Archive by Author

Snap! Judgement: E45 Intense Recovery Lotion

15 Aug

E45 LOTIONI gotta say. My immediate reaction to this was, ‘Oof, that is ug.” I mean, seriously. That label looks like it was designed in Word. It is so unappealing.

Well, let that be a lesson to me: what is inside is pretty darn spectacular.

So, I guess this is a one-two Snap! Judgement, because the second I started massaging this into my skin I was all, ‘Ooh! This feels amazing!’

E45 was developed by a Boots chemist back in the 50s — this is running contrary to the usual S!J, which are more like smash and grabs, just because I knew nothing about this brand — and it was only used in hospitals until the 80s.

We had some toasty weather this summer, and I do feel that I’m drier than usual. I’ll be using this, so, and I’ll never speak badly about its label again. (But srsly…)

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€4.99

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Update: Okay, this is not much of an S!J a’tall, but this stuff is great. I’ve been using it all week and my bod has been delighted. The fragrance-free part is really working for me, as it the texture and coverage — and it lasts! That silky feeling one gets upon immediately moisturising really, really lasts. Heart this.

Is A Perfectly Made Up Face Your Goooooooallllllllll?

27 Jun

I have been utterly and completely distracted by the World Cup. I’ve got a backlog of about a million things I’ve been working on, but the minute the clock hits a certain hour, I am gone, totally focused on the matches of the day. In fact, I’ve got all of ten minutes before the latest round of the last group matches begins!

Do you give not a monkeys about footie? Here’s something for your face:

BENEFIT SCORE!Clever Benefit, very clever! Not only the wisdom to package something for the summer that is in it, but also because this is a perfect combination of travel sizes. I hate not being able to do my usual face when I go on hols — or perhaps to the final of a major soccer tournament* — so to have all these bits in miniature is a real treat.

As ever, can’t say enough good things about PoreFessional, and the BeneTint doubles as a lippy, too. The sample size of They’re Real is also a genius addition.

Gotta go! Chat soon about other stuff, once the first round is done!

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Beauty Score! is €39.50, available at Debenhams, Benefit Boutiques and online at benefitcosmetics.co.uk.

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*I have entered every competition to win a trip to the final that I could find. Wish me luck!

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B&B! Q&A: Michelle Casey and the Super Electric Fountain of Youth

14 Apr

Michelle Casey Okay, I’m juuuust a tiny bit excited to talk about my experience of the Viora Reaction Skin Tightening Frequency treatment, which I received at Aqua Beauty, Stillorgan, from the hands of the owner herself, Michelle Casey. The clinic was awarded the Guinot Crown Award for 2014, and has been a leader in the beauty field for fifteen years.

Originally from Galway, Michelle had worked in a family business from an early age, and says, ‘I was aware of all stresses that a business can bring and the enjoyment, too. My Grandmother used to always say, if you own half a counter, own it yourself! So I decided to move from Galway and open my beauty clinic, the first of its type in Ireland at that time and have never looked back.’

First, a few Qs with Michelle, then the verdict on the process (as if you couldn’t already tell how I feel about it, from the headline.)

After all this time, are you still excited to be in the beauty biz?
I look forward to going to work every day, meeting my super team and all my clients. I have a strong passion and absolutely love what I do. I am a people person and love looking after and making my clients feel good!

Has the business changed much in fifteen years? How do you keep everything on the cutting edge?
Absolutely. Clients are more demanding and want immediate results: Irish women and men are very cosmopolitan and travel a lot now. Men are more open and savvy.

I myself travel a lot, and listen to my clients as to the kind of results they are looking for and usually that’s what inspires me. I will then go and source the best available treatment — I did this even through the recession. It’s so important to stay ahead of the game and that’s what I love so much about owning my own business.

Tell us a bit about the procedure you offered to B&B?
It’s called the Viora Reaction Skin Tightening Radio Frequency treatment. My clients are blown away by the results, and by how straightforward the whole process is. It’s pain-free and there’s no downtime required. It can be used on face and on the body and to firm, sculpt and tighten the skin. It’s a fabulous treatment for jowls and sagging skin around the neck area and to contour the body.

What is so appealing about this particular treatment?
The fight against ageing will always be top of the list for women in particular. Your future will be written all over your face, so it’s so important to look after your skin now. Technology is so powerful today when it comes to non invasive anti-ageing treatments. This will go from strength to strength over the next few years. I’m really excited to be a part of that industry and bring these innovations to Ireland.

Any beauty tips for the readers?
My beauty tips are never go to bed with make-up on, and invest in a good cleansing routine. I adore DR Daniello Profound Advanced Performance Glycolic Cleanser, Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing cream and Guinot’s Instant Radiance Moisturising Mask. A course of customised facials are a fabulous investment that keeps on giving.

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I really had no idea what to expect from this procedure. I’d had laser, and had rather memorably freaked out about it; at this stage in my career I hop up on treatment tables with a high degree of aplomb.

Michelle explained the process: using three different radio frequency channels, Viora stimulates collagen and elsatin production, the slowing down of which is what causes wrinkles and sagging skin. The applicator  looks like a laser thingie, and its tiny zaps of current, at the contact point,  felt like I imagine a staple gun feels — but, I also imagine, with far less pain. Michelle worked for 45 minutes on each side of my face. Here’s are pictures of that midpoint:
VIORA mid-treatment2
VIORA mid-treatment
I love the look of delighted shock in my eyes in the second one.

Once I knew what to expect — little blasts of very manageable heat at the contact point on my face — I almost fell asleep during the second half of my face. This is the end result:
VIORA after

I gotta say, four months later, I’m still seeing the benefit. A client is only permitted eight treatments per year, because otherwise the skin overstimulates, and there’s the possibility of an increase in wrinkleage and sagging. No thanks!

Had I needed to, I could have put on makeup straightaway: there was no redness, no pain, and absolutely no downtime.

Also: this works on cellulite, and I’ve seen evidence that it works on bingo wings! Need I say more?

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Face €160: Course of 6 €800 (includes one free)
Neck €150: Course of 6 €750 (includes one free)
Face & Neck €290: Course of 6 €1450 (includes one free)
Cellulite 1 area from €120; 4-6 treatments are recommended

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Aqua Beauty
No. 6 The Hill
Stillorgan, County Dublin
T 01 278 1616
W aquabeauty.ie

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Garnier Ultimate Blends: What’s Your Antidote?

31 Mar

Argh, which is not as good as ‘what’s your poison?’ but I’m going to go with it. The recent launch of Garnier Ultimate Blends haircare line saw each of their distinctive elements translated into mocktails, as shown below.
01 ALLL THE DRINKS
Just as well that they were mock, as the fruity/nutty blends went down very, very easily. Below, The One With the Coconut, which I inhaled before you could say ‘Where’s the little umbrella!?!’
02 THE ONE WITH THE COCONUT
Here’s the one with the coconut, which was especially delicious. This matched up with The Sleek Restorer, the shampoo, conditioner and treatment for those among us who suffer from dry, frizzy hair. It’s got coconut oil in it, hence the mocktail, as well as cocoa butter, which is just as well it wasn’t an ingredient, at least in the drink.

There is something for every hair issue, way beyond the usual dry-normal-greasy troika. In addition to The Sleek Restorer, you may avail of:

>The Marvellous Transformer
with Argan and Camellia Oils for dry, lifeless hair
>The Silky Smoother
with Vanilla Milk and Papaya for mid-long hair with split ends
>The Colour Illuminator
with Moroccan Argan Oil and North American Cranberry for coloured hair
>The Nourishing Repairer
with European Avocado Oil and African Shea Butter for very dry, damaged hair
> The Shine Revitaliser
with Chinese Green Tea and Mediterranean Lemon for normal hair

We all got a fluff-up from the stylists…
03 STYLIN
04 FRONTWAYS

…and were sent on our way with some of the flavours to test. I’ve used The Silky Smoother and the Colour Illuminator. Both smell delish, and despite this being a value range, a little bit of everything goes a long way. The first time I used the Silky, it took me about half an hour to rinse out the suds, simply because I used way too much.

Both dry to a blinding shine — truth — but I’ve found that the Colour Illuminator gives better second day hair. The line comes with a 7 in 1 Dry Shampoo, which didn’t work for me, so I couldn’t use it to extend my coiff. The brunettes at the launch were thrilled because it doesn’t turn your hair white; I found it wasn’t dry enough on contact, and that my hair flopped after about an hour. I love the 1 Minute Treatments, though, and have found them to be very moisturising, and again: they smell fantastic and therefore: spendy.

But! See the prices below: the value is enormous, and the line extends to hair oils as well. Because I am spoiled, I can be a bit leery of using economy brands, especially on the highlights, as cheaper products can be pretty harsh. These felt great, and gave an posh finish, as fancy as any of the higher priced brands I’ve tried. They do seem to be erring on the side of dry hair, probably a result of all the heat we have been applying over the last number of years, but I wonder at the lack of a greasy hair formula. I suppose the dry shampoo is there for that, but I’d want something that goes — ha, ha — directly to the root of the problem in the cleansing process…

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Garnier Ultimate Blends:
Shampoos and conditioners: €3.99
One minute treatments: €6.99
7 in 1 Dry Shampoo: €5.49
Hair oils: €10.99

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I Used It All Up: Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate

21 Mar

NYR BEAUTY SLEEPI have been known to cut off the ends of tubes to get all the rest of a product out, and of course: any excuse to show the evidence of my disbelief that there was nothing left in that Stila compact.

I stopped myself short of smashing this bottle of Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate, but only just.

I have adored this from the first: it plumped up my complexion while I sleep, and its gorgeous smell also helped me drift off gently into the dreamtime. My head is rather bizzy, and it can take me ages to fall asleep sometimes — most times, to be honest. This helped loads with winding down my mind, and I’m guessing it’s down to the patchouli that’s in the mix, as one of the essential oil’s qualities is that of a sedative. {There’s clary sage and ylang ylang in there, too, also longtime faves of mine.}

One or two pumps routinely did the job, and in that phase of the night when the skin is most receptive, this got to work moisturising, and encouraging collagen production via the peptides that are part of its composition. In between all the other night treatments I’ve tested over the last six months — and many of them were very, very good — I always returned to this one. When I recently went to pump up some of its rejuvenating goodness, I just about had a heart attack when it failed to dispense.

I tried turning it upside down, which didn’t help so much, and found that laying it on its side worked better, for some reason. And then I just had to declare defeat, and resign myself to writing about it under the IUIAU umbrella.

So there it was, sitting on my desk, when I noticed —

NOT ALL GONE?!? NYR BEAUTY SLEEP
HANG ON. Okay, still not smashing it, but one or two good thumps may yield a few more beauty sleeps…

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€36.69/£37/$64.90 < ouch, soz, America!

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Once More, with Even More Feeling! Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

26 Feb

So, I’m back in the offices of TV Now Magazine, this time on the editorial maternity cover side {as opposed to the design maternity cover side} and as I was leaving this morning, I was wondering what lipstick I would take with me, and I looked in the box that is next to my soundsystem — an insane assortment which I’ll have to show you sometime — and I gasped! Because I remembered my beloved Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake!
THAT LIP BUTTER!
… which I actually forgot all about! Which will make sense when you see the range of choice that confronts me every day.

But still: I am stupid with adoration of this little tube of buttery pink cuteness, and there it is, in its place of honour, by the keyboard. It is clearly to go-to choice of all TV Now subeditors {me.}

I’m going to use it all up! I can feel in it me waters!

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SRSLY: here, here, and here.

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€11.20/£7.99/$7.49 << Huh! The internet says that’s the $ price, at least at Walgreens. So I can’t give out too much re: price point disparity any more. Also! it’s $8.29 at CVS! Soz, America, if my complaints have resulted in that adjustment.

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Danger! Cosmetics to Go: A Q&A with Mira Manga, Author of Lush’s First Book

24 Jan

It’s not so unusual, a beauty brand branching out into the world of publishing — sure, Bobbi Brown’s got several titles to her name. So when the call came to have a chat with Mira Manga, whose book, Danger! Cosmetics To Go is a look at the origin story of the Lush brand, I certainly wasn’t going to say no.

Particularly as another one of my hats is that of books editor for the Herald. I like to mix things up in the column, and especially like having the chats with other* authors. The Q&A with Mira can be found here, along with reviews of some other beautyfull books.

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*Other authors? Yes, indeed! THAT MAGIC MISCHIEF And it occurred to me that I have been talking about my most recently published novel, That Magic Mischief, many times this week. So, here ’tis! Available for download for whatever digital reader you currently own, this is a contemporary romantic comedy set in Brooklyn, but with Irish interest (as in the hero) and a paranormal aspect as well (as in a Pooka).

I’ve also got two more! Drama Queen and The Fidelity Project are also available for purchase from the Ether — and I reckon I was talking about all my titles because: thank God for digital! I’m especially fond of it as regards these two: printed in a short run, they would have disappeared entirely if not for the Advances of Modern Technology.

Something{s} for the weekend, so?

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Tried & Tested @ The Herald: Groom-o-rama

9 Jan

This is a piece about some serious grooming tools to spruce you up for 2014.

The intro, however, applies to a splurge-o-rama piece I wrote, in conjunction with a best value column, and neither seem to have made an appearance on t’internet. Ah, well. My weekly reviews appear on Tuesdays, if you want to be all analogue about it.

Below please find the foot-care extravaganza that is the Emjoi MICRO Pedi 12 Piece Gift Set.
EMJOI GROOMING
I hate feet, but love this. Just goes to show: keep an open mind, and you too can wear shoes with an open toe.

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Soz, still jet lagging and a bit bonkers with it.

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No Way, In Fact, That It Was Enough: Yeah, I Mean, Seriously.

20 Dec

Tchaa. Like I didn’t know it. In an effort to save on kgs at check-in, I had made a list of the product I’d left behind at mum’s.

No. So I packed with my usual style — still keeping that list in mind, but also trying to remember the the things I hate to be without when abroad.

Hate being without exfoliant. When I get back home, I spend about ten minutes scrubbing off the accumulation of dead skin cells. Is gross! Feels spectacular! Spectaluloss! In went the body exfoliant; forgot the face exfoliant.

HATE having dry looking hair, which occurs due to the difference in water hardness/softeness —  which I write about every year! — so I chucked in some serum capsules, which I didn’t need because there was a big thing of some hair gloss that I got last time — but forgot to bring conditioner. Gahhhh.

Oh, darn! Have to go to Walgreens!

ALMOST ALL THE STUFF

Have to go to Walgreens, even with all that. And I haven’t even looked in the make up bags.

Make up bags. Or gone through all my pockets to track down rogue lippys…

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I don’t know, it’s not so much stuff? For the guts of three weeks? << which is my cry every year?

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OMChristmas: A Variety of Beautyfull Things

19 Dec

BUTLERS 7.95
Love, love, love this BUTLER’S CHOCOLATE Tree Ornament {€7.95} is fun, functional and delicious. Well, the stuff inside is; don’t eat the actual bauble. Like I have to say it, but you never know. Should figure in your decorative oeuvre for years to come.

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Mini Mani Month 2013-1
This is an advent-ish calender that works all year round: CIATÉ Mini Mani Month {£42} comes with enough nail polish to please even your fussiest manicure enthusiast. There’s 19 5ml varnishes, 1 large size paint pot, 2 bottles of Caviar Pearls, and 2 samples of glitter/sequins… which equals 24? Whevs: it is super cute, even if it can’t add.

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Aoife Harrison - Ivory Lace Hairband with Silk Flower - High
AOIFE HARRISON is an Irish milliner whose gorgeous headpieces are like confectionery for your noggin. Above is the Ivory Lace Hairband with Silk Flower, embroidered and studded with pearls — it is simply stunning! Prices range from €199 to €399; her work is stocked exclusively at the Design Centre, or go online at aoifeharrison.ie. A bridal heirloom in the making!

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Neroli Candle
Oh, YON KA PARIS, with your Neroli Orange Blossom Serenity Massage Oil Candle {€45}, are you trying to kill me? This is so pretty and smart: the little spout on the candle container is pure genius. No messing about with scooping warmed wax: just light, blow out the flame, and pour! Happy holidays, indeed.

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DUBARRY FLASK
DUBARRY Rugby Hip Flask in Walnut {€50} is perfect for the dudes, but why be sexist when you don’t have to? I would welcome this with open pocket.

That’s me done with gift guides for another festive season. Happy Christmas!

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