I Used It All Up: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore

I finally used up the last of this lil’ beaut: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore. It’s the first low shampoo I ever tried, and liking it so much I hoarded it for-basically-ever. It’s got hyaluronic acid in, as well as echinacea stem cells, and vitamins B, C and E, and triples as a cleanse, treat and condition formula.

Everything about it is neutral in the best sense: zero fragrance, no lather, and yet its effect is shiny, healthy, bouncy hair.

I wondered: exactly how many years has this been perched on the lip of the tub, waiting for an outing? How long had I kept in reserves for those days when I wanted a guaranteed Good Hair Day™ or I was simply not arsed to do the whole shampoo/shampoo/condition thang?

I thought about doing a search on my hard drive and went: Nah. Cannot be arsed to do that, either.

I did want to find more of it, so I googled it, and lo and behold. It is alive! My past self was there all this time, hidden in The Herald website, which deigned not to give me credit, but does at least still keep a record of my tried and tested days.

Upshot: I hoarded this stuff for three years. Is that nothing or is that mad? I am not that impressed, tbqh. Maybe next time I’ll do better.

(Just fell down the Julien Farel rabbit-hole: a haircut with the man himself is $1000. FYI.) (Buying this internationally may be a ‘no’; I think I’ll pick some up in NYC at Christmas.)


As regards the rest of that link: I quickly fell out of love with the Dermalogica‘s Ultimate Buffing Cloth. The length got on my nerves. I fondly recall both the Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser and Garnier‘s BB Cream + Blur — might be time for a run to the chemists…


Right, FR.ed: Let’s See What You Said

Hey, this is fun! Thanks to The Perfume Society {www.perfumesociety.org}, you can use their clever fragrance editor, or FR.ed, for short, to figure out how to expand your vocabulary or scent — or possibly replace something long and lamentably gone.

It’s easy: Just type in your responses to the internet’s easiest form. I had a blast from the past and remembered how much I had loved Jil Sander from the 90s. It was, I thought, the only Jil Sander fragrance in the world, but no: there was a much longer list than I suspected possible. A quick Google, and I found that the EDP that I’m thinking of is No. 4. This perhaps points up the limitations in scent in duty free more than anything else, and also what’s available in Ireland.

FR.ed simple quiz

And I’m also presuming that anyone anywhere in the world still carries this particular perfume. Anyway! Let’s go.

FR.ed Jil results

Hmmm. I actually had some Boucheron and remember it to be much sweeter than I remember the Sander to be. Also, Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle seems a sweeter match than I would have thought… it doesn’t help, I suppose that I haven’t smelled the Sander in donkey’s.

I’m almost out of Coco by Chanel, which I haven’t worn in years. I noticed that it was almost gone and reckoned I may as well Use It All Up, and fell in love with it all over again. Here’s the results from this edit:
FR.ed Coco results

Cinnabar? Helllllloooo 1970s, hang on a sec, I’ve got some perfume that wants to talk to you. I’m interested in the Penhaligons simply because I haven’t ever tried anything from them — are they pricey? {Uh, whoops!} Eh. I can still buy the Coco, so no big deal.

Well, that was fun. I may try to see if I can actually get the original somewhere*, but if not, I think a visit to Macy’s ground floor goes on the holiday to-do list…


Play with FR.ed here.


* Hey hey! Sold! Heart you/hate you, internet!


I Used It All Up: Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Toner

… in fairness, this is in all likelihood the third one I’ve used up, if not the fourth. I heart this stuff.
I went and double-checked myself, but for sure, this is the first time I’ve posted about having Used This All Up. The Cleanance range is designed for blemish prone, oily skin, which I can’t say that my skin is at all, but I loved the purely clean feeling I got after using this every evening. It’s bi-phase — shake it up! — and it feels like a little breath of fresh air  post-cleanse/pre-night cream or oil.

This is great for keeping your pores from enlarging, and mattifying your complexion. It’s also a two-times-a-day job, if you choose, but I can’t imagine how quickly I’d go through this had I done so. Sigh.

Here’s something new, that I’ll probs go through for a shortcut:
XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil can be used all over the body, and it’s terrific if you’ve got dermatitis or eczema. Again, I’ve got neither, but I love a good oil, as it soothes and manages to get sebum production under control. Which seems counter-intuitive, but it works. And this isn’t all that oily, it feels very much like a gel, if oil makes you nervous.

The new line includes a balm and a cream; all of the products are paraben free, and suitable for children and infants, too. And of course, Avène spring water is a primary ingredient, and there’s more info about that here.

Wow, I really feel sad about that toner. Off to the chemists I go!


Cleanance Toner: 200mls, €15
XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil: 400mls, €16.50


I Used It All Up: Clarins Paris Instant Eye Make-up Remover

All up, all the way, not a dribble left:

And it used to be so blue! CLARINS INSTANT EYE full Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover is one of those mixey-uppy, bi-phase concoctions, and once upon a time, I held that sort of thing in low regard.

As always, though, technology makes advances, and this became {obvs} a clear fave.

This will take off the blackest, thickest, smokiest make up in one swipe. Not a word of a lie. A few dashes of product onto a cotton pad, and your peepers are as clean as whistle, in no time a’tall — so no excuse of being too tired to take off your slap.

And in fairness: the number of women I overhear talking about how they forget to wash their faces at night. Srsly?!?! Ladiez, clean your faces! All the ant-aging, hyaluronic, brightening, pore-reducing products in the entire universe will do NOTHING for clogged, uncared for, unclean* skin.

This has two added benefits: it’s great for those with sensitive eyes, and for contact lens wearers. Three! It is so easy on the very delicate eye area, so no uneccessary wear and tear, there.

Four! No oily residue, if you make sure to go one more swipe – gently! — with a dry cotton pad.

There is probably a five, but that’s enough to be going on with.


*UNEXFOLIATED skin, but that is a diatribe for another day.




I Used It All Up: Lush Lip Service

The reformulated versions of Lush‘s lip balms came out in March. I started using this, before bed, every night, since… let’s say 1 April.


Eight months? That’s pretty good! If you only apply it once*, though. Still: even if you used it twice a day, four months out of this wee 8g, 100% recyclable tin — that’s pretty impressive.

I’m also impressed by the brand’s constant revisitation of formulae, as I’ve said before. The last version I used of this was really hard to coax out of the tin — the scraping required! The initial scratchy moments of application until the balm warmed! Not nice. This is much softer, more aerated, and it stayed completely fresh over those eight months, too.

Next up: Honey Trap




*Who applies lip balm only once a day?!?!


I Used It All Up: Dove Purely Pampering Body Cream with Shea Butter and Warm Vanilla

On the very day that I Used All V329158_PS1340-C1of the above Up, I went to get me brows did, as ever in HD style at Carter Beauty, Blackrock. The lovely and talented Katie and I were nattering about product, as ya do, and she mentioned how much she herself loved this particular body cream. What are the chances!

This is a little tub of goodness and great value: at €6.49 RRP, and even though I was hoarding it, this really did last a relatively long time. I mean, if I used it every day it would still have lasted ages. And when it became apparent that this was going to join the IUIAU crew {that is the worst acronym ever}, I tried to UIAU faster, but it simply wouldn’t allow me to do so.

But eventually {sob} I did indeed make it all go away.

Katie says she found this to be a miracle product for extending your self-tan, which, even as winter prepares to get its grip on us, is still an issue, given all the holiday parties about to erupt on the scene.

I love Dove, and have always been a fan of the classic bar of soap: it feels so soothing going on, and the scent of it is so clean. I have not been much of a fan of shea butter in the past, disliking its smell immensely. I think the warm vanilla ingredient has mitigated that nutty shea nutshell smell in this case, and combined with whatever that essence it is that makes Dove smell so fresh — well, it’s a winner.

And texturally, for a product at that price point? Amazingly rich, but with excellent, smooth coverage that absorbs quickly. A miracle!


I Used It All Up: Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-Up Remover from The Body Shop

THE BODY SHOP camomile make-up removerAh! There’s a wee bit left! I didn’t see it ’til I tilted it for the photo! I am just mad enough not to bin this now, in order to squeeze out the very last drop!

I am sensing a trend here, as it seems that the stuff I use all up seems to be focused on the area comprising my head. Well — maybe not entirely true, as I don’t ever seem to use up lippy, and definitely not eyeshadow, and deffo-definitely not nail varnish, ever. I do seem to use up allll the toners and shampoos and such. Just as matter of interest — I’m not gonna go all psychobabble on myself.

I approach make up removal products with caution because I have found that four out five are crap. This one? Not at all crap, and in fact, was thorough, gentle and comprehensive. In practice, I really don’t think I ought to use more than one cotton pad per eye, and this respected my boundaries. Even with a Smokey Eye, this did the biz, quickly and efficiently.

I don’t ever wear waterproof mascara, but if I had to, I’d run out and pick me up another of there bad girls.

It is a tiny bit oily and made for somewhat blurry bedtime reading, but would totes use again.


€13.50/£8 < That price differential is appalling, Body Shop!


I Used It All Up: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

Ha, sezs she!’ sez you.

Intervention was required to prove that I did, indeed, use these all up.

Or did I?!?! O.o

That’s the shampoo, all gone.

Nooooooooo! That was enough conditioner for — no, there isn’t actually. Not enough for a treatment. Having said that: the shampoo-to-conditioner ratio being what it usually is, which is twice as much of the former to not as much of latter, I think I did really well, getting the full value out of this duo.

This was my go-to for perfect second-day hair, meaning: I used this post-horse of a Wednesday night, and wokeon the Thursday refreshed, and with fresh looking locks. Ah, well. At €6.31 {RRP} apiece, it’s great value that went a long way.


I am also a fan of the line’s Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster {RRP €6.31} which adds lift when using this combo for first-day hair.


I Used It All Up: Clarins Paris Double Serum

In happier times.

In happier times.

I had talked to Debbie McVicar from Clarins Paris back in February about the newly launched Double Serum, and seven months on: all gone.

I am particularly bereft because a more recent meeting with Debbie resulted in my using it at night rather than in the morning, as I had been doing. You can use it both times! If you want to! But as per her suggestion, I tried it at bedtime, and really, really liked it, and felt I awoke particularly glowy on the following days.

I liked it so much, that yep: used it all up.

Now, okay, seven months seems like a long time, but it’s not, not really, not when you consider that I’ve tried & tested at least ten serums in that time. Given that, the fact that I squeezed every last drop out of this dual-dispenser, and considered trying to pry open the top to get the last bit out, is as I like to say, sayin’ something.

I am all about minimisation of the pores just now, and this was one of the benefits that I felt this product actually produced.

CLARINS all gone

Hey! I think there is maybe one more pump left in the old girl. *LOL*


€69.50/£49.50/$85 {for 30mls.}


I Used It All Up: BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Eye Gel

NEW Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel

I have only really gotten into eye care in the last year or so. Take my advice: start now. I don’t care if you are like, two years old, you should have started when you were one. I have found that when a product targeted to this area works, it really works, and you can see the improvement. I feel like I am not only playing catch up, but struggling with a little bit of damage control — where did those creases come from? {Laughing, so that’s actually a good thing.}

Am I bothered? Eh. Enough, clearly, to be feeling like I am scrambling to rehydrate that area. But again, see: laughing. It’s not like I’m going to stop doing that, so targeting the auld peepers has started coming top of the list.

Better late than never, and you can’t do better that bliss. I had the extraordinary good fortune to have received a Triple Oxygen Facial in an actual bliss spa in NYC — oh, so many, many years ago, but it was was so amazingly amazing that it makes me sigh, thinking back. This is a tiny little bit of that, well, bliss, in a pump-thingie.

It’s got caffeine, which is will wake you up in the a.m., and depuff your eyes; it’s a gel, which absorbs quickly; it’s got Vitamin C, which brightens the eye area, and stimlulates collagen; it’s also got these Soft-Focus Powders? Which I didn’t even know existed, but are there to blur fines lines, and they brighten the area, too. Lotsa brightness! Okay! All I know is that I felt the area tighten to just the correct degree, and felt it immediately, and so it encouraged me to keep using it.

Spendy, but highly recommended, and deeply missed.