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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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.}

Festive Frontage: Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

My shoulders have gotten some lovely definition from the horseriding, and I’ve gotten my collarbones back, too, which is: wha’? I don’t know, but I’m happy enough, and want to show them off this holiday season.

At this stage, I revisit the horror that is the strapless bra.

If it’s not one failure, it’s another. It feels too loose. It feels too tight. The cups don’t stay up. The cups are squashy. It digs into that place under your arms. It either feels like some kind of medieval torture instrument, or you don’t trust it. If you can’t trust your strapless bra…! Total nightmare.

Here’s a dream come true.

WONDERBRA 2The Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless packaging boasts that it ‘feels like you’re holding yourself in place’. I immediately thought to myself WTF, that is ridic — Oh, right.

It must be some function of that extra X chromosome, but I admit to hoiking up the ladies every now again, when debating a boob lift. They always look so nice that way! So the notion that a bunch of scientists did a bunch of Science to replicate this action makes me think that Science is finally making good use of Its time.

Quit searching for the God particle, lads! Make me the perfect strapless bra!

And so they have. Now, this thing is structurally sound in the extreme, in that you can’t fold it into itself to stick in the drawer. I tried and I felt like I was compromising its architectural integrity. So I’m keeping the yoke it came upon, because I don’t want to do anything bad to this, ever.

WONDERBRA pack

It really fits. It doesn’t pinch, it feels like it’s going to stay in place, and in fact, it does stay in place: in the interest of my own scientific inquiry, I danced around the flat and the shizz did not budge.

The thing is, those scientists — or was it engineers? — anyway, the brassiere boffins made these polycarbonate hand-shaped structures that are moulded into the cups, negating the need for that pesky, pokey underwire. Wearing the bra is exactly like you are cupping your own boobs*. Don’t dwell on it too much, trust me; and trust me on the fit of this thing, it is spectac.

I do feel that it doesn’t really do the pushing-together thing that I need for optimum cleavage, but it makes up for that in stupendous support and comfort.

Hmmm, I guess this isn’t really a gift for anyone but yourself? Whoops!

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The Wonderbra sizes from A to F! €46/£24/$54

* Helen Mirren, Oscar dress, felt like boobs were cupped by the hands of angels? How far back in time is that event? My brain, and its cray cray storage system.

Festive Flippin’ Amazing: Hampers & Co Christmas Selections

Hampers & Co The Ultimate B 1

Look. At. That.

Before I go any further, okay: it costs a grand. That would be One Large in The Wire-speak. But! If you have many siblings, or close cousins, and you all want to club in together, depending on how many you are, it could cost you only €100 to get your parents, or your parents + aunt & uncle, this massive, flippin’ amazing hamper.

Look at it! There are eleven bottles in it, and I am not talking bottles of spring water. Bollinger Champagne! Jameson! Red and white wine, and port, and creme liqueur!

Coffee, tea, jam, cakes, choccies, cheeses, biscuits for cheese, nuts, decorations! Christmas crackers, relish, mustard, dressings, Fancy Serviettes — a Fancy Serviette holder! I could go on and on, because I adore this thing, this inanimate object. An inanimate object, that in fairness, is animating me beyond all sense.

Plus: THE HAMPER ITSELF with which you can go somewhere pastoral and pretend that you are in an episode of Downton Abbey. OMGGGGG.

What is that little tin, bottom right, the one that looks like a wee suitcase? I love it. {I suspect it is the Walker’s Shortbread Fingers.}

I love everything here, unconditionally, and with the whole of my heart.

So, yeah, I know, €1000, but seriously, embark upon my plan and you cannot fail. And there is enough to share out, frankly, amongst three pairs of parent-y/aunt’n’uncley adults, the ones who always so hard to buy for, you just have to legislate for who gets the hamper, which could get ugly — but if you bring it forward as your idea, I’d say that’s all the argument you need.

The hamper is, essentially, your intellectual property. You can tell ’em I said so. {However, I am not available to mediate any negotiations. Nor would you want to hire me, because my fee would be the hamper. Bwahahahaha.}

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Hampers & Co interactive brochure is here. I could ‘leaf’ through it all day long.

Festive Fillies: Nieces and Cousins and Sisters, Oh My!

Like you didn’t see this coming.

ZHU ZHUThese Zhu Zhu ponies are adorbs, and come in many colours and styles, and were unknown to me until I got a bunch of press stuff from Boots. Now, I know that when I was a girl, I loved mooching about in a pharmacy, looking at all the beautiful things — what am I talking about? I was mooching about in Boots, like, last Thursday!

Anyway, many may have a mental block about shopping for gifts in a chain of chemists, but honestly, there is nothing like brightly and beautifully packaged objects to appeal to young girls. Or older ones. Ahem.

Pictured is Cruz, and she is all about peace, man. You can go here and check out the other ones — I am torn between Blackberry and Rumer. I do object to the latter mainly because of the misspelling, and isn’t that the name of some Hollywood child?

These make noise and spin! {?} Eh, listen, they are adorable, there is a stable house too, and a corral!

Um. Yeah! Gifts for the young girls in your life! Look no further!

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Boots are doing 3 for 2 Christmas Gifts! Zhu Zhu Ponies are €12 [approximate]/£10

Festive Feet: Pixy Pedi Gift Set

Ooh, what could this beeeeeeee?

It is a clever and cute giftie from Pixy, Ireland’s natural beauty brand. Based in Co Cork, they’ve made a splash — ha, ha — with their bath bombs and bath muffins, bringing not only jobs to the south, but also clever and beautiful products for the rest of us to try.

I love the bit of ivy! Well, you know, it’s not real, but everything else about this is. The foot scrub is loaded with cocoa butter, and the peppermint foot cream with… yeah, you can figure that on your own.

Adorbs! I’ve also gotten my hands on a Pixy Dream Gift Set, which includes one bomb, one muffin, a shower mousse that comes with one of those scrubby yokes, lip balm, body oil, and a slice of soap — the last being my fave of all things. I suspect it will last me a long, long time. Added bonus is that it makes the whole bath smell lovely, but doesn’t overwhelm.

There are loads more on their site at pixy.ie, and you could pretty much sort out all the female members of your family, and possible all your pals as well.

Shipping in Ireland is free for orders over €50!

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Pixy Pedi: €16.95
Pixy Dream: €29.95

Festive FREAK OUT: Time to Shop for Christmas!

It took me waaay too long to figure out a signpost-y theme for the 2012 Bright & Beautytfull! Gift Guide. Too many years in editorial? Too many years in America? < meaning that I was subconsciously adhering to a ‘don’t speak of Christmas before Thanksgiving’ which is completely irrelevant nowadays?

Whatevs: we’re going with Festive: Name of Category, and I am done freaking myself out about it.

And then I started thinking, Hmm, all your categories start with the letter ‘F’, you know, and than I started overintellectualising that, and I thought, No, seriously, nobody cares but you inner monologuist, so be silent, silent like the holy night.

You can google the letter F — and the first hit is Facebook! Not even its own Wikipage! Poor wee F, had no say in its appropriation, I’m sure.

It is actually amazing how many categories can adhere to the plan, so be looking out for the following Festives:
>Face
>Feet
>Form
>Fellas
>Fragrance
>Furnishings
>Filles
>Face
>Feckin’ Amazing

… and the last being my, ha ha, Favourite because it Full of things that are very feckin’ amazing.

Fun!

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Let’s start with some Furnishings.

Lovvvvve itttt. Look at those colours! Festive, and breaking free from the tyranny of red and green {and silver and gold!} All the bits — the ornaments, the baubles, the tinsel, the garland, the Noel letters — are only €1.49 at Dealz! Fantastic! I would totally paint a wall that blue as well, to set the whole thing off.

{The tree and the chair, and the table: not €1.49}

If you are into the red and the green {and the gold and the silver}, you’ll find that, too. My local Dealz is a bit on the bijou side, but the one in Dundrum is an epic experience in adventures for €1.49.

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See dealz.ie for more information.