Beautyfull News: Clarins Paris, bliss, CND, The Body Shop, Botanics

CLARINS PARIS Mission Perfection Serum {€60}
I always love trying a new serum from Clarins, but this isn’t inspiring my adoration — not like the Double Serum did. Specifically targeted for age spots, BN 16 06discolouration and dullness, and redness, it doesn’t feel nearly as fluid as a serum ought, although the scent of the cherries is pleasant in the extreme. I’m using this at night, and dreaming about delicious fruit salad — JK, although I do feel like I’m dropping off more pleasantly than usual. We’ll see if it makes a difference to my skin.

bliss triple oxygen radiant protection energizing serum {€73}
My very first facial ever, in life, was one of the Triple Oxygen persuasion in an actual bliss spa, in NYC. It. Was. Amazing. This? Is. Amazing. Too. It’s for anti-aging and smoothing fine lines, and is loaded with Vitamin C and cruciferous extract, which means maybe I can bin the kale? It feels like a teeny tiny face lift, about as good as you’re going to get without going under the knife: my skin feels markedly tighter every time I use it, which is first thing in the morning. Better than espresso!

CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner {€10.95}
CND are doing an incredible line in nail varnish, but this is my hero as far as the brand is concerned. Be prepared to undergo something of a healing crisis: once you begin daily use of this, your cuticles will start peeling and clearing up well within 24 hours. It takes some time to absorb, which is a good thing, unless like me you keep it by your keyboard so you’ll remember to use it. It gets all over the keys, even when I wait and think I’ve given it enough time to sink in. Nevertheless, the best thing ever for raggy, snaggly cuticles. You can get it on

THE BODY SHOP Virgin Mojito Bath & Body Limited Edition {€Various: €8.95-19.95}
A replication of the famous cocktail for your body, the line includes body sorbet, splash, butter and scrub, minus the alcohol, sadly — it is pretty delicious, even without the rum. I prefer the body butter to the sorbet — the latter feels very sticky to me. Love the scrub, and am in like with the body splash and hoping once we get to know one another better, we’ll really have something. In general: super fresh and invigorating, and it’s got a sort of old school vibe to the fragrance? It feels like high school, in the best possibly way.

BOTANICS Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm {€8.66}
I generally have mixed feelings about balms. As much I want to love them, the texture just seems terribly messy to me, unless I’m lolling in a bath and can sweat most if it off. Also, my bath only has a free-standing basin sink and the water just gets everywhere. This didn’t change my mind much: weirdly green in colour {probs from the olive oil in it}, the tub is very small {70mls}, and if I had been wearing a full face ‘o’ make-up, I think I would have made serious inroads into the product. It’s good for a first pass at the face, but I had to do another cleanse to feel really clean. I preferred this in the morning, as the scent is gentle yet invigorating.


ME CHOOBS: Bliss and Elemis, That Is

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?


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
Go here for some gratuitous CumberPecs


*’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.’


Lucky Thirteen of 2013: The Selfie Apologist

Simply because mine are routinely daft and unflattering. Selfies have become such an object of derision, that I felt I had to chime in on their defense.

In fairness, this is a blog about beauty and make up and other products and services, and many of the former involve my face, so… there you go. A picture = 1000 words.

Freshman year in art college, my drawing teacher said that what he liked about my self portraits — actual, charcoal-on-paper selfies — was that I wasn’t vain about the way I portrayed myself. Which may in fact be a left-handed compliment, because he was kinda like that, but clearly it made an impression on me, and I took the good from the comment.

Because srsly:
The BLISS fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask didn’t peel off in one piece as hoped.


photo 2
Mud mask selfies: run of the mill. This ORIGINS Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask is not, however. I really got great results from using this. Squeaky clean!



Had to post both of these again: my first ‘blind’ selfies. Cotton pads courtesy of CLARINS PARIS Skin Smoothing Eye Mask treatment.

CLARINS eye mask fail


Hello. The PEARLYS Teeth Brightening Treatment in action.


Do This At Home? bliss fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask

You know those really excellent masks you get sometimes, when you’re getting a professional facial? The ones that are actually exactly like masks, that peel off in one go, and feel like they are taking every impurity with them? Our pals at bliss have come up with an at-home version of this via their fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask.
You get six mixes in the box, which includes one measuring cup to fill with the amount of water necessary to create each mask, and six spatulas to use in the mixing and application of it. I cleared the decks in the bath and after cleansing my face, I got to it.

I was surprised at the purple hue, which I would not have been had I been paying attention to the ingredients. Bilberry figures largely, as does seaweed and vitamin C. I was already feeling under pressure, even as I mixed, because the packet cautioned me to apply the mask as quickly as possible.

Yeee, there it is, ready to go — get to work!

The impossibility of two things became apparent fairly sharpish:
1} I couldn’t take photos of the application and apply, simultaneously.
2} The spatula was not nearly as speedy and effective as the need for haste implied.

So, I took matters — ha, ha — into my own hands.

When you are lying flat on your back with your eyes closed, certain things may pass you by, like, the texture and appearance of the mask itself. Unless all rubbery facial masks are not like this? It may merely be the result of non-profesh application + gravity. Drippy!
I tidied that up as much as I could, and went into the sitting room to recline.

The sensation of the mask on the face was cool and invigorating> a word I use when product is tingly, but not in an irritating sense. Although I don’t mind an irritating tingle every now and again.

It did eventually dry, without drying out.


I have always wanted to ask to see the mask that the aesthetician peeled off, sure I was going to see every single thing that had had the potential to criminally block my pores, but I’d be so zoned out at that stage, I’d always forget to ask. I was eager to see what my DIY efforts would yield!

Those lumps are not oogy bits of sebum*, they are proof of my inability to mix anything well by hand, and why I don’t bake. Needless to say, this didn’t come off all in one go. I left the flakes of mask to collect in the sink…
… and hopped in the shower to wash off the rest.

Which I possibly should not have done, as there are two warnings regarding the disposal of the mask, right there on the packet, which say not to send it down the drain. This stuff is not the most dissoluble in water: I got some of it on the fleece I was wearing during the treatment, and the bilberry mix didn’t come off in the wash.

Luckily, I had wiped up the main bits of it, post-treatment, with some kitchen roll, and put it in the trash.

So, was the mess worth it?
10 POST BLISS I gotta say yes. Under the circs, as ever with an iPhone in the bathroom, the image is not A1, but oh! my skin felt so soft, and clean, and my pores felt tight, but not too tight, and I just felt all glowy and fresh.

I didn’t really mind making a mess, and reckon I’ll get better at this with practice. At €49 for six masks, that’s about €9.80/mask — that’s good value for the very spa-like result.

As ever, when you use a high quality product, the aftereffects last that much longer. I didn’t put on makeup for days afterwards, and when I did, it went on like dream — meaning: it didn’t feel like my foundation looked like a mask.

So: do it at home? DO ITTTT.


See for more information.


* I wish they were oogy bits of sebum.


I Used It All Up: BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Eye Gel

NEW Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel

I have only really gotten into eye care in the last year or so. Take my advice: start now. I don’t care if you are like, two years old, you should have started when you were one. I have found that when a product targeted to this area works, it really works, and you can see the improvement. I feel like I am not only playing catch up, but struggling with a little bit of damage control — where did those creases come from? {Laughing, so that’s actually a good thing.}

Am I bothered? Eh. Enough, clearly, to be feeling like I am scrambling to rehydrate that area. But again, see: laughing. It’s not like I’m going to stop doing that, so targeting the auld peepers has started coming top of the list.

Better late than never, and you can’t do better that bliss. I had the extraordinary good fortune to have received a Triple Oxygen Facial in an actual bliss spa in NYC — oh, so many, many years ago, but it was was so amazingly amazing that it makes me sigh, thinking back. This is a tiny little bit of that, well, bliss, in a pump-thingie.

It’s got caffeine, which is will wake you up in the a.m., and depuff your eyes; it’s a gel, which absorbs quickly; it’s got Vitamin C, which brightens the eye area, and stimlulates collagen; it’s also got these Soft-Focus Powders? Which I didn’t even know existed, but are there to blur fines lines, and they brighten the area, too. Lotsa brightness! Okay! All I know is that I felt the area tighten to just the correct degree, and felt it immediately, and so it encouraged me to keep using it.

Spendy, but highly recommended, and deeply missed.




Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: bliss vanilla + bergamot

The first time I posted this, I upper-cased the b, the v, and the other b, even though it is not the style of the brand. This lower-case-ness is all well and good on a shelf — not so much in a post or in anything editorial. I think it looks weird. It’s weird, right?

I forgive it, though, as I love this line entirely. Number 2 in the series; at this writing I continue to long for something for The Hair that smells of this lovely, lovely scent…


I’ll always remember the first time I got a whiff of Bliss’ cunning combination of vanilla and bergamot: I was working as the art director of a super cool female’s magazine, and one of my colleagues pretty much thrust an open tub of the Body Buff under my nose. ‘Oh, my God!’ I sighed. ‘It smells like the beach!’*

V+BIf ever there was a hoard-worthy product line, it is this one. I couldn’t bear to not have it around, just in case — and ‘just in case’ = the possibility of sharing my fragrant, beachy, perfectly exfoliated skin with a… ‘friend’. As it is, this scent almost exists almost entirely in my memory, because I allow myself to use it so rarely. (Which either says sad things about the state of my… ‘friendships’, or implies that I choose my ‘friends’ with extreme care. Let’s agree on the latter, shall we?)

Oh, but when I do decide to break out the V+B, I do it thoroughly and completely. The Body Buff is truly superb, and one of the top five I have ever used. The Soapy Suds come next, naturally, and of course it is all capped off with the wonderfully rich Body Butter. I only wish there was a shampoo and conditioner. And a perfume. And a — a hat, or something. I wish there were clothes that smelled like this.

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I am so not. The smell of the seashore is hardwired into the pleasure centre of my brain, so that, like a rat in a Skinner box, once I get a whiff of beachy goodness all I want is more. Some of the best times of my life were spent oceanside, and a tonne of unencumbered joy is triggered by the glorious scent of the auld V+B. I am a great believer in aromatherapy, and the days in which I walk around, wafting the joyful fragrance of undiluted joy and optimism, I have a very joyful and optimistic day. It is totally true.


Body Buff £28/€39/$36, Body Butter £20/€25/$28, Soapy Suds £16/€22/$18


*I have absolutely no idea why the combination of vanilla + bergamot smells like the beach, but it does.


I have a line on a scent that will complement this perfectly, but is not Of The Brand. Can you guess what it is?!?


Baby, It’s Cold Inside! Hot Salt Scrub by Bliss Saves the Day

Or, it will save the day, later, after I’m back from horseriding volunteering. I refuse to heat my wee apartment like it is winter — it is not winter — so I’ve got the hot water bottle on full rotation, and I am going to luxuriate in a bath this evening.

A key element in the luxuriousness will be Hot Salt Scrub via the always by name/be nature Bliss.

I have gone on record as not being a fan of salty scrubby things, as half the salt always seems to roll right off the bod and onto the floor. This drawback is only slightly mitigated if one gets into the tub and applies — it still rolls off, but at least the excess goes down the drain, saving you a sweep up after the shower.

Now this: this has a gel base, so if you go slow, the product adheres nicely to the skin, and the scrub is thorough and satisfying. The hot water of the shower activates the cleansing powers of the rosemary and eucalyptus, the latter a scent that has not been among my faves, but I am happy enough with it in this incarnation.

So, the big exciting plan is: scrub with this all over, rinse off, and then run a tub, in which my open, scrubbed pores can fully receive the lovely heat. And maybe also throw some more salts in, like those Dermalogica ones I am newly in love with, the Hydro-active Mineral Salts.

The shivery in-between potential is high, now that I look at it in writing. May rethink this. It would be best to just plunge right into the bath, but I don’t know, dead skin cells floating all around me seems a little gross.

Big question: does it get hot? Well, sort of. Like, not so hot that you’re hopping around, which would be dangerous in the bath. It definitely warms you up, and naturally, the more briskly you scrub, you warmer you get. Science!



Sad Face: What to Put on It

IRELAND 1 — CROATIA 3  I wish I didn’t care about the footie so much. It is an odd thing, all the emotional energy that one can generate/expend, even when one is watching a match on one’s laptop, much less when one is in an actual stadium. It’s a tribal thing for sure, what with the drums and the face painting, and I love every single second of it — except when it makes me want to puke, and my heart is beating like it’s going to go into arrest, and I scream obscenities at the top of my lungs as though I had no class a’tall.

So I am sitting here looking at stuff on my desk and just don’t even know. My face is so sad, what could possible help cheer it up?

I usually find Lancôme skincare products err too much on the side of their signature scent, but today, it is just the ticket. And their Hydra Zen Neurocalm Anti-Stress Moisturising Cream would have come in handy last night. I’ll have to remember it for Thursday when we take on Spain.

Bliss is always good, as a concept and as a line of spa-quality product. My poor peepers have just benefited from Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel, which is cooling, soothing, and yes, energizing-with-a-z… but they can’t unsee that third Croation goal.

Better to be sad and brown than sad and pale, and American brand Image Skincare do a great Facial Bronzing Cream in their Body Spa category. It smells coconutty, which is a good thing, and if there is the tiniest whiff of fake-tan smell, you only notice it for a quick second. {Feel free to insert comment re: quick second half here.}

I am losing the will, to be honest… and I am usually really good about prices and stuff, but eh, just don’t have the energy.

One thing that always makes me happy is Snow Bunny: Carribbean in a Compact from Too Faced. It is the absolute best bronzer on the planet, and the golden brown, wedded with the white, pink, and fawn shimmer creates a youthful, healthy glow. I had to stock up when I was in the States, and you will have to order it online — unless someone knows a Irish stockist? Could I have some good news, pleassssse???

That’s all I got, friends. Really gutted, but ah, sure, you never know, and Spain and Italy — anything could happen, yeah?


♥Day: Bliss Fabulips

Here we go! First in the series! File this under: Grooming.

Remember that picture of all those shampoos? Yeah, well, I won’t even dare to photograph all the lip balms, scrubs, and other treatments I’ve got all over the house, in my handbags, and in the pockets of my coats. It’s a Thing, and that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject.

If you want to get your lips in top-notch snogging condition for the ♥Day, or for any day, I wholeheartedly {oops, didn’t mean to do that, but feck it, it stays} direct you to bliss’ fabulips treatment kit. As it clearly states, the kit is completely fabu for your lips.

There are four components:
1>Foaming Lip Cleanser
2>Sugar Lip Scrub
3>Instant Lip Plumper
4>Softening Lip Balm

1>Foaming Lip Cleanser Once, I got a thing, it was like a lip cleanser or something, and it was the consistency of cold cream. Yuck! It was gross. This is a cleanser, too, and not that gross. Talk about damning with faint praise! This has the same scent and tingle as does bliss’ triple oxygen mask, which is interesting. It foams up, just a tiny bit, after you’ve applied the tiniest, tiny bit, and it feels pretty good. I’m not into heavy, dark lippy these days, but I am sure that this would clean off even the stubbornest long-wearing lip colour.

2>Sugar Lip Scrub Once, I also got another thing that was a lip scrub, and using it was like smooching a sugar bowl. Even as I cut back and cut back back the dosage, I always felt like I was wasting product. Not so with this little tub ‘o’ scrub: the merest swipe of a finger dispenses the perfect amount of product, which in turn does a terrific job of exfoliating your lips. Nut allergy people, beware! This contains walnut.

3>Instant Lip Plumper This is nice and minty. I don’t know, not a fan of lip plumpers, but at least this one doesn’t sting like you’ve just tried to snog a nest of wasps. I know the stinging is the thing that does the plumping, but sorry: ouch. Gotta love the flexible plastic applicator, though. I may use it, just for love of that.

4>Softening Lip Balm Oh, God, not another balm for me to fall for! This one is as soft as it says, and it smells coconutty. Since I am keen to keep the integrity of the kit, this most likely won’t find itself into a bag or a pocket. Probably…


Sisterhood of the Travelling Products

So: three weeks worth of stuff. It doesn’t seem like loads when laid out like that. {It seems like tonnes when you have to pack it up. In three make up bags of various sizes so you can distribute the weight.}

Or does it? I no longer have perspective. I’ve got thirteen shampoos and conditioners on the the go! What can you expect from me, honestly.

This photo is as much as about what is not here, as what did make the transatlantic journey… Continue reading