Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Whither Get Lippie?

Just a little note to let you know that whilst posts might be a bit thin on the ground this week and next (the Lippies are moving from their Underground Lair to a bright and beautiful Lippie Towers this week), it doesn't mean I've forgotten all about blogging ... quite the opposite, in fact.

Did you know that moving lipsticks is back-breaking work if you own THOUSANDS of the little buggers?  It is.  Believe me...

See you soon! 

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Wednesday 21 September 2011

Essie Fall 2011 - Carry On Collection

Who could resist a nail collection named Carry On?  Not me, it seems ... Sadly, this latest collection from Essie is named after carry-on luggage, which, when I figured it out, made me very unhappy.  C'mon British brands!  We need Carry on Sergeant (blue), Carry on Camping (pink, natch) and Carry on Screaming (vampy red), and Carry on up the Khyber (ummm ... khaki, yes, that's it, KHAKI), at the very least!  I DEMAND it.


So yeah, Essie Carry On is a selection of mainly dusty shades, and the second I set eyes on them, I couldn't resist:

Carry On: a blackened purple-berry, 
Very Structured: a tan (odd one out this one, if you ask me), 
Glamour Purse: a greyed out taupe, 
Power Clutch: a deep green with more than just a hint of grey, 
Case Study: a pale camel, 
and Lady Like: a rather dusty pink.  They're all cream finishes - no shimmer

I picked these up at Pro-Beauty Olympia this weekend, and the first thing I did was swatch them all on my new nail wheels.  Oddly, I find painting nail swatches on wheels strangely calming,  am I crazy?

These polishes were all opaque in two coats - a surprise to me, as I normally find Essie polishes very sheer.  The nail wheel shows three coats though, for, whilst I find painting nail swatches relaxing, I am still a cack-handed muppet at heart, and truth be told I smudged a couple of them.  However a third coat levelled them out nicely.

The shade I ended up wearing though - surprisingly for me - was Lady Like, as I'd assumed it was the one colour in the bunch that'd give me trouble.  I was wrong, I like it a lot:

No Flash
The no flash pic above makes the shade seem a little more flesh-like than it is in actuality, the flash pic is actually a more accurate representation of the colour, it's very much a pink, but the hint of grey-mauve in the base means it doesn't appear chalky.  I hate chalky shades more than anything.  The pic shows two coats of polish with a topcoat.

What's your favourite?  And, what shades would you put in a "real" Carry On-inspired collection?

The Fine Print: Purchase.  One should never buy polish just because you like the name.  Let that be a lesson to you.

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Monday 19 September 2011

Guerlain Christmas - Meteorites Perles De Nuit & FotD

I have at least three sets of Guerlain Meteorites, the classic original, a set of the beige-coloured perles they released last year, the pressed perles, and this.  Okay, that's five, but this may be my favourite set yet, for these are stunningly packaged.  From the zebra-skin printed box, to the tin, to the delicately silvered perles within, this is a beautiful addition to any dressing table:

Just divine:

Yeah, the logo is off-centre, I'm a moron

I love the shade of turquoise Guerlain have chosen for this collection, it just adds an extra touch of specialness to the whole set.

As to what is inside, you get the usual multi-shade tonal perles, designed to brighten, correct and enhance the complexion, but they have added a hint of silver to some of the perles on this release:

No Flash


They have the usual gorgeous violet scent, which is released even more once you swirl your powder brush over the perles before brushing the resulting powder over the skin.   The powder is very finely milled, and I find it needs minimal buffing to get a finely finished result.  I have noticed that because of the silver on some of the perles that you can occasionally get a speck of glitter on your face, but this is minimal, and the overall effect is regardless, very pretty.

Some people have been asking to see the eyemakeup look I created with the Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit palette, so, here it is:

 I blended the cool taupe, and the green together on the mobile lid, defined the crease with the navy, and used the black to line.  This look was created without primer, and I found the shades lasted a good eight hours or so.  I finished off with Armani Eyes to Kill mascara.

Next time I wear it though, I'll probably use it for a smokier look, with lots of the navy blended around the lashes, over a dark base, as I felt this was a little too blue for office-wear!

The Fine Print - PR Samples.  I got tired of writing the word Perles in this post, could you tell?

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Friday 16 September 2011

Guerlain Christmas - Rouge Automatique: Nuit D'Amour

Alongside the new Rouge G in Gardner, Guerlain are also launching a couple of new Rouge Automatique shades, including this one in Nuit D'Amour.  It's scary-beautiful, look:

Described as a black-red, I don't mind admitting that I gasped a bit when I first opened the packaging of this one, as it looked like this in the room I was in:

 Black.  But, actually, it's not, it is indeed a blackened-red plum with just the merest hint of tiny golden shimmer:

This picutre gives you a good idea of how the shade will look on the lips.  Replete with the same Rouge Automatique gel-formula which is very gentle and moisturising on the lips, this is a lot sheerer than initially anticipated, but the shade is very buildable.

Here, I've swatched how the lipstick looks swatched once, twice and three times on the skin:

Even at three layers, you can see it's sheer, and will still let a little of your natural lip-colour show through.  One layer is a little more like a glossy stain.

Here's how it looks on my lips:

Surprisingly soft and wearable, more like a deeply coloured balm than the goth-tacular lips I was expecting.  Nice to see that Guerlain are adding more unexpected shades to their range.

Face of the Day coming up tomorrow, and a look at the new Meteorites pearls ... 

The Fine Print: Scary PR sample.
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Thursday 15 September 2011

Guerlain Christmas - Rouge G Lipstick: Gardner

Anyone who knows me knows I love me a Guerlain Rouge G or three.  Or four. Every time I get asked what my favourite lipsticks are, the Guerlain Rouge G's are always in the top five - depending on what I've been wearing in the previous weeks, that is!  I love the funky-futuristic packaging, the shades and most of all, I love the formula. I also like the fact that they allegedly make an effective mini-weapon when launched at someone's head*.  I was therefore delighted to see that Guerlain were introducing another Rouge G with their Christmas collection, and ecstatic when I discovered that it was red ...  Say hello to Gardner:

A soft "brick" red, Gardner is definitely on the warm side, plus there's a healthy dose of golden shimmer in the formula that you can see better here:

Check the reflection to see the shimmer.

I couldn't keep Gardner away from the camera:

It's a gorgeous shade, and I couldn't wait to wear it, the swatch pulls a little orange on the hand, but as my skin runs a little warm, that's no bad thing:

It's the usual glossy satin formula, that, as always from Guerlain, melds with the lips rather than sits on them in a greasy layer like some high end formulas.

Definitely a shade I'm going to get a heap of wear out of this autumn.

*No lippies (or Lippies, come to that) harmed in the writing of this post.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.  Wonky lips, all my own work.

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Wednesday 14 September 2011

Guerlain Christmas - Les Ombres de Nuit Palette

The eyeshadow palette from Guerlain this Christmas is inspired by peacock feathers, and contains shades of taupe, green and blue, and is accessorised with a matte black to use for eyelining:

with flash
No Flash
I find that, in the flesh, these shades are remarkably similar to the promo photo, which is a refreshing change:

The shades are highly iridescent, and as a result are very complex. The taupe is a nice, cool shade, rather greyed out, and not as brown as usual and the dark blue is a gorgeously (and surprisingly) blackened shade of navy on the skin. The green, thankfully isn't quite as pastel as it appears, it's actually rather wearable, even for a mint-green avoider like myself, owing to not having a too whitened base shade:

I'd say that the "black" in the palette is slightly misnamed, as it's more of a charcoal shade, nonetheless, some minor chalkiness aside, I found it quite easy to build up and smudge out again.  I love how the blue appears in the swatches!  These are a couple of passes with fingers (again, a more useless than a very useless thing sponge is included in the palette, and has been immediately discarded), on bare, unprimed skin.  The shadows are about averagely pigmented for the price range of £37, but they're not as pigmented as the recent Topkapi palette from Chanel, which is the same price.  More comments on wear to come.

I'll have a Face of the Day for you on Saturday, after I've shown you more of the collection.

 The Fine Print: PR Samples.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Guerlain Christmas 2011 - Belle du Nuit

Many apologies for featuring something that's not on counter for another month, but I love this collection so much that I just can't help myself, it's so beautiful!

I have samples of most of it (and they're coming up the rest of this week, don't worry), but the thing that really caught my eye was the Vol de Nuit bottle.  So beautiful, so retro, and it's unexpectedly filled with a shimmering pink powder, suffused with turquoise and teal sparkles, it's decidedly gorgeous on it's own terms as a party highlighter. But, it also smells wonderful, filled with iris and vanilla and yet decidedly green too, it has completely made me want a bottle of Vol de Nuit, which is something I've smelled already as part of Project Perfume, and not been as interested in it as I have other Guerlain scents.  I think this would be a wonderful addition to anyone's dressing table though. 

Consider this a Christmas hint, those who know me.  Thank you.

Once the collection reaches counter, I'll also be picking myself up the Parure de Nuit, which is the highlighter/blush combo that is laid out like peacock feathers above.  You can use it all over as a beauty powder, by sweeping a brush over the whole palette, or you can sweep your brush diagonally down the coral-shaded "eyes"  of the feathers for a more coloured effect.  It's not quite a blush, but it is beautiful.  There's a hint of glitter overspray, but I'm assured that the various different colours are all the way through the pan.

Swatches of the eyeshadow palette and the lipsticks coming up ... Guerlain Christmas will be available from Harrods from 2nd October and nationwide from 16th October.

The Fine Print: No samples harmed in this post.  Beloved partners may be harmed if they ignore hints. #justsayin'

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Monday 12 September 2011


I'd kill for cheekbones.

I'd kill for arched eyebrows that aren't attempting to take over my entire face.

I'd kill for rippling waves of beautiful hair.

I'd kill for the perfect red lipstick.

I'd kill to have talents that make grown men cry.

But, as I'm not blessed with Hollywood good looks, and I'm not blessed with talent, I'll have to settle for appreciating those who have. Last week I caught a sneaky preview of Caroline Nin's (above) new show, and fell in love with her effortless European chic a little bit. Performing the songs of Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf in her own inimitable style, it was wondrous to see some old-school Hollywood (by way of Paris) glamour in the flesh. I'm going back this week to see the whole show. If you fancy seeing the show for yourself, Caroline is singing the songs of the Paris Lido at the Soho Theatre from 13-18 September, and you can pick up tickets here.

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Sunday 11 September 2011

Lipstick Of The (Next) Week

Something a bit different this week (for I wore only one lipstick last week (Tom Ford Indian Rose, seeing as you didn't ask, and I love it), so I'm showing you the lipsticks I'm going to be wearing this week.  A little sneaky preview, if you will.

Max Factor have set a  bunch of beauty bloggers a lipstick challenge: to wear seven shades of lipstick over the course of a week and see how we get along with them.  Long-time readers of Get Lippie will know that this is nothing new round these parts but, after they cheerfully acknowledged the inspiration for the idea, I thought I'd give it a go ...  nothing if not magnanimous, moi ... these are the seven shades of the brand new Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick (which fuses lipstick with skincare benefits) I was given to try:

I do love this elegant packaging, the lipsticks look far more expensive than a £7.99 product, and I love the little coloured panels at the bottom.

And I like the carved bullets too.  What I have here are three shimmer shades (English Rose, Angel Pink and Mulberry) and the rest are creams.  Here, have a closer look:

Yeah, I swatched Bewitching Coral before I took the pics, sorry!
This is a nice selection of shades - the are 15 in the range altogether, and as you can see, they span nudes, corals, pinks, and reds.  Of this collection, I know that I'm going to struggle with three (Angel Pink has already been identified as my nemesis) of them, but we'll see how I get along with the colours next week.  Having worn one of them for a few hours already, I know they are very well saturated with colour, and are extremely comfortable to wear, being feather-light and having a balm-ish texture, which is very nice indeed.

Here's the now-obligatory swatch shot:

I'll be showing you lipswatches and some more thoughts on the range (and the shades) this time next week.  It'll be the first time I've spent a week wearing the same brand of lipstick every day ... will my lips survive?

Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipsticks are available now, and cost around £7.99.  However, they're included in the current 3-4-2 offer at Boots at the moment, so now would be a good time to snap some up.

The Fine Print: PR Samples.  This is NOT a sponsored post, it's just a bit of fun.  All links, as always are unaffiliated, and for informational purposes only.  The word Elixir looks funny.  Elixir.  Elix-ir.  Elixiiiiir....

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Saturday 10 September 2011

And The Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone who entered my Haute Claire giveaway in conjunction with Mandy Aftel! Reading your responses was a real treat - and occasionally a bit of a head-scratcher, some of the responses were a bit … unusual.

However, by asking MrLippie to pick a number between 1 & 38, we have discovered that lucky number 35 is the winner! Well done 35!

If you can't be bothered going back to the comments to discover if that was you or not (and if not, why not?) then I'm happy to let you know that the winner is:

Sparklz and Shine!

Well done lovely! I'll pass your details along to Mandy later today, and your prize will be with you soon!

Thank you very much to everyone who entered, and to Mandy for kindly offering the prize to my (mad, but lovely) readers …


Thursday 8 September 2011

Review: Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quads - Silvered Topaz

Oh, did I forget to mention this earlier in the week?  Oopsie ... yes, I bought an eyeshadow quad too.  It's very lovely.  Here, take a look:

A suedette pouch?  Embossed with the name Tom Ford?  Oh yes.

The same rich brown enamelled finish as the lipstick cases? Check.  For some reason, this palette kind of reminds me of a cigarette case.  I have no idea why.  It gets better when you open it though:

Palette full of taupes? Check.  What I like about this range of shadows is that there isn't really a theme amongst the palettes, some of them are all matte, some of them are all shimmer, some of the shadows are glittery, it's not strictly a one glitter, two shimmers and a matte kind of thing. This palette, however, is a one glitter, two shimmers and a matte, see below:

Clockwise from top left, there is a chunky gold glitter, a murky shimmering silvered green, a rather flat (but versatile) matte brown, and a shimmering brown-taupe.  Oh, and two sponge applicators:

Slightly less useless than usual owing to the inclusion of a brush, but still far too small to be practical.  Would you like to see swatches?  Okay, here are some swatches:

These are multiple passes on bare skin, pressed on with a finger - using the sponges was as futile an experience as I suspected it would be. The sponges you get with palettes are always rubbish, I don’t know why many top-end ranges bother.  Personally, I’d prefer more shadow and get rid of the disposable applicators altogether.  But maybe that’s just me.

Overall, I have to say that I'm not entirely blown away by the quality of these shadows for the price. Oh, they’re pretty.  They’re so very pretty!  But, for £62 (or £15.50 apiece) I'd have expected the finest eyeshadow quality I've ever seen. Or, failing that, I'd expect comparable quality with other shadows in the same price bracket, say, Le Metier de Beaute, or Rouge Bunny Rouge, or even Edward Bess/Chantecaille.   I expected buttery softness, deep pigmentation, beautiful colours and exceptional wear-time.

I find that the Tom Ford shadows aren't as finely milled as either of the aforementioned Le Metier and Rouge Bunny Rouge, (with the exception of the matte brown, which is of a very nice quality indeed), and they're not nearly as pigmented as either. I had a very hard time getting the shimmery green or taupe to show up in the swatch shots at all, which makes me suspect that these shadows will need a base to get them to show up on the eyes properly. This isn't the case with LMdB shadows, or RBR, or even the case with the most recent palette from Chanel - who have always been notorious for having poor colour payoff, when it comes to the baked European formulation we're stuck with in the UK - but even the limited edition Topkapi palette is almost £30 cheaper than these palettes from Tom Ford. Smaller shadows, thoughbut.


To be clear, this is a good palette, and there are an excellent range of shades to choose from. I'd even like a closer look at two or three others, actually. But, if you ask me, they're simply not £62 worth of good.  If this palette had been £20 cheaper, I'd have been delighted with it, I think. But, for apparently averagely performing shadows, coupled with a lack of heft in the packaging (it's feather light) it just makes the eyeshadow quads appear deeply overpriced, for me. At £62 a pop, I don't see anything wrong with demanding an ultra-luxe product to go with the ultra-luxe price, and Tom Ford hasn't (in my opinion) delivered on this occasion.  It's a deep shame, as I believe the company does deliver when it comes to lipsticks. Believe me, I’ve tried a couple of lipsticks in my time, and Tom Ford’s are good ones.

However, I believe that the eyeshadow quads are somewhat overpriced for what you get. Wonderful to get as a gift, but they’re not actually “game-changing” products.  Are they bad shadows?  No, no, very much no.  Would I be happy to own more?  Yes, indeedy – they’re gorgeous shades, and I have no doubt that a lot of thought has gone into putting those shades together, in the different finishes.

Would I buy more of them?  I’d need to think about it.  Think quite hard about it, actually.  The US price for these palettes will be $80, at today’s exchange rate, that’s around £50, and (somewhat ironically, admittedly), if I had paid around £50 for this palette, this review might have read very differently.  I don’t mind spendy products – the frequent complaints I get for “never” featuring cheap products on Get Lippie kind of bears this out, even though they’re incorrect – but I do want my spendy stuff to deliver.  In spades, and by the bucketload.


On Edit – The above review was written after swatching only. Since then, I’ve been using the shadows every day, and they appear to have softened up somewhat, making the pigment appear deeper. This is a very good thing – and something for you to bear in mind when/if you pick one of the quads up. You will still need a base/primer though, to lengthen the wear, as wear time is about average (4-6 hours) without a primer. 

However, whilst all the shades are now offering deeper pigmentation after a few days use, I have noticed signs of “glazing” (hardening) on one of the shadows, and this worries me a bit. Normally when a shadow glazes it means it is on its way to becoming unusable without scraping first, and I don’t think I could bear that kind of wastage at this price!

So, essentially, I find myself on the fence about the Tom Ford shadows, as some of you who have read this far might have noticed.  I already know some of you think I’m “mental” for having bought anything from the range in the first place (thanks, mum!).   I like them, but I wanted to love them, and I find I don’t. This saddens me.  Other people, however, will love them. They’ll like the name, the status, the pure luxe factor of how they look, even.  They will even like the things I don’t, and I shall love them for disagreeing with me. I may even change my mind in time - unless that glazing gets worse, that is.  Then, oh yes, there may be trouble.

But I’m just flinging this review out there regardless, and letting the chips fall where they may. I suspect Mr Ford won’t be sending me a Christmas card this year, let’s put it that way.  However,  I’m looking forward, very much, to hearing what other purchasers think… even if you think I’m mental.

The Fine Print: Purchase.  I apologise - deeply and sincerely - for the use of the phrase "gamechanging" in this review.  In my defence, I am spending this week mainly auditioning auditors and I suspect that this has frazzled my synapses.  Or something.  I've just realised I have no idea what a synapse is**. 

** Okay, THIS is how frazzled my "branes" are, I've just spent the last ten minutes figuring out how I can work in a joke about "synapse, crackle, pop" into this footnote.  This was the best I could do. I've gone all meta - it's time to log off.  I'm very, very sorry.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.
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