Tag Archives: creme de la mer

BIRTHDAY BONANZA!

Happy Birthday to me! I am now unsettlingly old (although let’s be real: that happened before yesterday), so here’s a cavalcade of beautiful things I can slap on  myself to distract from my impending decrepitude, okay?

birthday-haul

Birthday goodies! Clockwise from left:
Thin-knit Poloneck Shirts (Pamela Scott)
Macbook Air (Apple)
Handbag (Prada, via Brown Thomas)
Clarisonic (House of Fraser)
Urban Decay Naked On The Run (House of Fraser)
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish in Fair (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Portobello Girl (Brown Thomas)
Urban Decay Vice 3 (House of Fraser)
Creme de la Mer Moisturising Gel (Brown Thomas)
Labyrinth Blu-Ray (Amazon UK)
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (L’Occitane)
L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream (L’Occitane)
Shu Uemura 4-Pan Palette (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Palette in Rock Chick (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Red Vixen (Brown Thomas)
Charlotte Tilbury Palette in Uptown Girl (Brown Thomas)
Shu Uemura Palette Refills in #495, #472, #595, and #311 (Brown Thomas)

Best. Presents. Ever. I also got a few bob from generous aunts and uncles, a pen, a little makeup bag, and of course my trip to Atlanta this summer. I’m not even going to play at humble bragging: I have the best family ever, and my mother is a fucking superstar who wants only to make me happy and is delighted to let me pick my own presents to be squirreled away for wrapping and presentation on the day of my birthday.

We had a lovely quiet day at home; Mum came over and put my presents under the tree with the Christmas things I’ve wrapped up but haven’t given to people:

presents

Then we made (well– she made; I stirred the gravy and explained how to use the clock on the cooker) dinner, which was delicious but has left me genuinely terrified to even put a toe on my bathroom scale:

birthday-dinner

This was what passed as a “proper portion” when I was growing up. It’s no wonder I’ve bones like Wolverine! I ate every pick of it, and I am not ashamed. (Afraid of the scale, but not ashamed. There’s a big difference there!)

Then it was time to open pressies! I’m so happy with what I got; I love everything, and all of it is perfect and exactly what I wanted. I confess that I did break into the computer early, but that was largely so I could have it set up by my birthday, and didn’t spend the entire day fiddling with settings and generally being a techy pain in the backside. Here’s a close-up of a few selected items:

clarisonic

I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, and I’m excited to try it. I have god-awful skin (which I’m considering going to the doctor about in the New Year), so I’ll do anything that might make it better. Here’s hoping! I’ll keep you guys posted about how I get along with it.

skincare

There is nothing like L’Occitane handcream for dry skin. Honestly, nothing. I’ve tried E45 in the past and it works pretty well, but I’ve found that nothing does as good a job at keeping my feet pretty as this stuff. However, since they actually do make a separate foot cream, I figured I should give that a go and leave the hand cream for my actual hands? The Creme is a product I used to use, but stopped, though I started again recently and I find that my skin appreciates it as a night cream only. I’m looking forward to breaking into all three of these.

shu

Right, I’ll be honest: this one was kind of an impulse buy. I don’t have a lot of green shadows– which is a shame, because I love them. While waiting around for my mother and her sister to come back from wherever they’d disappeared to, I dabbed on some of the gold shadow on my eyelid over my own makeup, mostly to pass the time.

I only realized later how insanely gorgeous it is, and then went back to get some. The assistant at the counter was busy making up someone else, so I ended up prodding at various other colours while I waited… And then noticed that you could get little 4-pan palettes. I couldn’t pass up the chance to put together a palette of perfect, gorgeous greens to add to my birthday stash!

On the top is #311 White Gold and #595 Dark Green. On the bottom, confusingly, both colours are called Medium Olive. They’re not at all the same, though! The one on the left is #495, and is far darker and more matte than #472 on the right, which is really more of a gold-green. Review and swatches of these babies coming soon! I’m so excited to try them out– and to add to my collection…

tilbury

So remember I was wondering why I hadn’t got any Charlotte Tilbury Face in a Box sets yet? I realized why when I went into the shop: I have way too many duplicate products for any of the box sets to be practical for me. In any box, there are a good few products I either wouldn’t use or already have dupes for, so I ended up picking and choosing the bits that filled gaps in my personal collection.

I picked up the eye palettes from the Rock Chick and Uptown Girl looks, the lip glosses from the Ingenue and the Bombshell ones (the Vintage Vamp one I thought I’d love was far too dark in person– let that be a lesson!), and as the face powder from none of the looks. I’m still contemplating blusher and highlighter, but we’ll see how I get on with these.

urban-decay

It’s December, so time to strap yourself in for limited edition UD palette sets! I don’t have any of the previous Vice palettes, so I am super excited to try this one out. The Naked on the Run set is less of a new invention for me, but the colours are really pretty and I’m looking forward to trying out the gloss and the mascara without having to shell out for them separately. I’m less excited about the bronzer (it’s quite orange for me), but the blusher also looks good, and I think this will be handy to carry around for holidays and things!

After that, we just sat around and watched Labyrinth. It’s my favourite movie ever, and watching it has become something of a birthday tradition going back to when I was five or so. I actually got the Blu-Ray version for this year, and the quality was stellar. Simply gorgeous to watch, and if you haven’t ever seen that movie, do yourself a favour and find a copy, pronto!

I had a really lovely birthday, and I’ll be doing dedicated posts for individual items or sets as I work my way through them, so look out for those in the coming days and weeks.

Birthday season is officially over; let the countdown to Christmas begin! :p

What exciting birthday presents have you gotten this year? Do you feel like birthdays are an unwelcome reminder of the inevitable march of time, or do you embrace them with pride at having added another year to your tally? Is there any of the above items you’d especially like me to discuss in detail? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

MY DAILY SKINCARE ROUTINE

Well, this is a post I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but I never got around to it! Today we’re going to talk about skincare, and my skincare routine in particular. I’ve never had the best skin, with occasional acne breakouts that were minimal in my teens and as my twenties wore on, seemed to get worse and worse. Deciding to take the bull by the horns, I began experimenting with a combination of products to see if I could do anything to improve the condition of my skin.
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INSIDE MY MAKEUP DRAWER #7

Number seven on the list of things Inside My Makeup Drawer:

IMMD-07a

Primers, Concealers, & Foundations

1 x Benefit Pore Professional
1 x Smashbox Photo Finish
1 x Inglot Cream Concealer 60
1 x Benefit Boi-Ing 01
1 x Rimmel Perfect Match Foundation 100
1 x La Prairie Brightening Eye Treatment 10
1 x Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Fair
1 x Creme De La Mer Foundation Porcelain

Yep, you guessed it: I’m pale as a ghost and I don’t like wearing heavy foundation. It’s actually really difficult for me to find foundations that match my skin colour and I don’t much enjoy the feel of it on my skin so this side of my makeup collection is on the small side. I do love a good primer, though!

Are you a foundation fan, or do you prefer a nearly naked face? Are any of your favourites featured here? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

 

I COME BEARING DUTY FREE.

If there’s one thing to soothe the pain of coming back from holidays, it’s getting to crack into all the lovely bits and pieces you bought in duty free before and after you left. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that I have not been commenting as much as usual recently, and there is good reason for this: I have been enjoying beautiful Gran Canaria for the past few days. (I made sure to have a nice stock of posts scheduled before I left so that everyone wouldn’t forget me while I was gone, haha.) I’ll have a full post about my experiences there shortly (spoiler: they were amazing), but first let’s take a peep at what lightened my wallet as I passed through duty free, shall we?

First thing’s first: I have a warning. According to weird duty laws, The Canary Islands are apparently “not part of the EU”. According to Wiki, the islands “are outside the European Union customs territory and VAT area, though politically within the EU”. The consequences of this for beauty-fiend travellers wanting to stock up at aiport prices means that you cannot avail of the airport’s Shop & Collect service if you are going there. (Shop & Collect is only available for inter-EU return trips. You can’t use it going to America, either.)

I got a terrible shock at the desk when I was told “The Canaries aren’t part of the EU”, and began  frantically questioning if I ought to have changed money before going there, because, you know, how can they be outside the EU if they use the Euro? On that front I was safe enough, though: their currency is the Euro, but their duty laws are their own. Bonkers, I know, but something to be aware of if you’re going there! Fortunately, I was, for once, travelling with checked luggage and was able to bring everything back easily enough, but I would have been up the creek with only my giant bottles of liquid for a paddle otherwise.

Anyway, here’s what I got:

dutyfree1

From top: Benefit Dandelion Blusher, Creme de la Mer Oil Absorbing Tonic*, Creme de la Mer Radiant Infusion, Clinque Line Smoothing Concealer in 02 Light, Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Chocolate Brown, Lancome Absolu Au Natural palette. The first three were purchased in Dublin on my way out, and the last three in Las Palmas on my way home.

*I have just now realised that instead of the Oil Absorbing Lotion, the saleslady gave me the Oil Absorbing Tonic. Disaster! They’re not the same thing at all. I will have to call up The Loop tomorrow and see if anything can be done about it. I’m quite put out about this because I know I said lotion quite clearly, so I assume she just grabbed the wrong bottle (since they both have “oil absorbing” on them) and since she brought them to the checkout, I didn’t think to check them until just now. Both of us at fault, alas, though I don’t know if anything can be done about it. Will let you know how I got on with my call tomorrow.

A slightly more detailed shot of the makeup elements:

dutyfree2

I’ll do a full product experience post on all of these as I use them more, but these are my initial thoughts:

BENEFIT DANDELION BLUSH: I’ve been wanting a full-size/portable Dandelion blush since I got their Feeling Dandy kit a while ago. I’m a big fan of kits and palettes in general, but my sole gripe about that one is that the blush (my favourite part of it) can’t be removed and the kit itself is a huge cardboard affair that doesn’t exactly fit into a makeup bag. This one I can carry about with me, though, and it’s got a nice little plastic cap to keep the powder from going everywhere along with a little brush inside it. Super handy!

CLINIQUE LINE SMOOTHING CONCEALER: I don’t know why Clinque doesn’t get more attention from the beauty blogging world, but I think it’s a terrible shame. It was one of the first brands I came to when I started looking at makeup some years ago, and it’s still one of my favourites. Their products are generally solid, reliable, and low-flash, all of which I like. They’re also not so big into the limited edition and seasonal stuff as other brands, which is another plus for me personally (but which I recognise might put some others off). However, if you’re into concealers, this stuff should probably be your holy grail. It feels light, but has epic coverage powers. It even covers freckles! Considering I just came back from the sun, that’s a huge plus for me.

CLINIQUE LASH POWER MASCARA: I’m going to be honest, I bought this just because I wanted a brown mascara and this was the only one I could find. My eyelashes are really long and very thick, and sometimes when I wear mascara, they can look a bit too much for my preferred natural look. I wanted something that had less impact than something like my beloved Benefit They’re Real but which also wouldn’t smudge, so I’m going to give this a try. More thoughts on it as I use it over the coming days and weeks!

LANCOME ABSOLU AU NATURAL: This one was a pressie from Mummy, and I can’t even bring myself to remove the plastic wrapping on this one, it’s so lovely, so I have no real thoughts to add, as yet. As mentioned above, I’m a big fan of kits/sets, and this looks like something small enough to take with me, but with enough options that I wouldn’t need anything else. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of all palettes? I think it is. Whether or not this actually stacks up is another question, though, so I’ll have to try it out a few times and see how I get on with it, so expect a product experience post on this one coming soon.

Are you a duty free fiend like me? Have you ever had a wrong-product nightmare discovered after returning home from your hols? Have you tried any of the above products? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: NEUTROGENA

While in Tesco recently, I spotted something I’d been wanting to try on special offer, so into the trolley it went. What was this product?

neutrogena

It was Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub.

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PRODUCTS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT #6

Number six in my PICLW series is something that I keep trying to rotate out of my frequent use products because of the cost, but I just can’t quit Creme De La Mer Oil Absorbing Lotion.

creme

This stuff costs the blue earth (€210), but it’s so worth it. It smells amazing, it’s light and non-greasy, and it absorbs in seconds. It keeps my skin soft and I think it contributes to fewer blemishes (though it’s incredibly hard to tell what actually works for spot prevention when it comes to skincare, because of the time delay). I actually mix it with another moisturiser (to be covered in another PICLW) to make it last a little longer, but every time I cut this stuff out of my routine, I find my skin suffers for it.

This has literally proven to be a product I can’t force myself to live without, so I have to recommend it even if the price is going to scare most people away. I can’t say enough good things about this stuff, though I will suggest that if you’re planning on giving this a go, you can save yourself about €32 (the price of a normal moisturiser!) buying it at the airport as opposed to elsewhere. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, it might be worth your while to wait until then to try this one out!

PROS:
Works amazing, smells amazing, feels amazing
Surprisingly long-lasting
CONS:
Costs more than some countries’ national debt
Only available in selected locations

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Do you have any big ticket items in your daily skincare routine? What’s your big beauty indulgence you can’t live without? Do you have a suggestion for a replacement product for this one that’s just as good without costing just as much?

Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-