Beautyfull News: Clarins Paris, L’Occitane, Aldi, Rimmel London, Nuxe Paris

CLARINS PARIS Joli Rouge Moisturizing, Long-Wearing LipstickCLARINS joli rouge
€22 Paired with their range of new, neutral Lipliner Pencils {€17.50}, this collection of 25 revamped hues is bound to be an autumnal go-to. Because I’m a divil for deleting photos on my phone and can’t be arsed to connect to the cloud or whatever, here’s a screenshot of the Insta I took on the day I wore Delicious Pink, which lives up to its name. The lipliners come in Nude Fair/Beige/Rose/Mocha, to suit the range of skin tones from fair to dark. I went for the lightest to go with the pink; it was fine, and frankly, it was nicer on its own. I imagine they’ll come in handy the further you head towards the dark end of the spectrum. I found the lipstick to be lovely: light, long-wearing, and in the case of this particular colour, as shiny as it looks in the photo. Perfect for people who’d prefer to wear their lippy, rather than have it wearing them.

L'OCCITANE hermeL’OCCITANE Pierre Hermé Limited Edition Fragrance Collections
€10-56 Speaking of delicious! Monsieur Hermé is a pastry chef, and has collaborated with the Provençal brand to create two new ‘flavourfull’ fragrances. There’s Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli, a flowery bend for those who wouldn’t normally go for something sweet. I find you can never go wrong with Neroli, it’s really gives one’s spirits a lift. For those who like something zestier, there’s the Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe which I also like: it’s as crisp as can be, and with its cedar and vetiver notes, can shared with your fella. The range ranges from lipgloss at a tenner to €56 for the EDTs. The packaging is delightful, and the gift sets at €72 are perfect for holiday gift giving sans an in-your-face-this-is-a-Christmas-gift vibe.

ALDI Lacura Expert RangeALDI expert eye gel
€5.99 That’s the price for all the products in the line — pretty good! There’s an Expert Wrinkle Smoother, an Expert Beautifying Serum, and an Expert Double Effect Eye Gel, and all are infused with Mimox®X, an active complex that helps encourage the skin to regenerate its own collagen and elastin fibres. NGL, I don’t know how that actually happens, but hyaluronic acid is implicated, which is still all the buzz as far as anti-ageing is concerned. I have given them all a go, and am pleased with the eye gel especially: it’s cooling and soothing, and it’s also a bit of a pick-me-up of a sleepy morning. I am also impressed by the serum, which gives great coverage and absorbs like a shot.

RIMMEL LONDON Match Perfection FoundationRIMMEL match perfection
€10.29 I prefer the coverage of the 24hr version of Rimmel’s foundation range. This promises invisible coverage to create invisible pores; my skin is in excellent nick, and I feel like this didn’t really do it justice. If you have skin like a newborn baby and want to look even more perfect, then this might suit. So basically: younger skins may get loads of joy out of this; less young, maybe not so much. I also found that I feel somewhere between the two lightest hues, with neither of them being… a perfect match.

NUXE PARIS Splendieuse Radiance-Activating, Anti-Dark Spot Range
€30-38 I suspect that the word ‘splendieuse’ is along the lines ‘fabilicious’ in English; it is, in fact, a combination of ‘splendid’ and ‘radiant’. I say go for it, Nuxe: make up all the words you like, as long as you keep expanding your lines of skincare. This targets dark spots, and boosts the radiance of the complexion, all the while smelling gorgeous and feeling luxurious — far more luxurious than you might think you’d get at that price. There’s a fluid for normal skin, a cream for dry skin, a serum, and the pièce de résistance, which is the Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask, an actual mask that you lay one your face and gently press against the skin. One got passed around at the launch and it felt rich with product — in fact, it’s infused with what amounts to almost the entire bottle of 30mls of serum; even holding the box, you can feel how heavy they are. As ever, all of these take their effectiveness from natural ingredients and there are no animal-origins ingredients involved. Check back here for an in-depth review of that mask! {Look at the drawing at the bottom left — I die!} CLARINS perfecting mask


Q: Why is This Woman Grinning Like an Eeeejit? A: HD Brows.

HD Brows are the best thing ever, ever, ever.

Ever. Seriously, it’s like the rest of the face can just chill out, because the brows are doing all the work.

I just got them seen ta yesterday at Carter Beauty in Blackrock, and the world of difference it makes!

If you haven’t seen the before-and-after gallery on their site, go have a look.

Evidence: compelling.


What else have I got going on?

> The Hair: Dermalogica Shine Therapy Shampoo & Silk Finish Conditioner {€22.20/28.65} with a few squirts of L’Oréal Mythic Oil Milk {€19.99}

> Foundation Le Teint Touche Éclat from Lancôme {€38}. I think I got too light a shade, maybe? Can’t tell from the seriously warm photo. I’m not sure this is right for me. I have to give this another go, and see.

> 10 Bronzer {€34} from Benefit because of the above.

> Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara {€21}

> NYC HD Color Quattro Eye Shadow in Queens Boulevard {€3.49}. I didn’t use the full quattro, only a duo; the palette is nicely purple-y.

> Dr Hauschka Lipstick Novum in Slow Mood {16.50}, because I was going for a neutral lip. I’m thinking it is only okay, and was sorry that I hadn’t remembered this new Lacura Beauty lippy I’m liking at the moment, from Aldi, in 419. It’s a smoky purple-y grey, and the other day? I ate an apple, and it didn’t wear off. !

Hey, that’s one pricey face…

Noooooooooo! Come Baaaaaaack!

I have all these SPFs I tried out, Sun, and what, now you’re fecking off?!?!

Do you expect everyone to go off on a fantasy holiday to Krk??

Well, anyway: yesterday, I said I was going to cover myself in protection, and so I did.

At €5.99, you get a lotta bang for your buck with Lacura Suncare Moisturising Spray. The Aldi brand always comes through with the excellent price point. The spray action is not so great, unless you are in fact, say, on the deck of ship cruising the Adriatic. It got allll over the place in my house, and all over the clothes, too.

Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Light & Silky Protection Mist SPF 30 {whew!} was another spray that made a mess. Not that I learned from my previous mistake, no: got a fine white film over everything around my right leg. The further away you hold it the better, obviously, but again, I think I’ll be sticking to cream-based SPFs for doing the daily business. This goes for €26.83 which seems pricey.

I had fun with the Stick Sensible from Eau Thermale Avène, so I was happy enough to give their Very High Protection Emulsion 50+ a go. I totally forgot I had put this on, and this is excellent on many levels: it absorbed quickly, it smelled clean, and my skin felt soft afterwards. Only complaint: why so small, my French friends? 50mls seems on the shy side for €22!

La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Dermatologique have the most frustrating packaging on the planet. I didn’t even know what this was for until I unearthed the little brochure thingie that came in the box, that slid out of a sleeve. Their Anthelios AC 30SPF Matte Extreme Fluid is another one that comes in at 50mls, is only slightly less costly at €19 and is only for the face. Sheesh. But you know what? It is extremely fluid, and it worked extremely well: my face felt nicely toasted after spending a few hours basking, with nary a nasty patch of red to be to seen.

Well {heaves an enormous sigh}, at least I’ll be prepared when the Sun does decide to come back…

Three Days Down The Country: The Winner and Undisputable Champion

I have given out about dry shampoos in the past, and I did find one that I liked, although it did claim to be a ‘dry cleansing spray’, which: what? I don’t know, is ‘dry shampoo’ too plebe-y a term?

I got a sample of Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39) just before I left on the Big Easter Getaway Down The Country, and as I reckoned that the hair would not be undergoing its usual grooming regimen for a couple of days, well, why not give this a go?

I’d recommend getting to Aldi sharpish, because I may go and spend a whole buncha money buying this stuff up.

What I disliked about the other dry shampoos that I have tested is their penchant to turn the hair into a bale of hay. Sure, the oil at the roots is totally gone, but at the expense of manageability, much less looking like you’ve just stuck your whole hand in an electrical socket. I suppose if it had occurred to me at such times, I could have attempted a beehive, since my hair was all volumised and massive… but what if you just want your own hair, only less limp and lifeless?

Then, my friends, you turn to Batiste. I sprayed it on, finger-combed it through, let it dry for a second or two… then combed it out… and, holy wow, my hair felt light and clean — and it looked shiny.

I was absolutely not expecting the shine. Also, it was soft, which I would have thought was a fairy tale. Or an outright lie. But nope: shiny and soft hair from a dry shampoo, and I lived happily ever after for two days.

Two days! And the thing is! After the Big Easter Hill Walk, and then getting soaked, even though my hair was in a pony tail and I was wearing a hat and a hood {Irish rain, eh?} my hair got damp. And even though I dried it a bit by the fire, it didn’t really get all the way dry. So when I twisted it into a random knot on the top of head, for sleeping, I wasn’t expecting a good result the next day, Miracle of Batiste or no.

Well. I gave the hair a spray in the a.m. and it looked wavy and full and really, really good. I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo, for proof, but hand on heart, even after all its trials and tribulations, another spritz of Batiste made me look 100% Country Girl Chic.

This also comes in Tropical and Blush, neither of which would appeal to me {what does a blush smell like? Shame?} I found the Original version to be perfectly scented, which is ‘only just’. Funny, you’d think that given my fragrance fetish I’d want hair that wafted scent, but: no. I am perfectly delighted and satisfied with the original version, so I’ll leave those others  for the rest of yees.

Haiku Review: Carino Professional Miracle Oil from Aldi

Shake, shake, shake — doo doo
Doo doo DOO doo! Shake, shake, shake!
Shake your bottle. Shake

YOUR BOTTTTLE! It’s official: this is the world’s worst haiku! And I don’t even care, because it is making me laugh.

This is a glass bottle. I am thrilled by its glassness. It feels like the kind of bottle into which an old-fashioned apothecary might have poured a distillation of some healthful tincture. Or a snake-oil salesmen would have filled it with water and a splash of peppermint, claiming the mixture to be a cure all for everything from persistent cough to impotency.

Excuse me, I seem to be having a past life flashback. Or two.

The oil in this bottle has nothing to do with snakes, of course. It’s another in an ever expanding category of ‘things with argan oil in them.’ And as argan oil is so ‘now’, it can get pricey. At €3.99 it would really be good if this was good.

It’s good. And the thing is, I believe much of its goodness is down to the bottle. It’s not so easy to shake out, which ensured that I didn’t use too much. I hate having bad hair days, down to not knowing what was the optimum amount of a new styling product. I’ve had to figure out how to pump a half-pump of product, or how to drizzle jussst the right amount out of a container. This one was perfect from the go, because after a few shakes, you think Ah, sure, this is enough, and it is. And as it was teeny, tiny amount, I expect this to last me long enough to carry over into my next lifetime. Talk about excellent value!

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!

Day Cream v Night Cream: Eh… Hmmm?

A short time ago, I wondered: what is the point of using a day cream and a night cream? Musings may be found here.

And if you don’t feel like back-tracking, these are the three duos that I’ve been testing for the last while:

>Ziaja Rose Butter Anti-aging Moisturiser and Night Cream (€6.99 each)
>Renovage (for Aldi) Protective Day Cream and Rejuvenating Night Cream (€9.99 each)
>Clarins Extra-Firming Day and Extra-Firming Night (€67/€71)

Well, on the most simplistic level, texturally I simply couldn’t tell the difference between the any of the twos. Maybe I’m not supposed to feel a difference, but I think I should — I really do! I feel like maybe the night cream should be thicker and richer or something. If one is only for day, and one is only for night, there should be a marked difference, right? No? <— That only adds to the whole WTF of the whole situation.

I am, in part, tired of being ‘told’ that I need a million and one things to comprise my regime, even though I love my regime. So contradictory! But seriously, I have felt, in the past, that I get more action from a serum, say, than I do from even a daily moisturiser — EVEN THOUGH I am supposed to use both.

But having said all that…

Both the Ziaja and the Renovage were pretty good, considering the price. I am a great believer in getting what you pay for, and in general, high quality for low price is a pipe dream. The former wasn’t too too rosy, and the latter wasn’t as overly scented as many of Aldi’s offerings can be. There was not much of a difference between the two, nor between the creams within the pairs, but I would give the Renovage higher marks, mainly because the packaging is more substantial. The Ziaja tubs are plastic, and okay, for €6.99 you’re going to get diamond-encrusted crystal, but still.

Now. Okay, look, I know, know, if you buy both the Clarins products, that is €138. Holy smoke. I know! But remember what we learned at Skintime? The bittiest, littlest amount of product can go for miles, if you apply it correctly. According to Skintime, a mere pea-sized scoop massaged between the palms and then applied to the face does the job. I have been doing this since I had my session, and it works a treat. I use less product, so that what I have will last much longer.

So if you invest in the Clarins, you know you’ll get good mileage out of it. Because? I have to say, this is the one I felt was the most effective, and had the most convincing night cream {despite the texture issue.} On the mornings I awoke after having used this, I felt like my face was… well-rested? Refreshed. Yeah, that’s it: refreshed to a degree that I didn’t feel with the others.

I don’t know, I think routine, and the comfort therein, has a lot to do with this as well. As does aroma and, yes, dammit —> texture! I’m going to keep my eye on this topic, and the next duo I get is going to be put through its paces. Because even though I am kind of convinced, I am not wholly convinced.

From the Archives: Stylin’ Hair

I admit, I feel somewhat lost without another ♥Day post to write. And also: relieved. Sheesh, that was crazy, remind me not to do that next year.

I’m in the process of winnowing, and faced with my multitude of hair styling products, I thought the best thing to do would be to consult my own archive, and lo, here is a linkety link to an Evening Herald Tried & Tested column.

Hmmm. Only two of these are still in rotation, which makes me feel hopeful about my ability to streamline. After you read the reviews, can you guess which two? I was surprised, myself…

♥Day: If I was Your Boyfriend, Etc, Etc

Oh holy niiiiiight, is this not over yet?

In my personal experience, a special nightie on the special night is always a gift For Him. LIDL are doing a line in Satin Negligees for €5.99. At that price, you can have a bodice-ripping good time. Just me?

Another option is the use of Friday’s Veuve Monsigny Premier Cru Champagne from Aldi, which is not gender specific. As far as I know? Dudes like the bubbles, too, right?

If your fella likes to look after his skin, Clarin’s are doing an excellent promotion, because you get a gift, too. If you buy a Beauty Flash Balm Gift Set (€35.58) you get a free Clarins Men’s gift for him (this offer is available at all good chemists.) Or! Buy two products from the Clarins Men’s skincare range, maybe the Super Moisture Gel and/or the Super Moisture Balm and get a bonus gift for yourself (this offer happens in all good departments stores.)

There’s a whole bunch of good stuff on hand in Debenham’s: Marc Jacobs, who is a personal fave of mine, has a new cologne by called Bang Bang (€52.14), which is mostly sandalwood-y and musky, and there’s a John Rocha Manicure Set (€31). All the necessary tools are contained in a brown leather kit; you may like for yourself, at the end of the day.

I don’t know… Dudes I knew were always happy enough to get a CD, or I would ask them what thing they wanted. Such things were rarely red, or heart-y. Or I’d swing by Ann Summers and get something dirty, but silly.

They all liked getting cards, though? Real ones, not the ones from the internet. I think dudes are pretty easy as far as this goes. I don’t know, I think I am being sexist in every single way possible: that gals are the only ones who care, and the guys just play along, thereby stomping all over the lads with the loving natures and making the ladies all gimme, gimme… And I think this is where the whole ♥Day thing gets such a bad rap, this manufacturing of ‘Romance’ and it has to be such a big deal, and everybody is grumpy.

Eh, who knows your fella better than you do? Not me, for sure… but the Marc Jacobs stuff is really delish.

♥Day: Eating and Drinking

If I liked to bake, these would be the best thing ever:

How cute? Seriously. And how delicious? Honestly, Aldi, could you be any cleverer? And at €4.99 each, could you be any better value?

The Valentine Bakeware could arguably used for many a holiday, but naturally it is perfect for next week’s ‘holiday’. You can whip up a bunch of tiny hearts with the Silicone Heart Muffin Tray, or go for it in a big way with the Silicone Heart Cake Mould. The former is perfect for treating friends and colleagues; the latter, of course, for your more private celebrations.

Too bad I hate to bake! It’s so dusty, what with all that flour getting all over the place! Even cake mixes, like Betty Crocker, give me pain and annoyance. The mixing, the eggs, ugh, hate it. Cakes are not as bad as cookies/biscuits, which are just an endless trial to the patience: so many batches, and then what if you have to frost them?

So, in lieu of baking, I’ll be drinking, ta very much. Also on offer at Aldi are bottles of Veuve Monsigny Premier Cru Champagne, €22.99. I love bubbles as deeply as I loathe baking, so it was no hardship for me to tuck this in the fridge and wait for the chilly time.

It’s delicious! Oh, and the thing where you put a teaspoon in the neck of the bottle, to keep it bubbly? Works every time. Not for, like ever, but who wants to hoard a bottle of champers? Not me!