Bitchface of the Yesterday: What is On It.

This looked bitchier in my phone, but nevertheless: onward!
FotYD> I started using, rather casually, Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer by Benefit {€35.50} — by casually, I mean: it’s a little twisty-up tube, like a big fat lipstick, and I draw it all over my face randomly. It looks ivory-coloured in the tube, but it is in fact sans colour. I am liking it loads, and considering my deep and abiding adoration for the brand’s PoreFessional, that is significant. If you feel like using primer is one step too many, this makes it super easy, and it keeps the foundation fresh.

> Continuing in the same vein, I decided on FIT MAYBELLINE fit me in 130me! anti-shine foundation stick from Maybelline New York, in Buff Beige/Praline {€13.79} The ethos behind the doubling of shades is that the inner core contains lightweight, anti-shine powders. Well, mainly. I still needed a wafting of pressed powder, as we will see. I did like the texture: while I am attracted to the idea of a mess-free foundation stick, in practice I often feel like I’m pulling my skin all over my skull trying to get a decent layer on. This has more ‘give’ than many of the sticks I’ve tried.

> Concealer — which I put on before the foundation, I’m not a complete eejit; the editorial, it flowed better going from one stick to the next — is via Clarins Paris and is new. Instant Concealer {€24} is light and fluid, and though the tube is only 15mls, I’d say it would see you through autumn and winter, easily.

> Pressed powder! Haven’t used that in an age. Oddly, I didn’t feel like illuminating yesterday, and went with a fave of old, Clinique superpowder: double face powder in Matte Ivory {€30}. I used to go through this like a Hollywood A-lister goes through Restalyne. I also used to use the pad that’s included, but no more of those amateur antics, thanks! Applied with a kabuki brush, this lasted for six hours straight, and allowed some natural shine to show through, but not the shiny-shine I was fighting in the first place.

> Brows and eyeshadow via smashbox. Still loving my Brow Tech To Go {€23.50} very muchly. The shadow is a trio that I was too afraid to try myself, because I never manage to make the make up look as well as it did when applied by a make up artist. Anyway! Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio {€26.50} in Aperture is really quite terrific. The colours — Alabaster, Sky, and Truffle — are perfect for a day to night look, the texture of the shadows is super light yet buildable for intensity, and just looked amazing on, even via my less-than artistically wielded brushes << which make allll the difference. You know the way I, and other journos and bloggers, are constantly nagging you to invest in proper make up brushes? Invest in proper make up brushes. It really does matter.

> Lashes: Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara {€28}, and Hourglass Calligraphy Liquid Liner {€26.65}, both of which I have written about before, and continue to make an appearance when I feel moved to take a selfie on — you guessed it! — the 46A.

> Da lips: NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm in Applelicious Pink {€2.49}I heart this colour, a delightful combination of light texture and deep pigment. It did bleed somewhat as the night wore on, and the words kept coming out of my  mouth, so that is an ish. Nothing that lip liner won’t solve, but have I said about how much I hate lip liner?

> The Hair is second day, after having been washed under the taps of the tub because my shower exploded on Friday. I was away in London and no one seemed to be able to coordinate to sort it out, and I will, fingers Xd, be in possession of a new working power shower by midday. I used Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique {€20}; I haven’t used a leave-in conditioner in some time, and ya know what, I may be about to experience a renaissance. This looks nice and swoopy, considering! As ever, Batiste {€2.39} saves the day; hate to think of life without it.

***

How To Make the Perfect Katie PonyTaylor

I hated having short hair, the three times in my life that I made that mistake — a mistake for me, it simply doesn’t suit. I hated it because I had to tend it allll the time; it seemed like way much more work that long, especially when all I wanted to do was pull it back into a ponytail.

Except, I have always been a bit crap at making ponytails? Unlike our Gold Medal Boxer Katie Taylor!

I don’t know how she does it, but me, I need product. What a surprise.

I googled around a bit, but wowee, some of the ponytail-making suggestions are way too much like work. All I want is sleek, and I don’t want flyaway ends.

So:
> Brush the stuffing out of your hair. Make it as flat as possible.

> Spray a little something on the top of your head, at the crown. I used Batiste Dry Shampoo. This is mainly to flatten it and make it stay.

> Brush it some more.

> Okay, gross: hold the elastic between your teeth. Come on! This is real life! You do it too! Yeah, yeah, yeah, unsanitary, but me, that third arm I usually use for hair styling is in the shop.

> Now, this next step depends on how well you gather up the hair. This is where I always go wrong. Either  the hair on the top of your head is going to stay perfectly flat, or you’re going to have to brush it down again. When I have to re-brush it, I start all over, because there will always be that rogue lock sticking up. Elastic goes back in the mouth, I let the hair go loose, and do over.

> Then, gently, gently, put some sort of styling aid on the tail itself. Any one of the oil-y yokes on the market will work, mousse is good — I used what has clearly become my Olympic hair product, Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream.

And the brother of yer dad is Bob.

***

Still buzzing from that victory!

Ach, Me Head: How I Contrived to Look Well, Despite It

It is almost 3pm and I am only having my first coffee right this minute, which is … I can’t express how this is both a nightmare, because it is early afternoon, and also the most glorious moment in my life to date, because I am finally drinking the delicious, delicious coffee.

What happened was: wine taken, crashed at a pal’s house, which is a million miles away from my coffeepot, which wouldn’t be an issue because I am not friends with people would refuse to give me coffee — but my lift to the train station was leaving RIGHT THEN so I flung myself into the car, and flung myself out and then there was no train for an hour. No coffee, not even rubbish train station coffee. So I had a bag of cheese and onion crisps and a Coke, which both saddens {how old am I?} and thrills me {still crazy after all these years.*}

I hadn’t been prepared to wait for the first mug of life-giving coffffeeeeeee for two and half hours. However! I had been prepared to fling myself out the door of my friend’s house, so I packed what I consider to be the best morning-after-the-night-before products — well, I do now, because I managed to look youthful, not dreadful.

>L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream (€14.99/£9.99) I am digging this stuff all the way to the earth’s core. Flawless coverage, with just the correct degree of light reflecting qualities, so that you look radiant rather than sweaty from toxins seeping out of your pores.

> Also from this line, L’Oréal Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighting Pen (€12.99/£8.49) did an amazing job of covering up the dark circles, and because I was so delighted that I didn’t look like the dog’s dinner, I felt perkier.

> Eyebrows! So important! Especially as I was in no way going to bother with mascara. Clarins ‘Pro Pallette’ Eyebrow Kit (€39/£32.99) has everything you need to groom yourself awake and alive, but I’d leave the tweezers if you’re feeling a little blurry. I have gotten very bold about the impact of my brows, and use the black pigment (upper left).

>A swipe of Clarins Gloss Prodige in Papaya (€17/£15.50). I am hoping to test a pinkier version of this gloss, because it is indeed prodige.

>Finally, had to see to the The Hair, and brought along the Ojon™ Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray (€20/£18), which was fine; next time, I think I’ll take the Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39), to see how they compare. Here’s a pro tip if you’ve got long hair: I find it hard to really get the stuff on the roots, which is where it is most useful. Even flipping The Hair over doesn’t help. So! I kept the ponytail I had slept in {with? in? why is this taking so long to wriiiiiite} and pulled it up a bit and sprayed the dry shampoo right where I wanted it.

Hey, I thought that was genius. But then, I’m down several thousand brain cells at the mo’.

Sorry, no pictures, it was beyond my capacity. Do take my word that when I got home and looked in the mirror, I was surprised that I didn’t look like the walking dead, and owe it all to the above.

*Or at least not bothered to act my age.

Three Days Down The Country: The Winner and Undisputable Champion

I have given out about dry shampoos in the past, and I did find one that I liked, although it did claim to be a ‘dry cleansing spray’, which: what? I don’t know, is ‘dry shampoo’ too plebe-y a term?

I got a sample of Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39) just before I left on the Big Easter Getaway Down The Country, and as I reckoned that the hair would not be undergoing its usual grooming regimen for a couple of days, well, why not give this a go?

I’d recommend getting to Aldi sharpish, because I may go and spend a whole buncha money buying this stuff up.

What I disliked about the other dry shampoos that I have tested is their penchant to turn the hair into a bale of hay. Sure, the oil at the roots is totally gone, but at the expense of manageability, much less looking like you’ve just stuck your whole hand in an electrical socket. I suppose if it had occurred to me at such times, I could have attempted a beehive, since my hair was all volumised and massive… but what if you just want your own hair, only less limp and lifeless?

Then, my friends, you turn to Batiste. I sprayed it on, finger-combed it through, let it dry for a second or two… then combed it out… and, holy wow, my hair felt light and clean — and it looked shiny.

I was absolutely not expecting the shine. Also, it was soft, which I would have thought was a fairy tale. Or an outright lie. But nope: shiny and soft hair from a dry shampoo, and I lived happily ever after for two days.

Two days! And the thing is! After the Big Easter Hill Walk, and then getting soaked, even though my hair was in a pony tail and I was wearing a hat and a hood {Irish rain, eh?} my hair got damp. And even though I dried it a bit by the fire, it didn’t really get all the way dry. So when I twisted it into a random knot on the top of head, for sleeping, I wasn’t expecting a good result the next day, Miracle of Batiste or no.

Well. I gave the hair a spray in the a.m. and it looked wavy and full and really, really good. I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo, for proof, but hand on heart, even after all its trials and tribulations, another spritz of Batiste made me look 100% Country Girl Chic.

This also comes in Tropical and Blush, neither of which would appeal to me {what does a blush smell like? Shame?} I found the Original version to be perfectly scented, which is ‘only just’. Funny, you’d think that given my fragrance fetish I’d want hair that wafted scent, but: no. I am perfectly delighted and satisfied with the original version, so I’ll leave those others  for the rest of yees.