Archive | July, 2012

Could I Be Happier? Horses and Haircare

31 Jul

So, here’s me as of 11ish this morning:

Typos ahoy! I wish I could touch type. Ah, well. This post is only going to take forever.

I knew I had a back up laptop for a reason.

Yay! — Oh, no. Saw the green jacket and though it was Ireland. It’s Brazil.

I generally grab the Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream when I can’t be bothered blowing The Hair dry. This time round, I forget to add the Treatment oil, so when my hair dried, it was crrrrrispy. I then doused it with —

Okay! Ireland! Mark Kyle! Ah, bollix. Knocked one. What’s that extra 2 pens?

I then doused The Hair with the Hydrating Styling Cream. Oh, how I love the scent of this stuff! It helped soften it a bit, but the overall feeling was very crunchy and tangly.

Yay, Tiana Coudray USA! I am cheering for everyone! No idea who she’s on, because the eejits — ah, knocked one, dammit. Another! Crap. So they don’t put the name of the horse up on the screen. Stupid. Lovely dapple grey — g’wan! Ah, well.

When I combed it out, it was masssssive, but it felt really dry. I ought to have put the oil on, but there was already so much stuff on — and anyway, I forgot all about the oil, to be honest.

I tried to resist posting this pic, because the Narcissism Police Department* are going to be knocking on my door, but here’s an impression of the hair, plus the lip gloss I want to talk about.

I am quite happy using any auld gloss as long as it looks nice. By this I mean, I am not a dope about brands. I don’t care if it’s fancy, as long as it does the job.

But when it is fancy and it does the job? Wowee.

Has Zara Phillips gone? Holy wow, the crowd is going to go batty.

OMG I AM TOTALLY PSYCHIC HERE SHE IS. I SWEAR IT’S TRUE, IT IS 11.38 RIGHT NOW. OKAY

AH NO. I think this horse is very young, she had to retire Toytown, I think, who was a star — ah, well done her. The extra pens are for time.

What? Oh. Giorgio Armani Gloss D’Armani Lip Gloss in 512, above. I was dubious because of the darkness of the pigment, but it is —

Oh, no! Where’s everybody going? Okay, third team rider, fourth coming up. This is like the seventh inning stretch, yeah?

The pigment is dark, but it goes on like a gloss, easily and cleanly, and it feels light, too. I did reapply often, but I think it was because I wanted to, more than that I needed to.

Also: The Hair is wavy but also a bit straggly. Which may just mean I need a cut.

Also also: those sunnies are the best thing that’s happened to me all year.

Oh, crap, they are going away? No, just hanging around with no commentary. This feed is totally weird. Okay, maybe I’ll go do a real post now.

***

Gloss D’Armani €25/£23.50/$28

*NPD, ha ha ha ha — that’s for you, cookie.

FitFlops: A Personal History

30 Jul

THE FLOPS, DO THEY FIT? In 2010, I completely banjaxed* my left leg from about mid-calf to the arch. It was a combination of having torn a muscle practicing for a dressage test, and jumping up during an apparent scored goal by Team USA during the World Cup.

Yeah, it doesn’t get any better after two years of telling. Anyway, one missed test and one supposedly offside goal later, I was limping around town like… like a famous limper from fiction or the movies. I can’t think of a character right now, but he or she was me, and it was awful. I went from horseriding four times a week to sitting on my couch, and when I did have to get up to get somewhere, I couldn’t go more than fifty yards without wanting to cry. I became quite expert in the Dublin Bus infrastructure, and also in RICE {rest, Ice, compression, elevation.}

The only thing that got me through, and got me around, due to the clever construction of their wobble-board sole, were my FitFlops. Continue reading

Various Updates on Stuff That Has Been Featured

27 Jul

*John Frieda Precision Foam Colour
I was just thinking, I really ought to email ‘Audrey’ and see how she’s getting on,’ and this morning, lo and behold, in the inbox!

Thought I’d let you know: dropped in home last night, shook my hair out of ponytail and the mammy said: Wow! Your colour is great, is that still the John Frieda stuff?

No photo was attached, but you can have a look at the result here.

Also: ‘Audrey’ says her hair is amazingly soft. I am now glancing over at my box of light ash blonde…

———

*Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid
Commenters keep asking me how I got on with this, and I guess I really haven’t given a definitive answer. I have not been consistent, and I’m not gonna lie, so I can’t really hand down a judgment yet. Too many other treatments to review, and I didn’t want to try to tan and use this at the same time? Is that dumb? Because this maybe giving me an even clearer, cleaner canvas upon which to paint my bronzey goddessness? Shoot.

I did have these thoughts, if you’re interested.

———

*The Oily Stuff from Yesterday
I’ll have to get back to you on that in more depth, but the REN Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate is, I must say, pretty darn brilliant. I almost did do the thing where I forgot to close the cap, but caught myself in time. I really don’t want this all over the floor — I want it all over my face!

———

*Appropos of… Not Much, Except Maybe in Honour of Wella
Except I clearly cannot go a whole week without posting a picture of my face.

Wella Professionals took a bunch of us out to dinner last night in Thorntons, which is a Michelin Star restaurant, and I am not a foodie — it was, in fact, my first foam — but that was one terrific meal. The food, the service, the wine… the wine, which was a Sauvignon Blanc, which I generally dislike, but this one! Clos du Porteau ‘Les Chaffines’ Touraine 2010, completely gorgeous, and not so pricey according to Monsieur Le Google!

Oh, and the event was an introduction to Illumina Color, a new range of natural looking hair colours that increases the level of light reflection and shine when the hair is dyed. We saw several representative treatments — blonde, red, brunette — and they were very, very Wow.

But, yeah, the wine: it’s the way it gets poured? The fancy way, where you take a sip and the waitress refills, and then you take another sip, and the waitress refills — so you have no idea how much you are drinking, and if you’re me and not drinking all that much lately, things go a bit pear-shaped. And then self-portrait high-jinks ensue in the taxi home, because the clever women repping Wella gifted us all with Rayban Aviators — so that when we get our hair coloured with Illumina, we won’t be blinded by the glow.

I was a little afraid of the shades, but I think they will work just fine.

***

Very cool image, look at the reflection of me taking the picture of me! Hmm, am I still drunk?

Call Me Crazy and Cover Me in Oil

26 Jul

Oh, wait, this is not that sort of website! Apologies to all search engineers who have happened upon Bright & Beautyfull! expecting… something else.

The last thing in the world I wanted when I was a teen was shiny, shiny skin. For some reason, I must still think I am a teenager, because the notion of putting anything oil-based on my face makes go all no waaaaaaay.

But of course, now I am aging, shine = youth, and holy wow, I’ma just put oil on everything I can reach.

Now, we already know of my deep and abiding love for Clarins Huile Prodigieuse, so the oil-as-body-treatment isn’t really all that strange. In fact! Here’s a lovely little homey hint: I used to put a few drops of an essential oil of my choice into a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Oil, apply on wet skin post-shower, and let it half dry. Soft scented skin, and very, very economical. {I favoured ylang ylang — sexxxxy.}

I’ve got a couple of new things to try all over, so I am going to slather myself up with the following, from left:

I find the brand name Lanolips a bit odd as it is applied to their Herbal Treatment Body Oil (€12.90), but upon initial sniff, it smells good, like fresh cut grass.

REN presents us with the Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate (€50). I have come round to a serum-y approach to facial care, since I’ve gotten over my adolescent fears. I must be well over that teen POV, because I have many a senior moment when it comes to dropper applicators: I forget to close the cap afterwards, in which case the stuf gets all contaminated, or else I knock it over and it ends up all over the floor.

This is new to the Mythic Oil family, from L’Oréal Professionel: Colour Glow For Colour Treated Hair (€19). I found the original version of the oil of myth to be a steep learning curve. I think half a pump does my hair good, and a half of a drop more makes it too greasy. We’ll give this go.

This didn’t look like much of an embarrassment of oil, so I added this into the mix: Hairwonder Anti-hairloss Lotion (€19) — I know, I know, it says it is a lotion, but it really isn’t! It is a serum-y oily thing. now, I know: I have a lot of hair, and so far, knock wood, not losing any of it, so this is more in the line of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of hair.

Oh! And since the split fingernail scare, I have been assiduous in my application of Dr Lewinn’s Nourishing Oil.

I’m going to be so shiny, you could see me from space.

***

Perfectly Matched: Pandora Charm Bracelet and Me

25 Jul

It was the luck of the draw, really: Pandora are launching a brace of new charms, clips, earrings and pendants — and it just so happens that A} I got one of the new Murano glass beads, based on their animal series, in Tiger, and B} I personally have some beads from when I did a spate of necklace-making back in the mid-00s.

Feeling clever! I found a couple of blue ones that fit the snake chain style of the Pandora bracelet, and lo and behold: it matches perfectly with my rings:

The style is all modern elegance, and their clip system, as far as I know, is unique. You can see one to the left of the Tiger bead: embossed with daisies, this serves not only as a divider, but it’s a decorative element as well. The beads don’t all bunch up at the lowest point of gravity, and you get another fetching visual element.

The blue beads are mine own, and I think I either bought them in London or Brooklyn — or Paris. I can’t remember. Haven’t strung a bead in at least a year, if not more, but I’m inspired now to trawl through them and see if any more will fit.

I must say that my wrist is medium-sized, and I don’t know how many more beads this can carry before I can’t close it? And the closure is invisible, but also fiddly.

Pretttttty.

More details re: the goods on offer after I stop admiring my handiwork.

***

Pandora, 35 Grafton Street, D2
Prices for bracelets start at €45; beads start at €29

Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update: Lost Track of Where I Am At

24 Jul

Well, I know I haven’t been bathing my cuticles, so hang on a sec, I’ll take a moment to do that now —

Hey, what is the point of cuticles?!? I’m going to go a’Googlin, wait —

In human anatomy, cuticles or eponychia are the small folds of thickened skin at the base of each of the nails. Their purpose is to protect the area between the skin and the nail from infection.

Thanks, Wise Geek! Ooh, there are answers for everything over there —

Sorry, went on a bit of a wander. So, I lost track of what week it was in my Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener treatment, overcome with ennui, maybe, because all I had to do was check the blog. Duh. I remember removing it, and leaving the nails, and then going Whoops! Gotta put some more on! and then doing that.

The problem is, my troublesome left ring fingernail is at it again. It is seriously split, so much so that I had to trim it waaaay down. And then file the others down to suit. This is too bad, because my right hand nails were looking so spectacular, I was about to polish them. But on the upside: my nails were actually strong enough to file!

Drat! So now I am chasing the cart with the horse, and layering on the Renunail, especially in that splitty fingernail, because it’s all I can do, isn’t it? I mean, the nail has to grow out of its split, right?

Here’s Auld Schplitty herself:

You can see that, yeah? Want to borrow my specs?

Right. So, I’ve anointed my cuticles in the Nourishing Oil, because it really does make a difference, and applying more strengthener, and hoping for the best…

Tanning Twenty Twelve: Tired of It {Soap & Glory Glow Getter}

23 Jul

How much work can it be, this tanning? It’s not like digging ditches, I mean, come on. But there is a mental tiredness I am experiencing that is pretty comprehensive, and makes me think I’d rather go pick up a shovel. There is actually a lot of thought that goes into this caper: making sure I’ve exfoliated, because sometimes I can’t be bothered; making sure that I am all moisturised and whatever; and most of all, get my head round the particular qualities of the tan involved.

Glow Getter by Soap & Glory is a Face & Body Sun Powder Spray. Okay, ‘spray’ — already an issue for me, because of the mess. ‘Powder’? Wha’?

I couldn’t get my head round it, and so I kept putting off putting it on.

I gave it a go the other day and I am so confused.

It is awkward. You can’t spray it on a mitt and manage to spread it around as well as you would a mousse or a gel or a liquid. So I had to spray it directly onto the bod. Which resulted in splotches of powdery {it really is a powder!} patches, because I didn’t want to hold the can too far away because the spray would get all over the place.

Too splotchy, though, spraying up close, so I got into the shower — my white, pristine shower — and tried again. It wasn’t much better, to be honest.

I used my mitt to spread the tan around, and was just effing and blinding the entire time. This is a pain in the arse was the prevailing theme.

In about two minutes, though? Pretty feckin’ lovely colour. Extremely warm and … posh. This was instantaneous poshness. I looked like, if my life was Inception, I’d put on some fancy dress and when I walked out my door I’d be stepping onto the Riviera.

Confusion! It is the messiest tan I have ever used, probably down to the powder element — but it is also like the kind of tan you get when you have nothing else to do but lie around on a lounger on the deck of a yacht. {I am guessing. I would very much like to find that out in practice.}

My conclusion: I will take this with me on holiday to a place that has a bathroom that I don’t have to clean myself. Otherwise? Too much like work.

***

€14/£10.50

Also! The next morning in the shower, the colour just rolled right down the drain. Just so you know.

What I Did Yesterday *or* All the Stuff I Put On Myself

20 Jul

I’ve been going round barefaced most of the week, and yesterday it felt like I was wearing all the make-up in the world.

I blame the mascara.

Well, it is not the mascara’s fault. In fact, the mascara is pretty spectac: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara in Intense Black. They’ve changed the wand into one of those spiky applicators, and it seems to be twice as long as most spiky applicators. I forgot to put this on my list yesterday because I forgot I had it.

I was never a fan of the Clinique mascara, but this one has changed my mind, even though I went abso crazy and layered on a million tonnes of it. Look how fake the lashes look, though, without having to mess with glue and tweezers!

Also on view is Clarins 3-Dot Liner, with which I did an okay job. The applicator brush is kind of like it is cut into three points, and you just dot it on. The theory is that this is easier than trying to draw a perfect line. In practice? Yeah, easier, and a good result. I recommend using a hand mirror, because I didn’t, and I seem to remember the inimitable Claude Defresne, Clarins’ make up artist, saying to use one. It’s easier to bring the mirror closer to your eye, rather than the eye closer to the mirror.

Lips: NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain in Berry Long Time. Eh. There’s a difference between matte and flatte, and this was very flatte, and drying. This experience of NYC lip colour was saved by a layer of NYC Kiss Gloss in Sugar Hill Shimmer, as shown. It is very shiny — and fruity! That was fun.

Hang on, what else — OMG. The Glitter. I was like a walking glitter machine yesterday. I apologise to all the people I met, whose hands I shook, and wow, people I hugged? Sorry! The kisses on the cheeks? Mea culpa!

Because I was covvvvvvered in shiny little bits and I am sure that I spread them around like a luminescent plague.

The Eau Sublime Or from Roger & Gallet was not that bad, actually, so the hand-shakers probably got off easy. It is full of sparkle, and completely perfect for highlighting decolletage and bare shoulders. Super sexy, if not super scented. Didn’t get much of an impression off of the body cream, but that was because I mistakenly put on the Glow Getter: Face & Body Sun Powder Spray from Soap & Glory, which is going to get a post all its own, because hoo boy, what a imperfectly perfect product.

So, body aglow, and hey! here’s some stuff for my face. I dispensed a tiny bit of Uplight: Face Luminizer Gel from Make Up Forever and applied it — and almost started screaming, because holy wow, the amount of glitter that is in that stuff is like … it was like a frollick of fairies had farted on my face.

Now, seriously: a day without shimmer is a day wasted, but this was ridic. I had put on some Lancôme Flash Bronzer Face Gel and didn’t want to wash it off and start over, I was pressed for time — and feck it, I said I would wear this stuff, so wear it I would. I scraped off as much as I could and proceeded to try to dull it down with some bronzer.

I don’t think it was noticeable, but again, I do apologise to anyone that got glittered.

Here’s the line up:

It’s that last one on the right you’ve got watch out for…

***

Glow Getter not pictured because I am still processing its effects.

What I’m Going To Do Today

19 Jul

Because it is soooo interesting.

No really, I have a lot of stuff to slap on the bod and the gob, and since I am going in to town, I have an reason to get all gussied up.

Also: Going In To Town has become kind of a big deal, because I don’t really need to Go in order to forage for anything anymore, not food, not shoes, not books, so it feels a bit like a staycation.

So:

Just this very morning, the postman brought be Eau Sublime Or and Crème Sublime Or, from Roger & Gallet. Both are shimmery!

I’ve got this stuff called Glow Getter: Face & Body Sun Powder Spray from Soap & Glory that makes me nervous, A} because I hate spraying stuff in the bath and B} powder spray? Like the stuff you spray on your smelly feet? That stuff is a mess.

What else? I got a bunch of NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain in, so I think I’ll give the Berry Long Time a lash.

I’ve got this Make Up Forever Uplight: Face Luminizer Gel that’s been sitting on my desk… I don’t know, I tried a bit on that back of my hand, as you do, and I don’t think I did it right. I may have to find a tutorial. I think if one messes this up, one looks like an eejit with crazy, shiny pink stuff all over one’s face.

Also! Very, very excited to try Clarin’s 3-Dot Liner, which the brand’s make up artist, Claude Defresne called ‘eyeliner for dummies’ in his lovely French accent. *Sigh*

I better get crackin’. You will probs be seeing me from my usually spot in the back of the 46A…

Haiku Review: Weleda Sage Deodorant

18 Jul

OMG, it’s hot!
Sweaty pits, rarely an ish —
What’s a girl to do?

Yesterday was hot — and it’s still hot out, right?* I don’t know, one day of warmth and for some crazy reason, I think that yet another day of warmth will follow! Nutter!

Anyway: deodorant. Not the sexiest of beauty products, possibly belonging in the health category, but they exist to help you not smell too bad, and therefore your feelings of beauty are not impinged upon.

I went on a kind of purge for a year or so, because I had been addicted to a deodorant that as far as I can tell, in retrospect, basically sealed up all the pores in my pits. There was an impressive absence of pong, but I think it was probably worse for me than smoking 40 cigarettes a day and washing them down with a fifth of Jack.

So, I gave up deodorant! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I used to be very self-conscious about body odor: then I started horseriding and since I was smelling like a whole bunch of other smells, my own stink was the least of it. I did find I was doing laundry much more often, but that seemed to be an okay compromise for my health and wellbeing. Except for all the water! All the water in all the washes!

Now that I don’t have my own washing machine in my flat, though, it’s not as easy for me to just bung a load of laundry in, and so I figured I better find myself a deodorant that wasn’t composed entirely of aluminum.

Enter Weleda Sage Deodorant. The Swiss brand are all natural, and I have to say, I have mainly found their packaging — heavy glass containers for most of their lotions and potions — to be unwieldy in the extreme. The deodorant is no different, but I am happy to announce I am over the prejudice against glass because of the refreshing product it contains.

{Seriously, though, not terribly portable.}

It is free of aluminum salts; that’s all I needed to know. It spritzes like a perfume, due to the lack of aerosol, which is a little freaky the first few times you use it, and then fun and refreshing once you become accustomed.

The refreshing-ness lasts for about half your day, which may be enough for you. Depends for me, now: if I’m heading out into public later in the day, then that’s fine. It’s not robust enough to use for the horseriding, but in fairness, what is. Trying to deodorize for that is a bit like throwing a deck chair off the Titantic.

{The power of Google has shown me that there is a 30ml version of this. Still in a glass bottle, but smaller. Well, okay then.}

So: saving water, saving my pits. Noice one!

***

Weleda Sage Deodorant: €11.50/£8.50/$13 for 100mls

*My phone says it is not very hot out anymore. It is only kind of warm.

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