Get dry hands and nails autumn ready

I don’t know about you but as I get older the quest for soft hands and nails seems to be getting harder.  Between baby bottles and a bit of ezcema/psoriasis my hands are quite dry and a little bit worse for wear most of the time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I always seem to need a very strong hand cream to make them look any way presentable.

The problem with strong handcreams as I like to call them ( you know the kind – unperfumed medicated thicker creams you might pick up in the chemist) is that they often don’t feel luxurious.  I love skin care, and body creams in general and because of that I want products to feel like a little bit of a treat, an indulgence.

I like something with a little bit of a smell, as well as that nice feeling that your hands have been soaked in something comforting and rejuvenating.  Surprisingly it’s not so easy to find that even in a market that is awash with all sorts of hand creams and lotions.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were out shopping when I stopped to try on some of the Clarins Mandarin leaf scented Hand and Nail Treatment cream at a counter.  As someone with a bit of a hand cream addiction I wanted to try before buying so I lathered some on and walked away without picking it up that day.

In the time that lapsed between us leaving the shop and getting into the car I was hooked.  The citrusy plant based aroma, as well as a gorgeous instant deep soakage (without the greasiness) meant that it was a pretty perfect buy for me.

Autumn ready hands and nails 

The creams are mini 30ml tubes and come in different citrus scents, the bad news is that they are limited edition and when I went to buy more in Arnotts last week they didn’t have any in stock.  The good news is that when I read a little bit about them I found out that they are just a perfumed variant of the original Clarins Hand and Nail treatment which has been around forever and is available as a constant staple from Clarins counters.

Although it’s not a budget product, this is an absolute star buy – genuinley a joy to use.

Since I’ve started using it my hands are generally softer and my nails seems less jagged. Clarins Hand and Nail treatment is available at Clarins counters nationwide.

PS. If you’re lucky enough to come across the citrus mini special editions pick them up, you won’t be disappointed.


Discover the countryside within the city in Airfield Estate

When we planned our staycation this summer, we decided  we were going to plan day trips out of Dublin so that we felt like we really were heading away.  It’ll be stress free we said.  Just us, a ten month old and our picnic basket travelling to the wilds of Meath and Kildare every day for a week with the wind in our hair.

And we did just that for three days.  On Tuesday evening, mid way through our week off, we both confessed we were both wrecked from being up during the night with our little woman who is teething, and then mid morning ( about 8am) rushing out the door  with picnics, changes of clothes, suncream and umbrellas to make sure we were making the most of the day!  To be honest, going to work would have been easier!

So when I suggested a midweek trip to Airfield Estate ( which is about a 15 minute drive from where we live) I think we both sighed with relief and resigned ourself to an easier staycation life for the rest of the week.

Airfield Estate is an old stately home set on 38 acres of gardens and farmland in Dundrum. It’s literally a stones throw away from the sprawling metropolis that is the Dundrum town centre, yet as we were to find out on Wednesday, it could’t have felt more like the countryside.


As a family day out, Airfield is a breath of fresh air.  A family estate dating back to the 1700s, its every bit as interesting as it is beautiful.  If it’s sprawling flower and vegetable gardens your into then you’ll love the wild walled garden that you’ll find and pretty much everywhere you look there’s poppies and other wild flowers around every corner so strolling around enjoying the sunshine is just bliss for the senses.

fullsizeoutput_3c93The farm was the main attraction and reason for our visit, and we weren’t disappointed. Although Edie is only ten months she loved the ducks, hens and goats roaming around the farm.  In comparison to some farms and family days we’ve previously visited, the facilities were excellent. Lots of picnic bench space, lots of bathrooms and baby changing areas throughout the gardens and farm as well as a really lovely family friendly atmosphere.

I pulled together a few bits that I loved about Airfield, our don’t miss moments

The Farm – Everyone of every age couldn’t but love the baby animals and the giant pot bellied pigs rolling. We passed families of every age who all seemed to be enjoying it as much as we were.

Naturescape – A fabulous adventure playground for little ones up to 12 and for the smaller ones head to the Grey Barn where theres blackboards, a lovely foamy ground for crawlers to let loose on and some toys that’ll suit babas of every age.

The Stables Cafe – A nifty little cafe who’ll heat your baby food and will give you a free babycino when you buy a coffee yourself.

The Vintage Car garage – StyleLivingDada was obsessed. Home to the gorgeous vintage cars from when the estate was home to the Ovenden family. I loved the Peugoet Quadrilette.

Go see it!

We really enjoyed our day out in Airfield. The bonus for us was that it was that getting there was totally stress free and we were only sorry we hadn’t discovered this little jewel on our doorstep sooner.

Tickets for Airfield Estate are 10e for Adults, children under 3 go free, over 4’s are 5 euro and Seniors & Students are 8 euro.



Three budget beauty buys to invest in

Pre Edie I was a beauty marketers dream. I bought most of my make up and skincare from beauty halls in department stores and at the first mention of a new shiny mascara I was handing over oodles of my hard earned cash to try whatever the latest beauty press release was selling me.

While I’m still a sucker for beautiful packaging and for spending a morning lingering around the Beauty halls, now that I’m a mama its fair to say that my purse strings have had some readjusting over the past 10 months, making me more of a beauty bargain hunter when it comes to my skin and beauty routine.

And that hasn’t been a bad thing. Mornings spent researching and then hunting for star buys at a fraction of beauty hall prices has opened my eyes to some really great everyday brands that offer high end beauty results.

Here are three of my favourites:

Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara 12.99

My name is Denise and until now I’ve always been a mascara snob. There, I’ve said it. Certainly until I bought this mascara on the recommendation of a friend I’ve always forked out up to thirty euro on high end mascaras believing all cheaper chemist brands to be clumpy and drying.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong. This one is a great find – at 12.99 it’s affordable, has a defined wand to make sure you get all of those lashes one by one and in my experience doesn’t clump. I look, and feel awake when I’ve got this on. That to me is what I want from a mascara.  It does what it says on the tin, it’s great for adding volume and it’s got a nifty little mirror on the side too, handy for applying make up on the bus as I do frequently.  In my experience it’s as good as any of the Lancome mascaras I’ve been forking out wads of money for up until now.  Total  best buy find, available in chemists nationwide.

Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil  7.50 for 200ml 

Shower oil is a product I discovered when I was pregnant. I loved the luxury of using an oil in the shower instantly and the chances of me moving back to a normal shower gel are now slim because as someone with dry skin, I really feel that using an oil is really nourishing, and certainly for me, takes the cardboard skin feeling away when I step out of the shower.

Admittedly I started my foray into shower oil with a luxury L’Occitaine gift, their Almond Oil if your pockets allow, is sublime. I’ve long been a Bioderma fan, and for me their Hydrabio range is excellent for dry skin ( and was especially perfect for me post baby when I needed the hydration most).  At 7.50 for 200ml this product, their Atoderm Shower Oil is nothing short of exquisite – hydrating, soft and feels as luxurious as some of the high end oils – I just wouldn’t be without it.  At a fraction of the cost of these luxury shower oils, it really is a star buy.  Available in select chemists nationwide.

Lacura Nail Strengthener (Aldi brand) 4.99 Aldi supermarkets nationwide 

Making baby bottles is not conducive to having nails, not nice nails, but just actually having any sort of nails. My nails were brittle to begin with but post baby they have the same consistency as a book from the 80s. I came across this Lacura nail strengthener one day in Aldi and I’ve been using it since. Since using it my nails aren’t as brittle, don’t break as often and it makes for a nice base coat and top coat too. Multi functional, and cheap as chips – a winner in my books.

Saying Bye Bye to baby ezcema

Ezcema is a funny thing, it comes and goes without warning.  Waiting for it to leave is tiresome, and itchy.  Very very itchy.

I’ve had eczema since I was a baby, and when I was younger it really bothered me particularly in the Summer time.  Although it still annoys me sometimes, I know I can keep it to a minimum if I lay off dairy a little bit and use products that I now know are less likely to aggravate me ( more on that again….).

When we had Edie, it soon became apparent that she inherited my dry skin problems, and so I knew I needed to find a baby range to help keep it at bay for her, and that was harder than it seemed.

Eczema is a common complaint for babies, and most of them grow out of it so I was surprised that while there was a plethora of  brands that pitch themselves in the sensitive skin baby products market, there were few who laid any claims of getting rid of eczema.

I tried Silcocks Base as a moisturiser and Aveeno Baby products for sensitive skin to start with, but to be honest I didn’t love either of them.  And, to be on the safe side and try to avoid breakouts, I knew I had to steer clear of bigger supermarket brands too, which meant no bubbles in the bath!  Most sensitive skin ranges don’t have bubbles, which is fine for adults but when you’re a baby you’ve GOT to have bubbles in the bath, right?

Then on a trip up North to see Adrian’s parents we went to Asda to get some groceries, and in the baby aisle I came across a range of baby products that were designed for ‘ezcema prone skin’.  I was amazed to see the extend of the range – there must have been at least six or seven different washes on the shelf, as well as suncare, shampoo and baby oil from the same brand.  On the off chance that they might work I stocked up getting bubble bath, moisturiser, and a gentler newborn bath gel.

Then something unexpected happened.  We bathed Edie that night using the products, and through the week and hand on heart – her ezcema disappeared within days. Four or five months on, I’m delighted to say that her skin is as good as ever.  Honestly as someone who has had ezcema all my life, I’m amazed at the results.

I’ve since found out that the brand is stocked here in larger Boots and in Lloyds Pharmacy as well as online at  The products are made from naturally derived ingredients, contain lots of lovely organic fruits and essential oils ( and smell gorgeous) and are paraben free.  They’ve just launched a new wipes range ( which I have yet to try).  I’m looking forward to trying them out because I find that using ordinary wipes on Edie’s cheeks can irritate.

I’m using the tangerine bubble bath myself in the shower now, and as well as it being kind to my skin I love the smell.  We love the moisturiser too which smells like grapefruit!

And finally, yes I can confirm, we now have bubbles – lots of them!


Water based moisturiser that suits the driest of skin types

I love skincare, there I said it.  In a world where the latest palette is as exciting as a state visit from Justin Trudeau, testing little pots of cream is still what floats my boat.

Skincare, and getting it right can be tough though.  The market is a flood with moisturisers that don’t work for ultra dry skinned folk like me, and then there’s the question of price. If you have lots of cash to spend, you can sort the bad from the good and get a really great moisturiser after some trial and error.  But in my case, post baba with funds tight, it was time to readjust the spending and find myself a hydrating cream that would see me through a non spendy maternity leave and beyond. Add my fussiness to the equation and finding good affordable skincare isn’t an easy game. But gals on this occasion I got lucky.

A few months ago I got some PR samples of Uriage Light Water Cream. To be honest I had seen the brand in chemists but didn’t know a lot about it, I was very pleasantly surprised.

I tired it one morning while one handedly dressing Edie, and I loved it. It’s a cream but feels very like a gel and it absorbs instantly,  and leaves you with a calming cooling effect. Feeling like it was too good to be true, I slathering on some foundation right after applying, just to you know make sure it was as good as it seemed.  I wasn’t disappointed. My foundation didn’t slide off my face and my skin didn’t feel tight, just hydrated – almost like I had just washed it in some kind of quick drying yogurt that second.

There is of course lots of science behind why this product works so well, and the press release boasts that its water comes from the French Alps and that it gradually releases the moisturising agents contained in the water cream.  I don’t know much about either of those but I do know that it genuinely works. It’s a good price point too at 21.50e its affordable, and is available in chemists nationwide.

This product is a triumph in terms of affordable skincare that, pick it up and see for yourself.


*This post was not sponsored.