13 March 2017

Mum's The Word

Of all the people in your life, few deserve to be treated and pampered more than your mum. Here's a list of products, many approved by my own mother, that may help guide you towards either the perfect treat for your mum whatever the occasion!

It's an understatement to say how much mums do for us over the course of their lifetime and, of all people, they deserve a pampering what ever the occasion. This is a list of tried and trusted skincare treats for any type of mum.

3 March 2017

L'Occitane's Amande Collection

L'Occitane's Almond Shower Oil is one of my all time favourite products, an instant classic, and the most pampering, luxurious, effective skincare products you could ever use. The entire Almond Collection is body care of the highest quality and shows L'Occitane at its very finest.

Ever since I started using L'Occitane's Almond Shower Oil I have encouraged so many friends to try it out and the results have always been the same. Love at first use. Ever since I started using this collection I have not been able to stop going on about how wonderful it is. It's the biggest treat you could give your skin and the perfect pick me up when you need a pamper.

8 February 2017

Stranger Than Fiction: The Story of Eliza Lynch

After learning of one of Ireland's most colourful emigrants of all time I spoke to co-author of The Lives of Eliza Lynch: Scandal and Courage Dr Ronan Fanning upon the release of this engaging biography about the fascinating story of an Irish woman who was virtually unknown in her home country, but made a huge impression to this day in South America, and of the dramatic tale of how the book was written.

When former diplomat Michael Lillis was first regaled about the story of the fascinating but almost completely unknown in her home country Irish-born Eliza Lynch by the then Paraguayan President General Andrés Rodríguez while on a visit to the country, little did he know the following ten years or so would become something of a treasure hunt to find out the truth behind one of the most revered and loathed women in South American History. He was also unaware of how the process of researching and writing The Lives of Eliza Lynch: Scandal and Courage would become something of a gripping tale of its own accord.

12 January 2017

Rescue Me - Kiehl's Skin Rescuer

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer is effectively a product that does exactly what it says on the tin, but could also be called Skin Comforter too. I carry a bottle of this around in my bag at all times for long days that cause skin hydration and irritation and it really is the perfect go-to for stressed, out of sorts skin.

This cute little green bottle is yet another class act by Kiehl's, creating a specific cream for a specific problem. Containing soothing ingredients Rosa Gallica Botanical Extract, Chamomile and Mannose, Kiehl's Skin Rescuer promises to reduce visible signs of stress and flare-ups including skin fatigue and redness. It also professes to address both the short-term visible signs and long-term premature aging effect that stress can have on skin.

I personally don't suffer from major stress flare ups with my skin so I got this for the calming effect on irritated skin and the cool hydration it provides but I can see so easily this is a bit of a find for anyone who suffers from skin fatigue, blotichiness and redness. The texture of the cream is not too thick not too thin, you don't need to apply a huge amount at a time but the best thing about the cream is the stress-minimizing ingredients that really do make your skin feel so much calmer. It's such a great product to carry around in your bag and apply it as required. It's not one of those absolute necessities for me since I don't suffer from redness or major flare ups but it's so comforting I absolutely love how it makes my skin feel so I hate to do without it now the bottle is almost empty!

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer is €35.00 and is available from the Kiehl's section of Arnott's and at Kiehl's on Wicklow Street and Dundrum Town Centre.

9 December 2016

She Came to Stay: Simone de Beauvoir and Dorothy Parker

Simone de Beauvoir was born and lived in Paris and rose to prominence in the 1940s while Dorothy Parker lived in New York city and began her writing career in 1914 when she sold her first poem to Vanity Fair. Although these outstanding women shared very different styles and lives they represent two of the strongest female voices of their generations.

Simone de Beauvoir, an important figure in both the existentialist and feminist movements, was born in Paris in 1908. Following an education in a Catholic girls’ school she entered the Sorbonne in 1926 where she studied philosophy and literature. Her first book, entitled She Came to Stay or L’invitée, was published in 1943. The novel was said to have been written as an act of revenge towards Olga Kosakievicz – to whom the book was dedicated. The story goes that the novel also had a deeply negative impact on her long-term relationship with the philosopher John Paul Sartre, which began in the 1920s. This relationship was hugely important throughout de Beauvoir’s life; both writers made a huge dent in the world of philosophy and political thought throughout the middle section of the 20th century.

15 February 2016

The Waiting Room - An Interview With Emma Donoghue

Before Emma Donoghue’s novel Room had even hit the bookshelves it had been placed on the long list for the Man Booker Prize. By September, it was on the shortlist and, unsurprisingly, went on to become the number one bestseller in Ireland and in several other countries. It's no surprise that it was picked up by a studio and has now been adapted beautifully into an Oscar nominated movie, also called Room, starring Brie Larson. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Canadian-based Dublin native for Verbal literary magazine back in 2010 when this astonishing and heart-wrenching novel was published.

Photograph by Punch Photographic

The response to Emma Donoghue's seventh novel Room was a surprise even to the author herself. The novel, inspired by an element of the infamous Fritzl case in Austria that drew her attention, has been both praised and criticised; some saying it was exploiting a tremendously upsetting incident that happened in reality, while some – including the panel of judges for the Man Booker Shortlist – lauding the work for the interesting insight and angle it gives to such a horrifying experience. Either way, it has become the talk of book land and is hotly-tipped to win one of the most salubrious literary prizes in the world.

1 December 2015

Delectable Christmas Delights: L'Occitane's Pierre Hermé Collection

Fabulous French luxury brand L'Occitane is back this year with another delicious Christmas collection, this time a collaboration between L'Occitane founder Olivier Baussan and world renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé.

After last year's gorgeous Christmas release by L'Occitane, the Arlésienne collection inspired by the Arlés region in France - which reminds me of Christmas every time I spray it - the innovative founder of L'Occitane Olivier Baussan has come up with the delicious goods again this year by collaborating with French pastry chef Pierre Hermé to create a mouth-watering set of perfumes just launched for Christmas based on the chef's world renowned pastries.

23 October 2015

Event: Giorgio Armani International Face Designer, Thoa Tran, to visit Brown Thomas

To celebrate the Brown Thomas Autumn Beauty Event this bank holiday weekend world famous makeup artist and Giorgio Armani International Face Desginer Thoa Tran is visiting the store this Saturday and Sunday for one on one master classes.

If you love makeup and are looking for something a bit special to do this bank holiday weekend getting advice from a world renowned makeup artist who regularly works backstage in Milan at Armani fashion shows as well as having 15 years experience working as a professional makeup artist for film, TV, film and theatre and fashion with clients including BBC, the Royal Opera House, Sky TV amd 19 Management.

16 September 2015

Cleanse Up Your Act: The Best Cleansers from Eve Lom, Bioderma, Kiehl's and L'Occitane

Strange as this sounds to some, cleansing is one of the most overlooked but important steps in your skincare regime and having the right cleansing routine and products can make the biggest difference in the quality of your skin and how well the other products you use work. Here are the very best cleansers I've comes across from Kiehl's, Eve Lom, L'Occitane, and Bioderma.

This might sound a bit obvious but it's only been in recent times I've truly become aware of the skin sins so many people commit and one of the biggest mistakes of all is underestimating the power a good cleanser has on your skin and the difference it makes to find one that suits you and that you use on an every day basis. A shocking amount of people go to bed without taking off their makeup and so many people apply products without cleansing first which means you get a lot less out of the serums and moisturisers you use. Investing in a decent cleanser can actually transform your skin and I swear by this selection of tried and tested products which have, in different ways, all made such a noticeable difference to the quality of my skin over the past few years.

11 September 2015

Divine Intervention: L'Occitane's Créme Masque Divine

L'Occitane's big autumn release has been causing a huge stir among beauty writers of late. The exceptionally luxurious Créme Masque Divine, which comes with a 24-carat gold face massager is the closest thing you can get to a top of the line spa facial from the comfort of your own home.

L'Occitane's original Créme Divine moisturiser is known for being one of the best anti-aging moisturisers on the market and a skincare classic so when the brand announced the launch of the Divine Cream Mask there was great excitement among beauty fans and skincare lovers everywhere.

7 September 2015

Aromachologie it Relaxation: L'Occitane's Latest Rebalancing Aromachologie Collection

L'Occitane has just made some major new additions to their deliciously relaxing Aromachologie range this autumn with lots of gorgeous smelling new products to help you unwind and relax. The whole new line is designed as a Rebalancing range of products to help you find some zen with select essential oils and very skin-pampering products.

I've already written in detail about two products I absolutely love from L'Occitane's Aromachologie  range, the 5 Essential Oils Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner which you can read about here. Apart from being one of the most amazing treatments for stressed out hair, what really struck me - and anyone I got to try the products out - was the smell. The 5 Essential Oils is the one of the most relaxing smells I've ever noticed in a product so upon seeing a whole new range of products from the Aromachologie range for face and body from the brand I must say I was very excited indeed.

4 September 2015

Complexion Perfection from YSL, Giorgio Armani and Chanel

A good complexion is hard to find but at your fingertips with a little guidance. Here is my handpicked edit of the best products for gorgeous, flawless skin from Chanel, Giorgio Armani and YSL.

Having the best base possible for your makeup look makes all the difference and I have noticed certain brands are a cut above when it comes to creating the perfect complexion. Vitalumiere Aqua by Chanel is a fairly new classic while the latest releases from YSL and Giorgio Armani are of such beautiful quality and make such a huge difference to how your skin looks and in turn how confident you feel leaving the house. Here are my tips for a flawless, healthy and natural looking glowing base you can wear alone or dress up.

2 September 2015

Erborian BB Creme Au Ginseng

After hearing so much praise about Korean French brand Erborian, trying out their most renowned product, BB Créme Au Ginseng, I could see after just one use what all the fuss was about making it an absolute staple in my skincare and makeup regimes.

Erborian was born of a meeting of minds between Korean scientist Hojung Lee and a French beauty expert and globe trotter Katalin Berenyi who came together through their quest for finding the best beauty solutions across the world. The product that caused such a stir in the beauty world that was a result of their creative collaboration was the Erborian BB Créme Au Ginseng which is known for being the perfect alliance between skincare and cosmetics.

6 August 2015

Smoky and the Palette: Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Palette

If you are a girl, or boy, that wears makeup the chances are the announcement of the launch of this, Urban Decay's Naked Palette number four, the Naked Smoky Palette, caused you at least a little to a great deal of excitement. And you were not the only one...

These palettes are the makeup version of Beatlesmania - Nakedmania! People go just wilder and wilder for these with every release. This time Debenhams in Ireland had and 8000-strong waiting list a week before the release and were opening their doors extra early on the morning of the launch to accommodate the huge demand. So, here's a look at what all the fuss is about.

3 August 2015

The Very Best Travel Kit Tips

Let's face it, this summer has been a bit of a bust so the only rational thing to do is to pack your bags and take your well deserved holiday somewhere the sun shines throughout the day. Even if it's just for a long weekend with a carry on there are so many amazing travel-sized skincare goodies available to keep your skin glowing and pampered throughout your trip. Here are my all time top picks.

Travel sized skincare doesn't just have to be a small tooth paste and mini shampoo and conditioner from Boots. Personally, whenever I got away, I love to take the time on my holidays to do some proper pampering to add to the relaxing experience so over time I've learned how to pamper pack with the best skincare products to suit a holiday routine. Here are my all time favourite picks.