I Try Before You Buy: Shower Creams, Gels and Washes

Soothing your dry winter skin starts in the shower as does your daily fragrance. Depending upon your desire for suds — lots, or little — all of the below will get your pelt through the winter and may endow you with fragrance, too. Or not! Whatever you prefer! I am extremely fussy about scent in the shower and really feel that it can make or break my day…

DOVE Silk Glow Body Wash {€2.99}
*****
The proof isn’t always in the price point: this is extremely good value for 250mls, and it really does make my skin feel silky and glowy after use. It also has that glorious Dove scent and also! The tiniest squeeze of product produces loads of foam. Great price point!

LUSH Dreamwash Shower Smoothie {€13.65}
***
Gorgeous texture — like you are icing yourself like a cake — meets lovely and soothing scent… but also unfortunately meets one the famous black pots that are fiddly to deal with in the shower. Also, if suds are your thing, the way they are my thing, then this won’t bubble up to your usual standard.

ROGER & GALLET Fleur de Figuier Gentle Shower Cream {€12}
***
This is soap-free and sulfate-free, and yet you get a nice crop of bubbles with which to scrub yourself. I found the scent to be slightly too sweet, but R&G have such a great range of fragrances, I’m sure I’ll find something that suits.
Shower stuff
L’OCCITANE Fouette Whipped Shower Foam {€17.50}
***
Shake it up, and it’s like mousse for your body when you dispense it. I love being able to layer with the Fouette Body Cream {€22}, but again, I like a nice froth of soapy goodness in the course of my morning ablutions — and I didn’t get the amount I prefer.

NIVEA Water Lily & Oil Shower Gel {€10.99}
****
Ooh, love an oil, and this is luxurious bargain considering you get 250mls. It doesn’t smell all that flowery, which is great if you’re me and hate too much fragrance, and not great is you did want to smell like a delicate flower. Otherwise, lots of lather for a little bitta gel, and you’ll feel silky, too.

CLINIQUE Deep Comfort Body Wash {€21}
****
This is terrific, if kind of expensive. It suds up like nobody’s business, which is something of a learning curve: I used up way too much product early on because I didn’t realize that I didn’t need that much. Paired with Deep Comfort Body Butter (€34, 200ml), your skin will in fact be comforted deeply.

***

Festive ’14: Here We Go!

What few standards I have, I stick with, one being: no mention of The Christmas until after Thanksgiving. So Happy Black Friday, everyone: let the gift shopping begin.

FESTIVE 14!Let’s try that again: let the gift shopping begin!

I’ve got a load of ideas for lady-beauty prezzies, and even some stuff for dudes, that won’t tax your pocket or your brain. In the best possible sense, of course.

Gift packages have improved enormously over the past few years, and many of my favourite products are being presented beautifully this season. I’ve been shooting {‘shooting’} them this morning, and in a fit of meta-tasticness, above please find the pre-shoot non-styling.

I’ll have offerings from The Body Shop, Lush, Bulldog, Roger & Gallet and more, including some Guaranteed Irish products. Stay tuned!

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OMChristmas 2013: Gift Sets That Are Fab {And Mainly Come in Tins}

…and are not lame, which I used to think gift sets were — back when dinosaurs walked the earth. As the human race has evolved, so has the ways in which brands present their ‘best of’ in attractive packages for the festive season.

^^^That’s all code for: this is a simple and easy way to gift, but you wont look scabby because all of this stuff is nice.

DrHauschka Daily Face Care Kit
DR HAUSCHKA Skin Care Essentials {€27.95} is terrific way in which to introduce your natural-cosmetic-loving loved one to the brand. I am a sucker for a tin or a box, and oh! the uses this container would get put to!

LRP
I love LA ROCHE-POSAY‘s Lipikar line, having had great enjoyment out of their shower oil. If you buy two or more LRP products from your local chemists, you’ll receive this gift box plus 100mls Lipikar Cleansing Oil. I can’t imagine a better value gift, and if you’re needing to spread the love a little, you can surely give the two products away in your office Secret Santy, and the gift box to a loved one. In any event, you will get so much love in return, as this is truly an excellent brand.

PAYOT design lift regard
I’ve not had much opportunity try PAYOT; their Design Lift Regard Coffret {€85} comes in a pretty little zippered case, and contains a healthy sample of Design Lift Visage face cream and sample sizes of eye cream, masque, Elixir Jeunesse, and Design Lift Visage, which is a skin-tightening serum. The sizes are perfect for travel, and like all high quality brands, you’ll get good mileage out of the the samples — less is more.

BENEFIT groovy kinda love
OMG, here’s another tin just waiting to be used to hold things! A Groovy Kind-a Love {€39.50} is full of fabulousness, including the now-iconic Porefessional and They’re Real mascara. BENEFIT have done it again in the gift-set department. And again:
BestOfBenefit
Best of Benefit {€29.50} is truly the best of the brand, and if your loved one is a heathen and not enamoured of tins, then this box will do nicely. The sample sizes are eminently portable, and will go a long, long way. You’ll get particularly excellent mileage out of the Boi-ing and the BeneTint. I mean, your giftee will. Yeah, the person for whom you bought this. Right.

Marine algae Gift Set €12.99
ZIAJA Marine Algae Spa Gift Set {€12.99} is a terrific introduction to the value brand. There are seemingly limitless lines, from grapeseed to shea butter, but I am a fan of this one, myself. Throw in a bottle of the Enzyme Peeling Treatment {€4.99} and for less than €20, you’ve given someone pampering treat.

BODY SHOP butter snowman
I consider THE BODY SHOP to have been one of the first to conceive of this form of gifting, and in having been in the vanguard, I find it can be easy to forget about them. Well, if you go for a browse in your local shop, you’ll be amazed that anyone could: the level of design and presentation continues to improve every year, as does the quality of the product. I literally went ‘Ooh!’ when I opened the Shea Scrub & Soften Gift Set {€29.95}. A 100ml body butter is paired with 50mls of scrub. This tin has festive potential for years to come…

SANCTUARY SPA @ BOOTS
Oh, Boots, how are we supposed to keep up! There are so many bargains to be had, I almost didn’t know how to choose amongst them, but I do love the SANCTUARY SPA brand. Here is their Top to Toe Glow Pamper Tin Gift Set {a tin, how surprising!}, and it is stuffed full of self-care goodness. Oh, I gotta list ’em all: 250mls of Body Wash and Body Lotion; Spa Skin Body Polisher; Radiance Exfoliator {100ml}; Fresh Faced Purifying Wash {140ml}; Spa Facial Headband; Pumice Foot Scrub {50ml}; Moisture Rich Foot Butter {50ml}; Spa Pedicure Foot File. Whew! It’s £19, and with the best will in the world, I tried to get the € price. I’ll convert, but don’t quote me on this: €22. Sure, with all the 3 for 2 deals that are going at the moment, whatever the upward difference may be is easily made up at the till.

R&G FIGROGER & GALLET 100ml Fragrance Coffrets {€39.75} in which you get matching 50mls of Shower Gel and Body Lotion. Choose from one of their four most popular scents: Bois d’Orange, Fleur d’Osmanthus; Fleur de Figieur or Rose Imaginaire. Sadly, not contained in a tin, but that box is super pretty — no wrapping required! Your new year of fragrance layering starts here.

MICRO Pedi gift set and components
Give a beloved foot enthusiast the gift that keeps on giving. At a special introductory price of €49.95, you cannot beat EMJOI‘s MicroPedi Gift Set. Look at all that! And look how cute the little heart is on the cover of the box, it’s like two little feet… As someone who is grossed out by feet, even I am adoring this.

Go forth and shop!

***

Festive Fellas: L’Homme Sport Coffret from Roger & Gallet

I wrote about Bulldog back in September. What was I thinking??!? Sheesh. Anyway, good stuff, and I had a dude try out the Original Shave Gel, and his  review consisted of, ‘Yeah, it’s good, I like it,’ which in dude-speak = overwhelmingly positive. So enter the way back machine here to see the whole line. {September?!?! What was I thinking??}

Let’s think about this, instead.

R&G HommeSport Coffret RRP€39.00This is very sophisticated packaging, which is not surprising as Roger & Gallet routinely produce gorgeous containers for their products.

L’Homme Sport has that fresh, citrus-y top-note thing happening, which makes it sporty, I guess, but it’s also got peppercorn hanging out in the blend as well, which is terribly exciting, for those of us who like things to be rather… savoury.

Back to the package {LOL}. It’s really clean, and the designers did a great job of making this fresh and manly, just like the fragrance. The fella in your life that might like to smell good, but feels self conscious unwrapping toiletry-type stuff, will be completely gratified by this gift.

As will you!

***

€39

What I Did Yesterday *or* All the Stuff I Put On Myself

I’ve been going round barefaced most of the week, and yesterday it felt like I was wearing all the make-up in the world.

I blame the mascara.

Well, it is not the mascara’s fault. In fact, the mascara is pretty spectac: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara in Intense Black. They’ve changed the wand into one of those spiky applicators, and it seems to be twice as long as most spiky applicators. I forgot to put this on my list yesterday because I forgot I had it.

I was never a fan of the Clinique mascara, but this one has changed my mind, even though I went abso crazy and layered on a million tonnes of it. Look how fake the lashes look, though, without having to mess with glue and tweezers!

Also on view is Clarins 3-Dot Liner, with which I did an okay job. The applicator brush is kind of like it is cut into three points, and you just dot it on. The theory is that this is easier than trying to draw a perfect line. In practice? Yeah, easier, and a good result. I recommend using a hand mirror, because I didn’t, and I seem to remember the inimitable Claude Defresne, Clarins’ make up artist, saying to use one. It’s easier to bring the mirror closer to your eye, rather than the eye closer to the mirror.

Lips: NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain in Berry Long Time. Eh. There’s a difference between matte and flatte, and this was very flatte, and drying. This experience of NYC lip colour was saved by a layer of NYC Kiss Gloss in Sugar Hill Shimmer, as shown. It is very shiny — and fruity! That was fun.

Hang on, what else — OMG. The Glitter. I was like a walking glitter machine yesterday. I apologise to all the people I met, whose hands I shook, and wow, people I hugged? Sorry! The kisses on the cheeks? Mea culpa!

Because I was covvvvvvered in shiny little bits and I am sure that I spread them around like a luminescent plague.

The Eau Sublime Or from Roger & Gallet was not that bad, actually, so the hand-shakers probably got off easy. It is full of sparkle, and completely perfect for highlighting decolletage and bare shoulders. Super sexy, if not super scented. Didn’t get much of an impression off of the body cream, but that was because I mistakenly put on the Glow Getter: Face & Body Sun Powder Spray from Soap & Glory, which is going to get a post all its own, because hoo boy, what a imperfectly perfect product.

So, body aglow, and hey! here’s some stuff for my face. I dispensed a tiny bit of Uplight: Face Luminizer Gel from Make Up Forever and applied it — and almost started screaming, because holy wow, the amount of glitter that is in that stuff is like … it was like a frollick of fairies had farted on my face.

Now, seriously: a day without shimmer is a day wasted, but this was ridic. I had put on some Lancôme Flash Bronzer Face Gel and didn’t want to wash it off and start over, I was pressed for time — and feck it, I said I would wear this stuff, so wear it I would. I scraped off as much as I could and proceeded to try to dull it down with some bronzer.

I don’t think it was noticeable, but again, I do apologise to anyone that got glittered.

Here’s the line up:

It’s that last one on the right you’ve got watch out for…

***

Glow Getter not pictured because I am still processing its effects.

What I’m Going To Do Today

Because it is soooo interesting.

No really, I have a lot of stuff to slap on the bod and the gob, and since I am going in to town, I have an reason to get all gussied up.

Also: Going In To Town has become kind of a big deal, because I don’t really need to Go in order to forage for anything anymore, not food, not shoes, not books, so it feels a bit like a staycation.

So:

Just this very morning, the postman brought be Eau Sublime Or and Crème Sublime Or, from Roger & Gallet. Both are shimmery!

I’ve got this stuff called Glow Getter: Face & Body Sun Powder Spray from Soap & Glory that makes me nervous, A} because I hate spraying stuff in the bath and B} powder spray? Like the stuff you spray on your smelly feet? That stuff is a mess.

What else? I got a bunch of NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain in, so I think I’ll give the Berry Long Time a lash.

I’ve got this Make Up Forever Uplight: Face Luminizer Gel that’s been sitting on my desk… I don’t know, I tried a bit on that back of my hand, as you do, and I don’t think I did it right. I may have to find a tutorial. I think if one messes this up, one looks like an eejit with crazy, shiny pink stuff all over one’s face.

Also! Very, very excited to try Clarin’s 3-Dot Liner, which the brand’s make up artist, Claude Defresne called ‘eyeliner for dummies’ in his lovely French accent. *Sigh*

I better get crackin’. You will probs be seeing me from my usually spot in the back of the 46A…

Snap! Judgement: Roger & Gallet Huile Embellissante in Fleur d’Osmanthus

This is a new launch from the fragrant French firm, who are celebrating 150 years in the smelling-good biz.

Snap! The colour of the bottle is a dead giveaway. This is gonna smell orange-y.

Snap! The bottle gives good squirt, which can be an issue. It doesn’t spray all over the place {sorry, my mind just wandered there for a sec…} but you do need to cup the palm or else you won’t get the full benefit of the pump. Insert filthy giggle here.

Snap! Yup, orange-y, and kind of light-yet-smokey? Your nose may tell you something different. Let’s just say floral, which again, no surprise, it says fleur right there in the title!

Snap! It applies beautifully. I do love a dry body oil, they feel so luxurious and sexy. The skin on my right forearm felt very soft for quite a long time.

Snap! Then, I cheated and used it after my shower, and this mitigates the snappiness of the judgement, but the oil applies really well to the dry bod, and I’m going to use it on the damp bod next time. The scent is not my style, so it’s gives my a bit of a headache — I prefer darker, woodsier fragrance — but the resulting soft skin is worth it.

It also says you can use it on your hair. Hmmm…

Roger & Gallet Huile Embellissante in Fleur d’Osmanthus, 100mls €26.50