Archive for the ‘ Beauty ’ Category

Autumn Proof Skin – Homemade Body Oil

As Robb Stark might say “Winter is Coming!!” And this week has proved that it definitely is coming. So, to keep away the dry skin that often accompanies cold and frosty weather then take note of these luxurious, beautiful smelling oils that can be homemade to your own needs and desires. Buying body oil can be quite expensive but it is not difficult to make your own and the choices are only as limited as your imagination! All you need is a base/carrier oil or two (depending on the dryness of your skin) and some blends of essential oils to suit your own original taste. Aromatherapy oils have so many benefits; many can relax, invigorate, or stimulate, find out which ones suit your needs best!

You will need:

  • A Glass bottle, make sure it is airtight.
  • One or Two Base/Carrier Oils: Almond Oil, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernal Oil – check out your local health store for some inspiration!
  • Essential Oils: There are so many to choose from – Patchouli, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptos, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang, and countless more! These are also available in any health store.

For the base oil use whatever you prefer, I usually combine half Almond Oil with half Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is much richer and heavier than the Almond Oil so if you have drier skin then add more to your mix, but it smells stronger so keep this in mind when combining.

Decide what sort of smell you want your oil to have: Sweet? Fruity? Rich? Woody? Then just start combining! Here are some ideas with measurement guides to get you started, also note that the smell will develop so let it be for a few days and add more if you desire. Be careful not to add too much because the smell will just be nauseating after a few weeks, subtle is best!

Rose and Bergamot Oil – A Delicate and Subtle Scent.

  • 100ml Almond Oil
  • 50-70ml Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 15-20 drops of Rose Essential Oil (adjust to your own desired strength)
  • 5-7 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil (again adjust to your own strength but Bergamot Oil is a stronger smell than Rose Oil). 

Sweet Orange and Patchouli Oil  – Rich and Heady, Great for Autumn/Winter!

  • Same Base/Carrier Oil blend as above.
  • 3-5 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil
  • 3-5 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • Cinnamon Stick (For smell as well as decoration!)

Other Essential Oil blend ideas: *

  • Vanilla and Cinnamon (Warm and Spiced)
  • Grapefruit and Lemon (Morning Invigoration)
  • Peppermint (Great for refreshing tired feet)

*Always mix essential oils with a carrier oil when using on your skin as used purely they can be an irritant, always read the labels to find out more. Remember it is the base/carrier oil that is good for your skin, the essential oils are for aromatherapy purposes for mind and nose only!

These Homemade Body Oils can also be given as gift, just put it in a pretty bottle with a nice label and a ribbon!


Breast Friends … Why Not Get Your Shop On While Supporting Breast Cancer Research?

As you may or may not know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know what you’re thinking, “we’re all too familiar with breast cancer and it’s often tragic consequences” yet the fact remains, women the world over are still, for one reason or another, failing to take those steps toward putting into action early-detection plans which are essential to overcoming this terrible disease.

According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation women need to start creating detection plans which include setting reminders for themselves to administer regular breast checks at home and of course to schedule breast exams and mammograms. While it is true that we can in fact base the regularity with which we choose to schedule these exams on our individual ages and health history’s it would be unwise to place too much stock in either factor. When it comes to our health we must begin to appreciate that no matter how young or vigorous we may seem that none of us are immune.

In addition to taking these steps to help ourselves to prevent/detect early on-set breast cancer it is equally important to help those already afflicted with this life threatening disease. Although contributions may take many forms it is particularly important to donate to various charities and support groups that conduct ongoing research into both the prevention of and treatment of breast cancer. Making it that much easier to part with our hard earned cash are those companies which have pledged to donate a percentage of the purchase price of specific products to Breast Cancer Research in honour of this annual campaign. These companies include, Clinique, Origins, Aveda, Bobbi Brown and the especially generous Estee Lauder which has pledged 100% of all profits from the sale of their Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact to this worthwhile cause!

So why not get it while it’s going guilt free and treat yourself or a loved one to something nice or just get a head start on stocking fillers for Christmas all while raising money for further research into the treatment of this terrible disease and encouraging women everywhere to take greater control of their health? Like I said this is one of those rare win/win cases! Below are just a couple of those limited edition products you can buy in order to support the cause but remember this; it’s not all about the money, sometimes all we need to give to make a difference in this world is a little bit of our time. Earlier today in fact Estee Lauder proved this to be oh-so-true by announcing a pretty fantastic way Facebook users can now make the most of their time online. During the month of October the company will donate $1 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every post that is made on their own Facebook timeline. And if that’s not easy enough a way for us all to do a little good I don’t know what is!

Clinique Chubby Sticks are absolute must haves and now with 4euro from each sale going to The Clinical Cancer Research Trust we have one fantastic excuse to splash out on yet another shade, this time in the form of the easy to wear Pink With A Purpose! Purchase at or Brown Thomas Ireland.

Treat yourself to this deluxe Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact and every cent you spend will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. So that’s one gorgeous gift for you and one generous donation to charity. Talk about guilt free shopping! Purchase at House Of Fraser (also online) or Brown Thomas Ireland.

Origins Mini Make a Difference Hand Treatment and Peace of Mind Gel complete with key fob are handbag essentials you can get your hands on for a limited time only. They’ll set you back 12euro but 2euro will go to charity so it’s not all bad folks! Purchase online at, Debenhams, and Dublin’s own Dundrum Town Centre.

Gaga’s Body Revolution; Resisting or Reinforcing Harmful Beauty Standards?

Lady Gaga’s weight is not exactly something I want to discuss but with all the attention it’s been getting lately or rather the type of attention it has been receiving it has become all but impossible to avoid the matter. In fact it would actually be unwise to ignore it at this stage given that as of yesterday it became a serious and indeed a feminist issue.

It was just last week, after Gaga appeared on stage looking perhaps a little larger than usual, that the press turned into a bunch of Mean Girls reminiscent of Gretchen, Cady and co from the movie of the same name. As per usual, the media took the most unflattering pictures of Lady G (there have been claims that certain pictures were actually further distorted to portray a more exaggerated version of the singers weight gain) and printed them front page alongside cruel, dangerous and highly irresponsible headlines including the following;

 “Porker Face! Has Lady Gaga Put On 2st On The ‘Drunk Diet’?” (The Sun – Who Else?)

“Lady Gaga Looks ‘Gaga-gantuan’ During Amsterdam Concert.” (NY Daily News)

“The Fat Lady Gaga Sings.” (Examiner)

Even the International Business Times felt the need to weigh in (no pun intended – really!) with their own vitriolic headline which read; “Is Lady Gaga ‘Fat’ From All Of That Marijuana Smoking In Amsterdam?”  Really you would think the IBT of all publications would have more important issues to cover. As you can see the F-word reigns supreme here people. Clearly this is no longer about simply selling newspapers. No, this is a cold hard case of bullying and fat shaming. Whenever messages such as these are publicly broadcast they become malignant. Quickly their poison spreads throughout the world affecting, in turn, each and every one of us – even if we don’t necessarily realise it at first! Making this all the more horrifying however is the fact that Gaga has openly spoken about her experience with eating disorders in the past. In February of this year the pop star was quoted saying;

“I used to throw up all the time in high school. So I’m not that confident. I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night” She also admitted “Weight is still a struggle, every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you – they make you perfect. It’s not real life… I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop… It’s making girls sick.”

Somehow, despite all this the media still found it appropriate to hit out at the star and mere months after saying she was looking “worryingly frail” too. At one point even Elton John admitted he was worried about the singer and her tiny frame. It seems a woman can never get it right huh?

Not one to take things lying down Gaga hit back at the press yesterday by posting on her website several photographs of herself in her underwear alongside the caption “Bulimia and Anorexia Since I was 15.” And with this she launched her latest project The Body Revolution encouraging people everywhere to “make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.” Later the singer explained that she was joining the revolution to “Inspire bravery” and to “Breed some m$therf*cking COMPASSION.”

Thus far the world’s reception of this project has been overwhelming. Since the page launched fans all over the world have begun uploading pictures of themselves which display skin conditions, scars, the effects of eating disorders and disease. Accompanying them, are comments from Gaga herself such as “Emily Rose recovering from anorexia. We support your bravery and have compassion for your pain (and huh gUUrl, you don’t need to diet ur FINE AS HELL)” There is also the following “My assistant and best friend Sonja. Stage 2 breast cancer. Just had double partial mastectomy from DD to C. Yesterday was first day of radiation. Looking good b*tch. She is so brave. Her boobs look even better.” Following suit fans are posting similar comments telling one another just how amazing and gorgeous they all look.

Naturally, as with any move Gaga makes, there are the lovers and the loathers. While the majority are celebrating the stars Revolution applauding her for using her influence and celebrity for good and for simply making this conversation happen others remain less than convinced. Anything that encourages body diversity is a good thing, obviously, but some are worried Gaga’s Revolution is inadvertently reinforcing rather than resisting harmful and outdated beauty standards. Although confidant that the singers compassion for her friends and fans is genuine critics are questioning why the singer couldn’t just leave her supportive comments at “She’s so brave” and skip the whole “her boobs look even better part”  I hate to say it but it’s not all that hard to see where these people are coming from. After all, who cares if her boobs look great, the woman is a cancer survivor, isn’t that what’s important? And what if they didn’t actually look any better? And when it comes to Emily Rose if she wasn’t “FINE AS HELL” would she need to diet until she were? Yes, everyone wants to feel pretty, that’s just the nature of the human condition but why, critics are asking, can we not work to shift the conversation away from appearances once and for all?

Certainly, Gaga’s sharing of her story has already inspired many people and will, I’m sure, continue to do so. Only launched yesterday there remains a lot of room for Gaga to do a whole lot of good and truly that is excellent but while we are having these conversations about the resisting of increasingly narrow beauty standards and the temptation to judge others based on their appearance, shape, size or any other purely physical attribute would we not do better to avoid the topic of “looks” entirely? Telling people they are worth more than the sum of their looks while simultaneously ramming down their throats that they are “gorgeous,” “hot,” and “damn fine” kind of defeats the purpose now doesn’t it? Then again, if one influential pop star and her millions of fans can do anything to turn the tide, inspire compassion and actually make the fat-shamers feel the shame for once then more power to them…!

It’s Official – Horizontal Stripes Do Make You Look Bigger

It is a much known fashion faux pas to wear horizontal stripes if you are carrying any excess weight.  From an early age, it is instilled in us that wearing vertical stripes will draw the eye down and make you look taller and thinner, and sporting horizontal stripes will do the opposite, making you look wider than you are.  This theory has finally been confirmed as fact by BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year, 53 year old Val Watham.

The research into the effects of wearing stripes involved filming 15 models walking a catwalk in stripes designed and produced by students of the University of the Creative Arts.  The show was presented to over 500 visitors to the Edinburgh Science Festival, who then rated how tall and wide each model looked in their individual striped outfits.

Watham’s research beat over 1,000 other entrants in the science competition, landing her the top prize.  Her findings negate the work of her mentor, Dr. Peter Thomson of the University of York.  He had previously claimed that horizontal stripes actually gave the appearance of a smaller frame due to a visual effect known as the Helmholtz Illusion.  The judges described Watham’s study as “a lovely idea which was well executed”.

Included in Watham’s study was the effect of wearing black.  Not surprisingly, models that appeared completely dressed in black were thought to have the thinnest appearance over any other model wearing vertical or horizontal stripes.  In that case, it would appear that in order to look as slim as possible, it is best to avoid stripes altogether.  Time to pull out that faithful old LBD again so.

If Hair Could Talk, This Is What It Would Tell You

My name is Aaron O Bryan Jnr and I am the manager and master colour technician at Kearns & Co Hair, Toronto, Canada. I have plenty of years experience under my belt working at home in Ireland and abroad and I have worked all aspects of the hair industry from cutting, colouring, up-styling and photo-shoots.

From a young age I have always been interested in hairdressing whether it was playing with my own hair or robbing my sisters barbies just to tie braids and do some sort of crazy styles, barbie never looked so good when I was done working my magic. I worked my way up the ranks fairly quickly and have always had that feel good factor when I made someone look good or looking a somewhat better version of themselves and this is what I believe made me the stylist I am today, the fact that I really care what my client wants and I will strive to give it to them.

 I thought of doing my blog ( in order for people to get a bit of an insight into what hair is about and a look into the world of stylists and hair issues. When I first started my blog I had the idea of an online hair doctor to give people advice on how to handle their own hair. I believe that with the information I give out, I will give an honest answer and not try to make money in the process, I do it because I like people to have good healthy locks. I hope people will promote my blog and ask questions for me to make their hair lives so much easier. In doing this hopefully I’ll help make a lot of people very happy in the near future.

Vote for Ireland’s Favourite Masterpiece

RTÉ One with RTÉ Radio 1 is celebrating Arts and asking Ireland for its opinion.

Two weeks ago, a programme of an hour long presented by Mike Murphy was reviewing Ireland’s favourite Masterpieces which have been selected by curators, experts and the Irish public over the last few months. From a compilation of 100 paintings, 10 were selected to let us decide which one might earn the title of Ireland’s Favourite Painting. See the long list here.

The intention of the campaign was to increase awareness of the immense riches in our public art collections and to encourage people to visit these collections and see the works for themselves.

While we can question what made the experts and the public chose those 10 paintings , we can’t question the excellent idea of bringing the public to discover and appreciate Arts in Ireland.

However Ireland’s Favourite Painting campaign is coming to an end as it’s running until TODAY only at 2pm ( Monday 21st May 2012) You can only vote online now as the postal votes are already closed.

On Thursday 24th May, President Michael D. Higgins will reveal which of the ten shortlisted masterpieces below has been voted Ireland’s Favourite Painting by the Irish people.

So which artist will you vote for? Make your choice and make it fast!

Link to the website and the ten masterpieces:

It’s also a great time to go and visit a gallery near you, or to try to see some of the artworks for yourself.

Zelouf+Bell Furniture Retrospect Will Make Your Heart Sing

How often do you get to see beautiful highly skilled furniture?
Once in a life time? That’s exactly the time it took for Susan Zelouf and Michael Bell to gather their furniture and present them to the public in a once in a life time exhibition.
They will be showing a retrospect (1992-2012) of their amazing work in Farmleigh, Motor House from the 4th of May til Saturday 19th of May.
From their website you get an overview of what they were able to achieve over the years.
Every piece of furniture is a feast for the eye. Unsurprisingly they have been commissioned by embassies, government buildings, and even churches.
However do not be fooled. Their price is high. But so are their standards.
Every piece takes weeks to make and every piece is crafted with love. In every piece you sense in the making a combination of a wild vision, a hint of humour or seriousness depending, but undoubtedly a refined taste for beauty.
From every angle of every piece, you can tell the effort and thought that has been put into it. From the Famine Larder to the amazing Briques Sideboard made in bog oak, the Cocktail Cabinet and the Horns Gazelle Desk, their motto has been to make beautiful limited-edition couture furniture.
It felt only natural to them that they chose Peter O’Brien, couturier and costume designer to open their exhibition.
Over the years, history, fashion, nature, architecture, buildings, paintings and fabric have inspired the couple as much as they have inspired each other.
When you see the result it’s hard to believe that they haven’t done this all their lives. Yet you would be wrong. Bell was a rep for a tobacco company while Zelouf made a living as a singer and voiceover.
Nothing had prepared them for meeting each other but like their furniture, once they had found their love, they knew they were on the right track.
They hope visitors will agree with them and come to their exhibition.
When: 4-19th May 2012 – Opening Times: 10 am -5 pm.
Where: Motor House, Farmleigh, Castleknock, Dublin 15.