Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Chantecaille Lipgloss: Nectar, Guava, Taffy

Someone made me an absurdly generous gift recently, and, as I'm obsessed with Chantecaille lip products at the moment, I was delighted to receive these little pots of pretty.  I have three shades:

Like the Chantecaille Lip Chics, these are sheer, and packed with moisturising ingredients.  I don't find them at all drying, and they're a pleasure to wear, as they fuse the lip conditioning properties of a balm with a gloss.

The pictures have washed Guava out a bit, it's quite a lot redder than it appears in the pics, and is the one I've worn the most since it arrived.

So, Nectar is a nude, my lips but better shade, guava has a hint of shimmery pink, and taffy is a caramel-beige, (not the rusty brown I was afraid of when I opened the pot!), and they're very, very, very glossy:

Lasting power is minimal, they layer well over lipsticks, but you wouldn't wear them alone expecting them to last longer than, say an hour or two.

 So very, very pretty, and I'm very grateful to my benefactor ... 

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Tuesday 29 November 2011

Kate Somerville: Goat Milk Cream and Quench Serum

As the weather has got colder, I've found my skin needed a bit more hydration than what I was getting from my Darphin range alone, so I've added some Kate Somerville skincare to my routine.  I first found out about The Goat Milk Cream via BeautyMouth, and I was desperate to try it from that point onwards.  Whilst I'm not (these days) particularly acne-prone, my skin is sensitive and reddened quite a lot of the time, and I wanted to see if it would help.

Packaged in both air- and light-tight packaging, the cream is very rich, but feels extremely lightweight on the skin.  It does have a faint "creamy" scent, but it doesn't smell at all of goat.

In use, I find that it absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave a tacky feeling behind, and when my skin is having one of it's periodic "angry" phases, it is very cooling and soothing.  It doesn't clog my pores either.  My skin just drinks it up.

In addition to the Goat Milk Cream, I've been using Kate's Quench Serum, which I adore.  Seriously, adore it. My skin is dehydrated quite often, for a variety of reasons, but Quench solves that, and very quickly indeed.  In fact, it re-hydrates so well that my skin has been described as "beautifully normal" by a couple of makeup artists recently - that never happens, and it's entirely down to this beauty.

It's fairly silicone heavy (but it is dimethicone, one of the "good" 'cones - used by plastic surgeons to heal wounds after operations), but I haven't had any problems with clogging or acne as a result of using this. A little drop of this goes a very long way.  The instructions say to use a full pump morning and evening, but I find that half a pump is more than enough for both my face and neck.  Once I've applied this, my skin dfeels plump and smooth, and moisturised.  Dry patches are instantly soothed, and if your skin feels tight through dryness at all, this feeling just disappears.

I love it, and hey, if it's good enough to fool others into thinking I have normal (instead of dehydrated combination) skin, then it's good enough to have a permanent place in my routine.  I can't recommend this stuff enough.

Separately, these are good products, together, they're amazing.  Sadly, the Goat Milk Cream is hard to find at the moment, it is mainly stocked by Space NK, but it appears to be sold out right now, but keep an eye out for it.  Oh, and they're pricey, both coming in at around the £60 mark, but, what price "normal" (plump, moisturised, non-reddened and sore) skin?

The Fine Print: Samples, but they've both immediately gone onto the "must purchase" list.  They're essentials now.

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Monday 28 November 2011

Chanel Ombre Essentielle - 417 Beige Lame

I admit, I wasn't all that taken with the Chanel Christmas collection this year, it just didn't speak to me.  But, I did have to pick up this eyeshadow single, when I was in Debenhams recently. Packaged with Chanel's usual attention to detail, the eyeshadow single comes in a little velvet pouch:

So, what colour is it?  Well, for all of you who think I live in taupe, I have a little surprise for you - this one is beige:

 So far, so dull.  What I like about Chanel though, is that their neutrals come with a bit of an edge, and this shade caught my eye in store because it's packed full of glorious - and beautiful - microglitter (cue terrible photos):

Somehow, I just can't capture the glory of this eyeshadow on camera, which is infuriating.  Whilst the colour isn't that unique, it's something I'll get a lot of use out of, as it's a great - slightly warm - beige shade, perfect for when you're getting ready in a rush.

Heree you can see it swatched dry on the right, and over primer on the right.

What have you picked up from the Christmas collections?

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Friday 25 November 2011


I have a long, long meeting today, and last night thought I'd make a "silent protest" by doing my nails in as obnoxious a manner as possible. Did I succeed?


Thursday 24 November 2011

Give As You Live

Hands up, who is ready for Christmas?  I admit, I'm certainly not.  £6.8 billion pounds will be spent on Christmas presents this year, even though things are a little tight in quite a few households around the UK this year.

Things are certainly a little tighter than usual in the Lippie household this Christmas, but, after the events of the last couple of months, we have come to realise just how very, very, very lucky we are. Every two minutes in the UK, someone faces losing their home.  Every two minutes. Think about that, just for a second. That is 30 people an hour.  720 people a day.  262,800 people a year.  All facing the prospect of losing their home.

For a while this year, Mr Lippie and myself were amongst those statistics, and, whilst it was happening, it was - quite simply - hell. We are still dealing with the after effects of our experience, and, whilst we still have a way to go yet, we know we couldn't have gotten even this far without the help of our friends and in particular, our families.  We can't even begin to tell people just how grateful we are.

We also couldn't have got by without the support, advice and occasional real-life hands-on help from both our Twitter followers and even some readers of this blog, who I now consider to be real friends too.  Without those people to help us, our situation would have been very different, and there isn't a day that goes by where we don't give thanks that we had such a support network around us.  We have a roof over our head, a place of safety of our own, and we no longer spend our days in fear of what would happen to us next. 

(Don't worry, I'll be bringing this whole post back around to lipstick soon, bear with me)

Many people who face similar problems to MrLippie and myself aren't as lucky.  They may have less of a support network, or may simply be unable to help themselves get away from their situation because of a lack of finances, or family commitments, or their work situation, and this is where Shelter comes in, to be that support network for people who don't have those resources, or the right information to be able to help themselves. 

Shelter say that having a home is about more than just having a roof over your head, and they're right.  Being robbed of our peace of mind, and being forced to live in genuine fear, both for ourselves and our possessions was by far the worst part of what has happened to me and Mr Lippie. We may well have had a roof over our head for the whole time, but we definitely didn't have a home, and it's only now that we're learning to deal with how the whole experience has affected us.

Shelter do wonderful work, and it's not just about people sleeping on the streets, they help people just like you and me, who find themselves in what were previously unimaginable circumstances. They actively campaign to prevent homelessness too, and fight for legislation to help people who have been affected by malicious landlords.  I never thought I could be a homeless person, and I bet you don't expect you could be too.  But you never know what is around the corner.

Shelter helped me out this year, so, I'm going to be helping them out a little bit too.  As I mentioned back in the first paragraph, things are a little tight in the Lippie household right now, which is why I was so utterly delighted to meet Polly Gower yesterday, who heads up Give As You Live, yesterday.

Give As You Live is one of those seemingly beautifully simple ideas, that is actually also an extremely good idea.  Essentially, Give As You Live has teamed up both retailers and charities so that shoppers like you and me can give to charity by ... shopping.  If you shop online with retailers through the Give As You Live website, or app, retailers will donate between 1% and 4% of the retail price to the charity of your choice. 

The best part of this is that it will cost you - the shopper - absolutely nothing.  No prices are inflated, and you will pay the same through the website or app as you would purchasing online ordinarily.  Also, the scheme is linked to every single registered charity in the UK, so if you want to donate to a charity that means something to you - as Shelter does to me - then you can. 

There are more than 200,000 registered charities in the UK, and potentially, every single one could benefit from this scheme.  I think this is amazing.  Remember that £6.8 billion I mentioned way back in the beginning?  If every single purchase making up that figure was made online through Give As You Live, they would raise £170 million for charity, without you or I, or anyone else for that matter, having to spend an extra penny on our Christmas gifts.  

You can buy from Liberty, Harrods, John Lewis, Selfridges,, Debenhams,, Itunes, Sainsbury's,, and around 1,500 other online retailers.  They've already raised £2.2million, but they want to raise more, so make that bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle or Tom Ford Lipstick (or Body Shop body butter, depending on your budget!) really count this year, and do something for charity whilst you're about it.  If you're anything like me, you'll never have planned to need a charity to hold your hand, but you'll be glad they're around if the worst happens.

I'd already decided to buy my presents online this year, and donate to Shelter, now Give As You Live  has given me an extra reason, and a new way to do it.

The Fine Print: Give As You Live, and their associated company, EasyClick both have a blogger affiliate scheme.  I am NOT taking part in the affiliate scheme, and this post was not sponsored.  I just had to tell you about it anyway.  Buy a lipstick, and help someone help themselves. It could be you.

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Wednesday 23 November 2011

Veet Easy Wax

There are currently only ten of these little beauties in the country at the moment.  Unless, that is, you're one of the people who have spotted that Boots has sneakily pre-released 300 of these to customers today, before they're released nationwide to stores next year.

I've just had a look, and there are still some left.  I've already got mine, and I'll be reviewing it soon (as you all know, I'm a cack-handed muppet when it comes to gadgets, but this one seems fairly Lippie-proof so far, at least), but I thought you guys might like a chance to get your hands on something before release this time too!

It's a handy gadget that replicates a salon-waxing experience at home, that minimises the risk of burns from too hot wax and other incoveniences.  Very easy to use too!

Get yours here for £29.99.

The Fine Print: Link is not affiliated.  I'm a lone wolf, me*.

*Not really,  my sample was provided by PR.

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Tuesday 22 November 2011

Guest Post: - Charles Worthington Straight & Smooth

I have the best readers, a few weeks ago, my friend Kitty said she was about the try the Charles Worthington Straight and Smooth Hair Straightening Kit, and, when I asked her if she'd write a guest post for me, she agreed straight away.  Here are her thoughts:


When I mentioned on twitter that I was going to try the Charles Worthington Straight & Smooth, Get Lippie asked me to give feedback. This is one of the first mass-market home straightening systems available on the high street, aimed specifically at non-afro-carribean hair. It costs 20 and is available only at Boots. It is not suitable for hair that has been dyed platinum or very light ash blonde, afro-carribean hair, or hair that has been dyed or permed in the last 12 weeks.
My hair is quite thick, highlighted, with a strong natural curl and a tendency to look dull due to frizz. I'm far too lazy to style it every day for work, and so I tend to appear like I've been dragged through the proverbial hedge. I wash my hair about twice a week, and usually allow it to dry naturally, only styling it using straightening irons for special occasions.


The product
What do you get in the box? It includes the 2 tubes making up the treatment, a wide toothed comb, some gloves and a  bottle of aftercare conditioner. A leaflet describes the process (with pictures!) and includes the usual instructions about carrying out patch tests.

The process is pretty simple - it took me 62 minutes in total
1. Wash your hair, DO NOT CONDITION. Comb out any knots (ow ow ow)
2. Put a towel round your shoulders, and stay in the bathroom as you're likely to flick gobbets of the lotions around the place (or maybe this is only me). Apply the straightening treatment and comb your hair to keep it detangled and straight. The guidance on the amount of goop to apply wasn't very clear, so I applied about a third to a half of the tube. So basically 20 minutes of smelling a chemical odor (like bubble perms in the 80s) and combing your hair constantly to keep it straight. Rinse out thoroughly.
3. Look in mirror and be amazed at how your hair has spontaneously knotted into giant fright wig. Apply the Conditioning Neutraliser (again, the lovely chemical smell) and comb your hair straight again for 5 minutes. At this point my arms were rebelling from combing my hair so much, it was a relief to rinse out this last treatment.
4. Blow dry your hair using a brush and aiming the hairdryer downwards. This stage was the most awkward for me, and I could have done with Charles popping round to help out. Finally, straighten to seal in the treatment.

Immediately after treatment

The Next Day
Usually after I've slept on my hair all my straightening effort has been undone, however, it was still as smooth and straight as when I'd gone to bed, apart from some very short hairs in my hairline.

The day after treatment

After the first wash
I waited 4 days before washing my hair - the minimum you can wait is 2 days. After washing, using the supplied aftercare conditioner and allowing to dry naturally, my curl has fought back! My hair now appears a little more smooth and shiny than usual, but it's no longer the wonderful, straight style that I'd had before. However, it was very quick to style using straightening irons.

So how do I feel about this product? Well the 4 days of super-straight post treatment were wonderful, but it all going wrong after the first wash was a real disappointment. I will not be buying this again.

Editors Note: Kitty has since spoken to the customer service people at Charles Worthington, and they immediately issued a full refund for the product.  Great service from them there. 

Incidentally, I have a box of this at home to try, and I'll be giving you a full report soon too, now I have hairdresser approval of my own... 

 Charles Worthington Straight and Shine is currently available from Boots for £19.99, but you get 500 Advantage points on Charles Worthington purchases at the moment, which is the equivalent of £5 off ...

The Fine Print: Kitty purchased her own product and was refunded by the Charles Worthington company when they found out it didn't work, they were not made aware at any time that a blog post was involved.  No PRs harmed in the writing of this post.

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Friday 18 November 2011

Yves St Laurent Travel Selection

He's a lovely boy, is MrLippie.  After his recent trip to Aberdeen, he brought me home this little box, which I couldn't wait to rip open. And what was inside?

A lovely pink pleather wallet containing four eyeshadows, a blusher and two lip colours:

Oh, it's so pretty.  Not all the shades are named, but the eyeshadows are (from l-r) Violet, Taupe, Parme, and Rose.  I have no idea what shades the lipsticks are, or the blusher.  Here are the swatches:

These are incredibly hard shadows, and proved extremely hard to swatch.  They're not nearly as deeply pigmented as the Stila shadows I showed you yesterday, and I got so fed up trying to get them to show up on my skin that I couldn't even be bothered to swatch the lipsticks.  It is possible, of course, that they will swatch better, or even wear better, over a primer, but I'm not entirely convinced.

Ultimate verdict, oh-so-pretty but ... could try harder, YSL.

The Fine Print:  Present.  Yes, I am looking a gift horse in the mouth, I'm afraid.  Here's hoping MrL never buys me a pony.

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Thursday 17 November 2011

Stila Collectible Beach Palettes

You'll have seen these collectible little palettes on a number of blogs, I suspect, but I'm going to ignore that fact and show you them myself, because they're very lovely.  And, at a cost of just £10 each, they're a real bargain, and perfect for those last minute stocking stuffer presents you might need.

There are three palettes in the collection: Striking in South Beach, Living the Life in Laguna and Wonderful in Waikiki and there is something to love in each of them:

Packaged in cardboard with a magnetic closure, they're not the most durable of palettes, but for the price point, they'll do. Each one contains four eyeshadows and two blushes/bronzers, along with a mini-makeup lesson. Let's take a look at the insides:

Striking in South Beach:

A grey, a blue, a charcoal, and a lilac, alongside a pale pink blush and a medium bronzer with just a hint of rose, this is a cool-toned girl's dream.  Here's how they swatch:

They're all well pigmented - these are swatched without a base, and with fingers, and the coverage is good.  I find that most of the shades are a little on the chalky side for me (that blusher in particular looks like it'd be a very difficult wear for all but the palest of pale skins), but I'm sure I could get a very dramatic eye look out of those shadows.  I'll definitely be giving this one a go.

Living the Life in Laguna:

Probably the easiest to wear of all the palettes, Laguna is a symphony in rosy neutrals, and it's really rather lovely.  Again though, the blush shades are a little on the pale side, and I'm not sure I'll get any use out of them, but I'm sure they'll suit a few people:

This is great for daytime wear, and it's the one I'll probably get the most use out of.

Wonderful in Waikiki

By far the most dramatic of the palettes, Wonderful in Waikiki features some coppery/orange shades, all set off with a glorious matte blue.  I think this would be the best palette for women of colour, but I suspect the blushes would - again - be too pale, whereas I think they'd actually be a touch too orange for the pale of skin:

This could work either as a day or a night-time palette depending on how you use the blue shade (which is a little chalky, but is suprisingly well pigmented for a matte colour), as a liner it'd just add a pop of bright colour to a slightly more wearable look, whereas you could use it to create a more vivid evening look too.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of these palettes for the price, even with some reservations about the choices of the blush shades.  Even if you discount those, this works out at £2.50 an eyeshadow, which is a bargain in anyone's book. 

I have to say that I'm very glad Stila is back on these shores, and is far more widely available than it used to be, too.  Try your larger Boots stores near you, to pick these babies up.

The Fine Print: PR Samples.

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Wednesday 16 November 2011

Bobbi Brown 20th Anniversary Lip Palette

I was shocked - shocked - when I realised that Bobbi Brown was celebrating the 20th Anniversary of her iconic lipstick line, not least because I realised when I bought this that I actually owned at least three of the original shades, and I hadn't realised I'd been buying designer cosmetics for that long ...

I digress, the original line of lipsticks from Bobbi caused a bit of a stir when they first debuted in the early 90s, as I recall, they were different because there were just ten of them, and they weren't at all dramatic, merely good lipshades.  This palette includes samples of those original ten shades, alongside ten shades which date from this year.  Let's take a look:

Now, even without the headings, it'd be fairly easy to see which side was which, don't you think?  All those (slightly rusty) neutrals compared to the brighter (bluer) shades on the left!  It gets easier to see which side is which when you add in the names of the shades too:

The 1991 shades all have simple colour names red, beige, orange etc, and the 2011 are all Atomic this, Party that, Cosmic the other, [sigh].  Now, I have to say that I've grown less interested in Bobbi Brown as a brand as she's moved away from her initial launch of wearable neutrals to suit everyone and started throwing glitter into absolutely anything and everything, but I think I'll actually get more wear out of the 2011 range of shades.

What say you?  Any shades you want to see swatches of? And can you guess which three shades I owned when I was a student?

The Fine Print: Purchase.  A nostalgia trip I couldn't resist.

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Tuesday 15 November 2011

Guerlain Christmas 2011 - Vol de Nuit & Parure de Nuit

Well, after I showed you my initial picks of the Guerlain Christmas collection a few weeks ago, I said I’d be making further purchases, and here they are. Couldn't resist!

Vol de Nuit, I simply could not resist picking up this beautiful teal bottle of sparkly deliciousness, it’s both a gorgeous and glamorous addition to any dressing table.  I don’t have a dressing table … but if I did, this bottle would be out on display at all times.

The bottle contains a pink sparkly powder, which is filled with multicoloured micro-shimmer, and when you press the bulb, it emits a wonderful cloud of scented deliciousness.  It’s said to be based on the original scent of Vol de Nuit perfume (which sadly, I have no way of confirming, because I don’t own a bottle), but the scent is light and powdery and sweet, but it’s not a scent that will clash with any other perfume that you might wear with it.  It’s a fine finishing touch for a big night out.

The sparkle is fine, and not too glittery, it’ll just add a hint of definition to collarbones and shoulders, I think.

Here’s the powder swatched quite heavily to show how it looks on the skin, then out of focus to show off the sparkle:

I did, of course, pick up the Parure De Nuit too, as I simply couldn’t resist it.  Decorated with peacock feathers, with hints of peach, pink, turquoise and a touch of gold overspray, it’s a lovely piece of cosmetic goodness.

I also love the turquoise goat hair brush that comes with it:

I found that the overspray came off after the first use, and whilst it looks very dramatic in the pan, it’s actually a very subtle powder, more of a beauty powder than a blusher, but it adds a very lovely soft-focus glow to the skin, which is very difficult to pick up on camera, but the pan itself is beautiful, I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of it …

There’s another lipstick too, which I’ll show you soon …

The Fine Print:  Purchases.  Lovely, lovely purchases.

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Monday 14 November 2011

What's in my bath?

 One of the “joys” of moving house is getting the chance to sort through your belongings and decide which are those things you really can’t live without and which are those you’re just hanging onto for dear life.

One of the “joys” of moving house twice in a four week period is initially moving to a place with no bathtub, and realising you have to get rid of all your bathing products, then immediately moving to another place that actually does have a bathtub and realising that you have to replace all the products you got rid of …

So, what made it back to my bathtub?

Here you have:

Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath
Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak
Kniepp Juniper Bath Salts
Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax shower and bath oil
Shu Uemura Pleasure of Japanese Bath – Hinoki
Elemis Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir
Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil

Disclosure, it actually turns out that two of these products I couldn’t bear to be parted with, and they actually made it through the moves, these are the Aromatherapy Associates, and the Shu Uemura.  I do prefer the AA as a bath oil, but it does make an excellent accompaniment to a shower too, and the Shu Uemura was discontinued about a year ago, so I wasn’t letting it go anyway.

Elemis is a brand that has really snuck up on me in the last year, for all sorts of reasons.  Whilst I don’t find that the skincare suits me too well, I absolutely love their bathing products, and the vast majority of their Spa@Home products are a complete joy.  This is my second bottle of the Milk Bath, which is great for when you’re having sensitive skin days, and I can’t even tell you how many bottles of Super Soak that I’ve been through, but it’s a lot.  A LOT.  I adore the deep herbal scent of this, and it’s about as relaxing as a bath can be.  I can tell you, however, that I have backups of both of these, and expect to be purchasing them for years to come too.  Nothing comes close.  The Bath Elixir and Frangipani Monoi oil are samples that I got with my recent purchase, I’m looking forward to trying them out.

Well, I say nothing comes close to Super Soak, but the Kniepp Juniper range (a gin flavoured bath?  I’m IN!) I was introduced to on my recent trip to Paris, does come close, but whilst it has the same soothing effect on tired muscles, it’s a little more invigorating and refreshing than the Elemis version.  They also do a matching shower gel, which brings me to the “What’s in my Shower” portion of today’s blog post:

Kniepp Juniper Shower Gel
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
Elemis Sharp Shower Gel

Like the bath salts, this is herbal and refreshing, and invigorating.  Paraben and sulphate-free, it foams nicely, and leaves your skin tingling fresh. The Tom Ford is a joy to use too, it smells of liquid sunshine and holidays (I took it on my trip to Portugal earlier on in the year), and doesn’t dry my skin out. I adore this minty Elemis shower gel, it smells, perfectly, of Wrigleys Doublemint gum (which MrLippie hates), but I find it’s perfect for waking you up in the morning.

So, what’s in your shower?

The Fine Print: The Tom Ford, and Aromatherapy Associates were PR samplea, everything else featured was a purchase.  In many cases, a re-purchase.  I take my baths very seriously.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.
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