31 October 2011

LUSH: Vegan Society approved, for World Vegan Day

Hands up who knew that tomorrow is World Vegan Day, and the start of World Vegan Month? No, me either, until I got an email from LUSH telling me all about it. Y’see, 80% of LUSH products are approved by the Vegan Society -- so even my fellow carnivores can mark the occasion, by picking up a little somethin’ somethin’ from LUSH that’s adorned with the Vegan Society logo. An excuse to pamper myself, you say? Well suddenly things just got a little more interesting…!

All LUSH cleansers are vegan (from €7.50 for 100g): my pick would be the seasonal Bûche de Noël, for normal skin, which I’ve been trialling lately and getting on with very well indeed. It smells absolutely divine and I’ll have a wee review coming up soon. Or try Angels on Bare Skin, a year-round international best-seller with legions of devoted fans.

Also approved by the Vegan Society are those little lovelies in the picture above; LUSH’s new Steamer Tabs, at €3.15 for two. They sound wonderfully soothing and calming, as well as being great for your skin:  “Just drop into a bowl of hot water and lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel.  The tab will fizz, emitting an aromatherapy infused blend of essential oils for you to both inhale and steam your face in. When the water has cooled, you can use cotton wool or a flannel in the water to wash away any traces of cleanser or dirt from your face, neck and chest.”

The Moon and Sun tabs contain Neroli Oil for its mood lifting power, and Lavender Oil to balance and soothes the skin. Dream Steam tabs, meanwhile, have the same blend of oils as Dream Cream: antibacterial tea tree oil, and rose absolute to calm redness.  Chamomile and Lavender Oils are included to relax and calm the mind. Don’t they sound blissful?

Other products that are suitable for vegans and non-vegans alike include the nourishing Oatifix (€6.90 for 75g), with a blend of oatmeal and fresh organic bananas to soothe and calm dry or sensitive skins, and illipe butter to reduce redness.  Skin Drink (€17.90 for 45g pot) is packed full of nourishment and recommended for parched, dry skin. 

To pick up these and other ethical, cruelty free cosmetics visit LUSH shops nationwide or order on-line at http://www.lush.co.uk/. LUSH have also launched a whopping 16 new products just last week, so why not pop in to your closest store to have a nosey at what’s new.

29 October 2011

Views from the Sean O'Casey bridge, Dublin

Of all the Liffey Bridges, I think the views from the Sean O'Casey bridge are particularly stunning -- and more so at night than at any other time.

While I'm the first to admit I'm no photographer, I wanted to share these two photos I took one evening this week from the bridge. To one side we have the Custom House (to the right, below) and the triangle-topped towers of the Ulster Bank building (to the left).

And to the other side, the lights of the Dublin Convention Centre (on the left), the big wheel, the Samuel Beckett bridge and, if you look closely, that very dark ship to the foreground on the left is the Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship.

Pretty, isn't it? What's your favourite Dublin view?

28 October 2011

Freebie Friday: Goodies from The Body Shop Ireland! [Now Closed]

This lovely prize from The Body Shop rounds off this last month of giveaways in celebration of Fluff and Fripperies' first birthday.
The Body Shop is a perennial favourite as much for its ethos as for its gorgeous skincare and cosmetics. All products are cruelty free and crammed full of wonderful natural ingredients from around the globe. And wherever possible those ingredients have been sourced through The Body Shop’s Community Trade programme - - one of the first examples of fair trade worldwide.
This prize includes a coconut hand sanitiser, Vanilla body butter duo and Virgin Minerals compact in shade 205, Rose Vanilla. As I discovered this week, it’s Karim Sattar’s favourite foundation EVER – and I liked it a lot, too. You can check out my review of the product here
How to enter:

1. To enter you must be following Fluff and Fripperies through Google Friend Connect (you can do this through a google, twitter or yahoo account – hit the Join this Site button under the Facebook gadget, in the sidebar to the right there). I’ll be checking!

2. Like and share the post about this giveaway on the Fluff and Fripperies Facebook page

3. Like The Body Shop Ireland on Facebook too   

3. Leave a comment to tell us your favourite item from The Body Shop, and an email address where we can reach you if you win (if you don’t want to leave your email, just leave a comment and mail me on emma at fluffandfripperies dot com)

If you’re on Twitter it would be great if you could also tweet about this giveaway, but it’s not a condition of entry.

Good luck everyone!

This giveaway is only open to Irish residents. A winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday 4th November.

27 October 2011

Winners! NYC, International and Facebook Giveaways!

There are A LOT of winners to be announced so I’m gonna get right to it. In all cases please email your postal address and allow at least a month for delivery of your prize. Congratulations all and if you didn’t win, check this out (last chance!) and this too and come back tomorrow for yet more first birthday celebration giveaways!  

Moustache Season is coming: will you adopt a Mo this Movember?

I’m not sure if Mr Fluff is dreading or looking forward to the onset of November when he’s pledged to grow a Mo to raise awareness for men’s health. Yes, Movember is back for the fourth year running and men across the country are preparing once again to support this fantastic initiative that last year raised a whooping €55 million globally, and €1.6 million here in Ireland.

26 October 2011

Win! Party pack, plus tickets to The Thursday Club Super Thursday Event with West Coast Cooler [Now Closed]

Hamper includes: West Coast Cooler Citra, West Coast Cooler glasses, West Coast Cooler foldable shoes and Lily O'Briens 'uglies' chocolates.

West Coast Cooler know that Thursday is the ultimate girlie night. Outfits are pondered, make up considered, and plans for the weekend ahead are discussed. That’s why West Coast Cooler are facilitating this ultimate girls’ habit by creating The Thursday Club – a series of sparkling events for West Coast Cooler girls at 30 venues nationwide.

Louise Young Essential Eye Palette: Review and Swatches

Left to right: Ting, Maowi, Pom Pom, Black Bear, Sislet

Today I want to show you the Louise Young Essential Eye Palette, which has become my go-to product for an easy, day-to-day office look.

Louise Young is a UK-based makeup artist who is well known for her high quality makeup brushes. This palette is the only cosmetic product she currently offers, and it consists of 5 versatile matte shadows which can also be used as liners or on brows. It comes with a handy little sable brush which is of much higher quality than the norm, and a decent sized mirror.

25 October 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips: Review and pictures!

You didn’t think I’d tell you all about the Irish Web Awards without telling you at least something about my makeup or my nails, now did you?!

For the occasion I broke out the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, which I have been just dying to try.  These little babies are just what the name suggests: easy to apply strips of real nail polish decorated with stunning, salon effect designs.

Irish Web Awards 2011

Kudos to Irish Web Awards’ organiser, Damien Mulley, for pulling off yet another spectacular event this Saturday. This was my second time attending and yet again I was impressed by the level of detail that ensured a fun, irreverent and enjoyable evening was had by all. There were cupcakes, there were bubbles, there were glow sticks, there were a plethora of polystyrene foam creations from Made In Hollywood (we really, really wanted to take the Facebook Dislike button home with us; no doubt somebody else did and for that I’m very envious!) and, of course, there were winners. Congratulations to all the sites that were nominated and shortlisted as well as to those who took home the awards on the night. 

From top left: glow glasses; all the winners; polystyrene hashtag; dislike button; more glow glasses!; The Journal taking the Grand Prix amidst a shower of confetti; the stage set; attendees.

24 October 2011

Review of Woody Allen's 'Midnight In Paris'

Psst! If you don't fancy a non-makeup related post you can head straight to this earlier NOTD!

Am I the only one who didn’t enjoy Midnight In Paris? I had such high hopes: I love the city, and I’m as intoxicated by the Paris of today as I am by the Paris of the 20s.

NOTD: Gray and magenta New French

Inspired by my recent visit to Rouge salon in Ranelagh, I’ve been rifling through my nail polish collection to create my own New French manicure at home.

21 October 2011

Freebie Friday: Win a €100 voucher from Coast! [Now Closed]

As you might know, Fluff and Fripperies is celebrating its first birthday by running a Freebie Friday every week this month. And happily the lovely people at Coast are also celebrating a birthday, and are inviting one lucky reader to join the celebrations by winning a voucher worth €100!

Christmas gift ideas and offers, from Boots

Top left: Rosemary MacCabe from Fash Mob with Gillian Brett, whatshewears.ie; me fluttering my No 7 lashes; Wendy from Cork's Evening Echo and her magnetic manicure using Boots 17 Teal polish.

It might not even be Halloween yet but, thanks to the Boots press day last week, it’s already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! The Piano Bar at Residence was turned into a festive feast for the day, with carols, mulled wine and of course, lots and lots of lovely Christmas gift ideas.

20 October 2011

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Age: Readers’ Reactions!

It’s no secret that I absolutely loved Vichy’s Normaderm Anti-Age moisturiser, but I was curious to find out if others felt the same. So I asked the readers who won my recent Vichy giveaway to let me know how they got on with the product, and here’s what they had to say:

 Drop me a line if you’ve tried any of the products I’ve reviewed and would like to share your experiences!

19 October 2011

Review of Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-enriched renewal cream

Loss of radiance is one of the tell-tale signs that my skin is getting older and so I jumped at the chance to try out this radiance-boosting night cream that promises to ‘delete the appearance of dullness’.

18 October 2011

Treatment Tales: Rouge Beauty Salon in Ranelagh

I was recently invited to visit Rouge Beauty Salon in Ranelagh, to try out a treatment along with the wonderful-and-hilarious Rosemary MacCabe. I’d never been before but was impressed with the modern premises and the décor, especially the on-trend snake print wallpaper that’s used in a variety of different colours throughout the salon.

17 October 2011

Review of Clarins Passion Collector Face Palette for Christmas 2011

If there’s one product that’s guaranteed to make you feel timeless and elegant, it’s a gorgeously glamorous compact. And in the past few years Clarins have been quietly knocking it out of the park when it comes to their beautifully designed, limited edition face powders. There was last year’s stunning Barocco palette, the newly released Autumn/Winter 3D Radiance palette and up next, as part of the brand’s festive collection, the very beautiful Passion collector face palette.  

16 October 2011

Karen Millen Christmas 2011 Collection

Stunning art deco inspired cocktail dress

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to preview Karen Millen’s Christmas collection, which was a gorgeous visual feast of luxury, glamour and opulence. 

14 October 2011

Penneys voucher winners: is it you?!?

Congratulations to the two winners of the first Freebie Friday on Fluff and Fripperies, who will each receive a €50 Penneys voucher. And they are...

Fluffy Little Pick Of The Week: Gorgeous To Go, by beaut.ie’s Aisling McDermott

This week’s pick is the latest title from one of the loveliest ladies in beauty, Aisling McDermott. Gorgeous To Go is written with the same engaging wit and refreshing honesty that we’ve come to expect from the fabulous McDermott sisters, who founded beaut.ie back in 2006 and in so doing, made it somewhat socially acceptable to care far too much about lipstick.

Freebie Friday: Make over your makeup bag, with 20 sets of beauty products from New York Color! [Now Closed]

To celebrate the site’s first anniversary I’m running a Freebie Friday every week this month, so readers can join the celebrations by winning some fabulous fashion and beauty prizes from some of my favourite brands.  

13 October 2011

Review of YSL Rouge Volupte Perle Lipstick in 111, Mysterious Red.

Meet my latest lipstick love! Part of YSL’s Midnight Garden collection for AW11, this is Rouge Volupte Perle in #111, Mysterious Red.

12 October 2011

Luscious lips: 6 of the best balms!

Lip balms these days come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s truly one for every occasion. Here are six I’ve been using and loving to stave off dry and dehydrated lips this autumn. 

An Evening With Christian Courtin-Clarins

Respect is a word that Christian Courtin-Clarins uses quite a lot. Clarins, he says, has respect for the customer, for the company, for the economy and for the environment.  It’s why they’ve always been so free with samples, because they want women to try before they buy. That way, they can know for sure they’re buying the best products for them.  And more importantly, it’s why the company invests so heavily in sustainable development: supporting fair trade, developing communities, investing in environmental projects, researching illnesses and working with countless children’s projects around the world.

11 October 2011

Could you be Ireland’s next top fashion stylist? Ireland AM and Oasis want to hear from you now.

If you’ve always dreamed of a career in fashion then this just might be the opportunity you’ve been hoping for. Oasis and Ireland AM have teamed up to give you the chance to become one of four new fashion stylists with Oasis in Ireland.  The jobs are up for grabs as part of the freshly launched ‘My New Personal Stylist’ initiative, which will see four key outlets provide an in-store styling service offering free advice, personal consultations and one-on-one customer service.

Skin Saviour: Review of Origins Super Spot Remover

My god, this stuff is good! Origins Super Spot Remover is easily the most effective blemish busting treatment I’ve ever tried. Dab on a drop of this clear gel and you can feel it immediately working to draw out, dry up and accelerate the healing of stubborn spots.

10 October 2011

Avon Giveaway Winners: It Could Be You!

NOTD: Galaxy mani from The Alpha Nail

I had heard amazing things about Aoife from awesomely named The AlphaNail and had already resolved to try out her signature Galaxy manicure -- so you can imagine my delight when I won Sarah’s giveaway on The Licentiate

Dublin’s answer to WAH nails founder Sharmadean Reid, Aoife is one seriously impressive and talented lady. She’s described on her website as an ‘entrepreneurial nail art enthusiast going into her final year of college for a degree completely unrelated to nails’. A lot of hard work and effort has gone into Aoife’s designs and they’re all absolutely gorgeous, ranging from animal print to tribal to designer inspired patterns and motifs.

07 October 2011

Fluffy Little Pick of the Week: Pumpkin Knot Wrap, from LUSH

Just look at this little cutie that landed on the desk at Fluff and Fripperies HQ this morning. Isn’t it adorable? This pumpkin scarf is a seasonal addition to Lush’s Knot-Wrap range, introduced last year as a quirky, eco-friendly alternative to gift wrapping. It’s a genius idea, inspired by the Japanese art of Furoshiki -- a traditional method that uses cloth to wrap and carry toiletries, gifts and food. By introducing Knot Wraps, Lush estimate that they’ve saved up to 11.6 tonnes of waste a year. 

Freebie Friday: revamp your winter wardrobe with Penneys! [Now Closed!]

Bell Sleeve Cardi €16 in stores October; Mohair cowl tank €14 in stores September
Fairisle leggings forest €12 in stores September; shearling boots €24 in stores October

I have good news, kiddos! For the next four weeks I’ll be running a Freebie Friday so that regular readers can celebrate the site’s first anniversary, with a fabulous array of prizes and giveaways from some of my favourite brands.

06 October 2011

French Fancy: Roger & Gallet

My little R&G collection!
Popping into Clerys last night for ‘a quick look’, I was waylaid by the divinely scented Roger & Gallet stand, a brand that has really impressed me over the past few months. Firm French favourites – the company is the No 1 perfume brand in France - Roger & Gallet launched onto the Irish market last year and is slowly but surely building up a devoted fanbase on these shores. In particular their Huile Sublime Bois d’Orange, a gorgeous dry body oil that I wrote about here,  is developing a cult following thanks to its hardworking, multi-tasking ways and zesty orange scent.   

05 October 2011

Fluff and Fripperies is one! [With international giveaway!] NOW CLOSED!

It’s an important day for Fluff and Fripperies: the site is a year old today! Now, I don’t want to come over all Gwynnie at the Oscars but I do want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to make the past year so enjoyable. It’s been so much fun: sharing my enthusiasm for all manner of fluff and fripperies, meeting lovely likeminded people, trying out all manner of products and treatments and most of all, interacting with all of you lovely people who visit and read and comment on the site.

I know you love your fashion and beauty just as much as I do and so in the time honoured fashion of beauty bloggers everywhere, I’m marking this milestone with what you love best: a giveaway! I have a couple of lovely prizes here for you today with even more to be announced.

04 October 2011

Review of Giorgio Armani Regenessence [3.R] Eye Rejuvenating Serum

Aging around the eyes is probably my biggest skincare concern. I don’t really suffer from puffiness but dark circles, fine lines and loss of radiance are all my sworn enemies. I’ve tried to use a good eye product every day since my early twenties and, while I’m happy to experiment with cheaper versions of just about any other product, eye cream is one area I would never scrimp on.

So I sat up and took notice when I was sent Giorgio Armani’s new ‘innovative weapon for the eyes.’ Aimed at women in their 30s and 40s, the Regenessence range contains Armani’s [ 3.R ] technology: a combination of Linseed extract, Proxylane and Vitamin C along with yeast extract, caffeine, and something intriguingly called ‘tensor agents’ to target puffiness, dark circles, and lines and wrinkles.

03 October 2011

Not essential oils, but oil essentials!

When I wrote recently about Ojon’s oil based hair products, reader Roxy commented on the surge in oil based beauty products these days. And she’s right: while women around the world have used oil in their beauty routines for thousands of years, it’s only in the past few that these types of products have started to appear on shelves here in Ireland.  Oils are great at cleansing and nourishing and many oil-based products are seriously multi-tasking too, making them fantastic value for money.