The Nose Knows: Some Things That Smell Good

I love a good summertime scent – it’s the fragrant version of the summertime song {for me, this year it’s Christine and the Queens’ Tilted} {listening right now: j’adore!}

NUXE BODYIn terms of perfume, why have one fave if you can have several, including one that’s a body cream — and one that’ll transition you into autumn? I ask you.

This is pure perfection if you feel like spritzing even the lightest EDT is too much. NUXE BODY Relaxing Fragrant Water {€30} is a typically delicious offering from the French brand. It relies on notes like Coconut Sorbet, White Flowers and Wild Vanilla, but to me it smells very much akin to their beloved Huile Prodigieuse. That has a host of natural ingredients as well, with the Sweet Almond leading the way. Gorgeous and light, you can spray your whole self without fear of overwhelming yourself or anyone else; the bottle is quite heavy so I doubt you’ll be carting it round for top ups, sadly.

Did I say almond? ULITMATE BLENDS delicate oatI clearly have a grá for it. GARNIER‘s Ultimate Blends Body line is, well, in line with its haircare regime, so fragrance-layering lovers will be delirious with the possibilities. Delicate Oat is comprised of oat milk and white almond cream, and the 250ml version of the Soothing Hydrating Lotion will only set you back €4.14 at Boots. The feel is total luxury, I-spent-a-bomb-on-body-lotion-am-I-crazy, and the scent lasts most of the day. If it’s that hot out, I do tend to skimp on the lotioning as it feels icky, but luckily we live in Ireland so it is not often that much of an issue. There’s an amazingly rich Multi-purpose Soothing Balm in the same flavour that I’ll be hitting up in the winter.

The line also features Honey Treasures, Mythic Olive and Marvellous Oils {Argan & Camellia} if you’re not an almond enthusiast.

MICHAEL KORS coralJust looking at this makes me feel like I’m about to go fora swan along the Riviera. MICHAEL KORS Coral {€109/100mls} presents all light and fruity and festive, with just enough musk on the base to keep me interested. I don’t go crazy for girly-girly scents usually, but the grapefruit note has just enough bite, and it complements a sexy sandalwood dry down. I adore the bottle, which is kind of masculine, all square and formidable, and I keep it out on my dresser, which I almost never do. I just love looking at it. Staying power is only okay and this size isn’t exactly portable, either; I’d go for the handbag-friendly 30 ml for €55, tbh.

JML Basil & Neroli Campaign Shoot 1
Nothing like a JO MALONE launch to get the heart racing. There’s so much going on with the new Basil & Neroli, yet is so beautifully blended you’ll come away from it merely thinking ‘lovvvvvve’. The basil, of course, reminds us of the iconic Lime Basil & Mandarin, but whereas that is pure springtime joy, this is a more complicated light/dark concoction that lends itself to be ambiseasonal {I coined that at the launch and immediately tweeted that shiz}. It is also pansexual — not just for gals/gal indentifiers. It is glorious for everyone, with the neroli adding its signature bitter oranginess, and some vetiver in the base to give it heft.

The campaign is a nostalgic 60s black and white affair, but the scent is anything but. Plus! There’s a body creme and a candle, your whole life can be layered in this gorgeousness. The prices are as usual, 30ml is €54, 100ml is €109, Body Crème goes for €65 and the Home Candle is €52. The scent launches in September — too late for summer, you cry? Eh, not so much, given we’ll be getting a last blast of heat about mid-month {fingers crossed!}

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I Try Before You Buy: Maybelline New York, Bourjois, Garnier, Skinceuticals, Origins

Rather a mixed bag this week! It’s all very face-y, though, so there is something of a defining principle.

MAYBELLINE NEW YORK The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, €14.99
*****
This is seriously amazing. The range covers everything from day to night, and is organised so that you can easily pair them {use a top hue with the one directly beneath it, and 01 MAYBELLINEthere’s your duo} or even quad them. I decided to give it a try as I was going to be out all day working in an office, and when I got home, it was as if no time had passed. this is like Back To The Future for your eyelids… or something time-travelly like that. From matte to shimmer, this has got you covered, and I was so seriously impressed by its staying power — without eyelid primer! — that I can’t recommend this enough. This is also perfect for those among us who fear attempting the black smokey eye at home. You can get as sexy a result with shades of brown!

BOURJOIS PARIS 12hr Aqua Blush, €12.49
***
The less powder on the face during a heatwave the better, but do you really need a blusher when rosiness in the cheeks is reaching critical 04 BOURJOISmass? I’m loving this addition to the Bourjois line, and yes, it’s nice to add a pop of colour, especially this lightweight wash — there’s a big difference between a heat flush and blush! Dispensing it is tricky as a full pump is enough for three faces; I’ve fine-tuned an action to a 1/4 of a pump that manages to release the tiniest dab, which still gives good coverage. Wait until your foundation is fully set, though, otherwise this tends to melt it a bit and move it around. Comes in Ingenude, CocoRicorial, Pink Twice and Berry Nice {self-explanatory, I would think.}

GARNIER PureActive Matte Control Anti-Shine03 GARNIER Anti-Blemish Moisturiser, €14.99
***
I wasn’t really sure what this was trying to be: is just a moisturiser, or is it a primer, too? That anti-shine element felt like it applied to the latter, but my first usage felt like it was falling down on the side of moisturising — that is, I used way too much. This too is a great thing for the days of heat, if you can call them to mind at all: a little bit goes a long way under a BB cream, allowing for some blurred lines but not blocked pores, and for your BB to stay in place. Still, I wasn’t overly wowed, due to its neither-here-nor-there texture.

04 SKINCEUTICALSSKINCEUTICALS AOX Lip Complex, €40
****
A restorative concentrate for damaged/ageing lips, this is a creme, which created a moment of cognitive dissonance; it is also a pump, which created a moment of ‘How much of this product am I going to waste?’ I’ve tried lip creams in the past, and the texture has always given me the shivers; here, though, it absorbs at just the correct speed, so it’s not like there’s this gross layer of goop on your mouth. I am not cray about the pump, and I don’t think this will make it into my handbag, but I’ve got it to hand at the keyboard, and I’ve been going to it for the last week. In fact, I’ve just popped some on because I was trying out a lippy that was so drying it was all I could do to actually get it off my mouth. This is replenishing much needed moisture, even as I type. This is perfect for an intensive treatment that’s a treat!

ORIGINS Original Skin Re05 ORIGINStexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, €35
*****
Clay? Yay! I love a good clay mask! This is practically an express mask, it dries so quickly — and yet, it does not dry out the skin. When removing, the addition of water turns it into a gentle exfoliation experience. I was worried about the beads that were so clearly acting as the exfoliating agent, but upon research have discovered that they are jojoba beads and are biodegradable, which I take to mean that they will disintegrate naturally and not poison our planet. This now shares room in my heart with their Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask — oh, and their Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask! I am in love with Origin masks, clearly.

***

Laisson Entrer Le Soleil: Suncream, A Theme

I got a truck load — or a lorry load, depending on which national lexicon I am writing with — of sunscreen this year, and it is actually even more necessary than ever to have been testing it out. I’ve only had time to write about my faves because we’re having a rainy patch — a brief rainy patch before the sun starts splitting the stones once more — which it has been, off and on all day, but my weather app is looking a bit ominous towards the end of the week.

I found, in the course of my investigations that I had a penchant, if you will, for French brands. Alors: mes pensées.

NUXE PARIS Sun: Milky Spray for Face and Body 20SPF {€19.95} and Delicious Cream for Face {€19.95} smells abso spectac, feels like super posh product, won’t break the bank, and works. Did I say it smells good? It smells great, floral without being too heady, and completely like you are on holiday, even if you are only walking down the seafront, or hanging out in the park. The milky spray is really milky, but the spray is focused, so it doesn’t make a mess. Well, not unless you’re trying to spray yourself from all sides.

I adore the convenience of a sunstick, especially when — wait for it — I am out on the horses, but find that many of them are so hard in texture (the sticks, not the horses) that what they are imparting in protection from wrinkles from the sun, they are causing in pulling my skin all over the place. PAYOT‘s Sun Sensi Protective Anti-aging Stick, SPF 50 {€24.20} goes on like butter, and absorbs like… like something super absorbent. This is terrific for lashing on to your face at the last minute, and also for quick touch-ups, espesh on the nose.

LES SUNCREAMS 2014

 

GARNIER Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Medium SPF 20 Ultra-Light Dry Protection Mist {€24.20} is a true mist. It actually lands on your skin and soaks right up, so you can skip the middle-hand and just let it dry. Of course, in the beginning, I was so used to having to rub it in that I did, and it wasn’t necessary at all. This is perfect for when you’re out-of-doors and just want to get the application over with, or whilst indoors, when you just want to get the application over with. You could even, ahem, spray this on in your front room because you almost forgot, and it won’t ruin your furniture.

This falls into the make up category for me — it says BB on the tube, and it’s actually an excellent hybrid. VICHY LABORATOIRES V Capital Soleil SPF 50 BB Tinted Dry Touch Face Fluid {€16.50} is instantly tanning + SPFing, so if you’re lounging by the pool drinking cocktails, this will make you look amazing with zero effort. I find it too shiny for the office, if that makes any sense to you. I only wear it when I’m going to be mainly outside, reflecting the sun, looking stupidly healthy. It isn’t all that fluid — it really feels exactly like a BB, which is grand — but I love it anyway.

Here’s to having more reason to use them!

***

Next up: my go-to sporty sunscreen…

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Garnier Ultimate Blends: What’s Your Antidote?

Argh, which is not as good as ‘what’s your poison?’ but I’m going to go with it. The recent launch of Garnier Ultimate Blends haircare line saw each of their distinctive elements translated into mocktails, as shown below.
01 ALLL THE DRINKS
Just as well that they were mock, as the fruity/nutty blends went down very, very easily. Below, The One With the Coconut, which I inhaled before you could say ‘Where’s the little umbrella!?!’
02 THE ONE WITH THE COCONUT
Here’s the one with the coconut, which was especially delicious. This matched up with The Sleek Restorer, the shampoo, conditioner and treatment for those among us who suffer from dry, frizzy hair. It’s got coconut oil in it, hence the mocktail, as well as cocoa butter, which is just as well it wasn’t an ingredient, at least in the drink.

There is something for every hair issue, way beyond the usual dry-normal-greasy troika. In addition to The Sleek Restorer, you may avail of:

>The Marvellous Transformer
with Argan and Camellia Oils for dry, lifeless hair
>The Silky Smoother
with Vanilla Milk and Papaya for mid-long hair with split ends
>The Colour Illuminator
with Moroccan Argan Oil and North American Cranberry for coloured hair
>The Nourishing Repairer
with European Avocado Oil and African Shea Butter for very dry, damaged hair
> The Shine Revitaliser
with Chinese Green Tea and Mediterranean Lemon for normal hair

We all got a fluff-up from the stylists…
03 STYLIN
04 FRONTWAYS

…and were sent on our way with some of the flavours to test. I’ve used The Silky Smoother and the Colour Illuminator. Both smell delish, and despite this being a value range, a little bit of everything goes a long way. The first time I used the Silky, it took me about half an hour to rinse out the suds, simply because I used way too much.

Both dry to a blinding shine — truth — but I’ve found that the Colour Illuminator gives better second day hair. The line comes with a 7 in 1 Dry Shampoo, which didn’t work for me, so I couldn’t use it to extend my coiff. The brunettes at the launch were thrilled because it doesn’t turn your hair white; I found it wasn’t dry enough on contact, and that my hair flopped after about an hour. I love the 1 Minute Treatments, though, and have found them to be very moisturising, and again: they smell fantastic and therefore: spendy.

But! See the prices below: the value is enormous, and the line extends to hair oils as well. Because I am spoiled, I can be a bit leery of using economy brands, especially on the highlights, as cheaper products can be pretty harsh. These felt great, and gave an posh finish, as fancy as any of the higher priced brands I’ve tried. They do seem to be erring on the side of dry hair, probably a result of all the heat we have been applying over the last number of years, but I wonder at the lack of a greasy hair formula. I suppose the dry shampoo is there for that, but I’d want something that goes — ha, ha — directly to the root of the problem in the cleansing process…

***

Garnier Ultimate Blends:
Shampoos and conditioners: €3.99
One minute treatments: €6.99
7 in 1 Dry Shampoo: €5.49
Hair oils: €10.99

***

How’s Yer Face? Garnier Moisture Match

Mine feels chapped, and tingly, and dry. Since it never feels this way, I am convinced it’s an accumulation of all the cold, cold weather we’ve been experiencing over the past three years.

I realise that this probably makes no sense at all, but I’ve never been so conscious of wanting to slather moisturiser/zer all over my face, all the time.

Is this more aging shizz? Dammit.

Anyway, how delighted was I when these two wee gems from Garnier fell through the letterbox?

GARNIER moisture matchVery muchly delighted. On your left, in the pink, is Goodbye Dry…, a lotion for dry to very dry skin; on your left, in the yellow, is Protect & Glow, an illuminating cream for exposed and delicate skin.

I feel exposed and delicate! I went for the Protect & Glow straightaway, and lashed on loads. The fragrance is somewhat strong for a face lotion; the texture is mediumweight, and absorbs rapidly. The illumination comes from light reflecting pearls, and I can honestly report a degree of reflection: not so much that you feel like everyone is a deer and you are the headlights, but rather a very light {ha, ha} level of glow.

Well, look, seriously: it’s shine. How do you feel about shiny face? I am not so bad with it, now that I’m aging. Light-reflecting materials = youthiness, so it’s all good with me.

And then I thought: I feel so very, very dry, and applied some of the Goodbye Dry… This is heavyweight, and it takes that much longer to absorb. Which is grand, I would definitely turn to this one when I’m going barefaced into the world, or even just to my desk. Again, strong fragrance, not crazy about that.

I’m pleased with both. The 50ml tubes will travel well, I reckon, and after having stranded myself in the US without a decent moisturiser/zer {About which I have yet to write!} I’ll deffo make sure their passports are in good order.

***

€9.29; available wherever Garnier is sold.

Tan Twenty Twelve: Setting the Standard with Ambre Solaire

Let this be a lesson to us all: I had some bad outcomes with the Garnier brand in the past, as regards self-tanning. But that was the past, and we all have moved on, and so when I got a sample of the new No Streaks Bronzer Self-tanning Mousse, I went for it!

No complaints whatsoever. In fact, nothing but praise.

Since I’ve been smart and have been SPFing, my skin took on a little bit of natural, not-burny colour. I know, weird, right?!?! That’s the only encouragement I needed, and the morning after this great discovery, post-shower, I put on my tanning mitt, shook up the bottle and got to work.

I love a good mousse, and this is a good mousse. The coverage is great, there’s enough tint so you can see the bits you’ve missed, it doesn’t stink, and it dries in a fingersnap.

Here’s a freaky picture of my arm, after two applications. I don’t know, can you even tell? Are you completely hypnotised by how little my hand looks?

I need to get a proper camera, because I swear, this is such a good hue. It’s not just about being not-orange, you know. Let’s raise our standards, people!

Besides being not-orange, this is warm and looks utterly natural. It’s €21-ish for 150mls, which seems okay to me. I don’t know, I’ve only just started bronzing, so I don’t know how much things cost this year. I will refer back to the coverage and reiterate that it is great, and so I would expect to get a lot of mileage out of this.

You can’t use this on your face, though. So what did I apply to me gob to make it look glowy and brown? Tune in tomorrow…