Lavera hand cream with organic almond oil & shea butter


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I came across Lavera as they area  client of mine in my other business.

Having been a long-term user of Aveeno hand creams, after using this for a couple of weeks, I was hooked and won’t use anything else for a day-to-day hand cream.

Lavera is a German company and they produce certified organic products from deodrants, to face creams and anything in between.

You can purchase the products at Holland & Barrett.

Price point: €5-6.00


  • Easy application, very pleasant smell and absorbs quickly.
  • Regular use appears to keep the aged hand look at bay


  • None

Rating – 9/10




Estee Lauder Double Wear Makeup


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Not much needs to be said about this favourite which has been around and acclaimed for a long time, other than it really does work!

I use this for special occasions and it photographs really well.

It lasts all day as you would expect and even for a frequent swimmer like myself, it still stays affixed.

Rating 10/10 – that’s all that needs to be said!

Vichy Liftactiv Anti-wrinkle foundation


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I have been using this for years as my day-to-day foundation and have never written a review about it!

Price point – €23.00


Comes in a pump action glass bottle.  You can unscrew the dispenser as it runs out to get the most out of the bottle.  Wide range of shades and would suit most skin types I would imagine.


  • Good consistency, easy application and blends well using fingers.
  • Medium coverage – certainly isn’t heavy and won’t look caked or settle into your own face cracks.


  • Absolutely none, aside from if you are having a bad skin day, you just wish the coverage was maybe a bit more towards Vichy’s dermablend range maybe!


Excellent value for money and does minimise the look of wrinkles for sure.  A really reliable product that I can’t imagine not using for everyday use.  Highly recommended.

Rating – 9/10

Dr Perricone Cold Plasma Sub-D Neck Cream


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I ordered this from one of the TV shopping channels, having been totally taken in by the seemingly dazzling results.

As with all these TV offers, you receive various other products as well and have to sign up to a regular order plan – which you can cancel easily, as I had to.

From the testimonials, it appeared to be the answer to my wishes for a more youthful neck.

I diligently used it as prescribed with all the supporting products, to give it every chance of success.

After about 2 weeks, my neck was starting to get very itchy and red, so I stopped using it.  Having read other reviews on-line, this wasn’t uncommon.

In terms of results, it did genuinely seem to have an firming effect, but it’s not something that I wanted to pursue, so abandoned along with the rest of the products.

  • Rating: 5/10

Estee Lauder Resilience – Lift (night)


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There were very few reviews of this product when I decided to treat myself for my birthday.  I bought it specifically after researching new neck creams and having been quite impressed with some other Lauder products this year.

  • Price point – it retails about €63-68.00.

I have been using it for about 2 weeks both at night and for day, even though it’s the night formulation.

I have a fat face and hence have always been prone to looking jowly, even when I was in my youth.  Despite my best efforts, my neck had started to look a bit crepey in broad daylight and I was determined to do something about it.

The product

Pale pink, light in texture with a pleasant enough fragrance.  A lot goes a long way, I can see this 50ml pot lasting about 2-3 months, even using it twice a day.  So on that basis, I would suggest it could be very good value.

Results so far

After 2 weeks, I can honestly say having taken a mirror out in the dazzling sunshine, that the crepey look has subsided and even better my jawline really does seem a bit tighter and I have less chins!


If the progress continues, or even just remains as is, I would suggest that this product could be well worth the investment.  I am quite shocked that it has had such an impact in such a short space of time and unlike Perricone neck cream, which I had to abandon after a few weeks due to it’s irritant qualities, the Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Night really appears to be an excellent product.

Rating – 9/10



L’Oreal Preference Brasilia


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This was my go-to hair colour, but since they introduced the colour extender, which is for top-up use after 3 weeks, I have decided to revisit other colours.  As I have dark hair, root re-growth is obvious by 3 weeks, so I need to use a whole box of colour again, not an extender.  I do wish they would just ensure there is enough of the actual colour product to ensure that it suits all hair lengths!  Anyhow..!


  • Excellent glossy shine after use
  • Tangle free after application of the conditioner treatment


  • Despite using a fair dose of petroleum jelly to keep the colour from staining the skin, it does stain and needs nail varnish remover to get it off at the end of the session, or during the waiting time
  • The introduction of a ‘colour extender’ – this might be useful for blondes, or light browns, but it’s of no use to brunettes with fast root growth


I would give it 8.5/10, purely on the end result immediately after colouring – the glossy and condition of your hair is really impressive.

Naturigin hair colour (organic oils)


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I have to admit I haven’t been a great user of organic products, although I have recently been delighted with a Lavera hand cream (subject of another blog).

Anyway – this award winning ‘organic based 100% permanent hair colours’ product, which is also free of ammonia, resorcinol (whatever that is) and parabens – comes in a range of light and dark colours, the one I am testing is 3.0 dark coffee brown.

Components & preparation

Gloves, after-colour treatment,  1 mixing bottle and 1 cream colour.  This in itself is a massive bonus – keep it simple.  I do not see the point of extras, such as the current colour extender product in the L’Oreal Excellence range at all (another blog) and which is what caused me to try the Naturigin colour instead.

It mixes very well, the colour looks slightly dubious and is more coloured after mixing than the chemical ones, presumably because of the ammonia that the mainstream ones contain.


What really impressed me with it though, is that it really doesn’t run as much as the other mainstream products, I only had to dab a few blobs off straight after applying.  Also for someone that has below the shoulder hair, it contains ample product which is another bugbear of mine!  It has a standard 30 minute setting time, 20 minutes roots, 10 minutes the remainder of your hair.


If you have sensitive eyes like me, there is quite a sting factor if you get any of the residue near your eyes.

The aftercare product is quite unusual in that it is a foaming lather type thing (there isn’t much of it either).  I knew when I was letting it rest in my hair, that it wasn’t going to leave me with tangle-free hair and it didn’t.  I had to hack away at my hair to comb it ready to blow-dry which annoyed me a little!

End result 

The colour has covered the grey, so let’s see what it’s like after a few washes!  One thing I would observe, is that the end result is my hair is like baby hair, as opposed to the slightly more glossy finish, you enjoy with the other mainstream products.  There is a good shine to it, but the texture is very fly-away and a bit of a letdown.

Summary – 8/10

It was hovering around the 9.5/10 mark prior to the rinse and end result!  I just think the finishing product needs a little adjustment maybe.


Application (largely drip-free) & the actual colour


The conditioning treatment



No 7 Protect & Perfect serum


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The only scientifically validated product – I had high hopes for this one!

Widely available from any Boots No. 7 stockist and at a modest enough price point, in Republic of Ireland – about €30-34, and often can be purchased as part of a buy 3 get 1 free bundle.

The larger size lasted about 4 weeks, I’m not sure if this was particularly impressive, I would have hoped for longer.

Easy to apply, I left it on my skin for about 10-20 minutes each day (depending on my timetable) before I applied the relevant moisturiser from the corresponding No. 7 product line.

Did it produce results after 2 weeks as promised? – Yes, it certainly diminished the fine lines and the surface of my skin looked fresher and more radiant.

Was I wowed by it to the point where I felt I just couldn’t do without it? – I probably was, but I had the high-end Swissline range to trial at this stage, but I will probably go back to it, as it’s affordable and easy to buy.

Rating: 8/10 – I probably marked this down as I expected it to last longer than it did, but that doesn’t take away from the fact, that it certainly has an effect!





Swissline Cell Shock total lift overnight cream


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Swissline is a range I discovered inadvertently through my main business (recruitment) back in the summer- long story!

I had the fortune to trial the Cell Shock total lift night cream along with the Cell Shock total lift rich day cream and the Cell Shock Anti-aging serum – triple collagen.

First thing that I noticed, that unlike any other creams I have tried, Cell Shock had a unique purple gel like consistency, which was incredibly easy to apply in small quantities.  I would suggest that a standard 50ml pot, would last for approximately 3 months, used on a nightly basis.

After 2 months of using the 3 combined products, I can honestly say that my skin is less lined and tired looking.  More importantly a long-standing kink  (or dent) over my eye, has nearly disappeared.  Friends that I haven’t seen for months, all comment on my “fresh” looking appearance and can’t seem to fathom what is different about me.

These products are high-end, they retail at roughly the same price as La Prairie or Creme de la mer.  They will not be a regular feature in my armory based on that fact alone, but when I have got the means, I will undoubtedly treat myself, as they really do work and live up the their promises – namely skin up to 10 years younger and in the case of the night cream here, you do wake up with skin in a good rested state, despite whether you did actually have a good quality of sleep.

My trial coincided with a period of a short holiday, where I slightly indulged in more wine than I would do usually and my skin would usually take a heavy toll, but I can definitely say, that my skin wasn’t noticeably affected and my make-up went on easily, unlike it usually doesn’t after a few drinks!

Worth it – absolutely.

Rating – 10/10