Cocoa Brown Tan Night and Day Review


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Cocoa Brown Night and Day tan Mouse is the €8:50 Irish tanning brand taking the UK and Ireland by storm, and fast becoming a rival to the king of all tans-FakeBake. The other day I was sent out this little beauty, along with their “Tough Stuff” pre tanning scrub, and I gave it a whirl this bank holiday weekend.

Night and Day is an instant tanning mouse, that goes on very very dark for a night out, but then when you shower the next day, it washes away, but leaves behind a light natural looking sunkissed glow that’s just right for daytime.

Initially I thought “this is a gimmick” what difference does the time of day make to your tan? But then I thought back to all the nights out I’ve ever had. Sure, in Dublin it’s beyond normal to go out so tanned people wonder if you have Italian relatives. But then…in the cold light of the next day, when you rock up to college/work in that same super tan, well, it looks a bit walk of shame. So something like night and day is the perfect solution for people who like to work hard and play hard.

So how did it go? Well, I’m not the biggest tan fan these days, but I used to wear it every day, so I know each and every tan out there and what you can expect from them- which is not much. So when I tried this out I can honestly say it was first class! It actually looked like I had a real tan –not a fake tan! It was actually brown without a hint of orange in sight, you know, like how a real tan looks (that brown thing you get on your skin when you live in a hot country).

It’s really easy to apply, due to its dark colour you can instantly see if you have missed anywhere, and its oil free mouse formula means that it dries instantly and you just have to sweep up in quick straight lines to apply. So there’s no massaging in and then spending hours waiting around in your underwear for the stuff to dry like you do with a creamy formula. You also don’t have to use very much because one pump of this on a tan mitt is enough to tan one leg. I did my whole body and I still have loads left.

I can see why it’s compared to FakeBake. It’s very dark and natural, with that green cast undertone FakeBake has that masks and cancels out the pink tones present in fair skin. But it doesn’t stick to the hairs on your arms like FakeBake does, making you look like your serioso gorilla hairy, unless you rub it in like mad, like a gorilla.

The only drawbacks are that even though its an instant tan, its definetly not a low maintenance- last minute tanning system. With CB You have to use the “Tough Stuff” scrub and the oil free “Chocolate Whip” moisturiser the day before you tan, to avoid streaking and patching in dry areas like knees and elbows. And that even though I did this, I still had a slight bit of patching on my knees and elbows. And that’s not a great sign considering I have normal skin without any dry patches, so if you have dry skin this dry oil free formula could potentially be problematic.

But if you can get around that, this would be a great for glam girls who have had to cut the credit card and say goodbye to expensive spray tans and brands like FakeBake and St Tropez. And hey, it can’t hurt to support Irish brands. Well, so long as you can get around the knee and elbow patching.


Best French Pharmacy Products. French Pharmacy Haul

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These badboi’s are just back from Paris! I was chomping at the bit to get them out and use them once I got home because I am such a fan of French Pharmacy products; they are almost the best part of the trip.

French Pharmacy products are such good quality, they are almost on par with high end equivalents, particularly moisturisers and suncreams, and you would be hard pressed to find one that isn’t hypoallergenic, or, made without volcanic thermal water. And each brand seems to have its own spring. You will also find some of the fashion and beauty industries biggest cult products that every makeup artist, model, blogger (yours truly) and beauty editor makes a bee-line for the second their flight fits the ground.

So, what did I get?

Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellaire solution.

Well, my first port of call was Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellaire solution. This is a makeup remover with probably the biggest cult following amongst fashion and beauty insiders! It’s on every beauty editor’s dessert island list and I’m yet to meet a makeup artist or model who doesn’t stock up on it the second they hit Paris. It’s actually quite hard to get your mitts on this anywhere outside of France. There is only one place in London and one place in New York that sells it – for £60 a bottle – and forget about trying to buy it anytime near September or March (Fashion week) because that’s when all the fash-pack descend, so it will be totally sold out.

In France however, it’s a different story. Yours truly got a big big 500ml bottle for just €19:99….but walked out of the chemist with that illicit “looking over your shoulder feeling” you get when you buy Neurophen plus.

Nuxe Prodigieuse oil.

Another very much lusted for cult product I got was Nuxe Prodigieuse oil. Ah- JAYSUS, it’s fantastic! If you’re a fan of Moroccan Oil- you will like this baby, because it’s like it’s grown up, swanky sister! It’s a multi-use dry body oil (read- not greasy /something you would rub onto an unfortunate male stripper) with the most luxurious expensive scent! You can use it on your skin, you can use it on your hair to tame frizz, or as a shine enhancer, cuticles, lips, anything-anywhere! I got a limited edition bottle that was €28 for 100ml, and in Ireland it’s usually €32 for 100ml and the regular (not half as purdy) bottle.

Nuxe Reve de Miel lipbalm,

I then got another cult product Nuxe Reve de Miel lipbalm, which again, is so gorgeous! It’s a matte lipbalm that moisturises and protects similarly to Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, (I know what you’re thinking lipbalm cant be matte) But it’s one of the best I’ve ever used, and particularly great under matte finish lipsticks like MAC, which dry the bejaysus out of my lips, honestly- I look like I could get the starring role in “The Mummy Returns” . But with Nuxe– its nux problem. It was €10 and I think it’s around €13 here in Ireland.

Vichy Normaderm

Even though I have clear, normal to oily skin, and rarely ever break out, I used to have terrible acne, so I use an acne face wash once a week as maintenance (I’m sure every acne sufferer out there has just thrown their eyes to heaven reading that) but I do. So I bought myself a big big 400ml Vichy Normaderm Deep cleansing purifying gel for €13 and Normaderm Complete Hydrating protection gel €13. I’m not too keen on the scent of the Purifying gel – it’s an awful lot like floor cleaner (which makes me suspicious, because I’ve heard rumour Clinique use that in their toners) but it foams up loads and gives a great deep down clean feeling. But I could probably only use it once a week because it gave me that tight slightly hot feeling after. The moisturiser is great –lovely smell, lovely texture- but boy does it dry skin out! I had barely even made it out of the bathroom before that dry clay like feeling constricted my face! Again for me – only once a week- at night only!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL velvety lotion SPF 50

My next port of call was suncream! I am the biggest Spf junky around! My two brands of choice are La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL velvety lotion SPF 50 which is gorgeous because it just melts in perfectly moisturises all day but isn’t shiny, has never broken me out yet and doesn’t give that hideous congested feeling some high SPFs do. I got a 200ml bottle for €13, and a 100ml tube is €21 in Boots.

Vichy Capital Soleil Spf 50

My second is Vichy Capital Soleil Spf 50 it also has an amazing silky light texture, and is shine free and comedogenic and skin suffocation free! I got a HUGE 300ml bottle for €13 and in Ireland it is around €18. So I’m delira with myself after that! They are so big they will probably last a year between the two of them!

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5

My final port of call was La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 it’s a heavy duty “wonder balm” product that cures everything from regular dry skin, to sunburn, to nappy rash, to eczema – literally anything that doesn’t involve broken skin! I tend to get seriously dried out cheeks and lips in the winter (and occasionally have some scary looking rashes after testing out products) so this baby is a godsend! I got a big 100ml tube for €10 and it is around €12:89 in Ireland.

Until next time …..

Clueless nail wrap collection

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Like, OMG you totally read that right! “As if” (Geddit) I would joke about this!! Cult LA-based nail art company NCLA, have brought out a nail wrap collection based on the 1995 cult classic Clueless!! The film that all tweenage sleepovers centred around!

The Wraps are based on each of the three girls clothes and have some of the “Clueless” quotes like “You’re a virgin who cant drive” and “Whatever”. There’s even a set based on the patterns found in Cher’s infamous computerised closet….which used to be on my teenage “when I win the lottery list”…”if it exists”…

The wraps wont be in shops until September, but you can shop the brand online here $16 each

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Rimmel Scandaleyes Flex

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I’m really on the fence about this one, I’m not sure what to think about it! Scandaleyes Flex was launched in Ireland on the 25th May, and is causing a bit of a flutter on the street amongst dedicated Rimmel fans, thanks to its sexy add’s staring Georgia May Jagger. And its not a bad claim, clump free, flexible, buildable mascara that rivals false lashes. Not so bad for just 5:89 in boots.

There’s lots of things I like about it, its packaging is cool, the brush is HUGE similar to Badgal LASH, and its super cheap, who knows, maybe this IS just as good as YSL, and I’ve been spending 4 times the price all this time like an eejit? So I gave it a go, layer one: nothing special. Layer two: Oooh…what big eyelashes I have. Layer three: the same as layer two, only clumpy…..couple of hours later…. my lashes had no curl anymore and were poker straight…..disappointing….

In fairness to Scandaleyes FLEX my lashes are the worst to test this out on. I have seriously, seriously, short skinny lashes so I need a stiff brittle mascara to cement a curl, so a flexible shrinkable Lycra formula like this, is the last thing my lashes need.This would be better for long curly lashes that just need a little definition and volume, like the model in the tutorial above.

But even if I did have lashes like this, Id probably still not like this 100%. Because, anything with Lycra takes forever to dry, because you know, its plastic. So, expect some unexpected smudges even five minutes later if your not careful. Also, the advertising is misleading. It’s not designed to be built up all in one go: your supposed to wait an hour between each coat (Ah come on! I said to myself as I watched the above tutorial)

So while it would be great if you have long curly lashes, the patience of a saint, and some reason to want three sizes of lashes in one day, then this is for you! But, its not the one for me. So, like I said, I’m on the fence, I can see how it could be good for someone , but that someone is not me.

Hottest IT nail colour Spring Summer 2013


This summer you all have my permission to go nude! On your nails of course! Springs hottest nail colour is nude! Kate Middleton is a big fan of the trend, and I can see why, it gives such a “barely there” classy, refined finish. Your nails but better! Super chic for nights on the tiles yet refined and ladylike enough to have that first meeting with your boyfriends parents….( There are some weirdo’s out there that think polish is for trampy chung’ones….like I said…weirdo’s)

My polish of choice at the moment is Essie “Sandy Bench” 13:00 euro in Boots Jervis street (they also sell in pharmacies, but not in my local one, woe is me!) I also highly recommend Mac nail lacquer in “Hangin Loose” and Bourjois so Laque in “Rose Lounge”. Kate Middleton wears all three, and on her wedding day she wore a blend of Essie “Allure” and Bourjois so Laque in “Rose lounge”…..if its fit for a future queen….

Seen at Topshop unique, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta and name but a few, this is nails chicest trend.

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Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat review

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There’s nothing worse than waiting around for your nails to dry. Actually, no, there is: waiting an hour or more for your nails to dry- and then smudging them!!

So that’s why my prayers were answered when Sally Hansen “Insta-Dri anti chip TopCoat” came into my life. What is it? Its a clear topcoat for nails that “instantly” dries nail varnish! This baby looks like clear nail varnish, but is actually liquid acrylic, and all you do is paint nails as normal, wait thirty seconds, paint this on and in two minutes your nails will be dry, with a professional high gloss shine! Halleluiah!!

The only drawback of this baby is that it has deprived my family of the laughs they used to get watching me walking around our house when my nails were wet, like an ironing board avoiding land mines. Arms wide, fingers spread into a jazz hands kinda scenario. At only 5:89 for a big 13.3 ml bottle in Boots you can’t say fairer than that can you? They also have a 3-for-2 offer on Sally Hansen at the moment, so this could potentially pay for itself. An absolute must have for polish lovers. …But a big disappointment to fans of my weekly manicure drying show.

Does and Don’ts for Dry skin

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Use face wipes!
They have so many hash ingredients like alcohol, detergents, parabens, and preservatives that will only make dry skin worse! Not to mention how rough the wipes themselves are! Redness and irritation guaranteed! They also spread bacteria around the skin so this will just make the problem worse!
Use a ph balanced balm makeup remover instead
! You’ll actually remove far more this way anyway! My favs are Clinique “take the day off” cleansing balm 28 euro and Lush “Ultrabland”. Their thick melting balm texture is so comforting on dry skin as you smooth it on, none of that dry sawing feeling you get from a facewipe, and then all you do is wash it off with lukewarm water, simples!

Drink allot of alcohol
(a drag I know) We all know that Sunday morning feeling of skin being dryer than the Sahara. This is because alcohol is a strong diuretic, so your body will leach moisture from anywhere it can, and if your skins moisture is low to begin with, it will be the worst affected.
Take lots of Omega 3 fish oil tablets!
Oily fish capsules particularly cod liver oil have been proven to increase the moisture levels in skin and joints, and thickening the walls of skin cells, improving their water retention. Fish oils have lots of vitamin A and E which are also great for skin!

Skip sunscreen just because it’s winter or cloudy!
The sun is one of the worst for drying out skin and causes 40% of aging, all year round, not just on your summer holiday! Trust me on this one, using SPF daily will be the best investment you will ever make in your skin.
Wear a day moisturiser with an SPF
of 25 or more and your killing two birds with one stone! My fav is La Roche Posay “Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Velvety lotion” it’s non-comedogenic, paraben free, fragrance free. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t give a greasy residue.

Forget to gently exfoliate!
Skin absorbs moisture much better when there aren’t tones of dry dead skin cells on the surface sucking up the moisture you give, only to fall off tomorrow because they were dead anyway, and deprive the live cells- vicious circle!
Exfoliate once a week,
while you shower, with a wet cotton bud, smothered in a highly moisturising cleanser. This works best if you start about 10 minutes into your shower so the dead skin cells will be saturated with water and lift off easily.

Scratch! Especially not the face because this will just make things so much worse and you risk breaking the skin, meaning you cant use moisturiser til it heals! Again a vicious circle!
Take an analgesic tablet to stop the itchy feeling! I recommend Claritin allergy relief tablets, especially at night when its hardest not to scratch!

Use Vaseline
! EVER! It’s not a moisturiser! Eczema and psoriasis sufferers often think Vaseline works because it’s an intensive moisturiser. ITS NOT! It’s the absolute opposite! It feels moisturising on, but this is just a temporary masking of symptoms. Below the surface it’s actually causing the skin to dry out and peel
Use a wonder balm instead!
More expensive initially, but a little goes a long way, and they are so very effective you wont need to use them half as often! I bought my EA8HC a year ago and it’s not even near finished! When I get a dry skin attack or an allergic reaction, I reach for my wonder balms! Trilogy everything balm, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream and Egyptian magic ! You can use these babies anywhere on the body and they are super thick and long lasting! They are called wonder balms because they are like a miracle in a tube! They moisturise and soothe like beam of light down from heaven, cure almost any skin complaint in record time, from flake attacks to nappy rash, and seriously improve the quality and look of skin. A night slathered in one of these and you might never know you were in the clutches of a dry skin attack the night before- or ever! They are both really really thick though, so I only use them at night.