Beauty Without Fuss

Sunday 31 July 2011

Tauer Giveaway Winner ...

I had some lovely entries into my Tauer giveaway last week (although, I suggest that the person who told me that all perfume reviews were rubbish because they don't write they way the correspondent does was a little ... misguided ... you might want to read more perfume blogs, I humbly suggest), and, as a result, it's been very difficult to choose a winner.

However, because I've loved his thoughts on several other fragrances, I'm going to offer the Pentachords samples to CandyPerfumeBoy, so if you'd like to email me your details to I'll get them in the post to you tomorrow!

I did love a few other entries that I got so much that I'll be in touch with a couple of you shortly to see if you'd like to review some other samples that I have  ... stand by your emails!

Thank you - very much  - to everyone who entered. 

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Saturday 30 July 2011

OPI Rally Pretty Pink

Whilst this is indeed "Rally Pretty" (Dear OPI, with these puns, truly you are spoiling us), I'm not entirely sure I'd call it pink. What say you?

(artificial light)

(artificial light)

(artificial light with flash) bit pink here ...

(natural light)

Of all of these shots, I think the daylight one is the one I prefer.

OPI Rally Pretty Pink is one of the Serena Williams creations, and comes in a duo pack with a red crackle glaze. Which I hate. That's why I'm not showing it to you. So there.


Friday 29 July 2011

Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara

Okay, the original post I had scheduled for today appears to have gone walkabout, so I'm just going to give a quick mention of this new mascara from Chantecaille that I'm dying to get my hands on when it's released next week, and that is Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara.

Why do I want to try it?  Well, mainly because it promises 25% longer lashes in two weeks of use, without causing either irritation or discolouration.  It uses Sym Peptide 17 (no idea what it is, besides a peptide) to stimulate keratin genes, alongside the usual waxes and pigments, and this being Chantecaille, it also has a dash of rosewater to keep things ... um ... rosy.

Now, seeing as my biggest irritation with eyelash growth serums is the fact that I never, ever, remember to put them on every night, this sounds about perfect for a limp-lashed lazybones like myself.  I NEVER forget my mascara!

How about you?

Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash will retail at £60 (more than comparable with other eyelash growth stimulators) and will be available from next week at Liberty, Harrods, Fenwicks, and Space NK stores.

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Wednesday 27 July 2011

What's that Fish stuff about?

In what is increasingly looking like it's going to be a recurring series (Yay!  No pressure), I present to you yet another post by Mr Lippie about ... men's stuff ...


On my last post, I noticed PerilouslyPale saying that she was totally lost on "this Fish stuff" I mentioned in passing when describing my current routine. (Y'see, I DO read the comments people leave - I just have this bad habit of not responding.)

Well. I can't be having this. Time for some education - to the Aquarium! Errm. Hang on. Mebbe not.

Fish  is a hair product brand, established in 1987 in Soho at the hairdressers' of the same name. Now, I haven't been there - although Get Lippie does occasionally point out I should try a fancier haircut place than the barber shop I've been going to for the past 3 years - but I have become somewhat of a gill-loving junkie.

As may have been mentioned, I have hair. Lots of it - not long flowing locks or anything fancy, just thick hair that is impervious to most weather systems and constantly on the verge of afro-dom unless it's exposed to clippers every month. As a result, it needs containment - or to be at least pointed in the right direction - in case it decides to do its own thing and mug someone whilst I'm not looking.

So. I first noticed Fish products in Boots - I think I was in the middle of a conversation with Get Lippie and we already had an in-joke going regarding the term "Fish!" involving random hand-waggling (don't ask, I can't remember - I have the attention span of...what was I saying?), so it seemed just and right and proper to pick up some kingfisher hair cream - I think at the time I was using Brylcreem hair gel - which, whilst ok, tended to leave my hair a touch on the crispy side once it had dried out - possible over-application, looking back on it, but then, I was not the suave & sophisticate metrosexual I am now (allegedly).

 Quite frankly, I loved it. It required only a slight amount in the morning and lasted all day without losing shape, I didn't feel like it was going to crunch if someone touched my hair, and it had a pleasing smell that seemed fresh & generally un-chemical. A winner! Having found this, I had a bit of a wander through the range - mostly looking at the creams & putties, although I did try the jellyfish (gel) at one point (crispiness again - I'm now pretty much sworn off gel forever!). At the present time, I'm using Fishshape - which is a "Firm Hold Texturising Cream" - whilst I don't need the texture, the Firm Hold is well appreciated.

It was at some stage whilst I was visiting Lippie Towers (prior to our moving into Lippie Underground HQ) that I discovered that Fish did other things aside from the focussed hair care range. I was looking to sort out a washbag for Lippie Towers instead of constantly raiding my bathroom in the glorious metropolis of The 'Ding (that's Reading for overseas/northern/people of unclear origin/anyone living more than 20 miles from the town), and my eyes focused on Sportsfish - a combined hair & body shower gel. Again, it had that fresh fragrance that I associated with the cream, it was one bottle, which worked great in terms of trying not to clutter up a bathroom of 3 girls even further, and it appeared to be relatively cheap! Into my wallet I delved, and another mark on my soul was made as I sunk deeper into the waters of the brand.

What next? Well. Whilst working in Reading, I was occasionally engaging in what could loosely be described as exercise - there was a gym near the office, and it actually had a swimming pool that was usable for doing lengths, which was a minor miracle in itself (I hate gyms - I find them a bit tedious & just unenjoyable - I know this sounds daft when you consider I like to do lengths for my exercise, but I learned to swim at a very early age & love it!). Again, time to compile a washbag - and look - Fish Soho do a deodorant - step forward dryfish!

You'd think that would be it, surely? Well. You'd be wrong. There is indeed more - this one fairly recent! Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, these days I'm a bit more sophisticated in what I utilise for my grooming regime, and have tended to at least look at new products with more than just a dismissive eye. I also tend to use both shampoo and a shower gel, as opposed to an all-in-one product. At the present time I'm hooked on L'Occitane BACVX as my shower gel - I really, really love the smell and how I feel after using it - but I discovered purefish - a 3-in-1 shampoo from Fish Soho that conditions the hair and acts to prevent a flaky scalp. It's got the same predominant scent as the rest of the products, and I'm really enjoying using it - it really works well & I don't require a huge amount to feel that my hair is actually clean - with some previous products I've had to go through 2 or 3 rinses just to feel that "washed" feeling.

(Got bored looking for product pics - Ed)
So. There it is. Fish Soho have got their talons (if, indeed, fish have talons?) deep in my soul and I am doomed to be reincarnated as some form of aquatic life form. Which is ironic, given I hate eating fish. Having said that, I'm off to cook some crab linguine*. Try not to do anything daft while I'm gone, hmm? 
The Fine Print: So.  Many.  Fish.  Puns.  Must. Not.  Do.  Fish.  Puns.

* He forgot the crab.  [sigh]

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Monday 25 July 2011

Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers

Heated rollers, they're not the sexiest bit of kit out there, are they?  Whenever I think of them, I think of my mum's old set of Carmen rollers, and the associated pins that never kept the slippery rollers in her hair!

Enrapture, however, have brought out a set of hair curlers that is easy to use, quick to heat, and gives outstanding (in this humble bloggers opinion, anyway) results.  The secret is in the clip.  I can't use velcro rollers, I can never get the surface tension right, and they just slip out of my hair.  And I can't use rollers with pins because I'm a cack handed muppet who can never figure out the right way to pin something to my head without it a) hurting, and b) immediately falling out.  So, I've long since decided that heated rollers and I were not a match made in heaven.

I love these though, and I've found them practically foolproof in use.  You switch them on, wait for the indicator light to fill up to five bars (which takes less than five minutes) then turn them off and put them into your hair.  The rollers are covered in velvet, and remain cool in the hand when you put them into your hair.  Here's the secret that makes them so good though, the clips that you use to hold them in place are lined with metal, so they heat up as the rollers do too.  Such a simple, but very clever idea.  It means the curls are set from both inside and out, and this has to be a good thing.

You get ten large rollers and ten medium rollers, and, I was worried that this wouldn't be enough for my "fine, but shedloads of it" hair.  I was wrong, I didn't even use all of them in my hair when I tried them.  I followed - kinda - the instructions on this page of the Enrapture website, and here are the before and afters:

Yes, they're not applied perfectly in the first photo, but I'm beyond pleased with the results - particularly when you take into account that this was my first attempt, and that I used no styling products whatsoever.  Lots of root lift, and plenty of waves without it looking too "done". From start to finish, the whole process only took 25 minutes, too.  To make it even quicker in future though, I'll probably only use the large rollers on the "mohawk" section of my hair, and leave the sides to their own devices.

Enrapture's motto is "When everyday hair just isn't enough" and their range is designed to make supersexy, glamorous hair simple and easy for non-hairdressing professionals, and on the evidence of my experience with the Extremity heated rollers, I'm very impressed indeed.  They also have a waver (called Amplify) and a wand (called Totem) in the range, and, whilst I'm too scared to use Totem at the moment (long story), I've been similarly impressed with Amplify recently too.  But the pictures are too scary for a blog post ...

The Fine Print: PR sample.  Mugshots all my own work,

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Sunday 24 July 2011

Project Perfume - Andy Tauer Pentachords

I always think of Tauer perfumes as lush and somewhat baroque creations, so discovering that his latest collection - available in the UK from October - is an exercise in minimalism was fascinating.  Each of the three initial fragrances in the series, which are named White, Auburn and Verdant, is made of 5 notes, and each of those notes is created from a single (synthetic) molecule.

Very interesting.  I spoke to Andy last year and I know he's actually an advocate of using (some) synthetics in perfumes, in that they allow a stability in ingredient quality.  Quality in natural botanical essences can be variable, and supplementing with the occasional synthetic can be a boon to a perfumer. 

The scents are described as follows:
White: violet blossom, orris root, bourbon vanilla, amber gris, warm wood
Auburn: citrus blossom, warm cinnamon, fruity tobacco, dry amber, creamy sandalwood
Verdant: dewy leaves, suave leather, brown tobacco, sweet earth, vibrant amber

These are a massive departure for Andy, and after having an initial play with the samples I was sent recently by the ever-wonderful Ronny at Scent and Sensibility ( who have long been my favourite UK-based perfume supplier) I'm intrigued and fascinated by the fragrances.  So much so that I'd like to write a joint review of the perfumes with one of my readers, I think they'll benefit from a set of opinions, rather than just my thoughts on this occasion.

I have a second set of samples here, and I'm going to send them to one of my readers in exchange for a review I can post here on Get Lippie.  If you're willing to trial and test, then write about the scents, please either leave a comment on this post explaining why you're the best person for the job, or alternatively, send an email to doing the same.  I'll pick a writing partner next Sunday, 31st July.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Friday 22 July 2011


I hate glitter.

There, I said it.

I HATE glitter. It's small, it's shiny, it's multicoloured, to some beauty bloggers - particularly when it comes to nail varnish - it's like crack, they can't get enough of it.

But, here's the thing.  I think it looks cheap.  And, occasionally, I think it looks tacky.  Actually, when it comes to glittery nail varnish, I don't mind it all that much, once a year or so.  At Christmas.  For a party, or something. 

But I shall tell you where glitter has no place being, and that is on the lips, the eyelids or - DAMMIT! - the cheeks of a forty-something woman, especially when that said forty-something woman is an accountant.

It's frustrating, because, shiny, sparkly, twinkly things are this particular forty-something accountant's (you did realise I was referring to myself, right?) particular downfall. I love shiny, sparkly, twinkly things, especially if they are pink.  Open my handbag at any particular moment in time and any number of shiny, sparkly, twinkly and, above all PINK things will fall out of it, many of them very expensive, to boot. 

But, personally, I think glittery makeup, no matter how high end, looks cheap.  Actually, scrap that, cheap makeup with glitter actually looks okay - to a point. It's when you buy that "youthifying" product that promises "reflective pigments" for a "glow", only to get it home and discover that "youthifying reflective pigments" are actually glitter and the only glow you're getting is actually merely your cheekbones refracting light like a disco ball on acid.  At a disco*.

But worse, and oh! how much more worse, is the hidden glitter that the cosmetic world occasionally likes to torture us with.  And it's only ever the high-end brands that do this, which is very annoying.

NARS Calanque, for example, is one of the most beautiful looking eyeshadow palettes in the world.  And it cost me £33. But I had to have it. That sludgey khaki, that wonderful cream, that white that contains the BIGGEST CHUNKS OF GLITTER KNOWN TO MAN, and it is, of course, this shade that covers fully two thirds of the pan.  And this NARS glitter is cunning, ladies and gentlemen, because it hides underneath fully a micron of beautiful pigmented eyeshadow, so you won't see it in the store, and, it can tell the difference between your hands and your face, so it won't show up when you're swatching.  But, it is allergic to eyelids.  Oh yes, it is.  That can be the only reason why, when you wear Calanque, you end up with glitter on your cheeks, your forehead, your nose, your ears and even your hair.  And the hair of your partner, your cat, and anyone else you come into contact with whilst you're wearing it**.

NARS of course is not alone in this.  Why, just recently, I came across a YSL "highlighter" that appeared to have infested an entire division of the company I work for.  Glitter is a slut likes to get around.  It may look like unicorn tears, but it's the tears of a unicorn with measles.

And this, dear readers, is why glitter is a plague upon our houses***.

*I'm OLD, get over it.

**I've worn it twice.  MrLippie is still picking it out of his eyebrows.

***If you like glitter - and I think this little rant got away from  me at the end there - well, please feel free to disregard this post.

No unicorns harmed in the writing of this post.

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Wednesday 20 July 2011

Chanel Byzance Collection Topkapi Quad

Well hello there little Chanel palette that fell into my handbag at Selfridges last week!  How you doin'?

What's that?  You're shy?  Don't want to show off for the nice Get Lippie readers?


See?  Nothing to be scared of!  You're beautiful.  Oh yes, you are.  And, with your selection of metallic browns, taupes and golds, oh me, oh my, we're going to make some sexytimes sweet, sweet swatches together.

What's that?  I didn't catch you from your best side?  Shall we try again?

You're so creamy.  So pigmented, so ... rich.  So wonderful that if all Chanel palettes were like you, I'd buy all y'all.  Okay, your dark brown is on the matte side, and your gold is a little ... sparkly, but hey, your bronze is so yummy and your taupe, why, it's so ... taupe. Taupe-r than the taupest thing I can imagine.  And that, my lovely palette is very taupe indeed.  Oh yes ...

Dear Chanel, please make more like this.  No more dry, baked, unpigmented eyeshadows.  They're annoying. Just try not to make the next one cost £37 too. Thank you.

This has been a public service announcement.

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Monday 18 July 2011

Nails, Nails, Nails

Lots of people have been asking me about my nails recently, so I thought I'd share my new discovery!  About six weeks ago, my nails looked like the picture above.  This is what they look like now:

Index finger aside (which I keep shorter for contact lens-related reasons), there's quite a difference!  There's also a bit of staining, but I'll gloss over (ha ha!) that ...

I get an occasional manicure, and Zoran at Equus has been raving about Nailtiques for months, because he's a firm believer that nails need protein, so, after a uhming and ahing about it for a while, I finally bit the bullet and bought a bottle.  And, I love it.  I've been using it as a basecoat (I did read the instructions on the bottle, which say to use it as a treatment, without polish, but, I ... er... ignored them) for the last month or so, and my nails have been virtually indestructible since.

You need to mix the ingredients in Formula 2 (which is for weak, peeling or splitting nails) gently, then apply a thin coat to the nails, taking care not to get any on your skin.  I find it dries really quickly, and gives a great base for varnish to cling to. 

I bought my bottle of Nailtiques from Beauty Bay, which cost me £15.50, and it's a bargain, as I've since seen it at Garden Pharmacy costing £19.95 for the same 15ml bottle.  I'm also taking a course of Imedeen hair and nails, so I'm hoping that between the two, my nails will stay like this for a while now ...

Friday 15 July 2011

Travel Kits with Maybelline and Victoria's Secret

I picked up a few makeup bits and bobs recently, I thought you might like to see*.

This is the Maybelline "Sexy Look in the City" collection, and a Victoria's Secret Sultry Neutrals palette.

The Maybellline kit contains:

 Falsies mascara, black eyeliner, a beige lipgloss, and - what I mainly bought it for (okay, what I actually bought it for is the cute pink mock-croc makeup back, but bear with me) - is the eyeshadow palette, which has shades of chocolate and purple, which struck me as very flattering for hazel eyes:

 And oh look, taupe!  This is the Eye Studio palette in Intense Chic.  It has a muted beige, coppered brown (which is a surprisingly complex shade on the skin, having purple tones as well as brown), a soft pink, with a hint of shimmer, and a matte taupe, which again has hints of purple.

Purple and taupe.  It's like it was made for me.  But it wasn't, so forget I said it, mmkay?

And onto the Victoria's Secret palette, which, I've been amazed by the quality of, especially considering the price point of £12.50.  It contains 8 products, three lip colours, three eyeshadows, a bronzer and a blusher:

The lipshades are soft and creamy - if a little on the sheer side - and they eyecolours are extremely smooth and silky, colour me a little astonished.  I'd always thought of Victoria's Secret (not Sekkrit, as I keep wanting to type) cosmetics as being on the cheap and nasty side, but this is definitely punching above it's weight in the value stakes.

Hard to see, as the colours are close to my skintone, but they're all there, I swatched the powders on paper too, as this makes the shades easier to see:

Shades are sheer on the first pass, but they are buildable, I can see me getting lots of use out of this palette, and the size is perfect for travel.  I'm not normally a fan of "mixed" palettes, hating the way lipglosses usually end up covered in eyeshadow fallout,  but the stepped palette - and having the glosses at the top - bypasses that.

What are your best purchases lately?
 * Everyone knows stuff bought at the airport with leftover foreign currency counts as free, right?**
**Yup, I bought these.
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Thursday 14 July 2011

Nail of the Day - Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

Couldn't resist a bit of this gorgeous metallic bronze shade from Estee Lauder to compliment my newly tanned hands when I got home last week!

Shimmering, and packed with multi-coloured flecks, this is a perfect compliment to any tan - and, it's not so brown that it'll look odd on paler skin, either.

Copper in some lights, bronze in others, but very elegant, and - for me at least - very different to a lot of my other polishes.

(No idea what I'm doing with my fingers here)
Wears like iron, too.  I wore this for four days straight without getting a single chip, or even any tipwear, but then I got distracted in the office and accidentally covered it in Sharpie so had to remove it.

Bronze Goddess is part of the annual limited edition summer collection from Estee Lauder, called ... um ... "Bronze Goddess" and should still be available on counters now, the nail varnishes cost around £14, but they last forever, have stylish bottles, and well, I like them.  So there.

The Fine Print: PR sample.  From about four months ago.  Bad blogger.

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Tuesday 12 July 2011

Post-Holiday Product Round-Up

Well, I think we can say this year's holiday was a success!  We ate lots, drank lots, walked lots, have lovely tans, and - best of all - I didn't get prickly heat!  If you read my holiday preparation posts, you'll know that this was the main thing I was worried about before we headed off, and I couldn't be happier that I was able to swim and sunbathe without the familiar pin-pricks of doom.

Here are my thoughts on the products I took with me:

 Piz Buin Allergy Sunscreen** range and Imedeen Tan Optimiser*

I think these are definitely the products I have to thank for my comfort in the sun, the Piz Buin spray is a brilliant addition to the range, as it sinks in a lot more quickly and evenly than the cream (I had both, and spent five days using factor 30, and the remaining nine using factor 15 - even so, I think we erred on the side of caution, to be honest).  My skin never felt dry in the sun, or overloaded with product, even when we were using factor 30.  The Imedeen, did, I feel, prepare my skin for the sun better, I didn't really have that "pink" stage that MrLippie did on a few occasions, so that was good.  The spray nozzle is very cunning and easy to use, but spraying areas like backs of legs and the like was a little difficult, but I was willing to overlook this as it's easy enough to spray some cream onto the palms of your hands and use the product that way instead.

I did find, however, that the Piz Buin facial sunscreen was far too heavy for my skin, I used it for a few days, and realised I was getting really heavy congestion on my cheeks, so swapped it for:

Instituit Esthederm Bronz Repair for Normal/Strong Sun*.

And, after a few days of using this too, I was still congested (massive big red splotches on my skin, not great) so, when I managed to get to Seville for the day on an excursion, I picked up this:

Lancaster Sun Age Control Lotion Factor 15.

This is a light apricot-coloured lotion (unlike the heavier white creams of both Instituit Esthederm and Piz Buin) and it suited my skin a lot better, and, once the good weather returns to the UK, this  is something I'll be using on a daily basis.  My blotches cleared up in about two days of using this - alongside my Decleor Sun Serum (which I used alongside the two others, too - as a control).  I was delighted with this product, and only wish we had a wider range of Lancaster products available in the UK!  If anyone knows where I can get a back up bottle of this (it cost me nearly Forty euro, but it was worth it) I'd be grateful.

Something else I was utterly delighted with was my pedicure, before I went away I slipped off to The Powder Room for a Mavala pedicure (I chose Curacao Blue - a perfect "swimming pool" blue shade), and even now, three weeks later my toes look just as good as the day they were first painted!  Excellent products, and a wonderful service from the PowderPuff  Girls, too!  The ridge filler in particular is fantastic, I've never seen my toenails look so smooth!

 I'd definitely take away all of these products again, there isn't a duffer amongst them - the facial sunscreens from Piz Buin and Instituit Esthederm are probably more suited to a drier skin than mine, in all honesty, they're both excellent and give great sun protection, they just didn't suit me and my combination skin, which tends to get oilier in the heat.

The Fine Print: Products marked with * were PR samples, apart from the ones marked ** which were a mixture of PR samples and purchases.  Products with no asterisks were purchases.  No one reads these anyway, do they?

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Monday 11 July 2011

Some Holiday Snaps

I spent the last few weeks in Carvoeiro on the Algarve, and I thought you might like to see some holiday snaps:

 This was our second visit, and we'll most definitely be going back, I love the place, even if my legs are still recovering from all the hill walking on this trip!

Our favourite places to visit in Carvoeiro are:
Onze (don't miss this place if you get a chance to go, Ricardo and his team are amazing),
Taste (a little off the beaten track, but amazing tapas in a wonderful setting) 
and Jokers, which is the only place in the world ever to get Mr Lippie taking part in karaoke! (and they have Wifi)  Say hello to Sarah  when you get there ... and if she offers you a Ciroc, it's on me ...

The Fine Print: Nothing to declare in this post - this was a holiday!
This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Sunday 10 July 2011

A Week in Lipstick with Dior Polish

Yes, I'm back and I no longer need a stunt hand, so A Week in Lipstick is back too! Here's what I've been wearing:

This is Dior's Lip Polish in shade 003, a milky sheer peach. It's essentially a balm, but it imparts a hint of colour, and I find it goes very well on tanned skin:

I also have shade 002 which is a strawberry milkshake shade, but I think that looks better on paler skin.

The USP of Dior Lip Polish is the completely round "spinning" brush, which is intended to massage your lips as you apply, and stimulates blood supply to the lips:

I don't, entirely, believe the claims that the round brush stimulates the lips to the extent that it'll make a difference to the condition of your lips (I suspect you'd have to spend a LOT of time applying, rather than the usual 5 seconds or so you'd spend applying balm), but it does soften and smooth your lips and it's a nice moisturising balm to boot.

There's just one thing I don't like and that's this:

My brush arrived split. It still works, but at £20, I'd expect better quality control, to be honest.

So yeah, just one lip product this week. I don't think I'm ill…

The Fine Print: I bought this in Paris. From Sephora.
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