Do This At Home? bliss fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask

You know those really excellent masks you get sometimes, when you’re getting a professional facial? The ones that are actually exactly like masks, that peel off in one go, and feel like they are taking every impurity with them? Our pals at bliss have come up with an at-home version of this via their fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask.
You get six mixes in the box, which includes one measuring cup to fill with the amount of water necessary to create each mask, and six spatulas to use in the mixing and application of it. I cleared the decks in the bath and after cleansing my face, I got to it.

I was surprised at the purple hue, which I would not have been had I been paying attention to the ingredients. Bilberry figures largely, as does seaweed and vitamin C. I was already feeling under pressure, even as I mixed, because the packet cautioned me to apply the mask as quickly as possible.

Yeee, there it is, ready to go — get to work!

The impossibility of two things became apparent fairly sharpish:
1} I couldn’t take photos of the application and apply, simultaneously.
2} The spatula was not nearly as speedy and effective as the need for haste implied.

So, I took matters — ha, ha — into my own hands.

When you are lying flat on your back with your eyes closed, certain things may pass you by, like, the texture and appearance of the mask itself. Unless all rubbery facial masks are not like this? It may merely be the result of non-profesh application + gravity. Drippy!
I tidied that up as much as I could, and went into the sitting room to recline.

The sensation of the mask on the face was cool and invigorating> a word I use when product is tingly, but not in an irritating sense. Although I don’t mind an irritating tingle every now and again.

It did eventually dry, without drying out.


I have always wanted to ask to see the mask that the aesthetician peeled off, sure I was going to see every single thing that had had the potential to criminally block my pores, but I’d be so zoned out at that stage, I’d always forget to ask. I was eager to see what my DIY efforts would yield!

Those lumps are not oogy bits of sebum*, they are proof of my inability to mix anything well by hand, and why I don’t bake. Needless to say, this didn’t come off all in one go. I left the flakes of mask to collect in the sink…
… and hopped in the shower to wash off the rest.

Which I possibly should not have done, as there are two warnings regarding the disposal of the mask, right there on the packet, which say not to send it down the drain. This stuff is not the most dissoluble in water: I got some of it on the fleece I was wearing during the treatment, and the bilberry mix didn’t come off in the wash.

Luckily, I had wiped up the main bits of it, post-treatment, with some kitchen roll, and put it in the trash.

So, was the mess worth it?
10 POST BLISS I gotta say yes. Under the circs, as ever with an iPhone in the bathroom, the image is not A1, but oh! my skin felt so soft, and clean, and my pores felt tight, but not too tight, and I just felt all glowy and fresh.

I didn’t really mind making a mess, and reckon I’ll get better at this with practice. At €49 for six masks, that’s about €9.80/mask — that’s good value for the very spa-like result.

As ever, when you use a high quality product, the aftereffects last that much longer. I didn’t put on makeup for days afterwards, and when I did, it went on like dream — meaning: it didn’t feel like my foundation looked like a mask.

So: do it at home? DO ITTTT.


See for more information.


* I wish they were oogy bits of sebum.


Watchoo Lookin’ At? Post-Sisley Facial Face on the 46A

Just evidence that I do ‘naked’ face too, sometimes. Especially after I’ve had a treatment.

Dude to the left was like WTF and I was all WTF right back.

And the lovely Gabriella from Sisley, who administered an amazing facial in the Beauty Rooms in Brown Thomas, was subtly WTF when I said no thanks to a bitta make up post-treatment.

I like to let the pores breathe, you know?

Did you know about the Beauty Rooms in Brown Thomas? I didn’t! They are tucked away on the ground floor, right off the main beauty hall, and the major brands offer treatments on a rotating basis. The facial is €50 against product, so if you don’t want to buy anything, you just stump up the nifty.

Now, day spa environments are generally noisy, and whilst tucked away from the buzz of BT, you’re not all that tucked. There is soothing spa tunes playing in the room, but you can absolutely hear what’s going on in the outside world. This did not bother me, which is amazing because it is exactly the sort of thing I would complain about. There was something about hearing all that activity beyond the beauty room door that I found thrilling, in a cinematic way. It was the urban soundtrack to my fancy facial.

And Sisley is fancy! The French brand uses botanical active ingredients and essential oils in its concoctions — I must admit to having an unfortunate olfactory reaction to a tinted moisturiser I had to test last year. I actually brought it to the counter because I’d thought it had gone off.

No such worries with any of the myriad products that Gabriella used in my facial. She used twelve products, from cleanser to pore minimiser, and since it was the end of the day, she also gave me a layer of Supremÿa At Night, which felt like an instant face lift, and ought to as it retails for €508.

If anyone has used this over a course of time, do get in touch and let us know if it was worth it?

The highlight of the treatment was the exfoliation with the Creme Gommante, priced at a less breathtaking €54. Gently, gently, Gabriella applied the buffing cream, and gently, gently, did she brush it off. We talked about it afterwards, as I wondered how did one try this at home? By trial and error, basically. It’s going to be messy until you get the hang of it. I appreciated her frankness.

I got a bunch of samples:

Including two of the scorned foundation, which I am actually gasping to try now.

The women of Sisley in BTs are lovely, go along and ask some questions, and tell them Sue sent you. You may not have the dosh to invest in that night cream, but it’s always worth checking out a few samples of things. And the holidays are imminent…!


Check at the Sisley counter for upcoming Beauty Room appointments.

Haiku Review: Phyt’s Radiance Facial

Oh my God! Oh, my!
God! Nothing like a facial
To soothe your whole self.

Phyt’s is a French brand, and first came to Ireland in 2007. It’s chemical-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and the packaging is 100% recyclable. I’ve had a few of the products cross my desk over the last few years, and wasn’t terribly interested in them. More recently, I got a sample of the Ativ’ Peel, a facial exfoliant, and that, I liked loads: it foams up nicely, which allows the granules to distribute gently but thoroughly, and it has a lovely lemon-y scent. So when news of the Virginie Claire Beauty Centre’s Bastille Day special, running from 9-14 July came in the email, and a voucher for the 60 minute Radiance Facial came in the post, I duly followed through.

Oh, sure, I said to myself, ‘Radiance’ Facial, uh huh. I think I cultivate my cynicism because I am perversely delighted to be proven wrong. After all these years, I tell myself that I am inured to the all the bells and whistles that accompany beauty marketing — I suppose I am, superficially, but deep down, I am ready and willing to be shocked and awed.

I was entirely all of the latter following my treatment. Is this an outcome specific to the quality of Phyt’s products? Is it the wholly down to the prowess of Virginie Claire, the proprietress herself? Or, is it my willingness to give myself over to the process?

It’s probably all three, and that last one interests me, because it is in direct contradiction to the whole cynicism thing. So maybe I am not really cynical.

Long story short: at the end of the facial, I sat up and looked at my face in the mirror and laughed because it was like I was standing centre stage in Carnegie Hall under a spotlight, my face looked that clear and bright and lit up. In a word… radiant.


There really is nothing like wrapping up in a terry-cloth tube-top and lying down on a massage table. Every synapse in my brain takes this as a cue to to just relaaaaax, and my whole body follows suit. It’s amazing how much of the tension we feel ends up in our faces. As Virginie began the treatment with a comprehensive cleanse, tone, and exfoliation, I could feel the boulders that had been collecting in my jaw begin to disintegrate. As a result, the clenching in my forehead released — and I felt that release all the way down to my neck. Wild.

Next came a real highpoint: application of Serum Capyl-Rose, massage-style. This was perfection, and Virginie paid particular attention to the area around the eyes. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, because then I got a shoulder/arm/upper back massage, and I went away to my happy place.

Highest highpoint? The Aqua Peel-Off Mask, which is it bit pongy with rosemary, but otherwise feels like it is coolly and soothingly getting right down to the bottom of your pores and cleaning them out. And: oh! The sensation when it is peeled off your face, in one piece! So satisfying! Unfortunately, kids, you can’t try this one at home; I asked as soon as I was able to form thoughts again, and Virginie said it’s too messy — she tried it herself and even she, a professional, found it too fiddly to do on one’s own.

In other details: the salon is super quiet for a day-spa-type place, certainly the quietest I have encountered yet; Virginie is supremely well-informed and up-front about things, as well as being knowledgeable and personable and adept; I took the 16 bus from Camden Street as was at the centre in ten minutes.

Did you realise that both American and French Independence days are in the summer? We had a laugh about that: if either revolution had failed, at least they could have fecked off to the beach.

Is that cynical? Nah, just practical, right? Anyway: yet another failure to be disenchanted! Success!


Special offer Radiance Facial: €45; good until 14 July.

Virginie Claire is located at 255 Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin 6;  01 4978833