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December 31, 2012

Viva Adonis Best in Beauty 2012


With 2012 wrapping up to a nice and peaceful close, we are all reflecting on the months gone by. While we are both, of course, thankful for our families, friends, opportunities and, undeniably, all you lovely readers, we are also thankful for some of the beauty discoveries we made throughout the course of the year! So, we decided to throw some awards around, crowning those products which served us well and amazed us the most with the, err, coveted Viva Adonis Best in Beauty title! 

As there are two of us, some categories have two winners while others will only have one as we were in total agreement as to the amazingness of these products! To all our veteran readers, thanks for sticking with us throughout 2012 and, to all newcomers, a huge welcome to the fold to you all. We hope you will enjoy being here as much as we enjoy having you! 

December 24, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas...


Happy Christmas Eve everyone! This is one of our favourite days of the year and we hope you are all enjoying it as much as we are! We just wanted to stop in today with a little note to say that we will be taking a blog break this week to enjoy the Christmas season with our families and friends. Undoubtedly, much of this time will be spent napping in front of the fire while Home Alone/Miracle on 34th Street/The Snowman plays on the TV with regular mince pie breaks!

December 21, 2012

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

Weather in Ireland consistently wreaks havoc on my skin and no more so than in winter when it is constantly at risk of becoming dry, chapped, raw and sore. This year I have, thankfully, managed to save my skin with some pre-emptive measures and a daily routine bordering on obsessive. However, my poor lips have suffered dreadfully during the recent cold snap and, after trying every balm, treatment and cream I had to hand, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one of the most talked about lip balms around, NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm.

December 20, 2012

NUXEllence Jeunesse Review & Giveaway

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As Reviewed by Dee's Mam...

Mammy’s been madly busy lately.  Too much work, the bleak midwinter, and a distinct lack of entertainment have made my mid aged skin a bit droopy. But then Dee asked me to try this new Nuxe youth and radiance fluid, and all of a sudden, everything started to look better.

“You look fabulous,” a colleague said to me a few weeks later. “Thanks,” I said, “it’s the Nuxe Jeunnesse effect”.  Bit of a conversation stopper, that.

December 19, 2012

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan

I have made no secret of the fact that I am not keen on fake tan. Not only does my pale skin make it difficult to find a tan that doesn't lean too orange, yellow or green but, I often find that they just look unnatural. Another issue I have with faux glow is the time, effort, preparation and maintenance required  to get a really even, decent looking colour. So, when I heard about Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan, the new launch from Irish beautician Marissa Carter, I was intrigued by the promise of a "revolutionary, express, self-tan mousse that develops into a beautiful, natural-looking tan in just 1 hour."


December 17, 2012

Berlin Beauty

I'm off to Berlin today for a few days and, once again, I am only bringing hand luggage (when will I learn?) and I found myself getting massively stressed when packing over the weekend about what to bring/not to bring. It's bitterly cold in Berlin at the moment so, bulky, warm clothing was a must and, of course, this takes up a lot of space. So, not wanting to risk hypothermia, I had to cull the beauty product selection and whittled it down to just the basics. I figured this was worth showing you as it really highlights what products I value and truly love at the moment.


Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer and Corrector Review
Laura Mercier Loose Mineral Powder Foundation Review
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Exposed Review
Maybelline Full n' Soft Waterproof Mascara
Anastasia Brow Wiz
NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner - Via Appia
Lancôme Eye Kohl - Jazzy Taupe
Clinique Chubby Stick
Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

As an aside, please let me know if you have any restaurant/sightseeing recommendations for me while I'm in the city!

December 14, 2012

Non-Beauty Gift Guide ¦ Christmas 2012

So far, we've published a gift guide for men, a gift guide for the beauty lovers in your life and a budget pressie list but, what about those people who don't like beauty but, who are equally as passionate about their interests? Well, I've compiled some gift ideas by types of people and their interests that might help you out if you're still ticking people off your list.

These are very much general gift ideas, at different price points and, obviously, the ideas can be interchanged; who's to say that your bookworm friend wouldn't like a candle and your homely aunt wouldn't also love a fancy notebook! So, feel free to take the general ideas from below and not be bound by the brands/prices etc!



December 13, 2012

Budget Gift Guide ¦ Christmas 2012

The gift guides just keep coming, don't they!? Apologies if you're sick of reading this kind of thing, but I've been loving these kind of posts and, seeing as we're after witnessing yet another cut-throat Budget here in Ireland, I couldn't let the month go by without doing a decent guide to budget presents. At under €18, all of these gifts are perfect for if you're strapped for cash this December but still want to treat your friend, sister, girlfriend or mother! Equally, if your budget is a bit bigger these gifts could suffice as a quirky little 'extra' or stocking filler - it's up to you!


December 12, 2012

2: Empties

I know that empties posts can be quite divisive so, I have tried to put some space between them so as not to alienate those of you who don't like them. However, I do find them quite helpful for revisiting old products, updating you on products I have mentioned before and giving mini reviews on bits I have yet to feature. You can read my first empties post here


December 11, 2012

China Glaze Puttin' on the Glitz Set

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I feeli like I definitely begin every post about nail polish with the same preamble about how I own a stupid amount of the stuff, but it really is true. I enjoy them far too much to ever give up buying them, but I have cut down quite a bit recently. Rather than just buying every colour that I like the look of on a whim, I've been trying to mostly buy Essie shades that I love. One blip did occur last month, though, when I paid a rare visit to Sally's and was faced with all of their Christmas stock. Honestly, I could have bought a ton more - the sets were on 3 for 2 - so I am quite satisfied with myself for sticking to just the one. Plus, at €12.99, it was decent value for money, right?!

This set is, at first glance, a fairly typical and slightly cheesy take on Christmas colours. However, after wearing all of the shades more than once, I can say happily that I love them all and would wear all of them well outside of the festive season. Another positive point is that there is no dud shade here. This is probably also down to my own taste, as I picked this set because glitters and reds are my favourite types of nail polish - but sure, who doesn't love them?! Now, on to the shades!

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L-R: Glistening Snow, Merry Berry, Pizzazz, Cranberry Splash
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LR: Cranberry Splash, Pizzazz, Merry Berry, Glistening Snow

December 10, 2012

The Christmas Box ¦ Christmas 2012

A filled stocking was always the most exciting part of Christmas morning. Seeing our three red velvet socks lying by the fireplace, bursting at the seams and brimming with wrapped surprises always sent my sisters and I into an excited spin.

While we still get stockings stuffed full of sweets and other treats, I wanted to do something extra special for my sisters this year. So, Kev and I decided to make them Christmas boxes; that is festive boxes chock full of all sorts of unexpected wonders. I wanted to share these with you (though not the contents as the girls do drop by here occasionally!), not because I think they are particularly inventive or revolutionary but, because I think they would be great if you needed a last minute gift for someone, wanted to bundle up a few little bits nicely or in case you just can't bear the thought of struggling with Sellotape and wrestling with ribbon to wrap each gift individually.

December 07, 2012

Frontcover Cosmetics ¦ Christmas 2012

Remember when we were young (er!) and Santa would leave a boxed up make-up kit containing some powdery eyeshadows, sticky lipsticks and clumpy mascara under the tree? The stuff was always utter tat; lacking in pigment and stingy on the eyes, yet, we all thought we were the bees knees, bragging to anyone who'd listen that we were "big girls now" and wanting to give everyone from our mammys to our grandads a full makeover.
Nowadays, I think it's safe to say we've all moved on from those cheap, possibly hazardous, kits and are more discerning with our make-up choices. However, getting older and developing more refined tastes doesn't necessarily mean we have to give up all the joy that came with getting those little beauty kits as Christmas surprises as brands like Frontcover Cosmetics, which we are featuring today, have some great sets that are chock full of great quality products.



December 05, 2012

Green Angel Skincare

I feel that skincare is something you grow into. At 11, you're all about body glitter and lipgloss and you don't even think of your skin as a "thing". At 13, you hate your spots but, you would rather just trowel too-dark foundation on top of them than listen to advice about how to prevent them. At 16, you're reluctantly using a basic line of skincare, think Simple, Clearasil, Nivea but, only "when I remember, Mam!!". By 18 or 20, you realise you are getting older - "Like, OMG, it does actually happen" - and you better start taking care of yourself because, like, botox and fillers are totes expensive and you'd rather avoid that cost down the line. 

Now, at 23, I find myself completely obsessed with all things skincare, a total 180 on the (admittedly dramatised) version of events above. I am conscientious about what I put into my body; little-to-no alcohol, lots of water, fruit and veg etc., and also what I put onto my body, finding that my skin responds really well to natural ingredients and essential oils. Green Angel is a range which ticks both of those boxes for me and, over the last number of weeks, I have been trialing a few products which I feel are worth mentioning for the skin-conscious among us. 


December 04, 2012

Viva Irish: Tan Organic

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It just occurred to me when I was preparing to write this that we’ve been doing these Viva Irish posts for well over a year now, so hooray for that! If you want to look at more products of Irish origin, go ahead and have a browse here.

December 03, 2012

DIY Gift Wrapping ¦ Christmas 2012

Apparently it is a bit odd that I love wrapping presents. I find it so cathartic to stick some Christmas music on, allow my mind to wander and just let my hands do all the folding, tucking and sticking that they are so used to. Each year, my sisters and I love to theme our giftwrap. One year we did red and white wrapping with a big candy cane tied into the ribbon. Another year we emulated Tiffany boxes with really heavy turquoise paper and luxurious white bows. This year, however, we decided to go a more traditional (and economical!) route, using brown paper, butcher's twine and DIY-ing our gift tags. I loved the results so much that I decided to share it with all you lovely readers!



November 30, 2012

Weleda Christmas Crackers ¦ Christmas 2012

As we hurtle towards December, I find myself getting more and more excited for Christmas. A lot of my favourite brands have released little festive favours and, over the past few weeks, I have been sharing my top picks with you. Some of you eagle-eyed little readers may recognise these cute crackers from my recent beauty gift guide post. However, I loved them so much, I thought they deserved to be showcased in a post of their own!


November 29, 2012

Christmas 2012 ¦ Gifts for the Boys!


This week really is all about Christmas on the blog, and I'm pretty sure that we won't be shutting up about the silly season for a while yet! Sinéad's already done a Beauty gift guide for the girls, but if you have a guy that is difficult to buy for, I'm hoping that this selection might offer some relief and guidance.

WIN! Avon ANEW Hamper (Worth €100!)







Sigh! Our last giveaway and to close out our second birthday month we have a selection of some of Avon ANEW's most popular products including the coveted Pro Line Corrector Treatment with A-F33 which has massive waiting lists and is selling out all over the place! You can win;





Clinical Pro Line Corrector Treatment with A-F33


Clinical Eye Life Pro


Ultimate Ulti-Minute Lifting Complex


Rejuvenate (30+) Regimen Kit





Enter below!



November 28, 2012

Tarte Fantastic Foursome Amazonian Clay Blush Enthusiast Set


It's only when you write a blog that you realise how much time you actually spend thinking about the same stuff. It's like a written record of what once would have been your own inner musings and, when you have an obsessive personality like I do (organisation, having whole collections, routine etc) you have to be careful that you don't constantly repeat yourself in posts. So, yes, I am aware that I have mentioned my love for Tarte blushes in this post here and this one here, oh, and this big review here but, in my defense these are new, an absolute bargain and I wanted to bring them to your attention in case you are one of our lucky readers who has easy access to the brand!


November 27, 2012

Winter Perfume Favourites


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After a fairly mild start to the season, it's absolutely freezing in Dublin right now, and it's more obvious than ever that winter has definitely descended! We're keeping it pretty seasonal and festive on the blog this week and, in that spirit, I've three perfumes to talk about today that I've been loving and would make brilliant gifts this Christmas!

November 26, 2012

Beauty Gift Ideas ¦ Christmas 2012

Can you believe that this day four weeks will be Christmas Eve? It is probably my favourite day of the whole year and I can't wait to do some our usual traditions like watching Christmas movies with my sisters in our (matching) Christmas pyjamas; spending the evening with Kev's family for Christmas dinner #1; and curling up with my mam and sisters later that night to watch (quite bizarrely, I understand) Calendar Girls! I really think it's our own traditions that can make Christmas so special.

But, I digress. While Christmas Eve is all well and good, the run-up to the season itself can be quite stressful with parties to organise, meals to plan, trees to decorate and, of course, gifts to buy. While we have been giving you the lowdown on some of 2012's festive collections over the last few weeks, I wanted to put together a gift cheat sheet, with a beauty theme of course, that could be referred back to if you're stuck for ideas over the next few weeks!


November 23, 2012

17 Dazzle The Night ¦ Christmas 2012

Last week we brought you the delectable Christmas collection from No7 and today we are following up with  the festive offering from the little sister brand, 17. Dazzle The Night (I had Gaga's Marry The Night in my head all day after writing this post!) is inspired by crisp winter evenings and is packed full of shimmer, shine and subtle frost. The collection is rather mini in comparison to that of No7 and features three products; Shimmer Rocks and two Glitter Nails nail polishes.


November 22, 2012

Brilliant Basics


Being exposed to beauty as much as we are, it can be really easy to get constantly carried away with the 'next big thing' or the hottest product of the moment that everyone is talking about. The reality is, though, that a lot of these products are often left by the wayside with the passage of time, and we return to what works best for us. This is pretty much the premise of this post - these are products that I use the most often, that get me through the daily grind. If I've pressed the snooze button a few too many times, I could do my face using a selection of these products to make me look relatively presentable. So, you get the gist at this stage... here are my brilliant basics!


WIN! 5 x Avon Bestseller Hampers




Five of you will get the chance to win a trio of Avon's bestselling products including;




- SuperSHOCK Gel Eyeline


- SuperSHOCK MAX Mascara


- 6-in-1 Eyeshadow Palette




Enter below!



November 21, 2012

Best Budget Brushes

I've made no secret of the fact that make-up brushes are my number one beauty weakness. I shudder to think of how much my collection is worth and despair at the thought of ever losing my brush roll (I always keep it in my hand luggage when I travel!). For the first few years of my beauty obsession, I was all about the MAC brushes and, to a certain extent, I still am. The quality and variety are unparalleled and I have never regretted spending the money on one. However, over the last year to 18 months, my eyes have really been opened to some really amazing brush brands that are good quality yet won't break the bank.


November 19, 2012

Burt's Bees ¦ Christmas 2012

Burt's Bees is one of those beauty brands that, while not typically popular, every beauty boffin has a favourite product from. I've heard YouTubers going mad over the hand soap and bloggers swearing by the spot treatment while my ultimate product from Burt has to be the body scrub.

However, one product that always comes up again and again is the brands famed beeswax lip balm. A tube of this has been a constant in my beauty drawers for more years than I can count as it is the perfect lipstick base and, this year, Burt and his team have come up with some adorable duos of the tinted lip balm; perfect for stocking stuffers or Secret Santa gifts!


November 18, 2012

WIN! Pixy Hamper


Our friends at Pixy have given us a gorgeous hamper for one of you. It's full of bath and shower products, perfect for a pampering on a cold winter evening! The winner will get;

- Bath Bomb x 2
- Shower Mousse
- Lemon Cuticle Balm
- Bar Soap
- Bath Muffin

November 16, 2012

Party Invitations/Cards ¦ Christmas 2012

In some ways, I wish I lived in America. Americans always find a way to make a proper occasion out of everything; Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it, someone, somewhere in the USA is sure to be throwing an amazing party for it!

And, you know, it makes me so jealous as I deludedly like to think of myself a a demi-Martha Stewart (or a quieter Rachel Ray!) and I have all these ideas and inspirations that are just crying out for a party or dinner to be put to good use! However, one time of year that Ireland really gets festive and gives it welly with the themed food, decorations and massive get-togethers is Christmas. Yep, we really do go all out for the season of goodwill!

This year, as usual, we are having a family party with sparkly dresses, festive food, good wine and great company. However, instead of letting the occasion pass by without any sense of, well, occasion about it, I decided to do up some fun little invitations to invite my family along for dinner and drinks. I can't take entire credit for this design as I originally saw this design somewhere online; either a craft blog or Pinterest, but, I can't for the life of me find it now to link. I changed the colour-scheme and fonts used but, kept the idea of the "Eat, Drink and Be Merry" message as well as the mixed typography. 




November 15, 2012

WIN! Sally Hansen Hamper (Worth €100!)





This is the kind of prize that dreams are made of; €100 worth of nailcare goodies from one of our favourite brands Sally Hansen with their cult favourite Airbrush Legs tan thrown in for good measure. One of you will win;


- 2 x Complete Salon Manicure

- 2 x Salon Effects

- 2 x Gem Crush

- Miracle Cure

- Nail Shine Miracle

- Complete Care 4-in-1

- Airbrush Legs




Enter below!

Japonesque Safari Chic Collection

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At the risk of sounding totally frivolous, make-up brushes are a top priority for both myself and Sinead. It's something that we've both invested in over the years, and we're always on the look-out for the next 'it' brush. While the Real Techniques brushes have dominated the blogosphere over the last year or so, Japonesque have been making brushes for a long time and have recently come out with some pretty innovative and intriguing stuff. I've been putting the Safari Chic Collection* through its paces, so if you like the look of these brushes, do read on!

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November 14, 2012

My Face #4 (Plus Outfit!)




Not only was last Sunday our 2nd Birthday here at VivaAdonis (See all our birthday giveaways here!) but, on a more personal level, it was also my 8 year anniversary with my boyfriend! We went out for dinner to a local Chinese (still the best one I've ever been to!) that we go to every year and just had a lovely relaxing evening.

I don't tend to go out very often so, I love to take any opportunity I can to get dolled-up and have fun with make-up and clothes. I snapped these pictures before rushing out the door to show you my look for the evening and also my current favourite lip combo. Apologies for the flash (damn you winter darkness!) and for the hurried, slightly startled/manic look on my face! Also, apologies for the poor quality product shot, my camera died so, I just snapped it on my phone!

November 13, 2012

Winter Winners

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Although the weather here in Dublin has actually been surprisingly mild for the past week or so, there's no denying that winter is here, and with that comes the usual effects that the season ravages upon our skin. Sore, chapped lips and dry, dehydrated skin can occur at this time of year, but a bit of care and maybe a bit of a switch-up in your routine will take care of all that and, hopefully, keep your skin hydrated and plump right through the season. I've quite a few products in my arsenal that are suitable for winter woes, and these are the ones I'm loving the most right now to keep my skin in good nick - a sort of 'Winter Favourites', really!

November 12, 2012

No7 Deco Darling ¦ Christmas 2012

I love everything about Christmas; the decorations, the food, the distinct air of magic that surrounds everything for the month of December. I also love the Christmas beauty line-ups and, this year, No7 has delivered one of the standout collections of the season with Deco Darling.

November 11, 2012

WIN! La Roche-Posay Hamper (Worth €150!)


Today is our official 2nd birthday so, we have a second giveaway this week and, boy, is it an amazing one! As you are all probably aware, we are both huge skincare junkies and La Roche-Posay is one of our absolute favourite brands. This prize, worth €150, will include;

- Lipikar Syndet 400ml
- Lipikar Balm AP 400ml
- Effaclar Foaming Gel Cleanser 200ml
- Thermal Spa Water 150ml
- Effaclar K 30ml
-  Effaclar Mat 40ml
- Lipikar Cleansing Oil 200ml
-Effaclar Duo 40ml
- Toleriane Ultra 40ml
- Anthelios SPF 50+ Fluid Face 

Enter using the form below!

November 09, 2012

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner


For years I have been using the MAC Brush Cleanser to spot clean my brushes and, you know, it works pretty darn well! However, it is expensive for something you effectively just let soak into a flannel so, I decided to try some different cleansers to see if I could replace my beloved MAC. First up, is the Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner which I picked up in NYC earlier this year.


November 08, 2012

WIN! 2 x Sleek 2012 Ltd Collections

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Today we have a prize from Irish online beauty haven BeautyEmporium! Two lucky winners will receive the complete Sleek 2012 Ltd Collection including; 
- iDivine Palette in Glory
- Blush in Honour 
- Pout Polish in Pride

Enter using the form below!

Lush Shower Stuff

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After we gave you a run-down of what Lush has on offer for Christmas 2012, we both commenced some rigorous testing of the products! I've been trying three of their shower products, all of which are available at the moment, and can now report back with some thoughts.

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November 07, 2012

Maybelline Fit Me

One of the constant gripes about drugstore/pharmacy brands is that there is not enough shade variation and choice when it comes to skintone-specific products like foundation, concealer and powder. Where higher end brands can often cater for upwards of 20 different skintones and undertones, counter space is a lot more limited in a pharmacy-type setup and, logistically, brands can't meet consumer demands.

However, Maybelline has recently seized on this opening in the budget cosmetics market to produce a range of foundation, powder and concealer that not only caters for the very pale and very dark skintones as well as those in-between but, also for different undertones. Introducing Maybelline Fit Me.



November 06, 2012

Butter London Dodgy Barnett & the Stylflle

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Butter London has to be one of the fanciest brands of nail polish that I've ever tried. This is my second, and both have been sent to me by BeautyMatters.ie. Would I buy one for myself? I can't say that I would for sure, probably only if I had a lot more cash than I usually do, and if in that case, it'd have to be a really unique shade like Disco Biscuit.

Dodgy Barnett is another pretty unique shade, which came out as part of Butter's winter 2012 collection. However, being a long-time nail polish hoarder, I do have a bit of a dupe for this - GOSH Holographic. If you're looking for a super-holographic, bling bling nail polish then the GOSH one is definitely the way to go if you can find it, plus it's also about half the price of Dodgy Barnett.

Nevertheless, this polish has plenty of its own merits. It's a much paler, more muted grey than Holographic, and the 'holo' effect is more subtle - meaning it was a bitch to capture on camera!

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November 05, 2012

My Essie Collection

This post was initially supposed to be on my entire nail polish collection and storage. However, when I actually dragged out all my boxes of polish and started to photograph them, I realised that I had way more than I thought, around 120, and that the post would be too long and too picture-heavy! So, I decided just to start off by showing you my ever-growing Essie collection as these are my current favourite polishes and you can let me know in the comments if you would like to see the rest of my collection in future posts!



November 04, 2012

WIN! LUSH "Celebrate" Gift


Our second birthday giveaway is from one of our guilty pleasure brands, LUSH. There is something so blissful and luxurious about having some pampering lovelies at your disposal so, we've teamed up with the people at LUSH to give one of you lucky folks the chance to win the Celebrate gift!

Enter below!

November 02, 2012

LUSH Fun





I don't have a bath in my house and it kills me because there is nothing that I love more than sinking into a giant mass of piping hot bubbles and not moving until the water turns cold and my skin shrivels up. So, when this intriguingly squishy product from LUSH arrived at my house, I was more than a bit annoyed that I wouldn't get to try it out properly. When my boyfriend commented how nice this smelled, I asked him (slightly begrudgingly, truth be told!) would he like to try it out and give me some feedback. 






November 01, 2012

Self-Gifting with Clarins

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Let's face it: it's a rare thing to walk away from a high-end counter in any department store feeling like you got a bargain. I'm all for justifying the purchase of high-end, quality products on a cost-per-wear basis, but, the reality is that a lot of these items are damn expensive and it is rare to get a good deal. So, I was pleasantly surprised with what I got for my money at the Clarins counter in Clerys recently!

On the hunt for a nice birthday gift for my mam, I decided that Clarins would be a safe bet and picked her up a gift set with a trio of their famed hand and nail cream. Of course, some self-gifting also ensued. I'd been lusting after their Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer for an age after Sinéad did a rave review about it, and so I decided to bite the bullet and finally buy it. When I asked the assistant for it, she was helpful enough to show me a set that they had just got in, which included the full-sized primer as well as a radiance primer and lip product for the same price that the primer usually retails at.

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