Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Tom Ford Titanium Smoke Eyeshadow Quad

 I said in my last Tom Ford quad review that I'd be happy to get more if they were a lower price, and, when this quad popped up on Buyapowa recently, I jumped at the chance to pick it up for the "bargain" price of £50 + P&P, quite a considerable saving of the counter price of £62!

This post, however, isn't so much a review - it only turned up on Saturday, and I've not worn it yet - but more an excuse for some eyeshadow porn, and some initial impressions.  So here goes:

Same gorgeous packaging as always (I'm going to be knackered taking pictures at my desk when that tree blossoms in spring, I can tell), but what colour does Titanium Smoke contain?

Clockwise from top left, you have a champagne glitter shade, a satin-grey, a sparkling charcoal, and a dark matte charcoal shade.  This is a dramatic palette, but, on swatching, I think it's a little more versatile than it might appear on first glance. Take a look:

Seen straight on

Tilted slightly to show the sheen in the shades
Initial impressions are that this is a great palette.  Shades are shown here swatched on bare skin with a dry brush.  Again, the glitter is difficult to get to show up, but the other shades?  Wow.  I especially love the grey, which is actually a surprisingly complex taupe on the skin, as opposed to the slightly dull grey I thought it was!  And the sparkly charcoal is actually very wearable, I think.  Possibly not office appropriate, but as someone who has just bought sequinned Uggs (and is planning on buying a second pair) specifically to wear to work, I really don't think I'm the person best placed to comment on appropriateness.  Or not.

Here's a close up of all the colours:

Overall first impression is very favourable, looking forward to updating on this one.

One last look at the palette - with flash this time:

Very happy so far! Next on my wishlist: Burnished Amber.

The Fine Print: Purchase, via Buyapows, which I was very impressed with, actually.  More on that subject anon.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 30 January 2012

Lipstick of the Week - Mauve

Yes, Lipstick of the Week is a bit late this week - I was having a little rant yesterday, instead - but, better late than never, I always say.  I've been setting myself weekly challenges this year, and I won't lie, I found "mauve" a bit more challenging than I expected to.  I genuinely thought I had more mauve shades than this, but hey! Shopportunity!

 Anyway, here's the line up:

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose - I've raved about this before.  Chantecaille lipsticks are, for me, simply one of the greatest lipstick formulations ever.  As comfortable as pure silk for the lips.
Bourjois Effect 3d Max in Brun Entincalent - I love Bourjois lipglosses, cheap as chips and as good a formulation as glosses costing two or three times as much.  This one has a dinky "spatula"-style applicator, and simple things like that really amuse me.
Chanel Rouge Coco in Bonheur - Another one I've blogged about before, and a bit of cheat for this week as it is a little to berry-pink to be considered a mauve, as you'll see in the swatches.
Bourjois Effet 3d Balm Action gloss in Brun Rose Academic - Perfect!  A lipgloss that thinks it's smarter than I am.  Admittedly, it's probably right, but still ...
Trish McEvoy Lipliner in Bare -I wore this under the smarty pants lipgloss above.  It's a very good lipliner and I wear it a lot with all kinds of shades, as it matches my lips very well indeed.
Hourglass Lipstick in Fresco - A recent acquisition, and one I like a great deal.  Click on the link to read and see more about this one.
Christian Dior Diorific in Mystic Mauve - Oh God.  I used to love, love, love this one. It's the only opaque lip product on this page, and it was just so WRONG. Far too brown and it looked like the nineties had called and wanted me to look wrong. 

 I did some swatches.  You want to see swatches, right?  Well, you're getting them anyway:  As always, with flash, and then in natural light:

Yes, that is my computer desktop in the background, and yes, it is my blog logo.  Branding, that is.  Not just a pretty face, me.
 As you can see Bonheur sticks out like a sore thumb, as far too pink.  The three swatches in the middle are Brun Academic, the Trish McEvoy pencil, and the Brun Academic over the Trish McEvoy pencil, by the way.

I might do the next couple of weeks by brand instead of colour.  Any suggestions, please? 

The Fine Print: I bought all bar one of these.  I LIKE mauve.  Sue me.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Sunday 29 January 2012

In defence of Uggs

I'm a bit of a magpie, and when Mr Lippie and I were passing the Ugg shop at Westfield yesterday, I got sucked in by some shiny sequinned "trainers" in violet with aurora borealis sequins.  It was whilst I was cooing over them, that Mr Lippie spotted these:

And, well, they came home with us, and I'm wearing them RIGHT NOW.

I love them.  They're warm, soft and comfortable, thanks to the sheepskin lining:

They're like wandering around on little pillowy clouds of ... er ... sheep. They come up small though, thanks to the lining, so I had to go up a size and a half (I'm normally a 4.5 or a 5, depending, but I ended up buying them in size 6.5 to make room for my toes - which cannot be squashed under any circumstances)  I bought the black because they're practical - no, really, I'll be wearing these to the office tomorrow, I guarantee it  - but I have to warn you that these will soon be mine too:

 Purple shoes!

I tweeted about buying Uggs yesterday, and I've never been so astonished by a reaction on Twitter, to what was (for me) a fairly innocuous tweet!  Plus, I was kind of disgusted by the reaction of a couple of people who came across quite unintentionally (I suspect) as snobby asshats. Even those ones who thought they were being amusing annoyed the crap out of me.  I don't judge people by what they wear, and for people to judge other people ONLY by what they wear makes me sick, and it always has done.  There, that's my career as a fashion blogger over before it has begun ... 

Anyway, I have Mortons Neuroma in both feet, a condition which means flat shoes are a way of life for me, and always will be.  The nerves in the balls of my feet, and between my toes, are enlarged, and on days when they're really flaring up, it can feel like I have marbles implanted under the skin, and walking on days like that is no fun, believe you me.  My feet ache almost constantly, even on good days, so, when I find comfortable shoes that don't pinch my feet, and protect my soles from the pavement, I tend to snap them up, and bugger the label.  I'd buy shoes made by Stalin if they had thick but reasonably soft soles and didn't squash my toes together.  I've suffered with this problem on and off for about 15 years, but the problem only really got unbearable after doing a full marathon for the Moonwalk a few years ago.  I haven't worn heels from that day to this.

It's not like I'm running around in these in a mini-skirt and fake tan, for crying out loud.  It's surprisingly difficult to find flat shoes that aren't thin-soled or intended for six year old going to a birthday party (I will NOT buy shoes with bows or flowers - though, judging by my love of these, I'm obviously not averse to a bit of bling) and buying shoes is the one thing on earth that is guaranteed to have me in tears of frustration within about an hour. Shoe-buying saps my soul, and being judged for shopping decisions I have to make, rather than choose to make is bloody annoying.

So, in a nutshell, I've just paid £125 for a pair of sheepskin-lined trainers that I adore and then I've spent 600 or so words on the internet trying to justify my life decisions to a bunch of people on twitter.  :sigh:

I own a pair of Crocs too - there, I said it. Get stuffed, haters. 

The Fine Print:  I bought these - well technically, I split the cost of them with MrLippie, he's nice like that - I'm not affiliated with Uggs.  They'll probably kill me when they read this. 

PS All images shameless stolen from Ugg themselves.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Friday 27 January 2012

Free Forum Friday

I get a lot of emails from my readers, and I love hearing from every single one of you.  Sometimes it's people asking my advice on things (usually how to do flicky eyeliner, which camera do I use, and how to get "free stuff" but I tend to ignore the ones about freebies), sometimes it's people pointing out things I got wrong in my reviews, or letting me know about stockists for hard to find items, and I really appreciate those!  But sometimes, people just email me to get things off their chest, and these are the emails I treasure most.  Sometimes they're just plain ranty - somehow my love of a good rant has rubbed off on my readers (yippee!) - sometimes they're hilarious, and sometimes, like the the email I'm about to share with you today, they break my heart a little bit.

One of my readers got in touch recently, and asked me to publish their story, because they thought that by making it public would help them. So, without further ado, here's Anon to share a part of their life with you:

When you are stressed it is so easy to return to old habits.
When I was a teenager, I suffered from bulimia, it wasn’t something that came naturally to me. I really had to work at it. I read about people suffering from bulimia and I honestly thought that throwing up after eating was an excellent quick way to lose weight.
But I suppose that is how it starts, and, like a drug dealer offering free samples bulimia seduced me with its empty promises and hollow offers of friendship and the lure of skinniness was like a sirens call to me.

I got to be very good at it, and very, very good at hiding it. Drinking lots of water as I ate, putting tissue down the toilet so no-one heard the vomit hitting the bowl, I knew all the tricks. I was never skinny, not in my eyes. Apparently I had a haunted look about me. Haunted and panicky when I had to sit at the table for too long after eating when all I wanted to do was get rid of the meal I had just consumed.

I never thought of myself as TRULY bulimic, I always thought that I was the one in control. I thought I was choosing to throw up my meals. Now I see it in the same way as an alcoholic thinks they are the one in control if they are choosing what alcohol they throw down their throat at 10am. Addiction is addiction, whatever pretty bow you wrap it in.

Over the years I have battled with it on and off, and when I am happy, it rarely raises its head, in fact it has probably been 2 years since I suffered last.

The problem with eating disorders is that they never go away. It feels like they just sit in the background patiently waiting for you to feel low and then strike again. Stress is my breaking point. Food is my god. I have always had issues with food in the way that I use it as a punishment, a reward, a way to make myself feel better, or in this case worse.

Dieting is always a minefield for me. I am good at dieting, maybe too good. I deprive myself of everything that makes me happy. I start to lose weight and then the hatred of my body kicks in. As I lose weight I actually feel worse about myself. When I am at my biggest and not concerned about my weight I can gloss over everything, I revel in my curves. But as I lose weight I hate my belly, my hips. I look at myself with such loathing and hatred, I instantly return to that teenager who felt that she was a whale compared to her friends. I want to punish myself, and the only way I know how is with food. Then I feel guilty and have to throw up, and so the cycle begins again.

There is no pay off with bulimia, I end up with grey skin, spots, a constant sore throat and runny eyes and I sniff like I have a crack habit. I hate myself for falling back into the hands of what is possibly my oldest friend and worst enemy.

Why do I do it? I really don’t know. I wish I did.
I have slipped up. Due to six months of total stress I have fallen back in deep and while I think it is something I will always suffer with, I can try to make this a short slip up. I have to learn how to accept myself for what I am. There is no magic wand. No happy ending.  All I can do is keep fighting it and never ever give up. I think I need to accept that I am not “playing” at having bulimia, I do actually have an eating disorder.

Which is weird to accept.

My name is ****** and I have an eating disorder.

And writing this down is the start of getting better.

I'm publishing this as a way of showing my support for Anon, and want to say thank you for being so brave and letting me publish this. 

I happen to know they're not alone in suffering, so if you have anything to say to Anon to show your support too, please do it in the comments, or send me an email at and I'll make sure your messages get passed along.

Thank you.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

News: She Said Beauty

I said last week that I'd had lots of good blogging news lately, and I'm doling it out to you in dribs and drabs at the moment, sorry about that - but it's all worth waiting for, I promise! Can't wait to tell you what's happening next week ...  but this week's news is that I'm delighted to announce that I've just joined the blogging team at She Said Beauty!

Don't worry, I'm not banging on about their beauty boxes, but this week I'm giving you some snippets on how to survive buying makeup.

Please click the link and show my little post some love  ...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 26 January 2012

New CID: i-glow and i-bronze

I don't see an awful lot of New CID on the beauty blogs I read, which I think is a shame, because in my opinion, they make some of the best powder products available.  Over the last year, I've acquired almost a full set of their face colours (three i-glows and one i-bronze), and I thought it was about time I showed them to you, too.

From left to right we have Sirocco, Ice Pop and Coral Crush (all i-glows) and that is Rio on the far right, which is an i-bronze.

All are baked formulas, and they're rather wonderful. Also, they last and last and last.  Coral Crush up there is the oldest (and most used) one in my collection, having been used at least three times a week for the last 12 months.  Next to it is Ice Pop, which I picked up last week.  Can you even tell that Coral Crush has been used 150 times more than Ice Pop? I don't think you can.

The shades tend towards the slightly complex, here's a closer look at all of them:


Ice Pop

Coral Crush


The powders are smooth and pigmented, Coral Crush and Sirocco are both shimmers, and Rio and Ice Pop are more on the matte side, though they both have seams of shimmer running through them.


With flash:

All of these have been swatched very heavily to get them to show up in the photo.  Normally I just swirl a big fluffy brush over the top of the pan, and swipe over my cheeks, if I'm using Coral Crush, there is normally no need for a highlighter too.

I'm not, I have to say, a fan of the packaging, it's extremely bulky, but at least these products don't come with the built in lights that are more or less standard on the rest of New CID's range.  A lot of the packaging on New CIDs products is deeply, deeply gimmicky, and it makes me a little nutso sometimes, but these are fabulous.

New CID powders are available from QVC and selected Debenhams, they cost £19.50 each.

 The Fine Print: PR samples, collected over a very  long period of time.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Nars - The Multiple G-Spot

Okay, so last week I talked about how I love my muff, and this week I'm about to tell you all about my G-Spot. I'm just too good to you people, I really am.  Fear not though,  I shan't be telling you about my bowels any time soon, I promise.

However, I'm slowly - very slowly - becoming addicted to a bit of NARS. I first saw G-Spot way back last August and it had been haunting my thoughts ever since.  Now, it has to be said that I'm not - really - a huge fan of the Multiples, they're not nearly as multi-purpose as people tell you they are, and I find they tend to fade very quickly, but G-Spot is such a beautiful shade that I had to have it anyway.

It's a lovely burnished rose with hints of a golden shimmer, which is a perfect colour to give yourself a rosy glow during the winter:

On the skin it provides a sheer "lit from within" glow, that's just divine:

This has been applied quite thickly to show up in photos, but it's very easily sheered out, it works well over unpowdered skin though, it'll ball up a bit if your base is too dry, and won't blend much.  It's easy to apply, I basically just put a little stripe on my cheekbones, then blend with my fingers.

So, all in all this goes to show I'll forgive a formula I'm not that fond of if the colour is right.  But I will say this, I HATE THE NAME.  Ooh, so daring Mr Nars!  Can we just leave off the "shocking" names now, please? They're just annoying, and they're not even that shocking any more.  Or, at least think of products to go with, say, Prostate...

The Fine Print: Purchase.  Which I made by the expedient of pointing and nodding.  There are some places where I don't think asking for a "G-Spot Multiple" will go down too well, and John Lewis is only one of them...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Hourglass Cosmetics - Suede and Fresco

I was in Liberty the other day and I got mugged. Mugged at the Hourglass counter. Okay, they didn't really mug me, but I did come away from them £50 lighter in the purse, and slightly dazed-looking.  I've been reading about Hourglass a lot over the last while, and I thought it was time I tried them out for myself.   I picked up their eyeshadow duo in Suede, and their lipstick in Fresco.

I adore their metallic brown packaging:

It's heavy and luxurious, and really innovative, as we'll see.  First off, let's take a look at the eyeshadows:

Yes, they're neutrals. It surprised me too - I'm such a fan of sludge that it's really difficult to move out of that comfort zone sometimes.  So, Suede comprises a cream, and a light cafe au lait shade, perfect for a no-makeup look.  I figured I could use the cream all over the mobile lid and the cafe au lait in the crease for contouring.  I was surprised on swatching at just how pigmented the shades actually were (which is what led to me the purchase, if I'm being honest):

As you can see, the shades go well with my neutral skintone, and they contain a slight - sophisticated - shimmer.  From left to right you can see cream, cafe au lait and then I mixed the cream and the cafe together to see how they would look.  I can see I'm going to get an eyemakeup look that will go well with bolder lipsticks with this duo.  The shadows are creamy and easy to blend.

But another look at the packaging.  At the top of the post you can see the closed compact, but what makes this one different is the pivot in the middle, meaning you can turn the top around:

Or you can close it with the mirror outward to form a handy mirror for your makeup bag:

Now onto the lipstick.  Fresco is a neutral rosy mauve, and it was the first lipstick on the display to really catch my eye:

There's possibly a hint of brown in there too, but it's not too overwhelming.  I love the square tip, which is unusual, but I find it actually aids in application, you can get a really defined lipline without having to use a lipliner.

On me, this is a "My Lips But Better" shade, and one that will work well with smokier eyemakeup looks.

Here's how it looks with Suede:

 And here is how it looks on my lips (with flash, and without):

Texture-wise, this is comparable to my beloved Chantecaille Lip Chics, only with a deeper level of opacity.  The Lip Chics are sheer, but I'd say the levels of pigmentation and comfort in wear are on a par. And hey!  The Hourglass is £6 cheaper than the Chantecaille.  Plus, did I mention the lipstick is refillable?  Very handy.  
Hourglass cosmetics are available at Liberty or online from Zuneta, the lipsticks are £22, and the eyeshadow duos are £28.  

The Fine Print:  Purchases. Spur of the moment purchases.  I wasn't actually mugged.  Unless MrLippie is reading, in which case they were a present from the makeup fairies.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 23 January 2012

Giorgio Armani Spring Summer 2012 - The "Luce" Collection

The good folks over at Giorgio Armani sent me a surprise package last week, and it's a tiny bit special.    Especially if your name is Luce*!  I giggled a huge amount when I read the press release, it's not often a blogger sees themselves referred to as "Luce, the Armani light" ... Flattered though I am, I'm also slightly miffed there's no taupe ...

Anyhoo, the "Luce" collection this spring has seen Armani inspired by light, in particular the golden sunlight of spring, and they've created a new pigment: "Luce d'Oro" (literal trans: "light of gold") to sprinkle into their cosmetics this season.  The result is a collection of sparkling metallics, with just a hint of the traditional pastels we tend to see at this time of year.

Shall we take a look?

Here we have palette No.2, and the eyeliners in 04 (Or Antique) and 05 (Copper).  Here is a closer look, both with flash, and without:

The shades in the palette are very pretty, from top to bottom you have "Grey" (more of a greige, really, but an interesting shade, nonetheless), "Metal Fibre" (silver, with a hint of pale blue), "Copper Pigment" and "Crystal Brown", the names of which appear to have been applied to the wrong shades, if you ask me.

The shades vary a little in pigmentation, the "Grey" being the sheerest shade, and the "Copper Pigment" being the most intense, but on application, these are creamy and fairly intense in shades, but "Grey" was the most difficult to apply:

The eyeliners are almost exact dupes for two of the shades, I think!  Or Antique is very similar to "Grey", and Copper and Copper Pigment are almost indistinguishable from each other.

The eyeliners are the same creamy, smudgeable-then-unbudgeable gel formulation as the other eyeliners in the Armani range - one thing that makes me crazy about Armani eyeliners is that they are always limited editions, even the core shades like black! So very annoying - I have to say that Armani liners are by far one of my favourite pencil liner formulas, they don't budge!  These shades are great for lining around the tear duct though, and can be used to lighten up a dark eyeshadow look too.

The full range comprises two eyeshadow palettes, a blush, 2 eyeliners and four lipglosses.  I'll be off to Selfridges soon to check those out  ... Well, it'd be rude not to, eh?

* Yes, I know my "real name" is Louise, but no one calls me that.  Except my mum.  And my boss.  Oh, and my bank manager.  And MrLippie when I've annoyed him.  So yes, NO ONE calls me that. 

The Fine Print: Unexpected and unintentionally hilarious PR samples.  Mr Armani, you sure know how to spoil a girl ...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.
© Get Lippie | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig