Guaranteed Irish: Pop-up @ The Loop!

Anyone heading out for the airport soon? {Meeeeeeee!}
If you’re flying out of T1, then make sure to pop in to the pop-up, The Joy Of Giving: it’s guaranteed Irish, just like it says in the headline, and is stocked full of Avoca goodness, as well as indigenous brands the like of Max Benjamin, Clover Rua, Monsoon Jewellery and Ursula Celano. I’ve got a gorgeous print of the Dublin Bridges from Clover Rua, and I just love it — and I’m currently torn between the Irish Lighthouses and Georgian Doorways prints… at €12/each, though, I could end up splashing out and buying both.

The folks at The Loop make every effort to keep in touch with customers, and this shop is in direct response to feedback. With so many of us heading away for The Christmas, it’s excellent to have the option of bringing along something Irish and stylish!


See for all your pre-flight shopping needs, and/or avail of their Shop & Collect service.


Make Your Own Bath Ballistic

How much fun does this look like???

My answer: LOTS.

As a life-long fan of Lush Bath Ballistics, I am delighted to announce the some of the brand’s crack compounders, are comin’ to town to help you craft you own wee fizzy bath thing. In the olde dayes, we used to call them ‘bombs’ but I think for humanitarian reasons, they changed the name — this is nothing less than you’d expect from the all-natural brand.

You have three choices:

Blackberry Bath Bomb to lift you up with bergamot and frankincense; Think Pink with reassuring tonka and vanilla; and Space Girl, an intergalactic, glittery bath ballistic scented with grapefruit and bergamot oil and filled with popping candy that is truly out of this world.

I am definitely going to make the Blackberry one. Oh, but, I love vanilla, so Think Pink, maybe? Clearly, Space Girl suits me down to the ground…

The compounders are in residence at the Henry Street shop from 1 to 5 pm this Saturday, 5 May, and in the Grafton Street premises on Sunday, 6 May. That’s this weekend, bath enthusiasts! It is free to do this thing, to learn how to make your own ballistic and then take it home! Don’t miss out!

For more info and to book, ring the Henry Street shop on 01 873 5735 or the Grafton Street Shop on 01 677 0392.

Lip Balm-a-holic

Why mince words? I am addicted to lip balm. When I went away Down the Country for Easter, I had a mild panic attack on the train when I realised that I was using my new rucksack, into which I had failed to put a balm of some description.

Of what description? Any description: stick, gel, liquid, scrub, in a tube or a pot. You name it, I’ve tried it, and there is nothing I love more than discovering a new one to love.

DARPHIN Age-Defying Lip Balm’s little flat pot it very sexy, so stylish and sophisticated. But can we judge a lip balm by its cover? Up to a point. It goes on smooth and smells lovely, but it seems to require rather more frequent application than one would like. I’ve found it is really useful to use underneath lipstick. I tend to keep this one in my ‘leather’ jacket pocket, to use on an evening out: a quick swipe of this, and then a reapplication of whatever lippy or gloss I chose, and it is real treat after you’ve worn out yer mouth talkin’ and drinkin’, or you know, whatever. €32.63

I do love me some NUXE Lip Balm with Honey and Precious Oils because the honey and precious oils are glorious. Unfortch, it’s simply not portable as it comes packaged in a heavy glass jar. Now, this is the kind of glass jar that inspires me to day dream about having a vanity table with all manner of beautiful glass jars strewn across its surface — but this is not an on-the-spot sort of touchy-uppy balm. It has, however, been to hand as my pre-sleep lip treat, and it has almost run out. Sadness. €12.50

As packaging goes, a tin is my least favourite, and the ones from THE HANDMADE SOAP CO. seem extra difficult to open. Their Choco-Mint Lip Balm makes it all worth it in the end, because A) chocolate and B) mint. And also because the product is silky and deeply moisturising. The brand is Irish-based, so even more impetus to support them. Because I find the tin so fiddly, I keep this one on my desk. €4.50

EAU THERMALE AVÉNE Cold Cream Lip Cream first came to my attention in stick form, and I wasn’t so crazy about it. It was okay, but not great. I think that the tube applicator, however, is great. I was also a bit freaked by the notion of putting cold cream on my mouth, because: ick, but it’s not like your granny’s old-fashioned stuff. I like to use this one after horseriding or swimming: it softens and soothes on the spot. €10

Speaking of chocolate, THE BODY SHOP Chocomania Lip Butter says very clearly on the back that it is ‘unfit for consumption’. This is a useful warning, because this stuff is so chocolately, and so buttery, you may be tempted to spread some on your morning brioche. On first contact it is excellent, and the texture is luxurious, but I didn’t feel like it really sank in and did the job. Nevertheless, the scent is a real pick-me-up. I’m not sure where I’ll keep this yet, although I’m thinking it may be the new bedside balm. €7.50

Two things: this is the tip of the lip care iceberg, and I intend further posts on the balms I have known. And! I am not alone in this obsession! When out with a couple of friends for a Christmas meal last year, we all started passing around our balms after we ate, like a strange version of after-dinner brandies. What followed was an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of the balm currently in service, and then an inventory of all the other ones we had on the go. Between us, we had roughly seventeen lip care items in active service. For real. If you are of the same persuasion, it looks like we have the makings of a support group…

Free Thing! via Exclusive Magazine: NEOM Pillow Mist

Yay, free thing!

NEOM Luxury Organics, on the back of the Dublin edition of Exclusive Magazine, are offering a free NEOM Organic Pillow Mist (worth €12) if you say the following magic words: Exclusive Neom Mist. Uh, you have to be buying something else at the time, you can’t just rock up to the counter, let’s be clear about that.

I don’t know if you have the same taper-and-tealight obsession that I do, but these ones are good for you and your home: made from vegetable wax and essential oils, they release only healthy scents that freshen your living space and your head space. Candles in general burn off the toxins that are made in the making of them {yuck}, and they also release soot, which is not nice.

These look nice:

The one on the left is a travel candle (€16.25), and the three-wick job is the Home candle (€50.80). To put that last into perspective, because, whoa, 50 squid: the candle weighs 1kg. ! Me, I would very much like to fire up this bad boy, the Sensuous Home Candle, with its infusion of my personal faves, ylang ylang, frankincense, and patchouli.

Brenda McCormick, editor of Exclusive, says, “I am a bit obsessed with NEOM candles, and since discovering them no other candle will do me at all. They smell so natural as they burn, and I love the fact they’re designed to work as aromatherapy treatments, too.” She also suggests checking out the body oils. I quite fancy the one called Refresh, infused with the essence of Sicilian Lemons & Fresh Basil. I’d quite fancy a holiday as well, apparently.

I’d say the pillow mist runs along the same essential oil lines, meaning: it is soothing and natural, and also, bound to help you if you have trouble falling asleep. In general, I’m finding that room fragrance is really quite refreshing, without being gross like those sprays you get at the supermarket.

Don’t forget the magic words! Exclusive Neom Mist; this offer is only available in Brown Thomas, Dublin.

Go here for a look at the entire issue!

Speaking of Hair: Zeba Salon Fundraising Event

When am I not speaking about hair?

I had an amazing session at Zeba Hairdressing in South William Street, and it wasn’t all about me getting a beautiful cut and new highlights — although, of course, I have to be able to say with conviction that the services provided are top notch, right? Well, they are, and what’s more, the stylists and colourists at the salon are not only good with their hands, they are good with their hearts.

On Sunday, 15 April, Zeba are hosting a ‘Treat Yourself and Help the Children’ fundraising day in aid of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, with proceeds going to the Cleft Lip & Palate Department. Owners Paul and Angie Drumgoole have a particular attachment to this department, as it has provided necessary, and exemplary, care for their youngest son Christian, who was born with a cleft palate.

All proceeds from the day go to the hospital, and all staff at work during the 11 am to 5pm time slot are working for free.

Treatments on offer are:
>A cut and blowdry for €50
>Colour, cut and blowdry for just €100
>Highlights and a cut and blowdry for €150
>Nail treatments in the salon on the day for €10.

And you get a  L’Oreal goody bag to take home with you. Bonus!

The salon is top-grade, and amongst the many pleasures — expert colour consultation with Laura, thorough discussion with Paul as to exactly how much hair was going to end up on the floor, and how to get more bang for my highlighting buck — the seats at the sinks are massage chairs, and oh! if only I was sitting here now, blogging away, in a massage chair… I would be asleep and would never publish this a’tall.

Paul speaks quite movingly about how Temple Street have been there for Christian every step of the way, and it is really quite exceptional that his staff are donating their talents gratis. The vibe in the place was very buzzy the day I went in, and it wasn’t just from busy-ness: it was clear, from the warm reception through the great attention paid during my session, that the people that work there not only like working there, but they like each other, too.

There’s more info at — check out the raffle prizes! Hampers of haircare products! Jewellery! A Trocadero restaurant voucher! How much better can this actually get?

To make an appointment, ring Zeba on (01) 671 6444. Pictured: a gorgeous result.

Mum’s the Word: Buying for Sisters Who are Also Mothers

I’m not sure, is it a good thing that Mother’s Day in Ireland falls on the Paddy’s Day* bank holiday?

A) You can’t just feck off somewhere.
B) Unless mum is fecking off as well.
C) A bank holiday Mothering Sunday is an excellent excuse for a real full out hoolie.
D) Because you can recover on bank holiday Monday.
E) Unless your family don’t party well as a group, if you take my meaning, then you’ve lost a whole bank holiday drinking Sunday.

Ach! How to cope? Buy a lovely gift for all the mum’s in your life, that includes the sisters and sister-in-law who have presented you with nieces and nephews, and godmothers, too.

Hmm. This is starting to add up. And let’s face it, there’s a hierarchy. Better spend most of your pennies on your mum. So what to do about the rest of the  mum-type ladies in your life?

My best default is Aldi, which is a no brainer, really. I know, I know, you don’t want to cheap out on the sister-types, but what do you think you’re getting? I myself would be delighted beyond words to receive a bottle of Phillipe Michel Crément Du Jura Sparkling Chardonnay (€9.99, 75cl). This will go a long way to making the bank holiday experience bubbly and festive.

I have a bubble-bias, so even without having tried this, I am happy to vouch for it. You know what I would love into little bits and pieces? A sparkling rosé. OMG, talk about tacky, but I would drink the living daylights out of a sparkling rosé.

I have tried two samples from the Abbott & Broome line: the Sweet Clementine & Grapefruit Luxurious Handwash (€1.49, 300ml), which is the yellow one in the middle of the group on the left, and the Divine Gingerlily Luxurious Bath & Shower Gel (€1.99, 300ml), which is the brown one on the far right. Their scents are rich, as are their suds, and the Bath & Shower Gel in particular is a real winner. Their line up looks fairly comprehensive, with a scent family to suit just about anybody, judging by the colours anyway, which may not be the most sensible thing.

My advice? Buy all the bottles, and you will be a total heroine.

*A teaching moment: that’s what we call it here, not ‘St Patty’s Day’. The more you know!

Moving House Does Murder Sleep*

I think I’ve gotten into the swing of sleeping in the new place, but holy wow, the first two or three nights were almost impossible.

Or they would have been if not for AVON’S Sleeptherapy Goodnight Pillow Mist. I don’t know what’s in it, except it smells like lavender, which makes sense. All I know is, I spritz a bit of this on my pillows and I am out like a light.

Now, going to sleep, at the best of times, is not all that easy, not for me. My mind chatters like a monkey, even when I am telling it to hush up, and what with the stress of the move blah blaaaaah, I was all set up to be cranky for several days running.

Not with this stuff. In fact, I had it by my {new} bedside, the second night, and at around 3am, when it became clear that quality snooze was not happening, I remembered to spray the pillows and off I went, land of nod-bound.

I don’t use it every night, but it’s there when I need it, and that’s all I need!

Avon’s Sleeptherapy Goodnight Pillow Mist €6/£4.50

*Apologies, Scottish play.

This Was Meant to Be an Upbeat Mum’s Day Post

BUT IT IS NOT. So Thomas Sabo Charm Club have a gorgeous solution for Mother’s Day: a silver necklace featuring several mummy-friendly charms. I was going to take a photo of my very own charm bracelet, which was given to me by darling friends for my birthday a few years ago. I have added to it since, with loads of horsey charms, and an Eiffel tower, and shells, and a dolphin, and a dragon…


You know how when you’ve left your purse somewhere, but you keep looking through your bag anyway, taking everything out and putting it back in, compulsively, until there is no getting around the fact that your purse is gone?

I would like to turn this flat upside down and shake it until my gorgeous bracelet falls out. Waaaaaaaaaa!

I am just sick about this. Completely desolated. Plus! I had it in a really, really cute little stripey jewellery box, also a product of Mr T Sabo, also missing! The box contained other bits of glitter, including one of those Sabo bracelets that are made out of semi-precious stones. This one was turquoise, and oh, darn! It had my crown charm on it!

Adding insult to injury, my epilator is among the missing, so now I will be charmless and whiskery.

And I broke my power shower cord today.

The wheel of fortune can only be about to carry me upwards.

Yeah, so: typically lovely work from the Sabo crowd. The necklace is sold separately, of course, so you may want to club up with your sibs if you’ve got ’em. Take it from someone who knows, these charms are lovely and fun and everyone notices them.

I have nothing else to offer but this.

Best Mom Charm: €29; High Heel with Pearl Charm: €69. Available from Thomas Sabo counters Brown Thomas Cork, Clerys Dublin, House of Fraser Dundrum and independent jewellers nationwide.

What Have We Here, Jo Malone?

Having only just rapturised about the Jo Malone Red Rose Home Candles, I have been presented with this:

Hmm, interesting! The elegant box, a signature of the brand, has had its colours swapped: black box instead of cream, with cream accents and cream-coloured ribbon… Is this a new thing?

Yup, sure is. The Jo Malone Home Collection launches in April of this year, and I should probably be waiting to write about it, but I simply can’t contain myself.

I love home stuff, and when I’m in the US, I could watch HGTV for hours and hours and hours {and do.} I already love JM candles, as I’ve said, so the addition of anything to this line is going to make me want to curl up on the sofa and breath in the scent-y goodness.

Okay, I’m looking at the list of new elements in the range, and may wait to revisit closer to the time, but look at these!

These are the Limited Edition Scent Surround™ Sachets (€25/£20), three to a gorgeously designed box, and are infused with the world famous Lime Basil & Mandarin scent. I used to do a line in lavender sachets, which was a bit matronly, but I don’t know, I read it in a book or something, and there weren’t any real alternatives. Now, though! I can lash one of these in the knickers drawer and just exult in my LB&M scented pants.

The Scent Surround™ line also includes Limited Edition Drawer Liners, Room Sprays, and the thing I am most dying to test, the Diffuser. It’s one of those things, with the sticks? Only in LB&M, Red Roses and Pomegranate Noir.

Since I’m moving house, I’ll be saving all this up for when I get settled in. I think they will go some way to helping me nest in even faster than usual.