Beauty Without Fuss

Friday 30 April 2010

New hair - new lipstick!

I had a spectacularly crappy day yesterday, so getting my hair done was a real treat, here's the finished result:

Have no idea what's going on with my face there, but here's the before and after:

It's a bit darker, but more of a coppery dark than previously, the layers have been recut, and I had a fringe cut back in.  I like it so far, but I'm looking forward to seeing it in the daylight. I went to the Rush salon in Baker Street, which is a great salon, a little noisy for me after a tough old day, but my stylist Nicola was great, it was so nice to be with a hairdresser who listens!

I went a bit crazy swatching lipsticks in Selfridges afterwards, I tried ALL the Tom Fords, but, I'll be honest, I wasn't really taken with any of them. There were two - Pure Pink and Pure Coral, I think - that I might have considered, but for the price, I couldn't justify either to myself.  I really liked the new Armani pink lipstick collection though, and I think I'll be picking one of those up soon (506 and 507 really caught my eye), has anyone tried them?  I did splurge on a new Guerlain Rouge G amongst other things, I'm wearing in the top picture there, in shade 62, "Georgia", which is a lovely pink shade, but I'll show you that in a bit more depth later ... Didn't have any Rouge G's last week, and now I have two!  Pretty soon I won't be able to lift up my makeup bag ...

Can't believe how much I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday 28 April 2010

All for Eve Finally Launches!

 I was very proud to be invited as a guest blogger to the official launch of the All For Eve range on Monday night. Held in the heart of Marylebone, this has to be the glitziest thing I've done on a Monday since, well, let's face it, since forever.

Before I start to talk about the evening I spent though, I just want to quote a sobering statistic I picked up whilst reading the press pack on the way home: 

"Ovarian cancer takes the lives of 72% of sufferers every year, a figure that has not changed since 1972. Every day 20 women will die from a gynaecological cancer in the UK alone."

I don't know about you, but this fact shocked me, especially when you consider that the 5yr survival rate for breast cancer stands at 80%. I simply cannot believe that the survival rates haven't changed in nearly 40 years! This shocked and appalled me, and it brought home to me why All For Eve actually exists.

The brand has had, so far, a very short history, the initial idea came into being in November 2009, and it's already on the shelves in Harrods, and will shortly be available in Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fenwicks, Fortnum & Mason, and the top 50 Boots in the country. It's starting with beauty products, AFE is planning  to expand the initial offering - currently comprising body products, a lipstick and nail polish, alongside a Swarovski crystal nail file - into some currently shrouded in mystery other areas - I'm thinking fashion though! Other brands lined up to join the All for Eve umbrella later this year include Elemis, Alpha H and Emma Hardie amongst others, which is a very interesting line up, and I, for one, can't wait to see what other areas the brand expands into. It's already won 4 CEW awards, and that's a record in the British beauty industry.

I had a brief chat with Sophy Robson, creator of the nailpolish, and we had a bit of a giggle about my twitter habit! But most definitely the high-point of my evening was speaking to Daniel Sandler, creator of the brand's iconic lipstick (which I am, of course, wearing in the pic at right, alongside it's creator!), about how he got involved with the company, and how he went about creating such a great lip colour.  He told me all about the perfect red lipstick he discovered as a teenager (a Lancome shade, but I forget the name, but you bet I'll be speaking to the Lancome office to see if I can track it down soon!), and wanted to come close as possible to that shade within the budgetary constraints inherent within producing a product for charity.  Personally, I think he's done an amazing job, and wasn't backward in saying so, I think it's a great lipstick (and I've seen some dreadful ones recently), and it's definitely on my list of classics.

As for why Daniel got involved, something I didn't know was that he was the man responsible for making Jade Goody look so amazing on her wedding day - say and/or think what you will about Jade, you can't deny that for an end-stage terminal cancer patient, she literally glowed  as a bride, and she single-handedly did more to publicise gynaecological cancer than any woman has in a very, very long time - and she did a lot to inspire him.  He pointed out that there are a lot of people have been affected by cancer, and he's very happy and privileged to find himself now in a position to be able to actually do something. Daniel is an exceptionally nice man, and very easy to talk to - sadly, I think I may have talked his ear off a little bit, if you read this Daniel, I'm very sorry! - and when he found out my mother works in a hospice with cancer patients, he immediately offered some help with fundraising efforts.  I have to admit I was very touched by this, and I'll be getting in touch with the hospice soon to see if there is anything they need.

In the meantime, if there's something you want to do, then make a start and buy a product from All for Eve.  Those survival rates have to change.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

My Hair!

It's that time of year again, when my hair just absolutely gets on my wick.  I've not had it cut since last December, and my last colour was a (slight) disaster's how it looks at the moment:

Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly good hair, it's in good condition, it's long, it's healthy, the colour (finally) is okay.  It's just ... dull.  And shapeless.  It just kind of hangs around, getting in my way, and I spend half my time with it tied back, just to keep it out of my way.

So, this week, I'm heading to the hairdresser to get it changed up a bit.  What do you think I should do with it?  First person to mention pink mohican (yes, Seona, I'm looking at you), gets a filthy look, but serious suggestions are welcome!  I decided, however to consult some experts on what this seasons trends are.  Some of them I've replicated below:

“Spring colour uses a palette of apricot, honey and vanilla tones. These suit paler complexions and fairer hair. For the brunettes, rich russets and caramels peak through natural chocolate tones. For summer, blondes have paler violet tones and bright platinum streaks. Some vivid shades of copper or magenta may be placed in strategic areas of interest to be on show or peek-a-boo colour. Darker hair is sun streaked using a technique called sun blushing. It is taking highlights a couple of shades lighter than your natural colour subtly under your parting to minimize any re-growth. This is a very popular technique in our salons especially as the credit crunch means frequency between visits may be lessening.”- Gina Conway, Ambassador of Hairdressing, Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa, Wimbledon and Fulham
“This spring/summer sees colour become more natural yet playful. The inspiration for these looks are from Marc by Marc Jacobs’s S/S10 runway collection, which is full of brightly coloured bows. Colour is softly progressing from autumn/winter through to spring/summer 2010. The rich hues of deep coppers have infused to coral peaches like an expensive piece of fabric. Keeping the root area natural or richer and working mutational soft tones through the mid lengths and ends. If you have naturally wavy or curly hair a great technique is to colour each individual curl as they naturally fall, this is a brilliant way to add definition. It’s all about creating texture but still keeping the colour shiny and well conditioned. For shorter styles keep the colour sold and richer if darker think cacao meets espresso, if your lighter keep your blonde locks in fab condition; high shine is the key.  Remember your hair colour is an accessory so make sure it enhances your eyes and skin tone and makes you look amazing.”

- Amanda Dicker, Artistic Director, The Chapel, L’Oreal

“There are three main colour trends for S/S10, these are:
1. For ‘Notice Me Individuals’ colour takes on a bold experimental edge with splashes of intense colour from Geranium Red to 24 Carat Gold Blonde in hidden obvious sections contrasting with a muted all over tone.
2. The ‘Soft Touch’ is where hair is coloured in pretty shades of woven strands mimicking a sun kissed effect on a darker shades as well as lighter shades.
3. Our glamorous ‘Sensual Silhouettes’ is where hair colour resembles the Hollywood starlets from the past and of course the present. All over shades of one colour, whether blonde or brunette, are gorgeous.”

-  AJ Blackadder, Technical Director, Andrew Barton Salon

 “Rich chocolate is in for s/s, along with copper, rusts, and strawberry blondes - really rich multi dimensional shades are back. Caramel blondes, strong chestnuts, shades with a lot more warmth in are key.  Lavender slices underneath a blonde give the element of movement that is so essential this season. The emphasis is on multi tones especially for blondes and coppers - at least 3 or 4 shades, but keep to the same tone so it's not a huge contrast - so no more than 2 levels difference between the three colours and stick within same shade, e.g. red copper, copper gold and rich copper. We're moving away from bright light white blondes so really look for gold shades and depth.”
- Brett Walker, Manager and Head Colourist, Michael Barnes Salon

“For spring/summer it’s all about blondes and rich chocolates. The colours are quite natural and full of warm tones, the blondes are leaning more to baby blondes with pastel highlights while the browns are very rich and luxurious with caramels running through. Although there is a big wave of rich deep Ribena purples making a come back, the sun will reflect these reds beautifully, the purples are more for the younger clientele.”
- Tracey Devine, Salon Director, Angels

Do you change you hair with the seasons?  Do you follow hair trends?  And finally my hair, HALP!

Monday 26 April 2010

Tarina Tarantino Makeup Collection

These little pretties arrived courtesy of the international mail on Friday, and how gorgeous are they?  I owe the gorgeous Paula at Older Girl Beauty a massive thank you for sorting out a gorgeous delivery for me!

The pic on the left shows two eyeshadows (in headband and brooch) a blush (in feather) and a lipstick in cameo.  Tarina also designs jewellery, and as you can see, a lot of thought has gone into designing the outside of this range.

But, do the insides measure up?  Swatches after the jump.


Sunday 25 April 2010

Lippie Chat - Nicola Elliot NEOM Luxury Organics

As it is my first "Organic Weekend", I thought this month's Lippie Chat would be with the founder of one of the loveliest organic ranges I've found recently: NEOM.  Please welcome Nicola Elliot, who has very kindly agreed to take part this month.

Hi Nicola, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Originally from Yorkshire I moved to London to pursue a career as a journalist. I worked for In Style magazine and Glamour magazine for years before I decided to launch NEOM. I relocated back to Harrogate, Yorkshire where we moved the head office 8 months ago – the NEOM team and I are also obsessed with getting your chemical count down!

How did you end up in the organic “beauty” industry? How did NEOM come into being? 

I was working as an Editor for Glamour at the time when Oliver (my business partner) and I decided to launch NEOM. Working for magazines I was always surrounded by gorgeous beauty products, however I always wondered how effective they were and most importantly what was in them. Suddenly I saw a gap in the market for a product which was not only luxurious and effective but was also completely organic too.
NEOM was 18 months in the making and we launched in 2005 with 5 candle scents. NEOM now has a candle scent library of 12 as well as home treatment mists and an organic bath & body range too.

A lot of previously “high-powered” women are increasingly giving up their lucrative careers in order to get involved with organic products at the moment, do you have any thoughts on why that may be?

I think we are seeing increasing numbers of people becoming more aware of organic products, whether it is food produce or beauty which is great. This awareness brings more businesses and individuals launching within the organic world.

What are the philosophies behind NEOM?

To be luxurious, highly effective as well as completely organic…Our  NEOM promise is no petrochemicals, parabens, PEGS, silicone, SLS or synthetic fragrances – in fact no nasty chemicals whatsoever!

What makes NEOM unique?

All our products are organic and are made with the highest concentration of essential oils and the finest ingredients – no toxins, paraffin wax or synthetic scents. They also act as holistic treatments, so they make you feel relaxed, more energized or just a whole lot happier depending on which scent you choose. The candles are hand-poured in the UK and the wax burns completely evenly so you really do get to use all of the wax.

Who are you targeting the NEOM brand at?

The NEOM customer is sophisticated and stylish and interested in organics but won’t sacrifice the quality of a product just for its organic status. NEOM Luxury Organics places huge emphasis on the efficiency and luxury of any product, because the ‘gorgeousness’ of any beauty product is fundamental to its success.

What do you hope is in the future for NEOM?

We hope to continue to grow and develop more products. We have just launched our two new candle scents Serenity (Vanilla & Sandalwood) and Sumptuous (Rose & Neroli). We are launching some fabulous travel kits in the summer as well as reed diffusers and a gigantic four wick candle in September too - so watch this space.

What’s your beauty regime?

I am always up early with my son Charlie who is 2, so my regime is pretty minimal. I make sure I always light my NEOM ‘Refresh’ (Sicilian Lemon & Fresh Basil) candle to wake me up; even at 5.30am in the morning it does the trick! I apply some radiance face cream from Burts Bees and a dab of Bobbi Brown concealer before making sure Charlie is dressed and ready. Carrot cleansing butter from Organic Pharmacy is a great product for the evening as it wipes away everything in one easy step.

What is one cosmetic product couldn’t you live without?

NEOM Luxury Organics Complete Bliss body oil, I completely swear by this product. It is amazing to quench the skin and the Moroccan blush rose scent smells absolutely divine too. 

What advice would you give Get Lippie readers?
Your skin is the biggest organ so know exactly what you are putting onto it – don’t trust any marketing blurb!

Saturday 24 April 2010

Organic Weekend - Natural & Organic Products Europe Show

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend the Natural & Organic Products Europe (NOPE) show at Olympia, as a guest of Balm Balm, who you've heard me talk about on several occasions before.

Dedicated to bringing together the brightest and the best of organic and natural products, NOPE is a trade show, which allows brands to showcase their wares to interested buyers and suppliers.  They first introduced a Beauty and Spa section in 2008, and that was the part of the show I was most interested in seeing!

Naturally, I made Balm Balm my first port of call, and having a chat with Glenda, Hayden and the rest of the family was certainly one of the high-points of my day.  I'm delighted that they're expanding their range even further with a new facial collection including a super-light and delightfully refreshing coconut cleansing oil which I'll be talking to you about in a bit more detail in a later post.

I then moved on and had a little chat with the lovely girls at Lily Lilo, who spent some time talking to me about a lot of the new products they have coming up later this year, including mascaras, pressed foundations (really interested in those!) and some balms. The brand has really expanded in the last few years, I'm happy to see, and I'll be giving it a proper look-over in the months to come.

I popped over to Melvita who I'm sure you're familiar with by now! I had a gorgeous hand massage, and a nice chat with their therapists, which was really lovely.  I have some products out with some lovely, lovely guest reviewers at the moment, and they'll be giving me their feedback soon!

At this point, I thought I should have a look at the organic food side of things, however, I was distracted by this:

Yup, Heather Mills-McCartney (as was) doing a cookery demonstration.  I didn't hang around long enough to figure out what she was cooking, whilst I was there she was chopping carrots very s l o w l y and lecturing people on categories of vegetarianism.  And Omega three, for some reason ...

I then popped along and had a chat with Phillip Martin's Organics who have a range of hair care, skin care and cosmetics.  Hailing from Italy (Phillip Martin sounds so Italian a name, dontcha think?), the products reminded me a great deal of John Masters ranges, and they look like they'll be something super-interesting to look out for.

I went and found the Spieza stall and chatted to the girls again after meeting them recently at The Vitality Show, this time I actually got around to trying some of the products! I have to say that I think their rose and chamomile scrub is one of the most interesting products I saw on the whole day. Utilising chamomile stamens, it's an great use of what would ordinarily be considered a by-product of organic cosmetic production!

I also had a chat with Sarah of Pai, I've been trying one of her moisturisers since we met, so look out for a review of that soon, and Sarah has also agreed to be featured on my "Lippie Chat" series, so we'll be hearing more from her soon!

There's plenty more, but this is running long, so I'll bring you the rest next week ...

Friday 23 April 2010

Clinique Anti-Blemish Foundation

This post is a promotional feature.

Okay, I very rarely feature products before I've tested them, but I'm making an exception for this one. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Clinique's patent 3-step skin-care system, but I've always liked their cosmetics, and I believe their spot-care range (can you call it that? You know what I mean, I'm sure) is second to none.

Certainly, when I first developed adult-onset acne at around the age of 27 or so, I found that their spot-clearing gel was one of the few things that helped clear my zits up.  I found adult acne a profoundly depressing experience, not helped by some profoundly insensitive friends making jokes about it, and I hated that most cosmetic ranges were either targeted at the already beautifully smooth skinned, or were for spotty teenagers and were simply guaranteed to wreck my already - by that time - hyper-sensitive skin.

Anyway, what I'm getting around to mentioning is that Clinique have brought out an Anti-Blemish Foundation, which promises to feel fresh and natural, AND help clear "blemishes".  What I wouldn't have given for a foundation like this a few years ago! I used to cake (and I do mean cake) myself in Estee Lauder Double Wear, and the heaviest layers of powder I could manage, and hope no one would notice the crater face underneath! Here's a video featuring an independent makeup artist showing some hints on how to use the latest release from Clinique's foundation stable.  Please take a look:

Now, I've noticed that my skin is going through one of it's periodic "insane" stages, meaning a crop of breakouts is, sadly, one the way - I can already feel a couple of humdingers cropping up on my jawline, so I'm going to be giving this foundation a go for a couple of weeks. Want to join me and let me know how you get along - and I'll be grateful to hear from anyone else who's already tried the product! - then click here to buy yours.

Clarins Instant Sunlight Applied (FotD)

It's okay, I got rid of the quiff, look!

Now, I'm sure you're all as sick of the sight of my face as I am right now, so this'll be the last FoTD for a few days, I promise.  I created a slightly more traditional take on a smokey eye with this one - the colours were a fair bit darker in the flesh than they appear here, and there's a lot more gold visible on the skin than my camera can pick up, it seems.  The Cream Eyeliner in the quad has a lot more gold than expected, and it's not quite as creamy as I'd like it to be, meaning it's slightly claggy to apply, but it's a very nice colour indeed, and worth the slightly painstaking application process.  Incidentally, don't even bother using the eyeliner brush they give you in the palette, it's very small, and combined with the not-very-smooth liner, you'll be applying it for hours before you get a visible line.

Oh! Can't believe I forgot to show you this when I showed you the palette the other day!  This is the lipbalm that also forms part of the Clarins summer collection.  Isn't it pretty?  Something to do with jellified oils and, polymers and, er ... something,  but it's basically a clear - literally - lip balm, and it's very very nice. It's not a particularly fantastic lipbalm (you'll have to prise my Sisley Nutritiv from my cold dead hands, frankly), but it is a fantastic looking lipbalm, and as such, it has a place in my Lip Balm Hall of Fame.  I'm wearing it in the pictures above, if you're wondering how it looks applied.  A very soft, gentle wash of slightly glossy colour.  There's also a red and a pink version, but the orange is the most pigmented, I found.  I may have to sneak back and get the others too.

Whassat? Can't hear you!

So, that's three summer collections I've shown you in a great amount of detail now, what's your favourite?

Thursday 22 April 2010

Get A Movie Star Hair Cut!

I've mentioned my love of Cult Beauty - and the Cult Beauty girls themselves! - a few times before.  If you've not had a chance to look around the site yet, please do,  there's a treasure-trove of rare, and usually wonderful  beauty items to be found on there, I've filled (and emptied!) many a virtual shopping basket on the site, and there's always something I've never heard of that pops up and arouses my interest, which is no mean feat these days!

At the moment, they're running a competition to win a haircut from Tara Smith, who is legendary in Hollywoodland circles for her skills.  Don't believe me?  Ask Demi Moore, Anna Friel, Natalie Imbruglia, Yasmin Le Bon, Neve Campbell, Rosario Dawson, Marisa Tomei, June Sarpong (how did she get on this list? - Ed), Angelina Jolie, Teri Hatcher, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nicole Kidman, Angelica Huston, Patricia Arquette, Rosin Murphy or Toni Collette, all of whom she's worked with in the past. She's also done the hair for both the Sex and the City movies!  And you have to admit, she has a pretty fine head of hair herself ... Ordinarily, a haircut with Tara would cost £450 - if you can even catch her in a salon - so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, if you ask me.

The downside?  Well, in order to enter all you do have to do is buy a minimum of  five items from Tara's hair care range (and I'm not going to lie to you, that does seem just a little excessive) but the products all cost less than £5, and, whilst I haven't tried it myself (yet!) I have heard good things about the range generally, and excellent things about the Base Coat Serum in particular. Personally, I've been delighted to notice that all the shampoos are SLS-free, which is great for what is, essentially, a fairly budget-priced range. I'll be picking some items up soon, and I'll keep you posted on what I think.

The competition is running for six weeks, and the prize can be taken in London, New York or LA. But, er, there are no travel costs included, sadly!

Will you be entering?  What would you pay for a movie-star haircut?

Estee Lauder - Bronze Goddess Applied (FotD)

There were a lot of comments about the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess collection that I showed you the other day, so I thought I'd show you how that little lot looks applied too.  Yeah, no idea why I thought a quiff was a good idea either, anyhoo, onto the pics:

Again, the pic is enlargeable, with the usual caveats (cold, terrible hair, and so on...).  For reference, I used the Shimmering Sand and Ultra Violet shadows - which blend out pretty well, actually - alongside the Exotic bronzing blush and the Wild Orchid lipgloss, which is beautifully wearable, and surprisingly versatile, bearing in mind it's rather ... er ... scary shade in the tube.  Tastes nice too, light vanilla scent.

Don't worry, I've got other things to talk about as well as showing you my ugly mug (again) today ... back later!

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Wherefore Art Thou Organic Wednesday?

A few people have been wondering where Organic Wednesday is ... well, it's gone walkabout!  I was too ill to post much last week, which is why it didn't happen then, but don't worry! It is coming back, just not today, sorry!

That is because I'm moving my organic slot to Saturdays from now on (for reasons far too boring to go into here), and it's going to be called "Organic Weekends". This is mainly because I like having a feature I can still refer to as "ow"! -yes, I am a child, thank you -  OW has been a really interesting feature for me over the last seven months, and it's one I love, so it'll be back, large as life (larger, even!), and with a nice big fat report of how I got along at the Natural Organic Product Show at Olympia recently.  This Saturday 24th April, I'll see you then!

Guerlain Summer Collection Applied (FotD)

First off, let me say that these are some of the worst FotD pics I've ever taken, so let me apologise in advance for the stupid looks on my face!  But I had quite a few requests for a FotD with this collection, and I thought I'd oblige ASAP!

As you can see, I used all four of the main shades to create a subtle smokey eye effect (more visible when you enlarge the pic,which I request you all NOT to do, please! I have a heavy cold and I look terrible at the moment), I also used a liquid liner to give a more defined effect near the lash line.  The colour on my lips is the KissKiss Baby balm in 262 Cherry Summer.

Oh, if you're wondering where Organic Wednesday is, I'll be making a little announcement later ...

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Estee Lauder - Bronze Goddess

After my utter disaster with the Estee Lauder Michael Kors collection, I made darn sure I got my hands on this one! I think Estee Lauder are doing really interesting and exciting things at the moment, and this collection confirms it.

Let's have a look at some swatches, I'll start with the eyeshadows:
There are four eyeshadows in this collection, Sand Shimmer, Ultra Violet, Aqua Flash and Molten Bronze.  Sadly, I didn't receive Molten Bronze, so that's why it's not swatched here.  These are intensely pigmented, and will cover your entire eyelid in one swipe of the does-foot applicator.  They can, however, look a little crepe-y if applied too heavily, so I recommend a light hand on the application, and you can sheer them out with your fingertips if you prefer.  However, these last and last, once they're in place!  You will not need a primer, as these shadows are not going anywhere!  I washed this hand three times with soap and water and it still bears traces of the swatches! They will come off very easily with an oily cleanser though, don't worry, you're not going to be stuck with aqua eyelids till the end of time ...

LOVE these lipglosses!  Gloriously fluorescent in the tube, they give lovely sheer brightness to the lips.  The pink (Wild Orchid) has a beautiful blue micro-shimmer to it, and the orange (Wild Coral) has golden micro-shimmers, both of which you'll be able to see more easily if you click on the picture to enlarge it.  Neither feel gritty on the lips, and they last about as well as your average lipgloss.  One thing I will say, is that you don't get as much in the tube as it looks like you do, as you'll see from the top right of the pic - the label fell off mine!

I think, however, that this is the piece I'll be going back for backups of - at least two, I think.  This is the "Exotic Bronzing Blush" and as well as being really cute - have to love those zebra stripes of colour! - it's actually great for giving you a touch of sunkissed colour, without being as "flat" as a traditional bronzer.  Slightly (but not overly) sparkling, it's a real gem.

This is very pretty, a deep, dark purple shade of polish, with pink glitter, it's really very lovely ("Oh, that is super!" MrLippie), it's a trifle on the thick side, almost gloopy, but it's very glossy and beautifully sparkly on the nails.  The wear isn't the greatest I've ever seen (two days maximum without chipping) but it's one of those shades that keeps catching your eye, and just demands that you look at it.  I forgive it all the problems for that.  And I, for one, love the Lauder polish bottles!

I'll be honest, I've not actually plucked up the courage to use this on my face yet (and anyone who read my last post on Zuneta last week will know why!) but it's a wash-off bronzing gel, which, as you can see from my hands there does leave you with a natural-looking glow.

I'll see if I can actually get over myself a little bit soon, and use it in a FotD!

So, as you can see, a wide range of products, some good, some great, but all useable, I think.  W|hat's caught your eye?

Small Print: These products were provided by PR.  Opinions free and unsullied, yadda yadda, yadda. No cake was harmed in the making of this post.

Monday 19 April 2010

Lifesaving Lipstick?

Might seem a silly question, but some products can help save lives.  This lipstick is brought to us by All For Eve a brand new beauty brand who are donating all their profits to help fund research into gynaecological cancers.  So, not only will this lipstick help you look good, it will do good too. 

I'm posting this tonight, as I've been really pleased and delighted to see that All For Eve won FOUR (a record) CEW Beauty Awards earlier today, Best Beauty Brand,  Best New Bath and Body Product (for their body butter), Best Hand and Nail Product (for their hand cream) and Best Beauty Product for the lipstick I'm showing you right now, which was designed by Daniel Sandler.

And, what a beauty it really is, a blue-based red with wonderful staying power, it's moisturising and beautifully pigmented, and absolutely everyone I know who has one has raved about it.

Here are swatches on my hand, and my lips (as always, pictures are clickable to enlarge):

Other products in the range have been designed by Urban Retreat, Sophy Robson, and Swarovski, here's a little peek:

These products mean business, the people behind this project have worked hard to make these releases as good as they can possibly be (not, sadly, always the case when it comes to charity beauty products) and I think their four awards today show that beauty experts in this country think they've done a bang up job!

Support a charity, save a life.

All for Eve products will be released officially on Monday 26th April.  Will you be checking them out?

Highlighters that double as blushers

When I was featuring (some of) my highlighter stash recently, I mentioned that I owned a few that doubled up as blushers, and I thought I'd show you those too. If you've followed my makeovers in any great detail, then at least one of these will be very familiar to you!

This is my Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips in Natural Glow which I won in a giveaway over at London Beauty Review quite recently. on the peachy side of natural, this gives great glowy definition where you want it, and is great for pure highlighting when you just want sheen.  The swatch on the right shows all the shades swirled together, but the darker two strips at the bottom are ones that I've used very successfully as a blush shade too.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Apricot.  This isn't one I use much, as I think it needs a bit of tan to make it work properly, so it's one I'm going to make massive amounts of use of this summer, being coral is massive this year!  It's the same quality as my BB Beige shimmer brick, which I never miss an opportunity to use, and I'm sure this one won't let me down either! It's a little more on the gold-y side than the Physicians Formula above, not too sure if that's visible in the pics.

Finally, what is probably my favourite highlighter of all time, Cargo Plant Love Illuminator in Wind.  A swirled (baked) mix of bronze and two shade s of pink, this is something that I find never fails to lighten and brighten even the dullest of complexions. Plus, mad packaging aside, it's also very pretty to look at.  Applied with a light hand, it gives a very pretty flush of colour to the cheeks, but you can also use it to give a sunkissed look, as in this makeover here.

Do you have any multi-purpose blushers and highlighters?  What are your favourites?

Sunday 18 April 2010

Makeover: Helen S

 Gosh, it's been a few weeks since I posted a makeover, I'm really sorry! I hope you'll all make Helen very welcome, she's a great friend of mine, and we've been makeup shopping A Lot over the years. Mainly because it took me a very long time to cure Helen of her frosted mauve lipstick fetish .... Here she is, all fresh-faced, and only slightly apprehensive about what the day is going to bring.

Helen popped along on Valentines Day for some chocolate, a girly gossip and a brand new look, we've worked on her "polished neutrals" for work before now, but this time Helen wanted something completely different and dramatic, suitable for a night out.  Having a look through both our makeup collections, we thought grey would be a great option to bring out the beautiful brown of Helen's eyes.  But, as always, before that, we started with the base, which in Helen's case was a mix of Bobbi Brown tinted moisturiser, and Mac Studio Fix powder:

Initially we had decided on Bourjois Liquid eyeshadow in Platinum Gris, but once it was on the skin, I realised that although it was certainly dramatic, it really wasn't dramatic in the right kind of way. So, immediately after applying it, we took it back off.

We replaced it with Benefit Creaseless Cream in Skinny Jeans, which has long been a favourite eyeshadow of mine, it's slightly more pewter, and as such tends to be a little more flattering on pale-olive skintones.

A dramatic evening look seems to demand lots of eyeliner, so we took the skinny jeans around the eye, and used a little black liner to define the top row of lashes.  Next stop, mascara:

We used Bourjois Ultra Care mascara - which is one of my all-time faves for makeovers -  and here we also added a pop of Bourjois Rose Coup de Foudre blush to Helen's cheekbones. Helen had never worn mascara before, but I'm reliably informed she's been out and bought one now!

 Breaking all my own rules (I wouldn't normally put pink with this look, but we were going for different) a slick of Lipstick Queen's 15 Minutes of Fame gloss in Minute 3 finishes off the look,and Helen's all ready to party!

Here's the before and after:


Saturday 17 April 2010

Guerlain Summer Editions

Oh, I love Guerlain, I love how their powders are always delicately scented with violets, which somehow makes the products feel more genteel and otherworldly, ladylike, I guess. Speaking of ladylike, their summer editions are something rather special too:

 Bad beauty blogger alert - I'm a dingbat, and forgot to take off the plastic cover that protects the eyeshadows!  

Guerlain are famous for their bronzers, so I was interested to see that this is a summer collection that will work well even if you don't have a tan, and if you have cool tones-skin.  So many summer collections assume that we're all off to the Caribbean for a month ... here's a closer look at the shadows:

Pretty - and matte! - gorgeous peaches and taupes, with a sparkly brown added for defining.  The white rosette you can see isn't an overspray, it's actually the white shade from their Les Meteorites pearls, and it goes all the way to the bottom of the pan.  Swatches:

Swatched rather heavily here, so you can see the different colours. I've done a FotD which I'll show you soon, which has them rather more sheered out.  Shadows are buttery soft, and really very blendable, sadly, the swatches make them look a bit chalky (wasn't expecting them to be so pigmented when I stuck my fingers in!) but I think these colours are perfect for a Faye Dunaway/Brigitte Bardot-esque, sixties-style look too.

Here are the two KissKiss Baby balms which are being released two, one a coral (So hot right now! - Zoolander) and one a pink:

These are very sheer, and beautifully moisturising - I've been wearing the pink (top) every day since it arrived! They're very lovely for a sheer veil of colour, when you don't fancy full on lipstick.  SPF 10 too, which is nice.  Swatches:

This is a nice alternative take on the summer coral/tanned trend, what do you think?

Guerlain Summer editions will be released Nationwide on 5th June - Ombre Eclat Palette will cost £36 and the KissKiss Baby Balms will be £20.

The Small Print: Items in this post were clandestinely handed over in a tea-shop by the Guerlain PR people.  They forced me to eat cake, however, this has in no way affected my review of the items in question.  My opinions cannot be bought with sponge.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Lime Crime Launches in the UK

A picture paints a thousand words.  With that in mind here's an entire essay about Lime Crime:

(click to enlarge pics)

Lip swatches of My Beautiful Rocket, and D'Lilac are after the jump:

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