This Just In: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Sublime Hair Enhancer

Literally, just in the door, like. I opened the shiny padded envelope and went, ‘Yay!’

The field of hair care is littered with styling oils and serums, and I’ve tried many {many} of them — and I’m very much looking forward to giving this a go.

The notion of putting an oil on my fine hair is something I would have sneered at years ago, and indeed, any time I tried to use a hair wax— remember hair wax? — it looked like I’d been forcibly prevented from cleaning my hair for a year: lank, dull, and greasy. It was a massive risk, trying my first hair serum, but I haven’t looked back since.

L’Oréal have created a concoction that can be used at any stage: pre-shampoo, which I’m going to do as soon as I’m done here; as a 30 minute weekly treatment used on towel dried hair; overnight; as a styling product before blow-drying; and as a shine-enhancing finishing product.

My sample is suitable for all hair types, but you can get a blend that is tailored for colour treated hair. At €14.99/£9.99 for 100mls, it’s excellent value. Will it be excellent for my hair? We’ll see.

Free Thing! via Exclusive Magazine: NEOM Pillow Mist

Yay, free thing!

NEOM Luxury Organics, on the back of the Dublin edition of Exclusive Magazine, are offering a free NEOM Organic Pillow Mist (worth €12) if you say the following magic words: Exclusive Neom Mist. Uh, you have to be buying something else at the time, you can’t just rock up to the counter, let’s be clear about that.

I don’t know if you have the same taper-and-tealight obsession that I do, but these ones are good for you and your home: made from vegetable wax and essential oils, they release only healthy scents that freshen your living space and your head space. Candles in general burn off the toxins that are made in the making of them {yuck}, and they also release soot, which is not nice.

These look nice:

The one on the left is a travel candle (€16.25), and the three-wick job is the Home candle (€50.80). To put that last into perspective, because, whoa, 50 squid: the candle weighs 1kg. ! Me, I would very much like to fire up this bad boy, the Sensuous Home Candle, with its infusion of my personal faves, ylang ylang, frankincense, and patchouli.

Brenda McCormick, editor of Exclusive, says, “I am a bit obsessed with NEOM candles, and since discovering them no other candle will do me at all. They smell so natural as they burn, and I love the fact they’re designed to work as aromatherapy treatments, too.” She also suggests checking out the body oils. I quite fancy the one called Refresh, infused with the essence of Sicilian Lemons & Fresh Basil. I’d quite fancy a holiday as well, apparently.

I’d say the pillow mist runs along the same essential oil lines, meaning: it is soothing and natural, and also, bound to help you if you have trouble falling asleep. In general, I’m finding that room fragrance is really quite refreshing, without being gross like those sprays you get at the supermarket.

Don’t forget the magic words! Exclusive Neom Mist; this offer is only available in Brown Thomas, Dublin.

Go here for a look at the entire issue!

Houses of the Curly

STAIRWAY TO HAIR HEAVEN? I like to browse through old photos, past clippings, and all manner of the weird bits and pieces I have kept over the years. I got rid of a bunch of stuff in the move, which I may regret at some stage, but there’s a whole world of nostalgia knocking around my hard drive.

I sometimes launch Photo Booth on my Mac because I need to check my amazing brows yet again, or apply a lipstick I’m testing. Trust me, this is in no way a vain exercise because I don’t think I ever look worse than when that programme launches, and I am caught unawares. I never click the red button to snap those pictures, but when I start throwing shapes, all is at least OK with the world.

At almost the same time as I was perusing Photo Booth, I was also googling some old columns from the Herald. In an amazing example of synchronicity, I came upon this Gadget Gal column, a review of the Yogi Wand, after I had found this photo:

Post-Wand, and it totally looks worth it, although I have to say I was surprised I didn’t have to ring for an ambulance, as I feel like I burnt the beejayziz out of my ears, from knocking into them with the Wand.

At that very moment, in the photo, I was Skyping Karen, and the stupid video wasn’t working, and I wanted her to see my haaaaaair, so I took the photo with the computer and then emailed. O brave new world that has such gadgets in it!

Now everybody can see my hair, and I’m kind of getting a buzz to curl it up again. I’ve got a Remington Pearl Pro-Styler that looks pretty interesting… hmmm. Maybe I’ll play with that later. I really do have to psyche myself up for it, because I am not the most patient person in the world, and just want the hair to be done. Oh, sure, I start out slowly, but the hanks of hair get bigger and bigger the more bored I get by the process.

But! I end up looking like Robert Plant, which I feel is actually a good thing…

The Yogi Wand is available at Peter Mark for €69; ring round first, because there seems to be a dearth of wands in Dublin at the moment.

From the Archives: Stylin’ Hair

I admit, I feel somewhat lost without another ♥Day post to write. And also: relieved. Sheesh, that was crazy, remind me not to do that next year.

I’m in the process of winnowing, and faced with my multitude of hair styling products, I thought the best thing to do would be to consult my own archive, and lo, here is a linkety link to an Evening Herald Tried & Tested column.

Hmmm. Only two of these are still in rotation, which makes me feel hopeful about my ability to streamline. After you read the reviews, can you guess which two? I was surprised, myself…

Sweet Sixteen: Karaja Super Longwear Semi-Permanent Soft Eyeliner

Aw! All done: here’s the last entry in the Sweet Sixteen Sweepstakes. The sixteenth and final product was only slightly influenced by the discovery that I had very little make up in the running.

I went and got a makeover at a counter in a fancy department store — Dior in Brown Thomas — before heading the launch party for my first novel*, and among the many cool things the make up lady did was to line my upper inner lid in black.

Now, I am capable enough to just about poke my own eye out putting on shades, so the notion of going anywhere near my eyeball with a pencil-shaped object made me extremely nervous. I got the hang of it, though, because it looked so good, and on days when I can’t be arsed to do the whole mascara-and-eyeshadow thing, a little bit of a line in the inside of my upper lids is all I need to feel like a slightly vampy all-natural girl.

My first favourite was Origins Automagically ™ Eye Lining Pencil, but I ran out and then couldn’t buy it in Ireland anymore. {This is true, right?} Then, it didn’t matter anymore because I got Karaja’s Super Longwear Semi-Permanent Soft Eyeliner, and haven’t looked back since.

Oh, wow, didn’t even see what I did there. <– And there! Okay, enough with the cleverness. I love this liner, and I am using it down to the nub. I’ve consulted my archives, and am stunned to discover that I have only been using this for little over a year. Stunned! This is such a big part of my regime, that it feels as though I have been using this forever, if not two years at least.

I will admit to being a bit freaked out by the semi-permanent aspect of this. It does have amazing staying power, but it also does require at least one touch-up in the day. On the other hand, it is a bit of a bitch to remove. I have gone through more than my normal allotment of cotton pads. But then, on the other other hand, even when I blink like a … a bunny? Do bunnies blink really fast? Even when I blink really fast when applying, it never ends up on my bottom inner lid, never mind the rest of my face.

It’s also sort of been my gateway product as far as The Smoky Eye is concerned. I have always been afraid of TSE, which is silly, because it is totally hot, and using the Karaja pencil eased me into the whole look gently, easily, and unsmearingly.

Next long-from feature: Desert Island Sponge Bag {or Wash Bag, or Toiletries Bag, depending upon from whence ye hail.}

€10/£9.99/$13-ish, plus P&H via

*which is also available on Kindle.

Sweet Sixteen: L’Occitane Almond Line

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT, AGAIN? There’s a full explanation here; in short, I wanted to do a Personal Top Ten Beauty Products of All Time, but found the list sneaking up to Top Twenty; then it fell short at Eighteen, which is like, what is Eighteen, so I decided that Sweet Sixteen was the way to go.

It’s good to be queen.

Ahem. Here is number — hang on — lucky number Thirteen, ladies and ladies. 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!