Platitudinous Truisms {Even So…}

I begin this post by copping, absolutely, to the fact that I have been really fortunate to work my way into my beauty duties. I’m grateful for all the stuff I’ve had a chance to try, and all the procedures and treatments I’ve been lucky enough to avail of, for review. And despite all that, I still can be lax about self-care.

Self-care, as a term, makes my cringe a bit: a hackneyed catch-all covering everything from footbaths to talk therapy. I am fairly positive I’ve pitched and written more than one feature story in more than one newspaper or magazine, under this very umbrella. The reason I’m not one hundred per cent positive is that they all tend to blur after a while, and whilst suggesting that someone nip off to a spa to pamper herself is, at its core, reasonable advice, the notion of cost + time adding up to something manageable — well, it often isn’t.

We don’t really know what we’re walking around with, what we’re holding in our muscles and tissues, because we get used to it so quickly. And we get used to it so quickly because we have to. We have to get on, we have to keep going, we have to manage all the aspects of our lives, keeping all the plates spinning.

And then we read an article exhorting us to take care of ourselves, and it’s easy to come over all cynical and roll our eyes. So, despite my own eye-rolling even as I write this — jayz, we really need to mind ourselves!

It’s hard to do! Even organising a home spa day for oneself may require the kicking-out-of-the-house of many beloved relations, and even then, in the quiet, it’s maybe not so amazing because it is your own house, and your own bath, and you had to clean prior to and will have to clean following your gloriously indulgent scented bath. {I highly recommend this, as ever.}

I suppose you could swap with a pal? Like, clean your own bath, and she cleans hers, and then you go to the other person’s house and she comes to yours… and then if you are lucky enough to have kids, make them clean it? Lucky enough to have kids who would not tell you to go get stuffed?

Or maybe you do set your sights on a weekend in a spa hotel — maybe do a crowdfunding thing? Not, like, for some random weekend in October, but for a birthday. Get the whole family to send you happily on your self-caring way. Maybe?

I think it is worth every penny to be able to have an amazing treatment under professional, luxurious circumstances, but I completely get that it’s not always viable. Hell, I can barely remember to set aside a few quid to get a ten-minute chair massage done — which are generally always great, and as soon as I get one I think, Ah, yeah, must keep this up — and then don’t.

Consistency is an issue, atmosphere is important, and the opportunity to simply lie down and switch off… surrounded by rose petals and scented candles, with fresh fruit kabobs and sparkling water within reach, all the while gazing upon some bucolic view that includes copious amounts of blue sky, or a mountain, or both.

It is true that a change is as good as a rest, and a change that involves rest has to be off the self-care scale. It’s also irritating and frustrating when you want to do something, and you find yourself constrained.

One small thing a day, though… like, going to visit the cygnets in Stephen’s Green. Now, that just happened, I didn’t even know why there were all those people clustered around the side of the pond furthest from me, and then I saw the little grey furries swimming around with their mum and dad. Ah! It was such a pleasure, and so delightful to be with everyone else who thought they were great, and the kids who just couldn’t even believe what they were looking at. I suppose there are all manner of ways to restore oneself, and nature is as good as a facial.






When Worlds Collide

In my review of REN’s Guérande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, I mentioned that I was a featured columnist in the upcoming Irish Tatler.

Well, as I was waiting in the salubrious environs of Therese R Wellbeing and Beauty’s Sanctuary Salon yesterday, ahead of my Voya eye treatment, I found that the issue is not upcoming, it is here!

The piece is about whether or not beauty is only for the young, to which I responded, ‘Uh, no’. I’ve never felt better about myself, and my age advances every year, funnily enough.

The issue looked great — well, what I could make out without my reading glasses…

In Which I Get Botox and Restalyne in My Face {III}

Gotten away with… what, exactly? Gotten away with ‘getting some work done’ and no one can even tell?

So what’s the point, then?

Look, shit is starting to happen to my appearance. I realise that I have become quite attached to people gaping when I tell them how old I am. I am becoming disturbingly keen to get that reaction for, oh, the next twenty years or so. I realise that, after a lifetime of looking like a Cabbage Patch Kid, I am happy enough to keep that face, only with less blank staring. But, that shit is starting to happen. I can see the area under my chin, the turkey-wattle area – well, it’s beginning to look like a feckin’ turkey wattle. I don’t look good in scarves — I need every inch of neck that I’ve got. Dammit.


I wake up, and it is amazing: my mind, my poor, easily-led, easily alarmed mind, zeroes in on my mouth brackets. Or what used to be my mouth brackets. I think Dr Peter used the term ‘comma’ rather than ‘bracket’ which is so much softer and gentler, but no, I am all about the brackets. They have been the site of constant scrutiny in the last four {six, actually. Maybe eight} months or so, which only makes them worse, because I look at them and frown, and there I go! Digging them in! So much for the ‘detached appraisal’ of the beauty journalist. Yeah.

I wake up, and the area is less sore. I swipe the alarm on my iPhone, conveniently installed on the bedside dock, and removing it {haaaaalp me!} I take a look in the reverse camera. As I’m lying down still, I look even weirder than I think I look in my mind’s eye. I stick the phone back in the thing, and I close my eyes, my fingers gently massaging my jaw, which is rock-hard with tension.


Again: the actual process itself was professional, fast, thorough, and assured. Had Dr Peter been a dentist, I would have been like, ‘OMG this dentist I went to!’ And if you ask me for a recommendation for a … well, it’s not a nip and a tuck because: no knives — holy God could you imagine what I would have been like if there had been knives?!? — If you say to me, ‘Sue, these crow’s feet, what do I do?’ I would say, go to Venus Medical in Dundrum. <Not a word of a lie. You can hop on the LUAS and be there from town in twenty minutes, twenty minutes for your tweak, and then boom, back to work, that is your lunch hour.


I’ve been trying to take photos to show this, the brackets ‘after’, and have also been trawling old photos for the ‘before’. I have discovered that I make silly faces when I take pictures of myself, I think to acknowledge the absurdity of peering into a device and immortalising my new glasses or a lipstick. I didn’t think there was anything to this, that there was an underlying thing, but there I was, all along, mocking my seemingly regular documentation of myself.

I had always liked drawing and painting self-portraits in art college. What does this mean? I’ll give you vanity, but I don’t think it’s narcissism? <But forealz, what else would a narcissist say?! I just made myself laugh, and today, it doesn’t hurt to laugh. I woke up, and the left side of my mouth was little tender, but I just laughed and I feel like I’ve got the essence of my face, its movement, back. I feel like now, maybe, this wasn’t such a big deal?

Didn’t feel that way on Saturday, though, when I began to focus on the Botox-ed gully between my brows, and wondered: if I put on my riding hat, will that screw up the treatment???

Installment the first, and the second.

To be continued…

Okay, So, Here’s the Thing About Valentine’s Day

Yeah, it’s a totally manufactured ‘holiday’.

Yeah, it’s completely mercenary.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, price gouging, blah, unrealistic expectations, blah blah, heteronormative, blah, blah, blah.

Actually, maybe I should say: okay, so, here’s the thing about Valentine’s Day and me. I totally get all of the above, but I frickin’ love it anyway.

I mean, I am in love with love, and therefore, this day gets a pass from me.

Now, it is annoying when one is single, as I am myself, to feel bombarded by all the literal hearts and flowers rubbish going around. It’s hard to not be sad/mad/just-go-grab-a-lad when the auld <3 day comes around again. I was going to try to sell yees a whole ‘Take Back Heart Day’ thing, Like, Show Your Pals How Much You Love Them, and Hey! Your Family Might Like a Nice Prezzie… it may still work out that way, but yeah, it’s a hard sell. It’s not like, ooh, Everyday Can Be Valentine’s Day, because: no.

Basically, it’s almost impossible to be a beauty blogger and fail to chip in with ideas for the The Big Day.

Well, you know what? For many, it is not A Big Day. Or: it is as Big A Day as you make it. So if you are interested in treats and deals that are available in the run up to the 14th of next month, then you will find such information here.

If you want to buy yourself stuff, and it just so happens to be in the shape of a heart, and may be coloured red, and you happen to like it, then you might come across something cute. There will be posts on grooming, gifting, and eating/drinking, and I have to say, I’ve got some sweet stuff in the bag.

If you hate the whole idea of the whole thing, read along anyway, I’ll try to keep things amusing.

Let’s Not Take it For Granted

I just googled something for my other blog {; horses} and when I clicked on the top link, I didn’t even register that of course the first link is going to be Wikipedia, and when the scary black page came up, I gasped.

I don’t know where I’d be without a search engine, without my email, without all those horoscope sites. I wouldn’t be here, right this very second, in your inbox, in your browser. I wouldn’t have been able to buy a ticket for my Christmas holidays, or to buy books that I can’t find in shops, or to even think that self-publishing my third novel {stay tuned!} without the freedom of t’internet. What would I do if I couldn’t self-diagnose?!? < Hmm, the less I do that the better, actually.

The irony of having to google SOPA, and the other thing, PIPA, was not lost on me. Nor was the fact that I was first alerted to the whole boycott deal via Twitter. That’s how it works now, friends, and as for me, I’ll do everything that needs doing to keep free access to the intertubes afloat — even if it’s just blogging about beauty.