Archive | June, 2012

THIS: Rhinestone Skull Clutch Bag from beautycouture.ie

29 Jun

I love skulls.

Sparkly skulls? They just knock the love right out of the park. Oops, a baseball-y phrase. Or: kicks the love into touch. For all you Anitpodean/European rugby types.

This is the Rhinestone Skull Clutch Bag (€30) available at beautycouture.ie. It is 12 inches wide and 6.25 inches high, which is basically perfect. There’s a strap to relieve it of its clutchiness, should you so desire.

Look at his expression! It’s kind of piratical, right? Like he’s saying ‘Arrrrrr!’

I love him. *Sigh*

Tanning Twenty Twelve: L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Golden Mousse

28 Jun

Right, so. It is 6.30 in the morning. It is… to say it is pissing down rain is to insult piss, to be honest. It is filthy, foul, and soul-destroying out there. Your first thought, before you are even conscious that you are thinking, is Holy crap, I have to get my Christmas shopping done! before you remember that it is July, not November.

You are actually vertical, and preparing to leave the house in an hour. You can’t imagine what in the world you are going to wear, because your phone says it is actually kind of warm out. You look at yourself in the mirror — the lovely suntan you picked up in the South of France is fading, as is the memory of that strange glowing orb that was present in a sky that was this really weird colour, like blue or something?

You think, Feck it, and even though everything you’ve ever read tells you to tan the night before the morning of the deluge, you don’t give a toss. You grab the can of L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Golden Mousse (€22.49) and your trusty mitt, and go to work.

On a day that seemed to start out so wrong, suddenly everything is right. The mousse is light, it doesn’t have that stink, it imbues you with instant warmth and glow, and dries in finger snap. It is perfect.

That is all.

The Scrub of a Lifetime: VOYA Organic Lavender & Seaweed Sugar Glow

27 Jun

I exfoliate a lot. Like, I am pretty sure that I have exfoliated all the hairs off my arms. Plus, I use the gloves along with the exfoliant, which is cray-zay, I know, and I’m surprised I haven’t scrubbed myself down to the bone.

Exfoliant and me, yeah, nothing new there. But you know what? There is absolutely something to be said for getting a professional treatment.

I very happily found myself once more at Therese R Wellness and Beauty in Rochestown Lodge Hotel, Killiney. I had forgotten my togs — clients of the spa may avail of the leisure centre, which includes jacuzzi and sauna and steam room, oh, my — so I stripped down, bundled up into a beautiful spa robe, headed into one of the well-kitted-out treatment rooms* and lay myself on the plinth.

Okay: did you know that when you exfoliate, it doesn’t have to be like you are keelhauling a ship? It’s no surprise that I’ve scoured all the hair off my arms {if only it would work on my legs!} I lash away with the stuff like I am scraping barnacles. Susie, my massage aesthetician, applied VOYA’s amazing concoction with all the gentleness that one would bring to tending a little baby.

At right is not me, but that is a true representation of the colour and texture of the scrub. A combination of organic ingredients,with the main players being hand harvested seaweed, lavender buds, and cane sugar, there’s a bit of a pong off it at first because, hey, there’s no fake rubbish in this bad girl. Once you get used to it — if you have to, it mightn’t even register for you at all — it’s nothing but gentle application and the feeling that dead skin cells are going on to a better place.

After the scrub is showered off, Susie applied VOYA’s Softly Does It Body Moisturiser, again, in a professionally massaging manner, not in the slapdash way I would do it. I’ve used this moisturiser in the past and wasn’t crazy about it, but my mind has been changed: the combo of the scrub and this was excellent.

This is not a total, float-away-into-the-ether thing: it is relaxing, sure, but it is primarily a very functional treatment, and you come out with astonishingly smooth skin — I made my friends touch my arms the next day, and they were gobsmacked.

Pretty perfect! Although… if there had been a wee facial exfoliation to go along with it? Just something to think about, VOYA…

***

The VOYA Organic Lavender & Seaweed Sugar Glow treatment is €55 at Therese R Wellness & Beauty, Rochestown Lodge Hotel, Killiney, Dublin.

*OMG, remember the hydrotherm mattress?!?

A La Recherche du Temps Chanel: Soleil Tan Luminous Bronzing Powder

26 Jun

In April, I did a Snap! Judgement on Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder. I wasn’t too fussed. Then, I brought it along on my weekend away in its homeland, and it was a different story altogether.

It helps to be in sunshine? Like, consistent, every single day sunshine? Because when I wrote that I thought this was ‘too subtle’, I meant ‘this isn’t doing squat, I can’t see a difference’ — but that was because there was no light in the sky, or the air, or wherever, to reflect off of this.

I passed it around to all the women who were away for le weekend, and it became part of everyone’s morning ritual. Coffee, check. Croissant, check. Susan’s bronzy Chanel stuff, check.

So, sunshine helps, a wee bit of fake tan or actual colour from said sunshine helps. It helps to be hanging out with friends, and sharing it round, too. As an actual product, it is all that is pretty and feminine and warm and gorgeous.

Bonus: I wouldn’t usually countenance {ha, haaaaa} using a brush supplied with a cosmetic, but this is a good one.

***

Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous bronzing Powder is  €42.70/£34/$60

If You Have to Return From The South of France…*

26 Jun

… you may as well come back to an absolute fête of lip gloss. {That’s glos du levres en français}{No, it’s not}

From left:
> bella bamba, a sheer bright watermelon
> dandelion, a soft, pearly pink
> dallas, a dusty rose
> sugarbomb, a shimmering pinky nude
> CORALista, which is, unsurprisingly, coral
> hoola, a shimmering golden nude

I dabbed a bit of sugarbomb on my finger, in order to apply it without infesting it with my cooties so that if a pal might like it I can pass it on in good conscience — and it smelled so niiiiice I just about rubbed it all over my face. It is very sparkly, with a light texture, and it also feels somewhat emollient.

This one is subtle, and the fact that I got a few rays of actual sunshine on face, and got some colour that didn’t come out of a bottle, really sets this off.

Each one of these is a match to the powders of the same names, to make it even easier to put together the look you’d like: from tan and glowy in the dallas line, for example, to pale and interesting in a dandelion kind of way.

These are available in July, and go for €19.50/£13.50/$16. Pricey, but if you’re looking for your signature gloss for summer 2012, look no further.

***

*Because ‘everyone’ says you have to come back… ‘Everyone’ is a total spoilsport, aren’t they???

Also, it’s brillant à lèvres, just in the interest of precision.

Sweeties for The Sweet! L’Oréal Miss Candy Collection

21 Jun

Stripey goodness! Let’s pretend it is summer! {Although I know that New Yorkers are sweating buckets, and frankly, wish I had your troubles, betches.}

Here comes the Miss Candy Collection via L’Oréal, comprised of Glam Shine Lip Glosses, Color Infallible Eye Shadows and Riche Nail Varnishes.

Clockwise from left: Dolce Pralina, Tart Lollipop and Miss Candy gloss; Sassy Marshmallow eyeshadow; Wild Purple, Dating Coral, and French Riviera nail varnish; Naughty Strawberry and Innocent Turquoise eye shadow.

I’ve used the Infallible Eye Shadows before: the pigment is rich but the stuff itself doesn’t go on on well with a brush. You may have a different experience, but when all else fails, do as I do and use your fingers. I’ve swiped a bit of Sassy Marshmallow on my hand it is shiiiiiiny. {It is too gloomy out to get a good photo.}{Or I am just a crap photographer.}

The glosses are shiiiiny, too, but without much colour; even the poppy-looking Tart Lollipop hasn’t got much actual pop.

Since I am mid Dr Lewinn’s treatment, I’ll save the varnish ’til my nails are perfect.

This came with:

Probably not going to get that with purchase, but if the line could be summed up by anything, it’s by those bright, fizzy sweets. Yum!

This Pleasure, It Feels Guilty: Truth or Dare

20 Jun

Not the slumber party game — the new fragrance from Madonna.

I know: what?!?! Continue reading

Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update: Uh. Wow!

19 Jun

The story thus far: I treated my nails for one week with Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener, and also applied ‘his’ Nourishing Oil to my cuticles.

I took the layers of Strengthener off when the week was up, and gave the nails a rest, while faithfully keeping up with the Nourishing Oil.

I reapplied the Strengthener for another week, and removed it yesterday.

Now, if you are the type of person who starts a thing, a thing like this that is supposed to work miracles, and then the miracles are not happening in what you consider to be ‘miracle time’ which would be IMMEDIATELY and so you are like, Feck this, this is not a miracle and then you stop the thing — then you are me.

I complained and complained about my manky nails, and I tried things now and again to unmank-ify them, and gave up. Maybe it’s not all my fault — maybe the products weren’t very effective! The thing is: Dr Lewinn gave me, by the middle of the first week, an indication that this stuff might work. Since I began to have faith in the process, I was inspired to keep it up. And so, as we enter week four of the six week treatment… Continue reading

Tanning Twenty Twelve: Decadence Self Tan Mist

18 Jun

Always ready to support a product that is Guaranteed Irish, it was with a paradoxical mix of optimism and trepidation that I cracked open Decadence Self Tan Mist (€14.99). Akin to the way that we really, really hoped the Boys in Green would make a good go of the Euros, we really, really hope that any new thing that comes out of Ireland will make a go of it, and then kind of sigh and shrug when it doesn’t — we had hopes, sure, but they weren’t all that high.

So, off came the plastic cap. I was exfoliated and ready to go. {I should have moisturised, I know, I know, but that’s a post for another day.} The container is a soft plastic, which allowed me to get a grip on it, which I counted to the good. I gave myself a cursory spray, even though I knew I wasn’t going to spray myself all over, because it got all over the place, and: nightmare. I have honestly given this technique a fair go in the past but here’s the thing: because I am worried about the spray tan all over the bath, I immediately start to clean it, and then get all sweaty, and then get all streaky.

Does this misting lark work for anyone? Am I just doin’ it rong? It’s a class thing, isn’t it? Because I’m a renter? Do all you home-owning, spray tanning-types have entire bathrooms devoted to the art, that you can just layer and layer in tan?

Anyway: gave it go, got it all over, proceeded to spray it on my handy applicator mitt, and it was joy to the world after that.

This is dark, and it goes on dark. This is good because you can see what you’re doing. It’s not great if you are super, super fair — at least, I don’t think it would be. It felt a little bold to me, and I am medium fair-ish.

I made sure that I got as much coverage as possible, so that I wouldn’t look too too dark, and I have to say, once it settled down, it gives an excellently warm and rich tan.

I put some on my face, which I am not sure I was meant to, not after it was too late and I did it anyway. I was far too, er, generous with the product, and I immediately scrubbed about half of it off. In future, I’ll be more delicate in my approach to that area.

Drying time: eh, only hits ‘okay’ on the Fab-U-Lometer, and actually inspired this post.

It has lasted for the guts of six days, it didn’t smell bad, and I have to say, this may be the best tan I’ve ever used on my legs which, even with fake tan, stubbornly refuse to look elegantly bronzed. They did with this one.

This is championship-level tanning. Olé, olé, olé!

***

Decadence Self Tan Mist is available in pharmacies nationwide.

What I Think About While Waiting for the Fake Tan to Dry

15 Jun

… Is it twenty minutes yet?

… Being naked is not that big a deal, and especially now that I am bronzed all over. Well, mostly. I’m sure there’s that bit in the upper middle of my back that’s like the opposite of painting a target on your back. But yeah, so standing here with my arms held out so they don’t, what, glue themselves to my sides? I think I need to improve my technique. I go too fast, getting it over with, because — because of this stupid standing around part!

… Should I — nope, still a little tacky.

… So standing around naked, it’s dumb, just standing here.

… This colour, is it too dark?

… Is it — dammit. Five minutes, maybe, at the most.

… Oh, I did a crap job on my feet again.

… This colour, is it too orange?

… Is — dammit.

… Holy God, I can’t even believe I am doing this, just standing here. I should have brought the laptop in here and, I don’t know, it’s not like I can work or anything and —don’t move! The duvet cover! Not yours! The landlord’s! It’s white! Who buys white duvet covers? Rich people, that’s who! White stuff never comes clean properly in these little European machines! Even when I use those white sheet yokes that you put in with the wash! Crap, crap, did I — no, okay.

Hate this.

… Is it — feck it, I don’t care.

Puts on loose black clothes; they feel a bit like they are sticking but could not be bothered at this stage. Fin.

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