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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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Who Who Who? MeMeMe! UK Brand Now Available in Ireland

4 Apr

There is much to adore about UK brand Me Me Me, not the least of which are the low price points. I have yet to fully investigate the samples I received for review, but have to talk about Blush Me! immediately because my discovery of its extreme cleverness unspooled like a short film.

I remarked upon the shape of the box.
ME ME ME 01
Hmmmmmm. Seen this shape before.
ME ME ME 02
Thing is though, there really needs to be a —
ME ME ME 03
Yeah!

This is Rouge; there’s a Bronze, Coral and Pink as well. I’ve also got some Goddess Rocks which, once the tanning commences, will be given a full-fledged post of their own.

That price point? €10.99. Enough said.

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If you haven’t already clicked through, have a browse at mememecosmetics.ie for the full range

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Mother’s Day 2014: Things That Spritz and Things That… Fits

24 Mar

Gift guides demonstrate the breadth of options one has when coming up to a big day like Mother’s Day {does anyone still call it Mothering Sunday, which sounds a little bit creepy?} or, they are prejudiced to the writer’s own preferences. This is a little bit of both. I like perfume, and I like things that are contained in other things, espesh when the container is ultimately useful in the future. I like all of these, and your mum may, too.

JO MALONE Rain & Angelica {€100} JO MALONEThis is one of four in the limited London Rain edition, hence the extra few bob in the price. The first hit of this is spectacular, truly infused with the freshness of rain. I pick up a little bit of pepper too, but that may just be my screwy nose (don’t ask me to talk about wine; I can tell if it’s red or white, that’s about the extent of it.) I just kept spraying it and spraying it on myself, because I kept missing the dry down — when I did get it, I was delighted for the wee blast of vetiver. This is lovely, but I will say it doesn’t have the staying power of some the classic JM scents.

Other scents in the collection include Wisteria & Violet, White Jasmine & Mint, and Black Cedarwood & Juniper, the last of which appeals as juniper = gin; also, the press materials claim that it has a ‘carnal touch of cumin’ in it, which — the mind reels.

LACOSTELACOSTE Eau de Lacoste Sensuelle {€60} This brand has always seemed preppy to me, which is mainly what they’re going for — that’s all in the way to say that sensual and little alligators haven’t exactly matched up in my mind. This is here to change yours: it’s got some amber notes in it, to darken things down a bit, and the bottle, as you can see, it designed to reflect the new tone.

It’s still sweet and yummy, though, and this dries down to a nougatine, vamilla-y vibe, so not too shocking a change. It’s definitely a touch more sophisticated — as in, less sporty — than the the original Eau de Lacoste for Women — but it doesn’t get completely down and dirty.

MUM'S DAY LUSH
LUSH Mum {€37.95} Talk about ‘what is says on the tin’! This container — yes, made of tin — is chock full of fun Lush stuff. Well, five seems like a ‘chock’ to me. There’s Dream Cream hand and body lotion, which is fab, and a trial-sized Gorgeous mosituriser for the face, along with four delicious bath additives, including a personal fave, the Secret Garden Bath Bomb. The tin is useful after mum uses everything up!

L'OCCITANE
L’OCCITANE The Exquisite Boudoir Collection {€17. with €40 purchase} I myself love a good coffret, and L’Occitane have packed this adorable, yet elegant box with five travel-sized products, including their glorious new scent, Neroli & Orchidee, in Eau de Toilette and body milk form. And you could even spend the €40 on mum — or on somebody else, ahem. You can now shop online at loccitane.ie, using the code VELVET, if you haven’t a boutique in your locality.

MUM'S DAY THE BODY SHOP
THE BODY SHOP Spritz & Moisture Basket {€22.95} Ah! A wee beach bag! Available in three ‘flavours’ — Satsuma, Shea, or Moringa — this contains a shower gel, an Eau de Toilette, and a sample of the brand’s famous body butter. Pictured is Satsuma, which I find to be refreshing and sexy, but the other two are equally good, depending on mum’s preference. Perfect to bring along on the big summer holidays.

FIT FLOPSFIT FLOPS The Skinny {€90} These also come in white, and look fab in either colour, I think it’s thanks to the cork-wraparound on the sole. White might go better with the above beach bag, but the red is so sporty and, I don’t know, yacht-y? Which may match nicely with the Lacoste perfume? If mum is an FF enthusiast, you won’t go wrong.

ROISIN CHOCOLATES ALDI
RÓISÍN’S Luxury Irish Chocolates {€9.99} From Aldi, these are delicious, and I can personally vouch for that, because I would never, ever recommend something without having tried it. Ever. So selfless! Anyway, this ‘fits’ because chocolates always work, for chocolate-loving mums, anyway.

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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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Make Up Mathematics: Smashbox (bumble+bumble) + Davis Factor = WOW

11 Mar

Oh, hello, bus face!
01 46A AS USUAL
Here’s me, at the official start of my 2014, on 12 January. I’m on my way to get done by a squad of beauty experts, in Smock Alley in Dublin 2, thanks to Smashbox UK, bumble+bumble, and American photographer Davis Factor, who also happens to be the great-grandson of Max Factor, the actual Hollywood beauty legend. A legend in his own right, Davis and his brother Dean founded Smashbox Studios in LA, in 1990; our beloved line of cosmetics came along in 1996. Ooh, a twenty year anniversary is imminent!

I have only one snap of Smock Alley, because there was too much craic to be had. It looked amazing in there, like, NYC loft-style fabulousness, and I think I was either homesick for NY home {as I’d only been back a wet week to Ireland home} and/or the setting was so familiar to me — in my own personal NYC loft-style fabulousness {LOL— no so much} that I felt perfectly comfortable.
00 SMOCK ALLEY
Sure, and you wouldn’t know you were in Dublin a’tall.

The vibe was all Irish, or what I’ve come to equate with being an Irish beauty bird: we all know each other, if we don’t, we soon do, and everyone is cool and nice and, and, everything. I always feel so proud of us whenever we get together. *Sniffle*

Let’s get to it!
02 BUMBLE VOLUME
My hair came under the comb of KT from Sobe Brown, Cork, known for their expert use of bumble+bumble products. I haven’t been well acquainted with the brand, TBH. I tried their deeep hair mask years ago, and was impressed, but haven’t found a shampoo & conditioner duo that I like.

03 HAIR
I very much liked what KT did with my hair though, a style in which the Bb thickening hair spray figured largely. Lashed on the roots, it managed to lift the hair but stay light and non-sticky. Above, the moment I realised this very fact. Huh!

My cut and colour was thanks to Aileen Fennessey of Joseph Kramer Studio, Stillorgan — it is still receiving compliments, and the highlights are still going strong.

No sooner was I coiffed but I was whisked into the chair of Lori Taylor, the brand’s Global Pro Lead Artist. I apologised for being American; from California, I was certain Lori wasn’t expecting to have a Jersey Girl in front of her mirror. We did not let any coastal bias effect our time together, and had a great chat about all sorts. I was able to recommend an Irish single malt to bring home to her husband; she gave me a fab flicky, smokey look.
04 FLICKY!
Here’s the flicky! For me, the whole point of getting my make up done by a professional is having them do the things that I am crap at, like flicky eyeliner. I was the extreme opposite of disappointed.
05 SHADOWY!
And here’s the smokey! All the MUAs were availing of the excellence that is the Full Exposure Palette: with fourteen shades to take you from day to evening, from matte to sparkle, there is nothing that this can’t do. Well, okay, it won’t put it on you itself.
06 BLUSH!
Blushy! I haven’t been bothering with blush much these days, but was inspired to change that, by this. Lori used Halo Long Wear Blush, and when I say ‘used’, she barely tapped the brush into the miniscule bit she’d produced, using the grinder. It is serious pigment, and it really did wear long, too.
07 VOILA!
Lippy! Which is not actually lippy, but a secret thing — hang on — okay, looks like it’s not launched yet. Secret thing is still a secret. Check back in the summertime. Moving right along.

My time under the lights came up directly I was done with Lori {or rather, she was done with me…} I found it to be fun, throwing shapes in front of the seamless, and there was a wind machine. THERE WAS A WIND MACHINE: this is exactly what has been missing all my life! It is completely and utterly awesome and hilarious to be in front of a wind machine, getting your portrait taken. It went too fast!

I ended up hanging out, chatting with the PR team over from London, and then going out for cocktails with a couple of my blogger pals, and then swanning around the house trying to defer the dreaded hour when I’d have to take it all off.

Off I took it, because you should always, always take your make up off before you go to bed, right? Right!

***

Weeks went by, and we all checked in with one another: did you get your picture? We were to receive one portrait retouched, and printed properly, and a USB with all the frames from the shoot.

People started getting theirs, and I still hadn’t, and I lost the actual run of myself. When it did appear, it was all I could do not to open the envelope right then and there, with my teeth.
Susan Conely_1064
As chosen by Davis himself!

And as chosen by me:
SBX select 01 RT

SBX select 04 RT

SBX select 02 RT
Haaaaahahahahaha I love this last one, as I said to a pal on Facebook, it’s my ‘look of irritated compassion before I lower the boom.’ Watch out, mortals!

***

So, what’s the point of a post like this? Just showing off the fancy pictures of myself? If I didn’t routinely show unflattering snaps of my gob, I suppose you could draw that conclusion.

For me, it’s worth showing the entire experience of getting done up for the camera, how it changes step by step, to the end result, which is entirely different from any of the stops along the way. It’s like math — you show how everything adds up to the result — only it’s fun.

It’s also demonstrating how flattering a good face from a MUA is, and how well the Smashbox make up comes across digitally. The brand are so active when it comes to offering deals at their counters; maybe this will inspire you to give them a go the next time they have an event, especially if you haven’t tried them before.

I was surprised by the lack of colour, but damn, I would love to live in a B&W world!

***

Make up? Make-up? Makeup? I was making myself cray trying to decide. I went with what turns out to be house style, unbeknownst to the only person in the house. ‘Make up’ it is!

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Your BFF + You + Smashbox = Glamourous Fun

4 Mar

Oh, so much to share about Smashbox this week, but must get this out there: the brand’s UK team, headed by Janine Bird, Smashbox’s National Makeup Coach, are in town at the weekend to do both you and your best pal.

Well, you know what I mean. Complimentary appointments are available now, for either Friday the 7th or Saturday the 8th, in which you and your friend get a full makeover, with helpful tips along the way, and then get to have a go in the super-fantastic photo booth. Now, what makes a photo booth super-fantastic? A perfectly balanced lighting set up, that’s what.

Any excuse:
00Smash_Boxphoto_grid

Fun! Also fun: hanging out with your bud, and then going out looking gorgeous. And also: quality time with your bestie, and also also, so much is made of, like, doing nice stuff with your significant other, how about doing a nice thing with a friend?

If any of Smashbox’s previous events are anything to go by, maybe go back in time to yesterday and book your appointment then. Failing that, call them now now NOW on {01} 805 0400!

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Next up: another equation that adds up to glam, via Smashbox, later in the week!

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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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Roll Up, Roll Up: Benefit Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector and Gimme Brows

24 Feb

Ah sure, how hard could that be?
BENEFIT BALANCE
Pretty hard, I am guessing.

How easy is it to have to perfect skin? Eh, that depends. Benefit are making a new contribution to the flawless face-stakes with Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector, a liquid-to-powder that is balancing {see what they did there?}, self-adjusting and perfecting. Below, please see Mark Dixon, Irish BeneFit ambassador, making that last point:

BENEFIT Mark

Also: mini-burgers and delicious, delicious chips

I’ve given it a go, under a variety of circumstances, and I find that even though it is not technically a foundation — because the coverage is light-to-medium — when I treat it like a foundation, it works better. That means a good going over the face with PoreFessional and application with a brush.

I am not one hundred per cent sure that this product is meant to merit the full welly, but it got it anyway, because it did indeed feel light, yet comprehensively covering. When I used it on its own, I wasn’t as happy with the result. I mean, you can build it and build it, but that seems to run counter to claims that you’re done in one — coat, that is.

I did find the result to be as impressive as our featured acrobatettes, though: a healthy look with just the correct amount of glow, not shine; and even with the primer, it didn’t feel like I had anything on my face.

***

At the same launch, I was introduced to something that I fell in love with instantly. I am always on the lookout for new brow-defining products, and am stupid impressed with Gimme Brow:
GIMME BROW 1
A vast improvement on their Speed Brow, they took its sensible feature — a wand with a brush that is like a mascara brush — made it smaller, and infused the product with volumizing fibres. There’s pigment, too, either light/medium or medium/deep; this is the light version, which I never would have chosen, always going for the Academy Awards calibre Anne Hathaway brow, but seriously, those fibres fill things out, and even extend, naturally:
GIMME BROW 2
This last is dead handy, and as I am having to re-grow the lengths of my brows {what a life! I know, I know…}, this is helping get the look back without looking like something out of a Fellini film.

Speaking of, once more, with feeling:
BENEFIT Fit!

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Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector: €37/£32.50/$38

Gimme Brow: €24/£17.50/$22

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Kardashian Beauty Joystick in Babydoll Pink: Is Cute

19 Feb

It is, and I love it, I love it as much, maybe more than Shocking Pink.
KARDASHIAN Baby Doll Joystick
> Because it is lighter, it’s easy to reapply without looking.
> Sometimes a nude lip with a smoky eye just gets so boring, right? This is a little pop of colour, but not too much. Not that you can’t do a smoky with colour, I’ve certainly done so in the past, but I do find the best impact is made with a not-bright gob.
> Staying power is spectac.

I will say, though:

> The pointy doesn’t last, because of obvious reasons. It’s still skinny enough, though, so that’s something.
> I got the Retro Red because it looked like the perfect, blue-toned Hollywood rouge, but it’s not — at least not on me. It went all warm, and that simply doesn’t suit me a’tall.

Regardless: loving the Joysticks! Still have my eye on Love Hangover. Clearly can’t get enough of these — am positively cross-eyes with adoration.

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Available from sammccauley.com and cloud10 beauty, €13.99.

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Eau, How Lovely! Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Eau de Rose

6 Feb

I am once again trying to mind my manicure, and am {once again} at the ‘healing crisis’ stage. So, you know, overlook the rubbishy-looking cuticles, and less-than-perfect application << I got so excited to see this on the World Famous Super Model Thumbnail™ that I rushed my fences. But looooook:
YSL EAU DE ROSEI just love it. Neutral without being invisible or greige! Not that I don’t heart a good greige — I am not a complete heathen — but this delicate little touch of pinkiness is very welcome.

It does go on a bit thick, so make sure that your bottom coat is on and dry as a brick. If only I had taken this advice!

Whatevs, just really love this, and when my nails are sorted once more… well, I’ll probs bring this to a proper manicurist* and get it done right.

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€24/£18/$27

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*Any recs?

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