be time to throw off the conditioning of a lifetime.

Maybe I’ll start, and just do my legs… but it is really only April… halp.

F+F: At a Tesco Near You

25 Apr

I can’t afford to be snobby about me garments these days, and janie, half of my wardrobe has it provenance from Penneys — and the other half I got in the knickers department in Marks & Spencer, so what’s the problem?

I suspect that hard-core fashionistas will come over all sneery about shopping for gúnas in Tesco, but I saw all of the S/S 2012 F+F line in person, and they look like real clothes… they feel like real clothes… so therefore… Continue reading

Haiku Review: Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

24 Apr

Nope, no way in hell.
Putting cream on my dry hair!?
No way will it — oh.

Gotta love my open mind. Oh, yeah. Show me a product and my immediate reaction is, ‘Hey, that is great! I can’t wait to experiment with this thing that you are telling me is going to work a treat!’

Not so much — at least not where my hair is concerned. We all know by now that the hair {or, better, The Hair} is of primary importance, and a bad hair day is enough for me to hide under the bed, or even crazier, jump back in the shower and start over.

Last Sunday week, I attended a Moroccanoil fashion show. Again, as this fashion-y business is new business to me, so I was wondering how they do a hair fashion show? They do it like this:

Models model clothes and hair, and then stylists make changes to the hair using the sponsor’s products.

Now, Moroccanoil are the original creators of argan oil-based products, and continue to innovate. Their signature treatment can be perceived to be ‘the’ oil, the one that opened up the whole ‘let’s use oil on our hair’ market.

I love the way it smells, and using the oil as a pre-blow dry styling product is like weaving silk into the very core of each individual hair on your head.

But when the talk turned to the Hydrating Styling Cream, I was like to close my ears entirely.

That is a cream. And you’re telling me to put it on my dried hair? My hair that I have just put oil in, and let me tell you, how much risk was involved in that!

I even saw it in action, on the lovely tresses of representatives of the brand, and still I did not believe.

But I wanted to. Why? Who knows, except that anything that I can discover that gives me silky, lovely hair is to be sought. So I pumped out a dab, such a wee dab that it should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for Smallest Amount of Hair Product Ever Dispensed, and I smoothed it onto the ends.

Ooh. It was nice. It didn’t feel greasy, it didn’t weigh the hair down, and it smelled gorgeous.

Okay. Since I was just sitting around, and I wasn’t going anywhere that evening, I pumped up some more, and like a wild woman, applied it about halfway down the hair shaft and combed it through.

Oh, wow. Now, my hair on that day was second-day, unstyled, no dry shampoo — nothing special, not going-out-into-public hair, and I have to say, the cream gave it such a lift. I would never show you pictures of my hair in that state, so forget it. The thing is though, I felt like it revitalised the locks that had been going limp, and if pushed, I might have made a run to the corner shop for some buns, if I had to. I don’t think I can say any better than that.

You can of course use this on damp hair as well, and I’ll do that next. And see the can the model is holding, in the picture? That’s Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, and WAIT until I tell you about THAT.

€28.45/£22.85/$31; available in select salons.

What’s Right With This Picture?

24 Apr

Okay, so, this might feel a bit dodgy in terms of coming over all judge-y, but I have to remark on this. Having been invited to view F+F‘s spring/summer offerings, {available from Tesco} I came out of it with a nice overview of the range, which featured many a piece that appealed to me, and CD of images. I fired up the disc and began making selects: there were two models, and I kept going back to the dark-haired one, because I couldn’t figure out why I was so puzzled… Continue reading

Feel Fantastic, Literally: Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Gel-Cream

23 Apr

I can’t imagine what my pal was thinking: the other night, over tapas and wine and chats, I noticed that I kept stroking my own arm. Kind of the way you play with your hair? That kind of thing. I tried to stop, and at one stage I think I may have actually sat on my hands, because it felt so obvious. I’m blushing even now, remembering. But, in all honesty, I don’t know that I’ve ever had softer skin.

I received a bumper crop of Garnier products to try, one of which made it through the first edition of Snap! Judgements with flying colours {bronze-y ones, in fact.} I was very much attracted to this notion of gel-cream — how could it be both, and not one or the other? Surely that’s like calling a new fruit and apple-orange? Well, it kind of is both, it is a gelly cream/a creamy gel. It’s opaque, like a cream, and yet it applies and absorbs like a gel.

Which is great, but the thing I find about gels is that they can be a little tacky to the touch. This had only a teeny, tiny tack, and it just meant that I had to find something else to do for several minutes until it completely dried. Which is not so easy, if you’re me and probably running late for something, or not peaceful enough to stand around naked. {Are you peaceful enough to stand around naked? Are you a tree?}

All absorbed and ready to go, I went about my biz, until I found myself sitting at that table, stroking my arm like it was a puppy. Which is terrific news, really, because soft skin is so important to me it’s one of my most-used tags. If it’s a big deal for you, too, I suggest you check out this thing here. The ‘flavour’ I availed of was grape; it also comes in peach.

The 7 days thing? Eh, not sure about that, to be honest. The key ingredient here is L-Bifidus, which is ‘inspired by probiotics found in yoghurts, {and} acts as an effective moisture shield, optimising skin’s natural hydration reservoir and reinforcing skin’s protective barrier to long-lasting preserve hydration.’ I wouldn’t really expect to get a week’s worth out of one go, I mean, between the horses and the showering? Yeah, not really. But the thing about this is, unlike many moisturisers, this made my skin feel as good as it did in the moments following absorption. That’s pretty impressive!

€4.99/250ml; €7.49/400ml

Long Lashes Lady: An Update

23 Apr

Last week we heard from a reader whose lashes are so long, she can’t get them to look right.

She sent in some images: left, the lashes as bare as the day she was born, and right, some mascara.

I have the same sort of invisible lashes, that take on proportion only when dolled up, so I totally get where the Long Lashes Lady is coming from. It’s a matter of finding the correct mascara, I think, and trying out the suggestions I’d… suggested.

Even now, she is ‘fecking’ with the products I recommended, so more photos anon.

I mean, they don’t look that tangly and unmanageable, but I think that LLL will definitely see some improvement.If anybody’s got any other ideas, let us know!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 902 other followers

%d bloggers like this: