Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Best Haiku Review of the Year

Art imitates life: the poem is only going to be as good as the product. Neal’s Yard Organic Beauty Sleep was one of the year’s best new launches, and it inspired me to flights of fancy.

I have had hit-or-miss experiences with the brand, but this is a hit that goes through the roof. The original post is here; I look forward to the day that I can link to the glorious scent. Surely that is on track somewhere in software development land? Too weird?


Liberté, Égalité, Beauté: Virginie Claire Beauty Centre

This is a little bit cheeky — ha, ha, it’s about a facial! — but I was only thinking about this very treatment this very day, and I decided to re-blog it, cunningly presented as a new post. So, since I’m telling you, it’s not so bad, right?

Two things:
1} To remember a facial one year on is pretty significant.
2} I was thinking about this facial because I was getting a treatment — a full body exfoliation and massage — and it developed into a train of thought I’ll write about anon, as regards self-care, and the ‘treat’ part of ‘treatment’.

Anyway, just about a year ago this week, I toddled out to Rathmines to the Virginie Clarke Beauty Centre, and received their gorgeous Radiance Facial, which I have never forgotten. Happily, the same deal commemorating Bastille Day is on offer again, and starts on the 8th of July through to Saturday the 13th. Virginie says, ‘All participating salons, country-wide, will offer the facial promotion, with the extra benefit of having a great promotional discount on the PHYTS products. If you buy one skin care product, you can get the second at half price.’ Bon!

So, without further ado, here’s that Haiku Review.

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 VIRGINIE CLAIREpackaging 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, which 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  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 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 and 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!


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


Haiku Review: Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer

Resistance: futile.
Originality: none.
Apocalips: now.

*Sigh* I’ve haven’t done one of these in age, and hell, that wee pome just wrote itself. I’ve seen some dissent On The Twitters, and different strokes/different folks, but as for me, I am lovin’ Apocalips Lip Lacquer from Rimmel London.

Above is Apocalyptic, and pretty much engenders everything I adore about these lippys. The pigment is APOCALIPS appintense, but the weight is light, light, light. The applicator is angled, doe foot style, with that little well in the centre — this allows you to get the bulk of it in the middle of your lips, where it belongs, and allows just enough lacquer to go around the edges of yer gob so you can build it slowly.

That’s Nude Eclipse to the right, which I think wins for the Most Inexplicable Lipstick Name Ever, but I love this one too; I find it is the perfect accompaniment to a deeply smokey eye.

They are glossy and again, light, like a lip gloss, but unlike dark glosses, they hold their own colour. I find that when I use many darkly pigmented glosses, they don’t mix well with the actual colour of my lips, and look like my mouth is past its sell-by date. Not terribly appealing. These have as much visual heft as a lipstick, at a third of the perceived weightiness.

In addition to the colours above, my other faves are Celestial {blue-y pink}, Galaxy {sparkly mauve}. Big Bang is another red that went a bit orange-y on me, but YMMV!