Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 31 January 2011

Nail of the Day - Deborah Lippmann Don't Tell Mamma

I saw this online at House of Fraser and had to have it, it looked so gorgeous!  And, in the bottle it is, a deep dark blackened green, with incredible micro-shimmer.

As with my last Lippmann polish, application was perfect, smooth and opaque within two coats, and the wear was great, it lasted four days without chipping and I was very happy with it ...

but ....

Where's the shimmer?  It's just black on the nails! Just occasionally, depending on the light, the angle of viewing, even the time of day, you get a hint of the shimmer, but most of the time it's just black.  A good black, and a lovely polish, to be sure, but I was disappointed all the same. Gorgeous, just not quite gorgeous enough, I'm afraid.  Especially at £14 a bottle!

The Fine Print: Bought this with cash.  Not my cash, of course, but it still counts.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Cult Beauty: Live at Selfridges

Odd though it may seem, I'm not - actually - a big fan of makeup shopping online.  I like to see, touch, swatch and even smell the products I'm buying!  Also, when I decide I want something, I want it RIGHT NOW. None of which is possible from the comfort of your laptop, alas ...

Despite that, I do, occasionally buy things from beauty websites - usually things which are difficult/impossible to find on the high street - and one of the best ones I've visited is Cult Beauty. I do love their well thought out selection, and it's a nicely laid out site too.

So, with my dislike of online cosmetics shopping, and my love of Cult Beauty, I'm delighted that the CB girls are launching a pop-up shop in one of my real-life favourite stores, Selfridges (honestly, I'd move in, if I could), today!  Hoorah! I'll finally be able to do all the swatching and sniffing of their amazing stock that I need to before, no doubt,  handing over a goodly part of this month's salary for whatever it is I decide I can't live without today ...

The shop opens 27th Jan, and will be at Selfridges until Monday 31st January. For more details please click this link (and get yourself a nice little voucher for some freebies!)

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Dear Mr Lippie

Be afraid, be very afraid … for have I found the perfect Valentine's present for you!

Guyliner. Oh yes! But not just any guyliner, there's also mascara and concealer in this handy kit. It's like the lovely people at have been reading my mind! And for just £20, I can finally make all my "dating an 80's rockstar" fantasies come true*!

Oh, I'm going to have such fun this February 14th...

*C'mon, don't tell me I'm alone here!

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Bourjois Little Round Pots

I love me some Bourjois, I think they're actually my favourite high street brand.  I find their products are very high quality for the price point (even as I notice that price point is creeping ever-upwards these days), but it's fair to say that my makeup collection contains a sizeable collection from the brand.

When I discovered they'd relaunched their entire collection of "Little Round Pots" recently - after being astonished to discover they were 150 years old! - I was a little concerned, as sometimes, reformulation generally means poorer quality, but on trialling a few over the last month or two I've had my concerns allayed somewhat, and I'm happy to say that the new, reformulated Little Round Pot is better than ever.

I picked up a selection of shades to try, as you can see above, clockwise from bottom left you have:

02 - glorious mermaid blue (shimmer)
04 - beautiful deep purple (shimmer)
14 - steely grey (shimmer)
07 -  deep blackened forest green (shimmer)
74 - purple-based taupe (shimmer)
13 - lightly pinked-purple (glitter)
11 - concrete grey (glitter) 
and in the centre, there is: 08 - an apricot-beige highlight shade.

Previously, the LRPs might have been considered a little hard, and were occasionally hard to blend, owing to their baked texture, but I've found that they're a lot softer these days, and easier to blend as a result.  If you're applying them dry, however (or without a base) then a lot of these shades can appear muddy if you over-blend.

I swatched them with a slightly damp brush, and I found this was amazing for bringing out the pigment to its full extent, some of these shades are very lovely indeed:

 Also, using a slightly damp brush (swatches are shown without a primer) means you get minimal fallout, and the glitter in the more dramatic shades will stay put!

In slightly different (less direct) light:

One quick note, if you apply the blue damp, it will stain your skin - I found that out the hard way!  I think my favourites are 11, 74 and seven.  How about you?

The Fine Print: PR samples, but I've bought loads of these too ... gotta love 'em. 
This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 24 January 2011

Project Perfume - The List ...

In the book Perfumes: An A-Z guide, they give the perfumes a star-rating, which is * for dreadful and ***** for classics that will stand the test of time.  I, however, am not as educated in perfume as I wish to be, and so, can't really rate perfumes against each other as Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez do in the book.  

Also, I tend to find traditional classifications of perfume confusing, eg, what's a chypre?  How is something both oriental and floral? And so on ... so, alongside the traditional categories,  I'll also be using these denominators/ratings/categories on my project:

and the (rare) Very Nice

As far as I can break it down - it's hardly scientific as I'm sure you've already noticed, these are the categories that MrLippie lumps my fragrances into when he smells them - they can be described more fully as follows:

Disgusting = kind of self explanatory, but mainly refers to "scrubbers" (perfumes that immediately make you want to wash/scrub the disgusting stuff off your skin) or fragrances that make me vomit, as there are more than a couple.  I suspect the ingredient that causes it is tonka bean, but I'm hoping to find out properly this year.

OK = better than not wearing perfume at all, but not much (will usually smell of fruit)

Nice/Soapy = Pleasant, and nice to wear but not mind-blowing.  Incidentally, I see a lot of scents written off for being "soapy", in my mind this is a mistake, some of my favourite scents are only available in soap form, and I don't see what's wrong with that.  A lot of soap is actually fragranced by perfume makers in the first place, you know ...

Weird = Something that doesn't always smell of traditional perfume.  Leather, tar, rubber, leaves, vegetables and the like.  Does not mean unpleasant, but just something a little out of the ordinary.

Very Nice = There is a very small category of scents that will make MrLippie sit up and pay attention (out of all the perfumes I own, I think three have made MrL make this observation), and I'll make sure to highlight these ones properly.  

Where mine and MrL's opinions vary widely, the perfume will be given two ratings.  

As for how the project works, there are 120 perfumes on the list that follows, which equates to 10 perfumes a month.  I'm not intending on buying all of these, I'll garner sample sizes where I can, I'll smell others on scent strips, and occasionally, if I like something enough, I'll buy a full-size bottle.  In fact, I've like a few of the scents I smelling in January so much that I might have bought a few full size bottles of them already ... oops!

I'm not intending to do a full review of every perfume on the list, but I will mention my thoughts of very many of them when I do roundups, which will be on a very ad-hoc basis.

So, all that out of the way, here's the full list:

Aqua Allegoria Pamplune by Guerlain
L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer
Alliage by Lauder
Amber Absolute by  Tom Ford
Ambre Sultan  by Serge Lutens
A*Men by Thierry Mugler
Anice by Etro
Anne Pliska by Anne Pliska
Antiheros by Etat Libre d'Orange
Apres L'Ondee by Guerlain
Arpege by Lanvin
Aveda Man Pure-formance by Aveda
Azuree by Lauder
Baldessarini by Hugo Boss
Bandit  by Robert Piguet
Beyond Paradise Men by Lauder
Billet Doux by Fragonard
Black by Bulgari
Bois d'Encens by Armani Prive
Bois des Iles by Chanel
Boucheron by Boucheron
Cabaret  by Gres
Calandre by Paco Rabanne
Ca Sent Beau by Kenzo
Chamade by Guerlain
Cologne a la Francaise by Instituit Tres Bien
Crystalle by Chanel
Cuir by Lancome
Cuir de Russie by Chanel
Climat by Lancome

Dazzling Silver by Lauder
Derby by Guerlain
Diorella by Dior
Dior Homme Sport by Dior
Donna Karan Signature by Donna Karan
Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain
Eau Lente by Diptyque
Eau Savage by Dior
Envy by Gucci
Farenheit 32 by Dior
Feminiti du Bois by Serge Lutens
Fracas by Robert Piguet
Le Feu d'Issey by Issey Myaki
Fleur du Male by Jean Paul Gaultier
Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris
Frangipane Absolute by Ormonde Jayne
Givenchy III by Givenchy
Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene
Gucci Pour Homme by Gucci
Habit Rouge by Guerlain
Halston Z-14 by Halston
Heritage by Guerlain
L'Heure Bleu by Guerlain
Hindu Grass by Nasomatto
Homage by Amouage
Hypnotic Poison by Dior
Incense Extreme by Tauer
Incense Rose by Tauer
Insense by Givenchy
L'Instant Pour Homme by Guerlain
Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens
Joy by Jean Patou (P&G?)
Jules by Dior
Kiki by Vero Profumo
Knize Ten by Knize
Knowing by Lauder
Lauder for Men by Lauder
Lavender by Caldey Island
Let it Rock by Vivienne Westwood
Like This by Etat Libre d'Orange
Lime Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone
Lonestar Memories by Tauer
Ma Griffe by Carven
Absolue Pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Menthe Fraiche by Heeley
Miss Balmain by Balmain
Missoni by Missoni
Mitsouko by Guerlain
La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
Mystere by Aesop
Nahema by Guerlain
New York by Parfums de Nicolai
No 5 EDT by Chanel
No 19 by Chanel
Odalisque by Parfums de Nicolai
Ombre Rose by Jean Charles Brosseau
Onda by Vero Profumo
Orange Star by Tauer
Organza Indecence by Givenchy
Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne
Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermes
Oud 27 by Le Labo
Oydeo by Diptyque
Par Amour Toujours by Clarins
Parfum Sacre by Caron
Pour un Homme by Caron
Private Collection by Lauder
Rush by Gucci
Safran Troublant by L'Artisan de Perfumer
Dzing by L'Artisan de Perfumer
Sarrasins by Serge Lutens
Scent by Theo Fennell
Scent 79 Woman  by Jil Sander
Shalimar by Guerlain
Stetson by Stetson
Sycomore by Chanel
Ta'if by Ormonde Jayne
Tam Dao by Diptyque
Timbuktu by L'Artisan de Perfumer
Tocade by Rochas
Tolu by Ormonde Jayne
Truth by Calvin Klein
Verveine by Heeley
Vetiver by Guerlain
Vetiver pour Elle by Guerlain
Vol de Nuit by Guerlain
White Jasmine & Mint by Jo Malone
White Linen by Lauder
Yatagan by Caron
Yohji by Yohji Yamamoto
Youth Dew by Lauder
There are perfumes by 61 manufacturers here, many main-stream, but plenty are offbeat, and some are pretty niche, but fully half of the list are perfumes by just ten manufacturers, these are:

Guerlain 15
Estee Lauder 9
Chanel 6
Dior 6
Serge Lutens 5
Tauer 5
Ormonde Jayne 4
Caron 3
Diptyque 3
Givenchy 3

All perfumes have been chosen purely because something about the description of them in the book by Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez in some way appealed to me, it's purely a personal choice (you might notice I'm a big fan of the nice/soapy category, and I love masculine fragrances somewhat too ...), this list is in no way a guarantee of quality and/or taste and reason.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Tom Ford Lipsticks: Smoke Red and Bruised Plum

I'm a very lucky woman, for Christmas this year I received not one, but two Tom Ford lipsticks!

Smoke Red on the left, Bruised Plum on the right there, excellent choices from MrLippie's mum!

But, before I go on to review them, can you see what I noticed about them?

Clue, one isn't closer to the camera, nor are they at an angle... Pretty though, ain't they?

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Smashbox All in Bloom Palette

Pastels schmastels.  If there is anything I really don't like about spring, it's the insistence that we're all going to be prancing around in pastel shades on eyes, nails and lips and clothes.  I don't do pastels.  I think pastels only really suit six years olds.  There, I said it.

And ... breathe ...

Now I've got that off my chest, I've been made very happy that so many of this season's releases have been a little more ... muted.  Some might say dull, I say wearable, tomaytoes, tomartoes.  Smashbox isn't a brand I buy from very often, but I've been happy with this little palette.

It contains ten shades, of muted pinks, purples, peaches, greens and browns, which I, for one, find very wearable.  It's meant to be laid out in pairs so that you can wear the colours together.  There are no shade names available, so I've numbered them for you.  Shades 1, 2, 4, 9 & 10 are matte, and 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8 have shimmer.  Here are the swatches:

All were swatched on bare skin with a slightly damp brush.  Initial thoughts are that shades 3 & 4 are very similar, only number three is more shimmery than number 4 so it looks a little lighter in the swatch.  I think my favourites are 7 & 8, I'll be wearing them today.  I found that the paler matte shades (1 & 9) were a little chalky, especially the pink shade, so I urge a little caution when you're using those ones.

All in all, I think this is a great little multi-purpose palette suitable for a variety of skintones, and it's exceedingly versatile.  Shades are well-pigmented overall (ignoring the two pale chalky mattes), and it's a palette I expect to get a fair amount of use out of.

So tell me, how do you feel about pastels?

The Fine Print:  Palette was received as part of an event goodie bag, not sent for review purposes, I just liked it.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Nail of the Day - Essie: Sew Psyched

Utterly infatuated with green nail varnish, I am.  I went, last year, from not ever being able to imagine wearing it to owing more green nail polish shades than I do, say, pinks!  This colour, a delightfully greyed-out khaki is Essie Sew Psyched from their a/w 2010 collection.  It's a mini-bottle, I didn't suddenly sprout man-hands overnight!

It's wearable for the office - I think so, anyway, but your mileage may vary of course - and the pics show three coats with seche topcoat, as it's a little on the sheer side, I guess it could have done with four.

Wear was about average, two days for tipwear, and three days before any chips showed.  I like it a lot, and kind of wish I'd bought a full size bottle of this shade instead of a pack with all four colours in, three of which currently remain unworn.  I'm a bit funny like that.

 The Fine Print: Products were purchased at Pro-Beauty Olympia back in October.I should really dig out the others ....
 This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 17 January 2011

Project Perfume: Clinique Aromatics Elixir

The week before last, I announced the start of "Project Perfume", where I'm going to attempt to sniff about 10 new (to me) perfumes a month in an attempt to educate myself about scents, their composition, and to see if I can finally, once and for all, identify that particular ingredient in certain perfumes that makes me want to vomit.  I'm a one-woman perfume machine armed only with a fragrance A-Z, a nose and a desire not to throw up in any more department store perfume departments ....

But first I thought I'd cheat a little and write about what is, probably, my "signature scent", and that is Clinique's Aromatics Elixir.  Over the years since I first bought a bottle of this - aged around 15 - I've owned it in every format, perfume, shower gel, body lotion, solid perfume, talc, deodorant (what can I say, layering scents was big in the 80's), but I'm kicking myself at the moment as I missed buying it in scented candle form this year.  I think the only format that it's not appeared in is bath oil, and I'd adore a massive bottle of Bath Elixir, it'd be right at home in my tardis-bath!

Aromatics is a "big" scent, and it's instantly recognisable at even the merest whiff. It's classified as a "floral chypre", but I don't get even the faintest hint of flowers, at least not until the scent has been on my skin for several hours, and ironically, this is what I like about it.  On first spray, it's intensely smoky, and reminds me of a spicy incense, which is intensely evocative.  Because it's strong, I like to save it for winter (though I used to wear it year-round layered constantly over itself) , and as a result, I have a wardrobe full of scarves, coats and sweater which are impregnated delightfully with the stuff, it's a wonderful thing to be able to stick your nose into something you've not worn for a while, and be reminded of occasions where you've worn them before.

After a while on the skin, the smokiness fades, and there's a balsamic, almost medicinal, resinous scent, which lingers around for a while, reminding me of woods and the dense boskyness of walking on mulchy leaves in the autumn countryside.  Eventually, after about 8 hours on the skin I'm left with just the faintest hint of sandalwood and roses - maybe a hint of hippy-free patchouli - and I'm a happy woman.

When I first smelled Aromatics Elixir, I couldn't resist it, as it was so very "different" to everything else I'd smelled at that point, and it remains beautifully different to most of the perfumes you find in department stores today, and I revel in that very "differentness" to this day, nearly 25 years later.

What's your "signature scent"?
This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Friday 14 January 2011

Travel Makeup - Trish McEvoy Beauty Charger

I'm away this weekend, having the family Christmas that had to be cancelled owing to the recent terrible weather, and I thought you might like to see what I normally take with me when I go "travelling".  This little baby is the veteran of many a trip - in fact you can tell how old it is by the old-style logo on the front, Trish McEvoy changed her font years ago!

I like the chargers, because they're essentially empty magnetic cases that you fill with products of your own choosing, here's what I have in mine:

Clockwise from top left we have: blush in Natural, Glaze in Sugar Plum, Eyeshadow in Cashmere, Definer in Bronze and Definer in Deep Amethyst.  I like the mix of natural and plummy shades, which means I can go from a barely there look to a full-on smokey eye, all from a small selection of shades.

But wait!  There's more:

There's a second layer in this card!  In here I have (L-R) Even Skin powder in No2 Bare, and Highlight in Blush (which has since been discontinued, sadly).

 I like Trish McEvoy because I find that the powder products are actually of a great quality, being softly silky and finely milled, and I love that you get to choose your own shades.  I've taken this all over the world, and it's done sterling service, I wonder where it'll end up next?

I'm also wondering what I should fill the gap on the top row with.  What'd you put in it?

This post originated at: All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Balayage with Jack Howard at Equus

Jack Howard is a man on a mission.  Having conquered the hairdressing world of the US with his missionary zeal for Balayage, training (amongst others) the Frederick Fekkai salons, and becoming a senior portfolio artist for L'Oreal Professional along the way, he's now here in the UK and he's determined to spread the word.

Balayage is the art of painting the hair with light, creating a soft, sexy, sunkissed effect, without foils, and regimented stripes.  The stylist has to pay attention to how light falls on the hair, how the hair fall on the client, and how the colours will compliment the woman wearing the hair, and an art it decidedly is.  It's not - entirely - new to the UK (I myself had a similar treatment last summer at The Chapel in Islington), but the technique is something that Jack is very keen to bring to wider renown to hairdressing clients (and hairdressers!) around the country.

Knightsbridge isn't somewhere I'd normally associate with cutting edge hair techniques, to be honest, so I was initially surprised that Equus was Jack's new base in the UK. Situated a few minutes from Harrods, and catering to a clientele that ordinarily includes princesses, duchesses, baronesses, the odd dame and lots of names you'd recognise from the pages of Hello magazine - alongside a lot of celebrities - it actually makes an odd kind of sense.  Jack believes in soft, sexy, natural hair, and clients who are willing to invest in their hair aren't going to appreciate skunk-stripes and badger highlights, so balayage is perfect for clients who want to look natural, groomed and polished.

I popped along to Equus to see Jack, try out the technique for myelf and have a look at the newly revamped salon, and I have to say I was very impressed. The salon is an oasis of calm, and has what are probably the most flattering mirrors I've ever actually seen in a salon.  This is surprisingly important, I find. Hairdressing clients are exceptionally vulnerable, and seeing yourself in too harsh a light when you're covered in cling film and cotton wool isn't great - every wrinkle, zit and pore highlighted, who needs that? - but the lighting and mirrors in Equus are delightful, and a wonderful surprise!

In spite of his reputation and pedigree, Jack is delightfully down to earth and amusing to spend a few hours in the company of, it was great to hear that we share a lot of the same opinions on grooming (essentially that less is more, and glamour is better when it's polished rather than "in your face" and the like), I also found that he really paid attention to my hair, playing with it, deciding where to best paint the highlights for the most flattering effect, and he spent a lot of time explaining what he was doing as he went along too.

Whilst the mirrors are flattering, my iPhone hates me, mind, always wanted to know what I'd look like platinum blonde ...
Essentially, the dye (or dyes, we decided to go both darker and lighter in my case, me being brunette and all) is lightly applied near the roots and is applied slightly more heavily towards the ends to give a natural "sunkissed" effect, and is painted onto v-shaped sections of hair, but with this technique, the art is more in the placement, and it's that which is the major difference between balayage and regular highlighting with foils, as it enables a personalised look to suit any and all clients.

So, how did it turn out?  Rather excellently, as it happens, Jack's  light hand with the bleach has left me with shiny, expensive-looking hair, which glows with different shades as the light hits it, but, doesn't look anything but brunette from a distance, and Arturo gave me a fantastic blow-dry, which I was happy with for a couple of days after.  Here's the picture that best shows off the colour:

Gold and brown, and my own natural brunette. A rather "tortoiseshell" effect, I love it.  The technique isn't cheap (expensive-looking hair tends not to be, in my experience), but you can experience "face-framing" balayage from £75, and the technique goes up to £190 for a full-head of highlights.

If, however, you've read this far, and you're interested in meeting Jack for yourself, please drop an email to [address redacted] with your address details and I'll send you a gift voucher for 30% off balayage colouring with Jack, 50% off a cut and blow dry with the equally talented Arturo, alongside a complimentary keratin conditioning treatment AND a free Essie manicure.  How could you resist?  You can have a look at Jack's work on his website, but if you follow Jack on Twitter, he'll talk to you about the technique too, don't be shy!

EDITED TO ADD: This offer has now closed.  This blogpost was written in 2011.

The Fine Print: Get Lippie was a guest of the salon, but is expecting to go back, especially as it's practically on the doorstep ....

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Dior Lip Addict Gloss: 707 Flash and 654 Pearl

Alongside the palette I showed to you yesterday, Dior have also released two lipglosses to go alongside, one a cool silvery grey and one a light, cool, milky coral:

Flash 707 is the one that caught my eye back in December, and I was intrigued as to how it would work in person, but when I saw 654 Pearl, I felt duty-bound to pick that one up too, as it was so pretty in the flesh!

As you can see, 707 Flash swatches pretty sheerly, and 654 Pearl swatches far more opaquely, but both have a hint of blue and copper micro-shimmer running through them, as you can see here:

They're both exceptionally pretty, but I have a feeling Flash will be a lot more useful as a layering gloss, than as a shade in its own right, I'm not entirely convinced grey lips are the way to go unless you're serious about looking like you have consumption ...

Both are typical Lip Addict glosses, lightly fruit scented, slightly sticky, not all that long lasting, but they don't dry your lips out, and I, for one, am a fan of the slightly OTT packaging.

The Fine Print:  You can call these samples, if you wish.  I prefer to refer to them as "shopping".

Monday 10 January 2011

Dior Cannage - 002 Whisper Grey

 Saw this palette a couple of weeks ago at a preview and fell in love with it, but it's taken till now for me to get set up to do swatches!  For Spring/Summer 2011, Dior have gone for cool greys and pinks, which makes a refreshing change from all the bronzes and corals we had last year.  I have a selection of the products from this range, and I'll work my way through showing you them this week.

I selected the Whisper Grey palette because there was a little more pink in the shades than there appeared to be in 001, which is a lot more monochrome.  Also, it's a darn cute little thing:

It's quilted in the same fashion as Dior handbags and feels great in the hand.  There's no protective velvet pouch with this one though, so maybe not one for dragging around with you too much as the squashy pleather may get scratched.  Love the Dior logo though:

Once you open the palette, you have four shadows, a decent-sized mirror, and a sponge applicator:

There's a pink, a pale grey-taupe, a darker matte grey and a frosty white (at least, that's how they appear in the pan):

It appears on first glance that the top two shades are shimmery, and the bottom are more matte, but these shades are slightly more complex than they appear, as you'll see from the swatches:

(swatched dry over bare skin with the sponge applicator included with the palette)  
As you can see, these are actually fairly pigmented (I don't have much luck with Dior, the last palette I bought barely showed up on swatching at all, and the Minaudiere I bought from my mum was snatched off me in a mugging before Christmas), and I like how they appear on skin. 

The shimmery pink top left is not quite as frosty as it appear here, and the grey-taupe (top right) is a lot more complex, and is probably (surprise!) my favourite shade in the palette.  However, the matte grey bottom left is probably going to get a lot of use from me, as it has a pinkish base, which I think will make it far more flatteringly wearable than a more traditional steel-y grey, which tends towards a blue base.  I was suprised by the white, expecting it to be flat - and chalky - but there's actually a hint of shimmer, and it's shot through with a very pale, flattering gold.  Used sheerly, I'm sure it'll be far more useful than a plain flat white.

I did also swatch these shades over primer, but they don't, in all honesty, look all that different:

It pulls the grey-taupe a little more silver (which I'm not entirely sure is a good thing), and make the pink a bit more frosty, but I think I prefer the swatches without a base, in all honesty.

Grey lipgloss coming up tomorrow!

The Fine Print: These products were bought'n'paid for.  Ask MrLippie, he was most amused bemused at my shopping habits.

Friday 7 January 2011

Chantecaille Turtles Palette

Oh my, how pretty is this?

I spent several years living in Greece, and several nights whilst there were spent camping out under the stars and watching turtles lay their eggs on some of the beaches there, so this will be a lovely reminder of my days as a rep.

I love the fact that some of the whopping cost of these palettes (these retail around £73), about 5% , goes to help wildlife charities, this year it's Widecast). I rejected last years Chantecaille Tigers Palette as the shades were just a little too on the cool side for me, but this is something I'll definitely be picking up, I think. It's too pretty not to, I love the cute turtle oversprays, and that's a perfect coral blush bottom left there.  And ... is that a taupe, top right?!

Not sure when it's released in the UK yet, but I'll let you know when I find out ...

EDIT: The palette is due to be released in the UK at the end of February.  Swatches for you when I can get them.

(Pic courtesy Chantecaille US)

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Project Perfume

Accountants need projects like fish need bicycles water.  This year, I've decided to set myself one, I have around fifty different projects going on at work so, what's another one for home?

Over Christmas, I downloaded Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin onto my Kindle App (Santa ignored my repeated requests for a Kindle this year, I hate him), and spent a glorious day and a half reading about practically every perfume under the sun.  I also spent a lot of time bookmarking those perfumes I was really interested in having a sniff of.  It's completely and utterly engrossing, and I learned a great deal reading it.

2010 was the year I really re-discovered perfume. After several years of avoiding buying it altogether, being disgusted with the proliferation of syrupy-sweet stinks that all smelled the same, I stuck to a few old favourites (Acqua di Parma, Jicky and Aromatics Elixir, in the main), and thought that there was nothing on the market to interest little old me.  I was wrong.

So, having spent last year discovering that there was perfume I like available, I'm going to spend some time this year, sniffing my way through the classics (and some not-so-classics - just because I love them) and see if I can educate my nose a bit more.  I spent some time before Christmas with some amazing perfumers, and I'll be talking about those soon.

It turns out that when I'd been bookmarking the scents I was interested in, I'd picked out around 100 or so that I was really, really super interested in, so, being an accountant, I've created a spreadsheet (I even added a pivot table, deep joy!) and I'll be tallying everything I've sniffed as the year goes on. I can manage two sniffs of new perfume a week, I'm sure.  I'll even review them here ... a bit.  Occasionally.  If, over the next 12 months, you see an anorak  accountant with a spangly pen frantically writing notes on random bits of paper in a perfume hall near you, then you'll have spotted Get Lippie out in the wild ... I'll publish the list in full at a later date.

So, if money were no object what perfume would you buy for yourself?

Tuesday 4 January 2011

My Picks of 2010

Needless to say, you'll have seen a million of these posts already, and I was in two minds whether or not to post my selections too, but some of these products have been life-changing for me, and I thought I'd share them anyway ...

Bath Products of The Year:

Aromatherapy Associates
Early on in the year, I was sent an Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath and Shower oil selection, which I adored, and since then, I've been through two - count them! - full-size bottles of the Deep Relax bath oil.  Both heady and relaxing, this stuff has seen me through an operation, a change of job, and moving house, I can't recommend it highly enough.  A capful (or two, in my mega-bath's case) is more than enough to soothe my aching bones, and ease my weary head.  You can also use it as a shower oil, or, in extreme cases, you can dab it on your pulse points and sniff as required. They do great candles too.

Lipstick of the Year
Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia

Adore the packaging, love (love!) the colour, and the fact that it's both £10 cheaper than Tom Ford's Pure Pink, alongside being slightly easier to wear makes this glorious shade my pick of the year.   The Tom Ford Private Collection lipsticks did grow on me throughout the year (to the extent that I now own three of them), however, this is the shade I'll be buying  back up of very soon.

Shampoo/Conditioner of the Year:

Andrew Collinge Smooth & Shine

An oldie, admittedly, but a damn good one.  I found this moisturising, and made my hair behave beautifully.  Easy to rinse, and it left my hair with an amazing shine, and at a bargainous £4.99 for a 500ml bottle, it lasted forever too!  If it were SLS-free, I'd be using it still (I had a keratin treatment at the end of year, so am using SLS-free formulations right now), but I had no issues with colour-stripping whilst I was using this on my dry, colour-processed hair.

Blusher of the Year

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush

2010 was the year I really started to get into blusher, it started with Estee Lauder's Bronzed Goddess bronzer, and ended with Nars Douceur, but in between were these little gems. I love them still, and now own three, in Truth, Cherub and Dare (plus I intend to get my hands on Flush and Gentle at some point too), as they're practically perfect.  Long-lasting, buildable and perfectly tinted, after I learned to handle them, I fell in love.

Eyeshadow of the year
Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscope in Le Cirque

To be fair, everything I've tried from Le Metier this year has been great, but the Le Cirque Kaleidoscope blew me away a little bit. Beautiful and endlessly versatile, this is practically the only eyeshadow palette I've reached for since I bought it a couple of months ago. Alas, it's limited edition, so I'm glad I arranged a backup when I could.

Foundation of the Year

A tough one, this, so there are two winners (and a runner up ...):

 Guerlain Lingerie De Peau and Bourjois Healthy Mix

Both great for a glowing finish (even though the Bourjois is technically only a "satin" or semi-matte finish), I genuinely couldn't choose between the two.  The Guerlain is a lighter-than-air, dewy finish that I find works best when set with just the tiniest bit of powder, whereas the Bourjois doesn't need setting, but I find the coverage is a little heavier.

Just want to give a mention to a distinguished runner up, which is Armani Face Fabric.  Amazing mousse texture, but for me, I need to be having a really good face day to do it justice.  But this is great stuff:

Nail Varnish of the Year

Deborah Lippmann: Hit Me With Your Best Shot. 

A glimmering steel-grey shade with hints of multi-coloured micro-shimmer, I've reached for this polish again and again since it arrived in my stick little paws, I love it, and it just edged out Dolce & Gabanna's Perfection (which it very nearly is) as my pick of the year.  Unfair as I still don't think House of Fraser have it in stock yet, but when they do, snap this one up!

Candle of the Year

Jonathan Ward Idina's Locket

No competition - unless you count the rest of the candles in this superbly-scented Amber range from Jonathan Ward, of which I bought the entire range of the day it was released!  And I know I wasn't the only person to have done the same, either. Warm and evocative, this candle smells like it was stolen straight from the boudoir of  Coco Chanel herself.  I now have more candles from Jonathan on my "Candle Wall" than I do from any other maker, and the reason for that is because they are wonderful, not to mention very clean burning.

Perfume of the Year

Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela

A possibly controversial choice,  but my blog, my rules, so ... I have to say that out of all the mass perfume releases I smelled this year, this was by far the most interesting, and it's definitely the scent that's responsible for getting me interested in perfume at all during 2010, so for that, it was a very important discovery for me.  Not every perfume in store smells like sweeties, and thank goodness for that.  You're going to be hearing a lot from me about perfume in the coming months, so you can all blame the 'Martin.

Skincare Range of the Year:

 Much like Le Metier above, where I haven't had a duff product from them all year, Alpha H has been the same for skincare.  I've tried practically every product from the range now, and (one exploding eyecream aside) I've liked (at worst) all of them, and loved some of them.  Start with Liquid Gold, try the facial oil, then move onto the masks, you can't really go wrong.  I'll have some more in-depth reviews of a couple of things coming up soon, but this is a great, no-frills brand, and I highly recommend them.

You might also want to have a look at Mir Skincare, which is formulated for sensitive skin, and is a bit of a marvel, in particular I loved the (vegan-friendly) Argan Oil, which I'll shortly be placing a replacement order for.

And finally - if you're still reading!

Overall Product of the Year


Quite simply, it's a life (and skin) changing bit of kit.  I've banged on about it at relentless length several times before now, so I shan't go on, but suffice to say, I can't imagine life without this now.  Even if it is, essentially, a giant toothbrush for your face.

This has been one massive post, sorry!
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