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

CLARINS PARIS Mission Perfection Serum {€60}
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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}
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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}
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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 cloud10beauty.com.

THE BODY SHOP Virgin Mojito Bath & Body Limited Edition {€Various: €8.95-19.95}
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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}
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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.

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Festive ’14: The Body Shop

BODY SHOP
Love the packaging and equally love the contents: The Body Shop have put together an assortment of vanilla brulée scented goodies, including the trend-setting body butter. This is Joy; you could equally choose Love (frosted cranberry) or Peace (glazed apple).

And what’s with the schoolbook vibe?

Bring harmony to the world with this inspiring Schoolbook of Joy. Proudly made by our Community Fair Trade supplier in Nepal, and full of some of the world’s finest ethically sourced ingredients, this gift has been hand-crafted in book-shaped packaging in honour of our Children in Education initiative with War Child.

I love the gifts that give and give!

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€23: includes body butter 50ml; shower gel 60ml; lip balm 20ml; heart soap 25g

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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?

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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
€39/£28.50/$53
Go here for some gratuitous CumberPecs

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*’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.’

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Bee Nice to Your Bod: The Body Shop’s Honeymania Line

My favourite term of endearment is ‘honey’. I don’t know why, it just is! And it’s not something I ever gave much thought to, until I was lucky enough to avail of allll the bits of the Honeymania line, that The Body Shop have recently laid on.

Made from Fair Trade honey sourced in the Ethiopian rainforest, this honey has a social conscience, and also exhibits the benefits of the natural moisturiser, without being sticky and unwieldy. Here are the products, in descending order of love.

Honeymania Body Butter
Many have raved about the brand’s body butters, but this is the Body Butter {€18.95} that has convinced me. It has just the correct amount of honey fragrance, so you smell inviting, much like the original blossom to the original bee, but you won’t be walking around making people wonder if they’d not like a nice cup of herbal tea. Fantastic coverage and day-long softness — this claims to impart 24hr hydration, and it’s one of the few that I’ve tried and tested that comes close!

Homeymania Bubble Bath Melt
This should have probs come before the Butter, in the interest of fragrance layering, but the Bubble Bath Melt {€13.95} isn’t something I’d avail of every day. Just writing about it now, when there is manky raining pouring down, makes me want to fire up the immersion and run myself a tub. This is as near a dammit to the texture of edible honey; it froths up fantastically under running water, and the bubbles last for ages. Heart this deeply.

Honeymania Beeswax soap The Soap {€3.95} is great for the fragrance layer-ers amongst us, and this too bubbles up nicely on your exfoliating mitts or your shower puff. Again, not so overwhelmingly honey-scented — just the correct amount. It has the added bonus of being glycerin-like, so when it dries, it doesn’t leave much residue, which doesn’t leave one with a sense of waste and mess. I have three soaps on the go at the moment, and I keep reaching for this one. I will use this until it is the very sliver of its former self.

Honeymania Lip Butter
We all now about my issues with baume pour les levres, so no one is more surprised than I that I am not completely mad about this Lip Balm {€7.50}. It is good, once applied, but I am having an issue with the texture — slightly gritty — and the scent — it is a bit much in this incarnation. Once it gets where it is meant to go, it feels soft and lovely, and will probably pay dividends under the mistletoe this holiday season. Is your Honey a sweet-aholic? They will be very happy. {The restraint I have exhibited just there!}

Honeymania Scrub
My least fave: I found the Body Scrub {€18.95} to lack enough scrubby bits in it, and its texture was far too slippery, under circumstances that were slippery enough already. If your skin is so, so sensitive to a common-or-garden scrub, I think you may find this to be gentle enough.

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See thebodyshop.co.uk or thebodyshop-usa.com for prices in £ and $.

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B&B! Q&A: Sabrina Lucey, Cloisters Spa, Muckross Park Hotel

SABRINASabrina Lucey is head therapist of the award-winning Cloisters Spa in the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney. Eight years into her career as a beauty and massage therapist, she’s worked in television for such programmes as Ireland Am and Xposé, and she’s been loving every minute of it.

At Cloisters, she says she’s ‘fortunate to have a team of excellent and experienced therapists, who are all highly trained in all aspects of conventional beauty treatments.” They also are proficient in holistic massage, reflexology and many other alternative treatment, so you’d be spoiled for choice.

I myself was fortunate enough to have experienced a new treatment, the Wilderness Ritual, which featured a full body exfoliation with tailor-made body scrub, followed by full body application of body butter, and a massage using essential oils, administered via sea shells. I am just about crying, looking back on it now.

I chatted with Sabrina about certain aspects of this terrific experience, which totally puts the treat in ‘treatment’.

I know we’re supposed to exfoliate — and believe me, I love it! – but what exactly are the benefits, for face and body?
Simply put, it keeps the skin soft and glowing. Buffing the dead skin away will keep your pores from clogging, which keeps acne under control — both on the face, and on places like the back. It also speeds up your skin’s natural renewal process, and helps your moisturizer penetrate even deeper.

Getting rid of the dead skin cells helps with skin discoloration and unevenly toned skin — and if you keep up a routine, your skin will not only be visibly brighter, you’ll be keeping fine lines and wrinkles in check.

Can you tell me about the scrub and the body butter you used?
In Kerry I wanted to source something local, and met Alice from Skellig Soaps, at a Christmas shopping fair. I wanted an exfoliator that involved our signature scent of Lemongrass and Lavender, and Alice combined these two and created our exclusive scrub.

The oil I use in the seashell massage is her creation as well, and combines Ylang Ylang, Rosewood and Jojoba oil, which is very relaxing on the skin.

And I also know that essential oils are good for us, but don’t know exactly why…?
Essential oils have been proven useful in killing off viruses, bacteria or other pathogens. They are also considered to be powerful anti-oxidents.
They also can act on the mind, as well as the body: when the brain’s limbic system is stimulated, the realeas of neurotransmitters such as pain-reducing encephalin, pleasure-producing endorphins, relaxing serotonin, and stimulating noradrenaline, encourage the body, and also the mind, to chill out!

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So, how was it?
CLOISTERS poolMy first thought as I descended the long, spiralling staircase down to the spa was, ‘No wonder they keep winning awards.’ If you’re going to set the stage for luxe, ensure that your guests feel like Scarlett O’Hara — albeit in a towelling robe, rather than swathed in the curtains — as they enter your domain.

It is all about relaxation in the thermal suite: that pool is not for laps, something that I always have a grá for, but I was happy enough paddling around for a while. The big draw is the outdoor hot tub: the bubbles were the correct amount of froth and warmth, and as the Blue River lazily wound its way around the back of the spa, l let go of some tension I hadn’t even been aware I’d been holding onto.

There are numerous places to lounge, and a sauna that I highly recommend. That hot tub, though, had my name on it, and I dunked myself back in until it was time for the treatment.

Now. I am am avid exfoliator, and equally as assiduous in applying lotions and potions on the bod. But let me tell you, there is nothing like having someone else do these things for you. The full body exfoliation with the lemongrass and lavender scrub was as thorough and aromatic as it gets — more thorough than I could ever manage for myself. A quick shower to rinse it off feels like it may be a bit harsh on the mellow, but the mellow is fully regained when the application of the body butter ensues.

Then, the shells. I eyed them somewhat dubiously when I arrived in the treatment room, but they are so effective. The shells had been warming throughout the exfoliation/body buttering, and were the perfect temperature by the time it was their turn in the process. They felt pretty spectacular: used to apply pressure to the body, they felt firm but not too hard on the muscles; they worked out several knots that I had been walking around with, and bunch of others I hadn’t known were there.

As always, it was over all too quickly, even though the session is the guts of 90 minutes. Afterwards, I was lead to one of the daybeds in the relaxation area, given a light treat of almonds and a smoothie, and left to breathe deeply under a muslin-canopied day bed. Bliss.

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The Wilderness Ritual is €150 for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and includes full body lemongrass exfoliation, Cloisters Body Shea Butter application, followed by an 80 minute warm sea shell massage.

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Muckross Park Hotel & Cloisters Spa
Muckross, Killarney,  Co. Kerry.
T: +353 (64) 662 3400
F: +353 (64) 663 1965
E: info@muckrosspark.com

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