Winter Pamper: Bodyshop Scrub + Body Cream

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The Body Shop Winter PamperI am a super lazy body care person at the best of times and rarely stick to a routine in that department. I don't know why but for some reason I just can't face moisturising properly after every shower. But now that the days are colder and my skin is a bit drier I have re-kindled my love for body products and recently just can't get enough of these two: The Body Shop African Ximenia Body Scrub & their Japanese Camelia Cream.

The Body Shop Winter Pamper

The African Ximenia Body Scrub is a thick and luscious scrub that smells divine! I use it once or twice a week in the shower and it leaves my skin silky smooth. It comes in a huge tub and little goes a long way there so it looks like it'll last for a good while. It's not the cheapest (€30.50) but definitely one of the nicest body scrubs I have ever used. I also love the luxe packaging of the entire Body Shop Spa of the World range - I'm a sucker for nice packaging!

My other favourite from the Spa of the World range is the Japanese Camelia Cream. I loathe anything that stays sticky on my skin for a long time - there is nothing worse than the feeling of clothes sticking to your body! What I love about the Camelia Cream is a really rich and luscious body moisturiser but most importantly it absorbs fully in seconds! It has a lovely warm floral scent and feels gorgeous on the skin. Again, this product is not the cheapest (€39) but definitely something worth looking at if you want to pamper yourself or treat someone to a beautiful gift.

Have you tried any of the products from this new Body Shop range?

Alex Signature

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Christmas Perfection: The YSL Wildly Gold Palette

YSL Wildly Gold PaletteA little while ago we wrote about a great budget eyeshadow palette for Christmas from NYX. Today we are bringing you the complete opposite of the spectrum - the YSL limited edition Wildly Gold palette. It's one of the most beautifully packaged make-up items I have seen in a long time and has already been added to my letter to Santa.

Cara Delavigne for YSL Wildly Gold Campaign

The YSL Christmas campaign certainly doesn't disappoint this year - the gorgeous Cara Delavigne is sporting a sultry smokey cat eye with an intense pink lip. It just screams Christmas & New Year's party to me! The Wildly Gold palette from the collection is a great all-rounder, perfect for the handbag during the busy holiday season. It contains four beautiful eye shadows: a sparkly black and bronze, a pure yellow gold and a pale silver highlight. Also included is a pale pink blush and two lip colours: a glossy pink Rouge Volupté Sheer Candy and a Rouge Pur Couture Fuschia.

The packaging of the palette is out of this world: black leather with gold leopard print and a satin tassel - certainly something every girl would be delighted to find under the tree!

The palette coming from a luxury brand like YSL, unfortunately,  comes with a hefty price tag of €85 but if you are looking for a special present for a make-up lover or even treating yourself, this is the one to go with this season!

Have you already seen the collection on counter? If not, definitely take a peek!

A. xx

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The Beauty Christmas Gift Guide 2014

The Beauty Gift Guide 2014

It’s Dec 1st, officially silly season! For the next 24 days you can expect a lot of chestnuts roasting by open fires style posts coming from us the first of which is our beauty gift guide. When it comes to ‘gifting’ as our transatlantic pals like to put it, there are few things we’d like to be on the receiving end of more than beauty goodies. Here are our top Christmas 2014 picks for the beauty junkie in your life…

(Clockwise from top left)

Benefit Sugarlicious Deliciously Nude Lip & Cheek Kit, €36.43, Benefit Counters Nationwide

This Works Seventh Heaven Set, €21.43, ASOS

Rose Gold Luxury Travel Set, €65.00, Zoeva

Craig & Karl Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter, €45.30, Kiehl’s

Charlotte Tilbury mini lipstick charms, €36.00, Brown Thomas

Modern Future Lip Cheek and Nails, €43.00, NARS counters

Hazel Nicholls You're Magic Canvas pouch, €21.43, ASOS

(Centre)Pièce de résistance nail lacquer 12 piece set, €125, Ciaté London

B. xx

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NYX Butt Naked Palette

NYX Butt Naked PaletteWhether we like it or not (oh, we do like it!!) Christmas is coming closer and I usually start thinking about Christmas presents around this time for two reasons. One: I like to stay a head as much as I can and enjoy the last weeks of December at home, not in manic shopping centres. Two: there is Christmas stuff out everywhere and I panic that everything will be sold out if I leave it too long! This year NYX Cosmetics have a lovely range of limited edition pallets that would make fabulous Christmas gifts. Needless to say, we were very excited when we received the Butt Naked* palette to try!This palette is big and contains pretty much everything you need for eyes & cheeks! There is 15 eye shadows, 4 blushes, a bronzer and two highlighters. And a huge mirror.NYX Butt Naked Palette

The eye shadows are a mix of matte and shimmer. Some of the very pale shades are slightly powdery and not as pigmented as I would like but the rest of the shadows are beautiful - I love all the darker shades in the palette! There are some great shades in there for both day and night time looks.

The little drawer underneath the eye shadows is home to the cheek products, which are all brilliant! The blushes have a very strong colour payoff (so go easy with the brush!) and are a mix of matte and shimmery textures. I also really like the matte bronzer and highlighters (a shimmery gold and a peach).

This palette will make a great gift to any beauty buff and for €29.99 will not break the bank. NYX Cosmetics are available in pharmacies nationwide.

What beauty products are on your Christmas list this year?

A. xx

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Floral Beauty: L'Occitane Arlésienne Collection

L'Occitane Arlésienne Perfume

We’re hardly talking festive features just yet (although brace yourself, they’re coming soon!) but we recently got invited to preview the always gorgeous L’Occitane festive collection and it warrants an early mention. Inspired by feminine beauty, Arlésienne draws on the colourful traditional costume only worn by the most stylish women in the Arles region of France. The collection is a more modern take on festive with striking pink and gold packaging and a lighter than usual scent for that time of year- not a cinnamon note to be found!

L’Occitane Arlésienne featuring Rose notes

The three key floral notes that make up L'Occitane Arlésienne perfume (€45.50) include Saffron, Violet & Rose, all of which combine with hints of sandalwood, mandarin orange and lily of the valley to produce  the most gorgeous light but lingering scent, very feminine but definitely not sweet or sickly. The bottle itself reminds me a lot of Chanel Allure, but with a heavier glass finish and very on-trend rose gold touches- if you haven’t noticed by now anything with rose gold goes down well with us.

L'Occitane Arlésienne Shower Cream & Body Oil

My favourites in the collection include a nourishing shower cream (€17.50) and body oil (€26.00), which allows the scent to be layered; a definite method for making it last throughout even the longest of days. Body oil is definitely my favourite style of moisturizing, I love how deeply it immediately hits dry areas and most of all how there’s no greasy residue left to sink in unlike most body lotions. This body oil comes with a spray top also, genius for minimal mess when applying. The good news is that the Arlésienne collection is here to stay, with  the exception of some gorgeous classic limited editions including hair mist, perfumed candle and beatifying powder. The iconic L’Occitane hand crème will also be available in the new Arlésienne scent, and absolute handbag must and so long as we’re touching on festive, the perfect stocking filler. What I love about this festive collection is that it’s not one just for Christmas. The bright and beautiful packaging make the Arlésienne collection absolutely gift worthy, but once the festive season has come and gone it’s a scent that carries beautifully on into Spring and Summer- a major plus when it comes to silly season gifts!

*Arlésienne Collection will be available in L'Occitane stores nationwide from October

B. xx

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Mother's Day Gift Guide

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Now I’m generally not an advocate of Hallmark holidays…except Valentine’s Day…and Father’s Day…and of course Mother’s Day (Okay, so maybe I am a fan of Hallmark Holidays). I’m a Mummy’s girl if ever there was one and proud to say I regularly pop over to my Mama with midweek flowers or a selection of Avoca baked goods and the occasional Yankee candle. Being the youngest of six I know she’s done more than her fair share of ‘mammying’ over the years for us all- we all owe our leaving certs, driving tests and first job interviews to her candle-lighting skills at mass! Here’s a few of my picks for something special to treat your own Mama to this Sunday…

1. Molton Brown, Coco & Sandalwood Bodywash , €22 2. Afternoon Tea for Two in the elegant Lord Mayor's Lounge, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2 €65 3. Avoca Lambswool Throw €49.95 4. Avoca Trio Cookbooks, Avoca, €26.95 5. Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Home Candle 200g, €50 Brown Thomas 6. The Blossoming Teacup & Saucer, €55 Joeanna Caffrey www.joeannacaffrey.ie 7. Chanel Crème Blush, €34, Debenhams 8. Fresh Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, getfruity.ie, €25 9. Furniture Painting Class, Moss Cottage Dundrum €75 www.moss.ie 10. Estee Laude Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, Arnotts, €60

Gifts aside, don't forget to tell your Mama you love her this weekend- you only get one!

B.

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Fashionista Gifts

Fashionista GiftsFashionista Gifts2It goes without saying that when it comes to gifts, like many other ladyshapes beauty and fashion goodies rate highly on our wishlists. Whether it's sisters or bessies (girlfriends or wives....we know some of you manly men are reading!), you can rarely go far wrong when a little stlyish gem lies in waiting beneath the tree- wrapped immaculately, of course!

1. Pink Sequin Pencil Skirt, €72.00, Topshop 2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Rivera Watch, $209.00 (approx €153.00 + shipping), available from Amazon 3. Short Sleeve Knitted Fluffy Angora Jumper, €72.00, Topshop 4. Black Sequin Embellished Maxi, reduced to €80.00, River Island 5. Cari detail skinny gold belt, €29.00 Cari's Closet, Malahide Village 6. Cream Italian borg snood, €25.00, River Island 7. Minaudíere box bag with metallic detail, €39.95, Zara 8. Chanel set of 3 books, $50.97 (approx €37.00) , Amazon 9. Combined knit trousers, €39.95, Zara 10. Fleuro yellow short statement necklace, €20.00, River Island

B. x

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Luxury Beauty Gifts

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  1. Bobbi Brown Date Night Lip & Eye Palette £24 from bobbibrown.co.uk and Bobbi Brown counters
  2. Eccentric Molecules Molecule 01 £65.50 for 100ml from Harvey Nichols
  3. Jo Malone Dark Amber & Gingerlilly Candle £48 from jomalone.co.uk and Brown Thomas
  4. Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath Oil Collection  €62.01 from feelunique.com
  5. Holistic Silk Lavender Eye Mask £46 from harveynichols.com and Harvey Nichols
  6. Tom Ford Lipstick in Scarlet Rouge £36 from housoffraser.co.uk and Tom Ford counters
  7. Babyliss Curl Secret €159.99 from boots.ie and Boots Stores
  8. Dyptique Esu Duelle £85 from dyptiqueparis.co.uk and Harvey Nichols or Brown Thomas
  9. Charlotte Tilbury The Vintage Vamp Gift Box £165 from charlottetibury.com
  10. Therapie Himalayan Bath Salts £35 and  Boost Hair and Body Wash £16 from cultbeauty.co.uk
  11. Laura Mercier Body & Bath Luxe Quartet approx. €70 at Laura Mercier counters

Happy Christmas shopping!! x

A. xx