Tag Archives: FORM

Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

27 Mar

I keep losing track of — hang on — right, okay, this is number 3 of 10, and it is all I can do, on a daily basis, to not lash a bottle of this in my handbag so that I can re-apply it with the same regularity as I do with lip balm. This is delicious, and also so great for me pelt. And I absolutely can spell prodigieuse without looking.

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I am sensing a trend.

I really like things that smell nice.

Here’s another extraordinarily lovely-smelling thing, and it is also a thing that comes in another version with sparkle in it. Can it be more perfect?

I love it so much, I can actually spell Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse without looking it up.

NUXE-06This is a multi-use dry oil, which means it is not greasy, which means you can use it all over your entire self without worry> Hmm, yes, well. I used it once in my hair because there was a Nuxe shampoo that didn’t have an accompanying conditioner; it was recommended that I use this, and the result was not happy. I may try it again as an intensive scalp treatment yokie bob, because what else do I have to do with my time — but I also like to give things their fair dues.

Otherwise, using this everywhere else is highly recommended. The scent is delicious, and I suppose it is the result of the perfect alchemy of its ingredients: Borage, St Johnswort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnut, Macadamia Plant Oils. Now, I wouldn’t know what borage smelled like if it crawled up my nose, but I do know the smell of almond as used in product, and suspect that the Huile errs on the side of this natural element.

Does it? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. This stuff is great first thing in the morning, as applied on damp, shower-fresh skin and massaged in deeply; all the way to last thing at night after you’ve cleansed and toned.

As if that’s not enough, there’s a Huile Prodigieuse Or that is a summertime essential. This is the one that brings the golden sparkle; I’ve decided not to wait for June, and will be dousing myself in this, liberally, to beat the January* blues.

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For 100mls: €30/£33/$45

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*Or the March blues, as apparently yees are up to your oxters in the horrible, cold white stuff.

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Jo Malone Body Crème

26 Mar

Into the final four! I had a hard time picking the top top of my Top All-Time Faves For Now, so, I don’t know, I think from here on in, they are all number one. I adore number 4 the way I adore my loved ones, no lie. May I acquaint you with a beloved member of the Conley family?

***

Everything about Jo Malone feels rich: the beautiful cream-and-black branding, the boxes, the ribbons, and most particularly, the heavy glass tub that contains the luxurious body créme.

There is absolutely nothing like the Jo Malone Body Créme. I don’t like all the scents — and frankly, I wouldn’t blame you feeling completely suspicious of me if I did — but the ones that I do, I adore. Unconditionally. Without reservation.

Lime Basil & Mandarin. Pomegranate Noir. Amber & Lavender! Oh, I forgot about that last one. I went to swap the places of LM&B and PN, but I can’t. I don’t think I can. Can I? No, not possible. Even though I layer PN with pleasure, and everyone knows what it is, and I don’t mind everyone recognizing it, because it is so delightfully sensuous, and something of a signature scent for me … I still can’t put it first, because it wasn’t my first.

JO MALONE LBMLime Basil & Mandarin. I had no idea that this Sweet Sixteen was going to be so nostalgic, but I have just gone off into a mental video memory of the first time I got a whiff of the stuff. I had been hanging with some pals, enjoying the bubbling hot tub at the SPORTSCO Leisure Centre in Ringsend {why do I remember it as the ESB gym?} and then after repairing to the changing room, one of the women passed around the body crème. Its heavy glass jar immediately communicated its splendour, and an obsession was born.

I had to have it. I had to have it for myself. I didn’t care that I was suddenly smelling that scent everywhere I turned; rather, it became the clarion call of a little club of ladies who knew what was what when it came to self care, and about splurging a mad amount of money of a thing that didn’t last for an appreciable amount of time.

Ah, now! That last bit is not so true. Because it so well-crafted, you need less than you think to enfold yourself in the fragrant goodness that is a Jo Malone body crème. So all of us who were amongst the vanguard were less annoyed at smelling ourselves coming and going {oh, dear, that sounds nasty} and more keen to appreciate the savvy of our fellow Malonistas.

It’s like being a member of a club whose only agenda is to smell gorgeous. I consider myself to be a lifetime member, with honours.

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€63/£48/$75

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt

25 Mar

The criteria for choosing the ten out of sixteen all-time faves was: do I wish I had it on me, right this second, away from home? Number 5 fits that guideline like a glove — a deliciously fragrant and indulgent and luxurious glove…

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Here is my recipe for the perfect home-spa experience: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt.

That’s it. That’s all you need.

I’m delighted to be able to make this recommendation in typed-out words, because confidence in my articulation abilities takes a terrible dip when I try to speak the word ‘frangipani’; ‘monoi’ is not so bad, but following hard on the heels of the preceding fail, it just makes the whole situation worse that it needs to be.

mmm elemis{I say fraangeepannee, as opposed to the more American way, which because of the longer, fancy ‘a’ sounds, would be frahhhhngeepahhhhhnee. Both sound equally awkward to me, in my actual voice.}

Linguistics aside, this stuff is the stuff of dreams. Fill your bathroom sink with hot water. Set the bottle — the lovely smoked glass bottle — in the water so that the solid material within softens into a luscious oil. Run a bath. You could even run the bath and meltify the Melt in the tub! Whatever: at some stage, shake in a few {million} drops. Enter; recline; relax.

Dunk your head under the water, then proceed to shake a few {million} drops of the Fraheheheheh on your head. Massage into your scalp. Sigh with pleasure.

Language, and pronunciation therefore, will cease to be an issue.

Get out of the bath before you, yourself melt. Shake the previously recommended number of drops of oil on your wet skin, massage. Pat yourself dry with a towel. Maybe rinse your hair out if you’re going out that evening — although why you would is utterly beyond my comprehension. You’ve just given yourself an amazingly self-nurturing treat! Stay home! Put your feet up! Get someone to make you your tea!

The only caution I have is that I’ve heard from pals who are as in the know as I, that the Fraheheheheh yokie can tend to discolour white toweling robes. Not that you’re not going to wrap yourself up in one regardless, but know that you may have to give it a spin in the washing machine sometime after your Melt event. Or you may close your eyes to this, because your robe is going to smell gorgeous — almost as gorgeous as you do.

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€32/£29.70/$50.00

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Lush’s Karma Line

21 Mar

Number 7! Still love this, and people always, always comment when I wear this. The good class of comments, of course!

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When I first received Lush’s Karma perfume, several years ago, it came in a kind of… well there’s no way to say it nicely. The bottle was ugly. It was squat, the label was unappealing, and its presentation was very, very ‘meh’. I gave it a cursory spritz, somewhere around my breastbone, and promptly fell in love.

I don’t know that much about perfume, except that I love it, and that it has always figured largely in my life. I love smelling good, and I love good smells; in an effort to KARMA FAMmaybe learn something, I went over to the Lush website, purveyors of Karma, and took a look at the ingredients.

I don’t feel much the wiser. I don’t know why six of the elements have asterisks, although I suppose I could make an educated guess or two {discretionary as regards the maker, perhaps? Because all their stuff is made by hand?} Eh, what do I care really, if it is fragrant?

And it is fragrant. Fresh, long-lasting, sweet without being cloying, Karma is great when you’re in the mood to really wear a scent. Meaning, you have so many elements to the line, you can layer and know that you are going to be exuding sweetness and freshness all day long.

I totally went to town on this one: I washed my hair with the solid shampoo bar, I moisturised with the… moisturiser, and then I doused myself in the scent, which is in a redesigned package. Still not sure they’ve got it right, as the opaque, black, squat bottle looks like something you might find in a goth apothecary rather than on the vanity table of a sweet and fresh-smelling lovely being.

There’s a bath melt, which is nice to use in an end-of-the-day soak. There’s soap, which I didn’t try, a more practical application of the fragrance at the beginning of the day, for me anyway; I can’t imagine trying to start the day with a bath…

There is not a conditioner*, which I lament.

There is also a solid version of the perfume, which for me is a fail: the product is red, and it stains my skin, and my clothes.

Clearly, this last is easily avoided if red wrists are not your thing, and the perfume will do the trick more comprehensively, anyway. Must get my hands on the soap, though, to truly experience the layering of Karma. The good kind, that is.

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Karma Komba Shampoo €7.90/£5.00/$10.95
Karma Kream Body Cream €16.15/£12.45/$27.95
Karma Bath Melt €5.90/£3.20/$6.95
Karma Perfume €24/£20/$42.95

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*As far as I know, from a quick google.

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Top Twelve of 2012: Minding Me Pelt

31 Dec

BODDDDAlso file under: Hoarding. I love both of these so much, I ration my uses of them. Which is too bad really, to not use something that I like, but on the other hand, I know how to make special occasions even more special.

I fell for Dermalogica’s Hydro-active Mineral Salts immediately. Itcombines the excellence of salt-based therapeutic bath salt, with minerals and tonnes of essential oils. It smells rather… organic, which some may find off-putting. I feel medium about the scent, personally, but the effect of the sea salt and sandalwood, lavender, orange, clary sage, lemon, and tea tree — among others! — is pretty spectac.

Oh, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, how do I love thee? Countless ways! I have tried other oils, and liked them muchly, but not completely and utterly muchly — no where near as muchly as I adore this. The scent! The coverage! The suppleness of my skin! This year saw a special anniversary addition that came in a spray bottle! There is a version that has glittery sparkle in it! Still waiting, like many of this product’s fans, for the perfume version. Hint, hint, Nuxe!

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Here’s the original post about the Dermalogica salts; here are the words about the prodigious oil.

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Festive Form: FIVEPOINT Gloves from Etre

27 Nov

Is cold! Can you want for Santy? I think not!

And what better way to assess the giftability of something than to try it yourself? {I fear this will be a defining characteristic of this gift guide…}

Behold, Etre FIVEPOINT Gloves in Oxford Blue Fairisle with Pearl Tips: Lambswool.

What is the big deal, apart from them proudly declaring you to be a Sarah Lund-ite?* The big deal is that you can keep these gloves on whilst texting, tapping, and generally interacting with your Smart Touch-screen device. Incorporating contactwoven® technology, you don’t have to peel off to log on.

This is a big deal for me! I have a pair of Etre TouchyWool Gloves, and they were grand — the forefinger and thumb are essentially topless, but even that little bit of exposure to the elements was a little unpleasant.

These work. I didn’t believe it either, but they do. Navigating is a doddle, texting/tweeting is a bit trickier, but I suppose practice makes perfect. If nothing else, I can swipe and switch my tunes without having to wrench off a glove.

Also: excellent unisex prezzie. Bonus!

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£40.

See http://www.etreshop.com to buy, and for many more beautiful products.

*Yeah, okay, so, it’s not Faroese, but still: jumpery, and also retro, is Forbrydelsen enough for me.

Snap! Judgement: Roger & Gallet Huile Embellissante in Fleur d’Osmanthus

4 May

This is a new launch from the fragrant French firm, who are celebrating 150 years in the smelling-good biz.

Snap! The colour of the bottle is a dead giveaway. This is gonna smell orange-y.

Snap! The bottle gives good squirt, which can be an issue. It doesn’t spray all over the place {sorry, my mind just wandered there for a sec…} but you do need to cup the palm or else you won’t get the full benefit of the pump. Insert filthy giggle here.

Snap! Yup, orange-y, and kind of light-yet-smokey? Your nose may tell you something different. Let’s just say floral, which again, no surprise, it says fleur right there in the title!

Snap! It applies beautifully. I do love a dry body oil, they feel so luxurious and sexy. The skin on my right forearm felt very soft for quite a long time.

Snap! Then, I cheated and used it after my shower, and this mitigates the snappiness of the judgement, but the oil applies really well to the dry bod, and I’m going to use it on the damp bod next time. The scent is not my style, so it’s gives my a bit of a headache — I prefer darker, woodsier fragrance — but the resulting soft skin is worth it.

It also says you can use it on your hair. Hmmm…

Roger & Gallet Huile Embellissante in Fleur d’Osmanthus, 100mls €26.50

Feel Fantastic, Literally: Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Gel-Cream

23 Apr

I can’t imagine what my pal was thinking: the other night, over tapas and wine and chats, I noticed that I kept stroking my own arm. Kind of the way you play with your hair? That kind of thing. I tried to stop, and at one stage I think I may have actually sat on my hands, because it felt so obvious. I’m blushing even now, remembering. But, in all honesty, I don’t know that I’ve ever had softer skin.

I received a bumper crop of Garnier products to try, one of which made it through the first edition of Snap! Judgements with flying colours {bronze-y ones, in fact.} I was very much attracted to this notion of gel-cream — how could it be both, and not one or the other? Surely that’s like calling a new fruit and apple-orange? Well, it kind of is both, it is a gelly cream/a creamy gel. It’s opaque, like a cream, and yet it applies and absorbs like a gel.

Which is great, but the thing I find about gels is that they can be a little tacky to the touch. This had only a teeny, tiny tack, and it just meant that I had to find something else to do for several minutes until it completely dried. Which is not so easy, if you’re me and probably running late for something, or not peaceful enough to stand around naked. {Are you peaceful enough to stand around naked? Are you a tree?}

All absorbed and ready to go, I went about my biz, until I found myself sitting at that table, stroking my arm like it was a puppy. Which is terrific news, really, because soft skin is so important to me it’s one of my most-used tags. If it’s a big deal for you, too, I suggest you check out this thing here. The ‘flavour’ I availed of was grape; it also comes in peach.

The 7 days thing? Eh, not sure about that, to be honest. The key ingredient here is L-Bifidus, which is ‘inspired by probiotics found in yoghurts, {and} acts as an effective moisture shield, optimising skin’s natural hydration reservoir and reinforcing skin’s protective barrier to long-lasting preserve hydration.’ I wouldn’t really expect to get a week’s worth out of one go, I mean, between the horses and the showering? Yeah, not really. But the thing about this is, unlike many moisturisers, this made my skin feel as good as it did in the moments following absorption. That’s pretty impressive!

€4.99/250ml; €7.49/400ml

Snap Judgements*: Springing into Summer

19 Apr

Or ‘summer’ as we generally call it in these parts. No! Let’s be more positive than that! We are springing into SUMMER here in Ireland, yeah!!! Let’s fake it ’til we make it!

Ahem. Snap Judgements is the way that you, the reader, can experience what it’s like to be a beauty journo when the stuff starts piling up on the desk. I’m going to give my instantaneous responses to a variety of products, and over time we’ll see if I was too hasty or dead on target.

Let’s begin… Continue reading

Haiku Review: REN Guérande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm

12 Apr

I applied this dry.
I dislike dry salt scrubbing.
Or do I?!? Let’s see…

I’m a featured columnist in the upcoming issue of Irish Tatler, and when asked for my latest beauty secret, I wrote: ‘Read the directions!’ Because I hardly ever do, and it has lead to some near misses. like thinking that the hair exfoliant was a styling product, for example, and wondering why it was so gritty. Luckily, I am not so thick as to have put, I don’t know, hemorrhoid cream on my toothbrush, but I tend to take products at label-value. If it says something about hair on it, and it’s in a tube, well, it’s styling product, right? Right?!?!

It’s a first world problem to do with mouse type. I swear, doing this job has ruined my eyesight, because of all the four point type I’ve had to read over the years. Since I didn’t bother with me specs when I decided to test REN’s Guérande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, I squinted and saw that the recommended application was to a dry body avant le douche.

I prepared to do so, grumbling, because stupid salt scrubs are always so crumbly, and half of it goes down the drain, or is all over the floor, because I can’t get into the shower and then turn on the water, because the first blast is always frickin’ ice cold, and ugh what a drag… But the result was totally worth it, and the salt-ness of it is actually contained in a balm, which goes on smoothly, and not a grain is wasted. Huh.

I suppose I should amend my exhortation: read the directions completely. And maybe the label.

One day I actually read the label in its entirety— because I was wearing my glasses — and saw that you could also use this on a damp bod, if you wanted a gentler exfoliating experience. And so I did, and you know what? I prefer the dry brush effect! Not that this wasn’t as effective when wet, but I do prefer a bit of rough when it comes to exfoliation {…} and you get a double-scrub effect: you scrub it on dry, you scrub it off wet — it feels remarkably thorough for a home treatment, and the result is really soft, sweet smelling skin.

Yeah, so, I would have known better, and saved myself some gurning, but there you go. Happy enough to use it as it is intended after all.

€24 (available on cloud10beauty.com)/£20

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