Beauty Without Fuss

Friday 29 June 2012

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres or Glossy Lip Stains


I'm months behind on reviewing these, there was a lot of blog-love for these a few months ago, and, I can't deny it, I'm underwhelmed with them.  A bit.  The shades are lovely, and I adore the applicators, but ... I just can't get them to stain my lips for love nor money.

According to Twitter, it's my fault for making poor colour choices, but ... heck, I don't want to take the blame for a product not working on me, frankly! I have shades 3 (Brun Cachemire), 12 (Corail Fauve) and 5 (Rouge Vintage).

On initial application, the shades are beautiful, even the brown, which I usually find difficult to wear.  This is thanks to it's purple undertones, which you should be able to see here:

So, we have a brown, a coral, and a pinky-red.  I love the shades, and I love how they look on my lips.  Some people have reported that they're very drying, I've never particularly had that problem with them, but this is my problem with them:

Can you see the stains?  No?  Me neither.  They are there though, I promise you.  These are billed as a glossy lip stain, I get the gloss, which I love, and I adore how pigmented they are, but I find they fade unevenly, and ... well ... the stain part is just non-existent!

How did you get on with YSL glossy lipstains?

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Thursday 28 June 2012

Plum by Mary Greenwell

Confession time: Mary Greenwell is one of my all-time idols.  Alongside Kay Montano, a young Get Lippie used to collect pictures of the looks these two women created for the likes of Princess Diana, all the Supermodels, and practically every celebrity you've ever heard of (and a few you haven't) ever since.  Both ladies are still going strong today, and Mary, in particular simply can't put a foot wrong as far as I'm concerned. 

Normally you'd expect a makeup artist's eponymous line to start with a makeup item.  A range of lipsticks, perhaps, or a perfect eye palette, but no, Mary's decided to go with a perfume, and it was, I have to say an inspired decision.

Plum by Mary Greenwell is ostensibly a fruity-floral (normally my most loathed perfume genre), but this is far more of a modern chypre.  To my nose it appears perfectly balanced, to the extent where I can only rarely pick out any of the individual notes, to me the perfume smells, always, perfectly of itself.  It's not too sweet, and I can't, in all honesty pick out any fruit in the perfume at all.  My nose just isn't up to it.The listed notes contain:

Top: peach, blackcurrant, plum, bergamot and lemon.
Middle: gardenia, tuberose, orange flower absolute, rose absolute and jasmine absolute.
Base: woods, sandalwood, oakmoss, patchouli, amber, and white musk.

Reading that list, you expect a screechy fruit-y marmalade-ish affair, which will dry down to a nothing-y skin scent at the end, suitable for teenagers of all ages. But lists of notes can be misleading, because Plum is a very grown-up affair indeed.  Sophisticated, and glamorous, even.  MrLippie likes this one a great deal.   

It's quite a perfume-y scent, in the style of Chanel No5, but without the shouty aldehydes at the beginning. I notice that the cunning Mary has styled the bottle after the classic flacon of Chanel, topping it off with a stylised gold representation of a plum that will do some serious damage to you if you're ever unlucky enough to drop it on your toe (take it from one who knows). 

Mary considers a spritz of fragrance to be the perfect finishing touch to a beauty routine, and, with this unashamedly feminine (not girlish) fragrance, I have to say that this is one of the better spritzes out there.  You can buy Plum from House of Fraser, or you can buy it direct from

The Fine Print: I won my bottle in a Twitter competition.

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Wednesday 27 June 2012

Burberry Lip Mist: Copper No. 202

The last thing I need is a new lipstick range to become obsessed by.  I mean, seriously it's the last thing I need.  I'm already a fan of Burberry cosmetics, even though it's taken me TWO YEARS to pick up a lipstick for some reason.

Packaged in the brand's signature print, it has to be said that these are some of the loveliest packaged lipsticks on the market - what can I say, I'm a sucker for a pewter casing!

I was sent Copper 202, and, I have to admit that my heart sank a bit when I opened it, as I find it incredibly difficult to wear brown-ish shades on my lips.  However ...

This lipstick isn't as opaque as it seems.  Much like my beloved Chantecaille Lip Chics (which are my favourite lipstick texture bar none), these are a sheer, almost-balmy  lipstick, but they are not lacking in pigment.

On my hand this is a rust-brown shade, sheer, but on the lips, it covers up my uneven lip pigmentation very well, and is a far more nude-shade than you'd expect from the bullet.  I really like it, it's nude, but not too beige so it doesn't make me look like a corpse.  It's extremely comfortable in wear, it feels thick and nourishing, and doesn't dry my lips out.  Like other sheer lipsticks, wear time is about average, around three hours or so, but it's not a real chore to keep reapplying with a lipstick like this, to be honest.

I adore the magnetised lid too, which means you can't put the top back on in the wrong position, as you see here. If you do try to put the lid on incorrectly, the top spins around till the magnets line up properly, and there are literally seconds of fun to be had sending the top spinning around and watching it settle.

All in all, this is a a lovely lipstick, and one I've been wearing a lot since it turned up.  Lovely texture, pretty packaging, and a nice colour.  :sigh: I'm going to need at least three.  Pink Heather and Field Rose next, I think.  Dammit.

The Fine Print: PR Sample. I HATE when a sample leads to unexpected purchases.  My bank manager is going to kill me.  Still, there's always the wedding account, hey?
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Tuesday 26 June 2012

Ark Skincare: Ark at Home

It's not every day you have an ARK Angel in your house, but a couple of weeks ago, I was privileged enough to have Shula Starkey, founder of ARK Age Aware Skincare giving myself and a few friends (both blogging-, and work-friends) an outline of how their new enterprise, ARK at Home, works.

A home-selling concept, essentially, you invite an ARK Angel along to your home, get a few of your mates together, have a glass of wine (or two, or fruit juice, if you're that way inclined), one of you gets a facial, you get a great introduction to a skincare brand, and a chance to test out many of the products for yourself, all in the privacy of your own home.

Founded in 1998, in Fulham, ARK is an all-British brand, dedicated to nasty-free skincare, with an innovative approach to skincare, having ranges of skin-care devoted to various age-groups, rather than individual skin concerns.  You select the range most suitable for your age, then customise it to your particular skin via a selection of targeted SkinResponse serums.

There are three ranges, Age Prepare (teens to thirties) Age Maintain (thirties to fifties) and Age Repair, which is for fifties and beyond.  Each range consists of a cleanser, moisturiser, mask and exfoliator, but you can also add in a "pre-cleanse" which is an oil-based product (and the one I happen to love most out of everything), for those times when you need a double-cleanse.  There are also bathing products and room scents, but the ARK at home concept really concentrates on skincare.

We really enjoyed our party- and we greatly enjoyed watching Product Pixie getting a facial! -  and I know that at least a couple of our party have made purchases since too.  

So, what's in it for you?  Well, as the host of an ARK at Home party, you get a free facial, and a free skin serum of your choice (if your guests make purchases more than £100, that is), and if your guests make further purchases, you get either half-price or free shopping from the entire ARK range!

All the ARK Angels are fully trained in both facial techniques, and the product range, so if you're thinking about a way to make a little money for yourself, then you might want to consider becoming an ARK Angel yourself- the outlay for the initial kit (and full training!) is only £99, and you make commission on sales made at any parties you might attend.  I admit, I've given it some thought since.

ARK products are top-quality (I wouldn't let just any brand through the door of Lippie Mansions, believe you me), and I think this is a lovely idea both for customers - there's no "hard sell", the products speak for themselves, for better or worse - and it's a great way back into work, to make a new career for yourself or just make a little extra bill-money in these straightened times.  Don't think I haven't given it a thought ...

If you want more information, then click the ARK at Home link.

The Fine Print: My ARK at Home party was arranged by PR. Literally, I did nothing.  I'm a TERRIBLE hostess.

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Monday 25 June 2012

Lipstick Storage

I have a lot of lipstick, and I like to keep my regular favourites close to hand, so this Muji storage system is on my desk at all times, filled with a selection of favourites.  I tend to do my face and eye-makeup first, then pick whichever lipstick suits my fancy on a particular day, sometimes it's a bit hit and miss, but hey, you have to mix things up for yourself, don't you?  

There are a selection of colours, shades and textures, everything from clear balms, to full-on opaque RED lipsticks (of which there are more than a couple) and stains.  I never know what mood I'm going to be in from day-to-day, so I like to have a proper choice around.

How do you decide which lipstick you're going to wear every day?

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Wednesday 20 June 2012

Exciting news!

Posts have been a bit thin on the ground this week because this is the first chance I've had to sit undisturbed in front of a PC for seven entire days!  I've had a couple of Top Secret projects on the go over the last while, and it's only now I've got permission to tell you about one of them ...

So, here is the news:

Get Lippie has been appointed Beauty Editor for SLiNK Magazine!

Yes, yes, yours truly has been selected to produce the beauty content for an actual, honest-to-goodness, real life print (and digital) magazine!  I'm delighted beyond measure to be working with SLiNK, who are an aspirational lifestyle fashion and beauty magazine for women sized 14 and above, they have a great message, and it's one I'm proud to be associated with.

So, if there's anything you've ever wanted to ask/tell/suggest to a beauty editor, ever had an idea for a feature you wanted to see, or ever wanted to tell magazines to STOP doing beauty features about something, here's your chance!  I've got lots of ideas already, but feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.  Get Lippie will continue by the way, don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.  My plans for world domination are still in the early stages ...

Incidentally, the new issue of SLiNK magazine is out now, but I take over as beauty editor from the next issue, I'll keep you posted!

Oh, yeah, the other Top Secret project is still top secret, but it involves a national daily newspaper.  Keep your eyes peeled ...

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Friday 15 June 2012

Review: Elizabeth Arden Fragrance Free 8 Hour Cream

I still have the first tube of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream that I ever bought, there's still some left, and it's still perfectly useable.  Yes, I'm a skank, but, well, this stuff lasts forever.  Something else that lasts forever is the scent!  8 Hour Cream is the Marmite of skincare, you either love it, or hate it.  I freely admit, I go through phases of both, the scent is an acquired taste (it's a herbally-linament kind of a thing), and there can be some times where the scent is just too much to bear, so I'd use something else.

So, I was delighted when I heard they were bringing out a "fragrance free" version of 8 Hour Cream! It's a great multi-purpose balm, less natural, admittedly than some of the other balms you've seen on the blog recently, as it has a mineral oil base, but I do find it surprisingly useful, and moisturising, hence having had a tube around (I've bought, and used up others, but I like the retro packaging of my original tube!) for the best part of 20 years ...

Anyhoo, after using the "fragrance free" version for a while, I think the name is a bit of a cheat.  Whilst the fragrance is very definitely a world away from the original "Marmite" fragrance, it's very still a fragranced product, just a whisper rather than a shout.  It's a little sweeter, a little rosier, and very much muted, but it's still there.  It's still, seemingly, identical in formulation to the original though, in colour, texture and use, which is a nice change in a reformulation!

I'd recommend this is you're a fan of the original but have difficulties with the scent, or if you want to try 8 Hour Cream, but have been put off by tales of the scent, but, I must warn you, if you're expecting something that has no scent whatsoever, then you may be disappointed.

The Fine Print: PR sample.
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Thursday 14 June 2012

Review: Lanolips Golden Ointment

I make no bones about the fact that I'm a big fan of Lanolips, I own every shade they have of the coloured balms, and I use the 101 Ointment very regularly too.  I'm not plagued with particularly dry skin on my body (I don't even use body lotion - sorry!), so it's taken me a while to get around to trying the Golden Ointment, which is the latest addition to their body-product range, but I'm glad I finally have tried it, because it's rather wonderful stuff.

Initially I thought this might make a great treat for MrLippie's scarily dry and scaly elbows, but he's taken to using his face moisturiser on those, and it's working pretty well, to be honest (please don't ask about my reaction to the fact that he's been washing his face with his L'Occitane shower gel though), so I've been using it on my cuticles and my exceptionally dry feet.

My cuticles have been dreadful for the last month or so, I've no idea what's been going on with them, but, after the first application of this, the redness, splitting and peeling was soothed, and after 24 hours or so you'd barely know how dreadful they were the day before.  It's practically a miracle worker!  It's not been quite so miraculous on my feet, I must admit (probably because the skin is thicker, now I come to think of it), but it does mean that my feet aren't as scaly this year as MrLippie's elbows usually are!

It's a very thick, very sticky ointment that does take some working into the skin, and you do need to leave yourself a few minutes for it to finish sinking in, but when it does, your skin is left feeling like it has a silky coating, and this can be rather addictive, if you use it, for example, as a handcream or something.  It's not recommended for use as a lip balm, btw, and I can see why.  It doesn't have a strong scent, which is surprising as one of it's main ingredients is manuka honey - known for its healing properties -, and the moisturisation seems to last a good long while.  Its packed full of vitamin E too, so I have a feeling it would work well in helping to heal scars.

I'd use this as a specialised healing treatment for particular patches of dry and irritated skin, as well as a treat for my cuticles and feet, rather than the more multi-purpose uses of the Lanolips 101, but it's highly recommended.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.
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Wednesday 13 June 2012

Review: Suti Purity Balm

This is a little pot of gorgeous.  After my unfortunate skin-burning accident recently, I was lucky enough to be contacted by Suzannah Jenkins of Suti, and she suggested that their Purity balm might be able to help.  She was right, and I'm very grateful.

Suti is a British brand, produced in partnership by Suzannah and her business partner Tina Steadman, together they aim to bring a wholly natural skincare brand, founded on the principles of aromatherapy, homeopathy, organic farming and crystal healing.  Think what you like about some of those - and I have to admit that my own feelings on some of them are mixed to the point of being contradictory* - you can't argue that sustainably-sourced, responsibly-produced products which are ethically tested are a bad thing, so don't even try.  Suti are all of those things, and I applaud them for it.

Personally, what I care about in my skincare is results, and for my recently sore, blotchy and (accidentally) badly-treated skin, this gloriously moisturising, soothing and calming balm definitely does what it says on the tin.  It promises to be naturally healing, and strengthening, whilst calming and soothing irritated, inflamed and blemished skin.  I've found that it does all of those things, whilst also not being heavy or cloying or greasy.

Containing a blend of sunflower, sesame and apricot kernel oils,  alongside unrefined shea butter (which leads to this balm's distinctive slightly grainy appearance), it also contains chamomile, calendula, and lavender extracts to calm skin that's having a bad face day. This has worked wonders on my blotchiness and I admit, I'm a tiny bit in love with the stuff.  It has a wonderful slightly herbal-menthol smell - which is actually from the lavender - and I just scoop a little from the jar (a very little) emulsify it in my hands, and then gently pat it into my skin, whenever it needs a healing treat.

More than reasonably priced at £22 for a 50g pot, which will last you practically forever (I've been using a tiny, tiny sample pot for several weeks now, and haven't even used half of it), this is a product that, if Get Lippie had a hall of fame, this would have a permanent place in it.  It's certainly going to have a permanent place in my bathroom from now on, which is almost the same thing ...

* My mum is a reiki-master/aromatherapist/reflexologist who works in the NHS.  She thinks a lot of complementary therapies are b*ll*x, to be honest, but they help the people who believe in them, so that's why she does it.  I ... reserve judgement ... to be honest.

The Fine Print Sample sent direct from Suti, and I shall be eternally grateful. 

his post originated at: All rights reserved.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Review: Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm

I said yesterday that I don't double-cleanse as a rule, but when I do, I prefer my second cleanse to be a scrubby one.  This Micro Exfoliating Balm from Oskia is just perfect for those "need a deeper cleanse right now" moments.

Oskia products are rich in a sulphurous compound known as MSM, which has lots of skincare benefits for all kinds of skin, particularly sensitive skins, and the Micro Exfoliating Balm also contains  sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, and kukui nut oils, alongside zinc and vitamin E.  As you can imagine from this list, it's very healing, and feels wonderful on the skin,

Opening the jar, you're greeted with a cheerful effervescent scent, reminscent of sherbert fountains, it's lovely!  The balm itself is white and is full of tiny, tiny grains which are barely visible to the naked eye (that'll be the "micro" component then ...).

To use, you scoop out a tiny amount from the jar, emulsify it slightly between your palms, then massage - gently - the resulting grainy oil to your face.  Then, you add a little water to the balm, which will turn it into a milky lotion, and continue massaging into your skin.  Personally, I use the pure balm on the t-zone area, then, once I've added a little water, I move ono massaging the rest of my face, as that usually need far less exfoliation than the t-zone.  Please don't get it in your eyes though.  Remove it either by rinsing or with the facial cloth of your choice.

For a gentle, yet thorough exfoliation, it's hard to beat this little jar of loveliness.  I do think it's a little over-packaged in all honesty - I was disappointed at the size of the jar when I opened the box, I can't deny it -  but I like the fact that the products are as natural as possible, and the entire range is safe to use throughout pregnancy, unlike quite a few more essential-oil based ranges.  I'm not expecting, by the way, but this sort of information is always handy for some of my readers who might be.

Again, following on from yesterday's balm, this is another pricey one at (again) £46 for a 50ml jar, (which should last a good few months, even with regular use) but this is definitely a product - and a company - that gets the Get Lippie seal of approval. 

Fine Print:  PR Sample.

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Monday 11 June 2012

Review: Omorovicza Thermal Cleaning Balm

I'm slightly in love with balms at the moment.  After I burned my face off with a facemask the other week, I've been giving my face some TLC, so this week, I'm showing you my favourite balm products from my collection.

I'll start off with this little black beauty from Omorovicza.  I've long been fascinated by the idea of the Thermal Cleansing Balm from the Omorovicza range, mainly because it's black admittedly (my inner goth is fascinated), but I've been seeing a few reviews of the range around some of my trusted blogging buddies, so thought it was time to take the plunge.

Based on the mineral healing properties of the thermal spas in Budapest, the thermal cleansing balm gets the unique colour from Hungarian Moor Mud, which is rich in magnesium, contains sweet almond oil to avoid stripping the skin, and is scented - oh most heavenly scented! - with orange blossom.  It's possibly the most luxurious-smelling cleanser I own, and I find myself burying my nose in the jar every time I use it.

To use it, you scrape a small amount from the jar (and a little really does go a long way), emulsify it between your palms, then apply the resulting liquified balm to your face and massage it into your skin, then, using either a damp muslin cloth or a face flannel, remove it, again, whilst massaging your face.  It's not perfect for removing eye makeup, in all honesty, so I'd suggest you use a separate eye-makeup remover.  I love that you can see grains of the mineral-rich mud in the balm when you emulsify it, and the scent really makes this a wondrous cleansing experience.

I find that a single cleanse is sufficient with this (I very rarely double cleanse anyway, I have to say), and my skin is left soft, supple and glowing afterwards, with no dryness or taut-feeling.  It is on the price-y side at £46 a jar, but this will last a very long time, and it's rocketed to the top of my re-purchase list.

 The Fine Print: PR Sample.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Hot Weather Saviours

What do you mean it's cold out?  Well, I wrote this during the hot weather we had recently, and these products were a godsend.  A godsend, I tell you.  So, there's no harm in leaving this post as it is, there will be hot weather again ... at some point ...

Dove Natural Touch Deodorant with Dead Sea Minerals

Cool-scented with cucumber (rather strongly scented, if truth be known, but it wears off eventually), this does a sterling job of keeping pits fresh through the day.

Suti Peppermint Water

I keep this in the fridge, and it's wonderful for cooling down a flushed face, and it's great for getting summer-sun oiliness under control too.  A must have for me, as I can't use the current beauty blogger rave Caudalie Beauty Elixir owing to sensitivity issues.  I have a few more products from the range to try (and I'm going for a Suti facial too), so look forward to some more in-depth reviews, but Suti is definitely a brand to look out for in the next few months. Take a look at Suti products here.

Alvarez Gomez Aqua de Colonia Concentrada

A staple of the summer holidays I had in Spain as a youth, this is the Spanish version of ubiquitous 4711.  I find it a little more citrussy then the orange-blossom heavy 4711, and it has a hint of grapefruit too, so it's a little more refreshing, and is perfect for splashing on all over in hot weather.  Try soaking a handkerchief in it and using this to wipe your feet, instant cooling and refeshing - and cleaning! - power.  It's new to the UK, but Carter and Bond have the full range, I'll be picking up the matching deodorant and shower gel (and probably candle too, knowing me) soon.

Optrex Spray for Tired & Uncomfortable Eyes

If you wear contact lenses in hot weather, you'll find them being a bit dryer than usual, (particularly if you're a hay-fever suffer) this is a great spray for a bit of a pick me up in front of the computer.  Easier to use than traditional eye-drops, this new spray is infused with vitamin B5, so it has skincare benefits too.  Best bit?  You won't ruin your eyemakeup.

And finally, on the far right there, is a package of Halo Deodorising Wipes.  I don't know about you, but I can't be bothered carrying a deodorant around with me, so these are really handy for a quick clean up when you're headed out after work or something.

What products do you swear by in the heat?
The Fine Print: A mixture of PR samples and purchases, and stuff that's been hiding in handbags for months and months and months.
This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Timothy Han Candles, and how to look after them.

I love a good candle, and I'm always on the lookout for new ones (I can see about 20 candles from where I sit whilst I'm writing this!), so was delighted when I found out about Timothy Han.  Having grown up in Canada, and having spent time working with John Galliano, Han is a very interesting man, and his commitment to sustainable luxury is definitely to be applauded. 

Han's  candles are vegetable-based, made from soy wax entirely without petrochemicals, they have lead-free cotton wicks, and are fragranced with 100% essential oils.

They have a slightly creamy, rather than pure white, wax, and burn evenly and smoothly without leaving massive soot deposits.  The scent I have, Oakmoss and Vetiver is about as far away from a "traditional aromatherapy" fragrance as you can imagine, being deep, dark, and both earthy and grassy, it's definitely a world away from a lot of candle fragrances!  The candles have a burn time of 50 hours, and come housed in these gorgeous duck-egg blue glass holders.

The way to keep your candles lasting through the full burn time, is to look after them.  Here are a few hints:

When you first burn a candle always ensure that the top layer of wax melts entirely, this will take a couple of hours usually, so be prepared to make your first burn a long burn. 

Make sure you keep your wicks trimmed - they should be around 5mm high.  Too long a wick will lead to a very soot-y flame, and make your candle burn faster.   You can use a wick tripper for this (which will collect debris) but you can also use nail scissors.  Always trim your wicks when candles are cold.

Don't blow out your candles, this can dislodge the wick, spray wax and soot over your surfaces, it'll also cause smoke, which will take over the scent of the candle you were burning in the first place. Dip the burning wick into the pool of melted wax around the burning wick instead. You can buy what're called "wick dippers", but you can use anything (except fingers) to dip the wick into the wax.  I use a metal skewer I keep handy.

Keep your candles out of drafts, and always a few centimetres apart, otherwise they'll burn unevenly.  I don't need to mention the need to keep them on a heatproof surface, do I?

Finally, keep your candles CLEAN.  Dust them, and, if the containers get a bit sooty, then clean them!  The best candles don't produce a lot of soot, so if your containers are black around the rims (and worse - down the sides), it means that either you keep your wicks too long, or you've been burning your candles for too long in one go.  Take a look at your wicks, are they blooming out a bit like mushrooms? Then trim your wick down to half a centimetre, and try not to burn your candle for too long after the top layer of wax has melted.  Your candles will last longer if you do, and you won't have soot marks up your walls.

Timothy Han candles are available from the Timothy Han Website, and cost £38 for a candle that will last you for several months.

The Fine Print: PR Sample  - all tips, however, are my own, not from Timothy Han.
This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Monday 4 June 2012

Party nails with OPI and Filthy Gorgeous

Sometimes, you just want to sparkle … this is two coats of OPI Lucerne-tenly Look Marvellous, topped off with a coat of Prism by Filthy Gorgeous.

Whaddya reckon?

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