I Try Before You Buy: Oils, From Top to Toe

Almost didn’t get the toes in — and it’s a bit of a push — but ‘top to middle’ just wasn’t doing it for me.

MATRIX Oil Wonders: Micro-Oil Shampoo & Conditioner, €12.50/each
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I wasn’t sure that this was working for me, blonde {‘blonde’} that I am, and when I initially tried these, as argan oil always dulls down my fresh highlights. As my hair has evened out, however, this combo is perfect: for less than €30, you get salon-shiny hair and extreme manageability. Since my keratin treatment has run out, I am all about any S&C that can calm down the flyaways and the half-arsed waving that my hair does. Love these, but won’t be using them on newly ‘did’ hair, because of that pesky but beneficial argan oil.

SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo, €40
****
It took me a while to get used to the non-sudsy element involved in using this class of oil, but oh boy, this is good. I’ve used the Gentle Balancing Cleanser, and can’t see that this will any less effective: for those who suffer from dry hair and scalp, this promises to bring balance, and the right kind of moisture, to your locks. It’s infused with Neroli essential oil, which is such a useful and versatile oil and is the key ingredient that’s going to get to work on your scalp. One star off because a conditioner would be a nice accompaniment — IDK, my hair is just too tangly to do without one, despite this line making for such silky tresses…

CLINIQUE Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil, €39
*****
I’m using this at nighttime, and finding it to be terrific, brightening my complexion and adding loads of hydration — which is exactly what it promises to do. It absorbs quickly, so my pillow cases are safe, and I feel better every morning after the night before I used this: looking in the mirror first thing is actually quite fun as I notice improvement every time.

I TRY OILS

No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50
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This is a little bit too oily for daytime, if you’re me and never give yourself enough minutes in the morning to allow something to fully absorb. So: good news in that this is so rich that it does take time to sink in, but bad news if you need to hit the ground running. I’ll use this at night, or on lazy days — oh, and a little bit truly goes a long way, half a drop does the business. Great value!

L’OCCITANE Immortelle Oil Make-up Remover, €26
****
Love a good oil as a makeup remover — there really is nothing like it. This has a gorgeous scent and it is very effective in its job. I find I prefer to use it in the morning, to wake up my skin and to remove the foundation that inevitably did not come off despite my relentless cleansing campaign. Would that be a thing of the past if I used this at night? Not so much: there’s nothing like the spray of the shower and good going over with my Clinique Sonic to do the job properly. Again, a little of this goes a long way, so it’s well worth the price tag.

LACURA Suncare Oil Spray, €3.99
**
This is where I got the toes in, which is a push because I don’t think my toes have seen the sun for about six years. Aldi’s spray has only got 15 SPF/UVB, which seems so 90s, but the texture of it perfect: silky, not sticky, just like it says on the bottle. There’s a top-note of alcohol (the rubbing kind, sadly) but it dries down to a delicious, tropical coconutty fragrance. Sure, at that price you can reapply with abandon, and might only need two for your hols, if you’re lucky with the weather.

JO MALONE Velvet Rose & Oud Dry Body Oil, €62
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The scent is gorgeous: not too rosey, not too masculine, but the combination of the oud and the rose is rich and sexy. The spray bottle is unwieldy, and as many ways as I tried to get the most out of an application — whether by spraying all over myself without rubbing it in until I was done, or spraying into one hand and applying as I went along —  slippy hands made it hard work. The staying power makes it worth the struggle. #FirstWorldProblems.

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Colourful Claws: Ten Shades, Ten Thoughts

First off: I am mainly rubbish at applying nail varnish, so take that into consideration, plz.

Also: my splitting nail, herein dubbed ‘Auld Schplitty’ is the really stubby one on my left hand, ring finger, so do give it some slack for being so abbreviated.

I had vowed to paint all the nails because I was feeling out of sorts, and then something happened, I don’t know, I had a sambo or something, and then I felt in sorts; then, I didn’t feel bothered to do the nails, but I had said I would, so I did, hurriedly, and well, yeah. Not the best manicure ever.

Surely the most colourful, though! Bright side.

The following replicates, as near as dammit, my first thought upon completed application of each colour.

>LEFT HAND {Clockwise from thumb}
LA Splash Glitter Nail Lacquer in Fire Siren
OMGGGGGGGGGGG awesomest glitter ever ever ever.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche in Wild Purple
Gloopy. This is not — yeah, too thick.

Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Cherry Jubilee
Ooh, love — bit thin, maybe?

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Ruby Tuesday
Eh — this brush, so small. Too fiddly.

Lancome Vernis in Love Long Lasting Nail Polish in Madame Tulipe
Perfect! Perfect — one coat, flat brush, yesssss.

>RIGHT HAND {Clockwise from pinkie}
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Frenzy
Best. Neutral. Ever. Deffo needs two coats, though.

Yves Saint Laurent La Lacque Couture in Taupe Retro
Bit thin. Three coats? Yikes.

Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Lucky Penny
Another Avon, don’t care: shinnnnnny!

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Fantasy Fire
Yeah, the brush is too small. So streaky!

Lacura Beauty in 171
Now, that’s excellent pigment. kinda thick, though…?

OVER TOP OF THEM ALL: Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat. This = great.

Underneath, I did an extra coat of Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener. I wonder if it is what is making most of the varnishes look crackly? Because there are fault lines showing up on almost all of them. This is not a good look.

The keepers? Chanel, Lancome, Avon, and especially: LA Splash. Wowweeeee it is fabbbbalis. I feel some fear about removing it, though, and will be following the advice found here, via CherrySue, Doin’ the Do.

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I still have my toes to do, and I’ve got a whole range of Avon Nailwear Pro+ with which to do them…

Post-Olympic Slump: I Haz a Sad. Is There a Cure?

I’m not even supposed to be sitting here: the Dublin Horse Show kicks off today, and I really am supposed to be there. But even I am not about to go out in this hurricane.

Dammit. The show is my yearly visit to what is, for me, a mash up of Heaven/Nirvana/Valhalla < the latter minus the burning bark. Not that I can be at all spendy, but I really do need new jodhs. And a couple of pairs of those cotton gloves with the sticky bits on the palms.

The show is also meant to be a way to get over the great void left by the Olympics, which is of greater depth than I would ever have guessed. I have become less interested in the event the younger the athletes have gotten. Like, when you’re a child, even as unathletic a child as I was, you can still dream, you know? Not so much, the older you get.

Although! There was yer man Ian Millar from Canada: 65 years old and still jumping! Yeah, well, never mind, not much of argument, as I wouldn’t even feel able to hold the lead rope of any of those Olympic horses. So whilst the dream is well past its sell by date, I got all into the Games this year, and it took me a few days to realise that I really did miss them.

Sigh. I actually have work-work to do, which is grand, but I just feel so blah.

I think I will paint all my nails. In individual colours. I have many, many nail varnishes all of a sudden. I have a shedload from Avon, I’ve got to try & test a bunch for the newspaper, amongst which are samples from Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Lacura, Lancôme and L’Oréal Paris. Also, just got a couple from Max Factor, and also from new-to-Ireland brand LA Splash. And I can finish it all off with a Sally Hansen top coat.

Yes. Can’t think of a better use of my time. Apart from the work-work, of course. 

BRB.

***

Noooooooooo! Come Baaaaaaack!

I have all these SPFs I tried out, Sun, and what, now you’re fecking off?!?!

Do you expect everyone to go off on a fantasy holiday to Krk??

Well, anyway: yesterday, I said I was going to cover myself in protection, and so I did.

At €5.99, you get a lotta bang for your buck with Lacura Suncare Moisturising Spray. The Aldi brand always comes through with the excellent price point. The spray action is not so great, unless you are in fact, say, on the deck of ship cruising the Adriatic. It got allll over the place in my house, and all over the clothes, too.

Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Light & Silky Protection Mist SPF 30 {whew!} was another spray that made a mess. Not that I learned from my previous mistake, no: got a fine white film over everything around my right leg. The further away you hold it the better, obviously, but again, I think I’ll be sticking to cream-based SPFs for doing the daily business. This goes for €26.83 which seems pricey.

I had fun with the Stick Sensible from Eau Thermale Avène, so I was happy enough to give their Very High Protection Emulsion 50+ a go. I totally forgot I had put this on, and this is excellent on many levels: it absorbed quickly, it smelled clean, and my skin felt soft afterwards. Only complaint: why so small, my French friends? 50mls seems on the shy side for €22!

La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Dermatologique have the most frustrating packaging on the planet. I didn’t even know what this was for until I unearthed the little brochure thingie that came in the box, that slid out of a sleeve. Their Anthelios AC 30SPF Matte Extreme Fluid is another one that comes in at 50mls, is only slightly less costly at €19 and is only for the face. Sheesh. But you know what? It is extremely fluid, and it worked extremely well: my face felt nicely toasted after spending a few hours basking, with nary a nasty patch of red to be to seen.

Well {heaves an enormous sigh}, at least I’ll be prepared when the Sun does decide to come back…