Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Teaser ...

This features a few locations I'm going to on my honeymoon, but can you figure out what it's for?

More will be revealed soon ....

The Fine Print: This is a sponsored post.  Honeymoons, sadly, don't pay for themselves ... ;)

This post: Teaser originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday 28 January 2013

Wedding Stuff

Not MY dress
 Posts might be a bit thin on the ground for the next three weeks or so, as it turns out that planning a wedding - even an extremely simple and, above all, cheap wedding like ours - takes both a lot of time, and a lot of mind-space.  The ceremony is now less than three weeks away, and the tasks are stacking up a bit!  Logistics isn't a particular strength of mine, and co-ordinating visitors from opposite ends of the country is taking up a lot of the time I normally spend thinking about blogging ... 

A couple of people have asked  for some wedding-focused blog posts so I shall do my best to oblige ... It's hard though, because (and here's a really big confession) I don't really like weddings!  I have a tendency to, well, glaze over a bit when it comes to reading about them myself, so ... anyway. I genuinely thought I'd never get married, so never spent any time planning anything, even hypothetically, for myself.

I promised myself (and MrLippie), when I got engaged, that I wouldn't get wrapped up in the wedding, to the extent where it was the only thing we talked about, thought about, planned, etc, because I've always been aware that the wedding is only a really small part of a marriage, and if your entire world revolves around the wedding, then what do you talk about once the day itself is over?  That's why I've tried to keep wedding blog posts to a minimum - I'm no lifestyle guru! My life isn't that glamorous, and most of wedding planning isn't particularly glamorous either, tbh ... we're not bothering with a lot of the frills that a lot of wedding blog posts seem to be about.  I wish we were whipping up wonderful hand-crafted  invites and touches, but we have neither the time nor the ability, so ... they're not happening!

However, having been to a couple of weddings this year, and picked up ideas from each, we've decided to keep our arrangements extremely simple, and informal. No complicated seating arrangements (a pub wedding reception like ours is perfect for this), for us, and no real centrepieces/wedding favours, as we're both a bit cackhanded, frankly. You can see the invitation above, which was recycled from a blogpost I worked on last year with Purple Ronnie and Unicef! We have a band too, whom we adore, and are very happy that they've agreed to play for us on the day.

Whilst there are no formal kinds of arrangements for centerpieces etc, we are doing some fun things, like scenting the reception venue with candles (I have jasmine and rose-scented tealights which I'm hoping will smell like Joy by Jean Patou once they're lit, alongside orange-blossom scented candles too), and there are a couple of things we think (hope) people will like, but we're trying to keep them a secret for now, so we don't blow the surprises for our guests!  But most of all, what we're trying to do is having a wedding that keeps a sense of humour throughout the day ...

If you want to see just what's been obsessing me most about the wedding, you can have a look at my boards on Pinterest, where the sharp-eyed amongst you might just find one board dedicated to my outfit ...


This post: Wedding Stuff originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Sunday 27 January 2013

I've had a facelift!

Not really, but I've made some changes to how the site looks! Nothing too drastic (I hope), but if you notice anything not working, please do let me know ...

This post: originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Friday 25 January 2013

Wedding Preparation: Fragrance Profiling with Penhaligons

If you've read my last piece for Basenotes (Buying The Dress Was Easy ...), then you'll know that I'm having a hard time selecting my perfect wedding fragrance.  To that end, MrLippie and I found ourselves at the Covent Garden Penhaligons store a couple of weeks ago, to have a fragrance profile that might help us narrow down our choices.

A service that's open to everyone, for any occasion - and it is free! - I can heartily recommend it.  We were there for a couple of hours (because we were chatting so much, it doesn't have to take so long), and it's thoroughly enjoyable.  You talk for a little while about your choices in fragrance, what the occasion you want your perfume for, and general chit-chat about your life, and a little bit of the history of the brand (which is fascinating, by the way) then you're handed scent strips to sniff of fragrances in their particular families.

What made this super-interesting for us, is that we were encouraged not to sniff each others samples, and we weren't told the names of the fragrances, so that we could avoid any associations we might have already made with the scents we might have already known.  It was, in many ways, a perfect blind sampling of the Penhaligons range, and we found we picked some very interesting, and somewhat random fragrances for ourselves as a result.

Eventually you narrow your choices down to three scents, which are then sprayed onto your arm, and you make your choice once you've had a chance to see how the fragrance settles on your skin.  Only at this point were myself and MrLippie allowed to sniff each others choices!

My final three were Amaranthine, Love Potion No9, and Night Scented Stock, respectively a "corrupted floral", a "spicy floral" and a soliflore.  You'd think I like flowers, or something! MrLippie decided on Opus 1870, Juniper Sling, and Sartorial. I was as amused by MrL's choices almost as much as I was surprised by my own, Opus 1870 is a fizzy (to my nose) and spicy classic, which I'm genuinely hoping he will decide to wear to the ceremony, and Juniper Sling is one of my own favourite scents, which he's always refused to wear previously!  Sartorial, we both liked very much indeed, but it felt just a tiny bit "every day" to wear for a wedding.  It is rather wonderful though.

As for mine, well, LP No9 has an oddly masculine opening, rather fougere-seeming, but dries down on my skin into a slightly spicy floral, which has a tiny hint of shaving foam to it.  Nicer than that sounds, honest! I do like a bit of a masculine-seeming scent.  And, I can't deny it, the fact that the juice matches my dress in colour is amusing the heck out of me.  Night Scented Stock has a very different opening, reminscent of engine oil, and geraniums, but again dries down into something a little more traditionally floral.  Amaranthine (which I'm simply going to have to acquire a bottle of) is beautiful, creamy, lush and spicy, but I felt it was a little too odd for the day itself, though I'd be happy to wear it any other time. 

If you get a chance to go to the Penhaligons store, please do take advantage of the fragrance profiling service, it's a knockout.

So, are any of these the ones we'll pick for the big day?  Who knows?  Hopefully we'll have it figured out by the 16th February ...

This post: Wedding Preparation: Fragrance Profiling with Penhaligons originated at: Get Lippie on January 25th 2013 All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Thursday 24 January 2013

Aftelier Perfumes Wild Roses

 I don't get many emails from perfumers (and after the Thierry Wasser story the other day, I'm not expecting any more any time soon, either!), but when Mandy Aftel dropped me a line asking if I'd like to try her Wild Roses fragrance, I leapt at the chance.  Mandy and I have chatted fragrance a few times, and I always come away from our conversations with an intense impression of how much love Mandy has for her life, and for her fragrances.

I recently named Aftelier Perfume's Tango (on Basenotes) as one of my fragrances of 2012, so Wild Roses intrigued me, Mandy was inspired by walks around rose gardens, and it shows, you can smell everything in this fragrance, from the petals to the stalks, to the grass you're walking underfoot.

Opening with a dark treacle and rose petal accord, this feels a little boozy in the opening, but it's not a sharp booze, more a hint of something well-aged in oak, brandy, possibly, or a dark, dark rum. It feels almost like there is incense in there too, but I don't think there is.  The wood eventually moves to centre-stage, and there's a hint of something bitter and green underneath, which comes from tarragon.  Overall, this is a lush, rich, dark rose, jammy almost, but not sweet.  More of a rose marmalade, than a compote.  It's not sweet and powdery, but thick and deep. Concentrated and cerebral, it is more about the idea of a rose with it's thorns and woodiness, and unexpected bitterness than a photo-real imagining of a rose petal. It's about as different a rose scent from yesterday's DKNY offering as can possibly be.  Beautiful, rather than simply pretty, sophisticated rather than simple.

I have a tiny sample bottle, but I keep getting the urge to dump it into a base of carrier oil, and simply bathe myself in it.  I would if I could.

Mandy has recently moved into making Chef's essences too - we have the one in cocoa. It smells so good, it's practically a perfume in itself!  Almost a shame to cook with it.  But we will ...

The Fine Print: Sample from Mandy Aftel.

This post: Aftelier Perfumes Wild Roses originated at: Get Lippie on January 24th 2013 All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday 23 January 2013

pureDKNY Drop of Rose Review

Back in the days when it was possible for a sales assistant to know every fragrance on their shelves and - even better - to know enough about them to be able to give a knowledgeable answer to any question about their wares, no matter how random the request (so, about twenty years ago, then)I obtained a bottle of Brousseau's Ombre Rose simply by asking the question: "Can I have a perfume that smells of baby powder, please?".  I love me some baby powder.  Babies not so much, sorry.

Anyway, I loved that bottle of Ombre Rose, with its pale pink embossed bottle, and the idea of smelling fresh and clean and powdery-soft so much that I used it all up in a matter of weeks.  Then you couldn't get it in Browns of Chester any more, and I couldn't afford to travel to London to get a replacement (then I did move to London only to discover that I couldn't afford a replacement), so it's remained a distant memory ever since.

Until this little bottle turned up on my doorstep last week, that is:

PureDKNY Drop of Rose is a simple, sweet, powdery-soft rose fragrance that smells as if you've just rolled yourself in the finest talcum Johnson & Johnson can provide.  It doesn't smell of much other than that, but it's a pretty fine thing to smell of all the same. Well, providing you like powdery, velvety, and sweet roses, it is.  And I do. It's gentle, pretty and about the most ladylike fragrance in my collection.  You remember when you used to spend hours making "perfume" as a child with rose petals and water?  Well, this is the smell you were trying to create.

If you don't like rose, you won't like this. It smells like a hug from your favourite elderly aunty, and feels like one too. I hear it's also a dead ringer for Chantecaille's discontinued Derby Rose, so if you were a fan of that, this is one to try too. It's on shelves from 3rd February.
The Fine Print: PR Sample.
This post: pureDKNY Drop of Rose Review originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The Anti-Perfume: Philosophy Amazing Grace

After yesterdays boggling, something a little less controversial, I think. I like my perfumes big and strong (like I like my men, now I come to think of it*), so Philosophy Amazing Grace is a bit of a departure for me.  A light floral, with a clean musk base, it's the antipathy of practically everything in my fragrance collection.  As such, I should hate it.

But I don't.

It's the smell of towels fresh from the dryer, of sheets drying on a line on a warm sunny day, there are flowers in there (sadly indistinguishable from one another), and the smell of warm skin straight out of the shower, then fragrant laundry-musks complete the fragrance. It is, essentially, the scent of one of the more expensive washing powders on the market.  It contains the very essence of cleanliness, warmth, and cheery comfort, like taking a sweater from the cupboard and giving it a sniff and realising it still has just a hint of the perfume you wore last buried deep in its folds. Which is a neat trick, when you think about it. 

Amazing Grace is a great fragrance for those who think they don't like perfume, or aren't  allowed to wear highly fragranced products because of their jobs, but still wish to smell clean, polite, and inoffensive.  That's why I've labelled this post "The Anti-Perfume", because this is how I see Amazing Grace: a nice smell, but it sure as heck ain't a "fine fragrance".

If all that sounds like I'm damning Amazing Grace with faint praise, I'm actually not. For a long time I wore only Demeter Laundromat which really does smell like fabric conditioner (I'm weird, shut up), and Amazing Grace is also a good replication of that smell.  I genuinely like it a great deal, it's simple, easy to wear, rather pretty, and great way to smell "nice" without anyone wondering where the faint smell of burning tar/mangrove swamp/fly spray is coming from, as can happen with some of my more ... er ... avant garde scentsations.  It has the lasting power of your average mayfly though, so if you want it to last (at least slightly longer), then layer it over the matching body products - the shower gel in particular is extremely good.

Now, if I could only get MrLippie to STOP STEALING THE DAMN STUFF!  We're gonna need a bigger bottle ...

*Hugh Jackman.  MrLippie who?

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

This post: The Anti-Perfume: Philosophy Amazing Grace originated at: Get Lippie on January 22nd 2013. All rights are reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday 21 January 2013

Guerlain Eau De Lingerie

Confession time: I recently spent some time having tea with Guerlain's utterly charming, handsome (and funny with it) Thierry Wasser, and, to my complete chagrin, after an extremely pleasant, and polite, question and answer session, I - for it was, of course, I - managed to drag the conversation down so far into the gutter that Thierry ended up miming how to get into a pair of Spanx for the delight and edification of our tea-partners.  I'm not proud of myself*. If, however, Guerlain ever do produce a fragrance named "La Petite Spanx Noir", I want commission.

Which brings me politely (or not - your mileage may, as they say, vary) to this:

Perfume for your knickers.  From Guerlain.  Guerlain say:

"Close to the skin, in the very place where fragrance settles, our lingerie lies... and this inspired Guerlain to conceive of an innovative beauty ritual. A delicate new fragrance to spray onto lingerie, creating a special moment of sensuality in which women are invited to indulge..."

To which I say: " ... does it come with a free tube of Canesten?"  Now, admittedly my "special moments of sensuality" these days usually involve a jammy doughnut, a nice cup of tea, and a brief half an hour with the Hugh Jackman DVD+ of my choosing, but still ... a fragrance too far?  I think I'd rather scent my drawers than my "drawers", personally.  What say you?

It'll be available exclusively in Harrods from February.  The perfect Valentine's gift ... 
* This sentence may be a lie**

** IS a lie.  It may be the single proudest moment I've ever had as a blogger.  I am, however, now banned from the Connaught Hotel tea-rooms as a result.

+ Paperback Hero, seeing as you didn't ask.

Image shamelessly stolen from Basenotes.
This post: Guerlain Eau De Lingerie originated at: Get Lippie on 21st January 2013. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Sunday 20 January 2013

Wedding Prep with Braun Gillette Venus Naked Skin IPL 2

Well, I said I'd keep you posted with how I was getting on with the Gillette Venus Naked Skin IPL and here I am back to talk to you about my armpits.  I know, I'm far too kind.  No you don't have to thank me, you're welcome.

I've used it three times now - will just be able to squeeze two more treatments in before the wedding, which is now less than a month away  - and I think I can say that my hair growth has indeed slowed down, I shave less often, and it's a bit finer when the hair does come through, but ... I still do have to shave my pits on a weekly basis.  This isn't such a hardship really, but I'm hoping for more dramatic results with the next two treatments!

I was asked to provide a video of my using the systemFor the sake of both my sanity, and your eyeballs, I've gleefully had to decline that particular delight, as, well, this is a family blog, and no one deserves that, frankly.  So here's a little video of how it works, complete with a model.  It's remarkably true to how I use it, even down to the wistful gazing into the middle distance whilst writhing about in my grundies on the carpet.

Enjoy!  By the way, am I the only person on the planet who thought it was pronounced "brawn" rather than "brown"?  Well, you learn something new every day, don't you?

The Fine Print: PR Sample.  Video all my own work*.

This post: Wedding Prep with Braun Gillette Venus Naked Skin IPL 2 originated at: Get Lippie on January 20th 2013. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Friday 18 January 2013

Clarins Rouge Eclat Age Defying Lipstick Nude Rose & Pink Berry

It's a tough gig having a blog named after lipstick you know ... all those lipsticks and only one face to apply them to.  I mean, I've tried getting MrLippie to help out wearing all the stuff I don't have time for, but well, it's just not the same ...

Anyhoo,  These turned up last week, and they're rather nice.  A new formula from Clarins, designed to fight the signs of ageing on the lips, (something I'm not entirely convinced about, but that's by the by), but hey, let's forget about that, and look at the packaging!

Now that, my friends, is some fancy-ass lipstick packaging. I like it.  Like it rather a lot, actually.  As you're about to be able to tell:

This reminds me of Battersea Power Station for some strange reason.  I need to get out more.
 There's lipstick in here, as well.

I prefer the more neutral colours from the collection, my picks are Nude Rose, and Pink Berry, both of which will work with a variety of skintones, and are very nice everyday shades.

The formula is nice, moisturising and cushiony, it reminds me, a little of Chantecaille Lip Chics, but, is it anti-ageing?  Well, based on a couple of wears, I couldn't possibly answer that, but it doesn't dry your lips out, which is by far the most ageing thing you can do to your mush, frankly.

The Fine Print: PR Samples. Why was the sand wet? Because the sea weed!

This post: Clarins Rouge Eclat Age Defying Lipstick Nude Rose & Pink Berry originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Thursday 17 January 2013

Lipstick Queen Look of Love vs Jean Queen Comparison

Last Lipstick Queen post for a while, I promise!  In my Look of Love review last week, I mentioned that  if you owned Jean Queen you might not need Look of Love too, and a reader (waves at Pink Sith) asked if I could compare them.  So here you go. 

Artificial Light
 I was a bit surprised to see that Jean Queen, although brighter, is actually quite a bit cooler in tone than Look of Love, in my mind, I expected it to be the other way around for some reason.  Although, seeing as Jean Queen was, essentially, designed to go with blue denim it actually makes a bit of sense.

All rather neutral, all very wearable, and not quite as similar as I expected.  Funny how the memory plays tricks ...

Fine Print: Mixture of purchases and PR samplesA magician was driving down the road, then he turned into a drive way. You're loving these jokes, aren't you? I'm not.

This post: Lipstick Queen Look of Love vs Jean Queen Comparison originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Possible Wedding Manicure ...?

The wedding is now just over four weeks away.  The makeup trial has been done, the dress has been adjusted, the reception decisions are almost all made, I remain a blogger in search of a hairdo, however, and owing to budget constraints I'm going to have to do my nails myself.  Ah well, I've had fun over the last few weeks experimenting with nail colours to go with my dress.  However, I've been thinking that purple fingernails with a purple dress is just a bit too matchy-matchy for me.

After all, I have a tendency to paint my nails whatever colour I like on a Sunday evening and then just wear the hell out of it till it, basically, falls off.  As beauty bloggers go, I'm a lousy one when it comes to nails.  This combination though, happened by accident (I didn't like one of the shades, so was covering it up) but I rather like silver with purple, so at the moment, this is the front-runner for wedding-nails.  From left to right we have Out the Door topcoat in Northern Lights, which is a holographic fast-drying topcoat, OPI's Lucern-tenly Look Marvellous (which as most people call me Luce is apposite, at the least), and finally Deborah Lippman's Believe, which was created with Cher.  If you can't channel Cher on your wedding day, frankly, then I don't want to know.

The final product (two coats of Believe, one very thin coat of Lucerne, and a topcoat of Northern Lights) looks like this:

It's about four days old on my nails there, so forgive the state of it in the pictures.  It's silvery, and glittery without being too grey, and without screaming GLITTER.  What do you think?
The Fine Print: Purchases What do you call it when a dinosaur crashes his car? Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

This post: Possible Wedding Manicure ...? originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper
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