Live Blog*: The Receipt of a Package

This was sitting on the floor beneath my post box. Excitement! Confusion: Cake from England?!?

Once upstairs, I clearly do not intend to mess about. Let us investigate.

Ooh, Dermalogica, yay! Much excite — picture is out of focus as a result.


And also an opportunity for me to talk about how great the Daily Microfoliant® is. See how that works? Brilliance in public relating combined with, if I do say so myself, an entertaining dessimation of said PR.

But forealz: I love this product and am delighted to join in marking its 10th birthday. So gentle, so delicate, yet so thorough. This is the best exfoliator of the facial area for those of you who require gentility and delicacy. Seriously. And as you use so little to do so much — about half a teaspoon does the job — it is excellent value.

All that from a wee package! Who knew? ;)


*Yeah, not really.

Haiku Review: Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid

A more perfect haiku word
Has never been known.

Oh, words: I love words, and one of my favourite words is ‘slough’. Oh wow, I am saying it over and over to myself and it is just the most amazing feeling. Slough slough slough. It’s the owwwwwwww part, and the visual of the silent ‘gh’ that gets me. {This is turning out to be a week of strange posts…}

Oh, but it is so satisfying. Other faves include: waft, bedizen, and smooch.

I’ve been researching microdermabrasion, and that’s how I came across slough, as in: sloughing off dead skin cells. I went a’googlin’ because I got some Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid {whew! What a mouthful!} yesterday and was immediately taken by the notion of being able to self-treat my complexion in a microdermabrasional kind of way.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a clinical treatment — surely I’d remember? It involves machines, which is both scary and thrilling; one can go so far as to buy oneself a machine for at-home use. I have worked professionally as a gadget reviewer, and I am a techno-magpie: I use stuff for a while, and then I get bored, so I can’t imagine that a machine would do me any good in the long run. So in Avon’s offering we’ve got a little bit ‘o’ complexion transformation in a bottle, which seems as simple as could be.

Too simple?  The whole point of microdermabrasion {I am getting tired of typing that word} is to SLOUGH off those dead skin cells, in turn reducing the appearance of fine lines, increasing the softness of your skin, and eradicating acne. Can a mere lotion deliver the same benefit?

We’ll see, because I would very much like this to work. According to one of the Avon R&D bods, the product ‘mimic[s] the physical action of microdermabrasion treatments, with less irritation.’ Or, to hark back to my favourite word, less owwwwww.

Will keep you posted.


Haiku Review: Beauty Trimmer

Let’s face it, ladies:
As we age, the hair does grow,
Not just from the scalp.

It all started on the chin, I think. Or maybe it was the upper lip. As I mentioned here, I had hit the waxing scene rather early, so unwieldy facial hair has always been a thing. Once it started to look like I was going to give those dudes from ZZ Top some serious competition, I started to look for some equally serious epilatory solutions.

Okay, so it wasn’t as bad as all that. And the hair itself was and mostly continues to be light blonde. This is great because one learns not to sit in the windows of cafés in direct sunlight, for example, and one therefore can stretch out the time between the employment of epilatory techniques. It is not great when one is a beauty journo/blogger, with many opportunities to review laser hair removal, only to be told that one’s hair is too light for it to work.

Grrrrrr. <A sound appropriate to my hirsuteness.

There were several approaches to solve this problem: I got the lip and chin waxed. I got the at-home waxing strips. I quite like this, from Boots, only it takes planning. Do not even suggest putting a tweezer anywhere near my lip, my eyes have just started watering.

When the neck hair got really out of control, I bit the bullet and started using the Braun Silk Epil 7. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It took some seasoning of the skin, but once I became inured to all the little spinning razors yanking the hair out, I wouldn’t be without it. Some of the finer hairs haven’t grown back!

But there was no. way. in. hell I was going to run that over my lip. Of all the whiskers, I dislike these the most. So when the Beauty Trimmer landed on my desk, and purported to be more than able to deal with hairs other than my brows (for which I had requested this, initially), I though, ah, sure why not?

I liked its sleekness, right off the bat. It’s something that you could easily slip into your make up bag, as easily as a pair {set?} of tweezers. There’s only one setting — gentle buzz — and to be honest, it didn’t feel like it was doing anything as I stroked it over my lip, until I realised I was stroking it over a clean, hairless lip. ! It’s also fairly good on the goatee, but it really is all about the lip area for me.

Painless, quick, easy… the longer hairs around the edges of my mouth tend to grow in darker, where they didn’t before, but bright side! I can go get those zapped now.

The pink thing in the picture is a thing to put on the end to use on your brows? I haven’t gone there yet, mainly because I haven’t figured out in my head how it could possibly work. Combing? There’s a video, but I don’t feel enlightened. And oh yes she did at :53.

€11.99/£9.99, via

Haiku Review: Green Angel Sunrise Body Smoother

High maintenance, me:
On hols*, but missing my STUFF.
Would love a good scrub.**

Oh, the perspective one gains when life throws out a challenge. I admit that I am spoiled, and even as hard as this beauty reviewing can be {yes, it can be}, I enjoy it thoroughly, but I also take things for granted, and have high expectations. And I also can get kind of… bitchy about things. Continue reading

Haiku Review: Lush Exclusives

Many tiny scents!
An option for every sitch.
Staying power: low.

Okay, let me just get this out of the way: I am too susceptible to packaging design, and must express my deep loathing for the display font that Lush use. Oh, how I hate that class of scripty-brushy font!

But oh! how I love Gorilla Perfume Miniatures – EXCLUSIVES, a cleverly designed little box ‘o’ fragrance. The brown cardboard is sturdy and I wouldn’t hesitate tossing it into my handbag. Which I would have to do because the scents don’t really last all that long. This is a bother, but not a ginormous botheration, because you can bring it along because the box is so sturdy you can just toss it into your bag… see how that works? It is a little bit of genius.

Each of the eight scents have a genius touch as well. I don’t like all of them, which is normal, but the ones that I do like, I like unconditionally and unreservedly.

These are:

*1000 Kisses, which is sounds sweet because the name is sweet, but it actually has weight.

*B Scent, which goes perfectly with that sexy, sexy Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner I love.

*Cocktail, which: need I say more? Also: ylang ylang which = sexy.

*The Smell of Weather Turning, which OMG, smells exactly like a rain-washed forest. I adore this.

So, 50% ‘like’ for me, that’s pretty good. And it’s really not that big a drag to carry them around and to keep applying one’s scent of choice — something about dabbing on fragrance is unutterably sexy.

Lots of sexy in this post — Lush are on to something!


Haiku Review: Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask

This tube of goodness
Is better travelled than most,
But should be retired.

I was getting a Dermalogica facial once, and a  lovely lady at Papillon in Ranelagh said that whenever she travelled transatlantically, she used the Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask as a skin hydrator. Just apply upon take off, and then take it off upon arrival. The lightness and transparency of the mask meant that you would maybe look a little shiny, but you wouldn’t like you would be capable of scaring small nephews.

That sounded like a good idea to me: I didn’t really find it very effective as a mask, but thought that using in this fashion might be beneficial. The main thing I didn’t like about it was its quick absorption; I like that in a serum, but not in a mask. I figured that slathering this on, especially on the journey back to Ireland from NYC, would shield my skin from the worst effects of floating around in recycled air for hours.

This plan mostly worked when we didn’t have to display our cosmetics for the delectation of airport employees. Even when we began to take part in the product parade, the 75mls made it as regards the restrictions, but it took up too much space in my plastic baggy. Especially when they got strict about the size of the baggy, and I couldn’t use my go-to quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag.

Despite not having it to hand, I still packed it on every single trip I have taken over the last many years, even though it languished in the hold. This doesn’t make a ton of sense, but once I had decided it had a use as a travel companion, it was going to go with me everywhere.

I wish I could sign it up for frequent flier miles, we could probably go round the world for free by now.

It’s been to Paris countless times. It came on honeymoon; it came with me to residential school at Bath University when I was studying psychology with the OU, mid-divorce; it is here with me now, and I’ve actually been using it as it is intended to be used since I did such a poor job packing adequate skin care.

I am still not entirely sold on it as a mask. As I have said, I prefer my masks to actually be mask-y, but if your skin is super sensitive, then this might be worth a go. Oh, and here’s the fancy-pants new packaging. Gosh, it is awfully modern-looking and sleek, isn’t it? I can’t see tossing my auld soldier, even if he is past his sell-by date. He’s still got some go in him yet.


New Year’s Beauty Resolutions

>Get more treatments Yeah. Every time I get a treatment — a massage, a facial, whatever — I think, ‘I really need to get more treatments!’ And then I don’t get another treatment until my next one… which is always a significant time from the last. So, yeah. <This one will never happen. Way to think positive, I know…

>Stop hoarding! It many ways, it is worse when you get a bunch a sample products in all the time. Yes, this reeks of ‘Ooh these diamond shoes, they pinch!’, but the thing is, I’ll try something and love it, and then have to immediately start using something else, and then the first thing gets shelved, and I save it for when the second {third, fourth} thing runs out… except maybe the third thing is great, too? So 2012 is going to be the year of USE IT UP! <Yeah, that one will be a bust in a heartbeat.

>Purge and Prune I am actually pretty good at this. I have heard that products don’t ‘go bad’ or ‘go off’ the way we’ve been told, but nevertheless, there is nothing to be gained from having a load of half-used mascaras lying about. Into the bin! will be my rallying cry. <I can do this!

> … I hate making resolutions. I can’t think of anything else. Any ideas?


Not! Because I can’t be! I reviewed that crazy picture just a moment ago and realised that I forgot to pack blush.

I don’t usually go for full make up when visiting the family home, couch surfing, so it did indeed come as a shock. I have been out of the house, and even went to a party, and I must have been in some sort of holiday fog to have not noticed that I had failed to bring along my youthful glow.

Perhaps the joy of the holidays had supplied it, and I had no need for artificial enhancement.

Anyway! Here’s a link to my Evening Herald column; I’ll just be over here in the corner, pining.

Haiku Review: Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care

Oh, where to begin!
Let’s start with today’s shampoo —
Chosen with intent.

I think I used the H&S brand once in my life, before now. I had a touch of dandruff during adolescence, quelle horreur, and reached for the brand that said it was going to make it stop. It did, and I never thought of using it again.

Now, if I had to use a shamp/cond duo to deal with such an issue, I would most assuredly reach for the Head & Shoulders. I am also fairly certain that one’s choices have increased exponentially in the intervening years. I counted eleven different versions on the brand’s interactive web site.

I was given a sample of the Itchy Scalp Care flavour, and eh, I wasn’t really that pushed to give it a go. But give it one I did, because as I said earlier, this is my job.

Well. I assume my scalp is healthy because it doesn’t flake, and not to say that I am now given to bouts of scalp fear, but I will say that this pair, with its infusion of eucalyptus, is an enjoyably invigorating cleansing experience. It’s the shampoo that really comes across with the tingle, and if my scalp wasn’t squeaky clean before, it sure was now.

Ah: chosen with intent. The thing is, this gives me excellent second day hair, and as I am getting highlights today, I didn’t want to wash the barnet, but neither did I want to have dull hair. H&S and sorts this out completely, and I will walk into the salon with my head, complete with its itch-less scalp, held high.

€/£/$ prices vary, so I’m afraid you’ll have to google it yourself.