The Burren Perfumery & Tea Room

Handmade skin treats and delicious eats from the majestic green isle

After a four mile hike along the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren Perfumery was a welcome respite for all my senses.  This was the second day of my two week holiday in Ireland and turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip.  Beautiful scenery, good food, lovely scents and skincare products are all surefire ways to my heart…especially when all in one awesome package.

The Burren Perfumery is Ireland’s oldest working perfumery.  It’s a family run business that prides itself on local connections to the land and its customers.  They have no aspirations of becoming a mainstream brand as it would alter who they are at heart.  Along with perfume they also make soaps, creams, balms and candles.  All are handmade in small batches from organic and natural ingredients.  And all are unique as they are inspired by the natural landscape and diverse flora of the Burren.  The perfumes remind me of Bond no. 9 in a way, as they try to capture a season or locale like the NYC brand does. Continue reading

Everyday Beauty Product Heroes

Saviors for life’s daily beauty horrors, minus the ghosts

In honor of Halloween, here are 5 everyday beauty nightmares and the products I use to combat them.  All under $10, I always go back to these because they work.  No holy water required!


Beauty Nightmare #1- Dry, itchy skin!

Weapon- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter ($5.29 for 13.5oz)

An oldie but a goodie, I’ve been using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter since I was in grade school.  This was in my bathroom growing up, so when I got old enough to start buying my own body lotion I stuck to this one.  Even as a child, I loved the cocoa smell.  It’s always such a treat to put it on and  the scent lingers on the skin throughout the day.  What I love most though is that is absorbs quickly without feeling greasy.  It also never stings chapped hands during the winter.  No other brand compares, and I’ve tried a lot of cocoa butter formulas over the years to see if I could find a rival.  When I stray for too long, I find my skin looks a bit dull so I make sure to keep stocked up throughout the year.  Glowing, cocoa smelling skin for $5, what more could you ask for?

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Goe Oil by Jao Review

One product to get you summer ready from head to toe

I’m wearing the Goe Oil as I type this, shoulders bare and gleaming, feeling feminine and sexy.  This oil just makes you want to show it off.  It gives your skin a subtle glow and leaves an intoxicating air of fruity florals in its wake.  This tops the list of deserted island must haves.  It might actually be the only thing you need! Continue reading

Making A Facial Last

So you’ve just had a facial and your skin looks fantastic, now what?

I love me a good facial.  It’s not for the relaxation or the nice shoulder and hand massage.  It’s for the part that everyone hates, the extractions.  I love having a trained professional squeeze all the dirt out of my pores like her life depended on it.  It’s painful, but in that “hurts so good way” because I know when it’s done my pores will be squeaky clean.

What I don’t like is paying a small fortune for a facial and then having dirt and grime violate my pores before the week is even up.  So what’s a girl to do?  Surprisingly, unless you ask, you don’t really get a step by step guide to keeping things clean after a facial.  Maybe not so surprising…because if you really could master this why would you need another facial, right?  Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned over the years and a few new tips I just discoverd.  I just had an awesome facial a few days ago to prep my skin for summer, so I’ll let you know how things turn out. Continue reading

La Roche-Posay Effaclar K- Renovating Care for Oily Skin

A true multitasker helping me bid my beloved blotting papers adieu

My combo skin’s best friend has longtime been blotting papers.  No matter where I go, I always have a pack of these on me for the inevitable midday and early evening touch ups.  While I love a good powder, I’ve never been a fan of layering it on throughout the day so the blotting papers are a necessity.  This surprisingly effective lotion has changed up this routine in a big way.

What it claims:

  • Smooth skin texture, tighten and unclogg pores
  • Make skin clearer
  • A more radiant complexion

Why it’s glow worthy:

  • So lightweight that it easily layers with other products
  • Minimizes shine on my t-zone throughout the day
  • Serves as a pimple spot treatment
  • Pores do seem more refined
  • Super gentle

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Clinique All About Eyes

Instant Under Eye Brightness

I have had a long and sordid relationship with eye creams, but I dare say this pretty little pot has put me on the road to rehabilitation.  More on this later, but here is why I LOVE this eye cream:

  1. Just after two short weeks of use day and night, I had already starting noticing an improvement in the brightness of my under eye area.
  2. It is super moisturizing but feels like a cross between a gel and a cream so it absorbs quickly.
  3. It instantly brightens and depuffs without resorting to any gimmicky glitter particles (feels like a dream if you store it in the refrigerator!).
  4. It wears beautifully under makeup, with or without the use of a primer.
  5. At $30 for the .5 oz or $51.50 for the 1 oz jar it’s a steal compared to the higher end eye creams on the market.
  6. Did I mention how gentle it is?!  I’ve experienced no irritation or burning which is extremely important to me since I’m a contact lens wearer.

Now back to why I’ve had such trouble with eye creams in the past…

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Diptyque Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay

A true at-home spa experience for luminous, smooth skin…

When I was in Paris a few months ago, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the original Diptyque store on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain.  Their candles are the epitome of luxury, and I was extremely excited  about the new skincare line they just launched.  What better place to explore the line and pick out a product than the flagship store?  Given that the warm temperatures in Paris were not agreeing with my T-zone, I decided to give this mask a try.

First off, I’ll say that this product smells divine.  If you’re looking for an at-home spa experience, this is a product that won’t disappoint.  I wouldn’t expect any less from Diptyque.  (The catch 22 here though is that fragrance really isn’t a skincare benefit and if you have sensitive skin, this could be irritating.)

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Top 10 Easy Skincare Tips

We’ve all heard the prolific tips that scatter magazines and blogs: drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, etc etc…. so I’ll spare you those and get straight to the good stuff. These are my top 10 easy tips to keep your skin looking it’s best. While these are not glamorous by any means, all are tried and tested by yours truly and have done wonders for my skin.

1. Change your pillow case often
This is especially important if you have skin prone to breakouts. Ideally, before bed you should wash your face thoroughly and apply a treatment and/or moisturizer. So why spoil it by sleeping on a dirty pillow? No matter how well you clean your face, oil and bacteria transfer to your pillow while you sleep. This is not only from your face but also from your hair (especially if you use any hair products). These oils are not meant for your skin, so after several days of contact from your pillow to your face…you get the picture. Make your bed a skin sanctuary and change those pillow cases often.

2. Makeup remover is not only for removing makeup
You can use a makeup remover or cleansing water on troublesome spots to keep pimples at bay. I like to use it as a gentle pre-workout treatment to prevent blemishes, concentrating on areas where I tend to breakout like my hairline and cheeks. My favorites are Caudalie’s Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water and Bioderma Crealine H2O, though the latter is more expensive and harder to find here in the states.

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