Beauty Without Fuss

Thursday 29 March 2012

Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm

 Some products claim to be mult-purpose, and some products truly are, Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm is beyond amazing, moisturising, nourishing, and soothing.  And how cute is that tin?

I've used it on cuticles, feet, lips, on MrLippie's disgustingly dry elbows, on zits, burns and cuts and scrapes (what can I say, we're an accident-prone pair here at Lippie Mansions).

It's a thick, golden balm, the smell of which takes a little getting used to (but it's not a patch on the scent of, say, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, which is vile), but it wears off quickly, and just leaves smooth healed skin behind:

I do occasionally struggle to get the lid off, to be honest (but I struggle to open a lot of things these days, I suspect it's one of the first signs of old age that no one warns you about), but it's usually worth the struggle

The pot costs £28.99 from Nutribeauty, but this pot (more than double the amount of other organic balms, for less money) will last you for months, if not years,  and you'll be finding uses for it that you never expected ...

The Fine Print: PR sample
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Wednesday 28 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday

 Review coming soon ...
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Tuesday 27 March 2012

How I lost touch with MAC ...

I haven't written about MAC since July 2010, when the "controversy" about their Rodarte collection which was eventually pulled from the shelves, was raging.

Since then, whilst I have, in fact, picked up the odd piece from a collection or two, I haven't really got excited about anything, and I just haven't been bothered enough about what I have bought to blog about them.

And why is that?  Well, increasingly, it seems, that by the time the stuff is out on the shelves, MAC have already moved on, and released their next collection. So blogging about the things you buy is almost entirely irrelevant, owing to everything being limited edition, and therefore, your posts are already out of date on the first day of release, as the products will have sold out already ...

Annoying.  Add to this that MAC do fifty five collaborations a year.  That is FIFTY FIVE collaborations a year, more than one per week, and it's almost entirely impossible for people to keep up with what they're doing.  Then add to this that they're constantly  - it seems - withdrawing basic staples, and then randomly releasing them in ever-more limited editions making it impossible to know from one week to the next if that lipstick you bought a few months ago is in stock or not. Or even still exists or not.

It all makes me feel like they're too trendy for me.  I don't really care about fashion, and I care even less about trends (it's all I can do to keep up with the changes in the weather, to be honest), and, if I don't know if a brand will be carrying the products I do want to buy from one week to the next, well, what's the point of me going to the shop in the first place?  Especially if I'm only going to get sneered at by the sales assistants for daring to be in there asking where on earth the "Behold" eyeshadow is.  I'm definitely not trendy enough for a MAC store, these days, being all, like over forty, and dressed like an accountant and that.

Plus, it seems to me that the quality of the products doesn't seem to be increasing with their prices.  When I started buying MAC, the eyeshadow singles cost £8 or so - a high price, but not unreasonable.  Now, they're £12, which is a fifty percent increase in  price over the last ten years.  These are high-end prices, for what I've always really thought of as a mid-range brand, to be honest. And I still think the quality of the products is rather middling (not to mention variable) for the price.

And now ... now they've moved into selling cosmetics in China, which means that they've had to re-introduce animal testing.  MAC are keen to let people know that the products they sell in the US and the UK will not be tested on animals, that only products sold in China will be tested, but this doesn't alter that they're going back on one of their major plus-points.  I've always happily recommended MAC to my vegan friends, knowing they're about the best animal-friendly brands out there, but now, no more alas.

Does any of this mean I don't like MAC anymore?  Actually, no.  I first really got interested in makeup through MAC, some of the tips and tricks I've learned came from MAC artists - who are, it must be said some of the best-trained in the business, when they're not ignoring accountants in Selfridges, that is - and I still think that some of their basics are some of the best in the business.  If I open my train case on any given day, there are more eyeshadows from MAC in there than there are from any other brand, but I just don't care about them any more.

How about you?

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Monday 26 March 2012

Guerlain Noir G Rechargeable Mascara

I really shouldn't be allowed to walk past the Guerlain counter when there's a bit of cash in my pocket, as I really can't resist most of the things on counter.  I'd heard a few rumblings about the Noir G mascara on Twitter, so the first time I got to a counter, this somehow miraculously jumped into my handbag (I paid for it first, don't worry).

The packaging is based on the iconic Rouge G packaging (something I happen to adore), but is a little bigger than the lipstick, as you can see here:

To open, pull the end out, and the mirrors will open:

Then twist whilst you're pulling, and the brush will appear:

The brush is a rather traditional fibre affair, it's not too wide (my own particular bugbear), and it separates the lashes nicely.

The formula is very nice - lightly scented, be aware - and never dries out on your lashes, so it doesn't flake at all, and I find it doesn't run.  I really like it.

The mascara costs £35 for an initial purchase, but this includes the outer case with mirrors. A high price, undoubtedly, but, further refills, which include a fresh brush, will cost £20 each, which I feel is more than reasonable for a high-end mascara. 

The mascara will feature in a Face of the Day picture later on this week ...

The Fine Print: I got mugged at Guerlain.
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Thursday 22 March 2012

Back to Basics - By Terry Sheer Expert

A holdover from my recent foundation "week" - and featuring the return of "Maurice", by popular request (you nutters) - This is Sheer Expert foundation by ... er ... by Terry.  I've had this a little while now, and it's time I got my thoughts out on the interwebs.


I love the signature by Terry metallic purple packaging, and this tube doesn't disappoint, squeezy and easy to read, it's a winner.


A rather runny liquid, with a rather whipped mousse-y kind of feeling on application, it's easy to spread, and blends with your natural skintone very well.  It has an exceptionally strong rose-scent though, which some people won't be able to tolerate, but this wears off after a little while on the skin.

Shade Selection

This is available in ten shades - more than the average "high end" foundation (usually there are six, or, if you're lucky, eight), but it's still weighted towards white women, the darkest shade, "warm copper" doesn't look all that dark on the Space NK website.  The shade in the swatches by the way is 03 Neutral Beige.


Coverage, despite the word "sheer" in the name, is about medium, and is quite buildable, without becoming cakey.


It's quite a light, dewy finish, which I really like.  I personally, don't powder over, but oilier skins might benefit from a dusting of your favourite powder to set it.  You can barely feel it on your skin, and it's a pleasure to wear once the smell has worn off.


Wear is surprisingly good for such a light finish, I found it didn't need a reapplication for around eight hours or so.


Okay, sit down.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I'll tell you.  This little beauty is £44 a tube.  Yes, you read that right.  Forty four of your earth pounds.  Admittedly, nothing in the by Terry range is cheap, but ... yeah, this is a little too rich for my blood.

Overall Thoughts

It's a nice product, if you like the smell of roses (personally, I do), but at this price, it's not outstanding.

The Fine Print: This turned up in a goodie bag, once upon a while ago.
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Tuesday 20 March 2012

Tom Ford - Lavender Palm Review

Previously exclusively available only at Tom Ford's Rodeo Drive boutique, Lavender Palm is the latest release from the Private Blend series of fragrances.  It's meant to evoke California, apparently, and is built around scents of lavender, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, palm leaves and various woods in the base.
Rodeo Drive bottle - a cool $950 a pop!

On first sniff you get a "whoosh!" of fresh, bright, green and clean citrus from the bergamot, followed up very quickly with a hit of lavender which is a bit like getting smacked in the face by a granny who's terrified you're about to steal her Murray Mints.  Once this has dried down a bit - and by that I mean about three hours later, this stuff is tenacious - you get a wondrous skin-scent all powdery wooden scents, with just a hint of coppery minerality from the frankincense. I like all the stages of the scent, but the dry-down in particular is divine, leading to lots of nuzzling of the places it has been spritzed on many hours before.

The new bottle - rather cheaper.

It's not entirely a unisex scent, packing rather a heady "fougere"-like effect into it's wear-time, meaning if you apply it with too heavy a hand you'll smell rather like your dad, but it's warm, and rather comforting to wear, all the same.  That said, I can't get MrLippie to wear it, owing to his fear of lavender (I've not bothered pointing out to him that it's in most masculine fragrances, although, admittedly it's not usually quite as "front and centre as it is here), but I like wearing it now and again when I want to smell like a burly granny with a mean right hook.  So, for board meetings, usually.

A word about the name though: whenever I've mentioned wearing this on Twitter, I've always got a few comments of the "hurr, hurr, hurr" variety, leading me to wonder if Lavender Palm is some kind of previously unknown to me medical complaint - which apparently may lead to blindness.  Bear in mind though, that the variety of my twitter followers are sick puppies, and that is why I love them ...

I wouldn't say Lavender Palm is breaking any new ground, but it's pleasant to wear, and would make a great masculine scent, providing your man is man enough.

 The Fine Print: PR Sample - I think I'll be back off the mailing list after this though.  Hi Tom!
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Monday 19 March 2012

Fashionista Double Take Long Wear Lipstick

I'm always interested in lipsticks, and when Fashionista asked me to take a look at their new range of longlasting lipsticks, I was intrigued.  I don't - these days - venture too often into Superdrug for my lipstick needs, and I thought it would be good to see what's on the market these days.  Fashionista sent me five shades:

And, I have to say I was very impressed with the packaging, the boxes look nicely done:

I like the flashes of red on the packaging, it marks them out a little bit without being too obnoxious.

Let's just ignore the upside down one, shall we?
And I really like the metallic red cases the lipsticks are housed in, they're flashy, but very pretty.  They don't feel like the most robust packaging in the world, but at £7 each, these aren't half bad.

The colours appear pretty true to their labelling:

Cinnamon is a neutral brown, Babydoll Pink is a very pastel pink, with a lot of white in the base, Buff is a very pale caramel shade, Red Carpet is a nice scarlet shade, and Coral has more than a little hint of tangerine in there.

First off, if you know me and my choice in lipsticks at all, you'll know straight away that Babydoll Pink and Buff are colours I'd never wear in a million years, as they're just too white in the base, and that just makes me look dead.  Other people love these shades, but, Cinnamon, Red Carpet and Coral are far more wearable for me.

On swatching, the pigments are deep and intense, the feel is creamy, and there is no dragging. The swatch pics show just two passes over skin:

They're not totally matte, having a slight satin-y finish, which I'm sure wouldn't dry your lips out too much.

As for the wear claims - do they last longer than normal lipsticks?  Well, I can't answer that question, because I couldn't, in all honesty, bring myself to wear the lipsticks.  Why?  Well, because of the smell.  

I think there's a very artificial vanilla flavouring in the mix, which, alongside the very "waxy" scent of the lipsticks generally (the smell reminds me a great deal of MAC lipsticks, which I can't wear too well either) conspired to give me a massive headache whilst I was swatching them.  This won't bother a lot of people, indeed, scented lipsticks don't normally bother me that much, but it's just this particular scent I didn't get along with.

So, my most recent experiment into "drugstore" lipsticks has ended in failure.  Have you tried these?  How did you get along?

 The Fine Print: PR Samples.
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Thursday 15 March 2012

Filthy Gorgeous London

Hot on the heels of her last guest post for Get Lippie, here's the wonderful Senorita Carmen telling us about her relationship with the polishes of Filthy Gorgeous London ...

Back in the Autumn, I volunteered to babysit the Lippies. Because I lived a bus ride away and I had the spare time was the rational reason, but the real reason was to finally meet my favourite Lipstick Guru and  also to see her make up collection. I wasn't disappointed. I'd entered into my nirvana albeit in someone else's house. Natch.

I had oodles of fun playing with colours, and much to Mr Lippie's amusement, a plethora of "Ooohs" and "Aahs" occurred, to the point he may well have wondered if I could actually speak any other words. He found out the answer when he attempted to make me a lucious cup of Twinings Orange Blossom tea. Needless to say he needs lessons in making a cuppa from Le Hirons as I was served hot water with milk... (Editors note: MrLippie does, indeed, need tea-making lessons.)

Anyhoo, whilst going through her stash of nail polishes (and its a sizeable stash) I fell in love with a bottle by Filthy Gorgeous London called 'Valentine'. It's a classic red without the blue tones. My heart fluttered whilst I swatched it and I just knew it had to be mine. So, as politely as I could, I enquired as to where this could be purchased. This was my Million Pound Drop question. When Louise replied "Debenhams" my heart started beating again out of sheer relief. No limited edition, discontinued, nor hard to find nonsense! I may have even done a dance of joy. Ahem.

But the icing on the doughnut was that Louise then offered it to me. To me! Little 'ol me! I grabbed it with both hands before she had finished her sentence. "My precious" I crooned. By now, Mr Lippie was wondering at how much of a nut nut I really was. Ooops.

So here is my first love aptly named 'Valentine'. I love the bottle too with its vintage effect brush handle and the kitchy plectrum that adorns all bottles.  This to me is date night nail polish.

The next addition was Judy Baby' which is classed as a rich reddish purple but I call it a dark fuchsia. It's lush and I always feel old school glamorous when I wear it. This requires 2 coats.

I then went out of my comfort zone and bought 'Fifi' which is a bright teal. And whoa it is bright but perfect for sunshine in Spring and also I imagine with a tan. This bottle requires rolling (not shaking) as the pigments separate in the bottle. This required only 1 coat. When wet, the polish looks very turquoise but as it dries and sets the teal greenness comes through.

My latest acquisition is 'Satchel' and its described as a dusky greige. To me its the perfect nude shade as it has a hint of pink warmth. It's in fact my only nude shade as no other brands look good as nude on my nails. However, the application is somewhat patchy and I have to apply 3 coats.

My 4 shades all come from the Filthy Gorgeous London Core Shades Collection and I'm eyeing up a few more. They offer over 30 different shades and are 3 free ie free from Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP. There is a Magnetic Collection including a prism holographic topcoat if that rocks your boat. Their Spring 2012 Collection is pastel heavy although they've tried to make it edgy by calling it 'Dirty Pastels'. And if you love your glitters they have a Smoke and Sparkle Collection. Not bad for a brand that only launched in October 2010. However, I'm sticking to the core collection as I just love their creme pigmented high gloss finish.

The polishes retail at £9 and can be purchased from Debenhams or direct from FGL and you can follow them on twitter @fglbeauty

NB All my polishes used OPI base coat and Nubar Diamont topcoat. Chippage/tipwear starts after 3 days
Thank you Get Lippie for the start of a wonderful new relationship with FGL!

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Wednesday 14 March 2012

Current Skincare Routine

Well, it's two routines really, one for morning and one for evening!  Winter, even a mild winter such as the one we've just had can be hard on my temperamental combination oil-dehydrated skin, so the main thing I add to my routines (AM and PM) is to add an oil.

So, in the evenings, I'll do a deep cleanse with Nude Cleansing Oil, lots of massage, and removal with a muslin cloth and hot water, then I'll tone with Darphin Intral Toner, two - maybe three, depending - drops of Neals Yard Frankincense Facial Oil, then I'll follow this with Neals Yard Frankincense Hydrating Cream.  I'll be honest, I mainly use the Frankincense products for the wonderful heady and intense fragrance, but I've found that they do wonderful things for your skin too.  These are all old favourites and they're the products I come back to every winter without fail.

In the morning my routine is the same, but, different:

Because I do a thorough cleanse in the evenings with my nude oil, I just need a tiny wipe over with a touch of Bioderma Crealine in the morning, followed, again, by Darphin Intral Toner (both of which I'm going to have to replace soon, VERY soon), then an oil, and in the mornings I'm using Clarins Santal Facial Oil, which is one of the most beautifully scented facial products on the planet.  Redolent of sandalwood and cardamom, it's a perfect pick me up in the morning, and does a great job of both rehydrating and protecting your skin during the day. Then I'll use a good old dollop of Kate Somerville Goat Milk cream, which I've been using all winter and still love.

My skin survived the winter surprisingly well - in spite of the lack of actives in my skin care - how did you do? 

The Fine Print - mixture of purchases and PR samples,  many of these, however are repurchases.
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Tuesday 13 March 2012

Lippie Loves - Frederick Fekkai Glossing Cream

Tiny post for a tiny product.  This, ladies and occasional gentlemen, has been a gamechanger for the Lippie barnet.  It's well known that my hair likes to enjoy itself with the occasional freakout, but this little tube of olive-oil infused goodness is allowing me to finally let my hair dry naturally without me looking like the Wild Woman of Wongo. And without having to resort to straighteners every day.

HIGHLY recommended, but don't use too much, or you'll look like you've been frying chips with your hair. 

 The Fine Print: Gift with purchase.

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Monday 12 March 2012

Engagement Bling(s)

I won't be doing too many wedding-themed posts, don't worry, but I tweeted the above picture of my engagement rings yesterday (what can I say, I'm indecisive!), and a lot of people were asking about them, so I thought I'd post about them here.

I'm not that adventurous with my jewellery, to be honest, I have a few pieces (above) that I wear day-in day-out (laziness mostly) and I wanted an engagement ring that would both complement those everyday bits and pieces, and be just a bit different from a "classic" engagement ring.  The only thought I had in mind was that I wanted them to come from somewhere independent, rather than a chain.

So, on Saturday, we headed out to Portobello Market, and our first stop was Sarah Bunting in Portobello Green, she's a jeweller I already own a few pieces from, and she's an adorable lady, she remade one of the earrings above when I lost one, and I've been wearing them every day ever since.

My eye was immediately drawn to the moonstone ring in the middle of these three - I adore moonstones, and can't have enough of them.  This one is faceted though, and you don't see faceted moonstones very often:

Well, just the moonstone ring on its own looked silly on my stumpy sausages (aka: fingers), so I had to select a few others from the range to go with it, eh?  I picked the sapphire and the amethyst just because they looked pretty and complimented the moonstone so very well. There were all kinds of other colours from peridot, smoky quartz, and yellow and green quartz too, but these were the ones that really caught my eye. 

I went away to a few other places and looked at some different rings as it's never a good idea to buy the first ring in the first shop you go to, but, well, we just ended up going back for these anyway!

Here's a couple of views of how I'm actually wearing them all together:

I love how they all look different depending on how the light hits them, and I love both how bold the look is with just a few really delicate pieces together!

Nail varnish is Quartz by Chanel, by the way. 

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Sunday 11 March 2012

Lipsticks of the Week - 11 March 2012

A big week on Get Lippie -  so I pulled out a mixture of old favourites: Lanolips, Chubby Sticks, Guerlain Rouge G's and the old standby Chantecaille Lip Chics, but I also trialled a trio of the new Vernis a Levres from YSL too.  Want a closer look?  Then keep reading:

From left to right, we have:

Lanolips 101 - An old standby, I always have a tube around for treating dry lips, cuticles and whatever else needs a bit of greasing up during the week.
Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia - My lipstick of the year in 2010, it's a beautiful fleshy pink, that's simply wonderful, I adore it.
YSL Vernis a Levres x3 in 
12 - Corail Fauve -
03 - Brun Cachemire -
05 - Rouge Vintage -   I'll be honest, I'm witholding judgement on these a little bit.  Whilst they're definitely great glosses, I'm simply not gettting the same great results as everyone else seems to be with the stain bit. Full review to come soon, nonetheless.
Chantecaile Lip Chic in Tea Rose - another old standby, and it's a lipstick I think everyone should have in their makeup bag.  There I said it.  Go out and buy it. Sell a kidney if you have to.
Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry - these automatic pencils of slightly coloured balm are wonderful for a polished no makeup look, they're about the only shades I wear at weekends.

Swatches in same order as above, only without the lanolips, you don't need a swatch of a clear balm, do you?  DO you?

Georgia, Corail Fauve, Brun Cachemire, Rouge Vintage, Tea Rose and Chunky Cherry.

So that's it for another week, what've you been wearing?

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