Archive by Author

Those Three Little Words: Gift With Purchase (Thanks, Elizabeth Arden!)

18 May

Even now, after all these years of beauty journalism/blogging, I never tire of hearing that magical, magical phrase. This one is particularly good.

EA giveawayThe bag! So pretttttty! The content! So impressive! These sample sizes would surely last me an entire Christmas visit back to the States, and would mitigate the usual overloading-of-the-make-up/skincare-bag.

There’s a Beautiful Color Lipstick, the anti-aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser {which is the bomb}, Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum which are also the bomb, two more serums, a moisture cream and a lifting cream.

So, heavy on the serum, which suits me down to the ground — can never get enough serum. I love that the lippy is there, but may have liked a targeted nighttime cream. Whatevs! It is pretty darned perfect, and is yours with purchase of two or more products.

The bag is the work of British designers Preen, and you’d almost be tempted to use it as a clutch, much less as a Product Conveyance Device For Travelling.

Get yours while you can, exclusively at Debenhams, from 21 May to 13 June — while supplies last, naturally.

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Could This Be More Portable? Pure Potions Arnica Rescue Salve

11 May

As regular readers know, I ride horses, and I often review beauty products in the context of that pursuit. SPFs get a good workout during a lesson in high summer; anything that claims to be waterproof, from mascara to foundation, will find its claims challenged in the saddle.

Then, there’s those random little nicks and bruises that appear as if out of nowhere. Like this one.
TINY SCRATCH

Yeah, no idea. Could have been anything. Maybe I scraped up against a buckle, or the door to the loose box. Who knows! All I know is, I didn’t have this handy little tin — ha, ha — to hand.
PURE POTIONS

Part of their First Aid range, pure potions arnica rescue salve is accompanied by tea tree, lavender and calendula & comfrey salves, and all are about the size of a lip balm tin. It couldn’t be easier to pop one of these in a pocket, especially if you’re me and have become so inured to bodily injury that you don’t even notice straightaway that you require some sort of intervention. Any one of these are a good thing to have hanging around.

As a quartet, they’ve got you covered for minor burns, stings, cold sores, insect bites — admittedly small ones, as while their small size enhances their portability, you’re not going to cover a whole body’s worth of excessive sunburn with your tin of lavender.

They are also organic, with no added nasties.

How I wished I’d had this on me the moment I noticed that scratch. Once home, I lashed on the arnica and in a day and half, the scratch was healed.

I’ve learned my lesson! Into the rucksack it goes…

***

Set of four rescue salves are £16.99. Check in your local Holland & Barrett for any and all, or see http://www.purepotions.co.uk

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SHINY! essence Gel Nail Polish

5 May

While I generally dislike when a name brand insistS upon being lower case (I’m looking at you, too, bliss), it doesn’t translate into dislike for the brand itself. essence have launched a new line of Gel Nail Polish that promises to be super shiny without all messing around with LED and UV lamps.
ESSENCE GELs
These! From left: love is in the air, prince charming, and ever young. Also, all in lower case. Grrr. There’s a base coat and top coat which are option, but I would certainly opt for them, as I expect they make your manicure last that much longer.

I haven’t tried these yet because as ever, my nails are in rag order. They basically suck, in fairness. HOWEVER: I have found a New York style nail shop around the corner from me, so may bring in that gorgeous lemon yellow one and have it professionally applied to my toes.

There are 46 colours to choose from, and at only €1.79… well, need I say more? Base and top coats will run you €3.09. Amazers!

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Available at Penneys and pharmacies nationwide.

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Beautyfull News: Elvive, Nuxe, Skinician, He-Shi and Image Skincare

1 May

Beatuyfull new things that are worth knowing about…

BEAUTYFULL NEWS 28 04

L’ORÉAL PARIS ELVIVE Nutri-Gloss Luminiser Miracle Shine Booster, €14.99
Elvive is one of my fave budget brands, and this is a pre-blow dry treatment that sprays in and stays in, and imparts high shine. There is a suite of products that go with this {shampoo and conditioner, 250mls, €5.84}, and depending upon the texture of your hair, you can spritz a bit of it on your dry hair, too. I’m finding the latter to be working well, in my case, by YMMV. It smells gorge. Available at your local pharmacy.

NUXE PARIS Prodigieux Huile de Douche, €12
Speaking of gorge-smelling things: huile de douche, lads! Between this, the body oil which I could not love more if it was my own child, and the perfume, this amazing frgrance now is fully inducted into the layering corps. Drumming my finger on my desk waiting for the shampoo and conditioner…! Available at Arnotts and selected pharmacies.

SKINICIAN Pro-Radiance Enzyme Peel, €31.50
I’ve been acquainted with the Skinician line for a while, and haven’t really become BFFs with it. There was a serum that I tried that I liked well enough, and there’s a cleanser that I like too, that foams up on contact and does a good job. I have high hopes for anything that has ‘radiance’ in the name, so am looking forward to giving it a go. Available in Harvey Nichols and select salons.

HE-SHI Overnight Ageless Tanning Balm, €28
As a fan of the brand, both the self-tanning products and the salon spray tan, I have a lot of time for this. Applied beforebed, this gradually tans your face whilst also giving it a lovely anti-ageing balm. There is hyaluronic acid in it! TheÈ whole blend is eco-friendly, too, created using sustainable methods and full of plant-based ingredients. I’m feeling a bit ambiv about tanning on my face this year — I’m feeling like a flat tan is too ageing — but this might convince me otherwise. Available in selected salons, Harvey Nichols, and McCauley Pharmacies.

IMAGE SKINCARE Intense Brightening Eye Crème, €63.50
The American brand has been residing on our shores from years, but I’ve only had tiny little samples of their work to try in the past. Not terribly helpful when one is getting to grips with a product! Happily, founders Janna and Dr Marc Ronert were in town recently, and generously produced full-sized samples for us journos and bloggers. I’ve been using this eye cream and adore it even after less than a fortnight. I’m using it mainly before bed, and am becoming rather more delighted every morning…

I Used It All Up: Rimmel London Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

27 Apr

There’s something of a mea culpa to this, too.
RIMMEL IUIAU
But only a little one: last year I reviewed this in The Herald and gave it a paltry two stars, as I didn’t find that it did a good job on a full eye of make up. It still doesn’t — and I must be wearing less eyeshadow than I was in 2014 — but it does a super job on an eye adorned simply with mascara and a lick of black liner.

I’ve had the misfortune of having to try eye make up removers that require more than two passes of product to take away even the littlest amount of macquillage, and this is not one of them. Since I used less every time, this lasted much longer than most, which = great value.

There it is, all gone, and every time I pass a chemists, I mean to go in and get some more…

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RIMMEL LONDON Just Let It Go… Gentle Eye Make Up Remover, €3.99 on feelunique.com

I Used It All Up: Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes

20 Apr

Even as I was taking the photo, I thought, “Maybe I can get one more go out of this?”

BLONDE ME IUIAU

What I loved about this was the keratin mentioned on the label, and the keratin-esque effect it did in fact have on my hair. Now, there’s nothing like a proper keratin hair treatment, like the ones I’ve enjoyed from Queen Salon in Dublin, but this is pretty darned close. My hair felt silkier and stronger when I used this — especially when I used this because I had a non-sulfate shampoo whose conditioner was complete pants. Which is another post in the making: why is non-sulfate conditioner either non-existent or totally rubbish?

It felt like a waste to just use it a straightforward conditioner rather than as an intensive mask, but I never regretted it — who would ever regret a great hair day? {And, naturally, it is super fantastic when used for deep conditioning. I am really going to miss this one.}

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Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes, €19.39
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Brunettes: your revenge is imminent. I’ve got a review on deck of a superb shampoo & conditioner combo that is not nice to blondes…
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Snap! Judgement: No7 Shimmer Palette in Rose

17 Apr

No7 SHIMMER PALETTER
Love! I gave the back of my hand a quick swipe with a less-than good brush (all I had within reach) and fell into immediate adoration with its shimmery beauty. I tried to take a photo, but it is so subtle, that it didn’t show up well. It’s bit dusty — like, motes all in the air after I loaded up the brush — but otherwise, cannot wait to get this on my face.

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No 7 Shimmer Palette in Rose, €17.50
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This is hypoallergenic, and I gotta say, I haven’t noticed that distinction in ages. A quick Google says that it was first used in cosmetic advertising in 1953. Hmm, maybe that’s why it sounds so old fashioned…
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I Try Before You Buy: Lipgloss

7 Apr

If you want the light texture of a gloss with the deep pigment of a lipstick, then have I got a bunch of reviews for you.

REVLON ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure {€10.99}
****
These pigments are so intense, they seemed too bold to be balms. They are super hydrating, though, and so they remain. Go for a lighter hue like Demure (pictured below), a mauvy pink, if you can’t be bothered with high maintenance. You’ll get good coverage without too much fuss.

MAC COSMETICS Mineralise Glass Lip Gloss in Vibrant Vibe {€22}
*****
I had always wanted to love the brand’s Lip Glasses, but they were sticky, and thick, and you’d never want to find yourself lobbing the gob unexpectedly when wearing it. This new version is basically perfect: light and shiny and full of pigment — snog away!

LIPGLOSSES

YVES SAINT LAURENT Gloss Volupté in Prune Organdi {€25}
****
Well, you’re not going to be putting this on with your eyes closed (this shade is dark), but the innovation as regards the applicator is genius. The doe-foot pad at the end of the wand is bent just enough to perfectly follow the mouth’s contour when your lips are closed over it. It’s made to fit the way we use it. The melon-y scent is lovely, and the texture is weightless.

SMASHBOX Be Legendary Long-wear Lip Lacquer in Legendary {€24}
***
Holy moly! This is like pure lipstick in liquid form, meaning it has the punchy pigment of a lippy, but it glides on like a gloss. You’ll need a steady hand with this one, which is red as red gets. Maybe lay in a lipliner just in case you need help. It’s light as a feather, and is as long-wearing as promised in the name. However, it is the highest of maintenance — you’re really going to have to want this.

BURT’S BEES Lipgloss in Starry Night {€11.95}
****
I have been going-to this for well over a month, so much so that I’ve just about worn off all the copy printed on the tube. This is lush and dark, and yet I’ve managed the tricky business of touching this up with no mirror to hand — but then I cheat and check up in the nearest reflective surface, so I don’t know who I’m fooling. It fades down to a darkish pink, which is okay, but I’d prefer it to stay strong.

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I Try Before You Buy: Comb v Brush Mascara

5 Apr

The battle is on. In my own head, at least. I remember being afraid of the first spiky-ended mascara applicator I encountered, fearing putting said spikes anywhere near my eye balls. Now? They are my favourite mascara-conveying device.

On the other hand, there were a couple of new, and new-to-me mascaras that I wanted to try, but came with brushes at the business end. Would they sway me back to the old fashioned mode of application.

Em: no.

SPIKY applicators
MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Lash Sensation Lash Multiplying Mascara {€12.99} is my fave at ***** and it is to this I turn when I want super spiky, perfectly defined lashes. Everybody asks me if I’ve had extensions when I wear this. Use a primer beneath and just knock it out of the park.

CLINIQUE High Lengths Mascara {€21.50} and RIMMEL LONDON Scandaleyes XX-Treme {€8.99} both get ****. The Clinique applicator has a helpful curve, and low-level spikes for those who still have the fear. I find that I need to get as much on in the first round as possible, because the second round gets very, very clumpy. The Rimmel is a close second the Maybelline, but I’m not finding it to be as dependable. It’s the bargain of the lot, though, and if Boots are having a 3-for-1 Rimmel sale (not that I know of, just pondering) then go for it.

BRUSHY applicators
All of these are **, sad to report. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara {€29} disappointed me in the extreme because I actually bought it with my own money (gasp!) The counter woman, who applied it over my existing mascara, very generously gave me a flicky eyeliner treatment as well; I suspect this was cover up the fact that the mascara got allll over my eyelids, even though it was professionally applied. Same goes for the ELIZABETH ARDEN Beautiful Color Maximum Volume Mascara {€26} and the YVES SAINT LAURENT Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils {€31}: no matter how slowly I went, nor how far back I tipped my head (really far), the mascara made a mess of my lids.

I will be sticking with the comb, thanks!

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I Try Before You Buy: Shower Creams, Gels and Washes

13 Mar

Soothing your dry winter skin starts in the shower as does your daily fragrance. Depending upon your desire for suds — lots, or little — all of the below will get your pelt through the winter and may endow you with fragrance, too. Or not! Whatever you prefer! I am extremely fussy about scent in the shower and really feel that it can make or break my day…

DOVE Silk Glow Body Wash {€2.99}
*****
The proof isn’t always in the price point: this is extremely good value for 250mls, and it really does make my skin feel silky and glowy after use. It also has that glorious Dove scent and also! The tiniest squeeze of product produces loads of foam. Great price point!

LUSH Dreamwash Shower Smoothie {€13.65}
***
Gorgeous texture — like you are icing yourself like a cake — meets lovely and soothing scent… but also unfortunately meets one the famous black pots that are fiddly to deal with in the shower. Also, if suds are your thing, the way they are my thing, then this won’t bubble up to your usual standard.

ROGER & GALLET Fleur de Figuier Gentle Shower Cream {€12}
***
This is soap-free and sulfate-free, and yet you get a nice crop of bubbles with which to scrub yourself. I found the scent to be slightly too sweet, but R&G have such a great range of fragrances, I’m sure I’ll find something that suits.
Shower stuff
L’OCCITANE Fouette Whipped Shower Foam {€17.50}
***
Shake it up, and it’s like mousse for your body when you dispense it. I love being able to layer with the Fouette Body Cream {€22}, but again, I like a nice froth of soapy goodness in the course of my morning ablutions — and I didn’t get the amount I prefer.

NIVEA Water Lily & Oil Shower Gel {€10.99}
****
Ooh, love an oil, and this is luxurious bargain considering you get 250mls. It doesn’t smell all that flowery, which is great if you’re me and hate too much fragrance, and not great is you did want to smell like a delicate flower. Otherwise, lots of lather for a little bitta gel, and you’ll feel silky, too.

CLINIQUE Deep Comfort Body Wash {€21}
****
This is terrific, if kind of expensive. It suds up like nobody’s business, which is something of a learning curve: I used up way too much product early on because I didn’t realize that I didn’t need that much. Paired with Deep Comfort Body Butter (€34, 200ml), your skin will in fact be comforted deeply.

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