Beauty Without Fuss

Sunday 27 October 2013

Merry Christmas!

Shurrup, the clocks have gone back, haven't they?  That means Christmas is right around the corner, in my world.

A few weeks ago, I innocently tweeted about my "Christmas cupboard", and it was picked up on by Tesco Mobile.  We had a little twitter conversation, about the holiday season, and, whilst I fairly quickly figured out they were up to something, I couldn't figure out what. Turns out they had a big surprise up their sleeves!  To find out more, click and watch the video below (it's pretty amusing):

We're still picking the glitter out of the soft furnishings ... but you can see what else Tesco have up their sleeves by following their #AnytimeUpgrade hashtag on Twitter ...

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Friday 25 October 2013

Lulu's Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail

I've ignored Lulu's skincare up until now.  I don't really know why, but I just find celebrity tie-ins rather gimmicky, and ordinarily I'd prefer to buy my skincare from certified skincare professionals rather than ex-popstars, but that's me being a snob, I guess.

Complexion cocktail is a lightly viscous pale pink liquid, which is packed full of hydraluronic acid and vitamin B12, it's designed for tired, dehydrated skins (which has been a bit of a theme this week if you've been paying attention) and I think it's a bit more of a treatment than a daily toner.  I think it would be excellent for sorting out hungover skin.  Which I never have, of course. EVER.

I use this after my Clarins Gentle Exfoliating toner, and it soothes cools and refreshes whilst adding a shot of moisture before I follow it with Hydraluron, Aquarysta  and my normal moisturiser.  I really like it.  It's great for adding a shot of moisture when you need it, and if I could change one thing about it (besides the pea-green container, which is rather hideous), I'd put it in a spray bottle to make it easier to refresh your skin with the product during the day.

Lulu's Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail costs £24 for 100ml from the Timebomb website, or you can get kits containing a full size of the product from £35 on QVC.  I might even investigate the range further, myself.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

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Thursday 24 October 2013

Lipstick Queen Metals - Wine


It's always a thrill when Lipstick Queen releases a new range, and this is a slightly interesting departure for the brand: a frosted "metallic" finish.  Three shades will be available when the lipsticks are released in November, a nude, a red and a wine.  I'm a HUGE fan of LQ's wine shades (having worn both Saint and Sinner Wine to a nubbin this year), so this was a nice lipstick for me to get hold of.  Let's take a look:


Metal wine is a deep and cool, but bright burgundy shade, packed with tonnes and tonnes of metallic particles.  It's not really a shimmer, and it's definitely not glitter, it's also not a chrome finish either.  It IS quite metallic though, look:

I was a bit worried that the colour would look "frosted" on the skin, and therefore instantly transport me back to 1986, but I needed have worried.  The lipstick is pigmented and rich (and unscented), and it is slightly more sophisticated than I would have expected from a metallic formulation:

Wear time is good, a full three or four hours or so before needing a touch up, but you will get the red ring of doom from this shade though.  A bit, so it's slightly high-maintenance.  I also find it slightly more drying than the regular Lipstick Queen formulation, so do make sure you prep with plenty of balm first.  As you can probably tell from these shots, I didn't:

Metallics by Lipstick Queen will be on counter from early November.  

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

Astalift Aquarysta and Indeed Labs Hydraluron

I went through a phase recently of extremely dehydrated skin thanks to a product that will remain unnamed. Once I'd identified (a moisturiser with built-in sunscreen - NEVER again) and eliminated the culprit, I needed to get my skin back to full hydration, but I wanted to try and avoid greasiness if at all possible.  I'd been trying - and failing - with Hydraluron for a few months, but decided to give it another go, layered with another product that I've tried in the past, and quite liked, but didn't love.

It turns out, however, that if your skin is dehydrated to the point of feeling like pebbled leather, then your skin will LOVE these two products, especially if you layer them one over the other for a double whammy of hydrating gel-based goodness. 

Astalift Aquarysta is based around collagen, and Hydraluron is chockfull of hydraluronic acid.  Both are gels, a texture that normally gives me the heebie jeebies, but I can't deny that that for dehydrated skin - and not, I must make clear, dry skin,  my skin is on the oily side, albeit sensitive - gels are fabulous.  Easily absorbed, and not leaving a residue on the skin, I found that my "pebbly" problem cleared up in a couple of days, and I've kept up using this duo of products ever since.  My skin is smoother and more evenly textured than it has been in a long time as a result.  I'm happy!

I love how the Aquarysta jelly self-levels in the jar after you scoop some out (there are, quite literally, whole minutes of fun you can have chopping up the jelly with the tiny scoop included then watching the product right itself), and both the Aquarysta and Hydraluron leave skin in great condition, and ready for your moisturiser over the top. Just a quick word for people who don't like scented products though, the Astalift range is rather heavily scented with a slightly old-fashioned tea-rose scent, and some people might find this offputting.  

 Hydraluron is unscented, and is usually included in those 3-4-2 offers at Boots. I highly recommend that you pick up a tube or two, just in case.

Personally, I think that if your skin is in good condition, then you might not notice these products making any difference - I certainly didn't! - but when your skin is totally out of condition, or tired, or lacking some glow, then both (or either, I realise not everyone is as lucky as I am with my magic blogger cupboard), of these could make all the difference in the world.  I'm off to purchase backups of both for my honeymoon next month, when I fear the sun and the salt and the sunscreen is going to wreak havoc with my complexion ...

The Fine Print: PR Samples.

This post: Astalift Aquarysta and Indeed Labs Hydraluron 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 October 2013

Top Five Favourite Blushers

Since I had my colour-draping back in June, I've been looking to replace my not-quite-right golden coral blushes with something a little cooler and pinker. For a long time, I never wore blusher at all, fearing I'd look like a clown, or Aunt Sally or something, but I realise these days that my makeup simply isn't complete without blusher, and finding the right shade is deeply important.  I've been building up this tiny blusher wardrobe for the last few months, and here are my current favourites:

Clockwise from bottom left, we have:

Cargo - Bali
Art Deco - Blush Couture
Illamasqua Velvet Blusher - Peaked
Smashbox Halo Longwear Blush - In Bloom
Laura Geller Blush'n'Brighten - Ethereal Rose/Sateen Subtle Berry

All are pinks or plums of varying intensities, except Smashbox In Bloom, which is a rather pinked coral, which is probably the brightest shade here.  Swatches:

 Swatched in the same order, you can see Cargo Bali has a slight hint of blue microshimmer, giving the pinkish coral a cooler overtone.  Art Deco Blush Couture is a lovely soft plum with a smooth satin finish.  Illamasqua Peaked (in the centre) is a very cool raspberry purple, which is a glorious shade, but I find it rather hard to apply naturalistically, it definitely needs a duo-fibre brush and an extremely light hand.  Smashbox In Bloom is a pretty pink-coral that is great with an extremely natural look for lightening and brightening my face.  I love it.  And then there is the Laura Geller Ethereal Rose, which is the one I've had the most use out of recently. It's probably the most subtle of the five here, but it still gives a great subtle glow, and a fabulous highlight effect.

Here's how they photograph with a flash:

As you can see, only Peaked and In Bloom have a matte finish.

What's your favourite blusher at the moment? 

The Fine Print: Mixture of PR Samples and purchases.

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Monday 21 October 2013

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream Review

I struggle a great deal with eyecreams, rarely finding one that the sensitive skin around my eyes can tolerate. As a result over the last few years, I've very rarely used one.  Up until the last year or so this hasn't really been a problem, but I have been noticing dehydration lines more often these days, which is kind of depressing.

At an event a little while ago, I was prescribed this Extra Firm Eye Wrinkle Smoothing cream (and if getting prescribed a "wrinkle smoothing cream" at an event isn't depressing, I don't know what is), and I promised to use it, at least once, to see if my eyes could tolerate it.  I tried it once, my eyes didn't sting, burn or water, I shrugged,  and figured I'd use it a couple more times.

Since then, its become a daily staple, and I've been using it for a couple of months now.  I really like it.  It's a thick, rich formula, which I find highly hydrating, and I barely ever have a hydration line now, which is wonderful!  

Fomulated with rose wax and blackcurrant extract, it's soothing, and yes, smoothing.  I can't speak for its long-term wrinkle-smoothing properties because, in spite of my elderly, slightly dehydrated (occasionally crispy) state, I'm actually not that wrinkly.  But hey, maybe keeping this in my rotation will be a good preventative measure.  The cream has definitely fixed my dehydration lines without causing any reactions, and for that reason I'll be keeping a pot around.  This is the first eyecream I've ever been able to use for longer than a week, and for that reason, it's a miracle.  A MIRACLE, I tell you.  Not having burning, rash-y eyes is such a blessing!

Between this, and the Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, and their frankly amazing eye makeup remover (and a couple of other things I've not reviewed yet) Clarins is fast becoming my very favourite high street skincare brand.  It's coming up to winter, which means I'll be breaking out their fabulous skincare oils again soon too, they're always a treat.  

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

This post: Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream 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

Thursday 10 October 2013

Guerlain Tenue De Perfection Foundation Review

It's always a treat when Guerlain release a new foundation, and in fact, my review of their Lingerie de Peau formulation is still one of the most-read reviews on this site, which is astonishing for a three year old review.  So I was excited when an unexpected bottle of Tenue de Perfection popped through the letterbox.  It's meant to be a "timeproof" formulation, so let's see how it fares.

This is Beige Clair, the same shade I am in all the Guerlain foundations.  It's a nice pale shade ordinarily.  Tenue de Perfection is quite a thick formulation, almost mousse-y in texture, but it's quite light and spreads very easily over the skin.  The amount you can see on my hand above (and please bear in mind that my hands are a couple of shades paler than my face) is more than enough to cover my face and neck at least one and a half times - as you can probably tell from the picture below!

This shows an extremely thick coverage thanks to the overlarge dollop I'd dished out in the pictures above, and as a result it looks far too dark for my skin here.  In fact, sheered out over my face, it actually gives medium-coverage with a rather matte finish, nothing like as "glowy" as Lingerie de Peau, and with a higher coverage, and higher SPF.

It's actually a really nice foundation.  Matte without being too flat, and good coverage without either caking or looking too mask-like. One caveat though, the shades do run slightly darker than the other other shades with the same name in the Guerlain range - you're not going to want to buy this one without swatching first, I promise you.

I do prefer the finish of this with a powder, preferably one with a slight highlighting effect, such as the Hourglass Ambient Light powder (which I, quite frankly, adore) in Diffused.  And yes, it does last rather well, I only notice a slight breakthrough in shine around my nose after about eight hours wear, but I didn't notice any separation or flaking or fading on other areas of the face for around 12 hours or so, which is fantastic.

If you prefer a sheer, or glowing finish, this isn't the foundation for you.  But if you want medium-coverage, maybe due to uneven toned skin, or high colouring, then I think you'll like this one.  I certainly do.

 The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: Guerlain Tenue De Perfection Foundation 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

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Vaseline Limited Edition No 3 - Paint the Town

Vaseline have introduced a brand new limited edition, and it's one I really like, it's RED!  This isn't really going to be a detailed review.  Pfeh, it's, you know, a tub of Vaseline.

It's not scented with anything, it's Vaseline with a hint of red pigment, and it is, apparently the very first tinted variety of lip product Vaseline have ever done.

To be fair, it's only very slightly tinted, but it is definitely a red rather than a pink, which is great.  You'll get just a hint of a tint though, and it won't last much longer than a Caramac thrown into a Slimming World meeting, but it's a nice edition from Vaseline all the same.  Handy for those "can't be bothered" days, I'll be taking this on my honeymoon next month ...

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Tuesday 8 October 2013

Lucy Annabella Organics - Spearmint & Lemongrass Candle

I love discovering new brands, especially new organic brands.  When Lucy Annabella got in touch, I knew there were lots of things from the brand that I wanted to try as soon as I looked that their lovely clean, and easy to read website, but I settled on this Spearmint and Lemongrass candle, as has been well-documented previously, I go a little bonkers for mint-scented products (in a good way), and hell, I'm always a sucker for a candle, and these are gorgeous candles.  I was a bit spoiled for choice though, as the bath milks sound amazing and so do the treatment oils, one of which I'll be reviewing soon too.

Based in Northern Ireland, Lucy Annabella has been founded by Collen Harte, a clinical aromatherapist (disclosure, my mum is also a clinical aromatherapist, such things do exist) and complementary therapist, and the brand is intended to bring "pure living" into your home.  Products are certified by both the Aromatherapy Trade Council and the Soil Association.

The Spearmint and Lemongrass candle is sharp and invigorating and scents the whole flat when it's burning.  Mint is an unusual choice for a candle, but it's one I enjoy very much whenever I find it, and it's great for a daytime burn, or for helping to clear the mind when you're working - in fact, I'm burning it now whilst I'm writing this review. Soy wax based - I find plant waxes always burn more cleanly than petroleum-based candles - with a cotton wick, the candles are clean-burning and have a great throw, our four-room high-ceilinged flat always smells clean, bright and inviting when we have this lit and it's lasted well, the company suggest that you will get a fifty hour burn for your £32, which is great value.  You will need to keep your wick trimmed though, as with all candles of quality.  The lemongrass tempers the mintiness, adding a separate layer of fresh scent, and not making it smell like you're burning toothpaste.

I adore the packaging too, my candle arrived in a box decorated with mint leaves, and the candle itself was wrapped in tissue, making this a glorious gift idea.

So, this is an exciting new brand discovery for me, more to come.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

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Monday 7 October 2013

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie - Risk it All, Call the Shots, Live Large, Lead the Way

A little overdue, this review!  I was sent this set of beautiful shades a few months ago, and they've been in regular rotation ever since. 

 A bit of a departure for Bare Minerals, the Marvelous Moxie range of lipsticks is a collection of extremely BRIGHT and deeply saturated shades in a much wider collection of colours than we've come to expect from the brand in recent years.  They're a bit of a revelation - beautifully packaged too, I love the off-set tops, and the push-button slide mechanism to open them.

From left to right here, we have: Risk it All, a cool bright pink, Call the Shots, which is a lovely tomato red, Live Large (my favourite), a plummy mauve, and Lead the Way, which is, quite frankly, purple.  In use the lipsticks are soft (more about this later), creamy and opaque, and they're unscented too, which is a bonus.

As you can see, they're all pretty true to the shades in the bullet (Lead the Way aside, this is quite a bit lighter and brighter on the skin, which is a good thing!) once swatched, this is one pass over unprimed skin, and the effect is much the same on the lips.  They're not super long-lasting, but you will get a good three or four hours wear out of the shades, if you can manage not to eat or drink for that period of time. 

For my Sci/Art readers, here's how they look against the Dark Winter fan: 

You can see from this picture that Live Large (at the top, against square 6.2)  is a bit beaten up, this is because the formulation is a bit soft, and in use the bullet has shifted in the case.  There's been a bit of a snapping situation, alas, which is a bummer, as this is a perfect "neutral" shade for my lips, and it's the shade I've worn the most as a result. Ah well.

The lipsticks are a little brighter than the fan, but I wear them anyway.  The Moxie collection is fun and bright, and a joy to wear.  Just try not to snap your favourite shades!

 The Fine Print: PR Samples.

This post: Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie - Risk it All, Call the Shots, Live Large, Lead the Way 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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