SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator

AKA: BI-FUNCTIONAL RESURFACING AND REPLENISHING SERUM

Oh, hi.

I brought this away with me on my Christmas journeying, because I have this ridic idea that if I bring something that’s nearly gone and use it up while I’m away, it’s, ummm — a good use of the product? And that my case will be lighter by .0000001 of an ounce coming home?

Well, I didn’t use this all up in the three weeks I was travelling because it was so good and amazing I brought the rest of it home. Less eager to see it go, I had enough for three more weeks and I am raging it is gone.

*sob*

When I got the sample, I duly used it and reviewed it for the paper. I found it effective enough, but I had four other serums I was working on and moved on fairly sharpish.

In this last month and half, it certainly stood out. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror about two weeks in and thought ‘Hey, my skin looks pretty fantastic.’ Glowy, clear, and a noticeable decrease in pigmentation — should I start hoarding this?

This is formulated to exfoliate without scraping away your good skin while reinforcing the skin’s barrier against the bad stuff. I was using a whole dropper of it which was unnecessary as the coverage is incredible.

It’s obvious, but using something good consistently yields results. (It’s pricey: anywhere from €61-98 online, gahhhhh)

Saving my pennies for another round: if I hadn’t been so eager to mow through it, I’d say it’d last me at least four months. #TRUTH

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Bank Holiday Spa Staycation: All the Stuff I Never Have Time To Do

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND… or rather, some of the stuff I never have time to do. It’s mainly those oils that get short shrift in the regime, which is a pity because I loooove oils and I love the deep moisturising kind of thing that they produce.

Let’s start from the left, though, just to keep everything organised.

The Clinique Sonic {which I pronounce in my head as ‘Sonique’, surely a missed opportunity for the marketing heads} has launched a Massage Treatment Applicator {€25} to go with their new Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask {€48} and I think it is just terrific. This new applicator, which is metal and was developed by dermatologists, feels like it is doing the work of those sorts of facials that inject serum into the skin. This wouldn’t have exactly that function, but using the Sonic to make sure that you’re getting the fullest benefit of the mask is a no-brainer: it gets the product deeper into your skin than your fingers can do.

The scent is gorgeous  and my skin looked fresh and vibrant, but the 50ml tub feels a little tiny, as I felt I used a little more product than I would under normal, non-vibrating-applicator circumstances, but that’s my only criticism < which, in fairness, isn’t negligible, but given the result, I think I can cope.

I am sucker for a cult product, and La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc {€10} certainly qualifies, with the number of women who have had to stock up on this whilst abroad can attest. I don’t suffer from blemish-prone skin, but I do like the odd pore-tightening {TWSS} and this toner promises to do just that. I found myself giving myself the odd spray every time I passed, and the refreshment was of the highest order. I’ve never really gotten into the ‘spray spring water on your face’ thing that has been made famous by other French spas — and the weather certainly hasn’t been roasting enough to encourage that practice — but I am so lazy with toning that I’m hoping I get into the habit with this. Dat price, tho: best value for a toner of any stripe.

I loved the results I got from label.m‘s Brightening Blonde range, and I have to say it may be replaced in my affections by their Honey & Oat line. The shampoo {€14.97} and conditioner {€18.64} are the bomb, although I do find that the conditioner doesn’t do the best job of making my tangle-y tresses easier to untangle. Luckily, the Treatment Mask does a better job, and I did a good job using it — I left it on for a good long while in the shower, and my hair felt like silk when I dried it. LABEL M HAIRLooked like it too, without any styling: just a good blast dry and brushing, and my highlights look rejuvenated as well. I’ll have to be using more of the conditioner than I’d like, perhaps, but I am very happy with this trio. And smelling like a delicious autumnal bowl of porridge is no bad thing, either.

Onto the oils! There’s nothing like applying a scented oil to a damp bod, but who has time for this in the normal run of a week? Not me, so I took advantage of allll the time at my disposal and lashed on Neom‘s new 3-in-1 Face, Body & Hair Oil {€43 RRP}. I tried the Daily Boost version, that comes infused with Wild Mint & Mandarin: On wet skin, a little goes a long way, and two days later, my pelt still feels nice and silky. I am wary of things that say they can go all over you, and haven’t been brave enough to try it on the hair, or the face, TBH.

I was more than happy to use No7‘s Youthful Replenishing Oil on my visage, obvs, and put this on fresh out of the shower as well. Loaded with rosehip and jojoba, and Vitamins C, E and A, I put some on before bed too, which I am sure is something that a beauty expert might caution against — one may get too much of a good thing, mightn’t one? — but I didn’t care. My face didn’t fall off, so.

Vichy Laboratoires have revamped their Pureté Thermale range, and I liked the look of the One Step Cleanser {€14.99} — although, again, not sure that using it to remove eye make up, the third element in the 3 in 1, would be something that I’d attempt. I hate creamy cleaners on my eyes. Otherwise, I found this very effective, even though I only used it once at the beginning of this whole process. It’s kind of scary how, even when you think you’ve done everything to cleanse your skin, there’s still pesky bits of foundation stuck in your pores. This did a good job of getting the leftovers off, and I’ll be bringing it into my usual schedule.

But now, it is the dreaded post-Bank Holiday Tuesday… once more into the breach, my friends!

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You can find label.m on http://www.lookfantastic.com or on http://www.kaos.ie.

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Thinking About Packing: Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Only mumble mumble weeks ’til The Christmas, and I am already thinking about packing up the big bag on wheels. Unsurprisingly, I always end up taking loads of stuff, as per here, and yet find the whole grooming-situation-away-from-home to be unsatisfying. My skin almost hardly ever feels as shiny and clean as it does when I have all my stuff to choose from. I like having options, and in the interest of leaving space in the big bag for the fruits of two+ weeks in America, I try not to load up on too much product.

CLINIQUE SONICHowever! I think my skincare dreams have come true thanks to this cute little number.

Here is Clinique’s new Purifying Cleansing Brush. It powers itself up via USB, which is great for me as a standard Irish/UK plug wouldn’t suit me for travelling, and the little holder it sits in while it charges is no size a’tall. The thing itself is of no size a’tall as well, and yet it is as good a cleanse as any of the larger, heavier brushes I’ve tried in the past. Its slimline design makes it a much more attractive proposition to take along on the road — although I do wish there was some class of equally lightweight carry case. It’ll end up wrapped in a baggie, tucked into a pair of socks and then stuffed in a boot — I really am thinking about packing — but I wish it had something a little more protective to keep it in.

CLINIQUE SONIC 2
See! Just the right size, both for the hand and the bag. It does take some getting used to for sensitive skin, so it is advised to start with a quick but thorough 30 second cleanse, and building up from there. The white bristles take care of the cheeks, while the green ones are designed to do the business on the pesky T-zone. The cap has many big holes in it, allowing the brush to dry whilst keeping it safe from getting smashed. FOAMING SONIC SOAP

This has been on-counter for an age; I was waiting to write until I got me paws on the Foaming Sonic Facial Soap. This is a a cream, not a liquid, but thicker than your usual cream cleanser. It is hard to squeeze out of the tube, and the first time I used it, I erred on the side of more rather than less. It was an err for sure: you need less than a pea-sized amount to get the best out of it — maybe half a pea, or two-thirds. It is rich, and applies easily all over a damp face, and then it foams like a boss. I feel like I could use anything with the brush and it would be grand, but I like this best.

I keep pronouncing it ‘Clinque Sonique’ to myself. #lulz

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€89 for the brush, €22 for the soap!

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I Used It All Up: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Or did I? O.o

Reaching for anything whilst in the shower is an exercise in trust: I’m expecting the thing I’m reaching for to be usable, because replacing something that is not usable, when water is rushing down and I’m in the nip? Circumstances are not at their optimum.

So when I uncapped {decapped?} my container of Daily Microfoliant, and gently shook it, to dispense the minuscule amount that I require, and nothing happened? Gahhhhhh.

The thing is, the Dermalogica packaging is extremely high end, and the opaqueness and heft of the cylinder makes it pretty hard to tell when you’ve used it all up. I held it up to the light in the bath, and couldn’t see through it. I shook it and shook it, and had to give up, because it was clear that it was all gone.

Post-shower, I took the container to my desk, where I keep my cutting implements, fully prepared to slice off the top, because I simply did not believe that there wasn’t any left.

Well!

MICROFOLIANTI rapped the container against my desk — whappp! — and there’s loads left! And the backlit effect of the sun coming in the window over my desk negated the need to chop off the top to see what was in it.

Since one needs such a tiny bit every use, I’d say this is gonna last me another three months at least!

Desperate times, desperate measures…

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What is it about Daily Microfoliant, blades, and me?

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Start Spreading the Nudes: L’Oréal Paris BB Blush

Information and an ear worm. You’re. So. Welcome.

I fell in love with Nude Magique BB Cream this time last year,and it is still my go-to when I want light but comprehensive facial coverage.

NUDE MAGIQUE BB BLUSHImagine my delira when I received this today! Despite my love for the above, which has a turns-colour-to-match-your-skintone quality about it, I am not certain I am convinced by this alchemy. I have come across a Smashbox lippy ting that I liked… hang on… ah, right: O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss. Yeah, I think I liked that, I am really reaching into the wayback machine on this one. Anyway! Haven’t been sure, because I don’t really know how it works, and also know that if someone tried to explain it to me, I’d zone out as soon as someone mentioned a molecule, or whatever. I could google it, I suppose. Ugh.

Well! The internet doesn’t seem to know! Unless how does intuitive makeup work is poor SEO. It’s to do with Ph, is as near as I can get. That’s when you put the paper in the liquid, right, and it changes colour? Is that chemistry? Did I even do chemistry? Oh, Walter White, are you dying right now, yo?

Whatever the Science, I immediately dabbed a dot onto my left paw.
BB BLUSH 2

First off: use a brush to apply, or do it the old-fashioned way and use your finger. Now, in fairness, you are not likely to dab the tube directly onto your face {or are you?} I dabbed straight from the tube, and the blending, it was a little difficult. < I don’t know that there was any point in all that, but there you go.

I’m just sayin’: blending may be an issue, so be prepared.

Other than that? A lovely, Victorian-valentine-esque rosy rose, the colour of which I think defines ‘in rude health’*.

Today, so far, is not a makeup day — that may change if the courier I am expecting comes sooner rather than later. Contrary to what you may believe, I rarely sit around the house sporting a full face of slap. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what it looks like on my cheekbone area.

I have high hopes!

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Nude Magique BB Blush: €11.99/£7.99

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*Which is British English for being very healthy, in which ‘rude’ = ‘robust’ .**

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**And it was no hardship to google that.

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Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Clinique Clarifying Lotion

NUMBER 1!!!!11! Hope you enjoyed this. When I started the blog, I just about killed myself writing these things. Unlike my work in The Herald, these posts seemed sooooo looooong, but now I’m in the swing. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for new reviews and features this week!

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When I was in my 20s, my godmother recommended that I start a proper skin care regimen. The gist of her argument was that just because I looked amazing and youthful right then didn’t mean that I could I take it for granted, and if I wanted to extend my years of amazingness and youthiness, I had better get cracking right away.

Clinique Clarifying tonerI chose Clinique. I can’t remember why, except that their fresh and spare ad campaigns made them, in my mind, modern and suited to my youthful amazingness. I got the 3-step thingie — the soap, the yellow moisturiser, and the Clarifying Lotion 2. I had to google the yellow stuff just now (Dramatically Different!) because I stopped using it ages ago, and the soap is distant, misty memory, but I have not yet found anything that is as effective as the Clarifying Lotion in terms of cleaning and toning my skin.

Despite its slightly astringent tingle, it doesn’t dry out my face. I just don’t feel like I’ve cleaned off the day if I don’t feel that blast of icy freshness. And who can argue with the power of Clinique Bonus Days! I ask you! Even after all these years of beauty largesse, the sight of a wee collection of cunningly assembled samples in some class of clever case sends a thrill racing through my veins. I’ve still got the mini bottle from that one Bonus that one Time, that had held Clarifying Toner — I continue to decant into it when traveling, and wouldn’t be without it.

Yes, indeed: many, many years on, it’s still a go-to/must have,/unassailable element of my beauty regimen. If you must know how many years it has been, well, I remember when all this product came in glass bottles. I think the years have been pretty kind to me, so clearly Clinique has done its job well. Many thanks to them, and to Auntie Sue, too!

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€36/$46/£33

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Festive Face: Who’s Under Pressure?!?!

I feel the reindeer breathing down my neck.

SONY DSCGet back to basics with Matis Fundamental Gift Set {€69; worth €107} — you get — I mean, the person for whom you are buying this will get a full-sized Fundamental Beautifying Cream, and samples of the Lift Effect Gel, Radiance Revealing Serum, Avantage Initial, and Youth Hand Cream SPF10. The container re-purposes as a jewellery box!

CLINIQUE black tie violets2

What could be better than Clinique Bonus Time? A Clinique gift set the like of which you see here. Black Tie Violets {€70} comes with all that lovely stuff — that little wand-y thing is a lower lash mascara — in a typically lovely wee bag. I can personally vouch for everything except that bottom lash mascara, and give a very special shout out for the eyeshadow, which blends beautifully, and makes the eyes pop {not in a scary way.}

JETSET

I’ve got an eternal fondness for BeneFit packaging, and this is a new fave, because She’s So Jetset {€39.50} comes with PoreFessional and the legendary They’re Real! mascara. You also get a 4-shade eyeshadow palette, a lip gloss in Life on the A-list, and some face powder.

DEBENHAMS cristal

If you know anyone who is really good at putting on false eyelashes, here’s an attention-getting pair: Dior Grand Bal Limited Edition False Eyelashes {€26}. I would pay someone to apply them for me, as I am not so good at them. Sparkly! {And sold out in BT’s Dublin, so ring round if you are after a set yourself.}