Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 31 May 2011

MUFE Smoky Lash Mascara Review

 I am utterly invisible without mascara, more and more these days I realise that it truly is my desert island beauty product.  Well, if you ignored lipstick, foundation and skincare it would be ...


I've heard some amazing things about Makeup Forever's Smoky Lash mascara, but the name - and the difficulty of actually getting hold of it - has always put me off.  For some reason, I thought it would be a not particularly pigmented mascara, or it would be more grey than black. Any mascara that isn't black just makes my lashes look dusty, and disappear, and are a complete waste of money, no matter how good the formula. Nonetheless, on my trip to Paris recently (sorry, I'll stop going on about it soon, I promise), picking up a tube of this was absolutely top of my Sephora shopping list.

And boy!  Am I glad I picked it up.  It's black - very, very, very black - it lengthens, it adds volume and it curls my lashes beautifully, and all without going crispy.

These are my lashes after just one coat of Smoky Lash.  Not impressed?  Here's how it looks in comparison to having no mascara on the other eye:

See?  The lashes on my other eye are completely invisible, even though I'm wearing both shadow and liner on that eye.

Another view:

Difference isn't quite as distinct from this angle, but you can see that you can't see the lashes on the other eye ... if you see what I mean ...

The mascara lasts well, and is very easily buildable if you decide you need more than one coat.  I found that the clumping was minimal, and it neither runs nor flakes throughout the day, which is completely amazing.  It's a rather dry formula, which I prefer to a wetter one, and the brush is on the large side, but it's not so large as to be completely unmanageable.

And here is how it looks in the full context of my face.  Other products used are Le Metier's Penelope Kaleidoscope shadows on the eyes, Peau Vierge on the skin, New ID coral blush and Dior's spinning lip polish in Fresh Expert on my lips - expect little peeks at these a lot coming up.  Yeah, I don't know why I'm raising one eyebrow in that picture either, but it's the only one that came out in focus, so ...

Makeup Forever Smoky Lash has rocketed up my list of favourite mascaras, and is currently up in my top five alongside Armani Eyes to Kill, Trish McEvoy High Volume (which I think they've changed the formula of on recent re-purchase), Bourjois Volume Fast and Perfect Rotating Mascara  and Le Metier's Anamorphic Mascara.  What are your top mascaras?

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 30 May 2011

Sephora Paris Giveaway

Man, I miss Sephora! Subject to a couple of caveats - more about which later - I wish they'd bring it back to the UK, I think the time is right, and the market is more than ready this time around.

But, as Sephora has seemingly no plans whatsoever to bring Sephora back in the near future, I thought that I would do my part and bring a little bit of it back for my readers!

There is a duochrome nail varnish (dupe for Deborah Lippman's Wicked Game/OPI-Katy Perry Just Like The Movies), a Sephora lipgloss in Ballerina Pink and an exclusive Sephora "Paris" palette which includes four lip colours, a blusher and nine eyeshadows. Plus, in the bag you see above are a couple of other bits and bobs for you as a mystery bonus!

All you have to do to win the Sephora goody bag is to leave me a comment on this post, (alongside a valid email address) and let me know which brands/products you'd like Sephora to stock if/when they do come back to the UK.

I will make the draw next Sunday (5th June - where on earth has this year gone?) and contact the winner the same day. Usual rules apply - editors decision is final etc.

Get your thinking caps on!

Saturday 28 May 2011

Bioderma Crealine Winner!

By the Oh So Scientific (TM) Method of asking MrLippie to pick a number between 1 and 33, I'm delighted to let you know that the winner of both the Bioderma Crealine cleanser and wipes is ...

Peonies And Lilies!

Well done lovely, I'll drop you an email later today.

Thanks for all your entries everyone, keep your eyes peeled for another giveaway, this time featuring Sephora goodies very soon...


Thursday 26 May 2011

Get Lippie's Lippie!

I'm interrupting my Paris posts today to let you know some astonishing news!  A couple of weeks ago Daniel Sandler and I created a couple of bespoke lipsticks  at the Cosmetics a la Carte store in London - purely for my own use -  and yesterday Lynne Sanders, the founder of the company, got in touch to let me know that they loved the shade "Luce" so much that they're introducing it to their range of off-the-shelf shades this autumn!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy and excited this has made me, what an honour!  I'm stunned that people will be able to buy something I've had a hand in creating, and that it will bear my name. Immortalised in lipstick, I simply can't believe it. I'll let you know exact dates as and when the details are finalised, but this is the single most exciting thing that's happened as a result of my blogging, and I can't wait to see if other people will love the shade as much as I do! 

But, that's not all!  Get Lippie is available to buy too!  The shade (a cool rosy purple) will be available from this Saturday (28th May), purely as a made-to-order shade for anybody who would like to buy one for themselves.  A few people were asking me how to get hold of it, so if you're interested, you can either pop into the store on Motcomb Street, or call 020 7622 2318 and buy one mail-order.  The cost will be £18, plus £4 P&P.

So, not one, but two lipsticks associated with this blog are available to buy, massive thanks to both Lynne and Daniel for helping make this astonished little blogger's dream come true.  

The Fine Print: None of the links in this post are affliliate links, and Get Lippie won't receive any payment should you make a purchase.  But if you do buy either of the shades, please send me a pic, I'd love to see!

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Guerlain Pop Up Shop

Happiness: Discovering that Guerlain have opened a brand new "concept" pop-up store on the Champs Elysees.

Ecstasy: Discovering that you've been invited along to the brand new Guerlain concept pop-up store on the Champs Elysees for an exclusive look around!  So now you finally know why we were there ...  This was definitely the highlight of the trip Hilda and I made recently - and it didn't even involve any food!

Situated next to the original Guerlain store which dates back to 1914, Guerlain have created a modern haven of light and colour, designed to replicate a "workshop" atmosphere, luring passing shoppers into sniffing, swatching, and just plain playing with products to their heart's desire.

Divided up into zones, the store starts by introducing you to every single Guerlain perfume that is still currently being sold:

On top of the divider in the aisle there, are funnels scented with many of the Guerlain fragrances.  This is a great idea that we saw in a couple of perfume stores, and it allows you to pick up the fragrance  and smell it without having to spray or get scents cross-contaminated on your skin. The "chandeliers" you see above the divider are actually made of empty Guerlain scent bottles, and are very beautiful as a result. I spent a lot of time around this area. 

To the right there is a display of the more widely available Guerlain scents such as you'd find in any department store, and further back on the left are the rarer, and harder to track down scents.  Here, I finally managed to smell Derby, and Vetiver Pour Elle - amongst others - and cross them off my Project Perfume list.  I managed to resist - just - buying Vetiver Pour Elle, discovering that I prefer the more sparkling scent of the original Guerlain Vetiver.  Which is nice, as it's just saved MrLippie the trouble (and expense!) of buying me a bottle!

Behind the perfume workshop are the cosmetics, and this is where Guerlain get to show off their colourful and playful side:

Here there are samples of every cosmetic Guerlain produce, and you're free to sample and swatch as much as you like, there's even a "kisses tree" next to the mirror (and what blogger can resist a mirror with lights in the shape of lips?  Not this one!) where you can place your lipsticked kisses to decorate the store. This was just too cute!  In the middle with the multicoloured yarns is a display of all the shades of Rouge Automatique lipsticks that have been released.  I love these lipsticks, but whilst not a fan of the packaging, it was nice to see a range of lipsticks produced this year that aren't all sheer ... I swatched a lot of them.  Well, you would, wouldn't you?

Paris was celebrating the launch of Shalimar Parfum Initial whilst we were there, which is an unexpectedly pink and unashamedly fresh addition to the range of Shalimar perfumes, we were presented with a bottle at the end of our tour, and I'll be reviewing it alongside my three (count them!) other versions of the scent very soon.  First thoughts are: that it might be pink, but it's not fruity, and that alone has made me very happy.

I loved the starbursts we saw all over the city to represent the scent:

Beyond the Shalimar display were hundreds and hundreds of orchids, there to represent Guerlain's Orchidee Imperiale range of skincare:

Orchids are central to a lot of what Guerlain do, their extracts being used in a lot of their skincare products, and of course, the most famous orchid extract of all - vanilla - is central to very many of their perfumes. 

At the back of the store was my very favourite display:

A gorgeous collection of Guerlain's famous "bee bottles" containing various fragrances and featuring more of those beautiful chandeliers.  The bee was the emblem of the Napoleon family, and Guerlain were given a warrant to provide the Emperor's homes with perfumes, fragrances and toiletries, which gave them the right to display the heraldic bee on their products.  I own a few bee bottles already - mainly via the Aqua Allegorica fragrances - and it was lovely to see so many of them from throughout the ages on display.

So there you have it, a snippet of our tour of the pop-up shop - there's more to follow tomorrow, as our tour did not end here ...

If you're in Paris this summer, head to the Champs Elysees, and see the store for yourself.  You won't regret it! 

The Fine Print: Get Lippie and Beauty Mouth attended the store as guests of Guerlain, but the store is open to anyone, and the staff (security guards aside) are very friendly and helpful, and happy to chat about the products. No credit cards were harmed in this store.

The Other Fine Print: all pictures bar the starburst are featured courtesy of Guerlain.  Please don't copy without permission, thank you.

The Other, Other Fine Print: Get Lippie and Beauty Mouth wish to extend their grateful thanks for the gracious hospitality shown on this trip by both Guerlain UK and Guerlain FR.  And to FHM for the booze on the way home.  Long story, but Amanda, you rule.

The Other, Other, Other Fine Print:  You know if you type "other" often enough, it looks really weird? It's okay, I'm done now.  Please leave a comment, it always makes me feel like I'm talking to myself otherwise. I am though, aren't I?  Helllllooooo??

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Project Perfume - Serge Lutens

If you're in Paris, and if you're at all interested in perfume, then there's one pilgrimage that you have to make, and that is to worship - just a little bit - at the shrine of Serge Lutens, which you can find at Palais Royal, just behind the Louvre.  It's a stunning store, as different as different can be from the Caron store I showed you yesterday, but, possibly even more beautiful:

We were there to take a "perfume journey" with Sandrine, the wonderfully knowledgeable manager of the store, who received two rather travel-weary bloggers with beautiful grace and hospitality.  We were whisked up the magnificent staircase to "Uncle Serge's" private domain at the store, which is a peaceful haven replete with both Japanese and Moroccan touches, and, during a well-needed sit down, we were introduced to both the Export Line, and the Bell Jar collection, which is only available at this single - and singular store.

Sandrine started off talking to us about the Serge Lutens history - I had no idea he began his career as a hairdresser (again, bad beauty blogger alert) - and mentioned his links with both North Africa and the Far East.  We began, of course, by smelling Feminite Du Bois, which was Serge's first fragrance collaboration with Shiseido, and was possibly the first ever wood-based perfume created exclusively for women.  I own a sample of this, and it's a perfect cuddle of a perfume, reminding me of grey cashmere, and it's something I both hoard, and save for those days where a little comfort wouldn't go amiss.  It is quite rightly considered a classic.  There are three other fragrances in the "Bois" collection, et Fruits, et Musc and Oriental.  I loved all of them.

We then had a whistle-stop tour of the rest of the collection, the ritual of being told the story of the perfume, then dipping the strips into the jars to sample the scent, and the discussion of the notes being, to me a little slice of peaceful perfume heaven, right there in the city centre.  Particular standouts for me were Boxeuse - which, we were told is the scent of a lady boxer, sweet and leathery, for me, lacking a real punch, but a lot prettier than expected.  Sarrasins, a perfume on my list, didn't make much of an impression, but Tuberose Criminelle and Un Lys were real hits with both Hilda and I.

I then had to smell the two other "big-hitters" on my list: Iris Silver Mist, and La Myrrhe.  I have read a lot about Iris Silver Mist, and was looking forward to trying it, but at the point of smelling it, I'd had a little olfactory overload, and was totally anosmic. I couldn't smell a thing.  However, I took a few minutes out of sniffing at this point, and came back to it ... and ... well ... I didn't like it.  Cold, metallic and melancholy, the smell of the tears of a graveyard statue. On my skin it wasn't "me" at all.  It's another Lutens that I can appreciate the structure and the artistry of, but not wear.

Or ... can I?  On the drydown, which took a good two or three hours to reach, there was a beautiful, powdery and buttery scent, which was elegant and wearable, and I liked this a lot more than I did at first.  It's eccentric, for sure, but potentially loveable. This is definitely a scent I'll be searching for a sample of in the future because, as challenging as it is, I think it's definitely one that warrants further investigation.

As for La Myrrhe? Reader, I married it. Erm ... what I mean is that I felt strangely compelled to buy a bottle.  From the rosy and slightly aldehydic opening, which is both traditionally "perfume-y", and yet manages to remain undated, to the balsamic and slightly medicinal undertones, which are slightly mysterious and yet strangely welcoming, the bottle sang out my name loud and clear.  I've worn it a few times since, and in spite of MrLippie's assessment that it's "nice, but nothing original" - something I wholeheartedly disagree with - I love it.  A few more wears and I'll review it more fully, I think.

We also took a look at the Serge Lutens export line, where I once again fell for the apricot and leather beauty of Daim Blond - which I always think smells like the essence of a suede rose - to the extent where I wondered anew why I don't own a bottle, and the makeup collection, which you can see here:

I had, at one point, been determined to purchase a Serge Lutens lipstick, as they are in beautiful shades, and with a gorgeous satin texture, but at seventy five euro each - and discovering I couldn't choose between three of the shades! - I felt they were a little too rich even for my blood. They shall remain, for me, a thing to save up for ... in the meantime, I shall go to Harvey Nichols at every available opportunity and swatch, and dream ...

The Fine Print: Trip to Serge Lutens arranged by PR, but my very grateful thanks go to Sandrine for a wonderful afternoon. Purchases were acquired.  My credit card cried a little bit.  It had had a very hard day.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 23 May 2011

Musings on Paris - Caron

So much to tell you about Paris - I hope you'll forgive me a number of posts about it, but I've never been before, and I spent the whole trip gazing around like a complete and utter idiot tourist, and I loved every single minute of it. Beautymouth (aka "Hilda") mentioned that it was a bit like being on holiday with a puppy, and she might have had a point, now I come to think of it.

Anyway, our basic plan was shopping, eating and drinking (with a sideline in cackling madly for no real reason whatsoever), and I think you'll agree we managed all these things very well.  I'm going to break my posts up over several days - the trips to Guerlain and Serge Lutens deserve posts of their own, as you'll see later on in the week - and today I'll start with Caron.

An unexpected stop on our trip, this little jewel was awaiting us when we were meandering our way to elsewhere via some backstreets, and I had a couple of Caron perfumes on my Project Perfume list, so I had to pop in for a quick sniff!  But, I was actually taken a little aback at the beauty of the store:

Everywhere you looked, there was something gorgeous to set your eyes on, and the entire store was scented beautifully - something that I hadn't noticed in other perfume shops we'd visited, more about which later - the staff were cheerful, and happy to let us to browse and sniff to our heart's content.  Having read about the legendary rudeness of Parisians, I was pleasantly surprised at this, as indeed I was by the excellent customer service we received practically everywhere we went the whole trip.

What I hadn't realised was that Caron makes some of the finest face powders in the world (you can just see them in the picture above on the bottom left there), so naturally I had to buy one.  Expect to see more details about that soon!  But, I also didn't realise - for I am a bad, bad beauty blogger - that Caron make exquisitely detailed accessories and jewellery. 

I was thisclose to buying myself a sequinned scarf, but managed to stop myself when I realised we still had Serge Lutens to visit, and I just knew I was going to blow my shopping budget in there, so managed to stop myself ... Mind,  I had to drag Hilda away from the jewel display ...

Whilst there, I also managed to sniff Parfum Sacre, Pour un Homme, and Yatagan, so managing to cross them off my Perfume Project list.  Sadly, I also sniffed Poivre, a wonderfully spicy, clove, carnation  - the much unloved and humble carnation has, in my opinion, an exceptionally underrated scent, and I adore it - and pepper blend that seemed to suit my nose better, and created a tiny lemming for myself.  D'oh! I have a bottle of Parfum Sacre (purchased last year, in TK Maxx, not a patch on this store) already, which I like a great deal, but I haven't worn it for a while, and I was given some perfumed papers with the same scent with my purchase of the face powder, so it's time for me to dig that out and remind myself of this little gem of a perfume store.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Friday 20 May 2011

Want to try Bioderma Crealine?

It's been a quiet week on Get Lippie, sorry about that! I did notice that whilst I was in Paris I broke the 900 follower barrier though - thank you very much!

What better way to celebrate my return to Blighty than with a little giveaway?

I'm doing one this week, and one next, first up, some cult French skincare:

Yup, one 500ml bottle of Bioderma Crealine, a cleansing water that shifts even the toughest makeup. Everyone who's used it (I've not opened my bottle yet though) absolutely swears by it.

But that's not all! I'll even chuck in a packet of these:

Bioderma Crealine Wipes! Possibly even more mythical than the cleanser itself, both of these products are nigh-on impossible to find in the UK, but one lucky winner can try both of these (purchased out of my own pocket, and, what's more, dragged back across the channel with my own fair hands!) just by telling me what they would have brought back from Paris with them in the comments on this post (alongside a working email address).

Giveaway will end on 27th May, UK entrants only (sorry!) and please be a blog follower. Get Lippie reserves the right to disqualify non-compliant entries, and all decisions are final.

Good luck!

Monday 16 May 2011

Gay Paree!

Get Lippie is in Paris for a few days this week, hoorah! I'm basically heading there to shop, I have a list of places to go - hello Sephora! -  and I've a few things to do, chief amongst them is a visit to here:

Yes, I'm off to see the home of Serge Lutens, and I can't wait! Project Perfume is still going strong - I'll have some more in-depth updates for you soon, but I think visiting Paris - I've never been before - and seeing the home of Guerlain, Hermes, and Chanel amongst countless others is going to be something I'll have lots to say about when I get back.

So, where else should I go?

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Sunday 15 May 2011

A Week In Lipstick

It's been a while, but this is the first week I've worn any in a while! Here are this week's shades:


Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose (love this shade, and it's beautifully moisturising too)
Cosmetics a la Carte bespoke lipstick in Luce (well, how could I not?)
Guerlain Terracotta Gloss in 03 Grenade (rapidly becoming a fave as I trial facial tanning products!)
Topshop Lipstick in Show Off (made a big mistake on the day, it clashed horribly with my eye makeup, but I continue to be impressed by the quality of Top Shop makeup)
Chanel Rouge Allure in 82 Incognito (limited edition, part of last year's Kaska beige collection, and an old favourite not-quite-nude shade)
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Stunt (limited edition from last year's Soho collection, I picked it up from LipstickLuvvie's recent blog sale - practically a taupe!)
Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon (beginning to really like these, easy to wear and handy to use)

Here are the swatches:

What did you wear this week?

Random Sunday Stuff - Featuring Sudocrem

Sudocrem, that staple of many a bathroom, is bringing out a handbag-sized tube, and to celebrate they were offering "handbag readings" by Debbie Percy who has made a career out of Bagology.  Apparently, what you carry around with you every day - both your bag and the contents can be a lot more revealing about you than you think!  Here's my bag, and its contents:

Yeah ... it's a bit pink!  I carry most things around in packets, to make things easier to swap between bags - I thought it looked a bit dull to be honest, but I'll let you read on:

 Delicious! A handbag full of attitude and surprises!  This bag is just great, it has personality and texture.  I think Get Lippie knows how to play hard and is ok being the centre of attention when the occasion presents itself!  You are a lady who has a reasonable amount of structure in place in life, but you don’t obsess over it.  You like things to be neat and tidy and for things to have a place and be in their place.  You are loving, friendly, kind and affectionate.  There is a courageous side to your nature and I wonder if that is a source of pride to you?  

Loyalty to and from those around you is important to you.  If I knew you well I would say that when you are bored – it can get pretty ugly around here!!   Routine and monotony will be your pet hates – but you won’t appreciate sympathy either so we best leave you well alone at these times!!  You enjoy strength in those around you, strong characters will be something you embrace and are drawn towards.   An important thought for you is to make sure you aren’t working or living with someone who is two faced or has been found to be deceitful. Your bag is suggesting that backstabbing may be in your neighbourhood – so if you find that, move on and ship out! 

Good health is important to you, you will enjoy people who fill you with a feeling of energy, vitality and who are keen to reach their potential (just as are you).  Finally, if on occasion you feel you have to hide away certain parts of who you are, or wear a false mask (image), then your bag has a message – be brave!  Be expressive! Above all be you! Trust your loving nature to be the thing that will pull you through even in uncertain times.

I thought this was huge fun, and hey, any excuse to show off my Haut Totes bag again ...! 

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Guerlain Terracotta Skin Foundation

I've been ill - I might have mentioned it, now I come to think of it - and, after the best part of two weeks in bed with a fever, and still wracked with a cough like a beagle on 40 a day a very bad cough indeed, I'm not looking like the healthiest person on the planet.  Pale green, and pale blue and pale grey are the colours of my face at the moment, and it's not nice.  Oh, and there's the red bits, but they're in the wrong places, so let's just forget I mentioned them, okay?

But, I think I've found something that helps me look a bit more human, it's this stuff:

Guerlain Terracotta Skin Foundation.  Now, I'm not one for fake tan, being about as low-maintenance as you can be and still call yourself a beauty blogger, but sometimes, I admit, I do need help.  And this stuff is wonderful.  It's not a fake tan, it's not quite a foundation, but rather something in between.  It comes in two shades, 1 - Blondes and 2 - Brunettes.  I have both.

Let me show you:

Possibly the least appetising swatches I've ever posted on Get Lippie, but bear with me.  As you can see 1 on the left is a little paler, and peachier, and 2 on the right is a little darker, and slightly more, dare I say it ... orange?  Incidentally, a little of this stuff goes a long, long way, and the amount you see on the back of my hand there is probably enough to cover at least four faces.

You apply it as you would a normal foundation or tinted moisturiser, and, because it's chock-full of silicones (so if you're sensitive to them, avoid this at all costs), you won't need a primer, or powder, and it will do a wonderful job of smoothing out both your skintone, and  your pores.  Once blended it will just give you a hint of whisper light colour, which looks natural and healthy:

Um, yeah, so natural and healthy you can't even see it.  Let's try that again, shall we?

 Why, yes, I do spend my Wednesday evenings raising my eyebrows in the bathroom mirror and belming at myself, thank you.  And I know I'm not alone ...  Now, admittedly, this is a good 14 hours after I applied No 2 (Brunette), but my skin is still showing colour. And it's a vast improvement on the pale grey I was at 7am yesterday morning.  Yes, I'm a bit shiny (and for the love of god do not enlarge that picture and look at my pores, I implore you!) and it's showing a few red bits around my nose, but, I remind you that I am still, you know, ill.  Also, this picture was taken with a flash, which would normally wash me out even further, so the fact that I'm still looking even vaguely human is a miracle.  When I use the 1 - Blonde version, the finish is just a little paler, but still humanising.

For reference, this is how I looked before I applied it:

This reminds me a great deal of my beloved Armani Face Fabric foundation, which is another chock-full of silicones beauty that works wonders on my knackered mush.  The Terracotta Skin foundation is something I'm going to get a lot of usage out of this year, especially now that I've discovered that No2 is perfect for covering up my high colouring.  Win-win!

Pros - easy to use, literally 30 seconds or so to apply, natural colour, great for hiding patches of high colouring, de-zombifies, smoothes skin, little goes a very long way don't need a primer, almost entirely fool-proof and perfect for fake-tan scaredy cats, don't need an exact match for your skin colour.

Cons - very sheer coverage (so not perfect for blemish-prone skin), no SPF, pricey - £33 at time of writing - quite a small tube, will need powder in hot weather.

Guerlain Terracotta Skin Foundation is, for me - this year,  a must-have.  Just don't forget to blend it down your neck all the way down to your chest otherwise you'll look a bit odd.

The Fine Print: One of these was a PR sample, and I was so impressed I went straight out and bought the other shade.  Which is which?  Who knows, and I no longer care ...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

What Do You Get The Beauty Blogger Who Has Everything?

Well, providing that the aforementioned beauty blogger is actually of the male variety, you get him one of these:

The Alice Temperley Safari Traveller for men.  Makes a great present - as well as the stylish soap bag it contains shaving foam, shower gel, face scrub,  face wash, and moisturiser, making it perfect for little getaways.  Or longer trips to Portugal next month  ... Best of all, a proportion of the price goes to fund the Mothers4Children charity, so he'll smell good, look good and have a happy conscience.  Speaking of happy ...

Happy birthday Mr Lippie!

The Fine Print: I bought mine ... er ... his at Harvey Nicks. Other premium department stores are available.  There's one for women too, but even I didn't think that was an appropriate gift.  I kept the samples though, I'm not a complete muggins.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Bespoke Lipstick with Daniel Sandler & Cosmetics a la Carte Pt II

So, if you made it through yesterday's post, then you'll know I recently had two bespoke lipsticks created for me by Daniel Sandler and Lynne Sanders at Cosmetics a la Carte.  Judging from the comments, you'll be wanting to see the final results (and names) today!  

So, without further ado, I introduce you to my two new lipstick shades:

On the left here, we have the purple "Get Lippie" and on the right, we have the coral "Luce".  Do you see what I did with the names?  Never let it be said that imagination is my strong point, I remind you all politely that I am an accountant, and there's a reason for that.  So there.

Anyhoo - Swatches!

Artificial light
Natural daylight (and they're reversed, because I am an idiot)
Now, when I asked my readers a Quick Question  of "if Get Lippie were a lipstick, what colour would she be?" recently, there were two clear choices: rich, bright reds and clear bright pinks.  And, to be honest, both of those colours were things that initially crossed my mind too ... but ... part of the fun of having this blog is my constant quest to find the perfect red, and my (newer) quest to find the perfect pink is something that I find a great deal of fun too!  So, when I thought harder about what I'd want from a "signature" lipstick shade, I realised that I actually wanted something pretty, but a little more on the neutral side, so I can use it to accessorise lots of looks, and would get lots and lots of wear out of it.  So, these shades are probably not what most of my readers are expecting!  But, to be fair, "Get Lippie" isn't what I was expecting, either!

So, let's take a closer look at "Luce", shall we?

Luce isn't a perfect dupe for my beloved Chanel India, but it's pretty darn close.  It's essentially a soft pinky-coral, with just the tiniest amount of gold shimmer. For me, this is a perfect, colourful - but not too bright - wearable shade, that will compliment many makeup looks.  Sheered out it shows a little more orange, and worn in a thicker layer, it shows a little more pink.  It's a complex shade, but it's not too complicated to wear.  Here's how it looks in a thin layer in natural daylight:

Incidentally, "Luce" is my (other) nickname, only my mum and my boss call me Louise these days, which gets a bit confusing, sometimes ...  I just have to stop a couple of people referring to me only as "Oi! Lippie!" now. They know who they are ...

Speaking of which, onto "Get Lippie":

Artificial light
Artificial light with flash
It's a bit of a chameleon, this one.  Ostensibly purple, but it can appear brownish - as in the swatch picture at the very top of the post -, a dark purple, or a very pink-based purple with blue shimmer as under the flash picture just above here (and if someone would like to make me a nail varnish in that shade, I will love you forever.  No really, I will).  In reality, once again, it's another very soft shade, this time more of a  purpled-pink, which I find to be surprisingly wearable.

Swatched quite sheerly on the lips (natural daylight):

Not nearly as scary as it looks in the tube, eh?  In fact, the daylight has washed it out just a little here - and the natural redness of my lips has warmed it up a little.  That said, I think it suits my skin-tone very well indeed (I am learning to live with cooler shades these days), but this is dramatic for me in a way that brighter colours simply aren't.

Here's how it looks in the full context (kinda) of my face, and this is probably the most colour-accurate picture of them all.  Yes, it's purple, but it's not a full-on PURPLE!, if you see what I mean.  It goes best with slightly more neutral makeup looks, as it's far more of a statement colour in its own right than "Luce" is.

I was terrified of wearing purple lipstick in the store, and it took a lot, and I do mean a lot, of persuasion to even try it on in the first place, but, the lesson I've learned is, that when Daniel Sandler tells you a colour will suit you, you should just go with it.  I went with the softer, more sludgey purple shade than the more fuchsia-shade you saw in yesterday's post, because I felt that this colour, although  technically harder to wear, is actually far more unique, and it's definitely not a colour I'd have picked up unassisted. I love it though.  A lot. And I've worn it far more than I expected since it appeared too.  

Odd thing, I think this shade makes my hazel eyes look greener!  I could be imagining that though.  The lipsticks themselves, whilst quite perfumed (something I personally like, though your mileage might vary), do have a lovely soft velvety texture, and more than adequate lasting properties.   I've had no problems with grittiness or drying whilst they're on the lips.

Don't forget, that if you want a custom colour lipstick for yourself, then Cosmetics a la Carte will be happy to assist you, too. Just, you know, put some actual thought into what you want to call it ... What would you name a shade you created, and what would it be?  I'm, er, not using you guys for research, honest ...
The Fine Print: Once again, this wasn't a PR post, the lipsticks were a gift, and I want to extend the most grateful, and heartfelt of thanks to both Lynne and Daniel for this amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to have a product named after me!  

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 9 May 2011

Bespoke Lipstick with Daniel Sandler & Cosmetics a la Carte

Picture the scene: a boring Tuesday morning at work, your mobile phone rings unexpectedly, and it's a world-renowned makeup artist who tells you that they want to create a lipstick for you.

What's a beauty blogger to do?

Well, in the case of this particular beauty blogger, you basically SQUEEEEEEEE with excitement, and run round the office like a lunatic for twenty minutes then say a very polite "thank you very much, I'd love that" then set a time, a date, and a place to sort everything out.

Which is how, two weeks ago, I found myself in the Cosmetics a la Carte store in Knightsbridge with two of my favourite people: one Mr Daniel Sandler and the always wonderful Lynne Sanders. Tucked away like a tiny jewel box in a very exclusive part of London, the  Cosmetics a la Carte boutique is a beautifully inviting, indeed, wondrous place to spend a few hours, and Daniel, Lynne and I had a delightful morning poring over the selection of lipsticks I'd brought along for inspiration (some of which you can see above), and trying to figure out what we were going to create.

First of all, we talked about some of my favourite lipsticks, and, once again, we spoke about my love for Chanel's long-discontinued "India" lipstick (Chanel, if you're reading this, bring it back!).  I've spent the best part of ten years attempting to find a dupe for this lipstick, and the nubbin of the shade that I still have remains one of my All Time Favourite Lipsticks of All Time, and after a while, we decided to use this as the "inspiration" behind my new signature shade.

This was where the fun really began! Using Cosmetics a la Carte rainbow of lipstick shades, we began mixing and matching lipsticks together in various combinations to recreate India (which you can just see at the bottom of the picture above), we mixed up three different combinations, then tried them on the lips to see how they matched up.

Once we'd hit on what we thought was a winning mixture (you can see Daniel writing out the "recipes" there) a little further chat revealed that Daniel also wanted to move me out of my comfort zone a little bit.  It might not be completely obvious to most readers of this blog, but it turns out that I'm far more adventurous with my eye makeup than I am with my lipstick ... what that basically boils down to is that there are certain lip colours that I simply will not try.  So, of course, it was decided that for lipstick number two, we'd go a little crazy!

Purple.  It's going to be huge this winter apparently, and that's where Daniel decided my lips had to go ... his inspiration was "Pretty Biba" or ... "Happy Goth" (and where have we heard that phrase before ... hmn?).  Now, I freely admit that I much prefer a bright lipstick to a dark one, having an inkling that dark shades are too ageing for me, these days, but Lynne and Daniel were insistent that I'd be able to pull this off.   I remained sceptical, but, it was kind of hard to resist!  Of the three purple groupings above, I was drawn to the one at bottom left, so we used those to start off with.

Once again, we mixed up a couple of shades, one brighter, one darker, and tried them on the lips to decide which colour I liked best.  Here's how the one at the top looked on:

Funny camera angles R us

There was a hard decision to be made here, but I finally made it - and selected one of them to be made up into a full bullet of lipstick.  You'll be able to see the finished results tomorrow!  And you'll find out what we called them then too ...

Now, you might think I'm a jammy so-and-so for getting to have a bespoke lipshade created (and, well, let's face it, you'd be right, I am blessed with great and very thoughtful friends who I've met as a result of this blog, and well, yes, I'm jammy), but one of the exciting things that I found out during my time in the store is that anyone, and I do mean anyone, can also have this service carried out for them at Cosmetics a la Carte.  All the staff are trained in this technique, and it costs £47.  Yes, £47 is fairly expensive for a lipstick, but, for a bespoke lipstick, created for you and you alone, I actually think it's a bit of a bargain, particularly when you compare it to the cost of, say, a Tom Ford lipstick at £35, or a Guerlain Rouge G at £28.  I think for brides, or for a special birthday, or any special event, it would also make a great present for someone, too.  To find out more, take a look at the Cosmetics a la Carte website.    Sadly, Daniel isn't included in the price ...

So, tune in tomorrow where I'll show you the lipsticks in detail ... 

The Fine Print: No PRs were harmed in the writing of this blog post, I was invited along as a friend of Daniel Sandler, the blog post is purely incidental. It's also belated, but that's another story ...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.
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