Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Guest Post - Jayne's Kitschen

Jayne Kitschen Gets Lippie

The lovely Louise has asked me to write a little guest blog for her fabulous blog, I hope that you will enjoy it. To stay on theme, I’ve chosen to write for you a lip balm collection and mini review.
Lip balms are one of those things that every girl seems to gather a large collection of in a very short space of time. This week I did a good clear out of my lip balm collection, so I’m going to share with you the lip balms that made the cut and tell you more about some of my favourites.

This is my collection at present:
MUA Sugar Lips Love Hearts Balm
Crazy Rumors Brew lip balm in Peppermint Lemongrass, Apple Spice and Orange Bergamot
Culpepper Strawberry lip balm
Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium
Lip Smackers in Stellar Strawberry
Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Acai Berry lip balm
Carmex lip balm
EOS Sweet Mint lip balm sphere
Rose & Co Cherry Kiss Salve
Rose & Co Rose Petal Salve
Nivea Pearl & Shine
Bath House Creme Brulee lip balm

My current favourites are from cutECOsmetics and include the Sweet Mint EOS lip balm sphere and the Brew flavours from Crazy Rumors. All of these brands are cruelty free, vegan and made of mostly natural ingredients. Crazy Rumors is 100% natural and EOS is 95% natural.
The EOS is actually the nicest lip balm ever and has surprisingly over taken Burt’s Bees as my everyday essential. I love the quirky packaging of the EOS spheres and the balm is fantastic, non greasy but moisturising.

The Crazy Rumors balms are a much thicker consistency, but they add a nice gloss and have some of the yummiest, more unusual flavours I’ve seen in lip balms.  The Chai Tea Crazy Rumors is delicious; sadly it is no longer in my collection as I have donated it to my very pregnant friend who is missing her tea addiction.

My long term favourite lip balm has always been anything from Burt’s Bees, 100% natural and widely available; it’s always a guaranteed hit. My favourite version is the rejuvenating Acai Berry lip balm stick, it smells like berries and is moisturising without feeling heavy or greasy. All of Burt’s Bees are also cruelty free.

The lip balms that I love the most for nostalgia and the prettiness are my Rose & Co lip salves, I used to work at Rose & Co’s boutique in Leeds and have always loved the range. The Rose & Co Rose Petal Salve is a beauty essential, in its pretty pink, vintage inspired tin this is a versatile balm for lips, dry skin and great for fixing eyebrows, most of all it is rose scented! I also have the Cherry Kiss Rose & Co lip balm, which I adore for the cherry printed, blue tin; this balm is very slightly tinted and lightly fragranced.
Which lip balms are essentials for you? Have you tried any of these?
If you have enjoyed this guest blog, I would love for you to check out my blog,

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Friday 24 February 2012

Back to Basics - Clarins Ever Matte Foundation

Another new foundation this month is Clarins Ever Matte, which I've had for a couple of weeks and have been mulling over on your behalf for a while.


A squared-off squeezy tube, perfect for carting around with you.  I like the classy gold top, too.


 A medium-thick liquid, quite low in silicones, this feels velvety on the fingers, and I find it easy to blend and spread over the face.  It feels fairly "traditional" compared to some of the others I've tried this week, and it has a very faint "herbal" scent that dissipates quite quickly after blending.  It takes a little while to "settle" on the skin, but this gives you time to buff the foundation into the skin, should you want to.

Shade Selection

There are e;even shades in the range, and this one is 109 - Wheat.  Whilst it's probably a good range of shades for us of a paler persuasion, like many French makeup brands this is lacking a little at the darker end of the spectrum.   I always find it a shame that so many brands don't cater for as many skin tones as possible.  Wheat is a fairly good match for my neutral/cool-leaning skin.


I'd say this was about a medium coverage foundation.  Maurice!

Yes, not entirely covered up, but the coverage is good, and has definitely lessened the ability to see Maurice.


I wouldn't say this was entirely matte on the skin, it has more of a velvety finish.  My skin is combination oily, and this is an oil-free formula, which I find controls oil production quite well without drying my skin out entirely, which is nice I wouldn't say it was necessary to finish it with powder, but your mileage may vary.  If your skin is prone to dry patches, this will cling to them, so be warned.


This wears reasonably well,  I'd quibble a bit over the box's claim to keep skin "shine-free from morning to evening" as shine will break through at around the six hour mark, and you will experience fading from around the 7-8 hour point, but I'd say that this is about what I would expect from a foundation of this type, so I'm not too disappointed.


£24 for 30ml.

Overall Thoughts

This is a nice, pleasant medium-coverage foundation, which is not particularly earth shattering, but those with slightly oily skin may fall in love with it.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.
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Thursday 23 February 2012

Back to Basics - Keromask Camouflage Cream

Long overdue this one.  Keromask is a foundation specifically made to cover up imperfections, birthmarks scars and tattoos and the like.  I've had my bottle since last July, and it's been a godsend to me and my red, red face.  This foundation is recommended by the British Medical Association for use in particular skin conditions.  But, it's also suitable for use for people who just want a heavier coverage foundation.

Lets take a closer look:

An airtight plastic bottle with a pump, that's integral to the bottle - you twist the entire cap, and the pump pops up, very handy, and you can operate it one handed if you're dextrous enough! Handy also, because you can see exactly how much you have left in the bottle.


This is a rather thick formulation, which feels like it contains a lot of oil.  A little bit of this certainly goes a very, very, very long way.  I find that the amount above, barely bigger than a pinhead in reality, will cover my entire face and neck.  It spreads very easily, and is easy to blend.  In spite of it being a heavy duty foundation, it isn't any harder to remove than a "normal" foundation.
Shade Selection

This shade is Light No.11.  There are 24 shades in the range, (in groups, Light, Medium and Dark)  and that includes three shades (white, yellow and dusk) which are purely for mixing with the other colours to make your own custom-blended foundation.  In order to find your perfect shade, there are sample packs available from the website, containing 12 tiny pots of foundation (each of which will last you several days minimum) + the three mixer shades at a cost of £4.99.  A bargain in anyone's book.  And this is an excellent range of shades, even if they didn't have the mixer colours.


Coverage is full/heavy.  But the feel of the foundation is not, before I go into more detail, lets see how Maurice is getting along:

 As you can see, Maurice has almost entirely disappeared, but you can still see the skin beneath. You can wear this sheered out, too.  I find buffing it into the skin with a stippling brush works well if you find the coverage too heavy on first application.  I tend to apply this with my fingers most days though, and you can build the coverage when you need to.


This tends to a  dewy finish, which is quite natural-looking, Unlike other heavy-duty foundations, I don't find it leaves you with that "mask" like effect.  Also, unlike, say, Estee Lauder Double Wear, it won't leave you looking like an off-duty drag queen if you accidentally over-apply slightly.

I find it that it does work better if you set it with powder - and the Keromask powder is very good for finishing this one off, but more about that in a separate post - as this increases the wear time.


This stuff won't move until you remove it, it's a marvel.  If you have very oily skin, you might find you get a little fading around any particularly oily areas, such as the nose and chin, but this will take you from dawn to dusk with very few touch-up worries.

An absolutely bargain-basement £14.99.  I've worn this a minimum of twice a week every single week since last July, and I estimate I've used about a third of the bottle in that time.  I think getting to the end of this will take me at least another twelve months.


Sadly, I've lost the box for this one, so don't have a full list of the ingredients handy.  I'll check with the PR firm and see if I can get one though.
Overall Thoughts

Excellent coverage, and wonderful lasting power, this is a powerhouse foundation and a half.  It won't suit you if you have perfect skin, but for those of us with things to hide, this is amazing. 

The Fine Print: PR sample, and a VERY overdue review.  I'd be redfaced with embarassment, but ...
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Wednesday 22 February 2012

Back to Basics - Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup

Continuing with the Foundation Week theme, it's time to discuss what is the newest addition to my little* foundation family, Estee Lauder's Invisible Fluid makeup.  We're not allowed to call it "foundation", apparently, as it's specially formulated to be foundation for people who don't like foundation.

Personally, I don't understand this "not liking foundation" business, but that's probably because my ugly blotchy red mug regularly makes small children cry, nonetheless, I thought I'd give this a go anyway.


Cute plastic bottle, with shiny, shiny blurple lid.  A little on the large size for carrying around with you, but it won't shatter if you drop it.


An exceptionally thin, runny liquid.  This is light, light, light!  The formula is both oil and emulsifier-free, meaning you need to shake the heck out of it when you first buy it (at least three minutes worth) in order to mix the pigment with the binding ingredients.  After the first use, you won't need to shake near as much to get the ingredients to blend, but this will need shaking every time you use it.  Again, this product contains a blend of silicones to get the pigment to meld with your skin.  This is virtually undetectable on the skin, either visually or physically.  It spreads easily, either with fingers or a brush.  I prefer fingers.

Shade Selection

 This is shade 2CN2.  There are sixteen shades in the range, arrayed into six colour groupings (1 = palest, 6 = darkest), and C = Cool, N= Neutral and W = Warm.  This should, in a perfect world, all make sense,  so my shade is second palest group, with both cool and neutral undertones, but not the palest shade in the group - that would be 2CN1.  I think.  It's great to see a brand like Lauder catering to a large range of skintones at last.  As a Lauder foundation-wearer of many years standing, I've often found it difficult to match my skin tone owing to the limited shades on offer, and it's great to see them expanding the range in both directions.


Coverage is, as you might expect, on the light side.  Here's Maurice the Control Mole for our visual demonstration:

Coverage is light to medium, as you can see from the above, it won't hide blemishes completely, it will even out your skintone, and at least disguise the worst of your blotchiness.  The coverage is very buildable, and if you have stubborn redness, you can just add another layer or two over the worst affected areas, without it looking cakey.  As it's oil-free, it's great for oilier skins, if you're prone to dry patches, this will cling to them slightly, but keeping on top of your exfoliating will help.


Finish is matte, but not flat.  You can powder over this, but it will kind of defeat the whole "invisible" nature of the makeup.  I find using an illuminating primer underneath will give your skin a glow, but again, it's not necessary.


I've been very impressed with the wear of this.  I expected such a light formulation to wear off very very quickly, but this has stood up to even the hardest of wear over the last week or two, and I've not really noticed any problems with fading or needing reapplications during the day. I'd say I get about 8-10 hours before needing to touch up.

Currently exclusively available from John Lewis, this costs £27 for 30ml.

Overall Thoughts

Wonderfully light on the skin, with buildable coverage which is virtually undetectable on the skin during  wear, in a great range of colours, this is a total win as far as I'm concerned.  I'm surprised at how much I like it, considering my redness problems, but since this turned up, I've found myself reaching for it over and over.  

 * Ha ha!

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

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Tuesday 21 February 2012

Back to Basics - Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation

It's been quite a while since I last did a week of foundations, and this one has been a while in the planning, so I thought I'd better get on with it!  This week I'll be reviewing five foundations, weightless ones, full coverage ones, invisible ones, and others ...

I'm starting off with Avon's latest foundation launch, Ideal Flawless, which is described as an "invisible coverage foundation".


This is a heavyweight glass bottle, with a pump mechanism, not ideal for travel, but it's a handsome enough bottle for the dressing table.


This is a rather thick liquid formulation, which just a hint of shimmer visible in the bottle (not visible on the skin, thank goodness), which spreads extremely easily over the skin, and feels feather light during wear. It's rather silicone-heavy, so unsuitable for skins who don't tolerate those easily, but it makes your skin feel gorgeously smooth and velvety whilst you're wearing it. Touchably soft, even!

Shade Selection

This is shade: "Creamy Natural".  Please bear in mind that the skin of my hands is considerably paler than that of my face for some reason, so these swatches will look a bit odd.  There's an amazing range of shades in this range, Avon offer 16 shades, from the very palest "Ivory" or "Light Pink" through to "Nutmeg" and  "Earth".  I've tried all 16, and, instead of being the second palest colour in the range - something I normally am, owing to being pale, but not that pale - I'm right in the middle of this shade range. I could probably get away with wearing "Nude" or "Medium Beige" as well, depending on the time of year, and the light I was going to be seen in, to be honest.  It's nice to see a range of shades that caters for both cool and warm tones, too.


Let me intoduce you to Maurice, the Control Mole, you're going to be seeing him a lot this week, so if skin blemishes offend you, I suggest you look away now:

 And here's how Maurice looks after a coat of Ideal Flawless:

Yup, that's some pretty good coverage right there, that is.  I'm impressed.  Maurice, not so much so.


Avon Ideal Flawless blends easily onto the skin, leaving it velvety and smooth, and is, as promised, more or less "invisible" on the skin.  It has a satin-matte finish, which isn't at all flat owing the aforementioned "shimmer" in the bottle, and doesn't leave skin too dewy either.  You can finish with powder should you need too - and if you are oily-skinned, I'd recommend it - but it isn't 100% necessary, I very rarely bother with powder, to be honest.


Avon don't promise any particular long-wearing capabilities for this foundation, which is just as well, as the lasting time is about average, it'll see you through the average working day, but you will notice fade after around six - eight hours or so.  You'll need another application if you want it to take you from day to night though.


This is an absolute bargain, costing £12 at full price, but is currently on offer on the Avon Website for just £10 a bottle for 30ml. Online swatches are beyond dreadful though, so do a bit of searching around to find your shade.


Overall Thoughts.

This is an excellently priced product, with great coverage, average lasting power, and a wonderfully light feel on the skin - highly recommended, even if the online swatches mean that finding your exact shade might be a little problematic.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.  I was not swayed in any way by the mention of Aleesha Dixon in the marketing of this product.  Sorry, Aleesha.

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Monday 20 February 2012

Nail of the Day - A-England Avalon

It's terribly hard work having a nail blogger as one of your best friends, you know.  I'd been seeing swatches all over the place for the recent A-England legend collection and thought they were very pretty, but it wasn't until I saw Helen's A-England post last week that I did what every good beauty blogger eventually does, and ripped my friend's idea off in its entirety.  In fact, I ordered the polishes within an hour of her post going live, and was delighted beyond belief that I had the polishes in my sticky little fingers around 24 hours later.  Astonishing service from A-England! And the postage was free, as well - amazing!

In fact, I bought five polishes (not all of them from the Legend collection):

I have Princess Tears, Avalon, Ascalon, Lady of the Lake, and St George.  They are all very, very beautiful:

I'll bring you swatches of the rest of the shades soon:

But first I wanted to concentrate on Avalon, which is a gorgeous, glowing, deep, deep jewelled purple.  Pictures of it don't really do it justice, it's almost a perfect dupe for the Cadbury purple, as you can see from the next couple of shots:

 Doesn't everyone buy chocolate as props these days?

These pictures make the nail colour look a bit different from the bottle, but the shade in the bottle is much nearer to what is on the nails, my shots pull a little of the warmth from the shade, and simply don't show the smoothly metallic glow that you get from this colour when you're wearing it.  The next shot, which is instagrammed to death (for which I apologise), is, ironically, the most colour accurate picture on this page:

This might just be the most beautiful nail varnish I've ever worn.

A-England polishes cost £9 each and are available from A-England's online store.
The Fine Print: Purchases.  Many, many, many sincere apologies to Helen from Just Nice Things for not having an original thought in my head.

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Sunday 19 February 2012

Lipstick of the Week - 19 February 2012

Back to its normal slot from now on (somehow it just didn't feel "right" on a Monday), and back to random choices too, this week's Lipstick of the Week features some of my all-time favourites, a lipstick that drives me NUTS, something brand new, and what is possibly the lipstick I get most comments on whenever I wear it.

Shall we get on and take a closer look?

Natural Light:


So what made the list this week?  Clockwise from top left, we have:

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose - possibly my favourite lipstick texture ever for the winter months,  this is my perfect neutral lip shade, and one I'll have to get a back up for pretty soon.  Dammit.
Tarina Tarantino in Cameo - I hate this lipstick, but someone in the US (waves at Paula from Older Girl Beauty) went to a lot of trouble to get this for me, and so I doggedly continue wearing it, even though it looks like this after about six uses:

 I mean, I know how to look after lipstick, but this is infuriating! Anyway  onto nicer things:

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Bourbon Rose - A lighter, pinker version of Tea Rose, I use this on the (increasingly rare) days when I'm trying not to look like I'm wearing makeup at all.

Tom Ford in Indian Rose -What was definitely my favourite lip shade of last year still makes it into heavy rotation this year, and I've just acquired a back up.  I've just heard it's the best selling shade in the relaunched line too, so good to know I'm not alone in my love of this one!

Tom Ford in Violet Fatale - a new acquisition.  Not quite a replacement for my beloved (and sadly discontinued) Pure Pink, but ... close.  Kinda. Expect an in-depth review of this one once I've had a chance to wear it in properly.  Not nearly as scary as it looks in the bullet, thank goodness!

Hurraw Balm in Chai Spice - If you're a long-term reader, you may remember me being devastated by the decision of Badger Balm to discontinue their Chai Rose Balm a couple of years ago.  This is the nearest I've found to a replacement, it's raw, vegan, organic, and as the label has it, "good".  It's a good conditioning balm, and I like wearing it a great deal. Cheap too, at less than £4 a stick.  Mine came from Content in Marylebone, one of my favourite shops in London.

And finally, Smashbox Limitless Lipstain in Sangria - literally every time I wear this, people tell me how much they love it.  Which is an odd thing, because I wear red lipstick a lot, but there's something about this shade, and the velvety finish on the lips that draws peoples' eyes to it.  I love wearing it, and it's backup-worthy in my eyes. I'll be honest though, I mainly used to love it because it's called Sangria ...

You want swatches?  I got you swatches:

Natural Light:


And yes, I have swatched the balm at the end there too.

What've you been wearing? 

 Anything caught your eye?

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Friday 17 February 2012

Tom Ford Quad Comparison - Titanium Smoke and Silvered Topaz

Someone pointed out to me recently that the two Tom Ford Eyeshadow quads that I own look a little similar.  Well ... it can't be denied.  In fact, for a while, I was convinced that the top row of both palettes was identical, myself!  So, any excuse to get them out again, I thought I'd do some side-by-side swatches of each:

But first, a look (or two) at the palettes together:

 Look dang similar, those two top rows, eh?  Let's take a closer look:

So, just how similar are they?  Here's the swatches:

The glitter shades are indeed slightly different, the Titanium Smoke has a more "steely" grey appearance, and the Silvered Topaz is a very pale gold.  In reality though, they apply so sheerly that there's no way you'd be able to differentiate between the two of them on the eyes.

The grey shades in both are more different - Titanium Smoke is definitely greyer, and, on application, is both more pigmented and less powdery.  Silvered Topaz has a sheerer, slightly browner appearance.  I definitely prefer the Titanium Smoke out of these two.

For the bottom row, I simply had to swatch the matte shades together.  Out of these two, Silvered Topaz is very definitely the more pigmented out of the two - I barely had to touch my skin with the brush!  But, for me, the Titanium Smoke is the most versatile shade, as it makes a wonderful powder liner, and is particularly suitable for tightlining your upper lashes.  The Silvered Topaz is actually so pigmented that it's difficult to blend, and, the slightly red undertone makes it unsuitable for the inner rim of the eyes.

I'll say one thing, the bottom left shade from Silvered Topaz was damn near impossible to swatch, so much so that it really annoyed me.  The Titanium Smoke grey is glorious, but it is just that little bit  ... too sparkly.  That said, that hasn't stopped me wearing it practically every day for the last couple of weeks!

So, which one catches your eye? 

 The Fine Print: Purchases.  I am a mental.

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