Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

Some of you may find yourselves celebrating today with barm brack (and the annual fight to the death for the golden ring), copious amounts of sweets, scary movies or books, getting stupidly excited every time the doorbell rings in the hope that there'll be cute little 'uns trick or treating, trying to carve a pumpkin and failing miserably, getting pelted with eggs by scumbags (particularly if you happen to be from Limerick), or in fancy dress while trying to explain your obscure costume to some drunkard you've had the misfortune to end up talking to in a nightclub (I refer you to the year I dressed up as a Freudian Slip..not the easiest to explain to your average randomer).
I may or may not be celebrating with a combination of the above. However you're spending the day, hope you enjoy it! For now, here's a cute hedgehog dressed as Dracula.

Just cause.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Winter Skincare Additions- Clarins Blue Orchid Oil and HydraQuench Serum

Good old Winter. In one respect, I love you. You bring me Christmas, my beloved winter boots and coats, mulled wine and hot whiskeys by a roaring fire in the pub's snug with Hubster. On the other hand you bring the misery of cold, darkness, the potential for gangrene related hypothermia (unlikely but I did say potential), colds and flu (with that comes Lemsip and flu shots), and general girly problems like dry skin and lips. I've dealt with the dry lips issue HERE and HERE and now I'll share the latest additions to my skincare regime, specifically for the chilly months ahead.

I really like Clarins. I've probably made that clear before (there's a Clarins label there in the list on the right, if you fancy some further related reading), I'm particularly drawn to their skincare (having said that, their Christmas eyeshadow palette WILL be mine. Check out Aundrea's post on it here on Dancing With Disaster) and am really enjoying these two products.

The first, Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for dehydrated skin, I actually got last Winter but because the bottle contains 40mls and you only need a small amount for each use, I still have over half of it left. I apply this at night time after cleansing and toning, before moisturising and I definitely think it's helping. It does smell slightly granny-ish..I'm not being ageist, I promise. It just has that kind of scent that a more mature lady would wear. That doesn't bother me in the slightest, I only mention it as a warning for those who prefer unscented skincare products.

Moving on, HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase for Dehydrated skin. Oh the love I have for this. A mixture of oil and water based liquids, this has to be shaken well before spraying and applying to skin, pre-moisturiser. This contains 30mls, although again, only a small amount is needed each time so not a big risk of running out in a hurry. This smells florally, much lighter a scent than the Orchid oil but still noticeably scented. My God, this just feels so soothing on. I would liken it to being really thirsty and the relief you get from drinking a big pint glass of cold water. Lovely. My skin feels way softer after applying this and with moisturiser, it seems to be an excellent base for foundation. I have read a few reviews from people with acne-prone skin, who said this broke them out. Personally, I think my skin is just the right level of dry and that's why this suits me so well. I can't recommend this enough, I actually look forward to putting it on, as sad as that sounds.

Anyone got any other Winter saviour products for me to try?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Halloween Scary movies!!

What with the countdown to Halloween upon us, I reminded himself that we should start our horror film marathon. He was..less than enthusiastic about it, given that movies of a scary nature are really more my thing. So I decided to share my top ten horrors (but not in any actual numerical order, just to confuse matters) with you lovely people instead, husband be damned! (no, not really, he'll still have to watch most of these with me).
I should point out that there are several sub-genres within the horror genre itself and I did wonder if I should try and include one from each in the list, but to be honest that would take way too much time, so here are my general favourites instead. I tend to avoid anything that could be considered "torture horror"- I've watched Hostel, The Collector (internal shudder), Wolf Creek, Creep, The Hills Have Eyes, Captivity and several of the Saws, so we can all agree I've done my homework but they're just not for me. Scary? Indeed. Classics? Oh, hell no. I like my horrors with a bit of intelligence- not just instantly forgettable sadistic slashers. Also, I don't know if I can include Alien or Jaws in here, cause although they both are considered horrors in a way, Alien is really more sci-fi and I've mentioned Jaws before HERE, so I said I'd leave it out of this list.
Noteworthy mentions should also go to Friday the 13th, Final Destination, Evil Dead, Insidious, Jeepers Creepers (which was bloody terrifying, now that I recall), The Hitcher, An American Werewolf in London, Night of the Living Dead, The Birds, The Woman in Black, The Wicker Man, Don't Look Now, The Exorcist, It, Carrie, The Silence of the Lambs, Misery, The Mist and Candyman. If you think of any I've missed, please let me know in the comments!

Scream marked Wes Craven's return to horror in the 90's and signaled a complete upheaval of the entire genre. It features a group of teens (the heroine and main target being Sydney), one by one being picked off by the unknown masked killer, "ghostface", culminating in a big final showdown at a house party. What's so great about Scream is that the characters are aware of the history of horror movies and make reference to it several times as a plan for survival- it means we, as the audience are part of the in-joke, something that hadn't been seen in scary movies before then.

After all that I was saying about "torture horror", picking the film that pretty much started off that entire genre probably seems odd but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic horror- it's been copied (badly) by so many others for a reason. Basic premise- teens out in the middle of nowhere after their van breaks down, they stumble upon a family of inbred psychopaths and the rest is pretty terrifying history.
The Omen was one of the first scary films to employ the use of a small yet terrifying child to freak us all out- Damien is basically the spawn of the devil. It takes his parents a while to figure it out, much to their misfortune. Lots of nasty deaths and an excellent musical score make this a good'un.

Ah, Psycho. I've spoken about this before HERE so I won't go into detail again. Just to say I saw this in the cinema recently and it's even better on the big screen. Psycho was so shocking in its day because it was the first of its kind. It's been copied so much since but it is still the original and best.
The Ring- The American version, a remake of the Japanese original. I often think there are no good remakes of horrors, except for this. Some say this one isn't as scary as the Japanese one but I disagree. The creepy child (who simultaneously looks like a grown man when moving- very unsettling) crawling out of the tv to kill people- shudder.
A Nightmare on Elm Street- the very first one. All the others were a complete washout. Freddy Krueger is a Paedophile/school janitor who was burnt to death after the parents of his victims found out about his crimes. Krueger now haunts and kills the townsfolk's teenagers- but in their sleep. Worth watching for the scares but also to see a young Johnny Depp get torn to shreds. If you're, ahem, into that sort of thing.

Halloween is one of my all time favourite horrors- it follows Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) around on Halloween (unsurprisingly) as she's stalked by psychopathic killer Michael Myers. She's aware something weird is going on and is a bit freaked out but thinks it's all in her mind until her friends start going missing one by one that night- and then it's her turn. One of the first "slashers" made, this also has had many copies and it's own franchise but nothing beats the original.
Ah God, I love a good zombie movie. I say "good" cause there have been some awful ones. 28 Days Later however, is amazing- made by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy, the zombies in it are infected by rage so they move at an alarmingly fast rate and although the usual beating to the head sorts them out, they are pretty terrifying when they can't be outrun like your average undead. Unusually, this one questions what would happen to uninfected members of society if there was a zombie outbreak. In this case the answer, realistically, is some good old misogyny with male sociopathic army dudes in charge, adding an extra element of creepiness to the film. As an aside- 28 Weeks Later is also great.

The Shining is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, although the two are very different and I have to say, I prefer the book. Regardless of that, the film is still excellent. The Torrance family have moved to the Overlook hotel in the snowy back arse of nowhere to be the caretakers while it's closed for the Winter months. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) plans to work on his writing while there but the haunted hotel and his sons ability to sense the paranormal (called "the shining") conspire against him and he ends up going a bit mad. All work and no play, etc. If you've never seen this, I cannot recommend it enough. It is absolutely chilling and so well made. Watch it!!
Rosemary's Baby is a real slow build of a horror. Don't watch it if you're expecting jumps and non-stop shocks, cause you won't get it. Rosemary and Guy are a young married couple who move into an old apartment building in New York that has a fairly unpleasant history. Their neighbours are an elderly couple who quickly immerse themselves completely in Rosemary's life, particularly when she becomes pregnant. I can't really say much more without giving away the entire plot but what I will say is that this is probably the perfect film for you this Halloween if you're not actually a huge horror's very creepy and you will spend the entire film with a sense of growing unease and tension. You know something bad is happening and you know something even worse is coming but it's so cleverly written that it's more like a disturbing jigsaw puzzle then anything else.

So that's your lot! Happy viewing and of course, Happy Halloween!

Lush Hair Doctor

So my hair has been somewhat akin to that of Worzel Gummidge of late. For those of you too young to remember him, here's a picture:

Attractive, I'm sure you'll agree. After the success of the Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub I tried recently, I decided to pick up something for my hair in Lush too- enter Hair Doctor. 95g for 8.25, this is a thick mask for dry hair and an itchy, sensitive scalp containing lovely things such as Irish moss seaweed, extra virgin coconut oil, lanolin, almond oil, glycerine and peppermint to condition, strengthen and moisturise the hair.

I massaged this into my scalp, which was like some sort of HEAVEN and put a thick coat of it over dry hair, left it for 20 minutes (it ended up being slightly longer than 20 mins cause I got distracted by an old episode of Sherlock- the BBC one, not the Goddawful US version with Lucy Liu, obviously), washed it out and shampooed and conditioned as usual. It was really easy to wash out even though it's quite thick, my hair was really easy to comb through wet and was super soft and somewhat shiny when dried. The other thing I should mention is how incredible this smells- minty and fresh but also a really comforting scent. My only complaint with this is that I got it last week and it expires next month- which unless you're using it regularly might result in some wasted product. Boo. Having said that, I really love this and can't recommend it enough. I'm hoping that with even more use I'll start to look a little less like Worzel- still as muddy and unkempt but with better hair :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hand Creams-Battle to the death! Garnier, Norwegian Formula, Clarins and L'Occitane

I recently finished off a tube of L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream and a tube of Clarins Creme Jeunesse de Mains.

The Clarins was a present so I have no idea how much it cost but contains 100mls of rather nice smelling but completely useless cream. It is a nice formula- light weight and very easily absorbed, no greasiness but also fairly ineffective- I felt my hands were as dry after use as before. The tube in the picture is completely empty- I gave it a good go but wouldn't buy it again. After that I wen't on to L'Occitane's Shea Butter hand cream (30mls)- I picked this up in Chicago a couple of years ago for 10 dollars and have squeezed every last bit out of the tube- this is lovely. It smells gorgeous, is really moisturising and sinks in straight away. I would happily repurchase another one but I know for a fact it's a lot pricier over here than what I paid for it in the States!

I used Garnier body Intensive Moisturiser  all Summer and really liked it so I said I'd give their "Intensive 7 days hand cream, SOS-Repair" a go (most dramatic name for hand cream of all time). 100mls for 3.89 euro, containing Shea Butter and L-Bififdus (no, I still don't know what this is), I thought this'd be a bit of a bargain. I was wrong. The bottle specifically says that the formula is non-greasy and non-sticky. I, however found it ridiculously greasy- uncomfortably so, to the point where I felt the need to wash my hands straight away after rubbing it in. Ugh. Just the thoughts of it.
Dr. Fancy Pants has agreed to start using it for his crazy dry hands while I then moved on to Norwegian Formula's Nourishing Hand Cream with Nordic Berry.

This one was 5.59 for 75mls, so a little bit pricier but definitely worth it. It smells divine- really fresh and not overpowering. It has a light, instantly absorbed formula and thankfully not a smidge of greasiness in sight! Huzzah! So for the moment the Norwegian Formula wins but obviously if I were to lift my self imposed shopping ban, it'd be L'Occitane all the way!

NOTD: Topshop Polish in Thorn

At the moment, these oxblood colours are really in vogue and one of my all time favourite shades is Chanel's Rouge Noir so it's probably no surprise I was drawn to this particular polish. Thorn is part of Topshop's Winter make up collection- 'The Dark Side of Nude'. There are some other lovely polishes in the collection, including a very cool grey glitter I had my eye on but somehow managed to resist!
Anyway, this was the last Thorn on the shelf so I grabbed it with both hands, it set me back about 8 squids thanks to a discount I had and as far as I know it's around 9 euro normally.

It's lovely- a dark blood/red that applies easily, needing two coats and finishes off glossy and rich looking.

Love it.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Recent Favourites!!

Behold my recent favourites:

In no particular order:

  • Konjac sponge in French red clay. Everyone's been loving all over this little treasure for a while now, I got it last month when had free delivery and I had points saved, so I got this for the bargainous price of about 3.95 (normally 7.95). Huzzah! These are marketed as the "softest, most gentle yet effective skin cleansing product", with no colourings or additives other than french clay in this edition- specifically for dry and sensitive skin. These last several months, just have to be resoaked in water before each use. I find I cant use it for eye make up removal but that's not a major difficulty. My skin feels really soft after using it, much more gentle than a muslin cloth. 
  • Olbas oil- not technically a beauty product but a little lifesaver nonetheless! I've been horribly struck down (extreme exaggeration) by sinusitis/a head cold for the past few weeks and this oil liberally sprinkled on a tissue and inhaled akin to a drug addict has been fairly useful.
  • Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I took advantage of Boot's 3 for 2 offer and picked this up- it leaves an absolutely perfect finish to foundation and makes it really easy to apply.
  • Schwarzkopf got 2b Powdered volumising styling powder. Again 3 for 2 in Boots. I have really thin hair so I said I'd give this a go- basically it's a white powder, you either apply it straight to roots or rub it between your hands and then disperse it throughout your hair. It feels a tiny bit sticky at first but once it's worked in it disappears. I have noticed a definite lift at my roots so I'm going to persevere with this one and see how it goes!
  • MAC Mineralise Skinfinish powder in Soft and Gentle. I've just been using this as a highlighter on my cheekbones- it adds a nice glow but really does need to be used in small doses to avoid the C3PO look. 
  • YSL Shocking Faux Cils mascara. The super version of their regular Faux Cils Mascara, this is a bit of a superhero product. It makes lashes look amazing and is easily removed. Perfect.
  • Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment. I should just clarify that I've been using this on my LIPS, people- I have no need for nappy ointment. Having said that, I've used this on many a newborn's tush and it is pretty great for nappy rash. Back to me though! My lips get super dry in Winter so this is a bit of a lifesaver, I've been using it for a couple of weeks and my lips are way softer, especially when used after Lush's Mint Julips lip scrub. Love it!
  • I finally gave in and picked up a Maybelline Color Tattoo in Permanent Taupe, again 3 for 2 in Boots. I love this- the formula is great, creamy and easily blendable. The shade is particularly flattering, sometimes I use it on it's own with black liner for a really basic smokey eye and other times I use it as a base colour- both work equally well.
So that's the lot for now, have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

New! Metallic Nail Enamels from Inglot and some Special Birthday offers!

By now, we're all familiar with cosmetics maestros Inglot- they of the Freedom systems, allowing you to create your own palettes from a large selection of shadows, lipsticks, concealers, blushers and powders. Like a make-up candy store, if you will. 
Well, I come bearing good news: Inglot are launching a new collection of nail enamels- sparkly metallics, ideal for A/W and all the many parties to attend! Launching on the 1st of November, there will be five shades; silvers, bronze and golds. These are priced at 10 euro each, which may be on the pricier side for a polish but given my slight (ahem) polish addiction, I'm still interested to check these out. They contain no bad stuff (technical term) and God knows I love a sparkly polish to get me in the seasonal mood. Regardez vous:

 Ooh, shiny. I'm particularly interested in the darker bronze and that pure silver.

Also for Christmas, Inglot are relaunching their Body Sparkles collection in a variety of colours, for that extra bit of shimmer. These are priced at 15 euro:

Lastly, Inglot's Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and Limerick Crescent Shopping Centre stores are celebrating their first birthdays this Saturday, 20th October and to mark it there'll be lots of special offers in store: 10% off all day, 3 for 2 on nail enamels, 50% off round eye shadow palettes and plenty more, so well worth checking out if you happen to be out doing your Christmas present shopping early (yes, I said Christmas. And no, I can't wait until Halloween's over, as Dr Fancy Pants has exasperatedly suggested). 
Anything tickling your fancy?

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub

 My new recent obsession is Lush. While picking my bestie up a couple of bits for her birthday in there recently, I decided to get myself a little glass pot of Mint Julips lip scrub at the same time..cause you know, I'm good to myself that way. To say my lips suffer badly in the cold weather would be an understatement- they go horribly dry and flaky and any chance of wearing lipstick goes out the window. Although I've recently discovered an AMAZING lip conditioner (more of that at a later date), I still needed an actual scrub and had heard good things about this one from Lush. Firstly I'll just say- this smells so good. Often times I find Lush scents can be a small bit overpowering but this is just gorgeous. Mint Chocolate flavoured (a dead ringer for the ice cream), when I first apply it I get a hit of mint followed closely by vanilla- delicious. Full of lots of lovely ingredients including castor sugar, organic jojoba oil, vanilla extract and peppermint oil, this really is good enough to eat. In fact, Lush suggest after scrubbing and buffing your lips with the sugar, you can lick off the excess! Yay-added bonus!

For your monies (6.75 euro to be exact) you get 25g of product, which is actually pretty decent considering how little of it you need every time and how effective it is. I've been using this every second day and find my lips are a lot softer- if I drank more water and didn't insist on blasting the radiators up to the top heat I'm sure they'd be even softer, but what can you do. Apart from drink more water and build up a tolerance to the cold, obviously. But that's never going to happen. After using this yesterday I was able to wear my favourite matte red YSL lipstick out to dinner last night- such is the power of the almighty Mint Julips lip scrub!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Essence Nail Polish in English Rose and Time For Romance

I've been a wee bit unwell from one thing and another for about a month now and I find that when that happens I tend to cocoon myself- literally, cocoon. As in: two quilts, an electric blanket, my happy sushi pjs and old movies. Cake also features quite strongly. As this is the case it's only a matter of time before I start to resemble an old hobo, shuffling around the house in my slanket, blowing my nose. Yes, I'm just THAT glamorous. Today, I started to make a start on my grand reentrance to society (if society will take me back) by painting my I said, it's a start.
And so to the beautiful polish that caught my eye in the chemists at the weekend as I stocked on up Ibuprofen and Olbas Oil (again, glamour). These little beauties are Essence quick drying "Colour and Go" polishes, only 1.79 each (cutest bottles ever by the way).

I love this formula, it's super easy to apply (nice wide brush), dries really fast and looks lovely and glossy. English Rose is a lovely pinky/rose/mauvey matte- very pretty on the nail. I was especially impressed with the glitter, Time for Romance, which is a purple based gel containing small and slightly larger circular pink glitter pieces. This applies so well- unusual for a glitter polish like this with glitter pieces this size. I applied two coats of English Rose first as a base colour, although to be honest, one coat would probably have been enough as this was streak free. Old habits die hard! I then applied one coat of Time for Romance, although again, the colour in this was great- two coats on it's own would make for a very pretty nail also. I then threw on two layers of Rimmel top coat, eh voila!

This is an ideal Autumn look and I just can't stop looking at my nails, as tragic as that sounds. They're just so sparkly..and pink. My inner 8 year old is very happy indeed..although not as happy as she'd be if a My Little Pony came with the nail polish too, obviously.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ojon Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Serum and Finishing Spray

I'd been wanting to try Ojon for a while but I had fared pretty badly with Morrocanoil Shampoo and Conditioner (more on that at a later date) so was a bit wary of the whole hair oil phenomenon. Having said that, I absolutely love the K'erastase Elixir Ultime oil so I said I'd try Ojon's 4 piece starter kit of shampoo, conditioner, serum and hairspray.

Ojon describe their damage reverse range as "the ultimate do-over for damaged hair", "helps to restore health to hair exposed to chemical-processing, sun or excessive heat styling" and "90% said hair was healthier looking in a consumer study". So far, so good.
The starter kit contains 4 bottles- mini sizes of shampoo (60mls. "To help repair damaged hair in the shower, unwinds tangles to prevent breakage, smoothes, hydrates and helps restore health"), conditioner (60mls, "Helps seal in moisture and create the perfect buffer against daily damage. Instantly detangles") and restorative finishing spray (67mls).
The craic with Ojon products is that they contain pure Ojon Oil (retrieved from the nuts of the Ojon tree. There's also a big mad long winded story on their website about a trip to the rainforest, a machete and a 500 year old tradition. I'll let you look that up for yourself, otherwise we'll be here all night), which apparently is "nature's hair-repairing golden elixir" along with various other oils, all designed to strengthen weakened, dry, damaged hair. So that's me then. My hair is in bits.
Unfortunately, I just didn't get on that well with these. My hair is quite thin so I think using the shampoo, conditioner and serum together may have been too much for me, they kind of loaded my hair down and instead of leaving my hair bouncy and shiny- like the extremely happy looking lady on the box, it ended up lank and sad looking. Boo.
The finishing spray, which "provides lightweight hold and conditioning for a natural finish and shine" is basically just a fancy hairspray. It did the job grand but I wouldn't repurchase this on it's own- a can of Elnett would be just as effective if not more so and certainly much cheaper.
On the plus side, they all smell lovely- a nice light florally scent and are a handy size for travelling, which I will be using them for. Also, I like when brands sell mini collections like this, it gives you a chance to try out their products without spending a small fortune on getting all the regular sizes. I got this set on the House of Fraser website a couple of months ago and I've gone back to check the price for this but it appears to be gone. It is still on the Ojon website, but the price is in US Dollars- 39 to be exact. Other than HoF though, Ojon is also stocked in Arnotts, if you don't want to buy online.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Horror books!! AAOOOOHHH!! (scary noise)

Yes, it's that time of the year. Oh how I love Halloween. To get properly in the spirit of things, here's some scary books that can be read in the run up to the big day/night so that the whole month is spent in terror mode

Any Stephen King Book:
Or short story for that matter. He's not called the master of horror for nothing. I would suggest any of the classics- Misery, Carrie, Salem's Lot, Pet Sematary, It and my personal favourite- The Shining. Short story wise- the Mist is pretty great. King's books tend to be massive tombs of things so it may be unrealistic to put these on a list of books to read before the end of the month, but nonetheless they are worth reading in general.

The Woman in Black- Susan Hill
This is a gothic horror (written in 1983, interestingly enough) about a sinister ghost (i.e not a friendly one) in a small English town who foreshadows the deaths of children. Shudder. Recently this was made into a film starring yer man from Harry Potter and before that had been adapted into a play. I've seen both and believe me when I say that this story is bloody terrifying. Well worth reading the book if you haven't yet.

Rosemary's Baby- Ira Levin
If you haven't read this or seen the film of the same name (which is also rather brilliant), it's the story of a young married couple who move into their apartment in an old Gothic (yes more gothic) building in New York, a building with a disturbing history of witchcraft and murder- this can only lead to bad things, which inevitably it does. I won't give away any more than that. I've read all of Levin's books (including the Stepford Wives and the Boys from Brazil) and although this one in particular is out and out horror, his others all have a general air of creepiness too so would also qualify for some good Halloween reading.

Something Wicked This Way Comes- Ray Bradbury

Two boys visit a creepy travelling carnival that comes to their town one October, run by the terrifying "Mr Dark". Nothing scarier than a nightmarish carnival, I always say. There's nothing else I can say about this one really, you just have to read it and find out!

Other good options include The Passage by Justin Cronin (a dystopian vampire thriller), old school classics like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, modern classics like The Silence of the Lambs, Interview with the Vampire and unexpected offerings like American Psycho and We Need To Talk About Kevin (to be fair, the last two aren't actually "horrors" as such, but are fairly scary in parts, ideal if you like your horror more diluted. Although, having said that, American Psycho is seriously have been warned). Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Haven't Had a Dream in a Long Time..

If like me you are a fan of The Smiths and/or Joy Division ("fan" doesn't really cover it where I'm concerned..) then you'll enjoy these art cards from the Spotted Sparrow.

The company makes vintage style cards, stationery and affordable art- often in a cool mix of victorian illustrations, newspaper pages and the titles of well known 1980's songs. These are available from not on the high, one of my favourite websites to pick up slightly unusual gifts. The option to have the company print a personal message inside the card and send it directly to your loved one is also available and would make a pretty cool birthday card for the music lover in your life. They also have "Shoot that Poison Arrow Through my Heart" and "You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round" titles, which I love too but the pictured song titles above are two of my all time favourites so it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling to see these.
It's fair to say I was born in the wrong decade.
Both of these cards are available in large prints, ready to be framed and hung but I specifically wanted the smaller cards to hang on a narrow wall in my hall. My only fear is that every time I pass these I'll burst into song, something that I'm sure Dr Fancy Pants will be only delighted about..

Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder

A sales assistant applied this powder for me when I was trying something else out on the Laura Mercier counter a couple of months back.

I hummed and hawed over whether to get it or not but finally gave in when HoF had a beauty sale online recently. That was a while ago, so it's now back to its original price of around 35 euro for 11.34g..which is a lot for a face powder but not that surprising for Laura Mercier.
A little of this goes a long way though so not bad value. The blurb with this is:

"invisible formula that works for all skin tones, from light to powder contains unique light-reflecting, micro-refined spherical silica powders that help create a soft-focus appearance, diminishing the look of fine lines and imperfections while visibly smoothing skin."

Grand. That clears that up. So basically, it's an odourless, colourless powder that sets foundation and eliminates shiny areas. The powder is white in the container but once on the face, is like I said, colourless (as seen in the above photos, left and blended- right).

While I like this and it does what it says on the tin, my one major gripe with it is that no matter how I apply it (mouth firmly closed), I somehow always end up with some residue in my mouth and it tastes horribly chalky- something I've never had a problem with when using a setting powder before and certainly something I could live without. The brand also recommends that you use the accompanying fan brush, so I also got that. This is a lovely brush and works perfectly but to be honest, a cheaper version of this would work just as well. While my skin doesn't feel any drier from using this, it has the sensation of being dry cause of the grittiness of the powder on my lips..bleugh, just thinking about it is disturbing. Because of that I'll probably reserve this just for when the old visage is looking particularly shiny.