Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Look: Vogue Fashion Night Out 2012 : Exclusive Les Twin-sets De CHANEL

Today I've a little heads up about an exclusive launch coming to the Chanel Fashion Boutique in Brown Thomas, Dublin this September. As part of the Coco Mademoiselle 15ml Pure Perfume release, this Vogue Fashion Night Out campaign is bringing us 3 Limited Edition 'Twin-Sets'.

These sets consist of a Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick (€30.50) and a matching Le Vernis (€22.00). They are intended to be worn as a complimentary twin set, bringing glamour and sophistication to lips and nails but will be sold separately. Want a closer look? 
Rouge Allure Velvet La Provocante & Les Vernis Provocation are both this unique autumn plum shade, designed to bring out your vampish side and the ideal shade to bring you into Autumn/Winter. 
Rouge Allure Velvet L' Infandéle & Infidéle are both an intense pink with a burst of energy. Each a flattering, wearable shade for any skin tone. 
Rouge Allure La Délicate &  Délicatesse are a refined expression of beige, designed to play on the natural side of sophistication. These will appeal to those wishing to add to their Chanel collection that can be worn year round. 

All three sets will be launching, exclusively, in Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, Dublin on the 6th of September but will be available from Chanel counters worldwide following this so should anything take your fancy you have a little way to go to get your sheckles together. Although darker than my usual taste, La Provocante has certainly piqued my interest.

How about you?

New From Cloud 10 Beauty : Paese Polishes & Nail Care

Paese (pronounced 'Pa'ese') Cosmetics have been slowly making themselves known in the Irish beauty market. The award winning Polish brand has a full range of cosmetics such as primers, foundations, lip products and nail care at ridiculously affordable prices and if their polishes are anything to go by, I'm looking forward to trying more. 

Paese Polishes in 131 & 135 - €3 a piece

The two polishes that I was sent to have a play with a 131, a rich oxblood red and 135 a pastel mauve. Only two of a possible 16, these polishes are pretty decent for €3. Both colours definitely need two coats but dry quickly and to a high shine (no top coat used above). I'm on two days now with no chips, that's fairly good going for a budget brand, considering some of high end offerings chip within the same day.

My only niggle with these polishes is the bottles, the brush is grand, does the trick but the lids seem to be ill fitting. Don't get me wrong, your polish is safe as houses inside and it's little I've to be complaining about at €3 a bottle but I do think it's something the brand could look at.

Paese One Touch Polish Remover - €3.50

Making a recent Cloud 10 order, I spotted this nifty feller too, for €3.50 and with the amount of polish I remove weekly I thought I'd give him a bash. Reminiscent of salon removers with its one touch system, Paese Polish remover is a cinch to use. One pump is actually enough and this much remover will clear a full nail in a couple of swipes.

This remover contains acetone, so, while I wouldn't recommend it for everyday use as it would dry your nails, when in a rush - this is poifect!

I've also been sent some of the nail care treatments from the brand, which I am testing at the mo but results will be up as soon as I have them.

Check out Cloud10Beauty.com for more from the Paese range or to pick yourself up some of these cheeky polishes. At this price for good quality products there's no guilt involved. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nail Art for Nail Biters - The 5 Minute Metallic Leopard

It's week two of my life with nubby nails so I've another simple manicure to show you that will look good on shorter nails. I called this the 5 Minute Metallic Leopard because, genuinely, this will take you 5 minutes. That time is helped hugely by the gold polish I chose, Essie's Good as Gold, this is a One Stroke Per Nail polish and a quick look at the wide brush will show you why:

Monday's Moments - 30/07/12

Gooood morning one and all! Yep, it's Monday again but, on the bright side, this time next week we'll all be on a Bank Holiday - that rocks, right? Before we get there though, I have 5 moments from the past week that have added to my overall good mood, wanna see? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Music Box: The New Fragrance from Kylie Minogue

To celebrate 25 years in the music business (a quarter century, yo) Kylie introduces her newest fragrance, Music Box. The diminutive pop minstrel in presenting this brand new scent says thus: "Ever since I was a little child, I’ve loved the magical quality of an old fashioned music box. My new fragrance, Music Box, is a sensual scent that’s designed to evoke the same sense of surprise and delight. I hope that everyone finds it as captivating as I do"

One play of this album & I was back in Barcelona on the Aphrodite Tour

Opening the press pack for Music Box last week I was thrilled that it also included a Best Of album from Ms Minogue so my squee factor was pretty high (I'm a huge fan) but unfortunately opening the fragrance itself didn't prove so squee inducing. Lemme show you why: 

Kylie Minogue: Music Box - €19.95 w/ free 200ml Body Lotion
I'm all about the packaging, I've a serious grá for luxurious bottles and compacts, pretty is my thing. First off I will say that I LOVE the idea behind the design of the bottle, it's an actual music box, supposed to lie on it's side on your dresser, delightful. My difficulty was with the lid and spray itself, it's gold plastic and really not good quality plastic at that. It's such a terrible shame and just cheapens the product for me. Again, packaging is a personal preference, this might not bother you at all.

You want to know how it smells, right? This is where things turn around, Music box is both floral and fruity with a woody, creamy finish. There's red berries, raspberry and strawberries with bergamot, rose and (my favourite flower) freesia. All of which is infused with white musk, sandalwood and rare amber. 

I. Love. It!

It's fun and fruity and right up my alley, lasts for a good 4 hours on the skin before the need to respritz so from a scent point of view, it's a win. I genuinely am dissapointed with the lid on the bottle as I feel it lets this product down but for €19.99 with a free 200ml Body Lotion, Music Box is one book I'm recommending you don't judge by its cover. On counters now. 

How to Fight Acne Naturally!

Today I've a fantastic guest post from Susannah Perez, giving us the heads up on how to fight acne naturally. Take it away Susannah!

Image by: Mohamed Adel

Acne has to be one of the most annoying things ever to have plagued humans.
You wake up one day, thinking that everything is great, that it’s going to be a brilliant day. But then you head to clean your teeth, and they’re there. Crept up on you in the night, the little buggers, to cover your forehead, nose, chin... Spots. Freakin’ everywhere.
You apply the works – foundation, three layers of concealer and half a pot of powder, but in your heart you know that that layer of makeup will eventually wear off and everyone will notice those giant red volcanoes.
What the hell? You yell, I thought I was past this! You scream. But no, no; it doesn’t matter if you’re going to be 36 next year - spots can plague anyone from puberty to retirement.  
So What Can We Do?

Although eruptions are also notoriously hard to predict – and there isn’t a simple cause-effect path you can follow to control the problem – there are about a million chemical remedies out there that promise the world (in terms of acne, at least). They all claim to vanish those spots and zap those blackheads off your face for good.
Unfortunately, in reality, chemical face washes and astringents do nothing but dry your delicate skin out – the beginning of a vicious cycle. Your skin attempts to compensate by producing more oil, which can assist in clogging up your pores and creating more acne, which, of course, you attempt to get rid of by using more chemicals.
So let’s be honest here, and admit that the best way to start treating breakouts is from the inside out.

Healthy Body, Healthy Skin

Image by: nickton

It’s a hard thing to face up to, but if you spend half your life in an office chair, the other half on the sofa, eat nothing but processed foods and drink nothing but fizzy pop, you can’t expect your skin to look good. Now, I’m not saying that you should never buy a bag of crisps or a can of coke again, but your skin does need certain things that you can only get through a healthy diet.
Making sure you get your five a day (and no, a strawberry daiquiri doesn’t count), and eating plenty of lean protein can help you ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
There are certain foods that can help battle breakouts, which include ones rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits, red peppers), omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, walnuts), zinc (oysters, beef, sesame seeds) and selenium (brazil nuts). It’s thought that getting a good amount of zinc and magnesium can actually help balance the hormones that can cause acne, so may have a pretty significant effect on the frequency of breakouts.

Make sure you get a reasonable amount of exercise too (I know, I know) as the increased blood flow can help whisk away nasties and make you less stressed. Exercise also helps you improve your liver, kidney and bowel functions, meaning you have less toxins to sweat out.

Topical Treatments

Image by: James Bowe

When you do get flare ups, opting for gentle, natural products to treat your skin can do a hell of a lot more good than whacking on harsh washes, astringents and lotions. In particular, avoid anything overly drying and irritating like SLSs, soaps, alcohols (watch out with this one, they shove it in a load of natural products too) and peroxides.
Cleanse with a SLS and soap-free facewash, and then get to grips with the spots. Using a few drops of lemon or grapefruit juice with cooled, boiled water can make a great toner, as it’s lightly antibacterial – though make sure you make it fresh every week.
There are also certain oils that are awesome for spot-prone skin. Now, if you get regular breakouts, you’re probably used to making sure everything you put on your skin is “oil free” – but hear me out! Oils like tea tree, rosewood, geranium and sea buckthorn can actually help rebalance and purify the skin, in turn helping minimise breakouts. Make sure you blend essential oils in a light carrier oil such as hazelnut oil, as they can be too concentrated and strong on your skin otherwise.
If blending oils sounds like too much faff for you, there are a few good products out there that have done the hard work for you, like the Salcura Antiac acne treatment which has worked well for me in the past.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, there ain’t no cure for acne. Keeping healthy and eating the right foods can help, and using natural, gentle remedies on your skin can avoid over drying and irritation, which just makes matters worse.

Do you have any great natural acne remedies that I need to know about?

Susannah Perez is a skincare nut who has spent at least half her life fighting spots. She blogs about beauty and fashion for anyone that will let her!

What a fantastic, informative post! Be sure to follow Susannah on the Twitter machine @susannahperez and do drop by her beautifully vintage Tumblr: Pretty Things

If you have a kick ass post like this and would like to write a guest post, do please get in touch and let's chat. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clarins HydraQuench Cream: the Perfect Partner for HydraQuench Serum Bi-Phase

I've been using Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase mornings and evenings to bring a little suppleness back to my skin so when I got my hands on Hydraquench Cream, I knew they'd be perfect together. Think of the instant refreshment from a Thermal Water Spray straight from the fridge, well this duo do that and more. This is hydration on a much deeper level. 

Clarins Hydraquench Cream - 50ml - €47 (Pictured 40ml)
Normally housed in a heavy weight blue glass jar to match its serum counterpart, Clarins Hydraquench Cream, for normal to dry skin, boasts an SPF 15 and works a charm at quenching thirsty or tired skin, replacing lost moisture and bringing elasticity back.

The active ingredients in this luxurious cream are hyaluronic acid: which plays an important role in redressing tissue dehydration, Katafray bark: to work on the skin's barrier function, Sorbier tree bud: to combat dehydration, fend-off wrinkles and improve radiance and E3P Complex to act as a daily defence against pollution.

Clarin's HydraQuench Cream - A cool drink of water for your fizzog
If you're looking to give your complexion a refreshing moisture boost, to increase radiance and combat pollutants then this Clarin's HydraQuench duo has you covered. 

Are you a Clarins Skincare fan? Tried the HydraQuench range yet? 

Nail Art for Nail Biters - Love Lace

Any of you that follow me on Twitter will have seen me wail about two disastrous nail breaks this week. Instead of wallowing (which I did briefly anyway), I've decided to make use of my newly found nubs as they grow back to their former glory and show you one or two nail looks over the next couple of weeks that can be used on shorter talons. Be you a biter or a breaker, these simple looks will work for you. First Look... Lace. 

They're so short! 
I've used a lace inspired look as the triangle of white on a neutral colour actually elongates the nail, fooling the eye and accentuating the length, it's almost as if you haven't actually been munching on them ad infinitum. Here's just how simple it is to achieve this look. 

  1. Start with two coats of your neutral base colour. I chose Bourjois Beige Glamour (that isn't beige at all, it's a dusky rose pink)
  2. Using the striper brush place two lines in a chevron formation on the nail bed. I used Model's Own white Nail Art Pen. 
  3. Repeat step 2 so that you have four lines. 
  4. Using the nib place dots between the two lines on both sides. 
  5. Two dots close together and joined at the tip make love hearts. Place two on each side and one in the centre. 
  6. A swish of Seche Vite seals your design. You and your nubs are good to go!

 You could always add a few more features like below, but I felt the simpler the better, while nails are this short. Once my own scratchers are long again I'll do a tutorial on a more embellished look. 

A little busy for shorter manis. 

That was six simple steps to nicer nubs. Are you a lover of the lace?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Barry M Nail Paint: Aqua Glitter

Being an avid fan of Barry M’s Red Glitter and of anything Aqua (It's my birthstone dont'cha know?) I was thrilled to spy this polish when in Boots last week.

It’s a ‘Have your eye out’ shiny teal glitter that, while not as densely packed as it’s red counterpart, is still well worth a look for €4.99.

Barry M Aqua Glitter - Top Right: Two coats, Bottom Left: One coat over Essence Let's Get Lost with Matte Top Coat
The polish consists of small and mid sized aqua glitters in a teal jelly suspension. It can be worn alone, using two coats for a sparkly, subtle look but with sparse glitters like this I prefer to use them as top coats.

Two Coats 

Mattified for the Office

Over an aqua blue polish (Essence Let's Get Lost) the aqua glitter becomes more pronounced, I’ve used a matte top coat for a different take and to make it a little more work appropriate.

Gradient for Partying!
Used as a gradient over a tip of Miss Sporty Teal, Aqua Glitter comes to life and is an ideal mani for a night out on the tiles.

What say we? Aqua Glitter giving you the want? I'd love to know which of the three looks you prefer too...

Sunshine Bottled from Roger & Gallet: Sublime Or Collection

You are gold (Gold), always believe in your soul... You're singing it, aren't you? Well welcome to my world for the past week since these precious golden bottles arrived on my desk. New for Summer 2012 from French favourite, Roger & Gallet is Sublime Or, it smells of warmed citrus trees in the Spanish air and leaves a golden luminous shimmer on your skin. What's not to love? Let's learn more about how to get your golden glow on...

Eau Sublime Or- Fresh Fragrant Water 100ml - €39.95

Eau Sublime Or Fresh Fragrant Water can be used at any time of the day on clean bare skin. With coconut flower, orange blossom, wood, vanilla and musk, one spritz of this and I was whisked to sunnier climes, I instantly got that feeling of coming in from a long day lazing by the pool and getting showered to head out for the evening. I do love when a fragrance can transport you like that.

This Fragrant Water is infused with a golden miscro shimmer that no photograph will do justice, you can barely detect the subtle gold flecks on my skin above, just imagine this on tanned skin. (False or otherwise)(The tan, not the skin)

Creme Sublime Or - 200ml - €17.50
Looking like any other luxurious body cream, it's not until you begin to massage Creme Sublime Or into your skin do you release the richly bergamot citrussy scent and see the beautiful sheen it leaves behind. Made with 6 natural oils such as macadamia, sesame, argan and almond, Creme Sublime Or sinks into your skin almost instantly. The golden sheen left behind is non greasy, which allows you to get dressed immediately.

I used this on my forearms yesterday in the office and was asked twice what I was using, the first time because the Engineer next to me said I smelled 'like holidays' the next by a stranger at a meeting that asked what I used for the glow. Cue strange lady stroking my forearms in the meeting room. It happens.

Truth be told, I can't bring myself to waste these. They've been put up with my suitcases because I want to keep them for a sunshine holiday. (I'm determined I'm getting one) I can envision spritzing my bronzed skin with the shimmering water before heading out for the evening, even the thought of it is enough to bring a little sunshine into my life.

Are you a Roger & Gallet fan? Do shimmer products make your wish list this Summer?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Limited Edition: Aussie Colour Mate Hair Care Range

Say G'Day to the limited edition Summer range from cult favourite hair care brand, Aussie. Inspired by Australian designers to bring a little sunshine to your shower, these new bottles are covered with flowers and bright summery wording but won't be around for long so if you want to brighten up your bathroom with these, you'll need to be quick. 

Aussie Colour Mate Shampoo - €4.89
Using the famous Australian Wild Peach extract, this shampoo is super sweetly scented, which I love. I can't abide sweet perfumes but on my locks I make an exception. Thick and unctuous, it only takes a little to work up a good lather and it really doesn't need to be repeated. 

Aussie Colour Mate Conditioner - €4.89
 With the same scent as the shampoo, Aussie Colour Mate is thinner in consistency than a lot of conditioners I use but boy is it potent. A small amount worked into your grúaig lathers nicely and rinses to leave your hair feeling squeaky clean.

Aussie Colour Mate 3 Minute Miracle - €5.99
Should your tresses be in distress you need look no further than the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle. I popped this in, covered it with a shower cap and a towel turban over that and left it sit while I finished my bath. Rinsing it out, not only did it smell divine but it rinsed clear in minutes and left my hair ridiculously manageable.

I hadn't used 3 Minute Miracle before but having tried it, Thanks to the brand, I can easily see why it was a Beaut.ie winner last year. Not only was my hair light, bright and super soft but the peach scent stayed until the following evening. When I got up in the morning I pulled out my pony tail and shook my hair and it looked just washed, only needing me to run my fingers through before heading out the door. Well worth the budget price tag of €5.99 and certainly something I'll be picking up again.

Aussie Colour Mate Limited Edition Packs are available to buy now from all good pharmacies and supermarkets. Have you thrown these in your shopping basket before? Is there anything else from the Aussie ranges you think I should try?

Monday's Moments - 23/07

Eh up, chucks, Monday again and we're almost through July. Time seems to be hurtling along at a rate of knots. Last week was a fairly busy one with catching up with work, 3 movie screenings and an event. I managed to grab a snakey cocktail too with the lovely Karen from lovelygirliebits.com in Fallon & Byrne, great laughs and great service rounded off my week perfectly. Of course there was plenty of fodder for Monday's Moments during the week though. Wanna see what made the top five? 

1. Pile Free!

As I mentioned in the 9-5 post a couple of weeks back, part of my job is managing the county's traffic lights. There's a prehistoric system in place for this that I'm in the process of changing but, for now, forests cry for the sheer volumes of paper being used.

We don't have the luxury of students this year so my dreams have been haunted with piles of paperwork needing to be scanned and filed. After my two weeks off though I decided to go in last Monday, put my phone on silent and plough through them. It took until Tuesday afternoon but they're done. Such a good feeling to arrive to a clear desk, it may not last long but for now, ahhhhhhh.

2. Young Love

Heading into the cinema on Tuesday, I was rushing along (as usual) when I caught sight of one of the most heart-warming sights I've seen in the longest time. An older couple probably in their early seventies, shuffling along, holding hands.

As I passed them I could hear her laughing at something he'd said, possibly jeering my oversized hood but it was lovely to see a couple still so deeply in love that they're hand in hand. Made my evening.

3. Batty!

You'll have seen that I managed to wangle a pass for The Dark Knight Rises premiere last week. That, in itself deserves a Monday's Moment top slot but it was a fellow cinema goer that has to take that biscuit. 

While waiting for the film to start I happened to notice Batman arrive, he arrived alone, in full costume and sat in the top corner of the cinema, alone, in full rigout, for the duration. Whatever issues I had with some of Bane's dialogue can't have been a patch on what he heard through a full bat mask. Here's hoping he was using sonar. Loon. 

4. Like Momma, Like Son

One of my proudest moments so far on the blog happened on Friday. The eldest Gorgebag wrote his first film review for our Two Takes on Ted movie review. Even better than the fact that I only had to copy and paste his work was the fantastic reaction he got from everyone once it was published.

I might just have to get him to do reviews for appropriate films in future. Yep, I'm aware that makes me Mr Miyagi, if it weren't for my trusty Tweezerman Tweezers the similarity wouldn't end there. I'll have to get us some blogger headbands... Wax on, wax off...

5. The Phaaaaantom of the Opera is Hurr..

I had a phone call on Thursday that was completely unexpected but made my day. Apparently the Sis had entered me into a competition for Phantom tickets for helping her out with a random act of kindness. First up, Phantom is one of my favourite West End shows and I was gutted that the tickets were so expensive to see it in Dublin, I just couldn't justify the cost.

Secondly, I certainly don't do anything for the Sis with the thought that it's in return for something. Long story short, she's leaving hubby at home tonight and we're off out for a bite to eat and to catch one of the best musicals in history. When weeks start this good, I know it'll be a tough job just picking 5 top moments next Monday.

So, what have you been up to this week then? Anything made your day or even your week? I love to hear all about it!