Gift Guide 2015: Happy Holiday Skincare

If you’ve someone near and dear who doesn’t indulge in luxury products, give them a helping hand this holiday…

DERMALOGICA
OMG look at all those gift sets €17.15-79.70
DERMALOGICA group
This literally puts the truth in the phrase ‘there’s something for everyone’ — and something for every budget, too. The Clean Start is perfect for the tween/teen on your list — and not just the girls, my nephews are huge fans of the Soothing Clearing Booster and would use this stuff in a shot. Skin that is mature, dry, normal oily, frequent travellers who want to keep their body care routine on fleek, those love a good facial exfoliation, those who just love the brand and its best sellers — that’s all catered for here. The packaging is also refreshingly non-festivity specific, so those who don’t celebrate via the fat man in the red suit won’t be alienated.

 

CLARINS PARIS
Double Serum And Super Restorative Collection €69.50
CLARINS Double Serum gift
Here’s one of the many offerings from this brand, and all of them targeted to a variety of concerns, but this has to be my pick, thanks to the Double Serum. I went through that stuff for a shortcut and still think of it fondly. The addition of the Super Restorative Day, Night, and Eye cream only adds to the attraction. Plus! It all comes in an elegantly iridescent gold clutch — I adore that detail on the zip tab.

 

CAUDALÍE PARIS
Huile Divine/Divine Oil €8.70 Eau de Beauté/Beauty Elixir €12.60
CAUDALIE BAUBLES
May be the best beauty baubles ever: both are a terrific introduction to the natural, paraben-free French brand, they look adorbz, and they are really well-priced. This is Secret Santa sorted. The Divine Oil is suitable from top to toe and smells delicious; the Beauty Elixir works as a toner, a makeup setting lotion, and a general pick-you-up.

 

CLINIQUE
Clean Skin, Great Skin €89
CLINIQUE Clean Skin Great Skin
Bit of a splurge, but I am such a fan of the Sonic that I urge you to splash out on someone special. It’s not enough that you get their terrific skin-cleansing brush — you get a carry case too! I will not travel anywhere without this little beauty, and a case like that surely beats the pair of socks I’ve been using to protect in as we journey forth. The samples of the soap, DDM+ and Clarifying Lotion pretty much set your dearly beloved up for a kickin’ start to the new year.

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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

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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}
*****
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 cloud10beauty.com.

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.

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I Used It All Up: Clarins Paris Instant Eye Make-up Remover

All up, all the way, not a dribble left:
IUIAU CLARINS EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER

And it used to be so blue! CLARINS INSTANT EYE full Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover is one of those mixey-uppy, bi-phase concoctions, and once upon a time, I held that sort of thing in low regard.

As always, though, technology makes advances, and this became {obvs} a clear fave.

This will take off the blackest, thickest, smokiest make up in one swipe. Not a word of a lie. A few dashes of product onto a cotton pad, and your peepers are as clean as whistle, in no time a’tall — so no excuse of being too tired to take off your slap.

And in fairness: the number of women I overhear talking about how they forget to wash their faces at night. Srsly?!?! Ladiez, clean your faces! All the ant-aging, hyaluronic, brightening, pore-reducing products in the entire universe will do NOTHING for clogged, uncared for, unclean* skin.

This has two added benefits: it’s great for those with sensitive eyes, and for contact lens wearers. Three! It is so easy on the very delicate eye area, so no uneccessary wear and tear, there.

Four! No oily residue, if you make sure to go one more swipe – gently! — with a dry cotton pad.

There is probably a five, but that’s enough to be going on with.

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*UNEXFOLIATED skin, but that is a diatribe for another day.

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€22.50/£17/$27

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

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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!

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CLARINS EYE MASK selfie

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

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PEARLY
Hello. The PEARLYS Teeth Brightening Treatment in action.

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Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Lippy, and the View From Below My Nose

WARNING: clicking through these links may result in PTND*.

I was into lipstick this year! I say that like it is news, like I haven’t posted this picture:
ALL THE LIPPYs
These were just the ones that were by the place where I keep my going-out-the-door stuff: my purse, the thingie with my Leap Card in it, my sunglasses.

Lots of lippys — thirteen, in fact — lots of pictures of my nose from an… interesting angle.

I reviewed eight shades of lipp-ay here, which alerted me to the proboscis problem — and then I clearly just chose to ignore it because: here I went again, and again, and… yeah. Um, and this one. And then also.

Sheesh.

The main issue I see is that I have not been wearing nearly enough purple/mauve lipstick.

There’s my new year’s resolution sorted!

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*Post Traumatic Nostril Disorder

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The Eyes Have It! And Boy, Do They Need It: New Fave Mascaras

Just for the sake of argument, here’s my naked lashes.
BYE BYE EYELASH EXTs 2

And so:

CLARINS Length & Curve Mascara, €26
They look pretty clumpy in the first photo, which they really weren’t. The second image shows them to better advantage. That is Intense Brown, which you may not have thought. They look nice and black to me!
CLARINS 3
CLARINS 1

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RIMMEL LONDON Scandaleyes Retro Glam, €8.99
So fake looking, in the best possible sense!
RIMMEL 1
RIMMEL 3

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BOURJOIS Volume Clubbing Blackjack Mascara, €10.49
I heart this a lot because it is so seriously thickening.
BOURJOIS 1
BOURJOIS 2

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LANCÔME Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara, €28
We’ve seen this one before; in this case, I only had time to do one coat, and I think it looks pretty substantial.
LANCOME doll eyes

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Finally, here’s a reminder about the Electric Blue stuff via Maybelline Colossal Color Shock Mascara, €10.75; I wore it out into the world, and it was noticeable in ‘Ohh, like yer blue lashes’ way.
MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOCK 1

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Finally, finally, a shot I like to call Daft Noir Selfie.
DAFT NOIR SELFIE
I am especially proud of the daft shadow of my phone, and my hands holding it.

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