Festive ’14: Emma So Natural and Glove Your Body

Support your local artisan/provider!
Handmade in Ireland, Emma’s So Natural line incorporates wax tart melts and small travel candles in tins, but for me, it’s alllll about the tumbler candles.

Made from soy wax as opposed to paraffin, these last longer as they burn more slowly, and they are cleaner and greener, too. Essential oils provide the scent, and you can choose from seven. There are also seasonal choices, including Wonderland, a mix of pine, eucalyptus and benzoin.

Last shipping day by courier is the 22nd!

Gotta use a glove to apply the fake tan — I do know that many prefer the bare hands, but: no. Glove Your Body’s offering looks more like a plush toy than a tanning mitt, and its many features — you’d be surprised that a self-tan accessory would have more than one feature — makes it easier to spread the product around, ensuring that your tan is more even and natural-looking.

Feature One: the obviously plush surface, which helps contain the tan. Whenever I use a sponge mitt, I find that the liquid can roll all over the surface, making it hard to manage. Definitely not a problem here.
Feature Two: Inside, there are finger-holders, like in a baseball mitt, meaning that it’s not going to slip and slide all over the place.
Feature Three: An opposable thumb! I had no idea that it would come in so handy! Why? I just feel like I’ve got better control of the whole process because my thumb is free.
Feature Four: Machine washable!

All in all, if you are a serial tanner, this is the Pro Mitt. And it feel really nice, too.


Emma’s So Natural tumbler candles, €18.50; 2-pack, €35; emmas.ie

Glove Your Body, €19.99; http://www.gloveyourbody.com


OMChristmas 2013: Guaranteed Irish Gifting

GUARANTEED IRISH We are a small island, but we make a whole lotta stuff. It’s not all jam and rashers either — although! I can thoroughly vouch for the deliciousness of the brown bread that comes from Fitzpatrick’s Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, as I have scarfed that up myself during a stay there, reviewing Revas Spa for the Irish Tatler Spa awards earlier in the year. Must post about that here…

Anyway! I spotted a loaf during a recent presentation from Guaranteed Irish, a showcase of the very best that Ireland has to offer during the festive season. Everything looked gorgeous, and it was a revelation to see how well-represented the Irish touch is, in terms of self-care — and by self-care, I mean beauty products and candles. Candles are so important.

IRISH STILL LIFE 1I wanted allll the candles. Having been made familiar with the Cloon Keen brand, thanks to their presence in the Shelbourne Spa, I was happy to see them represented, and was also happy to meet a new brand, about which I will talk below.

I don’t even know what’s on this table, and I’d enlarge it but I was so overwhelmed, it’s a little bit shaky. Maybe not overwhelmed as such, just dead impressed at the lovely, lovely things arrayed before me.

Here’s more:

And here’s a small round up of things that I love, and think you — I mean, your loved ones! — will love, too.

IRISH BIA feed your skin
BIA BEAUTY Feed Your Skin set {€80} includes Mellow Mandarin Moisturiser; Orange & Grapefruit Exfoliant; Stop the Clock Eye Gel; Apple Blossom Body Butter; and Detox Body Scrub. All take their scents from essential oils, and the scrub in particular is terrific for treating cellulite. There’s more info at the Cork-based concern’s website on biabeauty.com.

GREEN ANGEL face cream set
O, seaweed! Is so awesome. GREEN ANGEL offer up their fab duo, Daily Moisture Face Cream & Night Cream {€39.99} I can personally gush about the day cream: it is so silky and absorbs perfectly, yet feels so rich. I love the little blast of aromatherapy too, as the Jasmine and Neroli are invigorating enough to give me a wakey-wakey boost in the morning, but not so much that I am bouncing off the walls. Go to greenangel.com to see the full line.

All of PIXY NATURAL SKINCARE’s Christmas offerings are priced under €20! I myself am tempted by their Tempting Gift Box {€14.95} which comes with a heart-shaped soap, two skin nourishing mini bath bombs, a creamy lip balm, and the Internet’s favourite Lime Body Scrubs, also heart-shaped, and a perfectly natural exfoliating treat. See pixy.ie for more well-put-together gift boxes.

Ooh, LA BOUGIE! Also from Cork — what is going on down there, is it like the locus of creative beauty entrepreneurs or wha’? — the company present us with candles in an array of scent combinations that are spectacular. Pictured is my very own Sweet Pea & Pear 140g candle {€19.95}, and I gotta say, I am deeply attracted to the Ginger & Black Pepper and the Honeysuckle & Sea Salt. This bad girl will burn for 40 hours; there’s 220g versions that burns for 55! {€29.95} Go for the glow on labougie.com.

VOYA is also a purveyor of Irish seaweed-infused products, and here’s three gift sets that pretty much are like their ‘best of’ collection of hits: the Organic Voyager Set {€40} features 75mls each of Squeaky Clean Body Wash, Softly Does It Body Moisturiser, Silky by Nature shampoo and Forget Me Knot conditioner; 1,2,3, Glow {€58} comes with a full-sized Ritzy Spritzy facial toner and Cleanse & Mend facial cleanser, and a mini 7ml jar of Me Time moisturiser; the Body Gift Set {€48} Softly Does It body moisturiser and Squeaky Clean body wash. Not pictured is the Hair Gift Set {€40} Silky by Nature shampoo and Forget Me Knot conditioner. The full complement of product is on voya.ie.

The Christmas Fair at the NATIONAL PRINT MUSEUM runs from 29, 30 November and 1 December; rock up on Friday between 16.00-20.00, and on Saturday and Sunday between 11.00-16.00. It’s free to enter, although your wallet ought to be lightened considerably once you clap your eyes on all the artistic, unique offerings. There are also make-your-own opportunities for all the family, although I’d say it’ll be a bit late to be hand-printing your Christmas cards, hmmm? See nationalprintmuseum.ie for directions and the like.

Also, for more creative goodness, check out TALBOT GALLERY & STUDIOS on Talbot Street, D1 and their Selection BOX exhibition. All the artworks are 12 inches x 12 inches and priced at €200, making for an affordable start/expansion of your collection. Find the list of artists here; I bought a picture a couple of years ago, and it’s really one of the nicest things you can do for yourself — loved ones! Loved ones! Everybody! Art is for everyone!


B&B! Q&A: Marie Reynolds

IMG_0648‘Candles are a a symbol of peace and light in a dark situation. They are lit for remembrance and hope, and many believe lighting candles are an extension of prayer. They also act as a source of focus to clear the mind in meditation.’
— Marie Reynolds

And, in fairness, they are vital components of sexytimes. Reynolds is a celebrated facialist, noted for the breadth of her experience in the world of skincare. Her line of luxury massage  candles, MRL Aromawax, have so much going for them, that it behove us to go straight to the source to answer — ha, ha — some burning questions…

How long was the idea for the massage candles in the works?
I have used Soya wax for many years in treatment, but felt they lacked a certain joie de vive. I also wanted the benefits of soya and shea butter as a treatment to be brought to the masses.

What was the process from concept to execution?
I had been to a talk at the House of Lords on the importance of British brands, and wanted to focus on a brand that was ‘home grown’ and organic that could be used on the skin. I was originally going to start off with skin care, but the time scale to create, test and release such products was too long. So I used my knowledge with aromatherapy and skincare in the form of MRL Aromawax Candles.

Being a therapist I know how well soya can be used with other ingredients, like sea salt to be adapted in treatments for body scrubs, or mixed with therapeutic mud for body wraps. Soya has a complete amino acid complex so the candle bases are extremely hydrating and nourishing, as well as healing and softening. Added into the mix are specific blends for refreshing, stimulating or relaxing the senses.

What’s great about using the soya is that it turns the candle into massage oil! I love the idea that the candle is romantic on two levels! How does one best get the warmed wax out of the jar?
The wax itself can be used solid: just rub your finger around the top of the candle and apply as a solid perfume. I actually have a candle at my desk and scoop it out to massage in my hands. The most effective way is to remove the wax when the wick it lit with a wooden spatula.

Common sense says, blow out the candle first… but won’t that wreck the mood?
If you pour the wax it will cause smoking, which is not nice. We don’t want anyone choking in an intimate setting! Scoop the wax with a spatula!

Lush Locks

What gave you the idea for the Lush Locks Hair Treatment Candle, and what is the best way to use these?
Many therapists use warm oil for Indian Head massage, so Lush Locks was born! The wax, when melted, can be used as a massage medium, or used as a conditioning treatment overnight: simply massage into the hair from root to end and in the morning wash as normal. The oil can be used sparingly as a balm for dry ends. The aroma is Wild Neroli and Champa Flowers, so they smell divine!

I personally cannot imagine life without candles, and am always tempted to pack up a bunch of ’em when I go visiting… can you talk a bit about the Travel Aromawax collection? Did you find yourself abroad, experiencing a candle emergency???
Well, I am afraid I cannot take credit for the Travel Candles! They were initially developed as samples; my dear friend and PR, Shirley Dumhall, said they would be ideal for a travel candle, and they seem to be a great hit! Actually, many people like to try them as a set which is  a great idea, that way you get a taster of all the candles.

How does candlelight help our feelings of wellbeing?
It goes without saying that any setting — be it a spa, salon, hotel room, bedroom, bathroom – once lit with a candle or even better, ‘candles’, evokes a sense of relaxation this has an immediate impact on our stress levels, mentally, emotionally and physically. The fact that the Aromawax Candles tap into the sense of smell and touch are an added benefit.


Marie Reynolds Aromawax Massage candles are priced as follows: 135g boxed candle is €40 (25 hours burning time); 50g Votive (10 hour burning time) is €11.50.

UPDATE! See here for a review of Lush Locks!


See mrlcandles.com for more information.


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!