Can’t Blame Jet Lag: Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream

I know, I’ve written about this already, but I gotta say: this is some seriously magical stuff.

DARPHIN
Since I haven’t written in a while, and because I wanted to blame travel/time changes/the weather, it’s a bit rich to be talking about something I’ve already mentioned — but not as rich as this little tub of gorgeousness LOLLLLL.

My flight back from The Christmas (remember The Christmas?!) was delayed by seven hours. Having been good and paid attention to the repeated warnings from United about what time to pitch up, I had basically been in Newark Airport for ten hours. Nightmare! All the plans I had to beat my jet lag went out the window, and when we landed at 11.45 am and I didn’t get in my door until 1.30pm, I thought to myself, ‘I am completely screwed.’

I decided that I was going to have to stay up forever and hope for the best. My frigid little flat was so cold that it was all I could to stay out of bed and not avail of the electric underblanket. I didn’t last long, and cuddled up with my laptop and tried not to drowse. I made it to about 8pm and gave up. I reckoned that I would never sleep through ’til the next day and that I would have the lag forever and ever.

Right before I succumbed to that horrible, buzzy, cold, dizzy feeling, I lashed on Darphin’s 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream, and hoped for the best.

That’s all I knew ’til Tuesday. I may have woken up at one stage, but not enough to wake all the way… and that was it. Made it through the entire day, and then the next I had horses and sweat out any lingering lagginess and… yeah: that’s all she wrote.

Look, I know, it ain’t cheap — it’s €91.65/$150/£95 — but if you want luminous skin and a good rest {and I reckon the skin is luminous thanks to the good rest} this has never let me down. And I’d put this up against any jet lag cure I’ve ever tried. Can’t wait to fly long-haul somewhere else just to reinforce my theory…

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I Try Before You Buy: Oil-based Skincare {+One Of These Things is Not Like the Others}

There’s mixed intel as to whether or not facial oils are good for oily skin: logic would say, ‘Eh, no they’re not,’ but I’ve read various articles and reviews that claim that oily skin is working overtime to make oil, so if you use an oil, it lets your complexion off the hook and it can relax. I’d love to hear if anyone has personal experience of this notion — good or not so good!

Me, I ♥♥♥ oils to the moon and back, so speaking of outer space, there are a lot of stars this week.

01 CLINIQUECLINIQUE Smart Treatment Oil, €44 {30ml}
*****
I couldn’t get enough of the brand’s Turnaround oil, so when I used it all up, I was happy that this one was waiting in the wings. I love it just as much, and find it ‘dry’ enough to use in the day, which is not always the case. This is a triple anti-oxidant blend that’s fragrance-free, and it’s gentle enough for those who suffer from roseacea. I keep this by the bedside and put on lashings of it before bed, and awake with a new face.

03 DARPHINDARPHIN PARIS 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream, €91.65 {15ml}
*****
Eep! That is pricey, but the cream is so rich, you won’t need or want to use too much. It would be like bingeing on fudge, or something. Every time I’ve used this, I have slept the sleep of the just, that is: I fell asleep immediately and stayed that way all through the night, and woke feeling like I’d been to some 04 LE MARAclass of dreamtime spa. Oh, and my skin looked radiant, a certain combination of the unbroken rest and the 280 petals from those 8 flowers that provide the aromatic essence.

LÉ MARA IRISH ORGANIC SEAWEED Miracle Facial Oil, €4.99 {150ml}
****
Here’s the opposite end of the spectrum: can anything that’s less than a fiver be any good? It is when it’s packed full of all sorts of goodness — from vitamin E to oat oil to primrose oil and bunch of anti-oxidants. The pump-action dispenser is pure genius, although it is better to spray in the palms than directly in the face {learned the hard way so you don’t have to.} This too is a mid-day, staying-in kind of treat, and it leaves behind a glorious glow. Bargain of the week — maybe of the year!

No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50 {30ml}05 No7
****
This seems almost too oily at first. I put that down to my own dispensing technique, which = using tonnes of product. Less is very much more here, and while I’m still not convinced that this is a good idea for me to apply in the a.m., I love it in the middle of a day in which I am hunkering down, not going anywhere, and ready for treat.06 TRILOGY

TRILOGY CoQ10 Booster Oil, €40 {20ml}
****
This is like a luxurious spa facial treatment right in your own home. It is far too heavy for use in the day, IMHO, but at nighttime, it is like the angels have wrung elixir from their wings for you to apply to your skin. Awake with a glow that wouldn’t look out of place whilst shepherds guard their flocks by night. Seriously, though: this is created to bust glycation, which causes collagen and elastin to become rigid, robbing skin of its plumpness and elasticity. The co-enzyme Q10 is an anti-oxidant, protecting the skin from ill-natured molecules.

VITA COCO Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, €12.99 {500ml}
****
I hesitated to Google ‘extra virgin’ because that just seemed like it was asking for a variety of pRon-y sites to pop up in my face, but this basically 07 VITA COCOmeans that it is processed in a way that is even better than ‘refined’. That is some price point, it has to be said, for such a versatile product: apply it head to toe, use it inside and out — it’s hard to imagine a better all-rounder when it comes to health and skincare. I had a difficult time using this for cooking, and yet when I used this on the bod, I felt like I should pop myself into the oven… Once I got over the mental blocks, I found I liked this best for my cuticles and for split ends {still too scared to use it as a hair mask, but I will get there as I suspect it will be amazing.}

And if all this oiliness doesn’t not appeal in the least:
KIEHL’S Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, €27.50 {50ml}
*****
02 KIEHLSI’d say this definitely falls more on the side of a gel than a cream, but I’m not interested in semantics here: this is fab. I usually find gel-based moisturisers to absorb too quickly and dry tacky, but not this one — maybe there is something to the ‘cream’ in its name after all. Refreshing and soothing, this is terrific for skin that’s suffering from a surfeit of the elements, be they cold winter winds or hot summer suns. If you need a pick-you-up in the dark mornings, this will zing you to life and help with fine lines at the same time.

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Lip Balm-a-holic

Why mince words? I am addicted to lip balm. When I went away Down the Country for Easter, I had a mild panic attack on the train when I realised that I was using my new rucksack, into which I had failed to put a balm of some description.

Of what description? Any description: stick, gel, liquid, scrub, in a tube or a pot. You name it, I’ve tried it, and there is nothing I love more than discovering a new one to love.

DARPHIN Age-Defying Lip Balm’s little flat pot it very sexy, so stylish and sophisticated. But can we judge a lip balm by its cover? Up to a point. It goes on smooth and smells lovely, but it seems to require rather more frequent application than one would like. I’ve found it is really useful to use underneath lipstick. I tend to keep this one in my ‘leather’ jacket pocket, to use on an evening out: a quick swipe of this, and then a reapplication of whatever lippy or gloss I chose, and it is real treat after you’ve worn out yer mouth talkin’ and drinkin’, or you know, whatever. €32.63

I do love me some NUXE Lip Balm with Honey and Precious Oils because the honey and precious oils are glorious. Unfortch, it’s simply not portable as it comes packaged in a heavy glass jar. Now, this is the kind of glass jar that inspires me to day dream about having a vanity table with all manner of beautiful glass jars strewn across its surface — but this is not an on-the-spot sort of touchy-uppy balm. It has, however, been to hand as my pre-sleep lip treat, and it has almost run out. Sadness. €12.50

As packaging goes, a tin is my least favourite, and the ones from THE HANDMADE SOAP CO. seem extra difficult to open. Their Choco-Mint Lip Balm makes it all worth it in the end, because A) chocolate and B) mint. And also because the product is silky and deeply moisturising. The brand is Irish-based, so even more impetus to support them. Because I find the tin so fiddly, I keep this one on my desk. €4.50

EAU THERMALE AVÉNE Cold Cream Lip Cream first came to my attention in stick form, and I wasn’t so crazy about it. It was okay, but not great. I think that the tube applicator, however, is great. I was also a bit freaked by the notion of putting cold cream on my mouth, because: ick, but it’s not like your granny’s old-fashioned stuff. I like to use this one after horseriding or swimming: it softens and soothes on the spot. €10

Speaking of chocolate, THE BODY SHOP Chocomania Lip Butter says very clearly on the back that it is ‘unfit for consumption’. This is a useful warning, because this stuff is so chocolately, and so buttery, you may be tempted to spread some on your morning brioche. On first contact it is excellent, and the texture is luxurious, but I didn’t feel like it really sank in and did the job. Nevertheless, the scent is a real pick-me-up. I’m not sure where I’ll keep this yet, although I’m thinking it may be the new bedside balm. €7.50

Two things: this is the tip of the lip care iceberg, and I intend further posts on the balms I have known. And! I am not alone in this obsession! When out with a couple of friends for a Christmas meal last year, we all started passing around our balms after we ate, like a strange version of after-dinner brandies. What followed was an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of the balm currently in service, and then an inventory of all the other ones we had on the go. Between us, we had roughly seventeen lip care items in active service. For real. If you are of the same persuasion, it looks like we have the makings of a support group…