November 24, 2015

Cleansing Oils: Caudalie vs. The Body Shop

Cleansing oils are one of those products that used to be sort of 'niche' - something for those in the know, a beauty editors' secret. I actually always think of STELLAR ed Kirstie when writing about cleansing oils; a longtime fan of the Shu Uemura version, she's probably the first person I ever heard wax lyrical about the OCM (oil cleansing method).

November 07, 2015

Urban Decay De-Slick vs. MAC Fix+

Every blog post idea in my brain at the moment is a product comparison. I've been trying loads of bits out and it just so happens that a few of them are pretty similar. Shopping as a blogger is funny because you never know when something similar to what you've just bought might land in your lap the next week - not that I'm complaining. 

October 19, 2015

TheBalm Meet Matte - Charming

I've found my autumn lipstick, It couldn't be more typical of what you see everywhere on Instagram and YouTube around this time of year - a rich, dark burgundy lip with a super-matte finish. I'm a massive fan of red lips and my dark red fetish (sounds dodgy) is growing - other favourites include MAC Viva Glam I, MAC Diva and MAC Burgundy lip pencil.

October 05, 2015

New & Cheap Bits

Like I've said in previous posts, I'm quite broke and busy at the moment. Story of everyone's life, right? Now everything is relative, and I'm very privileged and over the moon to be doing a Masters this year, but the fees took a huge chunk of my money and I'm being pretty careful with my spending as a result.

This is really not the biggest hardship, and I always love finding cheap gems. It's really satisfying to find something incredible for €6 rather than €60 (not that my love for NARS is any less as a result...)

September 21, 2015

Skincare: Back to Basics

When skin goes a bit haywire, it's best to strip back on the products and concentrate on the best basics. I've had a great run of it with skin recently after the Murad Medi Peel, and overall my skin is still more uniform, but out of nowhere I got a few massive zits that really threw me. They were so big and sore that I was being pretty careful about what I was using, and came to stick to the same products more than ever.

September 20, 2015

MAC Huggable Lip Colours for 2015

Isn't it great when MAC cop on to themsleves and make a sporadically released, limited edition product available again? The Huggable Lip Colour* line has been much-coveted among MAC limited edition fiends for years now, causing a bit of a stampede with every release. Now, I was under the impression that these were permanent this time around, but the Internet tells me otherwise - if you want to snap one up, Brown Thomas still have them in stock.

September 17, 2015

The Best Budget Nude

Nude lips seem to be all I blog about these days. It's gone from a passing interest to a mild obsession - you only have to look at my collection of MAC nudes to realise that!

September 07, 2015

Best of Irish Beauty Buys

How many Irish beauty products do you use? With so many successful brands, it's probably more than you think - sure even Penneys is Irish in origin! It's been a while since we shone a light on our favourite Irish beauty bits, so read on for my current 'best of'...

September 03, 2015

L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé

Last month, I went to the first Christmas event of the year. Can you believe it? I should probably be used to it by now, but it always surprises me how fast Christmas comes around in the beauty world (probably because it kicks off mid-summer, to be fair).

September 02, 2015

Dr Murad Medi Peel @ Edvard & Pink, Dundrum

Being obsessed with glycolic products as a means of keeping my oily skin in check, I was absolutely over the moon when offered the chance to try a professional treatment from Murad that uses a medical-grade peel. Sounds scary, but I was quite confident that my skin would take to it well as I use acid toners and retinol treatments as part of my daily routine.

August 29, 2015

So... I Like Lip Gloss Now

I've changed my tune on plenty of products over the years, but lip gloss is honestly something I'd ever get really excited about. Sure, I liked the odd one - but they were loud shades, and something I'd usually pair with an equally loud lipstick.

August 23, 2015

That Penneys Lipliner

I think a good few of you are already obsessed with this lipliner but if you haven't heard about it, stop everything. We're all on the nude bandwagon right now, and I can say without hesitation that this is my absolute favourite nude lipliner of all time.

August 08, 2015

MAC Mineralise Timecheck Lotion Review

MAC skincare (apart from Fix+, if it even falls under that category), has never been very interesting to me. I know that the wipes are popular with makeup artists for how soaked they are in liquid (I just cannot bring myself to describe them as 'uber-moist'), but I'm so obsessed with French skincare that I've never really given MAC more than a passing glance.

Mineralise Timecheck Lotion* is a new release from the brand, and is probably best described as a light moisturiser and primer in one, much like Clarins Beauty Flash Balm or Bioderma Pore Refiner (which are both fantastic products, by the way).

I do feel that for some ageing skins, this wouldn't be hydrating enough, and would be best paired with a hydrating serum. It does create the ideal base for makeup though and really refines the surface of the skin beautifully. This, combined with a good setting spray like the Smashbox one has worked really well to keep my makeup on for as long as possible. It's a gorgeous product and you don't need to use much at a time.

Any drawbacks? I've been reserving this for evenings mostly. This is because I'm kind of confused about putting this on top of my SPF (this one), as I'm increasingly obsessed with and paranoid about suncare, and don't want to use anything that will potentially reverse its efficacy. Also, it's admittedly expensive at €41.50, but a bottle will last ages, plus it's probably the best primer I've tried in the last year.

So, is Mineralise Timecheck something you'd consider? Is there a primer you're a slave to, or are you still on the hunt for the holy grail? Let me know!

PS. I know I have been absent from here for a few weeks (and just after making a comeback, too - *facepalm*). The past month has been very rough for me, I don't know how personal I want to get about it here because I do feel there is a level of oversharing online which I am not always willing to participate in... but do know that while I still love blogging, the past month has brought me a new perspective. More on that soon...! Also, I am leaving my full-time job to pursue a Masters soon, so I might have a little more time to actually get some decent content out there - here's hoping!

June 29, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

It is 100% typical of me to want to try something new just as soon as I have settled on something amazing. Case in point: invisible powder. Myself and Sinéad have waxed lyrical about the NARS one; we both absolutely adore it, and MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural is a close second, though it’s a different type of powder as it’s far more pigmented.

June 25, 2015

5 Good Things - A Catch Up

I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without blogging. That’s through exams, a thesis, work, and plenty of other ups and downs along the way.

I feel really awful for having broken my stride for so long, and I’ll be honest – the longer I left it, the harder it was to come back, sit down and write a proper post. I started to feel inferior to everyone else who’s been keeping it up, which I know is madness really. I’m usually quite good at shutting out the noise and kind of just doing me, so feeling this self-conscious about something I love so very much was really strange. Being 100% honest, I also started feeling quite jealous of anyone with more free time than myself!

I still can’t shake the guilt, but I honestly have been too busy with work to fit much else in at all. I’m still a bit behind on photography, so do bear with me while I get back into the swing of it. I have a ton of ideas and loads of brilliant products to fill you all in on, so please do stay tuned and bear with me, and in the meantime, I'm @deirdro on Snapchat & Instagram if you're curious!

After being pretty down on myself and feeling pretty negative about the fact I couldn’t blog, I thought it might be nice to return on a positive note. So many awful things have happened over the last few weeks - Berkeley is a tragedy I can't stop thinking about. It's awful things like that incident that make me stop and appreciate my life and what I have in it so, so much more. On that note, here’s five good things that have kept me very happy over the last while…

A photo posted by Dee (@deirdro) on

I was in London for a few days last week my BFF this week. We’ve both been run off our feet recently so it was brilliant to escape for a while - we saw the Strokes, Beck & Future Islands play at Hyde Park which was an amazing gig. Aside from that, we took it easy and ate and drank plenty! 

A photo posted by Dee (@deirdro) on

It’s good gigs that always make my summer really exciting. Slane kicked it all off for me a few weeks back and though it was pretty messy and mucky, I really did enjoy myself. The Foo Fighters were just incredible live – after seeing Dave Grohl take command of such a massive crowd, it really doesn’t surprise me that he managed to keep performing after breaking his leg in Sweden the other week! I’ve got tickets to The Frames, Fleetwood Mac and Taylor Swift over the next few weeks – how’s that for an eclectic mix?! – and hopefully will manage to squeeze Longitude in too, as that’s my birthday weekend. Oh, and it’s not exactly a gig, but myself and Sinéad got tickets to a Judy Blume talk next month, which I am seriously excited for. We both devoured her books as kids and can't wait to see her speak in what will be a fairly intimate setting. have been giving me the opportunity to write weekly pieces for them since last October, and I don't think I ever properly addressed it on the blog! It's been a brilliant way for me to flex my writing muscles that bit more, as the pieces are a nice mix of celebrity, opinion and beauty content, and you can read 'em all here. I also wrote something quite different on the subject of my other huge passion (Irish women's history), for female writing collective the Coven. I really, really loved doing this and will hopefully contribute again quite soon!

A photo posted by Dee (@deirdro) on

New beauty launches have also been taking up some of my time (when I have it). I've had to pull out of a few last-minute over the past few weeks which was horrible, but what I did get to was great. MAC showed us what's coming soon - loads of beautiful eyeshadows and lipsticks, which I'll be sure to review in detail. Bourjois also had their summer launch, at which myself & Sinéad finally got to chat to one of our favourite blogging pals, Siobhán from LetzMakeup IRL! She's one of those people I felt that I already knew, but there's definitely something to be said for meeting in person, and hopefully we'll cross paths again very soon!

On that subject, it's really nice to have this network of people that I know through the blog - be it readers, Twitter folk (my friends always slag me for this), and of course fellow bloggers. The atmosphere is great at the moment and everyone is doing so well for themselves - our good friend Sue was featured on Xposé the other night, and I'm so happy and proud of her and how well she's doing. Another friend of ours, Sarah, has also been really busy for the past year working on something really special. BeauCo is basically Skyscanner for beauty - a price comparison site that should save us all on the usual twenty tabs that are opened in the process of beauty shopping online. It's a beautiful site and I hope you all love it as much as we do!

June 15, 2015

Beltsander Brownie: Dessert for Dieters!

If you follow any fitness folk on Instagram, you will likely be aware of the #beltsanderbrownie trend. For the uninitiated, this is simply a high protein, low carbohydrate microwave bake that satisfies all and every dessert craving and is beyond easy and quick to make.

June 08, 2015

Skincare Empties

I've been a bad blogger. I'm sorry. Sometimes, you just aren't feelin' it and, sometimes, real life gets in the way. Recently, it's been a bit of both. Given how the next few weeks are looking, this haphazard pattern is likely to continue but, I'll do my best to be more present. Now, let's talk empties!

May 18, 2015

Perfecting Powders

Gone are the days when I look for a powder to give me an added layer of coverage or colour. Today my preferences lean more towards a product that sets but, crucially, perfects the skin, working in tandem with my base instead of fighting against it. The result is a less cakey, more refined finish which is the type of make-up I feel suits me and my skin best. Let me quickly take you through three of my favourites (and the only powder brush you will ever need!).

May 14, 2015

Sophie's at The Dean

Ever since I moved out, my mam and I have made it our mission to have a girlie brunch once a month. April's destination was the much-lauded Sophie's at The Dean; an industrial style, sickeningly cool spot that, despite everything you would expect, doesn't make you feel uncool.

May 13, 2015

Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation

I’ve been on the hunt for ages for a lighter formula of foundation that will still work for oily skin. Because my skin is so changeable, I like to have something on hand that is buildable but works well as a light base – I’d been considering this one for ages and finally bit the bullet with the help of a voucher.

May 12, 2015

Makeup Nostalgia

I’ve been meaning to sit down and bash this post out for ages, since reading this over on Laura’s blog. I absolutely love reminiscing with friends about the godawful makeup and beauty mistakes we made over the years, so it’s high time I brought them to the blog, too. If this post stirs up memories of your own, don’t forget to share them down below…

May 11, 2015

Most Used: Make-Up

Despite having a rather extensive make-up collection, I still have those products that sit on my dressing table, in a special little box, that I reach for every single day. Most are repurchases, some are soon-to-be-repurchased, and all are products that just work really well for me.

May 07, 2015

One-Pan Meatballs

I don't know what I ever did without a cast iron pan in my kitchen. We use this at least once a week and, as such, I'm adapting all of our favourite recipes to be one pan wonders.

These meatballs are nothing special - most families have a similar recipe but, they are so hearty; meaty, cheesey and full of flavour, they take 20 minutes max to prepare and cook and are a perfect dinner for busy evenings.

May 05, 2015

My MAC Nudes

Over the past year, nudes have been dominating my make-up bag. Reds will always be my all-time favourite, but I've loved finally getting on board with neutrals and playing around with what suits me. If you're pale like me, a modern mauvey-nude is a safe bet, as is anything pink-toned.

Patisserie is a brilliant 'starter nude'; it's not too opaque, blends well with your natural lip colour and essentially, is a fantastic suits-all shade. This was my first MAC nude and remains part of my favourite lip combo - read about that here.

Faux is a colour I picked up when Velvet Teddy was out of stock for what seemed like forever (#firstworldproblems, I know). It's pinker and less matte than Velvet Teddy, but still a decidedly mauve shade. 

Brave is the newest addition to my collection. Pinker than the rest of my nudes, it seems to pull differently depending on your skintone. On me, it's a nice pinky mauve that gives me plenty of definition and flatters my natural lip colour without being too bold. 

    Patisserie, Faux, Brave, Velvet Teddy

And finally - Velvet Teddy. This is a shade I hunted for months after hearing that it was one of Kylie Jenner's favourites (no shame, people). It is matte but not unworkable, and I love how long it lasts. 

Velvet Teddy is the most brown of all the colours I'm mentioning today, but it still manages to be super-flattering. It's one of those colours that will look good on an array of people - if you're afraid of it coming up too brown, don't worry. I find that the pink in this always shows up and can even be accentuated with a pink toned lipliner. 

So that's enough MAC nudes for anyone, right?! Or do you have a favourite you don't see here? Go on, enable me!

May 04, 2015

Summer Face

Rediscovering the beauty that is Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation has led me to build my go-to summer make-up around it.

April 24, 2015

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector - Rose Gold

Highlighter is my crack. It is my favourite item of make-up, second only to lipstick (duh). I love how transformative it is; how it can take me from looking dead to, well, passable for human on my worst days. I actually have a wishlist of highlighters (very specific, I know), and for the longest time Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector has been on it.

April 22, 2015

Caudalie Instant Detox Mask Review

We love a good face mask over here at Viva Adonis so, when one arrives from one of our favourite French pharma brands, you know we are slapping that allll over our faces!

The Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* is part of a four-strong mask edit from the brand, due out this month. The other masks in the line-up include a Glycolic Peel Mask, a Moisturising Mask and a Purifying Mask but, it was the Instant Detox Mask that piqued my interest as it's intended for stressed skin - something I have definitely been suffering with of late.

April 21, 2015

The Cult Skincare Duo

This pair of products have to be up there with the most-hyped skincare, like, ever. I am totally guilty of buying into this kind of beauty product hype and of course it doesn't always work out, but I have to say that hopping onto the Caroline Hirons skincare bandwagon has really paid off for me.

April 20, 2015

Protein Peanut Butter Cups

I am a fiend for anything that combines chocolate with peanut butter - I didn't have a birthday cake this year, just a tub of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice-cream - and it's definitely one of the hardest things to stay away since I have become sugar free. The Quest Peanut Butter Cups are a good post-workout substitute (especially as they are high fat/low carb for any fellow HFLC'ers out there) but, they are expensive. So, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

April 16, 2015

A Pore Tightener?!

I'm going to zoom through another speedy review today - and the subject of this post will be pores. Now, I used to be absolutely obsessed with mine and, if I'm totally honest, a bit too down on myself about them.

This post by Kirstie on Frillseeker made me cop on a bit. At the end of the day, visible pores aren't the end of the world; they're kind of a totally normal thing, and there isn't much point in fretting or obsessing if yours are prominent.

So, that's not to say that the Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate from Kiehl's* is not my jam - I will always be interested in products that claim to improve skin texture. This is a light serum which dries almost matte upon application. The product contains yeast extract to help tighten the skin - Kiehl's recommend applying this twice a day, but I couldn't go without my hydrating serum so have only been using this at night - though it will make a great base for makeup if you are oily like me.

Does it work? Yes - obviously it did not make my pores disappear, but it did even out my skin, help with zits and give a brighter complexion overall.

It's not cheap at €56 but this is for 50ml - most skincare products contain, in my experience, an average of 30ml of product, it's the same for foundations. I am really enjoying this but feel that products containing retinol are that little bit more effective at the same thing so would be more likely to purchase La Roche-Posay Redermic R again once this runs out.


April 15, 2015

Too Many Products?!

So this is what happens whenever I have more than the usual 10 minutes to get ready; I pull out a ton of products that I think might compliment each other, sit down, and slap 'em on. I don't think I used every single product I pulled out last Saturday evening, but it was pretty close. Definitely a lot of make-up for the cinema, but I love the ritual and don't go 'out out' as much as I used to, so any excuse...! I saw the Kurt Cobain documentary, Montage of Heck in the IFI and it surpassed my expectations. It saddened me quite a bit, actually. Unsurprisingly after seeing it I reverted to my teenage self after seeing it, and listened to countless Nirvana songs! 

Base: I used a very thin layer of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in N130. This is a tad dark for me, but it's one of my favourite bases ever - so I make it work! I concealed zits and redness with Maybelline The Eraser and then highlighted/concealed under my eyes with Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener and Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I powdered with the very end of my Chanel Les Beiges compact (which is in rag order, so not pictured). For a light contour I used the two ashier shades in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (loving this), and added some flush with MAC Springsheen blush. Highlight was Laura Mercier Spellbound - this was limited edition but they're bringing out something super-similar again this summer!

Brows: I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade to shape and fill in the brow. I was undecided on this for the longest time but am now really into it. I'm loving it a lot more since I switched to using a tiny paintbrush (the kind I use for gel liner) to apply, rather than the usual angled brush. I find this gives me way more control and I'm able to create a properly defined brow, rather than a slightly blocky one. Because my brows are a bit mad, I sealed them using the L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper - it's brilliant, probably the best brow gel I've used to date.

Eyes: For a base, I applied MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre, and then got to work with the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette*. There's so much I can do with this, but I went back to my favourite colours - the rusty reddish-browns. To compliment this I used a similar shade of liner by KIKO - it's their Crystal Liner in 03. Mascara was Urban Decay Perversion* - I love this but it's a bit of work because far too much comes out on the brush. I find myself wiping loads off, but once you get that sorted it gives beautiful, fanned-out, plump black lashes. Great stuff.

Lips: I received this Urban Decay duo as a gift from a very kind relative who was visiting from the US this week (thanks Kathy!) - and I am in love. They came packaged together as 'The Ultimate Pair', and that they certainly are. The liner, 69, is beautifully pigmented and velvety without dragging or drying out the lips. And the lipstick, F-Bomb, is quite literally the bomb. It's pretty much a perfect dupe for my favourite red lipstick of all time, MAC's Heartless (which was limited edition). The formula of F-Bomb is actually superiour to Heartless - creamier, more pigmented and longer lasting - so I am quite certain that this is now my favourite red. Highly, highly recommend!

April 14, 2015

Liquid Lipstick on a Budget

Liquid lipstick is having a bit of an extended moment, and I'm totally OK with that. As a lover of bright, matte lips, this format is totally up my street and I've loved seeing more and more of these products roll on to the market. I adore the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, the Sleek Matte Me lipsticks, and the Sephora cream lip stains are also brilliant - the red in that range is one of my all-time favourites. At the very ttop of my wishlist are a couple of the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks - they seem to be pretty expensive, though, and in the meantime I've been kept quite happy with some cheaper alternatives.

April 13, 2015

Make-Up for Hooded Lids

I got some lovely comments on my Esqido lashes review so, thank you for that! Most agreed that $40 on falsies was a bit silly and quite a few requested a rundown of my make-up in the accompanying pictures so, I thought I would do that today. This eye look is particularly suited to hooded lids so, I will share some of my tips for dealing with that particular affliction too!

April 11, 2015

Beauty Shopping: Dublin

I think the title of this post is possibly the closest you’ll ever see me get to a competitive sport. Having lived here all my life, I’ve loved seeing Dublin develop – a huge part of this has been retail expansion, which of course equals a far wider selection of city centre retailers. Here are my picks for beauty shopping – I thought it might be handy if you’re not here often, or might have a day trip/city break coming up in the near future. If I’ve missed your favourite spot, just shout!

April 07, 2015

Speed Reviewing Empties

I am very conscious of the fact that I have been rather quiet on the beauty front lately and I apologise for that. I moved house for the first time ever a little over a month ago and, between that and work, things have been hectic. Similarly, all of my disposable income has been going towards boring things like duvets and televisions and wine glasses so, I haven't had anything new beauty-wise for the longest time. To be honest, it's refreshing and I'm not wanting for anything at the moment - I'm happy.

In January, I started saving my empties - I don't know why as I don't tend to do these posts but, after shuffling a big bag of, basically, garbage from one house to another, I decided I may as well run through what I've used up and my thoughts/whether I will repurchase at some point and throw it all away. There's a mix of skincare, body, hair and make-up and I will try and keep it as brief as possible.

April 06, 2015

Benefit Roller Lash

It's super-rare that I review a mascara in-depth on the blog; I kind of know what I like and stick to it. I have fairly long and dark lashes as it is so my before and after pictures aren't the most dramatic. I appreciate a good mascara as much as the next person, though - and it's taken me quite a while to make my mind up about this one.

March 31, 2015

The Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

The hype for new eyeshadow palettes never stops, does it?! When we started blogging, the first Naked palette hadn’t even been released. Now, even the most basic of makeup kits seems incomplete without a decent neutral eyeshadow palette. So many brands have hopped onto the bandwagon - in fact, this is Smashbox's second 'big' neutral offering.

I really wasn’t interested in last year’s Full Exposure palette – the glitters were a little full-on and it was a bit too cool-toned for me overall. If you’re like me and far prefer warmer shades, Double Exposure* is a far safer bet. There's still a line of mattes and a line of shimmers, but not a whiff of chunky glitter in sight.

I’d actually liken a lot of the tones in this to the NARS NARSissist palette – they’re not actually all warm, but very wearable for most skintones. Even the more mauvey shades are really flattering and I've used every shade bar the blue!

The texture of these shadows is something that I was concerned about when I received the palette – Smashbox say they can be used either wet or dry. I was concerned about using them damp and honestly originally thought this was an easy way for Smashbox to get around the fact that these shadows don’t all swatch very strongly on the first pass. When you get down to using them properly with a brush, though, pigmentation honestly isn't an issue and there is almost zero fallout. I didn't feel that I had to dampen these to get the most out of them as they perform really well on their own.

My absolute favourite shades in this palette are the warm browns - not a surprise as they're colours I always gravitate towards, but these four are particularly lovely and work really well together. I used them in the look below for a brown smokey eye last month and a lot of you seemed to like the look!

A photo posted by Dee (@deirdro) on

Overall, I actually really do like this a lot and would totally recommend Double Exposure to any of you that are interested in it. It comes with a really lovely double-ended brush - I think that plus fourteen lovely shades is decent value at under €50!

The Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is €44 from Arnotts and bigger Boots stores nationwide.

March 30, 2015

Shakshuka For Brunch

Move over pancakes. Take a back seat green eggs. See ya later pulled pork. There's a new brunch dish du jour and it goes by the name of Shakshuka. Hailing from North Africa by way of Israel, Shakshuka is a dish that is as impressive as it is simple; eggs poached in a fragrant, flavourful tomato sauce. For brunch (or lunch...or dinner), it doesn't get much better than this.

March 23, 2015

Esqido Lashes

Who doesn't love a bit of falsies action?! I remember hearing LisaLisaD1 talk about Esqido lashes early in 2014 and thought they looked beautiful with their padded white and rose gold boxes and the soft, fluttery fullness that comes thanks to the fact that these are crafted from (naturally shed) mink hairs.

March 22, 2015

French Pharmacy - Our Picks

If you read Viva Adonis with any kind of regularity, you'll know of our grá for all things skincare, especially French pharmacy! Brands from across the pond have proved themselves time and time again for us, and have helped with a ton of woes - from Dee's spots to Sinéad's dryness.

We have a ton of favourites, but as a lot of the best French brands are currently whittled down price-wise with up to 30% off here, we thought it'd be a great time to showcase just a few of them. As always, this post is fully shoppable so hopefully you discover something that works brilliantly for you!

Bioderma has to be the brand associated most strongly with the French pharmacy craze; even now that micellars are widely available in the Irish market, the original is not, and it is really quite nice. Dee especially rates the blue version as one of the best for oily skin - and if you're looking for something extra to keep oil at bay, try using their excellent Pore Refiner (reviewed here) as a primer.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc is one of the hottest skincare products out there right now; it's rolling into Irish pharmacies as I type (but more on that soon), and is also readily available for us to pick up online. If you want something to soothe and calm irritated skin and prevent future blemishes, look no further. La Roche-Posay Redermic R is another brilliant product it you're blemish-prone - just a tiny bit each night can help with even the worst under-the-skin spots.

Nuxe is a brand we're both really fond of - everything they do smells delicious, and works wonders on the skin, too. One of the nicest basic moisturisers we've ever had the pleasure of using is their Creme Fraiche de Beauté, which also comes in a lighter version for if you're oily. The Reve de Miel lip balm needs no introduction, really - though you can read Sinéad's rave about it here if you're not convinced!

Klorane is kind of the odd-one-out here as it's actually a haircare brand - but hear us out. They do some of the most gentle, nourishing shampoos and conditioners out there, so if your hair is overprocessed or your scalp is dry, give this stuff a go.

Avène is another French thermal water breed of skincare - their products are brilliant especially if you're very sensitive. We've tried a legion of hydrating masks at this stage, but their version remains a firm favourite for restoring moisture and plumpness.

And finally, we couldn't talk skincare without including a good hydrating serum. Vichy's Aqualia Thermal is one of the most basic and affordable but really works a treat. If your skin is a bit dull or you don't find that just moisturiser is cutting it any more, try adding this to your routine for an instant hydration hit.

March 21, 2015

Stella EDT

Spring really is the time for scents, it seems - last week, Sinéad raved about her new signature perfume from Giorgio Armani, and now, I'm here to sing Stella's praises.

March 19, 2015

Pho Viet, Dublin 1

I think it's only correct for me to write my first ever 'proper' restaurant review on this blog about somewhere that I am quite loyal to, and have introduced quite a few people to over the last year or so.

Almost exactly on the corner of Parnell Street and Cavendish Row, you'll see Pho Viet as soon as you hit the top of O'Connell Street. It's a really handy spot for a pre-theatre or cinema bite to eat, and as a Northsider I find myself around here quite a bit.

I'd never had proper Vietnamese before Pho Viet, and now, I'm constantly looking out for it! I've had the pho (tasty, hearty noodle broth with a meat of your choice, served in a bucket-sized bowl) more times than I can count and totally recommend it, especially on colder days. I know that a lot of people love Pho Viet's curries, too, though on my last visit I opted to try something different, one of their Bun dishes - grilled prawns and pork served with light rice noodles and a fresh salad. This is brilliant value - the portion was generous and the meat and prawns were fresh and beautifully cooked. A really nice, light main that won't leave you feeling like you could have picked something 'better'! What a lot of the mains here have in common is that they're fresh, zesty and rely mostly on herbs and chilli to lend a natural flavour to the dish - not a whiff of MSG.

I totally forgot to mention starters. I think that Pho Viet do some of the best spring rolls in Dublin - and I do take my spring rolls quite seriously! I love their 'ordinary' cooked spring rolls, they're crispy, light and just the right size - but I've also become equally fond of the cold kind, or Goi Cuon. They're gorgeous, translucent little parcels made up of cooked prawns, vegetables and vermicelli noodles, served with a peanut dipping sauce. Absolutely gorgeous and totally moreish.

For drinks, one draw for this place is that you can bring your own for a corkage fee of €5 per bottle. They also serve a few good wines for a decent price. What I love most about coming here, though, is the lack of guilt - it's inexpensive (literally the same price as an Eddie Rockets, and far, far better). The food is relatively clean and healthy, especially if you order carefully. I have never had a disappointing meal here - the staff are always lovely and it's as good for a night out as it is for a quick lunch. 

I should also tell you that I ate here the other week after a really lovely tour of Glasnevin Cemetery, which had been specially curated by one of their amazing guides (Bridget Sheerin), for International Women's Day. Irish history, especially that of our lesser known women, is a total passion of mine and I only wish that I could devote more time to it. Bridget did an amazing job of balancing the tour with some famous and some unknowns. Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington will always be my personal hero, but I also loved hearing all about Maura Laverty, Margaret Skinnider and Anne Devlin. It was hard not to come away feeling inspired!

Whether you're well-versed or a total newbie to Irish history, I think that Glasnevin offers one of the best days out in Dublin. With over a million and a half people buried here, it's hard not to find something (or someone) of interest, and the museum is great, too. Don't forget to pop into the Gravediggers pub on Prospect Square after for a drink!

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