Kneipping, Liv Tyler, and me


Liv Tyler is my BFF. Well she would be if we ever met, I just know it. We've masses in common: we both like wearing Givenchy makeup, listening to Evan Dando and dancing around to Aerosmith (although, granted, her experience of these things may be just a little more direct than mine). Oh, and we're both brunette! It's uncanny.

Beauty crush: Ellis Faas products, with review, swatches and pictures of Milky Lips in L206


Guess what I'm holding in this picture? Go on, guess. Oh alright then, I'll tell you: in my grubby little paws and unpainted nails (the shame!) I am clutching two lipsticks and an eyeshadow, from Dutch makeup artist Ellis Faas. 

Treatment Tales: Minx Manicure at Mimi's Beauty Room, Sandymount


 
I was recently invited to try out a treatment at express beauty salon Mimi's Beauty Room, and I headed over to Sandymount village on Friday evening to have my first ever Minx Manicure. My first impressions of the salon were really positive: it's very slick and stylish, the girls were incredibly warm and welcoming and - always a plus - I was greeted with a very welcome glass of champagne. 

 

WIN! Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash from REN, and Essie Chocolate Kisses!


This Moroccan Rose Otto Body wash from REN, €20, is seriously lush. It leaves skin silky smooth and enveloped in the headiest, most luxurious scent. The fragrance is all natural, too, from Moroccan Rose Otto Oil, one of the world’s most expensive essential oils with reputed stress busting properties. 
No surprise, then, that this product has just been awarded the InStyle Best Beauty Buys award for best shower gel - for the tenth year in a row!  

Fluffy little pick of the week: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher

That's swatched very heavily to show you the colour; on the cheeks it gives a lovely sheer and natural glow!

If you saw my post on blusher over at beaut.ie, you’ll know I’m on a slippery slope to fully-fledged addiction! (And if you didn’t, why not check it out here?) Since then, I’ve added another beauty to my collection: Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Fluid Blusher.

Avon Ultra Colour Rich Lipsticks in Apricot Mystery, Nude and Infused and Purple Haze


Sheer lips are one of the biggest beauty looks for spring, which is great news as its such a pretty, wearable trend. And Avon’s Smoke & Mirrors collection, which was released this month, just so happens to include three very lovely, on-trend shades of Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick, €9, in Apricot Mystery, Nude and Infused and Purple Haze.

Soap and Glory Supercat Liner: Review and Pictures



The wonderfully named Supercat is a felt tip pen eyeliner, a category of product I count amongst my absolute favourites, and at €8.13 it’s very well priced indeed. 

This is the third product I’ve reviewed from the batch of Soap and Glory products I was sent last month. You can see what I thought of Trick and Treatment here, and Kick Ass Concealer here.

Pen liners are a doddle to use and this is no exception. It gives a nice, opaque black line, stays put as long as you need it to, doesn’t smudge or flake and is easy to remove at the end of the day.

If you’re in the market for a great pen liner, you can stop looking. Soap and Glory have knocked it outta the park once more.

Have you tried this or any other Soap and Glory products?  Share your verdict in the comments!  

Celebrate Pancake Tuesday with this great savoury pancake recipe from Saba!


Happy Pancake Day! With the day that's in it I thought I'd share this delicious recipe for savoury pancakes, Kai Yad Sai, from Dublin restaurant Saba. I love this great Vietnamese and Thai restaurant as much for its delicious food as for its laidback ambience and amazing cocktail list. 

If you live near Dublin you can always pop in for the real deal at just €15.95, but those of you who are a bit further away should definitely try out this recipe for egg pancakes stuffed with stir fried minced chicken and prawns with snow peas, carrot and onion, created by Saba executive chef Taweesak Trakoolwattana.

Stuff I Heart: Nude Gloss


I've featured a lot of bright lipstick shades on this blog but they don't really give an accurate reflection of my makeup bag. While I love a bold lip, I'll always have a particular weakness for a great nude gloss and they're by far the most common lip product in my collection. 

There's something so versatile about a pretty nudey/beigey/pinky shine - it's a look that works just as well with  tinted moisturiser and a touch of mascara as it does with a full face of makeup and a dramatic smokey eye. 

Sharing is caring: fluffy posts on Beaut.ie!


I've written about the brilliant Beaut.ie a time or two and made no secret of my love for what is indisputably Ireland's biggest and best beauty blog. So I had to pinch myself a few times when they asked me to contribute to the site, and nearly fainted with excitement when my first posts went live this week. Check them out here and here - and if you have any suggestions for future contributions, I'd love to hear them! Leave them in the comments. 

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend - it's my birthday today and I have a lovely facial booked, so I hope I'm being thoroughly pampered as you read this!

Get it while you can: limited edition Rose Aurora, from Elizabeth Arden

 
There's something quite vintagey feeling about this very pretty, limited edition, Spring collection from Elizabeth Arden, on counter now. And that's not surprising when you consider that it was inspired by an original 1950’s collection, designed by Ms. Arden herself.

The rose-gold coloured packaging looks seriously luxe and the products seem very wearable, designed to bring a 'fresh golden glow'. Pictured are the Pure Finish Bronze powder, €33, and Ceramide Ultra Lipstick, €25, in what is billed as the perfect golden rosy shade for every skin tone. The collection also includes an All Over Face Powder Brush, €18, and Pure Finish Highlighter, at  €30.50.


Paese Cosmetics Mega Post: Review and Pictures


I always like discovering new brands and trying out different products so I enjoyed trialling this batch of makeup that was sent to me by Polish brand Paese Cosmetics. Like with most brands, I didn't love everything but there was certainly plenty here to pique my interest and one or two really standout products. 

Win makeup kits worth €99 with Benefit and Diet Coke!



In a genius move, Benefit have teamed up with Diet Coke on the Get Glam campaign which sees the introduction of three limited edition cans, each designed around one of Benefit's signature tints - Benetint, Posietint, and ChaChatint. 


Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer: Review, Pictures and Comparison with Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer and Corrector.



It tells you a little something about  this product that, since the day I received it, I haven't so much as picked up my beloved Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer. Instead, I've been reaching for this on a near daily basis, and I find it so effective and convenient that I can see myself repurchasing this hard-working little set over and over and over again. 

The Lingerie Rooms at Brown Thomas



Practical it ain't, but this Myla lingerie set - from the Lingerie Rooms at Brown Thomas, Dublin - is guaranteed to get you that, er, coveted Bunny Girl look this Valentine's Day.

Modelled by former Miss Ireland Sinead Noonan the set is priced at €155 for the bra, €67 for the briefs and €68 (!) for the cuffs. 

And just in case any gentlemen are reading and considering a very expensive last minute Valentine's Day gift, Brown Thomas are offering up these tips:

Note down her bra and briefs size in advance to make sure her new undies fit. The Lingerie Rooms at Brown Thomas offers cup sizing from AA to JJ. 

Pick the perfect set by not straying too far from the styles she normally wears. Neutral lovers will be delighted with ranges from Calvin Klein or Wacoal whereas for something more flirty try Mimi Holliday or Passionata. Glamour pusses will be thrilled with anything from Myla, like the set pictured, or Stella McCartney's suspender belt sets.

What's your preference - do you like your lingerie like the set pictured, or do you prefer something that looks good with as well as without your clothes?

NOTD: Chocolate Kisses from Essie - and special offer from beautyboutique.ie!



If Chanel’s Rouge Noir and Tom Ford’s Bitter Bitch could make a love child, it would look like this. Chocolate Kisses by Essie is a deep, delicious wine-tinged chocolate shade that I reckon makes for a pretty sweet Valentine's Day NOTD. 

Like it? Well, you're in luck! Irish online beauty shop, beautyboutique.ie, is running a lovely offer until close of business tomorrow, February 15th. With every purchase of the gorgeously scented Moroccan Rose Otto Body wash from REN (€20.00), customers will receive a free bottle of Chocolate Kisses - normally priced at  €11.99. They sent me this bottle to show to you, and there's free delivery on all orders over €2o, while the promotion runs. 

Nothing says I Love You like a little self gifting, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to indulge! And while you're at it, show yourself a little more love and throw your name in the hat for my current giveaway - you could win some deliciously decadent goodies from The Body Shop's latest launch, Chocomania. Click here to enter!

Edit: Beautyboutique.ie have been in touch and are extending the date of the promotion till the 28th February, to celebrate that the REN body wash has just won the InStyle Best Beauty Buys for best Showergel - FOR THE TENTH YEAR IN A ROW!  

Win! Chocomania Body Butter and Body Scrub from The Body Shop! [Now Closed]


Right in time for Valentine's Day, The Body Shop have just launched their most decadent collection yet: Chocomania. The range is characterised by rich, indulgent textures and the products contain lashings of pure cocoa butter along with other Community Fair Trade ingredients like honey, shea butter, brazil nut oil and sugar cane. 

I tipped the Body Butter from the range as a great Valentine's Day treat in my gift guide, here, and now I'm giving you the chance to win this lovely product and its accompanying scrub. Both are worth €18.95. 

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. Leave a comment with an email address or twitter name where you can be reached 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 in the Republic of Ireland. A winner will be selected at random and announced one week from today.

Sharing is caring: Sali Hughes reveals her fool-proof tip for the perfect flicky eyeliner!

If you've ever struggled to get that perfect sweep of black eyeliner on your upper lashes, then this video from The Guardian's resident beauty expert, Sali Hughes, is a godsend. It contains an ingenious, fool proof technique to cheat your way to a classic kitten flick. I've tried it, and it really helps. Let me know if it works for you too.

The Cupid Collection from Sally Hansen

L-R: I Pink I Can; Red Zin; Back to the Fuchsia; Right Said Red.
That there cakepop in the middle was intended for my Valentine, until I, err, accidentally ate it.

It can't have escaped your notice that Valentine's Day is next week (especially if you read this blog post!) However you're planning to spend it, you can show your fingers a little lovin' with Sally Hansen's Cupid Collection, comprising four pun-tastically named shades of pink and red.

And if you've better things to do this February 14th than spend ages on your nails, you'll be glad to know that these form part of the fab Complete Salon Manicure range. These polishes do a lot of the work for you: they combine a base coat, top coat and nail treatment with great colours and an extra wide brush, all in one attractive little square based bottle. 

I was lucky enough to be sent these by the brand, but you can pick up Sally Hansen products in selected pharmacies, department stores and grocery stores nationwide; these little lovelies, like the rest of the shades in the 36-strong range, will set you back €8.95 a pop. 

My personal favourites are Right Said Red and Back to the Fuchsia. Which one have you fallen for?

Carmex Moisture Plus Review, and Send a Virtual Carmex Kiss this February 14th!

 
Tinted lip balms can be so-so, both in terms of colour and in keeping your lips soft and hydrated. But this one, Carmex Moisture Plus, is a little gem of a product that imparts lasting moisture, sheer colour and subtle shine, all in one quick swipe. 

A slim silver coloured tube with a slant-tipped applicator, it comes in clear, Sheer Pink or Sheer Peach, which is the colour I was sent to try out. Two new shades, Sheer Berry and Sheer Plum, have just been introduced. They all contain Vitamin E, Aloe, Shea Butter and SPF 15, to moisturise and protect the lips, and are priced at €5.99. 


In that picture to the bottom left I'm only wearing Clinique's BB Cream and Carmex Moisture Plus in Sheer Peach


This feels really lovely on the lips; it glides on smoothly and keeps them soft and moisturised. The peach colour looks quite strong in the tube but applies super sheer and naturally pretty, with just a hint of glossiness and shine. It tastes and smells of vanilla at first, before the trademark Carmex menthol taste comes through.

The one negative is that I'm flying through this product! Partly because I'm using it almost daily, but also because the formula is very soft, so it just runs out quite quickly. And watch you don't push it up too far in the tube, because that same softness means it will easily break. But would I repurchase this product? Absolutely, and most likely in two or three colours, too. 

Carmex are also getting in on the Valentine's Day action this year: to celebrate, they've created a virtual kiss you can send to your sweetheart on February 14th. Log on to www.mycarmexkiss.com, choose one of four animated kisses and personalise with your favourite picture - your creation will be delivered by email. 

Carmex Plus is available from chemists and selected grocery shops nationwide, priced at €5.99.

NOTD feat. Satin Matte Coat from Paese - and Giveaway Winners Announced!

Glossy nails to the left, and with Satin Matte Coat to the right!

I’ve been trialling a few bits and pieces from new-to-Ireland brand Paese Cosmetics and will share my thoughts on those soon. But in the meantime, have a goo at what's probably my pick of the bunch, the Satin Matte Coat.
This can be used to mattify any nail polish in your collection and is a quick and easy way to update your old favourites. I used it over a creamy tangerine shade from Essence and I really liked the effect. Application was easy - the product is quite thin and went on smoothly and evenly. It lightened the polish colour slightly but nothing major.
Now, it might sound obvious but this doesn’t have the same fast drying properties as my usual topcoat (Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat, if you're wondering). You need to be patient – and I’m not. Consequently, the first time I used this I messed up my nails because I didn’t give 'em long enough to dry. And as it’s not an anti-chip product, wear time might be shorter than you’re used to if your usual top coat is. I got a couple of days wear out of it, but I’m hard on my nails so that’s about the norm.
At just €4.95 (online only, for the minute) this is a very reasonable way to achieve a modern matte nail look. I really enjoyed the effect and I’m looking forward to experimenting with different colours, and attempting a DIY homage to the YSL Tuxedo Mani (matte black nails with glossy tips). I also got a kick out of two different people asking if I was wearing the (sold out, limited edition) Chanel Mat Top Coat Velvet, which I don't own, but would have liked to.
While I’m here and on the topic of Paese Cosmetics, I may as well reveal the winners of my recent giveaway. Congratulations to Orla from Makeup Over Mind (prize 1) and @MissLinz23 (prize 2). Send me your details and please allow up to a month for delivery. Hope you enjoy!

Have you used a matte top coat, and do you like the effect?

A|wear Spring 2012 Collections

New Nautical: Cobalt Cable Sleeve Jumper €35, Printed Denim 7/8’s €35, Red Belt €12; Soft Focus: Cream Sequin Dress at €80; Sequin T-Shirt €80 and Sand Culottes €35

Irish high street favourites A|wear just held their Spring Summer press preview and the two big stories for Spring are New Nautical and Soft Focus. As you'd expect, New Nautical is a modern take on a perennial spring classic, with strong primary colours, stripes galore, fun prints and denim. Soft Focus is A|wear's nod to the 20s trend and feels more luxe, with a nude colour palette and lots of soft, floaty, feminine pieces; there's a fab sequinned tee (pictured above) with my name on it.

They're both lovely collections, but I'm most looking forward to summer and the arrival of the brand's Colour Couture collection, which is bold and bright and pretty and features some great little dresses - I've only pictured the Spring trends above but there are a few more images on the Fluff and Fripperies Facebook page.

MAC 188 Duo Fibre Brush Review

   
I've been selectively growing my brush collection since I last showed it to you on the blog. After falling head over heels for this foundation then reading this post, I had to invest in a brush to make sure I was doing the product full justice. And I'm glad I did because the brush I ended up with, the MAC 188, has fast become one of my favourites.

This small duo fibre brush is described on the MAC website as 'a flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures." It's made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres and is the smaller version of the 187, which I also looked at. But I figured that the 188 would give me more control and can be used for things that the 187 is too large for, like highlighting, contouring and applying cream blush.  I've used it for all these things and it works great, but mostly, I reserve it to buff on my foundation (it's what I used for these pictures here). 



Now, I've applied my foundation with my fingers my whole life, and old habits die hard. So I don't use this brush every day, even though it's quicker to use than its small size suggests. But for evenings out or big days at work when I want to look my best, I turn to the 188 and I love the refined and polished finish it provides. It doesn't drink up too much of the product and provides medium coverage, that can be built up if required. 

At €40 this is not a cheap brush, but I look on it as an investment and I'm really happy this is in my kit.

Are there any other must-have brushes I should know about?

Fluffy little Valentine's Day Gift Guide



Yes, yes, it’s a holiday driven by consumerism; it’s the retailers who really feel the love and of course we don’t need a special day to tell the people that we love how much we love them. But lots of us still like to make a little Valentine's Day gesture, so I’ve compiled this guide of sweet suggestions that won’t break the bank but are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the lucky recipient -- whether that’s your partner, pal or your own good self.  

From top left, we have:

Heart Cookie Cutters (£2.95): The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach so get your bake on with these great value cookie cutters from retro themed UK site dotcomgiftshop. If anyone’s wondering, I think these peanut butter cookies sound divine.

Love/Hate mug (£2.95): Not entirely sure of how you’re feeling? You don’t have to make up your mind just yet with this vintage billboard lettered mug, printed with a different message on each side. Also from dotcomgiftshop.

Valentine's Heart Cufflinks (£12.50): These 100% brass cufflinks from Marksandspencer.com bear the classic lovehearts design.

Sweetheart soap (€3.75 for 100g): Another loveheart inspired design, this time on a seductively scented soap from Lush. With oils of jasmine, sandalwood and ylang ylang – all reputed aphrodisiacs – to set the mood.  

Cake in a jar (€12.20): If, like me, you broke into a sweat at the very thought of baking those peanut butter cookies, this fool-proof cake kit from Irish online store Opoko should see you right. The glass jar contains cake mix, a gift label, candle and candle holder. Just add oil and water, pop in the oven, and smugly present it to your nearest and dearest.  

Body Shop Chocomania Body Butter (200ml €18.95 / 50 ml €7.95): Spoil your sweetheart or yourself with this chocoholic’s dream, one of the Body Shop’s ever popular pots of hydrating goodness. With Community Fair Trade beeswax and honey, cocoa and shea butter, Brazil and babassu nut oil, and organic sugar cane, you’ll smell every bit as good as you feel.

Heart Shaped Confetti (£1.50): Sometimes the simplest gestures are the most effective. A home cooked meal will look the part this Valentine’s Day with a scattering of these little lovehearts on the table.  Also from marksandspencer.com.

A Million Kisses lip tint (€6.25): A limited edition Valentine’s special from Lush, this lip tint is a gorgeous, pigmented, rose scented red that can also be used as a cream blusher, for a sexy flush.

Where do you stand on Valentine’s Day?

Sharing is caring: The classic Marilyn Monroe look by Lisa Eldridge

Beautiful, vulnerable and damaged, Marilyn Monroe remains endlessly fascinating though it's been almost 50 years since she passed away. We know both too much and too little about this enduring Hollywood icon who famously said, "All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent." We still love you Marilyn, and I think we always will. So today I wanted to share this fantastic video from makeup maestro Lisa Eldridge which is, I think, one of the best I've seen on recreating the classic Marilyn look.

Ojon lighten up with new Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus!


Those of you with sensitive sniffers can now breathe a sigh of relief because cult haircare faves Ojon have clearly been paying careful attention to their customers. The scent of the brand's star product, the Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment, has long divided the beauty community with some loving it (including myself -- read what I had to say about it here), but others find it offputting, even comparing it to such such olfactory delights as stale ashtrays or wet cigarettes!

Ojon’s latest launch should silence the critics and allow people to focus on what’s really important with this product: the results. They’ve just introduced a lighter scented version, Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus, which contains extracts of the fruit that surrounds each Ojon nut (called Rouge Oleifera, if you’re wondering), as well as the eponymous oil.

Like the original version, the product targets very dry, damaged hair and the clinical studies boast some very impressive figures: 52% improvement in the hair’s condition in just one use, a reduction in hair breakage of 100% and up to 64% improvement when left on hair overnight.

I haven’t tried this new version but I loved the original and congratulate Ojon on listening to their customers and responding so quickly to their feedback. 

Have you tried the original? What did you think of the scent? 

Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus will be available in Arnotts, Dublin from March, when it will be priced at €39.

Fluffy little pick of the week: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Kitty, Kitty



So after a lot of dithering I have decided that Kitty, Kitty is my favourite variety of Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Although I do love the flowery ones (Girl Flower, I think). Oh, and these ones, too. Now, I was very jammily sent a few by the brand last year, including this design, but I bought this particular set with my own money when I picked up some for friends at Christmas. I only got around to using them this weekend, but they were worth the wait. I’m mad about them, I really am, and not just because they set off my new favourite ring. (Yes, it is turning my finger a little purple but no, that doesn't make me love it any less.)

You can check out this post for how to apply, but trust me, if I can get them on ok, then so could a 6 month old infant. Blindfolded. They may be a little bit fiddly, but it takes me less time than it does to go through all the usual stages of a home manicure, and the results are a hell of a lot more impressive.

You can pick these up from chemists and supermarkets nationwide, for €8.95. I’ve already decided that Black Lace will be my next purchase from the range. And possibly my new favourite, too, but ssssh - don’t tell Kitty!

Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner in Golden Fawn

 
In that bottom pic I'm wearing Golden Fawn (and only Golden Fawn) underneath the eye (and shadows from the Urban Decay Naked palette with YSL's Effet Faux Cils eyeliner pen on top).

Avon's Supershock gel liners are the bomb:  they glide on smoothly, offer intense colour and last all day. The black version is one of my all-time favourites, and this new shade joins it in the Eyeliner Hall Of Fame. It's a stunning metallic pewter that's part of the brand's pretty spring collection, Smoke & Mirrors, out in February. I'm loving it under the eye as a much softer alternative to black - like in the picture above - and it's beautiful as an inner-corner highlight, too. I also think it would be gorgeous all over the lid as a base for a neutral shadow look.

For €8, this is a lovely little gem of a liner that has a place in any makeup bag. It'll always have a home in mine. 

Avon don’t sell through shops but exclusively through independent sales representatives – find yours here.

Bastyan Spring Summer 2012


I enjoyed the opportunity to check out the Bastyan Spring Summer Collection last week.

Created by Tonia Bastyan, this is the line's fifth season; it launched in Spring 2010 aimed largely at the 35 plus market, but there is lots here to appeal to women from their mid twenties onwards.
 

The collection is designed to be practical and stylish and this season sees more separates and accessories than previous collections, which were characterised by more structured evening wear.


The colour pallete is chic and wearable: neutrals, chocolates and khaki complimented by vivid corals, tangerines and flashes of lime. The standout pieces for me were a  soft tan leather dress finished with grey marle jersey, and a fitted coral pencil skirt with a black and gold waist band (both pictured). 



The Spring Summer collection incorporates Collaborare, Bastyan's debut collaborative collection - the intention is to collaborate with different artists each season. Textile designer Vanessa Harrington and master of drapery Yong Fong have teamed up with the label on this limited edition, 7 piece collection of stunning prints.  The designs are pretty subversive: what look like butterflies or flowers are actually, on closer inspection, scientific imagery from DNA coding, fingerprints or x-rays.  I really like this element of surprise, and the prints feature on dresses, tunics, scarves and some lovely little cups and saucer sets, too. 





Do you like what you see? There will be a few more pictures up soon on the Fluff and Fripperies Facebook page, and you can find Bastyan at Brown Thomas nationwide.
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