Tag Archives: CLINIQUE

I Try Before You Buy: Oil-based Skincare {+One Of These Things is Not Like the Others}

30 Nov

There’s mixed intel as to whether or not facial oils are good for oily skin: logic would say, ‘Eh, no they’re not,’ but I’ve read various articles and reviews that claim that oily skin is working overtime to make oil, so if you use an oil, it lets your complexion off the hook and it can relax. I’d love to hear if anyone has personal experience of this notion — good or not so good!

Me, I ♥♥♥ oils to the moon and back, so speaking of outer space, there are a lot of stars this week.

01 CLINIQUECLINIQUE Smart Treatment Oil, €44 {30ml}
I couldn’t get enough of the brand’s Turnaround oil, so when I used it all up, I was happy that this one was waiting in the wings. I love it just as much, and find it ‘dry’ enough to use in the day, which is not always the case. This is a triple anti-oxidant blend that’s fragrance-free, and it’s gentle enough for those who suffer from roseacea. I keep this by the bedside and put on lashings of it before bed, and awake with a new face.

03 DARPHINDARPHIN PARIS 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream, €91.65 {15ml}
Eep! That is pricey, but the cream is so rich, you won’t need or want to use too much. It would be like bingeing on fudge, or something. Every time I’ve used this, I have slept the sleep of the just, that is: I fell asleep immediately and stayed that way all through the night, and woke feeling like I’d been to some 04 LE MARAclass of dreamtime spa. Oh, and my skin looked radiant, a certain combination of the unbroken rest and the 280 petals from those 8 flowers that provide the aromatic essence.

LÉ MARA IRISH ORGANIC SEAWEED Miracle Facial Oil, €4.99 {150ml}
Here’s the opposite end of the spectrum: can anything that’s less than a fiver be any good? It is when it’s packed full of all sorts of goodness — from vitamin E to oat oil to primrose oil and bunch of anti-oxidants. The pump-action dispenser is pure genius, although it is better to spray in the palms than directly in the face {learned the hard way so you don’t have to.} This too is a mid-day, staying-in kind of treat, and it leaves behind a glorious glow. Bargain of the week — maybe of the year!

No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50 {30ml}05 No7
This seems almost too oily at first. I put that down to my own dispensing technique, which = using tonnes of product. Less is very much more here, and while I’m still not convinced that this is a good idea for me to apply in the a.m., I love it in the middle of a day in which I am hunkering down, not going anywhere, and ready for treat.06 TRILOGY

TRILOGY CoQ10 Booster Oil, €40 {20ml}
This is like a luxurious spa facial treatment right in your own home. It is far too heavy for use in the day, IMHO, but at nighttime, it is like the angels have wrung elixir from their wings for you to apply to your skin. Awake with a glow that wouldn’t look out of place whilst shepherds guard their flocks by night. Seriously, though: this is created to bust glycation, which causes collagen and elastin to become rigid, robbing skin of its plumpness and elasticity. The co-enzyme Q10 is an anti-oxidant, protecting the skin from ill-natured molecules.

VITA COCO Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, €12.99 {500ml}
I hesitated to Google ‘extra virgin’ because that just seemed like it was asking for a variety of pRon-y sites to pop up in my face, but this basically 07 VITA COCOmeans that it is processed in a way that is even better than ‘refined’. That is some price point, it has to be said, for such a versatile product: apply it head to toe, use it inside and out — it’s hard to imagine a better all-rounder when it comes to health and skincare. I had a difficult time using this for cooking, and yet when I used this on the bod, I felt like I should pop myself into the oven… Once I got over the mental blocks, I found I liked this best for my cuticles and for split ends {still too scared to use it as a hair mask, but I will get there as I suspect it will be amazing.}

And if all this oiliness doesn’t not appeal in the least:
KIEHL’S Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, €27.50 {50ml}
02 KIEHLSI’d say this definitely falls more on the side of a gel than a cream, but I’m not interested in semantics here: this is fab. I usually find gel-based moisturisers to absorb too quickly and dry tacky, but not this one — maybe there is something to the ‘cream’ in its name after all. Refreshing and soothing, this is terrific for skin that’s suffering from a surfeit of the elements, be they cold winter winds or hot summer suns. If you need a pick-you-up in the dark mornings, this will zing you to life and help with fine lines at the same time.


I Try Before You Buy: Fragrances from Jo Malone, Clinique, GHOST girl, The Body Shop and 007 for Women,

25 Aug

Tricky! Although we do have FR.ed, the virtual fragrance editor, who might help us choose a new scent for another based that others’ current preferences, I don’t know how much faith I’d have in myself as regards choosing a new EDP for a pal. Here are some scents for your consideration, and for dropping hints…

JO MALONE Mimosa & Cardamom
€52 {30ml} ****
This is a ‘floriental’, a word that I wish I’d made up myself: sweet but mysterious, as a good combination of a floral and an oriental should be. As with all of the new ‘flavours’ coming of Jo Malone in the last few years, I love this for layering, for using on top of one of the anchor fragrances — like Lime Basil & Mandarin. The combo of new with classic in this instance is perfection, a multitude of notes that blend beautifully into a symphony of deliciousness. I am inspired to flight of fancy, clearly. On its own, it needs a frequent top up, if you’re me and tend to use a lotta scent and want to smell it all day long.

CLINIQUE Aromatics in White
€70 {50ml} ****
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, an essential part of the Clinique Bonus Days offering was a purse-sized sample of their Aromatics EDP. I wasn’t mad for it: it felt that bit too heavy, and old-lady-ish. The majority of its ingredients — patchouli, ylang ylang, sage — are actual favourites of mine, so that just added to the disappointment. However! This new blend is absolutely delighful, fresh and light. It’s still got a hint of the darker, chypre notes, like that patchouli, but is now lightened up by orange blossom and enriched with vanilla. I find its staying power to be only medium, but otherwise, I love it.

€34.50 {30ml} ***
I think it’s time to start thinking about the teens and tweens on your Christmas lists {soz!} and I can’t imagine anything more appropriate than this. The classic fragrance brand are adding a youthful scent to their line, and this is as young as it gets: it’s got a sharp, bright, fruity initial tone that only reluctantly deepens into something richer. The dry down is like watching an adolescent who has been told to go upstairs to do her homework take… each… step… one… at… a… time. This is entirely appropriate for a youthful fragrance. My inner teen thinks she’d probably wear this, so it’s all good. Tiny bit pricey for girls on a budget, though.FRAGRANCE 25 08

THE BODY SHOP Italian Summer Fig
€29.95 {50ml} ***
This is yummy with a bit of a bite. The first time I used it I felt like it was too much, that I couldn’t not smell it. That may have been because I was chained to my desk that day, and didn’t move around much, out in the world. When I did wear it under less housebound conditions, I felt like I couldn’t smell it at all. This surely lies somewhere in the middle. I reckon that if you add in the Italian Summer Fig Body Cream {or the lotion, shower gel or mist!} you’ll get a longer-lasting run for your money. Also, this is woody and musky enough for a dude, although the faceted glass bottle is pretty girly.

€36 {50ml} ***
This is a pure oriental, akin {according to Fr.ed} to Chanel Noir. Funnily enough, I am not mad about that member of the Chanel fam, but I do like this Lady Bond scent. This is quite fierce, in a good way: it comes on strong and stays fairly strong-ish. It’s vanilla-y with some florals in there somewhere, which didn’t really strike me as holding their own. I heart the bottle design loads, which appeals to my inner lady-who-sits-at-a-vanity-table: had I actually a vanity table, this would add a bit of dark sexiness to it.


I Try Before You Buy: Oils, From Top to Toe

15 Jun

Almost didn’t get the toes in — and it’s a bit of a push — but ‘top to middle’ just wasn’t doing it for me.

MATRIX Oil Wonders: Micro-Oil Shampoo & Conditioner, €12.50/each
I wasn’t sure that this was working for me, blonde {‘blonde’} that I am, and when I initially tried these, as argan oil always dulls down my fresh highlights. As my hair has evened out, however, this combo is perfect: for less than €30, you get salon-shiny hair and extreme manageability. Since my keratin treatment has run out, I am all about any S&C that can calm down the flyaways and the half-arsed waving that my hair does. Love these, but won’t be using them on newly ‘did’ hair, because of that pesky but beneficial argan oil.

SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo, €40
It took me a while to get used to the non-sudsy element involved in using this class of oil, but oh boy, this is good. I’ve used the Gentle Balancing Cleanser, and can’t see that this will any less effective: for those who suffer from dry hair and scalp, this promises to bring balance, and the right kind of moisture, to your locks. It’s infused with Neroli essential oil, which is such a useful and versatile oil and is the key ingredient that’s going to get to work on your scalp. One star off because a conditioner would be a nice accompaniment — IDK, my hair is just too tangly to do without one, despite this line making for such silky tresses…

CLINIQUE Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil, €39
I’m using this at nighttime, and finding it to be terrific, brightening my complexion and adding loads of hydration — which is exactly what it promises to do. It absorbs quickly, so my pillow cases are safe, and I feel better every morning after the night before I used this: looking in the mirror first thing is actually quite fun as I notice improvement every time.


No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50
This is a little bit too oily for daytime, if you’re me and never give yourself enough minutes in the morning to allow something to fully absorb. So: good news in that this is so rich that it does take time to sink in, but bad news if you need to hit the ground running. I’ll use this at night, or on lazy days — oh, and a little bit truly goes a long way, half a drop does the business. Great value!

L’OCCITANE Immortelle Oil Make-up Remover, €26
Love a good oil as a makeup remover — there really is nothing like it. This has a gorgeous scent and it is very effective in its job. I find I prefer to use it in the morning, to wake up my skin and to remove the foundation that inevitably did not come off despite my relentless cleansing campaign. Would that be a thing of the past if I used this at night? Not so much: there’s nothing like the spray of the shower and good going over with my Clinique Sonic to do the job properly. Again, a little of this goes a long way, so it’s well worth the price tag.

LACURA Suncare Oil Spray, €3.99
This is where I got the toes in, which is a push because I don’t think my toes have seen the sun for about six years. Aldi’s spray has only got 15 SPF/UVB, which seems so 90s, but the texture of it perfect: silky, not sticky, just like it says on the bottle. There’s a top-note of alcohol (the rubbing kind, sadly) but it dries down to a delicious, tropical coconutty fragrance. Sure, at that price you can reapply with abandon, and might only need two for your hols, if you’re lucky with the weather.

JO MALONE Velvet Rose & Oud Dry Body Oil, €62
The scent is gorgeous: not too rosey, not too masculine, but the combination of the oud and the rose is rich and sexy. The spray bottle is unwieldy, and as many ways as I tried to get the most out of an application — whether by spraying all over myself without rubbing it in until I was done, or spraying into one hand and applying as I went along —  slippy hands made it hard work. The staying power makes it worth the struggle. #FirstWorldProblems.


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!


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.


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.

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


€89 for the brush, €22 for the soap!



Yippy! Lippy: New for 2014

21 Apr

BOURJOIS Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper, €12.49 Very intense, in the best possible sense. I found it to be a tiny bit tacky when it dried, as do most class of lippy that claims to be completely smudge-proof and matte. This is great for occasion-wear, but I don’t think I could stick the high maintenance of it during the day. Hence the rather sober-looking gob.


CLINIQUE Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Magenta €20 As a devoted fan of the brand’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick, I haven’t ventured very far — okay, I haven’t ventured anywhere else in their lipstick line. I am encouraged to do so here: this is as soft as promised, and it’s got the typically dense pigment of a matte, sans the dryness. There’s a gorgeous orange just waiting to be snapped up by those who can wear it well — sadly, not me.


DIEGO DELLA PALMA Glossy Lipstick in Natural Pink, €20 I don’t know, this is more like a neutral to me, not a pink… Whatevs, this is my go-to nude for the summer. It feels fab


MEMEME Longwear Satin Lip Cream in Persian Pink, €10.50 That’s MeMeMe — looks much better in U&lc. Um, okay, the above is my light go-to nude for the summer, and this is my medium go-to nude for the summer. This has all the lush richness of a Leading Department Store Brand, at half the price.


MICHAEL KORS Lip Lacquer in Bombshell, €30.50 Ah! So sexy! There’s a fantastic gloss in this line as well, which I thought I’d prefer, but I like this lipstick equally.


REVLON ColourBurst Lacquer Balm in Vivacious, €11.20 So shiny! With a touch of sparkle! Plus hydration! I am all over these lip crayons — I find the texture and staying power to be terrific, and again: The. Shine.

REVLON ColourBurst Matte Balm in Audacious, also €11.20 The matte version! OMG, using alll the exclamation marks! I am not at all a fan of coral-on-me, but this suits really well, and again, loving the texture and the moisturising. There’s also a tiny zap of mint or something: an unexpected little bit of refreshment.

ColorBurst can do no wrong by me, clearly.


There are more to come, as I can’t get enough of cosmetics for the mouth. Pictured, the thingie in the on-the-way-out-the-door place, where I make my lip coverage decisions on a daily basis:
I think a trip in the wayback machine may be in order. Sure, good lippy never goes out of style.

Face of the Yesterday: Eyes! Because: Brushes!

22 Jan

Not my usual spot at the back of the 46A; here, I am waiting for the 7. So: out-of-doors, environmental, natural lighting — always trying to mix it up here at Bright and Beautyfull!
Lots of Rimmel London on the face: their Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation has become my go-to for days in which I’m going to be out and about for hours; I gave their Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara a spin, and was happy with the result, but find the brush to be awfully massive. Given that I routinely get mascara alll over my lid {I cop to operator error}, I don’t know that it will go into regular rotation. But! I am loving loving loving the brand’s Colour Rush line. The Long Lasting Intense Colour Balms are in fact long lasting and balmy, and intensely pigmented. I am wearing Rumour Has It — love love love it!

Brows are the ever-reliable HD Brows via Carter Beauty.

Eyeliner! Ooh, the eyeliner! I’ve gone a bit 80s lately and been drawing on the waterline, and Smashbox‘s new Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner is just fab. Here, in Navy, I used it all round the inner eye, and like it says on the tin, it stays sharp, thanks to having a sharpening thingie in the lid {Lid? Top? Closey thing?} You just twist it a couple of times to the left, and there you are, pointy and ready to go.

The thing that made me happiest, however, is Clinique‘s all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2.
In the past, I was intimidated by palettes — what to use where, and how much? I’ve gotten over it, and just use my common sense; I do feel that I tend to do the same thing over and over, and hope to go wild some day and try something different. Here, even though I did my samey thing {light on the lid, medium in the crease, dark at the outside edge} I was really happy with the way it came out.

Also, I know this is so obvs, but using proper eye makeup brushes helps loads. My current faves are the definer and blender brushes from Dr Hauschka‘s Dear Eyes line. These are limited edition, and if there are any to be had, have at ’em, they are great. They hold the shadow really well, and don’t drag on your skin. Plus: super soft!

Forgot to put on blush. Scarla’! {LOL}

Also, due to brushes and the superiority of the product, the shadow didn’t move, and saw me through the eventual bus journey, two longish walks, and two launches, with no touch up. A total of five hours — that seems pretty good? And I was gutted to have to remove it, because it held up so well, the eyeliner included.

And just for fun:

World's Largest Forehead

World’s Largest Forehead


RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation, €7.95; Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara, €8.95; Colur Rush Long Lasting Intense Colour Balm, €7.95

SMASHBOX Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner, €19

CLINIQUE all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2, €39

DR HAUSCHKA Limited Edition Dear Eyes Brushes: Definer, €22; Blender, €26.50


Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Best Headline Meets Best Relaunch?

24 Dec

I think so.

DDML+ livin large

As seen in The Loop, T2, Dublin Airport

Is this the best display of a product ever? Oh, yeah.

The Internets were quite vocal about the relaunch of the beloved Dramatically Different Mositurising Lotion with the new +, with many complaining about the change in texture.

Me, I had grown up using this, and in my new life as a beauty journo, I had so many other things to try that this fell by the wayside.

I personally found that this felt richer than it had, and therefore believed that the primary innovation, that of strengthening the skin’s own moisture barrier, seems entirely plausible.

All I know is, it feels terrific to me, and I’m happy that the auld big yellow bottle is back in my skincare line up.


Tried & Tested @The Herald: Cleansing Balms

9 Dec

My new favourite thing! As I say here, I have always hated, if not completely loathed, the fuss of using a cleanser. These go on your face and stay there, working away as you massage them round, without making a splattery disaster of the sink, or dripping down to your elbows.

Clean up without making a worse mess! That’s my new motto.



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