A Flying Visit: The Loop, London, Liberty, and Lie-In

I have booked my Christmas ticket back to the States; this seems cray, but it really is not. Given the way this year has flown, I wasn’t taking any chances of it suddenly being, like, 12 December and me without my arrangements made.

Involved in that arranging is, of course, whatever gifts I can transport without setting off sirens at the bag drop. I am generally an early bird at the airport, and there’s nothing I like better than a roam round duty free, but around this time of year, you don’t want to be panicking in the aisles. If you are the same, then may I direct your attention to theloop.ie?

The Loop is the premiere shopping area in Dublin T2 and Cork airport, with all manner of fancy brands, and the vibe is that of a very fancy high street. It’s taken some time to find its feet, but it feels now that it’s got everything going on — except for a blow dry bar, which would be a great feature, to which I can personally attest: the day I was taken through as a guest of The Loop, with a flying visit to London as well, the electricity in my flat exploded, and I was plunged into darkness with wet hair. Disaster! I was ragin’ that I was going to be swanning round London with less-than perfect locks, and was further dev when I found that the blow dry bar had packed it in.

I chose not to focus on the negatives of such an epically bad hair day, and instead dwelled on the fact that I would have some delightful Jo Malone products awaiting me on my return, which I had bought via theloop.ie’s shopping facility. The general range of product is pretty good, although sadly lacking in electronics. Last year, I had tried to do my Christmas shopping via this portal, and was not permitted to buy alcohol — which had been the guts of what the lads were getting — and I was not best pleased. That’s not an issue now, however, which is fantastic, and there are several ‘airport exclusive’ deals of which to avail. There’s a great selection of whiskey, with a special offer on Tullamore Dew Phoenix going for €49.95, and keep an eye out for offers on champers, the like of 75cls of Moët & Chandon for €36.50, or the same amount of Bollinger for €46.50. I certainly feel welcome over any threshold with either {or both!} of those in hand.

You can browse whenever you like, which is dead handy, but you need to buy 48 hours before you fly. This is worth noting in your diary, or putting a reminder in your phone, because it is so simple, and you can get loads done, and again, avail of many special offers, some that put your regular high street to shame. This is particularly true when it comes to fragrance and skincare. I was drawn to the Clarins offer of 400mls of their Moisture Rich Body Lotion for €20 — over 50% off the department store price.* And! If you buy three Clarins products, with one to be for the face, you can get a free 20 Minute Mini-Facial. This would suit me down to the ground, espesh before a transatlantic journey.

Your plinth awaits: the Clarins Treament Room in Terminal 2

Your plinth awaits: the Clarins Treament Room in Terminal 2

Right so: off to London we went, me with my manky hair. A quick zip into Soho and Liberty London, a coffee with a dear pal, then a fab lunch, then it was time to go home. This was indeed what is meant as a flying visit! Because The Loop provide their signature — and free! — Shop and Collect service, my goodies were waiting for me when I landed, so there was no hassle with carrying the stuff around all day.

Have you been to Liberty London? It is amazzzzzing, the building itself is spectac, much less what is in it. I bought myself a Liberty Patchwork Bundle, which is in advance of my purchase of my mobile holiday home, which I am going to turn into a totally contempo-country chic little party wagon. And this is gonna help immensely:

CLARINS Skin smoothing eye maskBetween the electric explosion and the amount of travel in one day, plus the great craic, I was in bits the next morning. I skipped horses, much to my chagrin, but inspired by the Clarins offers in the The Loop, decided to give myself the treat of the brand’s Skin Smoothing Eye Mask. Applied thickly around the very place that all other masks tell you to avoid, this is a superb gift to give your peepers: slap it on, lay on some dampened cotton pads, and lie back for ten minutes. Don’t think about anything, much less England.

Because I was still a bit giddy from all the flying and the fun, I decided it was a good idea to take a selfie without looking. This still makes me laugh, and it actually came out, although it looks kind of like I am falling down the side of a building or something.

This one, however, is even funnier for being a complete fail.
CLARINS eye mask fail

So keep an eye on theloop.ie for retail travel specials and the like — if you’re travelling anyway, you may as well multi-task!


*Ends at the end of October, so if you’re travelling now, stock up! Also: ring ahead to Clarins to check on the availability of the facial, on 01 944 0759.


Also: Lads. airportgenie.com. Seriously. €5.95 buys you an individual pass, which lets you jump the mad queue for the X ray, and also avails you of a free coffee. Seriously: the best fiver-and-a-bit you’ll spend.


Festive FREAK OUT: Time to Shop for Christmas!

It took me waaay too long to figure out a signpost-y theme for the 2012 Bright & Beautytfull! Gift Guide. Too many years in editorial? Too many years in America? < meaning that I was subconsciously adhering to a ‘don’t speak of Christmas before Thanksgiving’ which is completely irrelevant nowadays?

Whatevs: we’re going with Festive: Name of Category, and I am done freaking myself out about it.

And then I started thinking, Hmm, all your categories start with the letter ‘F’, you know, and than I started overintellectualising that, and I thought, No, seriously, nobody cares but you inner monologuist, so be silent, silent like the holy night.

You can google the letter F — and the first hit is Facebook! Not even its own Wikipage! Poor wee F, had no say in its appropriation, I’m sure.

It is actually amazing how many categories can adhere to the plan, so be looking out for the following Festives:
>Feckin’ Amazing

… and the last being my, ha ha, Favourite because it Full of things that are very feckin’ amazing.



Let’s start with some Furnishings.

Lovvvvve itttt. Look at those colours! Festive, and breaking free from the tyranny of red and green {and silver and gold!} All the bits — the ornaments, the baubles, the tinsel, the garland, the Noel letters — are only €1.49 at Dealz! Fantastic! I would totally paint a wall that blue as well, to set the whole thing off.

{The tree and the chair, and the table: not €1.49}

If you are into the red and the green {and the gold and the silver}, you’ll find that, too. My local Dealz is a bit on the bijou side, but the one in Dundrum is an epic experience in adventures for €1.49.


See dealz.ie for more information.