Beauty Without Fuss

Friday 30 December 2011

My Lipstick Of The Year

There has been one lipstick this year that I've reached for again and again and again, and it's this one from Tom Ford:

 Um, which one?  Well, oddly enough, it's the one on the right - NOT the red shade.  It's Indian Rose.

Creamy, pigmented, and doesn't make me look like a corpse, I can't get enough of it, and it's practically a nubbin as a result.  I might even get a back up.  Yes,  a backup of a £35 lipstick.

Kill me now. 

See my original post on this shade here, and let me know what your pick of the lipsticks of 2011 is in the comments. 

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Friday 23 December 2011

The Very Best Christmas Present For A Beauty Blogger

Would be a lipstick named after them.  It's been a while coming, but, very shortly after Daniel Sandler and I cooked up this shade back in May, the wonderful Lynne Sanders of Cosmetics A La Carte let slip to me that they were adding "Luce" to their permanent line, and I've been like a little kid waiting for Santa ever since!  Imagine, a lipstick that real people can actually buy, named after little old me!

I finally caught a glimpse of it on the website this week, and just the sight of my name on that shade list gives me little chills.  It's definitely one of the greatest presents a beauty blogger could ever have, and I've been wearing my "Luce" all week in celebration*.  It's a lightly sparkling coral shade, which makes for great everyday wear.

My deepest, most sincere thanks to both Daniel Sandler, and Cosmetics a la Carte for making this particular beauty blogger's dream come true.  

The Fine Print: Not an affiliate link, and I'm not remunerated if anyone buys it!

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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Project Perfume - Aromatics Elixir Perfumers Reserve

 It has to be said that I can't resist Aromatics Elixir in any format (though my requests for a bottle of bath oil in this post from January fell onto cruelly deaf ears at Lauder HQ), but, when I heard that Aromatics was to be updated and "refreshed", as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the launch of Aromatics back in in 1971, I don't mind admitting that I panicked slightly.  Even after a year of immersing myself  - almost literally - into fragrance, I still think of Aromatics Elixir as "my" fragrance.  Still, I steeled myself into trying it anyway, and ...

Well, it's beautiful.  Still smoky, resinous and as incense-packed as I remember, it is also somehow softer, rounder, gentler and less spiky IN YOUR FACE than the original. An astonishing trick to pull off for what is - or could be - regarded as a flanker.  So many flankers (which are perfumes brought out by a perfume house to cash in on the popularity of an already best-selling fragrance) resemble the original only in name, but I'm happy to say Perfumers Reserve is very definitely easy to recognise as being based on the original. This version however, manages to push the flowers more front and centre, and its easier to recognise the roses in the formulation as a result. It wears a lot closer to the skin. Lacking the almost nuclear sillage of the original, this is much easier to wear, and could be considered more office-friendly.  

Not that office-friendliness has ever bothered me much, I've spent the last couple of weeks wearing some complete and utter patchouli bombs (both of which I'll review soon), with little or no thought to my co-workers.  I like perfume, I'm afraid, and I like to be able to smell my perfume, but if you're scared of wearing "big" fragrances, Perfumers Reserve might be a good way to try something huge, in a way that won't frighten the people around you.

A word about the bottle, I love that it's a "dabber" rather than a spray, so make sure you don't open the bottle the wrong way up, you will end up with damp (but gorgeously fragranced) knees.  The amber bottle with the engraving is rather lovely too.

Oh, and if Santa is reading, I'd like the solid, please, it's in a beautiful compact that can be used as a necklace:

 If the new formulation still doesn't sound like your cup of tea (or incense for that matter), then the original has been reissued with a new bottle to celebrate its birthday:

Happy birthday Aromatics Elixir! Life begins at forty, they say, and I'm happy you're still showing signs of life, even now ...

The Fine Print: I was sent the anniversary bottle of Aromatics Elixir, but I bought the Perfumers Reserve myself.

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Monday 12 December 2011

My Pick of the Christmas Candles

I love candles, it's no surprise to anyone reading this blog, really, I mention them a lot.  For a variety of reasons, we're not having a lot of Christmas decorations this year, but one thing I couldn't countenance was not making the new flat at least smell of Christmas.  Here are my pick of the best festive fragranced candles to make your house smell wonderful over the holidays:

Jo Malone Roasted Chestnut
Woodsy, slightly smokey, and with just a tiny hint of sweetness, this evokes evenings by a real fire.  The scent is wonderful, but I do find that Jo Malone candles produce quite a lot of soot compared to others, also, this is a large, single wicked candle, which means that if you don't take care of your candles properly, it could be prone to runnelling.  Worth it for the scent and excellent burning time though, I've had this on the go for the best part of two months now, and still have over a third left.

Annick Goutal Noel 

Fizzy with the scent of citrus and pine, this is a wonderful evocation  of a crisp wintry walk in the countryside.  Meant to evoke a Christmas tree decorated with dried fruits in the European fashion, this is a beautifully uplifting fresh scent, and manages - wonderfully - to avoid smelling of pine toilet cleaner.  It reminds me a little of sherbet lemons when you first sniff the jar, I love it.

Elemis Starlight Spa 

The most "traditional" Christmas candle on this list, this is bursting  with oranges, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla, it smells of pomanders, mulled wine and ... well ... Christmas.  If it were any more edible, you could call it mince pie flavour and no one would argue with you.  I adore the silver jar too, which flickers in the candlelight as the wax inside burns down, to a very lovely effect.

Diptyque Epinette and Perdigone

Epinette, in its green glass holder is a "spruce" scent.  Less crisp with citrus than the similar-sounding "Noel" above, this has hints of bosky tree bark underneath the intoxicating pine-needle fragrance, making it a little darker, more reminscent of a pine forest at dusk than a crisp wintery day.  Still wonderful though.

Perdigone is a spiced plum affair, hinted at in its red glass holder.  Less redolent of clove and cinnamon than the "Starlight Spa" candle, it smells how I imagine old-fashioned sugar plums would.  It's slightly sweet and fruity (but not offensively so) and more "perfume-y" than the other four, but it makes a very good compliment to the others, rounding out their various quite sharp scents, and forming a good counterpoint to the smokiness of the Jo Malone too. Yes, I do burn them all at the same time, it's quite addictive!

My only regret about the Diptyque candles is that I went for the mini sizes, and I'm scared I'll burn them all up before Christmas itself ...

What's the scent of Christmas for you guys?

The Fine Print:  A mixture of PR samples, and purchases.  There will be repurchases of most of them for next year though, you betcha.

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Thursday 8 December 2011

Paris Purchases: Guerlain Hiver en Russie

No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to Guerlain.  And, no trip to Guerlain is complete without a purchase, come to that. This time I wanted to make my souvenir very special, something I can't find in the UK, and the ladies of the Champs Elysée did me proud on this trip:

The gift wrapping in store is exquisite, it was heartbreaking to have to unwrap this. So what is it? (some of you might already have guessed, from the title of the post, I'm aware)

Can you tell what it is yet? 

 How about now?

That's right, it's a candle.  But oh my, what a candle.  Guerlain have four scents, and for me it was toss-up between this one and Bois des Indes (Indian Woods), but after sniffing several times, I finally settled for Hiver en Russie (Russian Winter), as it is full of incense and is heady with myrrh, making it, for me a perfect candle for the darker months.

I think it will make a perfect pairing with my Tom Ford Tuscan Leather candle (oddly, both are black candles) for a smoke-y intoxicating scent for the winter evenings.  I can't wait to light them both together.

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Wednesday 7 December 2011

Paris Purchases - Toiletries

I love wandering around foreign supermarkets (heck, I love wandering around supermarkets in the UK too - I'm a bit odd that way) looking for things I haven't seen before.  On this trip, I picked up a few bits and pieces which, whilst not all that interesting in themselves - they're things like shower gel and deodorants - are different enough from the stuff I can get in the UK to have made me want them.

Here we go:

 Shower gels.  Rhubarb and custard!  Seriously, why can't we get rhubarb scented products in the UK? Whilst I'm the first to admit I don't really care for fruity scents, as soon as I saw this one, I flipped and had to buy it.  It smells, almost precisely like rhubarb and custard flavoured boiled sweets.  I love it.  And hey, rhubarb is a vegetable.  So there.  I also bought the vanilla and pain d'epices scented variety.  A creamy smelling shower gel complete with tiny bits of "gingerbread" in the formulation, this smells good enough to eat.  I won't though.  But it's tempting.

Yeah, I went a bit crazy buying deodorants.  I'm an idiot and had forgotten to pack one, so when I spotted these, in scents difficult to find in the UK, I had to pick them up.  From left to right we have an amber scent, a vanilla scent, and a green tea and mint. I can't believe no one makes an amber scented deodorant in the UK, it's a beautiful soft-smelling deodorant, which will layer beautifully with any number of my perfumes this winter.  I bought the vanilla because hey!  Who doesn't want pits that smell of cake?  And the mint one?  Well, I go a bit wibbly when it comes to body-products that smell of mint, so this one just had to come home with me.  It'll pair wonderfully with my Guerlain Herba Fresca perfume.  Might be one to save for the warmer months though.

Cotton wool.  I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to cotton wool, surprisingly.  I have to have pads, and they have to be embossed ones.  I find them so much better to use than just plain smooth cotton wool, especially when it comes to removing nail varnish.  Embossed cotton wool just seems to work better with liquids, and smooth cotton wool works better for creams and lotions in my experience.

Here you can see the edges of the pads are bonded - slightly - and you have both a smooth and a rougher side.  I may have accidentally bought four packs of this back ...  

Anything caught your eye?

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Tuesday 6 December 2011

Paris Purchases- Rouge Baiser Mademoiselle Authentique 302 Lipstick

I don't think it's legal to come back from a trip to France without a lipstick as one of your souvenirs.  Well, if your blog is called Get Lippie, you kind of have to, don't you?  And, if it's France, well, that lipstick has to be red.

I spotted the Rouge Baiser lipsticks on our last trip to Paris, and had been kicking myself ever since for not picking one up, so this time, I was a woman determined to get hold of one.

I adore the packaging:

The pewter case (sadly, plastic), the sunburst detailing, it's too gorgeous for words. If I were a different kind of blogger I'd be saying all kinds of wanky crap like "c'est magnifique!" and "tres chic!" but I find that kind of pretentious Franglais irritating beyond belief, so you'll have to settle for me saying "gorgeous" instead.  So there.

Because it is.

Did I mention that it's red?

A semi-matte finish, the red of 302 (and I can't pretend that I'm not disappointed the shades have numbers instead of names, because I am) is a blue-based highly pigmented shade, that covers lips in one coat. I don't find it particularly drying, but, like most long-lasting lipsticks (Rouge Baiser state that this is a "comfort long last lipstick) it's not as emollient as many other lipsticks you might have tried in the past, but it slips well over the lips, and you won't feel like your lips have been run through a shredder if you've been wearing it for a few hours.

It's a classic red shade, and I'll be wearing a lot this winter. What was best about it, was the price: 13 Euros.  For the packaging alone, I'm happy to pay that price!  I bought a separate shade to give to my mother for some  French Christmas glamour for her too.

Do you buy cosmetics when you're away?  What do you look for?  Tomorrow I'll be showing you some supermarket purchases that I just couldn't resist buying whilst I was away ...
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Monday 5 December 2011

Postcards from Paris

 Just a few - a very few - snapshots of my weekend in Paris:

Joan of Arc
 Normal posting will resume tomorrow ...

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Sunday 4 December 2011

Lipstick of the Week ...

 It's been a while, but it's back, back, b a c k!

Here's what I've been wearing on me mush over the last seven days: 

From left to right we have:

Lanolips Lemonaid (love this stuff, particularly when my lips are really dry and hard in the cold weather, this softens them up a treat.
Dior Lip Polish, shade No 2. Similar to the above, but leaves a slight milky pink colour behind
By Terry: Terrybly 302 Fanatic Red - you'll be able to read more about this lipstick later on in the week.
Chantecaille Lip Chic - Tea Rose.  One of my default lip shades, there is barely a week that goes by that I don't reach for this one.
Poppy King for No7 lipgloss in Glamour.  Lovely light pink shade that perks up my lips a treat.
Clinique Lip Smoothie in Strawberry Bliss - this came as part of a GWP recently, but it's a shimmering My Lips But Better shade, that I wore more or less the entire time I was in Paris this weekend.
Tom Ford - Indian Rose.  As with the Chantecaille above, this is a shade I reach for again and again and again.  I'm going to need a backup.

No Flash
With Flash
 It's been - with one notable exception, a neutral kind of week.

Here are some (blurry - sorry!) swatches: 

What've you been wearing?

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Friday 2 December 2011

Gay Paree Part Deux

No real post today, for as you read this, I'm in Paris.  I shall be eating, drinking, getting a facial, hitting the Christmas markets, and - of course! - doing a little shopping.  I'll be back next week with some (edited) highlights for you.  In the meantime, here's a little something to look at:

  This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Benefit They're Real Vs Dior Diorshow Iconic

Perfume aside, I don't think there is a beauty product that is as dependent upon personal preference as mascara.  We all have our particular requirements, and personal favourites, and we tend to stick with them, no matter how many new mascaras are released in a particular year.  Last year I was addicted to Trish McEvoy's mascara, but discovered that the formula had changed - making it wetter, and less volumising - when I bought a replacement, so I spent quite some time this year looking for a new one that would replace it in my affections.

I like long, fat "dolly" lashes - verging on the drag queen effect - from my mascaras, none of this natural look thing, thank you.  I'm a fan of Armani Eyes to Kill, but it is pricey, and I can't always be bothered heading to either Selfridges and Harrods to pick one up.  Ditto Makeup Forever's Smokey Lash, but the only place I've found that is Paris, really, so even less easy to pick up.  So, I thought I'd try a couple of mascaras that were easier to get hold of in department stores, Benefit They're Real, and DiorShow Iconic.  Both have had a lot of love from my fellow beauty bloggers lately, so which one would win for me?

The Tubes:

I have to say that the hands down winner of the battle of the tubes is Benefit, I love the shiny pewter finish, and the fat tube.  In all honesty, the embossed finish of the Dior tube makes it look a bit sticky.  It's not, but I don't like it, all the same.

The Brushes:

These are both plastic brushes, as opposed to bristles, and they're both slightly unusual twists on a normal brush in their own right:


This always reminds me of a mace, for some reason.  We have short spiky bristles, and these bristles continue onto the tip of the brush.  I'll be honest, I do find the bristles a little too spiky at times, and if you accidentally blink when applying, well, it's not nice.


A little wider than the Benefit, the bristles on Iconic are arrayed in a spiral pattern, and they're a little longer and rounder than the Benefit bristles.  Personally, I find that the brush on the Diorshow Iconic suits my lashes better, leaving my lashes looking more "groomed" after using.

The Formulas:

I find that the Benefit They're Real formula is very wet in comparison to the DiorShow Iconic, and that it requires more coats to give a "finished" look than the Dior.  The Dior is dryer, and gives a fuller effect with a lot less effort. Both are very black, and I've not noticed any flaking with either formulation. Dior wins. Anything that can help a lazybones like me look good quicker has to be good.

The Lashes:

They're not upside down, I'm just looking up.  A bit too much.
It is, in fact, almost a dead heat.  Both lengthen, and both volumise, but the Dior just has the edge on volumising, and, I noticed, it curls the lashes more.  Pic shows two coats of each on uncurled lashes.  I suspect though, that if I were to apply more than two coats, that the Dior would clump a bit more than the Benefit.  I only ever apply two coats though - life is too short for three coats of mascara, if you ask me.


For me, it's the Dior, but they're both excellent.  Once the Benefit had a chance to dry out a bit (when I first used it, I hated it, but letting it dry out for a month or two has worked wonders for it, for me), I liked it a lot more, whereas the Dior was a winning formula straight out of the box.

The Fine Print: Benefit was a PR sample.  The Dior ... wasn't.

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