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
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.


No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, €30.50
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
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.


Beauty Meets Gadgety: Sisley Eau Efficace

One of my intentions on this site is to talk about gadgety things, because that is another arrow in my quiver, as it were. A long time Gadget Gal for the Evening Herald, I’ve been put in abeyance, and do miss writing about things technical.

Imagine my delight when I clapped eyes on Sisley’s Eau Efficace, which is French for Gentle Eye Make-up Remover, Face and Eyes. There is it, looking fairly innocent if sophisticatedly so, in the classic and streamlined Sisley fashion. I tend to like a little more oomph in my packaging {TWSS} — but I did a big clear out at the weekend, and my white bathroom is purely gleaming, so this bottle and its look fit right in.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? Let’s pop the top, shall we?

This is an excellent way to dispense product. So: take your cotton pad, cover the top of this yoke with it, and press. The make-up remover comes up through the white dot thing {left}. It’s silhouette is shown to better effect at right.

Easy does it, and you get just the correct amount on the pad. Me, I tend to have a heavy hand, with this make-up remover, and whisky, so I had somewhat of a learning curve.

I have only been using this as a face make-up remover at the moment — I have been letting the brows lead the way for as long as the dye lasts — and I have to say, this is as refreshing as tonic. I feel slightly dubious about its ‘efficace’ as regards the full monty of mascara and eyeliner, much less eyeshadow, but we’ll give it a go. I have to be out in public tomorrow, so I’ll fill you in.

Thing is, you’re not going to go shopping for Sisley in the bargain bin, are you? For €81.50 a go, you’re going to want to get every last drop. I’ll keep track of this one, because another one of my best arrows is the Dart of Rationalisation: if this lasts for six months and does an excellent job of cleaning yer gob, then that’s only €13 a month on make-up removal. Is that good value? It may be, if you also feel like this fulfills the remit of a toner. Then that’s two products for the price of one. Right? Right?!?


Sisley is available at Brown Thomas.