31 January 2013

New Marks & Spencer Beauty Offering Launches in Dublin’s Mary Street and Online!

I’ve been waiting a while for this day to come, and can hardly believe it’s here! One of my favourite highstreet shops, M&S, have completely overhauled their beauty offering and launched a number of seriously swanky beauty halls – the most recent being Dublin’s Mary Street store!

New Marks and Spencer Beauty Offering Launches in Dublin
It will now be home to all sorts of amazing niche brands from Europe and the States, which have all been handpicked for inclusion. THE EXCITEMENT! Some of my favourites, like NUXE and Roger and Gallet, will share shelf space with new-to-me brands like Apivita, a Greek natural skin and hair care range, and the Italian makeup range, Diego Dalla Palma. I also see a few names I’ve been curious about popping up on the list, from nailcare brand Leighton Denny to skincare line Murad.

New Marks and Spencer Beauty Halls Open In Dublin

If you’re a fan of the store’s own brand products then fret not – you’ll still be able to get your hands on them, but in new and improved formulas and packaging. Plus, if you don’t live near Dublin, you can get your hands on everything through the website. Huzzah!

Is there an M&S near you? And are you familiar with any of the brands I’ve mentioned? I’d love to know your experiences with them!

30 January 2013

Professional, Affordable Makeup Brushes, from AYU Dublin

It seems like the Irish are really carving out a niche for creating high quality yet affordable makeup brushes. I firmly believe that you get a better finish when you use the right brushes, but I'm also adamant that you needn't spend a fortune in the process. After trying - and loving - Irish brands like NIMA Brush and Blank Canvas, I was really interested when I was contacted by AYU, and asked to see how their brushes stack up. 

Affordable makeup brushes from AYU Dublin
The entire AYU range
But first, a wee bit of background: after 11 years in the beauty industry, when professional makeup artist Suzie O'Neill sold her salon she was on the look out for an new challenge and opportunity. Having gone into teaching, and working with hundreds of make up artistry students, Suzie realised there was a gap in the market for high-end brushes that delivered, but weren't priced out of reach of the ordinary customer. 

Having used these brushes for well over a month I can tell you that Suzie is definitely on to a winner. Her brushes are sturdy, well made and designed, feel lovely and soft on the face and really help to deliver a more polished make up effect.
Detailers -  double-ended eyeliner/brow spoolie, flat liner brush, lip brush and brow brush.
I'm really enjoying them - the chunky handles fit well in my hands, they wash well, there's been minimal shedding and the prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of the line. They range from €7 for the flat liner or lip brushes, to €9.50 for the excellent crease and blender brushes, €25 for the Duo Fibre Foundation brush and €30 for the powder brush - that last one might seem a bit steep, but with its chubby handle and dense, fluffy head, this is actually my very favourite of them all. The only brush I'm not completely sold on is the brow brush - it's a bit too soft for my liking - and I find lip brushes a bit of a faff in general, so I don't tend to use 'em. But otherwise? It's a big thumbs up all round. 
The eyeshadow brushes have become some of my favourites to use
AYU currently offer a range of 10 brushes in total (more are in the pipeline), which can be purchased individually or in sets. The website is a work in progress but check out the Facebook page or email ayudublin@gmail.com to buy via PayPal. You won't regret it - these are excellent beauty tools that would be a welcome part of any woman's make-up kit.

What's your favourite brand of beauty brush?

29 January 2013

Travel Beauty: Packing Lightly For A Long Weekend Away

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have seen my panic last Friday, as I realised Himself hadn't booked us a check-in bag for our weekend away. If you're on Twitter but you're not following me, then you can rectify that glaring oversight now. Don't worry, I'll wait here till you're back!) 

Travel Beauty and Accessories
My usual tactics are to bring at least 10 variations on the same shade of lipstick (Think I'm kidding? Check out the damning evidence here!). But there is only so much that will fit into one of those annoying plastic security bags - so thank God for mini products, is all I can say! Thanks to space saving teeny tiny toiletries I was able to cram in pretty much everything I needed or wanted for the three days I was away (in Aberdeen in Scotland, thank you for asking!).

Travel Sized Products and Sample Sizes

So here's what came with me in my hand luggage:
SKIN: Serum and moisturiser samples from the Elizabeth Arden Prevage range; mini cleanser from Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference range and 8 Hour Cream sample tube; shower gel, eye cream and 3-in-1 cleansing emulsion from Korres Party Survival Kit (currently reduced in the ASOS sale!); tiny 10g tub of Sudocrem.

HAIR: 60 ml bottles of Ojon Volume Advance Shampoo and Conditioner

>FACE:  Small bottle of Teint Visionnaire, Lancôme's latest foundation, and full sized Amazing Cosmetics concealer - both of which I've been trialling.  Mini Watt's Up highlighter from Benefit. A Clarins lip balm and three lipsticks: Rimmel lipstick in 107, and Hot Plum and Shocking Coral from new Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivids Collection (launching Feb.) Three eyeliners too: Estee Lauder felt tip pen liner, Isadora gold pencil, mini Urban Decay pencil in brown (shade Demolition). Kevyn Aucoin mascara.
SCENT: Very handily, this 30ml bottle of Roger & Gallet fragrance arrived shortly before my trip. The scent, Ginger, is my latest obsession - it's soft, warm and spicy, without being overpowering in the least. The smaller size is ideal for travelling and the smaller pricetag, €17.50, is easier on the pocket, too.

Roger and Gallet Ginger Perfume

NON-LIQUIDS: Lancôme eye and brow kit, Inglot gold pigment powder, Deborah Milano blusher, Clarins bronzer, MAC Blot Powder. Brushes from ELF, Blank Canvas and new Irish brand AYU (review coming soon!). And my Tangle Teezer!

Powder products, blusher, bronzer
Excuse their grubby appearance - they're well loved pieces of kit!
Listed out, that looks like a lot of products - because let's face it, it is - but with most of them being cute little miniatures and samples, I can still claim to be travelling light. Next time though? We're definitely checking a case.

Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivid Hot Plum FOTD
Here's what it looked like on my face! 

>Do you prefer to pack lightly, or pay to check in your luggage? And do you have any travel beauty essentials? I'd love to know what they are - do share 'em in the comments!

28 January 2013

Nu Essence Beauty Salon: Karora Spray Tan and Two Week Manicure Review and Pictures

Nu Essence Beauty Salon has been on my radar for a while.  Located on South Anne Street, just off Grafton Street - the main shopping street in Dublin - it's the perfect spot to squeeze in a spot of pampering as part of a gruelling retail therapy regime!

Jessica Geleration Naked Gun
I dropped in ahead of an event filled weekend to try out their two week manicure and spray tan, using the Irish natural and organic brand, Karora. This was only my second ever spray tan so I was a little nervous but the lovely Fiona put me quickly at ease. She talked me through everything,  put my fears at rest and displayed the most meticulous attention to detail that confirmed I was in completely expert hands.

And speaking of hands, mine were transformed with a very thorough manicure and a pretty, peachy nude shade - very Chanel SS13, don'tchaknow -  from Jessica's Geleration line. Like Shellac (which is also on offer at the salon), this is a two week manicure with layers of gel, which are set onto the nail with a UV lamp.  The result? My nails looked glossy, understated and chic - I was very impressed!

Nu Essence Beauty Salon Dublin

The facilities impressed me, too. Unlike other salons, Nu Essence have a dedicated tanning chamber - a welcome change to a pop-up plastic tent. Plus, the salon is spread over several floors of a lovely old Georgian building, giving it plenty of character and charm.

I walked out completely transformed - groomed, bronzed and feeling considerably more glamorous than when I'd arrived. Sadly I also walked out into the bucketing Irish rain but, in a final flourish of exceptional customer service, the lovely receptionist had nipped out to grab me a cab.

Karora Spray Tan

And the real test of the treatments? Over a week later, both the tan and my mani are going strong. There's no patchiness or streakiness in my colour and my nails are a chip free zone.

Fluff and Fripperies was a guest of Nu Essence but a two week manicure is normally priced from €30, and a spray tan from €18. It's also worth keeping an eye on their website and Facebook page, where special offers are posted regularly. 

Are you a fan of either of these treatments?

25 January 2013

New! Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare Launching This February

So a skincare launch is a skincare launch is a skincare launch, right? Well, not when the person behind it is a woman like Maleka Datta. If you don’t immediately recognise her name, you will recognise the brands that she’s worked with. Part of the team that grew Clinique to #1 in the UK, she also headed up Origins in the UK and Ireland before moving to Lancôme to oversee one of the brand’s biggest ever launches, Genefique.

Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare Iconic Youth Serum

After 30 years living the dream, she realised that actually, she wasn’t. An entrepreneurial streak runs in the family – her Dad always wanted to go out on his own, but never quite got there. Though if he had, he knew what he’d call his brand: Merumaya combines the first two letters of every family member’s name, so by using it, that particular dream has also come to life.

Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare Range

When Maleka talks me through her range I am genuinely excited. The ‘Integrative Effective Skincare’ approach combines the best that nature has to offer with the most scientifically proven ingredients, to fight further aging while reducing the existing signs. The products are packed with powerful active ingredients in anti-blemish formulas: they sound exactly the answer to my current skincare woes.
Merumaya Manual Cleansing Brush
Manual Cleansing Brush

Currently the range includes cleansers, a moisturiser, eye-cream, face mask and peel, along with a manual cleansing brush and daily cleansing cloths (which are heavier than muslin to retain the warmth of the water, but lighter than a traditional face cloth). Everything feels high-end and luxurious, with melty, sensorial textures and the gorgeous Merumaya trademark scent. The cleansing balm particularly interests me: I think I may finally have a contender for Liz Earle’s place on my bathroom shelf.
Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare Range

Pricewise, I am in for a pleasant surprise. Nothing is more expensive than €43.50 (that’s for the serum, and the sterling/euro conversion is fair and decent, too). Maleka is saving costs on advertising (there isn’t any), on packaging (simple, hygienic and effective), and by taking an initial hit to her bottom line.
It surprises me how much I’ve enjoyed the meeting. At one stage, Maleka is talking about the importance of feeling good as well as looking it. “You know when you see a woman who’s 100% confident in herself and what she’s doing, and it’s so attractive - it draws people in?” I think anyone who’s ever met her will know exactly what she means.

Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare launches in Arnotts in February. I’ve just started my regime so watch this space for my reviews in a few weeks’ time!
What’s your favourite skincare brand?

24 January 2013

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture: Beauty Trends, and My Favourite Looks

The Chanel Spring 2013 Couture show took place in Paris this week and today I wanted to share a few of my favourite looks.  Against a backdrop of woody forests came a parade of feathered head-pieces, framed shoulders, exquisite tailoring, and the most breath-takingly beautiful full-length gowns. The colour palette featured black, white, navy and multi-coloured florals - and the final look?  Twin brides – in clear support of the current proposal to legalise gay marriage in France. I'm totally with Karl: why is there even a debate?

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture

As for the beauty, messy updos were the order of the day (YAY!), along with slightly mad looking, gothic eyes – complete with feathery black lace appliqués – and soft pink lips and cheeks. Chanel’s nails are always closely scrutinised by the beauty world, and here we saw peachy nude fingers and dark navy toes - cementing both as massive trends for spring.

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture

What did you make of the collection?

Photos by Giovanni Giannoni, from WWD.

23 January 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Curviest Caramel: Review, Pictures, Swatches

In a stroke of genius, in November Clinique added to the wildly popular Chubby franchise with a line of eight brand new shades of Chubby Sticks Intense. As the name suggests, these are more pigment packed and opaque than the original sheer and balmy Chubby Stick line-up and are great for days when you fancy a bit more colour and coverage on your lips. The shades range from berries, reds and pinks to the very lovely nude I’m showing you today.

I have a very healthy collection of nude lipsticks – which is handy, given it’s a massive trend for SS13 – and Curviest Caramel is well on its way to being my favourite of them all. There’s the adorable chunky packaging of course, and the fact that it’s so lovely on the lips – the new shades have the same blend of special moisturising butters, oils and antioxidants as the originals. Shea butter, mango seed butter and jojoba oil all make an appearance and make this really comfortable to wear.

And then there’s the colour itself, which is for me the perfect warm toned pinkish nude – no concealer lips here, just a flattering neutral hue. This looks just as good paired with the more vibrant shades we’re seeing for lips and eyes this season, as it does with spring’s more traditional candy colours and pastel pinks and blues.

At €19, Chubby Sticks Intense are priced the same as the original Chubby Sticks – this one was sent to me by the brand. Have you tried these? Are you a fan?

21 January 2013

Benefit Fine One One: Review, Pictures, Swatches

Two big beauty trends for 2o13 that I’m especially excited about are cream textures, and  highlighting/contouring. So when I heard about Benefit’s Fine One One I was very intrigued – it’s a cream stick with three shades (a blush, highlight and contour) that aims to deliver a ‘sheer brightening’ effect.  Plus, it’s in a pretty rose gold case, and rose gold is the metallic du jour.

I had some initial reservations though, especially around using this to contour. The creamy coral that’s included as a contour shade seems much more suited as a blush. But we already have that in the middle colour –described as watermelon, but more of a medium pink. They’re topped by a pale pink shimmer which is definitely fit for purpose as a highlighter.

Except, for some reason, I find it hard to apply evenly from the stick, and the lightest shade doesn’t really transfer to my face. Instead I get two strips of colour: the coral and the pink. Blended together, the result is a pretty - but very sheer - peachy shade, that gives my cheeks a nice but subtle glow. Unfortunately, it won’t show up on skintones darker than medium, but for paler types it will be ideal. Then I use a brush or my fingers to dab some of the highlight shade along my cheekbones, or the top of my cupids bow. (You can also use the product on your lips, but I much prefer it on my cheeks.) 

So, somewhat surprisingly, and despite my initial reservations, I do like this a lot. Currently I’m wearing less slap on a daily basis – think BB cream, neutral eyeshadow, tinted balm – and this works perfectly with my current mood. It’s convenient to apply, the consistency is good, and it doesn’t look or feel greasy, or melt away the makeup that’s already applied, like some sticks of cream blushers can. It looks even, and lasts all day. Just don’t expect it to be any great shakes as a contour!

There have been a few mixed reviews for this around the web so if you’ve tried this or plan to, I'd love to know what you think! It’s €34 – though this one was a PR sample - and it’s out next month. 

What are your favourite cheek products? 

18 January 2013

Farnham Estate Spa: Review and Pictures

Determined to milk every drop of freedom and relaxation from the last days of the Christmas holidays, I took myself off to the tranquil surrounds of Farnham Country Estate in Cavan. This 16th century estate – now owned and operated by the Radisson Group – is set on 1300 acres of countryside, within a 90 minute drive from Dublin city. I swear I felt the tensions lift on first sighting of those gorgeous, sweeping grounds.

We enjoyed superb views and great attention to detail, down to the Parisian Anne Semonin toiletries in the bathroom and the sliding partition from the bathtub to the bedroom - ideal if you fancy a chat, a glass of wine or to enjoy the view from the tub!

This hotel is really something special: a glass conservatory joins the 400 year old house to the modern wing, where our room was situated. Stylish and spacious, it also offered up amazing views of the estate. You could literally spend hours exploring the 7km of walks around the hotel, take a guided tour through the woodlands, or indulge in a game of golf. Or you could do as we did, and explore what to me was definitely the main attraction: the spa!

The one-and-a-half hour Farnham Estate Signature Treatment had my name all over it. Combining a foot soak with a lower leg and foot scrub, a back and leg massage and a facial, this is an incredibly soothing treatment that gently eased away the stresses and strains of the festive period. The Yon-Ka facial was particularly divine and worked wonders on my parched and stressed out post-Christmas visage.

The hotel is a wonderful blend of ancient and contemporary; dinner in the Botanical restaurant was superb; the heated outdoor pool was the highlight of my trip

Blissed out and glowing, it was just a short float down from the treatment area to the Water Mint Thermal Suite. And there, what joys await! Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy everything this area has to offer: the sauna, aroma steam room, laconium, reflexology foot baths and, our favourite, the amethyst salt grotto (a salty, steamy delight that works wonders on the respiratory system, promotes calm and is said to banish feelings of anger, guilt and fear. And it banishes hangovers, too! Er, or so I’m told). Oh, and word to the wise? Do not miss the snail shower - the peppermint mist is one of the most refreshing things you will ever experience. 

But people, that’s not all! I haven’t even got to my very favourite part: the indoor/outdoor infinity pool. Floating in the open air, looking up at the deep violet sky and the night’s first stars, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude at being granted that experience. I would strongly encourage you to go and try it for yourself.

As for me, I’m already planning my return. In the words of the old family motto: I am ready!

Fluff and Fripperies was a guest of Farnham Estate. The Farnham Estate Signature Treatment is €120; Farnham are also offering a January spa special for €99 per person.

17 January 2013

Essie Butler Please: Nail Of The Day

Essie's most recent collection is a good 'un. The beauty world went crazy for Leading Lady, a glittering red, and Beyond Cozy, a platinum glitter, but my favourites are the two blues: Where's My Chauffer, the turquoise I showed you here, and this beauty - Butler Please - that I wore in yesterday's post.
Essie Butler Please Nail Polish

A bright cobalt blue, Butler Please is a bold and vibrant shade that is particularly pleasing to look at on these grey January mornings. The formula, like every Essie polish I've tried so far, is great - it goes on smoothly, is opaque in two coats and lasts a respectable amount of time on the nails. I try to always use a base coat, but it's especially important with a shade like this - stained nails are really not a good look, and blue is just the worst. And yes, I'm speaking from experience - which is why I always try to use a base coat!

Essie Holiday 2012 Collection
From top left: Butler Please, She's Pampered, Snap Happy, Where’s My Chauffeur, Beyond Cozy, Leading Lady

This one was a PR sample, but you can find Essie for €9.99 from Boots and other pharmacies.

What are you loving on your nails right now?

16 January 2013

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask: Review and Pictures

Clinique's Moisture Surge Overnight Mask launched this month but has been a fixture on my bedside table since I was sent it to try out before Christmas. A new nightly favourite, I included it here and today I'm back with some photos and a more detailed review.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

I happen to have dehydrated skin all year round (if you're not exactly sure what that is you might like to check out this post) but at this time of year we could all do with a bit of help in the hydration stakes, thanks to the cold weather, indoor heating and lower moisture levels in the air.  This product is a lovely and fuss-free way to replenish that lost moisture - just slather it on before bed, as the last step in your nightly routine, and wake up to a softer, more plumped up complexion and a healthy glow.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask Swatches

It feels creamy, cooling and refreshing, and can be used as often as your skin requires- for me that's nightly, but for others it could be used as a weekly treat.  With shea and mango butters it's emollient rich, and has a good dollop of hyaluronic acid to lock in all that lovely moisture. Ingredients like algae and caffeine also work to fight redness and calm irritated skin.
Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
Now I've found you, I'm never letting go!
But the best bit? The bit that will make me repurchase, as soon as this tube runs dry? It's not just a temporary fix. My skin has trouble retaining water, and this product not only provides an instant moisture boost, but promises longterm effects over time. By strengthening the barrier function of my skin, it should be able to hold moisture for longer and look fresher and more plumped up on an ongoing basis. Watch this space!

What are you using to give your skin some TLC this winter?

15 January 2013

Inside My Jewellery Box: My Favourite Rings

My Favourite Rings

I have big mad love for all manner of accessories but I go through definite phases - in my early teenage years I was all about the Pat Butcher ear-rings, and the bigger the better. In my grunge  days I layered on the necklaces - well, chokers, crosses and beads - like nobodies business and I went through a phase of piling on so many bangles it was kinda tricky trying to lift my arms.

Favourite Rings
Pearl and black cocktail ring c/o Les Jumelles, yellow crystal cocktail ring from Oasis, all others from Penneys!
These days, I'm all about the finger candy and rely heavily on rings to add a touch of glamour or interest to my everyday style.

I guess I'm quite traditional in my tastes - there are no upper or double-finger rings in my collection - but I like everything from massive cocktail rings to tiny delicate pieces. I buy everywhere from Net-A-Porter to Penneys and my very favourites were gifts from the people I love - the YSL Artsy ring from family, the pearl from my mum, the Astley Clarke evil eye from my godson (who clearly reads my blog; he's a very early developer!),  and of course, I love my wedding and engagement rings best of all.
Favourite Rings

My jewellery collection tends to be in a bit of a muddle but my rings at least are nicely organised and displayed, thanks to this ASOS Stag jewellery holder ring dish - picked up after I read Leanne Woodfull's Christmas Gift Guide. Thanks Leanne! I also keep a couple in a wee jewelled trinket box I picked up on my last trip to Victoria's Way, the mental but wonderful sculpture and philosophy park just outside of Dublin (so worth a visit if you can!).

Favourite Rings
Generally 2-3 per hand is as far as I go!

Do you go through phases with accessories, too? What's your current fave?

14 January 2013

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paints: Halo, Cosmic, Extreme Emerald Review and Swatches

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paints
I absolutely love cream eyeshadows and am slowly but surely building up quite the collection (is anyone reading even remotely surprised?!). As one of the biggest trends this year is texture, we'll see a lot more creams, glosses and liquid products headed our way, which is great news - the best ones are fuss-free, easy to apply (fingers are often best) and are really longwearing, too. Plus, they layer beautifully with powder products to add extra interest, depth, dimension or an added punch of pigment to any look.

Swatches of Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paints

Top to bottom: Extreme Emerald, Cosmic and Halo

Some of my current favourites are these Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paints from Estee Lauder. Nine of these babies are on counter from this month but you'll want to be quick, because they're here for a limited time only. They're priced at €23, which is justifiable - they can be used on their own, as a primer, to intensify a powder product or to line your eyes.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paints Cosmic, Halo, Extreme Emerald
The colours look quite flat in the pot but once you work with them, the light reflective qualities become more apparent

I was sent these three before Christmas, so I've had a decent amount of play time with them and am really impressed. They last and last with no creasing, and they're so easy to use. I haven't done much with Extreme Emerald (yet) but Halo has become my go-to base colour, and Cosmic is one of my favourite products at the moment for a quick and easy smoky eye. It's a pretty bronze with a hint of burgundy and has just the right amount of sparkle and shimmer.

If you're wondering about how to combine creams and powders check out this great video from The Guardian's Sali Hughes, about cheating your way to the perfect smoky eye.

Are you a fan of cream shadows? Any I should be checking out next? Share your favourites below!

11 January 2013

Metro Herald Column: New Year Hair and Skin Savers

Products to help hair and skin recover after Christmas

I had a few requests to share the content of my column here for those of you who missed them or live outside of Dublin and can't get their hands on a copy. Here's the latest piece which ran yesterday morning - sad I know, but I am still getting such a kick out of seeing my name in print!

Feeling a little frazzled after the festive season? Treat yourself to some TLC with this round-up of the best products to soothe and balance stressed out hair and skin.

ONE: If your skin is parched after the excesses of the season, try Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. Skin nourishers like hyaluronic acid – aimed at locking in moisture - work through the night for a softer, plumped up complexion come morning. €38, Clinique counters nationwide

TWO: Party hair can mean lots of sticky styling products. Banish build up with Ojon Full Detox Shampoo - this gently removes product, detangles and restores shine to the most lacklustre locks.  €24, Arnotts

Metro Herald Column on Beauty by Emma Henderson
THREE: To keep breakouts at bay, make Origins Clear Improvement Mask a bathroom cabinet essential. With active charcoal and white clay, this clears clogged pores and dissolves dirt, oil and make-up. €27.50, Boots Liffey Valley/Arnotts

FOUR: For some all-natural deep cleansing action, try Rose Cleansing Mud from Irish skincare brand, Pixy. This antioxidant-rich blend of beauty clays targets impurities and revitalises the skin. €9.50, pixy.ie

FIVE: A great little multi-tasker, No Clogs Allowed from Soap and Glory is a self-heating deep pore treatment that can be used as a scrub or a mask. Remove with the accompanying sponge to reveal baby soft skin!  €15.24. Boots

SIX The fabulous fresh face masks from Lush are packed with skin boosting ingredients. My favourite, Brazened Honey, is great for tired skin – it detoxes, exfoliates and brightens the complexion. From €6.90 for 75g, Lush

If you've tried any of these products, I would love to know how you got on!

09 January 2013

WIN! 5 x Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream SPF 25, Up For Grabs! Open UK & Ireland

Dr Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm Cream
If you read yesterday’s post you’ll know what wonders this can work for parched complexions. Ideal for combination or dehydrated skin, this oil free cream feels light and refreshing, and is a real pleasure to use.  You can check it out on my mug here.
Perfect for anyone in their 20s and 30s, this gives a fresh, natural complexion and controls oil production throughout the day. SPF 25 provides daily sun protection too and protects against premature ageing.
To win one of 5 tubes, pop your entries into the box below. Good luck all!

08 January 2013

Dr Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm - Great For Dehydrated or Combination Skin!

Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream

When I wrote this piece for Beaut.ie on the top 5 products for dehydrated skin, I hadn't yet tried this fabulous cream. Dehydrated skin is lacking in water, not oil, and it can't be fixed by just upping your daily intake of H2O (though that's a good place to start). Your skin can be dehydrated and oily (like mine) or dehydrated and dry, or just plain ol' dehydrated.  Do you have an oily t-zone but your skin feels tight elsewhere? Do you have dry patches on your face, but still get spots? Do you have fine lines that go away if treated with a really hydrating product? Yup, you're probably dehydrated, too - most skin that's diagnosed as combination is.

07 January 2013

Best In Beauty: December 2012

December Beauty Favourites

Monthly favourites are a beauty blog tradition and even though December is like, so last year, I fell in love with some amazing products that I'm excited to share with you. (Not literally obvs - back off, sister! These lovelies are mine!) Oh, and if you fancy reading all about my favourite products of Twenty Twelve, you can head on over here to Beaut.ie once you're done reading this post.

04 January 2013

Beauty Blogging: What I've Learned, And What It Means To Me

Irish bloggers at the Christmas Bloggers Meetup!
The start of a new year is always a time of instrospection and thinking about lessons learned. But then I realised, yay! I've done all that already! Last month - last year! - I was asked by Sarah of Adoreabubbles to talk to a group of lovely Irish bloggers about blogging and what it means to me. Here are my musings on the subject - hope you find it interesting but if not, feel free to skip this one; regular beauty and fashion posts will resume shortly!

03 January 2013

The Bombshell Dress by Katya Wildman: What I Wore on New Year's Eve!

Katya Wildman Bombshell Dress

I haven't been this excited about a dress since my wedding! In a real 'pinch-me' moment, I was contacted by Bombshell after writing this post, who in an incredible act of kindness and loveliness sent me the classic black version with mid length sleeves. New Year's Eve was the perfect night to roadtest my very own Bombshell and it's safe to say I'm in love!

With concealed ruching around the sides of the bust and the waist, the dress moulds to your curves for a flattering, feminine fit - no wonder it's a firm favourite with everyone from Nigella Lawson to Vogue. Classy and elegant, it falls below the knees for a ladylike silhouette. But with the sweetheart neckline, exposed shoulders and just the right amount of cleavage, it's also a very sexy dress. "Oh yes," said himself, entirely unprompted. "I like that. I really like that a lot." 
Katya Wildman Bombshell Dress
In honour of the sparkly season I wore my Bombshell with black sequinned wedges, this Penneys clutch, a sequinned topshop kimono (instead of a coat) and a pair of crystal ear-rings -  but it would also look amazing with pearls and peep-toes and, if I ever find that elusively flattering faux-fur jacket, it will be a match made in heaven.
Katya Wildman Bombshell Dress
Details: I recreated Lisa Eldridge's green smokey eye look, wore this YSL Glossy Stain, paired Chanel Frenzy on my nails with my evil eye ring from Astley Clarke - a present from my godson! - and a pearl ring from my mum. Bracelet courtesy of Les Jumelles. Ear-rings from Net-A-Porter, from himself for Christmas!

If you're looking for a timeless, well-made dress that will absolutely make the most of what you've got, look no further than the Bombshell. It's available in size 8 - 18 and a multitude of patterns, prints and sleeve lengths, here. Prices currently start at £120 for sale items so go, go, and check 'em out quick!

What's your absolutely favourite dress of all time?