Festive Form: All the Things in LUSH

First of all, Mr Punch soap has gin in it.

6092-Mr-Punch-Full-640-x-587It’s €4.25 for 100g, which, depending upon your relations, may be just right, or… or not. In addition to the gin, there are cucumbery, melony notes, that all activate once you hop in the bath.

Gin is made from juniper berries, which are no-brainer ingredients for the natural cosmetics company, since juniper berries are natural and grow on… bushes?*

Here are some samples from the extraordinarily comprehensive, beautifully-wrapped line. Funnily enough, two out of the three contain a gin-based product!

01 CHRISTMAS PARTY

Christmas Party {€10.25} has no gin in it. But still, it looks fun, and would be perfect for a young lad, or a Secret Santa work thing.

02 JOLLY HOLLY DAYS

Jolly Hollydays {€32.95} comes with six products, including an Each Peach massage bar, and 100gs of our ould pal, Mr Punch.

03 TWAS THE NIGHT

‘Twas The Night {€64.95} is so, so pretty. It is the essence of a sophisticated Christmas, via its packaging alone. Your loved one can re-purpose the box as well, it is so well made – which it would have to be, since it is chock full of stuff. I’ve raved about the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner in the past, and there’s a massive Angels Delight soap moon, too. And! you guessed it: the thing that has the gin in it.

No gin was partaken in the writing of this post, which I am sure you were wondering.

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*Bushes and trees.

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I don’t even like gin.

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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 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 Fellas: L’Homme Sport Coffret from Roger & Gallet

I wrote about Bulldog back in September. What was I thinking??!? Sheesh. Anyway, good stuff, and I had a dude try out the Original Shave Gel, and his  review consisted of, ‘Yeah, it’s good, I like it,’ which in dude-speak = overwhelmingly positive. So enter the way back machine here to see the whole line. {September?!?! What was I thinking??}

Let’s think about this, instead.

R&G HommeSport Coffret RRP€39.00This is very sophisticated packaging, which is not surprising as Roger & Gallet routinely produce gorgeous containers for their products.

L’Homme Sport has that fresh, citrus-y top-note thing happening, which makes it sporty, I guess, but it’s also got peppercorn hanging out in the blend as well, which is terribly exciting, for those of us who like things to be rather… savoury.

Back to the package {LOL}. It’s really clean, and the designers did a great job of making this fresh and manly, just like the fragrance. The fella in your life that might like to smell good, but feels self conscious unwrapping toiletry-type stuff, will be completely gratified by this gift.

As will you!

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€39

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.