Triona McCarthy's Candy Crush: Learn how to paint your nails at home
Save yourself a small fortune by learning how to paint your nails properly at home. Then splash some cash on some skincare that really delivers. This and much, much more from Triona McCarthy, our beauty buff
Sugar and spice and all things nice. That's what nails are made of this summer. And not a calorie in sight! So, this summer, say hello to shades that are textured, sparkling, pastel and sugar-coated!
In my photo (above) I'm holding bottles of Sweetie Crush, the new special-effects nail-polish range, from Rimmel London. From left, the shades above are, Sherbert Sweetheart; Blueberry Whiz; Violet Swizzle; and Candlyfloss Cutie, all €5.49 each. The range also includes a delicious green, Fizzy Appelicious. These polishes make my nails look super-sweet and almost good enough to eat!
Or, if you're feeling a bit more creative, check out 2 in 1 Colour & Pop Art from Nails Inc in Knightsbridge Place and Sloane Street, left, €18.20. There are two other, more muted, colourways available.
This product includes a brand-new Pop Art polish, which is formulated with matte glitter particles to create a special-effect finish.
Of course, there is no point in trying to cover up raggedy-looking nails with pretty polish, so get in the habit of giving your nails a good going over at home, every week. You'll need a nail file and a cuticle cream, such as L'Occitane's Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil, €14.
It's great for dry, weak nail beds. Use Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover Gel, €9, which quickly removes excess cuticles when it's used with Boots Essentials Manicure Sticks, €1.75.
Always use hand cream – I recommend my fave Clarins Hand & Nail Cream, €21. Now we have that sorted, let's get to the painting and decorating.
Apply a stroke of polish from the base of the nail to the tip, following along the centre of the nail, and then apply two separate strokes around the base and up each side of the nail. Two thin coats of polish work best.
If you really want to sweeten yourself up, try a dusting of Guerlain's Meteorites Pearls Powder Light, above right, €49, from Debenhams, on your arms, decolletage and face, to bathe your skin in the purest glow.
"I'm not wrinkled, I'm just fashionably creased!"
My mum, Margaret, always LOLs when I come out with that, em, line – pun intended.
If you have lines that don't make you laugh, such as those on your face, then the good news is that new ingredients and better technology in many skincare brands means there are now viable alternatives to the needle, such as Olay Regenerist 10 Minute Miracle, €38.
The clue is in the name. Ten minutes is how long the clever clogs at Olay say it takes for the instant effects to kick in – optical line-blurring, the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, and softening of the skin.
Along with the instant effects, this primer also has long-term anti-ageing benefits, promising to strengthen the skin, increase suppleness and improve skin's elasticity.
I notice a difference when I use this under my make-up, and I'm sure you will, too!
I'm prone to being a bit silly, but sure there's a certain kind of happiness in that. Prada, makers of all things I inevitably covet, have a new fragrance, Candy Florale, from €52, which is a floral take on the original. It revolves around an imaginary flower that is plucked for the fragrance's namesake, Candy.
The mix of floral notes bloom into a powdery/honey base. Miuccia Prada worked with perfumer Daniela Andrier, to create this lighter, more floral version of the original best-selling scent, and I'm going silly over it!
As summer finally rolls round, it's time to swap your skincare products for something a little lighter, but still gentle.
I recommend using Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Optimale UV Light, €25. It's a hydrating moisturiser for normal-to-combination, dehydrated skin, along with Eau Thermale Avene Gentle Gel Cleanser, €15.
They are ideal for even the most sensitive skin.
Make-up-wise, one of my top tips for creating the perfect base includes a spray of the cult classic, Eau Thermale Avene Spring Water Spray, from €4, to keep skin hydrated. This provides a cooling mist for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. The fine mist leaves a film of silica on the skin, which protects the surface and leaves it feeling soft and comfortable.
Thanks to the low mineral content in the water, it doesn't sting, burn or dry out the skin, and can even be used on broken skin.
In summer, I find it's really good for sunburn or prickly heat.
I love a personal recommendation when trying or buying absolutely anything.
Especially when it comes to choosing a new salon for a treatment.
So, when the same name – Vanity Rooms – kept on cropping up, I decided that I'd give the award-winning salon in Stepaside a visit.
Jennifer Butler and Jennifer O'Brien have more than 25 years of experience in beauty and nail care – and they both bear a teensy resemblance to another famous Jennifer – the American actress, Jennifer Lawrence.
Their pretty, pink, stylish and girly Southside salon didn't disappoint!
Their motto is to deliver the highest quality products and services in a convenient, affordable and fun way.
So it's perfect for a busy mum like me.
I was also super-impressed by how they like to support Irish brands by using Waxperts wax and Karora self-tan – which is perfect for pale Irish lassies like moi.
The Jennifers tell me the most popular treatments are gel-polish manicures, spray tans and Dermalogica facials.
So, if you fancy a bit of pampering, I'd highly recommend a trip to the Jennifers in the Vanity Rooms.
Vanity Rooms, 2nd Floor, Rockview House, Stepaside, Dublin 18, tel: (01) 295-9183, or see www.vanityrooms.ie
Sunday Indo Life Magazine