Tag Archives: beauty

A manicure that lasted longer than my last relationship (14 days!)

16 Feb

It won’t let you down. Break its promise  or fade after the delight of your initial introduction. With Shellac nail colour, it keeps its promise, ensuring your manicure lasts for 14 days.

In a time of recession, many women are going the DIY route with their nails. Who wants to spend €30 or more on a manicure that chips after two days?  Or have you ever gotten a manicure and then reached for your keys and ruined it?  This is why I’m completely smitten with Shellac, the manicure that requires no drying time and lasts two weeks with no issues whatsoever, but can only be done in a salon as it requires a special UV lamp for drying.

Shellac is fret-free and convenient.  Shellac paints on just like a regular polish using specially formulated base coat, two layers of color, and top coat. After each coat of polish is applied, you put your hand under the timed lamp while the other hand is being painted. As soon as the manicurist is done with your nails, you can dig into your purse for your keys without any concern of smudging or chipping. They are 100 percent dry in the same time it takes for a normal manicure.

I tried scratching at my nails, and even rubbing them along a brick wall–the polish stays put with a gorgeous, shiny finish. Expect your nails to look exactly like this for two weeks. Mine endured sinks full of dishes, harsh cleaning chemicals, and many hours of typing for 16 whole days.

Removing the polish is equally innovative. Try as you might, normal nail polish remover will not do the trick. This stuff is strong. You must return to the salon, and after 10 minutes under CND’s remover wraps your lacquer will literally glide off. These fun little stickers keep acetone concentrated over the nail, so chemicals won’t bother your skin. There is no rubbing and no sticky polish with cotton sticking to it, plus your hands are free to read a magazine while you wait. Your manicure will come off immediately after 10 minutes.

Click HERE for a list of Irish salons.

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Nars helps us brighten up the Valentines blues.

15 Feb

For Spring’s bright, playful look, Nars introduces a Tainted Love limited-edition gift set.

The Tainted Love set contains:
Angelika Lip Gloss
Angelika Multiple
Schiap Nail Polish.

In true NARS fashion, the set is housed in vibrant packaging that makes them as exciting on the outside as they are on the inside.

Angelka is a cotton candy hue with gold particles – *lust*.

 

Two weeks’ notice. Lash Lab’s New Semipermanent Mascara Treatment

14 Dec

Along with an empty bank account and perpetual hangover, smudged lashes are a holiday inevitability like crying during A Charlie Brown Christmas, sweating off a sugar cookie binge, etc.

Since the pain of removing waterproof makeup turns you into a Grinch, simplify your routine with Lash Lab’s new semipermanent mascara treatment — it stays on a full two weeks.

Technicians mix the treatment to order, and a variety of wand thicknesses means you can decide between naturally blessed and Twiggy-thick. They even curl your hairs pretreatment. After just 30 minutes, you’ll have budge-proof eye makeup that will make you look wide-eyed and fresh during even your most cringe-worthy shenanigans.

Unleash the tears of joy.

This post first appeared on Daily Candy.

If you think Blondes have more fun it’s only because you’ve never been a Redhead.

26 Nov

Throughout history, redheads have been feared and revered, loathed and adored, degraded and exalted. It’s one hair colour which provokes such a definite response.

For many years I hated being a redhead. As a child I would search the shelves in toy stores for a doll with my hair colour, to no avail. As a teenager I’d flick through Vogue and Elle in search of a runway model with red hair. Neither were there any redheaded newsreaders, celebrities or movie stars. It was as if red hair was still seen as something ugly, something which people didn’t want to see or emulate.

And then in the late eighties Pretty Woman and Julia Roberts came along, at last, someone with red hair who was deemed beautiful. I wanted to be just like her (albeit not a hooker). So I permed my hair, bought knee-length boots and waited for my Richard Gere.


Yet it was the 90s before I saw red-haired dolls in the shops, and even today they’re still uncommon.

Redheaded Barbie

However, there are many beautiful redheads who are now celebrated and adored, from Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and to natural redheads like Juliane Moore and Debra Messing who never faltered from their roots…


And those we wish had stayed red, like Lindsay Lohan…

…to new flaming redheads like Rihanna.

We’re slowly beginning to realise that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful.

Becoming a redhead has never been easier as at last there’s an incredible range to choose from, I’m particularly excited by John Frieda Precision Foam Colour, a new range which offers an extensive colour chart of reds.

Detailed review of this new ‘easy to use product’ which promises ‘salon results’ to follow in the coming weeks.

Voya – helping us start the day over.

23 Nov

You know how sometimes changing your outfit can make you feel better. There’s nothing like a pink tulle skirt to lift my spirits. Or my wanna-be cashmere jumper with the red heart. Or a pair of shoes so gloriously high they almost tilt me over the edge I’m already teetering on.

In the same way the perfect yin to the yang of a bad day (and today was one of those days) is to shed my skin, or at least the top layer. It almost feels like starting over. Washing away the day. Hence, I’m a big fan of exfoliators.

For my face I have long favoured chemical exfoliators (such as skin brighteners containing salicylic acid), and for my body I’ve use various physical exfoliators (including exfoliating gloves, towels and scrubs). These products help shed old dead cells leaving skin dewy and smooth. Or at least that’s the idea.

However, of late, I’ve found the physical exfoliator I was using left my skin dry, so I’d reduced how often I used it and ultimately tried a new brand – Voya Body Buff (Time to Shine). I wasn’t familiar with this brand but I liked the fact that the ingredients were organic – made from hand-harvested seaweed.

The scent is certainly natural, almost sea-like but very light, and the consistency is creamy with moderate grains.

When I first lathered it on my skin I thought it was fairly similar to other exfoliators I’d used so my expectations weren’t particularly high. But after I showered and dried I noticed something which made me very happy. My skin was silk to touch without even the slightest hint of dryness. In fact I was so impressed I also used this body product on my face which yielded similar results. I’m looking forward to trying products from the rest of their range.

Price: €10

For full range see: www.voya.ie

One-hundred years old and looking good!

20 Nov

Elizabeth Arden is 100 years old and to celebrate the skin care giant have launched a limited edition Eight Hour Cream in a vintage-meets-5th-Avenue pots, which I think you’ll agree will make the perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

This little pot of cream can be used for everything from chapped lips, dry cuticles, unruly eyebrows, cracked feet, glossy eyelids (i.e mix with dark eye shadow to achieve a sexy smoky eye effect) and is great to keep your skin hydrated on long flights.

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)

Take the shine off.

11 Nov


There’s a big difference between sporting a ‘healthy dewy glow’ and looking like your face has underground oil rigs that have just sprung some leaks – namely on your nose, forehead and chin. We’re all familiar with that unattractive sheen which makes us glow in photos, and which always occurs at the most inopportune times like during your first date with Mr Right, or as you sit in the waiting room before your big interview or on your wedding day.  Instead arm yourself with the ‘shiny girl’s saviours’ which promise to take the shine off your face (in the best possible way).

After your make-up application is complete fix it in place with a light spritz of Urban Decay All-Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Available from Boots).

When the sheen strikes the last thing you want to do is apply more face powder as it just gives a chalky finish which can end up leaving your make-up looking blotchy and heavy, instead try Paul and Joe miniature Blotting Paper (asos.com)

Or The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Blotting Tissues (also comes in Camomile for sensitive skin) or Dior Blotting papers, one sheet is enough to blot the whole face during touch-ups or when humidity hits.


The Miracle Mask, my best find for 2010, refines pores – incredible.

17 Oct

Every night I generously lather on anti-aging creams and each morning I slap on copious amounts of sunblock, in between there are face masks, eye creams and high-tech facials, all doing their little bit to help slow down the aging process, but in reality I won’t know if these products are really working until many years down the road.  I hope my face won’t be blueprint of the late hours, excess wine drinking, hangovers and ten years of smoking  which were my twenties (I know, insert much eye rolling) –  instead I hope the healthy eating, expensive face creams, fitness and moderate wine drinking of my thirties will pay dividend – but we’ll have to wait and see.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found a product which worked instantly.  Let me introduce The Miracle Mask (NUDE skincare) which dramatically refined my pores after only one use.

Oddly, this product’s label didn’t make any claims about refining pores, however, it did promise to ‘dramatically improve skin’, but they all seem to promise that so I didn’t take much notice. In truth I just carelessly dabbed some of this mask onto my face, vacuumed my bedroom while I waited for it to ‘work’, and then washed it off some minutes later.  In the time it took me to clean my bedroom floor I was, unknown to me, getting a new skin.  My opened pores were reduced by at least seventy per cent and my skin felt taut and new without the dehydrated tightness that often accompanies products like this which contain AHAs, though these AHAs are from milk, which means they’re natural and this may have made all the difference.

Lots of products have the word ‘miracle’ in the name but few have earned the title.

What it is: A facial mask for instant radiance and skin-brightening results.

What it is formulated to do: Nude Miracle Mask exfoliates and stimulates skin for a revitalised complexion. It contains natural alpha hydroxyl acids, which benefit the skin with their light exfoliating and moisturising properties, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, skin lightening and firming, and increased collagen production.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:– Parabens- Sulfates- Synthetic Fragrances- Synthetic Dyes- Petro-Chemicals- Phthalates

What else you need to know:The perfect pre-party mask, this incredible treatment is recommended for all skin types except the very sensitive.

(Sephora.com)

Here’s a link to Space NK’s Miracle Mask http://bit.ly/bJnJZu if anyone knows somewhere in Ireland to purchase this please let me know and I’ll add it here.

Link to Miracle Mask site http://bit.ly/9LAuZw

For more independent reviews: http://bit.ly/9LanfG

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.

A sleek solution – one simple hair product which conditions, styles and protects.

27 Sep

Moroccanoil.

Imagine taking a Troll doll and scrubbing its hair with Daz, then tumble drying it on full speed. The result? An electrified, back-combed afro of hair, which is a fairly accurate description of what my hair looks like when I let it dry naturally.

If, like me, you have a not quite straight, not quite curly mane of hair otherwise known as frizz then you’ll be excited by what I’m about tell you. There is a cure and it’s called Moroccanoil – a bottle of sweet smelling magic that will turn the untamed beast that lives on top of your head into a bundle of silky, shiny, easily managed gorgeousness. So gorgeous, in fact, that it would make Cheryl Cole swoon with envy.

Multi-functional

Moroccanoil works with all hair types but is especially effective on naturally wavy tresses, hair which easily frizzes, or reacts badly to drizzly Irish rain. It can be used as a styling, finishing or conditioning product and if that wasn’t enough, it also protects against sun damage, humidity and other harsh environmental factors. The perfect rehydration treatment for colour damaged hair or for those of us with an addiction to ceramic straightening tongs.

How I use it

I apply a little to my split ends before I wash my hair and then I apply some more before I untangle my mop and blow-dry it straight – the result is sleek healthy looking hair. Or if I’m in a rush – which is most of the time – I apply a generous amount of this product to my towel dried hair and then on my way to work turn up the car heater to high, by the time I arrive I’ve a head of salon curls. Though be careful to keep it away from your roots or you’ll end up looking like Mrs Doyle from Father Ted. And in the words of Mrs Doyle, “Go on, go on, go on…” and treat yourself to this oil which was also included in this year’s Oscar goodie bags.

Price: 35 euros, available from www.cdwow.ie

Paying for the science is worth the money – Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift

14 Sep

Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift.

In truth I would pay all sorts of ridiculous sums of money or even pull out the big guns in the form of my credit card if I was guaranteed that a beauty product would work, that it really would do what it says on the label.  And I too know the disappointment of spending a vast sum of  money on a product which is about as potent and effective on lines as whipped cream, so I don’t say this lightly –  Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift works.

What you’re not paying for is an expensive perfume  or fancy packaging, what you are paying for is scientifically proven ingredients.

I saw this product working immediately, after the first application the fine lines around my eyes began to blur and ultimately dissolve.  It also tightened the skin without causing that drying sensation I’ve experienced with other eye products.

I would not hesitate in buying it again, even at this price, it’s worth every penny and it was no surprise to later learn that this product is a best-seller and recommended by dermatologists.

Price €95

An Orgasm in a Tube – The latest from NARS’ famed Orgasm range

13 Sep

Okay, so this has been available in Brown Thomas for a few months but every time I go to buy it it’s sold out.  This of course just makes me want it more and finally I got my hands on the latest in NARS’ famed Orgasm range, the Orgasm Illuminator is a shimmering pinky-peach highlighter that looks super-sensual and is especially  suited to Irish skin tones.

It doesn’t matter any which way you wear it: as a primer, blush or on your arms, legs and décolleté. Its sheer consistency imparts a light shimmery veil of colour that looks amazing. I prefer it for night time than day but if you’re tanned or darker then it would look sensational for daytime wear as well.

How to use it:

Though the Orgasm Illuminator goes on sheer, its colour is buildable. Using your fingertips, simply pat the colour onto your skin to amplify the shimmery peach colour, stopping only when you’ve reached your desired intensity. Try this on your cheeks and temples for an ultra-modern, drop dead sexy look.

Where to buy it:

Now in stock in Brown Thomas

Price:

€29

Update with purple this season

11 Sep

Purple, violet, lavender, lilac are huge on-trend colours for this season. If you’re not bold enough to wear this colour on your lips then consider it as an eye-shadow. It’s incredibly flattery on every skin tone and colouring, particularly redheads. And is the quickest way to update to your make-up.

One Night’s Sleep Away From Wrinkle Free Skin.

8 Sep

Chest-A-Peel

Chest-A-Peel’s pillow pads aim to prevent creasing and reduce wrinkles while you sleep – that’s what the advert promised (insert eye-rolling).

I gasped at the picture of said product and laughed, I mean do they think we’re complete morons or something, but still I couldn’t help myself, I did a quick search for reviews because I thought they’d be hilarious. They weren’t. In fact they were praising this device. Still, I didn’t really believe them.

So I got my hands on a Chest-A-Peel Pillow (even the name is all wrong, isn’t it). After enduring many jokes from husbands – jokes which won’t be repeated here but let’s just say the road to beauty isn’t always pretty or sexy – still, undettered I tried said pillow, which involves cushioning it between one’s boobs.

How it works:

When a woman sleeps on her side, the body’s natural weight distribution causes her skin to fold between her breasts. As skin loses resiliency with age, these folds become unsightly wrinkles and permanent creases on her chest.

The patented design of the heart series pad actually prevents the skin folds that occur during typical side-sleep and also actively works to repair existing wrinkles and creases on the chest. The heart-shaped pad actually absorbs the wrinkles that would otherwise develop on your chest while you sleep and protects your décolletage from further damage.

Just apply the pad at bedtime, and by the next morning, you’ll see a noticeable reduction in both the quality and quantity of wrinkles on your chest. Affordable and durable, Chest-A-Peel is for women of all ages, and can be worn as frequently (or infrequently) as desired.

The results

Okay, so pride is a hard boil to swallow but I had to shove it back down my throat and warn it to stay there because this product works and it works quickly. Creasing disappeared and after a few weeks of use my skin was totally unmarked.

See http://chestapeel.co.uk for before and after pics as there are many humiliations I’d go through for beauty but posting pics of my boobs isn’t one of them.

and also, www.chestapeel.com

Price £34.99

Are we ready for navy varnish on short nails? See some of the best options.

7 Sep

Navy varnish on short nails (to offset the bold colour) is a major autumn 2010 trend.

Here are some of the best navys available.

Yves Saint Laurent Nail Lacquer in Deep Blue


OPI’s Russian Navy

And Chanel Blue Satain.

Navy isn’t going to suit everyone, so maybe try aqua, which is a perfect if you’re just not ready to let go of the Summer or are heading abroad lounging pool side then try:

Nars shimmery Blue Lagoon.

Zoya’s Robyn, a little lighter than Nars, probably more turquoise.

Sephora’s 56 Electric Blue is the cheapest of the bunch and stays true to its name ‘electric’.

For intense saturation try O.P.I.’s No Room for the Blues.

Courtney Love’s stem cell facelift- amazing results.

6 Sep

The singer is said to have been attending a New York based surgeon for non-surgical face-lift treatments called the stem cell facelift, in which a patient’s complexion is revamped using their own grafted fat tissue.

The treatment is not commonly available and is costly but is said to last for  five years, plumps up and tightens the skin and stops the neck from sagging. Anything which is an alternative to using a knife wins favour with me, and it has to be said she looks like a new woman.
See pic below – before surgery.

Fantastic Friday Finds – Bobbie Brown and Benefit Badgal Mascara Sale

3 Sep

BOBBI BROWN

We blogged about this great product last week and now we’re happy to have tracked down a great deal on the Long Wear Gel Eyeliner Duo: 2x Gel Eyeliner 3g ( #Black Ink, #Sepia Ink ) + Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush 3pcs
  • Long Wear Gel Eyeliner Duo:
  • 2x Gel Eyeliner 3g ( #Black Ink, #Sepia Ink )
  • 1x Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
  • A gel-based, water-proof eyeliner
  • Offers the precision of liquid liner
  • Color stays true for long hours
  • Gives you a subtle to dramatic look
  • Apply with Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
€44 from http://www.Strawberrynet.com and free postage. Don’t forget to avail of site’s additional discounts.

Full body spray tan €15

There’s something about an instant tan that makes every weekend a little more special, and this is one of the best deals I’ve come across.

Visit carter beauty, Dublin, see link below for details

http://www.carterbeauty.ie

Benefit Badgal Lash Mascara – Black

€13.99 Free  shipping with http://www.cdwow.ie

Filling in the road map and pot holes left by time – Filextra Facial Revolumnizing.

28 Aug

The claim:

FILEXTRA ™: Facial Revolumizing Treatment with Collagen is an all-over facial moisturiser that helps to plump the appearance of aging skin for a more youthful, toned, radiant appearance.

As the skin ages, loss of natural collagen in the mid-face sink a sunken and hollowed look to the cheek and under eye area and unhealthy, sallow and thin looking skin. These signs are as much an age indicator as wrinkles, dark circles and uneven skin tone. To address this specific anti-aging concern, Good Skin Labs introduces Filextra Facial Revolumizing Treatment with Collagen, to visibly corrects the “mid-face sink” with a potent mix of technologically advanced ingredients

The results:

When I read this product promised to plump up my face I had images of looking like Jordan. But to my surprise the results were instant and not at all Jordon-like.

The product is thick and goes on smooth. After only application my skin glowed as if I was a regular gym goer (sigh) and it looked and felt ultra hydrated.

As the weeks rolled on my skin appeared more toned and taut, but most importantly I’m happy to report that the area under my sunken under eyes was filled out, so much so that people began to comment how well rested I was looking.

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/