Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Lipstick Queen Launches Velvet Rope Collection

I love a good lipstick launch, me.  And, when the lipstick launched is a good lipstick, then so much the better, frankly.

I'm a fan of the Lipstick Queen range (some long term readers might have noticed), and, barring the occasional WTF moment (Jean Queen, invented to tone with your denim, I'm looking at you), the standard of launches is usually extremely high, so I was gratified to notice that the Velvet Rope collection looks like taking Lipstick Queen from the realms of the luxe, to the super-luxury category.

Natural Light
 The gorgeously hefty packaging, which is heavier than Tom Ford, yet less bulky than Guerlain Rouge G, is beautifully deco, and has lovely magnetic fixings giving an extremely satisfying "clunk" on opening and closing.  Left we have Entourage, and right we have Brat Pack (a name that made me laugh quite hard when I noticed it - I guess you had to be around in the eighties to get it though).

With flash
Formula-wise, they're unusual for a Poppy King lipstick, having a faint peppermint smell, but it's not overwhelming, and fades very quickly.  I was a little disappointed there wasn't a rose, or violet scent, to further echo the retro-packaging, but I got over myself very quickly.

The lipsticks are feather-light, literally one the lightest-textured lipsticks I've ever come aross.  They pack a wallop of pigment too:

This is one pass per lipstick, Entourage on the left and Brat Pack on the right.  Entourage is a dark berry shade, with a hint of brown, and Brat Pack is a beautiful, bright, rather neutral red.

You can barely feel you're wearing anything, and I haven't noticed any problems with drying lips out in use.  Lasting time is rather average - and the colour will transfer, they're not designed as a long-lasting formula - but with such a beautiful package, reapplying is barely a hardship at all.

One the lips (both in natural light)

Entourage.  It's a bit goth, but I like it anyway.  The natural redness of my lips makes this more of a dark blood-red on, than it did in the swatch.

Brat Pack - a glorious, happy red. I'm a little addicted.

The sad thing about these lipsticks is that they'll only be available in five shades at the initial launch (which is in September), these two, alongside a pink (which I NEED, frankly!), a nude and a wine-red shade (which I definitely need to see).    The price point will be £32.  Which is, I think, about right.  The packaging is much, much more "luxe" than a Tom Ford lipstick, which I've always thought was a bit ... well ... cheap in comparison to the price point, and the price is comparable to a Guerlain Rouge G, which Velvet Rope gives a good run for its money in both packaging and texture.

Other ultra-luxury lipstick brands should be quaking in their boots, frankly ...

The Fine Print: PR Samples.
This post: Lipstick Queen Launches Velvet Rope Collection originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday, 17 June 2013

My Favourite Lipstick Colours

Natural light
Since my Sci-Art colour consultation last week, I've been thinking about colours a bit (a lot) more, and have been wondering what changes to make both to my wardrobe, and my makeup.  Luckily, as I was drawn to the Dark Winter Palette anyway, there aren't a lot of changes that I think I need to make.  I do have a bunch of "dusty shades" that I need to dump, but as I wasn't wearing many of them anyway, but there you go.  

With Flash

Topshop Lipstick - Wicked
Guerlain Rouge Automatique - 761
Lipstick Queen Saint in Wine
Dior Diorifique in Mystic Mauve
Bare Minerals Moxie in Live Large
Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose
Clarins Gloss Prodige in 04 Candy
Guerlain Rouge G in Gracy
Becca Lipgloss in Palm Breeze
Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia

However, when it comes to lipsticks, I'm keeping my brights in my wardrobe, even though they're technically not what I should be wearing.  I like them, and I enjoy them, so even if they're not quite "right", I'm keeping them!  That said, I thought I'd pull a bunch of what are my all time favourite lipsticks (of all time), the shades I reach for time and time and time again (I'm a creature of habit, what can I say) and  compare them to the fan of colours I was given at the end of my consultation.

This is what happened:

Natural Light

With flash
They say you should compare your shades to your fan only in daylight, and I'd agree with that, flash, or lighting that's a little too cool or warm can pull your comparisons off slightly. It washes out the swatches on the fan a little here, and reflects off some of the pigments in the lipsticks.

The colours are rich, and some are deep, but none of them are too bright, which is very much the signature of a dark winter palette.  Lots of these lipsticks are very old (the Diorific has been discontinued twice to my knowledge!), but some are very new addictions to my collection.

Here's some swatches, in the same order as the top two pictures, and a list with their DW fan match numbers:

Topshop Lipstick - Wicked (DW7.8)
Guerlain Rouge Automatique - 761 (DW7.7)
Lipstick Queen Saint in Wine (DW6.4)
Dior Diorifique in Mystic Mauve (DW7.3)
Bare Minerals Moxie in Live Large (DW6.2)
Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose (DW6.2)
Clarins Gloss Prodige in 04 Candy (DW6.1)
Guerlain Rouge G in Gracy (DW5.1)
Becca Lipgloss in Palm Breeze (DW5.3)
Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia (DW5.4)

Whilst there are quite a lot of similarities in this shade range, they're all pretty different, and there's a lipstick for all occasions - the Guerlain Shine Automatique (second from the left) is actually the lipstick I wore to my wedding!   The Dior (fourth from the left) is probably a little too brown (not to mention too old - but it was a favourite for a very long time) for me to wear now, but all the others are colours I wear very regularly.

I'll dig out some reds for the next palette comparison ...

This post: My Favourite Lipstick Colours  originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Sci-Art Colour Consultation

Inspired by this post by London Makeup Girl, I booked a colour consultation on Monday with Nikki Bogardus of MyColorRX on her most recent trip to London, as a birthday treat for myself.  I've always been pretty good at putting makeup shades together, both for myself and for other people (even if I do say so myself), but when it comes to co-ordinating outfits, I'm not afraid to admit that frankly, I don't have a clue.

I don't like frills and furbelows, anything too "fussy" makes me feel like I'm in fancy dress, so I spend a lot of time in black, and grey, with the occasional foray into wine-shades or purples, when I fancy a change from the monochrome.  My wedding dress, for example: 

Anyway, I wanted to see if there were other colours out there for me, and to see if my instincts were correct.  After doing some reading around about sci-art I'd come to the conclusion that I was a Dark Winter, or possibly a Dark Autumn, but the Dark Winter conclusion was (I admit it) based on the fact that I like purple and black, and the Dark Autumn conclusion was based on the (highly scientific) evidence that my hair and eyes both contain quite warm tones:

The Sci-Art process strikes me as fairly scientific, most people are familiar with the old-style of colour matching, where you are either a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, and you were given specific "colours" that only each season can wear. And can wear only those colours. It has been widely acknowledged that it is somewhat restrictive ...

Sci-Art acknowledges that most people aren't purely warm, or cool, and in fact contain a mixture of both (for example, there's a lot of pink in my skin, so I'm cool, but my eyes are warm, and the veins in my wrists appear green, oh, and I tan, all of which are "warm" traits), so four seasons doesn't really take into account these "neutral" traits.  Sci-Art measures hue, temperature and saturation of colours, meaning each season can be broken into three traits, so there are, in fact, 12 different "seasons". All have a  Bright and True variant, but and springs and summers have their third classification as Soft and autumns and winter have a Dark type too.  For a far more detailed explanation of how this works, please read this wonderful blog post by Zuzu's Petals on the science behind a draping. 

Essentially, this means you get a wider variety of colours to wear, but what is important is the shades of the colours you choose to wear, and your "draper" is the one who helps you to spot which shades of which colours are the ones that flatter you most.

After wrapping yourself into a grey gown, and covering your hair, you're draped with four colours, black, brown, silver and gold to determine which season you might fall into. For me, black (winter) was okay, brown (autumn) wasn't awful, silver (spring) was fine, and gold (summer) was ... not nice.  All this meant was that I wasn't, actually, one of the "true" seasons. Most people aren't, so that was fine.

After that, you're draped with a number of red shades, which determine just how warm, or cool your skintone is, from this we determined that my skin definitely has cooler traits!

After this follows a draping of different shades of very many colours, to determine which ones are "your" shades, Nikki was an excellent guide through this process, pointing out what she could see that I couldn't, and explaining why it was that some colours worked better than others.  We had one moment of hilarity when the mustard swatch went on, and Nikki exclaimed that she'd never seen anyone "reflect the colour that badly, ever!".  I had to agree, it was not good.

We found that bright colours tended to wash me out, that yellows and oranges are not flattering, and that I need a lot of contrast, and quite a bit of depth to my shades.  This, coupled with the cool skin, and warm eyes meant that a "diagnosis" of Dark Winter was rather inevitable quite early on, and the drapings only proved it.

 Now, whilst I don't love the green in this picture (and I really don't) I can see that it has neutralised the pink/red tones in my skin, and made my tones look more even.  Personally, I think if I'm going to wear green then it's going to be more of a "forest" shade, or a darker emerald, but as someone much wiser than me said earlier: "I don't think you will automatically love all the colours in your fan, and there isn't necessarily a perfect correlation between the colours you like and the colours that like you", and I think that's very true in this case.

Purples definitely feel more me, and the teal drape in the middle there was a revelation to me.  I've spent years avoiding blue, thinking it makes me look sallow and ill, but teal actually accentuates my eyecolour, and just makes me look more radiant - which is never a bad thing, right?  My shades are jewel shades, essentially, but sooty ones, blackened, if you will.  Never again will a pastel shade appear on this blog.  Sorry about that, but I knew I hated them for a reason!

However, this is the picture that makes it all worthwhile:

Please ignore my stupid expression, it was taken at a difficult angle, I'm afraid!  But, see how my skin fairly glows?  That's the effect everyone wants from their clothing! 

 So, was I upset to come out as the season I'd suspected going in?  No, not at all.  It explains why I am so drawn to dark shades,  why fussy clothes are not for me, why my idea of a nude lip is actually a rosy-mauve that most people would think of as a "bright lip", and finally, even why it can be that even when I'm wearing a tonne of makeup, it looks like I'm barely wearing any. My skin "mutes" the shades, as they lack contrast with my skintone. This  also explains my love of coloured lips - I NEED that kind of contrast in my life, and it was lovely to have my suspicions confirmed.  Also, the fact that Dark Winter also contains black, and pure white and TAUPE (lovely, lovely taupe) has made me a very happy woman.

I enjoyed my time with Nikki very much, she's a lovely woman to spend time with, funny, friendly and frank (she does have some rather ... er, forthright views on makeup, which I don't entirely agree with, though I completely understand where she's coming from, and she has a lifetime of experience in the industry!), and you'll come away with a completely new way to think about colour.  I certainly have.

Finally, I wanted to show this picture, because a) I love it, and b) it's made me laugh a bit because it illustrates perfectly how similar (and yet quite different) people can be.  It's also a nice demonstration of how people can be drawn, even without knowing it, to their "correct" colour palette:

This is myself and LondonMakeupGirl at my wedding back in February, well before either of us were draped by Nikki.  Ironically, and completely subconsciously, we're both dressed in ideal shades for our new colour palettes. me, as a Dark Winter in silver and magenta, and LMG as a Bright Winter in pink and purple.   Lydia's shades are more vibrant and clear, suiting her brighter skin, and me in a richer, slightly darker shade, complementing my slightly more sallow (but just as pale) skin.

Some other links you might find interesting include:
12 Blueprints
True Colour International
Indigo Tones
and, of course, the amazing Nikki at My Color RX

This post: Sci-Art Colour Consultation originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Friday, 7 June 2013

Boots Avert Cold Sore Machine - Update

I probably get more email about the Boots Avert Cold Sore Machine than I do anything else this year, so I thought I'd let you know how I was getting along with it.

In the four months before the Avert turned up, I'd had, on average, one cold sore a week, so sixteen sores in a period of sixteen weeks.  In the three months since the Avert turned up, I've had ... one. Which turned up late last week in response to an actual cold, so I can't really complain about that.  I'd been zapping myself on a weekly basis as a preventative measure, and I think it had actually had an effect.

However, as a cure for the common cold sore, I'm not entirely sure the product works as well as I'd like it too.  As I don't ever get the "tingle"-stage of a cold sore, my sores are already pretty well-developed by the time I'm aware of them, and I don't think the Avert deals with already erupted sores all that well.  However, as a preventative measure, I think it's great, and if you're lucky enough to get the "tingle", I have a feeling that the Avert really would help you heal faster.  As it is, I had to resort to Blister plasters once again, alongside blasting my lip several times a day.

A few words on how it works, as a lot of  people ask:

There is NO VISIBLE LIGHT EMITTED from the device in use - you can only tell it's working because the green light on the on-off switch will flash.  It genuinely will look like it's not doing anything while it's switched on.  If your on-off switch flashes, you're in business. Honestly!

If the light on the switch doesn't come on, or if the machine doesn't beep when you move the switch, then it's time to replace the battery - you won't be able to tell from looking at the bulbs in the opening, as the light that they emit isn't visible to the naked eye.

The device beeps when you switch it on, and it beeps again after three minutes are up (which can genuinely feel like quite a long time, actually), to let you know to either put it away, or move it to another part of your face.  I zap my lips and my nose, as that's where I'm prone to sores.

Overall Impressions:

I think that if you get the tell-tale cold sore "tingle", then you'll like the Avert a lot, providing you start using it immediately!  However if you're like me, and the only way you know you're getting a cold sore is when you actually get the coldsore, then the Avert is best as a preventative measure only.  I didn't notice any speeding up of the healing-time of the cold sore that I had whilst I was using this, but I am grateful as hell for having so many fewer over the last few months!

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

This post: Boots Avert Cold Sore Machine - Update originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Thursday, 6 June 2013

YSL Rose Babydoll Eyeliner

Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with pink.  And slightly obsessed with the YSL Babydoll collection, too.  I accidentally found myself with some vouchers on a discount day in Debenhams this week, so was able to pick this up for about £5 ...

Yes, it's pink eyeliner.  What's not to love?

Well, I'm not a fan of the brush to be honest, preferring something a little more substantial - I find these tiny thin, extremely flexible brushes are no friend to the cack-of-hand. Nonetheless, I can work with it, if I prop my elbow on something whilst applying.

The liner is a little thick, but is fairly spreadable, here you can see it applied both alone and with a little black pencil smudged into the lashes:

I spent Sunday with one eye like this, and one eye naked (it's a dogs life, being a beauty blogger, you know), now, dare I leave the house wearing pink liner (obviously on both eyes)?  Would you?

This post: YSL Rose Babydoll Eyeliner originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

New do!

Well, I bit the bullet and went for the big chop, and mixed up a few metaphors along the way ...

Here's the length beforehand:

 Mid process:

And the final result:

Such a relief to have lost the dead weight, and I'm delighted with the final result!  Lots of movement and it's still long enough to tie back if need be ... I'm looking forward to trying out some styling tools on it.

I must pass on a massive thank you to the wonderful Darren at Webster Whiteman for holding my hand throughout the process - the look on his face when I told him to chop the lot off was hilarious!

Have you been for the chop lately? 

This post: New do! originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tom Ford Illuminating Cheek Color - Bronzed Amber and Blush Guilt

Carrying on with my look at the Tom Ford Summer Collection releases, here are the two Illuminating Cheek Colours that have been released.  A brand new product, they're rather lovely in appearance, resembling the NARS multiple in weight and heft, but do they measure up on the skin?  Let's take a look:

Top: Natural daylight, bottom with flash
 Two shades have been released, Bronzed Amber (on the left) and Blush Guilt.  Bronzed Amber is a coppery-tan, and Blush Guilt is a slightly silvered baby-pink.  They're both very pretty in the tube:

I used the phrase "sheer gorgeousness" when I first introduced the collection, and I've used the phrase advisedly, because the collection is all very sheer, and these cheek colors are no different.  On skin, they have a translucent quality, and are, it must be said, rather less pigmented than they appear in the tubes.  This is, I think, both a qood and bad thing.  

I'll show you the blended swatches, and you'll see what I mean:

Blush Guilt largely disappears into my skintone (but is a nice highlighter, admittedly), and the  Bronzed Amber also disappears, leaving just a whisper of colour on the skin.  It would make a good, albeit rather sheeny contour shade, possibly.  For the price - a not inconsiderable £48 apiece - I'd expect a little more, well, oomph, frankly.

That said, if sheer summer colours are what you want, these are rather lovely ones, if you're pale.
The Fine Print: PR Samples.
This post: Tom Ford Illuminating Cheek Color - Bronzed Amber and Blush Guilt originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday, 3 June 2013

Time for a new do ...

It's summer.  Allegedly.  And it's time for a hair cut.  I remain, as ever, terrified of getting my hair cut, in spite of a) being very good friends with one of the best colourists in the UK (aka Jack Howard) and b) being a regular member of the Creative Head Most Wanted Awards judging panel for the last four years!  

As a result, I haven't had my hair cut in eight months (I had to get it cut before it was permed last year), and I'm sick of the sight of it.  It is far, far, far too long.  Whilst it looked good at my wedding:

And can look good at other times too:

But mostly it's just tied up.  Out of the way.

There is, frankly, TOO MUCH HAIR, and I'm bored with it. I'll not mention that it is currently dryer than the bloody Kalahari too... There's four more months growth since these pics were taken, too ...

So, I'm going for the big chop tomorrow.  I've booked myself in with the lovely Darren at Webster Whiteman and I've been playing with some celeb pics on my Pinterest and Instagram, and these are my front-runner ideas so far (ignore the colours, it's the cuts I'm interested in):


Desperate not to look mumsy ... but I do need an easier to control style!  

Any styles you like?  Any of you also desperate to go for the big chop too?

This post: Time for a new do ...  originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Week in Eyeshadow

Another week, another week of eyeshadow - here's what I've been wearing this week:

Top Row (L-R)
Shu Uemura Olive 471 with MakeUpDesignory (MUD) liner in Black Forest
Guerlain Coup de Foudre palette with Tom Ford Plum Absolute liner (I'm a little bit in love with this, you might have noticed)
Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Color with Sephora Flirting Game in the crease, and Clinique Intense Ivy Quickliner

Bottom Row - (L-R)  
Clarins Iris Blossom Palette with Tom Ford Plum Absolute Liner
Smokey eye with random shades from an unamed palette (useful, I know) and Clinique Intense Ebony Quickliner
No eyeshadow whatsoever with YSL Babydoll pink liquid liner and Clinique Intense Ebony Quickliner smudged into the lashes. (more about this look later on in the week)

Anything catch your eye?

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ciate Suncatcher Collection - Pool Party & Afterglow

Here's a cool drink of water for a (hopefully) sunny day! I'm taking part in the Ciate Suncatcher Treasure Hunt today! The latest collection from Ciate, "Suncatcher" is a bright and saturated collection of sunny shades to brighten up your summer days.  This is "Pool Party", a super-bright blue creme.

The collection also comes with a unique topcoat - "Afterglow", which adds a little golden sparkle to the nails, with a little added extra too!

This is 3 coats of Pool Party, topped on index finger with 1 coat of Afterglow, on middle finger with 2 coats of Afterglow, Ring finger is Pool Party alone, and there are 2 coats of afterglow on my little finger too.

After a full day in the sun, Afterglow will glow in the dark!  It's only a faint glow (admittedly there hasn't been much sun lately), but this is an amusing little effect that, try as I might, I couldn't capture on my camera for love nor money ...

I experienced some dragging issues with Pool Party, and it was extremely streaky after the first coat, but this disappeared after two more coats.  Lasting power has been pretty good - the photos were all taken after three days of wear.

If you're here because of the Ciate Suncatcher Treasure Hunt, don't forget to tweet the hashtag #CiateSuncatcher with the names of the shades so you can have a chance of winning the full collection!

This post: Ciate Suncatcher Collection - Pool Party & Afterglow originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper
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