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?


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
Go here for some gratuitous CumberPecs


*’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.’


OMChristmas 2013: Gifts That Give

I played a game yesterday, unbeknowst to the charity muggers who were also involved. Instead of crossing to the other side of the road to avoid them, I tried to see how close I get to them and avoid eye contact — of course, whilst still saying ‘No thank you’ politely. I got pretty close! Then I felt bad, because they are only trying to do a job; and then I was like, but this whole notion of buttonholing people in the street to give money to help the less fortunate — surely there must be a better way.

Well, the below are a few beautyfull ideas in which to do so. I’m sure — I hope! — there are many, many initiatives that I have missed, as this post is somewhat cursory. Surely there are many big corporations out there who are working with worthy causes to raise finds and awareness. O.o


ELEMIS was something of an inspiration for this post, as they recently reported having been able to donate £36,000 to GAVI (Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunisations).

The money was raised through the sale of the very special limited edition 10th anniversary edition of their Papaya Enzyme Peel, about which I wrote here.* The donation provides 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccines to fully inoculate children in Africa against five diseases.

You can still avail of this offer, while supplies last. Equally, the brand have an initiative for breast cancer: Think Pink Beauty Heroes {€42.20;} is a fantastic little zippered pouch of goodness, with travel sizes of five of the best of Elemis: Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm {20g}; Pro-Collagen Marine Cream {15ml}; Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm {15ml}; Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust {15ml}. Elemis pledged to donate £10,000 to the Breast Cancer Care charity to raise money for research.
ELEMIS charity gift


L'OCCITANE Solidarity SoapL’OCCITANE‘s Rose Tenderness Solidarity Soap {50g} is €4, and 100% of profits from the sales of this special edition  will finance eye-health projects run by NGOs in developing countries. The L’Occitane foundation is particularly committed to supporting the blind and visually impaired, which I didn’t know! Learn something new, etc.

It’s a gorgeous wee stocking stuffer, and suits just about every lady and girl on your list. I don’t use much soap that comes in bars these days, but when I do, I am surprised at how long it lasts!


GREEN ANGEL for barnardos
GREEN ANGEL ,the Irish seaweed beauty brand, have long been associated with Barnardos, offer up their Golfer’s Hand Repair Treatment gift set {€29.95} This handy {ha, ha} gift for the golfer in your life will help everyone. Including here are hand scrub, hand cream, and a bar of the especially great lavender soap. A percentage from sales goes to the children’s charity.


LUSH‘s Charity Pot {€16.85/240grms} is extremely transparent: not the pot itself, but the way in which sales of it help fund projects. The guidelines and mission statement are right there on their website, with their specialist areas being the environment, animal protection, and human rights.
In the last financial year, the brand donated £340,000 in those areas.

Hello. That is pretty awesome. Do your bit to help by buying a Charity Pot for a pal. The moisturiser is made from cocoa butter: it smells deliciously chocolatey and so will you. Your pal will. Or your sister, or niece, or mum. Or whomever!


*It’s the Enyzeme Peel in the wee photo that I’m talkin’ ’bout; not sure that the awesome toiletries case is still A Thing.


Tried & Tested @The Herald: Cleansing Balms

My new favourite thing! As I say here, I have always hated, if not completely loathed, the fuss of using a cleanser. These go on your face and stay there, working away as you massage them round, without making a splattery disaster of the sink, or dripping down to your elbows.

Clean up without making a worse mess! That’s my new motto.


B&B! Q&A: Emer Gillen, and Ten Years of Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

EMER GILLENEmer Gillen is originally from Sligo; based in London for the last four years, she trained as a beauty therapist in the Georgina Price College of Beauty Therapy in Galway. Having had an equal passion for spa therapy and travel, she pursued the opportunity to work on a cruise ship with Steiner Leisure Ltd. “This was my first introduction to Elemis products and treatments, and was where I made such a strong connection with the brand,” she explains.

She was part of the management team that launched the Spirit One Spa when it opened in the Radisson Blu, Galway, and considered it a natural progression to join the Elemis training team 8 years ago as an International Trainer. “I have such a varied spectrum of responsibilities with my role,” Emer says, “from spa, salon and retail courses, alongside working with our Elemis Day Spa, SpaSpecialist and British Airways Travel Spa teams. Globally, I work closely with our distribution teams developing their training divisions and I also present Elemis on QVC UK.”

Emer took some time to talk about a mainstay of the Elemis brand, followed by my review of the Spirit One experience…

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, and I think it says it all in the name. Can you talk about the properties of both the collagen and the marine aspect, and how they are so effective in anti-ageing?
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is about working with the skin’s natural functions to assist in improving collagen and elastin production, which leads to stunning long-lasting results.

The results really speak for themselves: the Marine Cream has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkle depth by up to 78%, and increase hydration and moisture levels by up to 45%.

The composition of the cream challenged traditional anti-ageing skincare by combining ground breaking natural marine ingredients Porphyridum and Chlorella seaweeds along with Padina Pavonica, which is central to the cream’s activity; a fan shaped brown algae, it is handpicked daily by scuba divers from the temperate waters of Malta, and left to dry under the sun’s warming rays. This dynamic anti-ageing cream gel helps to dramatically increase skin elasticity, suppleness, firmness and hydration levels.

How does the new cult fave Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm complement the cream, and how does it work?
Make-up, sweat and pollution build up in the layers of the skin. Oils and waxes are naturally compatible with sebum, easily breaking down excess pore blocking oils. Theses oils and waxes protect the skin from being stripped of its natural lipid layer and essential skin protection. Make-up micro particles left in the skin result in a long-term dulling of the complexion and may also lead to other skin problems.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is a beautiful texture for an exceptional treatment experience, preparing the skin brilliantly which complements Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and enhances its anti-ageing effectiveness.

Cleansing balms seem to be all the rage at the moment. What are your top tips for using a balm?
Scoop a small amount of Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm with dry fingertips, and massage directly into the skin. Then, wet the fingertips and continue to massage as the balm transforms into a beautiful milk. Remove with a very warm cleansing cloth, both morning and evening.

For a special treatment, smooth a generous amount over the face, neck and décolleté with dry fingers. Massage to warm the skin and loosen the balm. Leave for 10 minutes. Hold a very warm, damp cleansing cloth over the skin, practice abdominal breathing and inhale the exquisite aroma. Gently wipe away.

The Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift facial in Spirit One Spa was gorgeous. How do people go about designing facials, and what are the specific benefits of this one?
The Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial for fine lines and wrinkles was designed by Noella Gabriel, Director of Elemis treatment and products development. Through Noella’s vast industry expertise, and therapy background, this treatment was developed to deliver a results-driven sensory experience for the client.

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial allows you to experience the ultimate in scientific skin therapy. It’s an advanced anti-ageing facial, clinically proven to reduce the number of wrinkles by 94% and improve skin firmness by 57% after just one treatment. This anti-aging face and eye treatment helps to protect against the signs of ageing, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face and restructuring the eye contour. Specialised lifting massage techniques are combined with Elemis anti-ageing products for maximum treatment efficacy.

Looking over the protocol for the facial, I notice that there are loads of essential oils used — lime, rosewood, tea tree, to name a few. Can you talk about the brand’s use of such ingredients, and what the benefits are?
Each Elemis product and treatment takes you on a sensory journey and the Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial is no different. The use of Lime, Lavender and Rosewood Essential Oils which are anointed onto luxuriously warm mitts or facial compresses are used to enhance the aromatic experience of the Elemis facial. We understand the emotional and physiological response that aromatics have on our wellbeing, and so essential oils, herbs and fruits play an integral role in the fragrance pyramid of each unique product.


So, how was it?

Spirit One Spa is like a little fairground of therapeutic possibilities: you’ve got your sauna and your steam room, and your bowl of ice to really get those pores breathing, but there are also loads of marble beds upon which to recline, and the Sabia Med, a beach room in which you can lie on sand and relax, from a simulated sunrise to sunset. The spa is also very popular, and was rather busy the day I was there to avail of its benefits — benefits that were somewhat diminished by the chattery hen parties that were roaming about the place. Save it for the pub, ladies, seriously. Manners! One would encourage the staff to gently enforce the rule of silence. It’s only fair.

Once the hens went on their way, the place achieved the kind of serenity it aims to provide. And once I was lead away to enjoy my treatment, it was like being transported to another world. A world of seemingly endless double-cleansing, toning, exfoliation, massage… and every Elemis product known to woman. Okay, not every, but all the best ones.

As mentioned above, the use of essential oils in tandem with the glorious signature scent of the products was almost enough to send me into bliss, just on their own. It all started off with a  Hot Lime Foot Cleansing and Thai Foot Ritual, and progressed through the use of Japanese camellia oil, rosewood, more lime, and lavender, this last in the form of an eye pillow that did its work whilst I received a hand, arm, and décolleté massage.

It’s amazing how relaxing it can be for the face when your hands are getting a good going over…

Amongst the products used were, of course, the piéce de resistance of the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, but also in play was the Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Serum, the Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Peel Off Mask and the Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment. And the Eye Renewal. And the Wrinkle Treatment. And the Rehydrating Ginseng Toner! This too is like a little fairground, a little fairground of renewal and utter, utter relaxation.

The best thing was that, even after a night of gorgeous food and plenty of bubbly, my visage was not ravaged. In fact, the glow lasted the guts of a week, and as ever, my make up looked all the better for having had the canvas primed, as it were. Nothing like several hours wrapped in a spa robe and a fab facial to put all things right in the world.


The Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial is 1 hour 10 minutes, €95.00. See for details

spirit one spa, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway, Lough Atalia Road, Galway, Ireland
T: +353 91 538 462 


ALSO: Some of the best sushi ever is available at the Radisson Blu’s Japanese restaurant, RAW: sushi in the sky. SERIOUSLY. And I have enjoyed sushi in both NYC and LA (admittedly not in Japan) and both of those places have the best sushi, but this sushi in Galway not only holds its own, but also beats the competition! Seriously!


Dude Week: Things That Make Me Go Ooh! In the Shower

Alas, not this, unfortch.
A tenuous connection to Dude Week, indeed. Anyway! Shower! Ooh!

I don’t know how many body scrubs I’ve tried. I could figure it out, but how tedious would that be? I bet, though, that I could safely guess… between 30 — 50? Seven a year for the past seven years? Let’s just say 45. So when I dispensed some of Elemis’ Sp@ Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub on my shower pouf and was inspired to exclaim, ‘Ooh!’ as I applied it — well, that’s a professional opinion, dontcha know. It is spectac.

It’s mainly about the scent, I reckon. Everything that Elemis produce smells divine, and the scent off this is so luxurious, it really does live up to its spa-at-home promise. Is it the macadamia oil? It is the sweet almond? I doubt it’s the wheat germ, but who knows?

‘Tis spendy, at €39/£28.50/$53*, but this does the pricey-product thing of lasting a long time, since you need to use so little. Also: the effect of the scrub — it’s the bora bora sand, I am sure of it — is comprehensive, and you won’t have to exfoliate as often as you would. Srsly, I was shiny and new for a week. Love it.


When a face scrub tells me to keep away from the eye area, I pretty much ignore it. Not that I am scrubbing that sensitive area directly! I am not that foolish! I don’t really mind the proximity of scrub to eye, though, and perhaps get a little too close for comfort.

I can confirm that that is the case, as the use of freeze 24/7 IceCrystals Anti-aging Prep and Polish {€54/£46/$65**} has converted me to caution.

This is the perfect facial scrub for those among us who sleepwalk into the shower every morning. It is fiercely frosty, the result of specially calibrated pure magnesium oxide crystals encapsulated in Advanced Silicone Emulsion << now, you know I so rarely just spout product info, but I really had no idea what it was that made this literally make my skin freeze. Smelled like menthol eucalyptus? I think I may have been trained over the years to think that everything briskly resin-y is eucalyptus. I don’t know that I feel at all enlightened by words like ‘magnesium oxide crystals’ and am particularly intimidated by ‘Advance Silicone Emulsion’ but this was invigorating, thoroughly exfoliating, and it made my eyes sting. It made them sting intensely. So, mind your eyes, like the directions say. Listen to the tube.

Like that, I didn’t bother to read all about how to use Nivea‘s new In-Shower Body Moisturiser {€3.99/£3.65/not in USA?}, which is: use your regular soap or gel, rinse, then apply this. Then rinse. It saves you the post-shower moisturising step, which I usually quite enjoy, but when I’ve had the need for speed, this product has proven to be a good thing. When I used it correctly. When I didn’t, I couldn’t figure out why I was smelling not-so-fresh? When you do it right, it is as nice as, but much more efficient than, applying oil to the damp bod and then towelling off. It’s the same principle though, which is to trap moisture so your skin will be refreshed during the rest of the day.

I think that’s it… I’ve got some hair care products in the queue — what a surprise! – so stayed tuned for more ‘ooh’!


*Whoops: price point differential!
** Whoa: only 70gs in the tube!
*** Whew: that’s great value!


Screen grab via the entire flippin’ internet, in fairness.


Soz, Mr B Cumberbatch, for, you know, objectification and all that, but srsly: ooh!


Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt

The criteria for choosing the ten out of sixteen all-time faves was: do I wish I had it on me, right this second, away from home? Number 5 fits that guideline like a glove — a deliciously fragrant and indulgent and luxurious glove…


Here is my recipe for the perfect home-spa experience: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt.

That’s it. That’s all you need.

I’m delighted to be able to make this recommendation in typed-out words, because confidence in my articulation abilities takes a terrible dip when I try to speak the word ‘frangipani’; ‘monoi’ is not so bad, but following hard on the heels of the preceding fail, it just makes the whole situation worse that it needs to be.

mmm elemis{I say fraangeepannee, as opposed to the more American way, which because of the longer, fancy ‘a’ sounds, would be frahhhhngeepahhhhhnee. Both sound equally awkward to me, in my actual voice.}

Linguistics aside, this stuff is the stuff of dreams. Fill your bathroom sink with hot water. Set the bottle — the lovely smoked glass bottle — in the water so that the solid material within softens into a luscious oil. Run a bath. You could even run the bath and meltify the Melt in the tub! Whatever: at some stage, shake in a few {million} drops. Enter; recline; relax.

Dunk your head under the water, then proceed to shake a few {million} drops of the Fraheheheheh on your head. Massage into your scalp. Sigh with pleasure.

Language, and pronunciation therefore, will cease to be an issue.

Get out of the bath before you, yourself melt. Shake the previously recommended number of drops of oil on your wet skin, massage. Pat yourself dry with a towel. Maybe rinse your hair out if you’re going out that evening — although why you would is utterly beyond my comprehension. You’ve just given yourself an amazingly self-nurturing treat! Stay home! Put your feet up! Get someone to make you your tea!

The only caution I have is that I’ve heard from pals who are as in the know as I, that the Fraheheheheh yokie can tend to discolour white toweling robes. Not that you’re not going to wrap yourself up in one regardless, but know that you may have to give it a spin in the washing machine sometime after your Melt event. Or you may close your eyes to this, because your robe is going to smell gorgeous — almost as gorgeous as you do.




Put Your Money Where Your, Uh, Face Is: Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

So much going on here.

Elemis is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Papaya Enzyme Peel, and doing it not only in style, but also with social awareness.

Artist Laura Oakes designed the new packaging, inspired by the key ingredients of the beloved Peel, which are papaya {didn’t see that one coming, didja?} and pineapple. It makes a vibrant and interesting change to the normally restrained and minimal Elemis packaging.

Both ingredients are sourced in Africa: in further celebratory style, Elemis are donating to SOCO™ (Socially Conscious) towards providing much needed vaccinations for African Children. One{ish} of your local currency — that is, €1.34/£1.07/$1.75 — covers the cost of a 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccine. The company hope to vaccinate 50,000 children against diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenze type B.

The bright {and dare I say, beautyfull} foliage theme picked up in the sleeve of the Revitalising Skincare Anniversary Collection. Included in it is the Peel, Soothing Apricot Toner, the excellent Melting Cleansing Gel, and Maximum Moisture Cream. It comes in a travel pack, and when I read about it I was like, Oh, okay, a travel pack, but then I received it in the post:

It is one of those foldy, hanging-up thingies! I haven’t had one of these in yonks, and I have forgotten how much I love them. Like, I would use this as my emergency pack in a crisis, like the ones that everyone in New York made up because of that hurricane last year? Only, mine would be full of stuff that was actually useless, unless it was a crisis of grooming.

But loooooook: more of Oakes’ beautiful pattern, zippered sections in which to put stuff, and the contents! Full-sized samples of product! This runs for €61/£45/$85, which seemed steep until I wrapped it in its entirety. Full-sized samples!

Call me crazy, but sort out mums and aunts and godmothers for Christmas now, with one of these. It is so substantial, and even if you spring for the Peel alone, you will be helping to make a substantial difference to the health of some African children.