Beauty Without Fuss

Thursday 28 February 2013

Wedding Flowers with Silk Blooms

Photo by Helen Burnham

I wasn't that fussed about flowers for the wedding, to be honest, and I wasn't even going to bother.  But, after three sets of parents (look, it's complicated, okay?) asked what we were having, we realised that maybe flowers were a bigger deal than we'd realised and we did some investigating.

Picture by Priya Sonn
I knew all along that having a February wedding meant my options for real flowers would be limited, and that not getting married till later on the day would limit those options further (cut flowers start to die from the moment they are picked, and need careful handling to look their best if you're not getting married early morning) so I was always at least vaguely interested in silk flowers.

After doing a great deal of googling in the months running up to the ceremony, I discovered Silk Blooms,  who had by far the largest range of purple bouquets, and at extremely reasonable prices to boot.  I did some checking of their reviews, and they were unanimously positive, which gave me some peace of mind - especially as I was ordering the flowers rather late, all things considered!  Note to self: for next time, order flowers when there's more than a month before the ceremony)

Anyway, the bouquet I decided on, the Lesley, is, perhaps, somewhat more traditional than I think I would have picked had I gone for a white dress - I was interested in a long "spray" of purple orchids originally, but I realised that the drama of it would have been lost against my magenta dress - I think the mix of white roses and purple tulips (I do love me a tulip) worked well with the colour of my dress:

Picture by Priya Sonn

Overall, I can't fault the service from Silk Blooms at all, they dealt with my rather vague instructions exceedingly well (the question "can I have silver ribbon please?" elicited a choice of no less than five different wrappings to choose from, completete with links, and suggestions) and they were also  extremely helpful when I realised a couple of days later that I needed more buttonholes too.  The flowers were despatched very quickly, and arrived in perfect condition - everybody loved them!  Mums in particular loved their matching corsages.  On the day they garnered lots of compliments from the guests, and quite a few people were stunned when they realised they weren't "real"!

I like M&Ms.  Shush.
I love the fact that if I'd have needed the flowers in a different colour, Silk Blooms could custom-dye the flowers if I could tell them a Dulux colour shade that matched what I wanted, which is very handy if you need something a little different!  They also sent a little email (and not a form one, either) on the day of the wedding to wish us luck too, which I thought was a very lovely touch.

Best of all, I have a permanent keepsake of my day which looks as good now as it did then, and so do the wedding party who all had corsages, buttonholes and  bouquets of their own, in a matching design.  I currently keep my bouquet on my desk, and I'm planning to fill the vase with hundreds of aurora borealis crystals to make it even more of a feature.  Silk Blooms also do a selection of flowers for the home too, and we're thinking of investing in a couple of arrangements to put around the place as they have some fabulous ones, both modern and traditional.

What do you think of silk flowers?  I know some people really hate the idea, but I think if they're done well, no one need ever know!  I admit to being surprised at how much I liked my bouquet, and deeply surprised at how glad I am now to have even bothered with them, too. Thank you, Silk Blooms!

The Fine Print:  Purchases - Silk Blooms had no idea who I was, or if I was going to write about them (I genuinely wasn't planning to, but so many people have asked about them) - their excellent customer service comes as standard.
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Wednesday 27 February 2013

Rouge Baiser Mademoiselle Authentique 304

The odds on my going to Paris at any time and coming back without any beauty purchases are slim.  Having just got back from Paris (have I mentioned I've been in Paris?  If not: I'VE BEEN IN PARIS) I've got a couple of things to show you.

This is a lipstick from Rouge Baiser, which is a France-only brand, and, in this increasingly homogenised planet, it's always good to get something you can't buy anywhere else.  I've featured Rouge Baiser before, and the Mademoiselle Authentique formula is one I like, in packaging I think is fantastic.

The last one I bought (302) is a crisp bright red, and I fancied something a little more neutral this time, so I purchased 304, a slightly rosier than it appears under flash photography, mauve.  Which, after red, is my favourite colour.

The hand-swatch above is a slightly more true to life representation of the actual shade, but either way, it's more of a my lips but better shade, albeit slightly paler than my actual lips, which I think will be a good partner for a smokier eye look.  Here's the same swatch under flash photography:

And on the lips in natural daylight and with flash:

I find the Rouge Baiser Mademoiselle Authentique formulation creamy and not too drying for a long-lasting formulation.

What things do you pick up when you're away? 

The Fine Print: Ill-gotten gains from my honeymoon.  You knew I was going to buy shizz, didn't you?

This post: Rouge Baiser Mademoiselle Authentique 304 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 26 February 2013

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine 4 Rouge in Danger Review

The YSL Rouge Voluptes have some of the nicest packaging on the market, however long-term readers (I know there's at least two of you) will know that I'm not the hugest fan of the formulation, I find it too greasy and slick, and it doesn't meld with the lips as well as I'd like.  Recently I was sent a preview sample of the latest addition to the range "Rouge Volupte Shine" in Rouge in Danger to try, and, being a fair-minded kind of person, I thought I'd give the range a second go.

Here are my thoughts:

First off the packaging is beautiful, in the same classic packaging as the original range, with a colour-co-ordinated band around the middle which matches the shade of the lipstick inside:


The shade, Rouge in Danger is a glorious, bright, tomato red.  It's lovely, and it's surprisingly saturated for such a glossy finish.  A lot of these new "shiny" lipsticks from a lot of brands recently are essentially just a solid lipgloss, but Rouge Volupte Shine is very pigmented indeed, I was expecting just the merest whisper/hint of a sheer red tint from this, but I was pleasantly surprised:


 On the lips, especially in natural daylight, this is even more pronounced:

It's an excellent, shiny, bright lipstick.  So, there is lots to love about it.  However, I'm still decidedly on the fence about the formula, and here's why (picture with flash):

 As with the original formula, I find this sits on the lips, and never melds with the skin itself.  It settles somewhat into lines and this makes it appear patchy.  If your lips aren't in tip-top condition (as my bottom one definitely isn't at the moment - though the top one is fine) then this will magnify and highlight every single flaw.

Overall, if you're already a fan of the YSL Rouge Volupte formula (and very, very, very many people are - I'm aware I'm in the minority here)  then you will love YSL Rouge Volupte Shine, there's a lot to love: beautiful packaging, brightly saturated colours, a fabulous shine and a nice mango scent.  However if you're on the fence like me, I'm not sure you'll be convinced.  Am I wrong?  I look forward to finding out in the comments!

YSL Rouge Volupte Shines are out on counter right now, in 19 different shades, and they cost £24.50.
The FIne Print: PR Sample.

This post: YSL Rouge Volupte Shine 4 Rouge in Danger 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

Monday 25 February 2013

Honeymoon Makeup Bag

I didn't want to take a huge amount of products with me to Paris last week, so broke out a tiny sampling of tried and trusted favourites, and new bits that needed a good testing, and made do with one - ONE! - lipstick whilst I was there.  I figured, hey, it's Paris, there's a Sephora on the doorstep if it all goes wrong!

Luckily,  it didn't.  Here's what I took:

Clockwise from bottom left:
DJV Beautenizer Volume Lash Mascara: I get mine from Cult Beauty, it's simply the best tubing mascara I've used.  I love it.  I occasionally use it in conjunction with the same company's Fibrewig mascara which is better for lengthening, and hey, I get to sing Fibrewig to the Spiderpig theme for the rest of the day...

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in LotsO' Latte and Fuller Fudge:  Both taupe-ish shades, though Fuller fudge has a touch more orange/copper in the mix.  These are simple, and easy to use, and are very silky to apply without dragging.  They take a bit of building up though, and I discovered that they do need a primer underneath or they crease and fade quite badly (albeit slowly).  I like them, but I don't love them, to be honest, I think I'd like them more if they were slightly more pigmented, and (ironically) a bit thinner.  I may try some of the less neutral shades and see how I like those.  


Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser in Glow: I love this.  I need a back up.  It's nourishing and gives good buildable courage with just a hint of a sheen.  It makes my skin look amazing.  I need a back up (possibly in a slightly lighter shade), did I mention that?

Illamasqua Liquid Liner in Abyss: My holy grail liquid liner.  This one is nearly dead after almost two years of almost-daily usage.  I need a replacement.

Green People Mineral Powder Blush in Peach (with Louise Young blusher brush): This is a delightfully soft blusher that gives you a slight glow without shimmer.  Very natural looking, and not too much on the orange side.

And finally: Givenchy Le Rouge in Carmin Escarpin: I'm a shallow so-and-so, and, I have to admit, that I mainly packed this because it's an extremely stylish lipstick, clad in chrome and leather, and, well ... Givenchy were kind enough to send me a sample that had been engraved with my name:

Who can resist such luxury?  Luckily for Givenchy (and the Lippie mush), the formula is a winner too.  Lightweight and matte, with great slip, it's a fabulous red lipstick, which felt perfectly at home in Paris! Lasting time is about average for such a bright colour, but reapplying is no real hardship, let's face it!

There we have it, seven products and a brush.  What would you take on holiday with you?
The Fine Print: Mixture of PR Samples, purchases and re-purchases, with more re-purchases to come.

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Wednesday 20 February 2013

Competition time!

Just cos I'm on my (mini) honeymoon doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you guys!  Over on my Facebook page (I have one you know) there's a caption competition running, where you can win a bag of goodies fresh from Paris! 

Pop on over, hit the like button and say something funny, you never know what you might win ... (handy hint, I'm going to be spending a LOT of time in Sephora)

See you on Sunday! 

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Monday 18 February 2013


Photo by Priya Sonn (stunned-mullet faces, all our own work)
Well, the wedding was on Saturday, and, we had the best day. Seriously, the loveliest, funniest day ever. We were blessed with great weather, good friends, and getting to share our day with the people we love was an amazing experience!  And there was cake.  LOTS of cake!

Photo by Helen Burnham
There is no real post today, or this week really (I'll be back on a regular posting schedule next week) but I wanted to share a couple of our pictures with you and say a heartfelt thanks to some of the people who helped make yesterday so special:

In no particular order:

MakeUpByKaty who did brilliant makeup, and was wonderful company in the hours before the ceremony
Naomi at Neville Salon who does the best blow dries I've ever had.  EVER.  (full review soon!)
Helen & Caroline for sorting out the hen party, and allowing me not to ever worry about it.
Amy at The Beauty Slice for dragging herself out of her sickbed and making my family look wonderful.
Lovely's Vintage Emporium, where we found the most beautiful vintage wedding jewellery
Fushigi Shop, who designed, and made the beautiful gifts for the wedding party
Jack Howard for being best colourist ever, and a really good friend too.
Sheenie, who made the cupcakes, and Jane who made the wedding cake, all of which were so good people were having seconds (and thirds!)
There's also Sheonaidh, who is one of the best friends a girl ever had.  Especially to a bad-tempered unreliable midget  like myself. Thank you for being with me during the collywobbles.
Of course, big thanks to Priya Sonn for being a fun and wonderful wedding photographer. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the official shots!
There's also our friends and our families, too numerous to mention individually, who all came together on Saturday and made it such a warm, fun and friendly day.  You guys rock, and we're lucky to know all of you! 

Photo by Selena Peters  
And finally, to my husband, who has my heart, is in my soul, is my partner-in-crime, and is always my best friend, even when I don't deserve it.  Being the partner of a dedicated beauty blogger isn't an easy thing, but, Matthew, thank you for always letting me have the run of the cupboard space. I love you.
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Monday 11 February 2013

Wedding Prep - Nails (Featuring Nailtiques and Estee Lauder)

Getting married makes you paranoid about the oddest things - zits, blotches, weight, hair, and  ... nails.  My nails are weak, peely and friable in their natural state, and hands are so important in a wedding (the rings!) that I'm spending this last few days before the ceremony in a tizz about breaking one of them.

Actually, I'm in a tizz about a lot of things, but breaking a nail, stupid though it may sound, is definitely one of them! I think my nails are looking pretty good at the moment, and that is largely down to one product, this:

 I've been using it for around 18 months now, and it makes my soft, peely, (and really flipping annoying) nails hard as ... well, nails, really!   I don't, however, use it like it says in the instructions, (which are to use a layer every other day, and not with polish), but I do use it as a basecoat for my painted nails. A layer of this, a layer of Orly Bonder, and only then am I ready to get painting with a colour.  I've had my bottle so long now, though, that I can't actually remember where I got it from, yes, I'm still on that first bottle!  I remember wincing at the price, too, but it's worth every single penny.

It's made a world of difference to my nails, they peel a lot less, and they're strong and hard. I just can't imagine ever being without a bottle. I just have to not break a nail now till after Saturday ...

Oh, the polish in the top picture, which I love, is Insatiable by Estee Lauder.  A dirty lavender, which is a great alternative to all the "pretty" pastels appearing on counters at the moment.  It's limited edition, and on counters now, so go snap one up. God, I hate pastels ...

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