Thursday, September 28, 2017

Too Faced Melted Latex - Hopeless Romantic, But First, Lipstick and Im Bossy

You could be forgiven for thinking Too Faced is all style and no substance, after all the brand does kitsch and cute like no other and is always creating new and adorable products  I have branded them the most adorable makeup brand (I want to live in Too Faced world) but they are in fact very innovative and clever with their products and not for a minute to be underestimate.
Liquid Lipsticks are dead.... well at the very least our lips are pretty dam tired from wearing them so its time we moved on to gloss or combined our liquid lips with a glossy top.  Too Faced Melted Matte lipsticks are one of my favouites and definitely one of the least drying formulas that I have tried, always looking towards the next trend Too Faced have launched Melted Latex which is a high pigmented, super shiny and long wearing lip gloss.  The gloss, which can be worn on its own or combined with your favourite liquid lipstick, has a really thick honey consistency.  One swipe will cover the lips in thick opaque shine.  As I said Latex has the consistency of honey so it is sticky but this allows the gloss stick to your lips.  You have to be careful not to apply too much around the inner rim of your lips as the gloss can gather.    While you can wear these over a liquid lipstick I think the full colour coverage is wonderful.  
I was wearing the pink shade But First, Lipstick out and about and a woman stopped me and asked me what I was wearing on my lips.  She said she was sick of matte lipsticks and the lipgloss made my lips look full and fabulous.  I whipped out Melted Latex and told her you could get Too Faced in Debenhams..... embarrassingly we had a Too Faced love fest while standing at an Urban Decay counter oops.

I find that Melted Latex feels so comfortable on the lips its like a lip treatment, you free to move your lips without that dreaded crack of matte lipsticks.  The colour is intense and opaque and it wears really well, in fact the colour looks just as good after a couple of hours wear.  The formula is such that it will last through coffee (the cup will have smudges but your lips will still look fabulous).  

Too Faced Melted Latex comes in 16 shades including the shade Unicorn Tears, I have three colours to show you today Hopeless Romantic* (a nude) , But First, Lipstick* (hot pink and my signature shade and Im Bossy* (a classic red).   A brand might be able to do cute, it might have fancy packaging but when a brand can create classic shades perfectly they are a good makeup brand brand.   I love the shades that Too Faced creates (their Melted Matte in Sell Out is my favourite nude shade) in addition to having fashion fun shades, they nail classic shades.  Too Faced do really good reds, reds so good they give Chanel a run for their money.

Top to Bottom
Hopeless Romantic, 
But First, Lipstick 
Im Bossy
Hopeless Romantic,
Hopeless Romantic,
 But First, Lipstick
But First, Lipstick
Im Bossy
Im Bossy




Too Faced Melted Latex Lipsticks are available now from Debenhams counters and Debenhams.ie   If you want to see the full Too Faced collection visit the pretty and pink counter at Debenhams Henry Street.  Imagine if you will a makeup vanity designed by Cher from Clueless and thats the Too Faced counter.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Clarins Double Serum 20 + 1

I am a huge fan of Clarins, their products are classy and luxurious but more importantly they work.  Clarins cream was my first high end skincare so I always have a nostalgic love for the brand (at the time I was probably using the wrong cream and way too much of it).  One of my favourite skincare products (of all brands) has just been relaunched and that is the iconic Double Serum*.

The Clarins Double Serum story began in 1985 and while a lot of people would think that you cant improve on perfection Clarins are pretty determined do do just that.  Here we are 8 generations later  and each generation has given us small but significant and exciting improvements.  Welcome to Clarins Double Serum 20 + 1 a complete anti ageing product which the skin adores.

If your already a fan of Double Serum this will be a no brainer, a tweak to the already excellent and award winning ingredients with the addition of turmeric (that would be the +1) and Boom here we are the 8th Generation of Double Serum.  Turmeric is an excellent anti inflammatory (in fact himself is taking Turmeric for pain) and in India woman use turmeric in facials (please dont use it directly on the skin as it will stain the skin.... as it did my table) and it has been proven to also target fine lines.

The "Double" in Double Serum refers to the product being 2 phase a hydra or water and a lipid or oil.  The snazzy new bottle has perfected storage and houses the oil and water separately but in the same bottle (a double vial).  The bottle also has a wonderful customisable button which allows you to select if you want a small or larger pump of product.  Pretty clever.  One pump (I use the smaller option) will cover your face and neck (and I rub the residue on the back of my hands to combat ageing on my hands).  Clarins are striving to use natural ingredients and Double Serum has 9 organic ingredients and 3 fair trade making you feel as well as look good. 
I have oily yet dehydrated skin and it absolutely adores Double Serum, the unique mix of oil and water means it absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling heavy or oily.  Oily skinned women are often afraid of using an oil but Double Serum balances the skin so it feels less oily yet targets my dehydrated parts (which make fine lines appear larger).  A serum is an extra skincare step which quite frankly I dont have the time or the memory for, but Double Serum (as is Clarins way) is enjoyable to apply with a wonderful texture and light fragrance.  As I mentioned the serum absorbs quickly and your skin feels hydrated and not oily.  Me and my skin, we are big fans of Double Serum.
Double Serum has a long list of awards behind it and no doubt this new incarnation will also be an award winner.  Some the people I trust most in the beauty industry adore Double Serum (from magazine editors to makeup artists).    Clarins is a luxury brand but they are also aware that people like value for money and they have a specific way to apply creams and serums to ensure you are not using too much product (the skin can only absorb a certain amount of product the rest is waste).  You dot the product around your face and then you press or push (DO NOT RUB) the product into your skin, this spreads more product around (and rubbing can damage the skin) and it also means you use less product meaning your bottle lasts longer.   If your in doubt how to do this ask at any Clarins Counter.  

I am a huge fan of buying a big investment like this when there is a gift with purchase or in a Christmas set which allows you to try other products from the brand.

The New and improved Double Serum is out now  and costs €72 for 30ml and €92 for 50ml.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Body Shop Hair Care Collection

This is going to sound a bit daft but when I think of The Body Shop, I think of stuff for my body like lotion and shower gel.  This is possibly because I am somewhat obsessed with their Body Butters (then again who isn't ?).  I vaguely remember trying a shampoo years ago but I am somewhat clouded by time.  

We are somewhat fussy in our house with regard to shampoo and when I mean "We" I mean "Himself". A few years ago I had a Kerastase shampoo and conditioner and as we all know they are very very expensive so I left them in the bathroom for "good" use, somewhat safe in the knowledge that the pink bottle would be off putting to a manly grease monkey like himself.  I got worried when out of the blue he said "that shampoo is really nice" hmmm.  I decided that shag it I would use the "good" shampoo only to find an empty bottle in the bathroom (left for display purposes or as some kind of decoy).  As you can imagine we had a warm and loving conversation about this.  Ever since then whenever we have a new shampoo himself judges them and let me tell you he is the Simon Cowell of Shampoos (he doesn't even have masses of hair, regular bloke haircut).  Mostly his comment is "its no Kerastase" (after our shampoo row he will not forget the brand Kerastase quickly, nor will he ever shell out the money for it).

This is a pretty long winded way of telling you about The Body Shop Hair Care Collection which has been put to the test in our house.  For the first time (since the said Kerastase incident) the Simon Cowell of judging shampoos proclaimed "Thats good Shampoo" after using The Body Shop Banana Shampoo and Conditioner.  Thats like being signed for a record contract.


My hands down favourite from the line is the Banana Shampoo* and Conditioner*.  This magical duo is simply wonderful for your hair. Your hair is left super soft, nourished and with a delicious sent.  There is a lovely light and natural scent (not overpowering or too sweet) which even lasts after you have been caught in the rain.   I have been caught sniffing my hair because of the delightful scent,  I also enthusiastically bounded up to my friend in work and asked her to "sniff my hair"... she looked at me weirdly (I get that a lot) but sniffed it and said "OOO its lovely".   I have been using this duo (when I can rip it out of his hands) all summer and its wonderful for the frizzy, dried out mess that summer can leave your hair in.  I think the Banana shampoo particularly suits blondes as I felt my hair was shiny and bright (blond hair is so difficult to get a shine from).  There is also a treatment mask in the Banana range and considering how well the shampoo and conditioner performed its going straight on my list.   The last time I was in The Body Shop they had a special offer "Buy any Shampoo or Conditioner and get a Mask half price" - I love a deal especially when it comes to everyday essentials.

Prices:
SHAMPOO - Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400ml
CONDITION - Banana Truly Nourishing Conditioner RRP €9.95 - 250ml
TREAT MASK – Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask RRP €24.95 250 ml


Did you know there was a Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo* (RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400m) sold every 5 seconds?  The Ginger Anti Dandruff Shampoo is make with Community Trade honey blended with potent Sri Lankan ginger, I dont currently suffer with dandruff so I cant speak to how efficient it is at being anti -dandruff but it is a lovely shampoo.  Probably my least favourite but thats because I dont have dandruff and the Banana is so impressive (seriously if you have blonde, dry/damaged or treated hair give it a go or even buy the conditioner which is wonderful to use on its own).  

Here is where The Body Shop get all innovative and interesting with the Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub*  Thats right an actual manual scrub for your hair and scalp, with scrubby pieces of salt (dont ask me how I tasted know there is salt in it).  You know in the muggy warm weather when your scalp gets heavy and greasy (I have greasy roots and dry lengths) this scrub cleans, but importantly doesn't strip your hair and scalp.  I love the sensation of using it, the scrub foams on wet hair and there is a slight menthol which leaves your scalp zinging (I then follow on with the Banana Conditioner for complete hair swishyness).  I would use the scrub once a week on build up (especially good if you use a lot of products in your hair) and the rest of the time use the very wonderful and lovely Banana Shampoo.  Himself likes to use the scrub if he gets a lot of dirt in his hair from work again its refreshing and leave you feeling clean and fresh.  

The Fuji Green Tea Shampoo is a nice shampoo but doesn't give that zingy fresh feel that the scrub does.  
Prices:
SCRUB SHAMPOO - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub, RRP €24.95, 240ml
SHAMPOO - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Purifying Shampoo RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400ml
CONDITIONER - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Hydrating Conditioner RRP €9.95 - 250ml

Hits and Misses:  I absolutely adore the Banana Shampoo and Conditioner, they leave my hair unbelievably soft and my highlights brightened massive winner to me (I will also try the mask and report back).  I love the Fuji Green Tea Scrub its one of the most innovative and interesting products I have seen for hair and it actually works.  My only con to these is the price, as its a natural product its quite expensive for the size so its not going to work well for you if your using this as a family shampoo to last a family of 5, but if you can hide it away and use it yourself... BIG THUMBS UP.

I thought I would mention that The Body Shop has recently been sold by L'Oreal to the brand Natura which is a Brazilian all natural brand. The Body Shop being owned by L'Oreal didnt sit well with many people who believe in the Body Shops original ethos of fair trade, natural and cruelty free products so the sale to a brand who has the same beliefs and interests as The Body Shop can only help it become an even bigger force in beauty.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Aura - Mugler

Can you believe the iconic fragrance Angel by Mugler is 25 years old?  Angel is a groundbreaking fragrance which really heralded the launch of gourmand fragrances.  We all know somebody whose signature scent is Angel.  Its iconic, instantly recognisable and still after 25 years as popular as ever.  

Mugler has recently launched a new fragrance in his range (which took 4 years to develop) and as you would expect from Mugler its a powerful and unique fragrance. 




“Aura is an uncontrollable magic that the magnetism of the fragrance materializes.”
Thierry Mugler


Aura* was developed using 4 perfumers and they are keeping the mystery of Aura alive by not divulging all the specific notes but its described as a woody oriental fragrance.  Notes that are used in the fragrance are Tiger Liana, Rhubarb Leaf, Orange blossom, Vanilla and Wolfswood.  

For me the fragrances launches with an almost medicinal note (that makes it sound bad but its actually very intriguing) from there the fragrance lightens and finally settles to a woody fragrance.    Mugler fragrances are not light and barely there, they are bold, unique and unapologetically  feminine.

Close your eyes and imagine the iconic hand on hips stance of Wonder Woman (Ill say Linda Carter because I am the only person on the planet who hasn't seen the new version yet), can you picture it?  That to me is Aura by Mugler.  Strong, Feminine, Unique (with a dash of mystery)

I like to keep my current fragrances in my top dresser drawer (keeping bottles - no matter how pretty- out of direct sunlight protects the fragrance) and when I open my drawer its like a woman's movement snaking its way around the room.   


The refillable bottle is like a heart shaped green emerald (which reminds me of the jewel in the movie "Romancing the Stone" .... but I might be throwing too many 80ies references at you).    Like a jewel in your fragrance collection with a metal M where you spray the fragrance.  


We are inundated with fragrances that are too sweet or too similar so its wonderful for brands to break from the norm and launch something that is different.  Aura is a truly bold and unique fragrance.  

I described the opening notes of the fragrance as medicinal and I cant stress how intriguing this is, when I wear Aura I find myself sniffing my wrist trying to work out what the note is and basically just trying to inhale as much fragrance as possible.  

If you like a fragrance that is a little unique, bold and feminine try Aura by Mugler (even if its just to tell me you agree with the medicinal opening).  


Aura is available nationwide now and costs : 30ml €60. 50ml €94. 90ml €110. Body Lotion €40. Shower Milk €36

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