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The Ugly Truth Vibram FiveFingers Workout Shoes

3 Jan

When it comes to working out, you’ll endure all sorts of humiliation to reach your goals. (See: pole dancing on a Power Plate.)

Confidence, meet your match. Vibram FiveFingers, new fitness shoes with space for each toe (like gloves for the feet), are about as sexy as tractor tyres.

Engineered for running, walking and yoga, the shoes act like a second skin, with thin, flexible rubber soles that grip any surface. They’re lined with stretch polymade fabric and require no socks.

The benefits are similar to reflexology: they stimulate acupressure points (aiding ailments like fatigue, poor digestion and muscle tension), strengthen muscles and improve balance, agility and posture.

What’s more, they help you run faster. Minimizing the time you can be spotted wearing them.

Available from www.amazon.co.uk

Daily Candy.

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Inside Katherine Heigl’s make-up bag

12 Nov
Katherine Heigl's Favorites

Yves Saint Laurent Anti-Cernes Concealer No. 1 in Ivory Beige, $28.50; amazon.com.

Pout Flush Blush in Pink, $22; victoriassecret.com.
Shu Uemura Velvet Perfect Adjusting Powdery Foundation in No. 754, $32.50; shuuemura.com.
Stila Convertible Eye Color in Berry, $18; sephora.com
Hylexin Eye Cream, $95; hylexin.com

Stila Lip Polish in Shimmer, $20; sephora.com
Pout Eyesheer in Calypso, $20; pout.co.uk
Tarte Dual Gloss in Lois & Clark, $19; tartecosmetics.com
L’Oreal Feather-Lash Mascara in Black, $8; drugstore.com

(See InStyle for more)

Holding my breath for a ‘Summer’ tan in October

15 Oct

“Do you want to try our new ‘blast-tan?” inquired the beauty-salon owner, who looked like she’d just stepped off a plane from Barbados.

“I do!” I said, not fully understanding what I was getting myself in for.

The ‘blast-tan’ is a spray-on tan which involves standing naked inside a porta-potty-shaped chamber and holding your breath while spray-guns attached to various parts of the chamber shoot fake-tan onto your body, in much the same way a car is spray-painted. An alarm buzzes every few seconds to remind you to turn, or lift your arms, or shoot a leg forward. After a few minutes you will be transformed into a bronzed goddess.

The last thing the salon owner said to me before I stepped into the chamber was, “try not to breathe, hold your breath if you can because it can be a little nauseating if you inhale.”

So, I couldn’t take in oxygen while trapped in a metal chamber. No biggie. A minor last-minute disclosure. Nothing to panic about, I told myself as the door shut firmly behind me.

Something else she’d forgotten to tell me, it was quite dark inside this thing.  As I heard the motor rumbling into gear, getting ready to blast me with coloured dye I began to panic a little. For starters, what if I wasn’t able to open the door to get out?  Would anyone hear me scream?  Just then a cold liquid shot out onto my back with a lot more force than I was expecting, I glanced around and the spray-tan squirted directly into my eyes. So now even if I wanted to get out I couldn’t because I was temporarily blinded. At which point the machine started spraying my front.

Just hold on for a few more seconds I told myself, there’s no point in having the back of my body tanned and the front white, even if I am blind.  Now what did she say about turning right or was it left after the front was tanned?  Was this the point I was meant to lift my arms up? The instructions were swirling around inside my head like a jumbled mess.

I took in a much needed gasp of air. And then I knew what ‘tan’ tasted like. Blinded and choking, I decided if I was going to get out of this thing alive I had to do it now.  I fumbled around for the door handle and as I stepped out of the boot the tan-guns sprayed again sprinkling the floor outside the chamber.

I wiped my eyes and looked down at my tan. I was about 550 shades darker than before and bronzed in places you don’t need to be, however the sides of my legs and arms were still pasty white.  My ‘look’ gave a whole new meaning to the expression ‘streaky tan’ and let’s not even talk about the fact that I forgot to put on the shower-hat provided. Bronzed high-lights to match my mahogany striped skin.

I spent the next ten minutes skating around the wet tanned floor trying to clean it. Then I dressed, exited into the lobby where the salon owner admired my ‘gorgeous’ tan. I shot her one look of my blood-shot racoon eyes and she said my ‘treatment’ was on the house.

So from now on I’m just accepting that I’m from the northern hemisphere, I’m meant to be white.

Would you brush your teeth in public? Well now you can.

21 Sep

Applying make-up at a dining table? No way.  Pluck your eyebrows in public view of anyone? Would prefer not. File your nails in the office? Okay, sometimes, but only if a nail breaks. Brush your teeth while waiting for the bus? WHAT?

That’s right. Apparently it’s just fine to wash your pearly whites on a bus, in the back of a taxi, or where ever the mood takes you. And that’s why Colgate have launched single-use toothbrushes. The blue bead released a minty flavour as the plastic bristles scrub your teeth (no rinsing required) and they’ve apparently come a long way from the little plastic one-use tooth brushes you used be able to buy in public bathrooms of swanky hotels.

Colgate Wish Peppermint Brushes are available from amazon.com and drugstore.com $2.50 for four.

Gadget or Gimmick. The Wrinkle Zapper

26 Aug

It’s a gimmick, right?  Maybe even a joke.

This was my first reaction when I was given the PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Light Renewal Skin Rejuvenation Therapy gadget.

As I grasped the gadget in my hands I didn’t know if I should make a phone call with it or change the TV channel, instead I stretched a wide grateful smile across my face as the recipient of a gift should.

The giver said, “see, now you won’t have to pay for all those light therapy treatments.”

Which makes me sound like a lady who lunches and then drops by her dermatologist for a little ‘work’ before tea, but in fact it was to treat the type of scary adult acne that makes you want to hide from the world, and it did help, by the way.

Anyhow, back to the PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Light Renewal Skin Rejuvenation Therapy, it uses light-emitting diodes (LED), visible red light and near-invisible infrared beams to smooth away lines. An independent study 83% of users said they noticed a difference in their lines after 9-12 weeks of use.

I’m not sure if it made a dramatic difference to the fine lines around my mouth but it certainly did help with my open pores, and the overall texture of my skin was more taut and smooth.  The longer I use it the more results I’m witnessing, so I’ll be interested to see if the results have now peaked (after almost three months use) or if they’ll continue.

I like that it’s simple and easy to use and there isn’t a chance that it will spill in my hand luggage.

It’s cheaper than having professional light therapy with your dermatologist but of course it’s still not cheap retailing at around €300.

Available from  PerriconeMD Cosmeceuticals Flagship in New York and Sephora or http://www.perriconemd.com/

Best on-line beauty stores with worldwide delivery.

22 Aug

On pay day I used love nothing more than skipping into an upmarket department store to sample the delights at the cosmetic counters, but over the years some haughty sales people staffing these counters have turned it into a fairly traumatising experience.

You know the type, they look you up and down, are snippy and condescending when they realise you’re not going to buy a 200euros tub of face-cream without sampling it and I don’t just mean a dab on the back of my hand because that’s about as helpful as lawnmower. I need a proper sample, a sachet which will let me test the product at home, when I’ve had a chance to wash off the day’s grime and can investigate the product’s possible merits. Even though the sales person has a drawer of samples, her reply to my request is, ‘sorry, samples only come with purchases’.

If I were purchasing the product I wouldn’t need a sample, I explain, but she gives me one of those withering looks sales people reserve for such annoyances as customers.

In truth, it’s more their tone and bad attitude that kills me, so much so I now do almost all my cosmetic shopping on-line, which is not only cheaper but also more convenient without the chance of being looked down upon.

Here’s my top three on-line cosmetic stores.

No. 1 StrawberryNet
Fantastic selection of well known luxury brand cosmetics. Free shipping world-wide and 5%  discount for purchasing three or more products, the more times you return to this site the greater your discount will be. I use this site for birthday gifts for friends and family living abroad as the site also offer a free gift wrapping service.

www.strawberrynet.com

No. 2 Drugstore

Shop for an extensive selection of great every-day products as well as many American brands which are not freely available here. They also have fragrances, hair care and perfumes. I particularly like their Avalon Organics body moisturiser and Reviva products, which are a little cheaper here than else where.

Delivery to Ireland is now available.

www.drugstore.com

No. 3 Beautyhabit

Hand-picked assortment of the best independent beauty. Free samples are included with every order from this American websites. They also offer an outlet section with 20-30% off and deliver to Ireland.

www.beautyhabit.com

Shaping your eye brows with a stencil.

20 Aug

Okay, I shouldn’t really post this because I haven’t actually tried this product but  I can’t stop myself from sharing because it made me laugh.

This, my friends, is the eye brow stencil.

You quite literally stencil the shape of a perfect brow onto your face and use it for a guide when tweezing,  afterwards wash the colour off your face and stencil.

I can envisage so many problems with this because aren’t each person’s eye brows unique, it’s not a case of one size fits all.

What next, a stencil for hair dressers.

Okay, this cynical Sally better stop because who knows, maybe they’re exactly what we need.

I will see if I can get my hands on one of these and  report back.

If you’ve tried one let me know.