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FOTYesterday + The Hair

10 Mar

FOTD 09 03Highlights — not just on The Hair — include:

> essence Long-lasting Lipstick {€2.89} in Come Naturally: really emollient, loving the dark nude, feels like a balm.

> Foundation via Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin {€38}, which has not let me down in the month or so that I’ve been trialing it. It’s matte, but not so matte that you look like you should be displayed in Madame Tussaud’s — a lovely, natural glow is allowed to illuminate your skin without your face ever looking greasy.

> Sadly a function of the iPhone, the No7 eyeshadow is not showing up as well as it ought. This Mini Palette {€14.25} is fabbbbbbilis, the shadows are light in weight, but deep in pigment. It felt so light, even on the brush, that I loaded it up too much the first time out, and have since pulled back a little.

> Gave The Hair a little treat before shampooing: BC Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil {€27} from Schwarzkopf Professional. Soaked it into the lengths and ends and left it for… well over an hour I’m sure, since I was hard at work doing keyboardy stuff. Washed it out with the matching Fig Oil & Keratin Restorative Shampoo. Silky!

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Synaesthesia Treatment at Lush Spa, Chelsea

9 Mar

Life can be hard, and so can London. I’ve never lived there, but I’ve visited often, and even after one day — one happy, varied day wandering around, breakfasting on eggs royale, getting some makeup put on my face at the Charlotte Tilbury counter at Selfridges; taking the Tube; looking for WiFi… even after less than eight hours of it, London was wearing me out. By the time I got to the LUSH Spa in the King’s Road, Chelsea, I was shocked there wasn’t line of people streaming out the door, queuing for pampering.

The level of busyness reminds me of New York, which I mention because I got confused about the way the numbers run on streets. In Manhattan, it’s across, so 19 may be on the left, and 20 on the right. Here, and in Dublin too, the odds are all on one side, the evens all on the other — so when I got to where I thought 123 was, I was surprised at the lack of LUSH branding… and at the thought that it was in a some class of shopping centre. I did that thing where I wandered up and down, undecided, and then decided to wander along the road a bit longer — ah. There was the storefront. That made much more sense.
LUSH Kings Road Spa front

Despite the length and breadth of the city, the Tube makes you get places faster and I was half an hour early. My stupid injury leg was acting up too, but there was nowhere for me to wait, so I went next door to the Starbucks and had a big auld Chai Latte with a helping of some previously elusive WiFi. I almost had my nose removed by an impatient, not-watching-whose-space-she-was-invading, skinny-latte-to-go person who just reached right across me to grab some sugar — GRAB THE SUGAR BEFORE IT ALL GOES AWAY LONDON PERSON! Janie Mac. I am increasingly sounding like auld dear, but you’d want to try that in Dublin!

This is all to say that I really needed my 80 minutes of massagey goodness by the time I was lead down to the spa, in the lower ground floor of the shop.
Kitchen Table
The waiting space is small, and the essence of the LUSH treatments are so personal, that I saw why you wouldn’t want anyone hanging round while you were being taken through your preparation. I was to receive the Synaesthesia, the brand’s first, and signature, treatment.  
Massage bars in kitchen
The event is organised around a word that one chooses from the phrase written on the wall, and the bottle chosen {very Alice in Wonderland} from a nearby shelf. I chose my word and my bottle, and was talked through the use of the music, a bespoke symphony that mirrors a day from dawn to dusk in the Dorset countryside. I was advised that it would be played at sound level, which is: not as a subliminal element. There were moments when the transitions between movements were jarring, but in general, it was lovely, and was an unusually big part of the experience.
Synaesthesia
I was greeted at the door of the room with a dry-iced infusion of the scent I had chosen: it was theatrical, but fragrant. The room actually had a chair for me to sit on when I disrobed, and I can’t stress enough how much sense this makes, and how few rooms actually supply this basic piece of furniture. Particularly when you’ve got a stupid injury leg and don’t need to be hopping all over the place trying to get your knicks off.

{You have the choice of hot stones, as shown, or an abdominal massage. I went for the belly rub despite being dead ticklish.}

The massage was thorough, from face to toes. I had been invited to remove my make up beforehand, and there was some confusion as to what was going to happen. I had other stuff to do following and didn’t really want to cleanse. I was assured this was okay, but it really wasn’t, as the treatment kicked off with a face massage. Now, I have long longed for the face to be included in many a full-body massage I’ve enjoyed; I was somewhat distracted by the use of product on my face over my foundation and wished I’d asked what was specifically going to happen. I think that the LUSH ethos comes down so heavily on the side of ‘whatever suits you’ — which is normally great — but in this case, it would have been preferable to have cleansed.

It took some time to cop, but the movements of the massage flowed with the movements of the music. The breaks in the score were timed with the breaks in the massage, and the whole thing felt like the perfect gestalt of sound, touch, and scent. I didn’t find myself as floaty as I might get during a treatment, due to the sound level of the toons, but otherwise, I felt utterly relaxed.

A lovely cup of tea awaited, as well as a massage bar emblazoned with my word, and bath bar that unlike many of LUSH’s offerings, is reusable — just hold underneath the flowing water and let dry when you feel your bath is properly bubble-fied.

I left, to the easy-going goodbyes of the staff and a decision to give the number 11 bus a go. I just couldn’t face the Underground and the stressy crowds. The journey from King’s Road to the East End took basically forever, and the conductor was a fussy young fella who was unhappy with the way the side doors were closing and made a big production out of his feeling — I called him ‘Stan Shunpike’ in my head to preserve my good mood. Otherwise, the bus was the perfect tour of the sights, from the fancy window displays in Chelsea, through Trafalgar Square, past St Paul’s, and I did ultimately reach my destination.

Any my stupid injury leg? All the better for the attention to it, and to my entire body. As ever, I resolve to have more massage in my life, for both physical and mental wellbeing — we’ll see how that goes…

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In the mood to splash out? This is super splashy: £125 for 80 minutes, plus your complimentary products.

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LUSH Spa
123 King’s Road, London SW3 4PL, United Kingdom
+44 20 7376 8348

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The Thing About Samples: Sisley Paris All Day All Year

19 Jan

The thing is, samples can make you want something.

Want this:
SISLEY ALL DAY ALL NIGHT

I am not a comprehensive Sisley fan. That Black Rose Cream Mask is beast, but I found the Global Perfect Pore Minimizer to be no use a’tall. I’ve had more time for their makeup, in fact — Phyto-Ombre Glow Luminous Eyeshadow, and Mascara So Intense, yes and yes — and generally tend to choose between either skincare or face paint when I’m thinking about a brand. {Do I? Will have to give that a serious think.}

I had a facial ages ago in the Brown Thomas beauty rooms, and of course the products show to their best effect when used by a pro. I got some wee samples, hence the above, and they’ve been languishing in one of my organisational units. I went on my usual New Year Clearing Out Tear, and it was either pitch it or give it a go, so I reckoned, just use it — why let even .13 ounces of something really expensive got to waste.

Well, this stuff is terrific. Which is bad news because: spendy — ruinously so. At €250 for 50 mls, I guess I have about €3 worth of this stuff in that wee pack. The thing is, my skin felt both tightened and moisturised simultaneously, which sounds impossible, but in practice, feels exactly correct and what you want out of an anti-aging product. I felt like I was fighting dryness and gravity — and! my foundation looked amazing even after a full day out and about. This promises that after 28 days of use, you’ll look more youthful, and I gotta say, I’d love to give that a try…

Is it worth €250/£236/$410? Will I wait for your answer until you pick yourself up off the floor?

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It may be worth cruising by your local Sisley counter to see will they give you a little sample of this extreme goodness…

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Wind-ter Getting You Down? Moisturise at Night!

12 Jan

I don’t know about you, but the gale force winds are wrecking my head, espesh with being out on the horses in it. I haven’t minded the noise at night, though, and I’m doing my best work in the dreamtime to keep my skin from getting wrecked, never mind my head.

Lashings of cream at night is my only man these blowy days. I’m a big fan of sleeping through the hard stuff, and by deeply moisturising at least three times a week, at bedtime, I feel that I’m keeping my complexion in good nick.

Here are three of my favourites.

GREEN ANGEL
Yeah, I know it says ‘daily’ on it, but GREEN ANGEL Seaweed Daily Moisture Face Cream with Jasmine, Neroli & Vitamin E {€24.95} is well able for double duty at night. Anything with seaweed in it is going to be alright by me — add in those oils, and this is bliss in a jar.

NUXE
NUXE have a new addition in their Merveillance Expert Rich Correcting Cream {€40}, and it’s a good one. I’m happy to use this as directed in the morning, but have been finding it to be great at night, too. Actually? Rather better, as the consistency of the cream is rich and thick. While it does absorb nicely, I’m finding its thickness and richness to be better at the end of the day as opposed to the beginning of it.

ORIGINS
Oh, hello, darling. I love, love, love ORIGINS High Potency Night-A-Mins Renewal Cream {€45}, and wish they would make a version that was for the entire body. I hoard this, TBH, because it is like a miraculous new-face-in-a-jar. It never fails to make my skin glow the morning after the night before; the only thing I’ll say against it is that it smells so good, sometimes I keeping myself awake breathing it in. Just me…?

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I had long wondered about the day cream v night cream debate — as in, what’s the difference? — and posted about it here

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Thinking About Packing: Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

2 Dec

Only mumble mumble weeks ’til The Christmas, and I am already thinking about packing up the big bag on wheels. Unsurprisingly, I always end up taking loads of stuff, as per here, and yet find the whole grooming-situation-away-from-home to be unsatisfying. My skin almost hardly ever feels as shiny and clean as it does when I have all my stuff to choose from. I like having options, and in the interest of leaving space in the big bag for the fruits of two+ weeks in America, I try not to load up on too much product.

CLINIQUE SONICHowever! I think my skincare dreams have come true thanks to this cute little number.

Here is Clinique’s new Purifying Cleansing Brush. It powers itself up via USB, which is great for me as a standard Irish/UK plug wouldn’t suit me for travelling, and the little holder it sits in while it charges is no size a’tall. The thing itself is of no size a’tall as well, and yet it is as good a cleanse as any of the larger, heavier brushes I’ve tried in the past. Its slimline design makes it a much more attractive proposition to take along on the road — although I do wish there was some class of equally lightweight carry case. It’ll end up wrapped in a baggie, tucked into a pair of socks and then stuffed in a boot — I really am thinking about packing — but I wish it had something a little more protective to keep it in.

CLINIQUE SONIC 2
See! Just the right size, both for the hand and the bag. It does take some getting used to for sensitive skin, so it is advised to start with a quick but thorough 30 second cleanse, and building up from there. The white bristles take care of the cheeks, while the green ones are designed to do the business on the pesky T-zone. The cap has many big holes in it, allowing the brush to dry whilst keeping it safe from getting smashed. FOAMING SONIC SOAP

This has been on-counter for an age; I was waiting to write until I got me paws on the Foaming Sonic Facial Soap. This is a a cream, not a liquid, but thicker than your usual cream cleanser. It is hard to squeeze out of the tube, and the first time I used it, I erred on the side of more rather than less. It was an err for sure: you need less than a pea-sized amount to get the best out of it — maybe half a pea, or two-thirds. It is rich, and applies easily all over a damp face, and then it foams like a boss. I feel like I could use anything with the brush and it would be grand, but I like this best.

I keep pronouncing it ‘Clinque Sonique’ to myself. #lulz

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€89 for the brush, €22 for the soap!

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I Used It All Up: Buff Make-Up Camera Ready Primer

19 Nov

What does it take for a beauty journo/blogger to Use Something All Up? A really good product…

It’s that time of year.

BUFF MAKE UP PRIMER IUIAU

All gone

I didn’t even realise how often I was reaching for Buff Make-Up Camera Ready Primer until it turned up empty.

Unless someone was sneaking in here and using it behind my back.

What I loved about this was its clear appearance and its gel-like consistency: it provided the perfect base for foundation without adding any colour. It also felt feathery soft on application. Also! It did exactly what all primers are meant to do and minimised my pores and fine lines.

This will be missed.

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€26

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Love This: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Gloss + Rimmel Mascara

14 Nov

BURT'S BEES LIP GLOSS

This is Ruby Moon: it’s a gloss with all the pigmentation of a lippy. It is light as a feather and it sparkles. Need I say more? Oh, it’s a tenner.

Also: dem lashes? Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara, less than a tenner {€6.49}.

Just had to share.

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Edit: A rogue ‘This’ thanks to the not-terribly-good quick post function. Anyone else not in love with it?

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Oh, Hello My Darling: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

13 Nov

I add my name to the ever-expanding list of bloggers who have fallen under the spell of this little beauty. And I don’t even care about blush all that much.
HOURGLASS AMBIENT BLUSH TRIO
Now, I will admit that when I saw the images on Teh Intertubes, I thought that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette would be bigger, in terms of the compact-size itself {rather an oxymoron, I know} and that the pans were much larger. I wasn’t impressed when I opened it, and wasn’t sure that the brush I usually used to apply blush was even going to work. And if I had to use a smaller one? What is worse than stripey-looking blush? Not much.
HOURGLASS AMBIENT BLUSH ACTUAL SIZE

Ah, but these are to be filed under Perfectly Formed, because as small as they are, the quality of the powder is such that it distributes evenly on the brush, and the pigment is so rich and has such depth that it goes on like a dream. And it stays on like a.. like something that stays on forever and ever until you take it off yourself.

From left we have Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra and Mood Exposure: or rose, peach and plum. My favourite of all these faves? Unexpectedly, the plum: it is muted, but so flattering. The veins of goodness are the caches of Ambient Lighting Powder, which reflects light to the exact perfect degree that conveys youth and dewiness.

This is perfect and I love it. I am so in love that I keep it in its box when its sleeping. No fraternising with the rest of the cosmetics, who knows what it’ll get up to, and what the others, in their jealousy and spite, will do to it!

Oookay. I was thinking about how much I want the Ambient Lighting Trio, but that might just get me a date with the men in the white coats…

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€72/£56/$56 — Hmmm. Not a price point differential to enjoy, from a euro point of view…

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ME CHOOBS: Bliss and Elemis, That Is

20 Oct

Not me lady-choobs — I suspect this only plays in Ireland. Maybe even only in Dublin.*

I decided, as you do, that I wanted to smell like bliss’ vanilla+bergamot, which I love unconditionally and have written about before. I have used up my body buff and if I ever had the soapy suds, that was long gone. All I had left was the body butter, and I was all set for a good butterin’ from neck to toe.

Alas! The tube made the splattery-farty noise that is the death knell of product that dispenses from from such a package. LOL — sorry, it is very adolescent all up in here today.

I further decided that if there was a tiny blob yet to be had up this tube, I was going after it. So I got out the scissors.
BLISS all cut up
Except! There was like, tonnes of it left. This stuff is so rich that this was definitely way too much for one usage.

Damn! Nothing for it but to get out the cling film.
BLISS all wrapped up
It’s not a bad solution, but I am clearly going to have to feel vanilla-y and bergamot-y soon. Like, tomorrow.

And then! The very next day, I went to give myself a good scrub with Elemis’ Sp@Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub
ELEMIS body scrub
Gah! The entire world of grooming is against me!

Look, I think there’s a little bit left…

Would you go to such lengths to get the last bit of a thing?

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The bliss prices are in the link, but should you not be arsed:
Body Butter £20/€25/$28
Body Buff £28/€39/$36
Soapy Suds £16/€22/$18

Elemis Sp@Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub
€39/£28.50/$53
Go here for some gratuitous CumberPecs

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*’Choobs’=tubes=internal lady parts. But you call them ‘yer choobs’ when you are annoyed about something. ‘How To Kill A Joke In One Easy Step.’

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No 7 Sheer Temptation Knows No Season

17 Oct

I know it’s autumn, but I don’t care. I love this spring-ish lippy, which is on its way to being AUU {All Used Up.}
NO 7 THUS FAR
This is Pretty Please from No7, from the Sheer Temptation line {€12.95.} I love being able to lash on a pop of colour without looking.
NO 7 IN ACTION
So lazy. But: so pretty, this colour! It’s light, too, which makes a difference when I’m working in an office, sitting all day, and grazing. Blot, eat an apple, reapply. Or, in fairness, a bag of crisps.

I got colour-matched at Boots, and wisely went in on a day when I was wearing no make up, and it definitely made a difference in terms of getting a good match on the foundation. I came up Cool Ivory {€18.25} under these circs; when I got colour-matched at a recent Boots event, I came up Deeply Beige, I think due to the foundation I was already wearing — despite some of it having been cleared away.

The device used is similar to a photographer’s light meter, and once your ‘family’ of colour is established, you get a handy little card that has your colours on it. Here’s my colour-matched face, sporting the Stay Perfect Foundation and Moisture Drench lipstick in Soft Berry {€12.95.}
NO 7 COLOUR MATCHED
The foundation really is a terrific match; I find it to be not-as-long-lasting as I’d like. The lip colour? LOVE. It’s not nearly as low maintenance as its lighter cousin, but sometimes, a little extra effort is worth it.

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Feeling very boldfaced today!

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