Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer

Also all gone.

I had to be in the mood to use this as it was quite thick and generally didn’t feel that my skin was soaking it up.

But! Its hydroblur function made for a great primer, which is the whole point of the product. If you’re after a matte finish on the daily, I’d recommend this for sure.

I didn’t feel 100% like I was getting moisturised, but I did feel that getting the primer over with somehow made a difference to me, time-wise. I was going write, ‘which is ride’, but it’ kind of not: I have ruined many a foundation application by being too impatient for the primer to set. So there’s that.

Loved having it around when I was in the humour for it!


How’s Yer Face? Garnier Moisture Match

Mine feels chapped, and tingly, and dry. Since it never feels this way, I am convinced it’s an accumulation of all the cold, cold weather we’ve been experiencing over the past three years.

I realise that this probably makes no sense at all, but I’ve never been so conscious of wanting to slather moisturiser/zer all over my face, all the time.

Is this more aging shizz? Dammit.

Anyway, how delighted was I when these two wee gems from Garnier fell through the letterbox?

GARNIER moisture matchVery muchly delighted. On your left, in the pink, is Goodbye Dry…, a lotion for dry to very dry skin; on your left, in the yellow, is Protect & Glow, an illuminating cream for exposed and delicate skin.

I feel exposed and delicate! I went for the Protect & Glow straightaway, and lashed on loads. The fragrance is somewhat strong for a face lotion; the texture is mediumweight, and absorbs rapidly. The illumination comes from light reflecting pearls, and I can honestly report a degree of reflection: not so much that you feel like everyone is a deer and you are the headlights, but rather a very light {ha, ha} level of glow.

Well, look, seriously: it’s shine. How do you feel about shiny face? I am not so bad with it, now that I’m aging. Light-reflecting materials = youthiness, so it’s all good with me.

And then I thought: I feel so very, very dry, and applied some of the Goodbye Dry… This is heavyweight, and it takes that much longer to absorb. Which is grand, I would definitely turn to this one when I’m going barefaced into the world, or even just to my desk. Again, strong fragrance, not crazy about that.

I’m pleased with both. The 50ml tubes will travel well, I reckon, and after having stranded myself in the US without a decent moisturiser/zer {About which I have yet to write!} I’ll deffo make sure their passports are in good order.


€9.29; available wherever Garnier is sold.

A Scent is Worth A Thousand Words: Nuxe Crème Fraîche de Beauté

Sometimes, my approach to testing products is less than scientific. When my long-suffering postman handed over a package of the new Crème Fraîche de Beauté collection from Nuxe {he’s got to be dying to ask me what is up with all these parcels}, I opened it, had a quick look, and put it to the side. It had to join the queue, and to be honest, some of the packaging out of France is way overdone. Why all these words, French package designers?

Exhibit A. This is the inside of the box. The inside of the box! Plus there’s the usual foldy-uppy-multi-lingual palaver wrapped around the container. The outside of the box is pure carnage. And ultimately? There is nothing to tell me why this stuff smells so gorgeously fantastic. Because it does, it smells like the freshest, most invigorating line of beauty products I have ever smelled.

Back to my less-than-laboratory environment. I was sitting here the other day, stumped for a word or phrase, so I reached into the Nuxe package and came up with the Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté. Ah, sure, thought I, let’s just lash some of this on, why not? Why not, indeed. Might be a good idea, oh, I don’t know, to cleanse and/or tone before applying a mask {or masque.} I tend to think, well, if it’s gonna work, it best be workin’ on skin that is in rag order, right? So, I liberated the tube from its tomb of text, peeled off the annoying but sanitary little foil protective thingie, slapped some on —

And was immediately transported into a sunlit meadow, its grasses freshly cut. The scent of flora is everywhere: not just flowers, but trees as well, and I swear I can smell the cool water of a bubbling brook. All I wanted to do was to lie down and breathe and breathe and breathe —

Cut to me lying on the floor of my sitting room. Nah, just kidding! But I felt inspired to forgive the brand its unnecessary packaging verbiage — well, almost. What is in this?!!? Not that I reckon I can reproduce this myself. I tried to do that once! With a base cream from Atlantic Aromatics! I gathered together my lime, basil, and mandarin essential oils, keen to make up my own Jo Malone scent, except it came out smelling like broccoli.

I’ve learned my lesson there. I’m only curious, is all. I looked it up, of course, and came up with Lupin, Pea, Green Tea, Acacia, Almond, Coconut, Oat, and non GM Soya. Yeah, no. What is acacia, even? {A flowering shrub/tree.} So maybe acacia and lupin are the cornerstones of this evocative fragrance. Soya? Please.

In further bad practice, I’ve just now slathered on some of the Crème Fraîche de Beauté Enrichie, which is for Dry to Very Dry Sensitive Skin {see what I did there, French copypersons?} on skin that has not been properly prepared to receive it. I don’t care. It feels good, cooling and soothing — just like it says there on the label.

As to the 24 hour thing: these products are meant to continually moisturize for a full day/night cycle. I’m not completely certain how that works, and will ask around. I don’t know that I believe it, frankly. I do believe that the brand continue to do what they say they will, in a lovely and uncharacteristically simple portmanteau-ish way: Nature and Luxe = Nuxe. I can certainly vouch for that working well — sure, it’s as plain as the nose on my face.


Nuxe’s Crème Fraîche de Beauté collection ranges from €20 to €32, and is available in chemists nationwide.

Sad Face: What to Put on It

IRELAND 1 — CROATIA 3  I wish I didn’t care about the footie so much. It is an odd thing, all the emotional energy that one can generate/expend, even when one is watching a match on one’s laptop, much less when one is in an actual stadium. It’s a tribal thing for sure, what with the drums and the face painting, and I love every single second of it — except when it makes me want to puke, and my heart is beating like it’s going to go into arrest, and I scream obscenities at the top of my lungs as though I had no class a’tall.

So I am sitting here looking at stuff on my desk and just don’t even know. My face is so sad, what could possible help cheer it up?

I usually find Lancôme skincare products err too much on the side of their signature scent, but today, it is just the ticket. And their Hydra Zen Neurocalm Anti-Stress Moisturising Cream would have come in handy last night. I’ll have to remember it for Thursday when we take on Spain.

Bliss is always good, as a concept and as a line of spa-quality product. My poor peepers have just benefited from Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel, which is cooling, soothing, and yes, energizing-with-a-z… but they can’t unsee that third Croation goal.

Better to be sad and brown than sad and pale, and American brand Image Skincare do a great Facial Bronzing Cream in their Body Spa category. It smells coconutty, which is a good thing, and if there is the tiniest whiff of fake-tan smell, you only notice it for a quick second. {Feel free to insert comment re: quick second half here.}

I am losing the will, to be honest… and I am usually really good about prices and stuff, but eh, just don’t have the energy.

One thing that always makes me happy is Snow Bunny: Carribbean in a Compact from Too Faced. It is the absolute best bronzer on the planet, and the golden brown, wedded with the white, pink, and fawn shimmer creates a youthful, healthy glow. I had to stock up when I was in the States, and you will have to order it online — unless someone knows a Irish stockist? Could I have some good news, pleassssse???

That’s all I got, friends. Really gutted, but ah, sure, you never know, and Spain and Italy — anything could happen, yeah?


Feel Fantastic, Literally: Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Gel-Cream

I can’t imagine what my pal was thinking: the other night, over tapas and wine and chats, I noticed that I kept stroking my own arm. Kind of the way you play with your hair? That kind of thing. I tried to stop, and at one stage I think I may have actually sat on my hands, because it felt so obvious. I’m blushing even now, remembering. But, in all honesty, I don’t know that I’ve ever had softer skin.

I received a bumper crop of Garnier products to try, one of which made it through the first edition of Snap! Judgements with flying colours {bronze-y ones, in fact.} I was very much attracted to this notion of gel-cream — how could it be both, and not one or the other? Surely that’s like calling a new fruit and apple-orange? Well, it kind of is both, it is a gelly cream/a creamy gel. It’s opaque, like a cream, and yet it applies and absorbs like a gel.

Which is great, but the thing I find about gels is that they can be a little tacky to the touch. This had only a teeny, tiny tack, and it just meant that I had to find something else to do for several minutes until it completely dried. Which is not so easy, if you’re me and probably running late for something, or not peaceful enough to stand around naked. {Are you peaceful enough to stand around naked? Are you a tree?}

All absorbed and ready to go, I went about my biz, until I found myself sitting at that table, stroking my arm like it was a puppy. Which is terrific news, really, because soft skin is so important to me it’s one of my most-used tags. If it’s a big deal for you, too, I suggest you check out this thing here. The ‘flavour’ I availed of was grape; it also comes in peach.

The 7 days thing? Eh, not sure about that, to be honest. The key ingredient here is L-Bifidus, which is ‘inspired by probiotics found in yoghurts, {and} acts as an effective moisture shield, optimising skin’s natural hydration reservoir and reinforcing skin’s protective barrier to long-lasting preserve hydration.’ I wouldn’t really expect to get a week’s worth out of one go, I mean, between the horses and the showering? Yeah, not really. But the thing about this is, unlike many moisturisers, this made my skin feel as good as it did in the moments following absorption. That’s pretty impressive!

€4.99/250ml; €7.49/400ml

The Day Cream v Night Cream Debate Continues

Or is it, in fact, concluded? The lads at Human+Kind have developed an All-in-one Day+Night Cream, a super-hydrating, double-dipping, wear-it-all-day-and-night-long concoction that makes having a million and one products in your bathroom superfluous.

{I like having a million and one products in my bathroom.}

Back in February, I had gone on record, wondering if it was actually necessary to use both a day cream and a night cream. Two days later, I posted a response to my own query, thanks to a talk given by Sally Penford of the International Dermal Institute. Okay, thought I, I will carry on observing the day v night divide…

And then this landed on my desk. Now, I have been using, to excellent effect, this brand’s Anti-Ageing Cream, at night, and I’ve been pretty darn pleased. I’m willing to give this a go, though, and will let you know how my skin reacts to it. At €23.95, this is great value, but we’ll see how quickly I use it up, given that it’s going to be in service twice a day.

And on a graphic design-y note: the packaging! Gorgeous!

Also! Sneak preview of how at least one varnished nail survived horseriding!

Origins Global ReLeaf: A Correction

So that wee 50ml tube is actually not for sale, it was a promotional thing. But don’t let that stop you availing of this great thing, which again: a tree is planted in your name by Origins whenever you buy something from their A Perfect World franchise.

And remember, either a full-sized tub of A Perfect World Age-defense moisturiser with White Tea (worth €45.00/£32.00) or Starting Over Age-erasing Moisturiser with Mimosa (€50.00/£36.00) can be yours when you bring in an empty thingie of any other skin cream, from your local Origins counter, from 15-28 April! That is a genius treat!