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Louise McSharry: ‘Feeling a little fragile after a big night out? Here’s how to self-care yourself back to full health’

From bath salts to sheet masks, our beauty writer shares her favourite pick-me-up products

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The return of big nights out calls for some self-care

The return of big nights out calls for some self-care

The M&S beauty advent calendar

The M&S beauty advent calendar

The Brown Thomas beauty advent calendar

The Brown Thomas beauty advent calendar

The Body Shop Body Butter

The Body Shop Body Butter

This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque

R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

Garnier Sakura Hydrating Face Mask

Garnier Sakura Hydrating Face Mask

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The return of big nights out calls for some self-care

I’m going to be honest with you. I’m writing this column in a weakened state. I’ve just returned from a spectacular three-night wedding, where it’s fair to say we made the absolute most of being with pals for the first time in a long time. And by ‘made the absolute most’, I mean we tore the proverbial out of it. It’s been literal years since I last had a social occasion that lengthy and exciting, so I’m a little out of practice. Today, my body is tired, my mind is barely functioning, and there’s a mysterious ache in a part of my body I don’t often consider at all. There is only one thing for it: I need to take care of myself.

The phrase ‘self-care’ gets bandied around a lot these days and, of course, it is much deeper than having a nice bath and lighting a scented candle, but hey, a nice bath and a scented candle can’t hurt, can it? This is exactly where I’m going to start. A bath (if you’re lucky enough to have one) can be deliciously soothing, especially if you engage in some aromatherapy.

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This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

Lavender is renowned for its relaxation properties, so bath salts like This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak (€29 at millies.ie) which include lavender essential oil are useful. Aside from creating a relaxing atmosphere via their scent, they’ll also leave your skin soft and hydrated, with minimal effort.

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R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque

R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque

R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque

I like to use a hair mask on occasions like this too as I find there’s something soothing about leaving your hair in a bun or plait, knowing its soaking up goodness. R+Co On a Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Masque (€45.20 at cultbeauty.com) is a rich mask which includes baobab and other plant protein to restore strength and elasticity to the hair. It smells delicious and sophisticated, with notes of bergamot, wild fig, cedarwood and tonka bean, which will aid with post-bath relaxation.

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Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

The Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner (€6.99 at boots.ie) is also excellent. I like to leave my mask on overnight but, if you have thin hair, you may want to rinse it before you get out of the bath, as while your hair will be soft, it may seem a bit weighed down.

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The Body Shop Body Butter

The Body Shop Body Butter

The Body Shop Body Butter

Before putting on my most comfortable pyjamas and fluffiest socks, I like to load on a rich body cream. The Body Shop’s Body Butters (€20.95 at stauntons.ie) have been a favourite of mine for decades now, and the range of scents mean there’s something for everyone (my personal favourite is coconut). Recently, I’ve also been enjoying Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (from €18 at brownthomas.com), which is famed for its salted caramel and pistachio scent and moisturises brilliantly (if you can tolerate the mortifying name). It also includes caffeine-rich Guarana extract, which claims to tighten skin, but I’d need a literal surgeon to manage that so can’t really testify to it.

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Garnier Sakura Hydrating Face Mask

Garnier Sakura Hydrating Face Mask

Garnier Sakura Hydrating Face Mask

The next step in the fragile woman’s guide to feeling somewhat better is a sheet mask. Sheet masks aren’t ever going to make a spectacular and permanent impact on your skin, but they are soothing and can add to your face’s glow and appearance immediately after use. For that reason, there’s no need to spend much on these guys. Garnier’s Moisture Bomb range is excellent. The Sakura Hydrating Face Mask (€4 at mcgorisks.ie) has an emphasis on glow via hyaluronic acid, so it’s often the one I turn to at times like this. After removing the mask, I massage the remaining product into my face so it doesn’t go to waste.

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Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

After a delicious takeaway (essential for comfort and relaxation) and some low-effort television (Housewives, usually), I’ll prime myself for a good sleep via a beautiful facial oil. Clarins’ Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil (€42 via clarins.ie) is a perennial favourite thanks to its effectiveness in terms of delivering hydration and glow. I’ve tried a lot of oils, but this actually works. Finally, I’ll hit the hay early, praying to wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready for action in the morning.

Lost in translation

Cystic acne is a form of acne which is often caused by hormonal imbalance and therefore commonly experienced by teens, women and older adults. These spots are often large, red and sore as they form deep within the skin. Vitamin A-derived retinoids can help, but if you’re consistently plagued by cystic acne and it’s affecting your mood and confidence, it would definitely be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it, as prescription medication may be called for.

Something old…

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The M&S beauty advent calendar

The M&S beauty advent calendar

The M&S beauty advent calendar

I realise it may feel a little early to mention beauty advent calendars, but they have become such big business in recent years that you really have to be on your toes if you want to get a good one. These days, every brand seems to have one, but the Marks & Spencer one is an annual hit due to its reasonable price tag and excellent contents. This year’s offering went on sale on Thursday and includes products from brands like Aveda, Alpha-H, REN and l’Occitane. The calendar is valued at €420 and costs €45 when you spend €35 on beauty in store or online.

...Something new

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The Brown Thomas beauty advent calendar

The Brown Thomas beauty advent calendar

The Brown Thomas beauty advent calendar

This year, Brown Thomas launched its very first beauty advent calendar. It includes a mix of full and travel-sized products. I get to try a lot of beauty products for this column, but even for me, there were expensive things included that I’ve wanted to try but hadn’t wanted to fork out the big cash for. The box is valued at €695 and is priced at €295 at brownthomas.com.

 


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