Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Muji Aroma Diffuser

 By Get Lippie

I genuinely don't know what happens to me when I get into a branch of Muji. I'll get an inkling earlier in the day, a little voice in the back of my head saying something like "You need to tidy up, freak", and I know that at some point later on in the day I'm going to end up wandering around Muji, slackjawed and glassy-eyed, wondering just what the hell all ... this ... is actually for.  Then I'll casually hand over approximately the GDP of a small African nation for a couple of what are essentially a couple of cardboard boxes made of polythene, and some gel pens, and leave the store.  And furthermore, I'll be happy.  Not just any old kind of happy, either.  ORGANISED happy.  Verging on ecstatic, even. This happiness tends to last till I get the boxes home and filled with crap, then the cycle begins again ...

Anyway, I used to think that Muji were pumping out crack into the atmosphere in their stores to create this happy and contented state of mind, and I wasn't actually that far wrong as it happens.  Last time I was in Muji, I was a bit discontented, and, after buying my bodyweight in polythene boxes as per usual,  I finally broke down and bought one of those "smelly fog machines" they always have on the go at the front of the store.  It was £45, but I'd seen a couple of people talking about putting their favourite perfumes in them to scent their homes, and from that point on, I'd wanted one.  No, actually, needed one.  So I bought one.

And I love it.  It's actually called an Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, and I have literally no idea how it works.  The top is removable, you fill it with water and a couple of drops of essential oil, you pop the lid back on and off it goes.  There's also a light with two settings on it, and a timer.  The diffuser gently bubbles away, and produces a light (dry) scented mist, which smells of whatever you've put in the machine. Simple, and, in its way, rather amazing.  It scents my entire living room, which is quite a big one, with 9ft ceilings, but there's a bigger unit too which can probably scent an entire home for £65, but the smaller unit works well in our flat.

You can buy a selection of essential oils from Muji to go into the diffuser (you literally only need about 3-4 drops of oil per 100ml of water) and these are okay, we liked the relaxing fragrance, but we weren't so fond of the uplifiting blend for some reason, then I put a bit of L'Artisan Perfumer Safran Troublant in the machine, and we've been ignoring the aromatherapy blends ever since.  It's glorious to be able to scent your home with fine fragrance, without needing candles or wasting a lot of perfume just spraying it around.  You'll get a subtle, but distinctive fragrance in your home, and it will last for hours and hours - the diffuser works for up to three hours at a time.  The more fragrance you put in, the stronger the effect will be.  I generally use around five sprays of fragrance per "diffusion".  Today we're diffusing Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta, and it is absolutely gorgeous!  I've also liked Joan Collins I Am Woman in there too, but more about that another time ....

The instructions state not to use anything other than essential oils as "chemicals" in synthetic fragrances will break the machine.  Somehow though, I doubt the machine can actually tell what is a synthetic and what is a natural fragrance - it is ALL chemicals at the end of the day ... 

So, an impulse buy, but one I've enjoyed hugely.  And if you think £45 is expensive for what is, essentially, a glorified air freshener then let me tell you about the £80 one I have from Fornasseti ...

You can find the Muji Aroma Diffuser here:
 The Fine Print: I bought this.  I was in a bad mood with MrLippie though, and I used his money, so it's all good.

This post: Muji Aroma Diffuser 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 25 March 2014

Aveda Pure-formance Aroma Spray For Men

 By Luke
I am a bit of a massive fragrance freak, which until recently I referred to as a fumehead until someone mistook that for meaning crack smoker. 

The blogosphere is full of them to varying degrees of expertise. You have your serious perfume heads, with their in depth and rather lofty descriptions, right down to the ‘I liked this, it’s nice’ clan. All valid, all justified, and all perfectly acceptable appreciators of perfume. Me, I think I am sandwiched in between these two camps. Not particularly ‘educated’ in scent, but know enough about the industry and fragrances to speak with some conviction.

I love fragrance, I really do, in the same way I love chocolate bars. I cannot bear to think of me without any, or to be honest with just one to choose from.

As such, I smell a lot. Like chocolate, it’s all open to interpretation, and personal taste. I would never say this is disgusting, or don’t wear this. One man’s treasure and all that. However, I did come across this scent which to say the least, challenged me. 

I have a real issue with the gender binary. And not just where fragrance is concerned. Men’s fragrances, traditionally, are quite often characterised by that ‘woody’ smell that is supposed to make us all feel a little bit manly having been out chopping wood, and wrestling bears on a forest floor or whatever it is the gender binary would have us be doing. Compared to women who, traditionally, are outside picking flowers, and rolling around in candy floss (it has A LOT to answer for). I find it all a bit limiting, certainly from a more mainstream perspective. Fragrance should be transcendent of this, but hey.

For a brand that is predominantly about hair with a dash of lifestyle thrown in, it was quite brave really to release a fragrance.  Anyway, in 2008 they did. Aveda’s chief perfumer Ko-ichi Shiozawa created the Pure Formance Aroma Spray to be reminiscent of ‘Northern air, and deep rich forests’. Back to that gender binary.So what is it like? 

Well, when I first sprayed it I really baulked at the smell that lingered in the air and was NOT keen to put this on my skin AT ALL! It reminded me of bleach weirdly enough. In the interests of my own curiosity, (and this feature), I did wear it.

Peculiar, interesting, odd, different, are all words that if there was a sum of them all would be able to describe how this is to me. But none of this is bad. I didn’t dislike it because it smelled so familiar.
Spearmint is one of the pure oils used here, and that comes through very strongly. And remains. It also has perceptible vetiver and lavender (barely perceptible) and citrus.

First spray is a little minty, then after a while it dries down to the distinct smell of nature. A warm pine forest, heavily fragranced with mint. Did I mention the mint? There’s mint here. The final dry down leaves a very ‘green’ smell. That’ll be the forest, or at least the vetiver. This is what remains. A green woody smell of nature.

 Challenged as I was by this, I haven’t been able to stop wearing it. Curiosity alone has me doing this. Not one element of this is remotely like a ‘traditional’ men’s fragrance, or even a fragrance at all.
Does it make me feel more manly? No!

But isn’t that great?

And now, for some chocolate...

This post: Aveda Pure-formance Aroma Spray For Men 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 24 March 2014

Lipstick of the Week

By Tindara

Oyez! Oyez! My first Lipsticks of the Week! So here we go chaps, it’s my first selection and I mostly went with my old faithfuls. There is some similarity between all the bullets, I won’t lie. A red lipstick stain on my glass is how I roll. As I wear specs my easy everyday look tends to be eyebrow pencil and clear brow and lash gel with a bright lip and blusher. So I can be a bit of creature of habit when it comes to lip colour. Do you ever get those days when you feel like your head is filled with cotton wool and something is just not firing correctly in your brain? My solutions are equal parts espresso and red lipstick. Or a bright fuchsia, at a push. Last week was a toughie; lots of meetings and training sessions, and my first event for Get Lippie, so when I opened my dressing table drawer to choose a lipstick in the mornings, it was most likely a tried and tested colour and formulation that just makes me feel good. 

First up is Nars lipstick in Heatwave. It’s a beautiful orange red with a semi-matte texture that recalls the freshest tomato salsa or a juicy blood orange. I really like to wear it in spring/summer as the tomato pull plays well in sunshine with brighter colours and works with little or no eye make-up. It’s also a really good look with leopard print and huge clip on earrings though, if you’re going for a retro vintage feel. Although it’s a semi-matte formulation it’s not drying at all and lasts fairly well. No ring of doom either, it tends to wear off evenly. This is probably the lipstick I’m wearing most at the moment. So I suppose it goes without saying I wore the Nars Heatwave twice last week.

But before this came Dita. Our fragrant editor Louise has waxed lyrical about the Art Deco Dita Von Teese Art Couture Lipstick Velvets before. They’re highly pigmented lasting lipsticks that have a matte finish. You can see a pattern here can’t you? I have a few of these but the one I use the most is Muse Red, which is, again, an orange red, possibly even more tomatoey than the Heatwave. I really like the vanilla smell and the way it lasts and lasts without being drying. In fact, I love this lipstick so much I worry I may not find it again, so I’ve recently bought another JUST IN CASE. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this.

When I’m not wearing reds, I like a deep pink of some description and in my opinion you can’t get better than Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colour in Cosmic Raspberry. It’s not so bright as to be a ‘shocking’ pink, but there’s an unmistakable magenta hint to this hydrating lipstick. It carries the same weight as a red but is more playful and berry-like. I wear it with a bare eye, as per, or lots of black eyeliner, either smudged or flicked. It’s a really flattering colour and lasts pretty well leaving a pleasing berry stain on the lips.

Guerlain Rouge Blossom Rouge Automatique in Insolence is my last lipstick, one I picked up at Lippie HQ and felt like giving a go. The packaging is just the most beautiful design. I suggest you go to a Guerlain counter to see what I mean if you don’t have one. The sliding mechanism and jack in the box lipstick is hours of fun. Well, if you’re me it is. The colour looks like it will be a very bright pink, but what actually goes on is a deep rose pink with just a hint of brightness that’s really flattering. It’s also really hydrating and comfortable. This one is growing on me. I can see me wearing it a lot if we actually get a decent spring and summer.

Tune in next time for more lipstick stories. Will she wear pink? Will she wear red? Will she run out bare faced ‘cause she overslept and switched her alarm off and put on whatever is in her bag? Maybe. 
Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick in Heatwave is £18.50. Art Deco Dita Von Teese Art Couture Lipstick Velvet in Muse Red is £16.50. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colour in Cosmic Raspberry is £19.00 Guerlain Rouge Blossom Rouge Automatique in Insolence is £22.50.

The fine print: Mixture of purchases and PR Samples

This post: Lipstick of the Week 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 23 March 2014

Spring Colour - Week Three

By Luke

As with all things great, good weather is rarely constant. 

Occasionally during the springtime we get the occasional irritation of inclement weather making an appearance and gently reminding us that all good things must come to an end.  But, if you’re an optimist, rain may be a welcome relief. A breath of fresh air in the city, and a bit if a life saver for us all, not to mention the plants. So revitalise, and freshen up. There’s nothing quite like a bit of a refreshing shower during a hot spell, and here are some little pieces inspired by precipitation. 

Jo Malone Rain & Angelica

Jo Malone London have re packaged 2 of their existing scents, and released two new ones with the theme of the british weather in mind. So which one do I go for? Well the rain. It’s the one we are perhaps most familiar with after all. Rain & Angelica is in a clear bottle with a graded sweet, fresh blue hue running up the side of it. 
The juice is crystal clear, and the bottles style is very classically Jo Malone. So what does it smell like? Well, in it is a heady mix of vetiver, and the very herbal angelica. A good green mix. It goes on that way, all fresh and dewy.  There is a lime in there too apparently although I found this almost undetectable. On the dry down, it settles into a sort of powdery soft cushiony smell, but retains the herbaceous element of the ‘green’.  Soft, and glowy, and as much as I despise this when describing a fragrance, fresh.  Uber feminine, and eminently wearable . 

Not sure about the rain accord that we’re told it has...there have been discussions at Lippie Towers about what London rain could smell like. But why ruin a good review with those. ;o)
Jo Malone London Rain & Angelica, £82 for 100ml out now.

Années Folles Larger Than Life Gloss by NARS

NARS’ uber gloss Larger Than Life in this colour.  Quite simply incredible, and slightly out of the ordinary colour. Shiny isn’t the word. DRENCHED comes close.
£18.50, available nationwide.

Elemis Cellular Recover Skin Bliss Capsules


Right, so I have a very dry skin, and it needs a ton of feeding in order for it to not look like a fried up chamois leather cloth.  These are nothing short of a skin miracle.  It’s always important to me personally, and professionally to use products that are a joy to use, as well results orientated.  These are both. 

Pure moringa oil is the base of these, but there is one for the morning (with rose absolu) and one for the night time (with lavender). Nothing hits the spot like these little babies!
This particular product is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, and as well as a natty little set, they are teaming up Wellbeing of Women charity and will be donating £15000 of sales from this limited edition supersize set to them.

Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules Limited Edition set, £79.50 available at selected John Lewis’, or at

Guerlain Meteorites Perles

Just like little bubbles of happiness in a box!  Guerlain do these almost every spring season.  Little solid balls of multi coloured pigment to create an almost shimmery, dew like like effect in different hues to counteract redness, and illuminate the skin in a very natural way.  The box itself is a wonder to behold based on a round jewellery box created in 1780 for Catherine de Médicis.  They are a beauty classic, and if you don’t own one, get thee to a Guerlain counter immediately.

Guerlain Meteorites Perles in three shades, £36. Available nationwide.

This post: Spring Colour - Week Three  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 16 March 2014

Spring is Sprung!

By Luke

Spring Week 2

We are sticking with the blue green theme this week, but turning the heat up ever so slightly, so really amazing colours, and products to brighten even the very dullest of days. Boredom, is not an option with any of these.

Terry DGunzberg, Bleu Paradis and Fruit Défendu
You know what? The woman is a bit of a genius. Terry launched the Haute Parfumerie nigh on two years ago in true elegance and style, and is continuing in that vain for the latest releases of these two rather fabulous, vibrant fragrances.
The juice in the bottles is as easy on the eye as they are on the nose, being as they are in a bright blue and a vibrant green.  The boxes are embossed with a stylised rose motif that refers to the rose notes that carry throughout these.
The greener, in every sense of the word, Fruit Défendu is a sweet, herby dream of a scent. With mango and bergamot at the top , and soft delicate rosewood, and the refresher like scent of pink peppercorn at the base.  It does smell very similar to one of her previous efforts, al beit very much lighter, but I’m unable to put my finger on which one it is.
The blue addition, Bleu Paradis has a blue rose scent we are told (I wouldn’t know that from a red one to be honest, but it’s very nice) Mauritian lychee giving a light fruity glow and then coming down to a very soft and very warm smelling cedar.Smells fresher and altogether more ‘beachlike’ than the green.
Both have their merits, and complement each other beautifully, it’s a challenge to choose a favourite.
Available exclusively from Selfridges from March 13th, then nationwide from 27th, 100ml EDP £105.  

Leighton Denny Glamazone from The International Collection.
A bit of inspiration from the Spring/Summer 2014 catwalks apparently, the whole collection is an explosion of colour, andGlamazone is a gorgeous rich turquoise with a bit of a shimmer through it.
£11 Available, M&S, John Lewis and Fenwick’s.  

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Freak.
Relaunched in time for Spring, these really are the shizz.
A longwearing pencil that isn’t so soft it smooshes in the lid, or when you try to sharpen in it Hate that. They really do stay put as well. A MAHOOSIVE selection of 40 colours, I have chosen Freak. A really gorgeous shimmery bright green.  As well as liners, draw a really thick line, and use your finger to smudge it up over your eyelid to get a really great long lasting eye colour.  They also act a great base, and give a really good grip for an eye shadow over the top of it, should you so wish. I. Want. Them. All.
£14 available in Debenhams, and House of Fraser.

NARS Eye Paint in Solomon Island.
Another extremely versatile eye product, Comes in a tiny little pot PACKED to the lid with product.  These are an indelible cream colour.  To be used as an eyeliner (with a brush), or all over the eye as a colour they don’t budge and go on smooth so no mistake worries getting too much colour in one place. I have chosen Solomon Island which a fantastic azure blue shade to put us all in mind of a sandy beach. Comes out EXACTLY as you see it in the pot too.
NARS Eye Paints, £18 available nationwide.


Wednesday 12 March 2014

Alien Eau Extraordinaire: If It Ain't Broke …

By Laurin

Oh, hey guys! It's the second weekend in March, and the temperature in London has finally risen over 15 degrees.  As the bearer of a British passport, I'm required by law to completely overreact to any glimpse of sunlight by baring eye-popping amounts of flesh and loudly announcing "SUMMER IS HERE!" to anyone who will listen on social media. Summer most emphatically ISN'T here, and won't be for another three months, but this island isn't known for letting like, GEOGRAPHY get in the way of good weather-relatedhistrionics. I'm only doing my patriotic duty.

The high street foliage has undergone a dramatic change in the past month, with the sludgy greys and rich purples of winter suddenly giving way to hues of icy blue and soft peach that seem designed specifically to showcases splashes of balsamic vinegar from my lunchtime salad. But don't think about that! Look, over here! A floaty silk chiffon dress! For your inner delicate flower! FOR GOD'S SAKE, WILL YOU PUT DOWN THAT HOT CROSS BUN AND - oh, you've had three? Might as well finish the pack then.

The Usual Suspects in the fragrance hall are also poised and ready to take advantage of your buoyant good mood and all that money you're so tired of lugging around. Yes, it's summer flanker time, so limber up, bitches and get ready to get fresh!A flanker, if you've not come across the term is essentially a sequel to an already established perfume. If you're in a generous mood, you could say that brands issue flankers in order to build on an established fragrance without starting from scratch, or to attract a younger customer who may associate earlier releases with something their mother or even grandmother wore. Some flankers, such as Coco Mademoiselle or Hypnotic Poison become successful enough to be deemed fragrances in their own right. On the other hand, the disenchanted among us might say that flankers are cheap, cynical attempts from major brands to bamboozle unsuspecting consumers with evocative language and pretty bottles (CK One Shock Street Edition for Him, anyone?). I say: If you can't say anything nice, come sit next to me.

For my money, the house of Thierry Mugler showcases some of the bravest and most interesting fragrances on the high street. Everyone I know seems to have a story about someone they knew (and usually hated) who wore Angel in the 90's, and I still find the salty caviar and fig riff of Womanity an astonishing act of faith for a mainstream brand to release in 2010, when the buzzwords in department stores seem to be "dull" and "inoffensive". Mugler makes a habit of not treating its customers like simpletons, and judging by the space they occupy in my local John Lewis, it seems to pay off.
But even a brand with a killer offering needs to offer newness, and Mugler certainly delivers, producing  flankers of its four pillar fragrances (Angel, A*men, Alien and Womanity) once or twice a year. For autumn, we're treated to the darker sides of these scents with cuirs, liquors and absolues, and in the spring we get the eaus and the aquas. This year's first summer offering is Alien Eau Extraordinaire, a luminous take on the 2005 original.

Composed by Dominique Ropion, the genius who gave us such masterpieces as Portrait of a Lady, Carnal Flower andAmarige (as well as the first Alien), the beige juice is housed in a transparent bottle similar to the original, but shorn of its sharp angles and edgy, sorcerer-fabulous charm. Instead of the Intergalactic Time Traveller come to shoot the funkless with her bop gun, we have the tastefully-accessorised Manhattan socialite come to top up the glasses of the champagne-less. Which is fine if you like that sort of generic prettiness, but isn't that why Jo Malone exists?

The fragrance opens strongly with a sparkling hit of bergamot and neroli and the refreshing bitterness of white grapefruit. This citrus sun shines brightly for about an hour or so, illuminating the tangle of jasmine and tiare flowers on the forest floor. But the initial euphoria quickly wears off, and you're left with a wan jasmine and some lukewarm cashmeran that apologises for itself, then makes a hasty exit - in short, a shadow of the bold original Alien that feels like a waste of an idea and talent. It's a bit like finding out that David Bowie has gone to work as a cashier in the Guildford branch of NatWest. You know the Goblin King is under there somewhere, but it's hard to make him out under the cheap grey Burton suit. If you're after something fresh for warmer weather, pick up a bottle of Mugler's very excellent Cologne instead.

As for me, my feelings about flankers remain unchanged: 90% of the time, you should just buy the original. Unless we're talking about M&M flankers, in which case, you must ALWAYS buy the pretzel M&Ms. As well as the original M&Ms. And the peanut M&Ms. They may not make you smell great, but at least you won't be disappointed.

Alien Eau Extraordinaire is available in any good department store and starts at £50 for 60ml.


Sunday 9 March 2014

Deborah Lippmann and Instagram

Did you know Get Lippie has an Instagram account? You can find us on there as Get_Lippie, you can see odd snippets of launch events, meals, stupidity, and mostly, makeup … for example, behold the glory that is Deborah Lippmann's Ruby Red Slippers:

Someone described it as looking like I'd just ripped a man's heart out in Temple of Doom, and, as I can't think of anything better to say about the varnish than that, that will just have to do … this was a gift from a Facebook friend, thank you so much, T!  


Saturday 8 March 2014

Spring Time Colour!

By Luke 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am a bit over the whole grey windy wet weather we seem to be experiencing at the minute.  It affects your mood, your energy levels, and not to mention your enjoyment of just about anything worth doing.

So, in anticipation of the bright sunshine, and frivolity and frolics of the spring time, let’s have a look at some really lovely bits that are so colourful, Spring may come that bit earlier.... at least to your dressing table.

Week one!

Greens shoots! With the garden looking like its making an appearance with all sorts of springtime flowers shooting up, this is the perfect combination of spring sights and smells to get you in the mood for the new season.

CK One Summer
Nothing says summer like crushed sugar and Tequila, and this has it all in there! CK One do a summer fragrance every year, and I am always a bit in love with them, Not least for the bottles alone! This years is a supernatural looking ombre of green and blue that sort of moves around, Magic, and smells fine too. Available from April 2nd, £32 for 100ml.

Loccitane Zesty Lime
With its famous Shea Butter formula, mixed brilliantly together with a very zingy Lime fragrance this body cream will definitely put you in mind of sunnier climes. This does smell amazing! And the lome scent lasts for a little while too.A great mood lifter.  L’Occitane Zesty Lime Shea Butter Body Creme, available now £18.

Van Cleef & Arpels Aqua Oriens
Another annual favourite of mine for the sunny season. If the bottle alone isn’t enough to cheer you up with its glorious imitation of an actual ring by Van Cleef & Arpels (yes, I have tried the lid on my finger and felt like a fairy princess), then the scent will definitely inspire you. Light and fruity, with essence of pear, amber and honeysuckle, it’s a super girly scent with a bit of class. I adore this fragrance on account of it being so easy to wear, light, and lasts!  5oml EDT £54, available nationwide.

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner by Urban Decay in Spandex
I am a big fan of the more extreme end of colour as far makeup is concerned, and Urban Decay always have it nailed.Their Glitter liners are some of the longest lasting, non flake off formulas I have used.  Use them as is, or over aneyeshadow to really get some sparkle. The clear fluid dries quickly and doesn’t crease either so very much a partyingfave. The Spandex has flecks of petrol blue and green through it, so would be amazing on brown eyes! £13 available from Debenhams and House of Fraser stores.

Friday 7 March 2014

Orange Crush with Tom Ford, Models Own and Lipstick Queen.

By Tindara

 I’ve always been one for a bright lipstick. From the days when I was an indie girl Smiths fan with a pale face and a quiff, to now when I’m probably after more poise and glamour, there is nothing like the feeling of facing the word with a slick of something tomato coloured on my mouth. It feels right somehow. Finished, strong, ready for anything.
These days I have added deeps pinks and fuschias to my bright lipstick addiction but have yet to branch out into a really strong orange shade. So when I saw that orange lips are a strong look for Spring Summer 2014, I was eager to try some of the ones that had winged their way to Lippie Towers.

The first I liked the look of is a heavily pigmented liquid lipstick from lip colour experts Lipstick Queen. Vesuvius Liquid Lips in Coral is a lovely deep orange shade. It’s really hydrating and looks glossy but is not as sticky as a regular lip gloss. I really liked the depth of colour and the fresh minty feel of this. It lasted fairly well too and left a more neutral coral stain to my lips through the latter half of the day. Though the liquid gloop did leak a little into the lid after a day being battered around in my bag, but that could just be me and my rough bag handling. I will try a few more of these gorgeous colours, I think.

Models Own Matt Hyper Brite

Day two of my orange experiment and I felt like something brighter and more full on. I had been given Models Own Matt Hyper Brite lipstick in Orangeade a while back but hadn’t had the guts to wear it much. Time to give it another go. I got lots of compliments with this shade. It happened to be a really spring like day, the sun was out and my hyper-bright orange lips made me feel happy. The texture is actually quite sheer so I had to build up the colour to get a depth to it, but it is a bright matt orange that stays put fairly well for a lipstick at this price point.

Next was Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral. For various reasons I have always avoided Tom Ford products, I always thought they were pricey and overblown and I really didn’t like the past perfume marketing. But I have to admit that this lipstick is pretty bloody awesome, my lips are really dry at the moment and it glided on and hydrated well. The white and gold packaging is gorgeous and the coral packs a mean orange punch. I didn’t want to like it but I really did, what can I say. It’s a luxurious lipstick and a beautiful colour.

Ultimately, oranges and corals can be really flattering and wearable, I had to get my head round the idea of having bright orange lips, and now for me it’s just a small step from the likes of my fave scarlets to some of these shades. With smudgy or flicky black liner they can look really modern and fresh. I may go even brighter and lighter next time.

Lipstick Queen Vesuvius Liquid Lips in Coral is £22. Models Own Matt Hyper Brite lipstick in Orangeade is £6. Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral is £36.

The fine print: PR samples.

This post: Orange Crush with Tom Ford, Models Own and Lipstick Queen. 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 4 March 2014

Nasomatto Black Afgano: Chasing the Dragon

By Laurin

One of my favourite customers of recent weeks was a dapper young gentleman who had clearly just been bitten by the perfume bug. He was high on vetiver and giddy with tales from the Le Labo counter. I was immediately jealous of him in the same way that I'm jealous of people who have never watched Six Feet Under - that is, I wanted to throw my arms around him and shout, "WELCOME TO MY WORLD YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO SORRY ABOUT YOUR WALLET!"

Now, I'm no psychologist, but I know a case of Acute Fragrance Psychosis when I see one. It's a condition that has afflicted many who have trod through the niche perfume path on the quest for fragrance Zen. Symptoms may include compulsive spending, an excessive proliferation of tiny glass vials about one's person, waxing lyrical about Portrait of a Lady, an overwhelming desire to loiter at the Guerlain counter, an obsession with pre-WWII leathers, vivid dreams in which Andy Tauer takes you to the cinema for a screening of Titanic (and in the dream he's like, your dad) and sudden, unexplained snobbery towards "department store brands".

Acute Fragrance Psychosis can end in one of two ways: you either keep chasing the dragon of that first extraordinary hit and end up committed (to the poorhouse) or you realise one day that you cannot possess all the things and you learn to be more judicious with your purchases, buying only what you truly love. Fortunately, I took the latter path, but my newfound enlightenment came with a price. Specifically, it came with the price of £108 for 30ml. Sit down, you guys. We need to talk. We need to talk about Buyer's Remorse.

Nasomatto's Black Afgano ticks all the boxes for a case of serious fragrant regret: it's over-hyped, overpriced and damn near impossible to find. I can think of at least five places in the UK where you can buy Nasomatto fragrances, but there's always a tell-tale gap on the shelf where Black Afgano should be. Once, I tried to smell it at Selfridges and was told they didn't even have the tester. It's basically the Keyser Soze of perfume.

What's so special about it? In a nutshell, it's supposed to smell of hashish. When it was created by Alessandro Gualtieri back in 2009, there were rumours that he’d had Afghani hashish smuggled to his Dutch laboratory in order to faithfully recreate its smell for his latest project. Some even say that the dark brown juice itself even contains a bit of the stuff. The Nasomatto website is quiet on the subject, revealing only that the fragrance “aims to evoke the best quality Hashish. It is the result of a quest to arouse the effects of temporary bliss.” Which is funny, because “bliss” is exactly how I would describe traipsing up and down Oxford Street on a Saturday in December, trying to get a whiff of the stuff as you slowly marinate in your own sweat under layers of wool and cashmere.
If you are lucky enough to get your sticky mitts on a bottle, what awaits you? Well, my main experience of cannabis is via an ex who liked to mix it into Cadbury’s chocolate mousse pots, so I spent my early 20’s convinced that it smelled and tasted exactly like Flake. Since then I’ve had the benefit of living in Brixton for over seven years, where a Local Businessman in a purple satin wolf jacket generously flogs his wares to the public from his office just outside the KFC. So I feel qualified to confirm that yes, for about 30 seconds, Black Afgano smells like sweet, syrupy Dairy Milk  cannabis intertwined with parched labdanum. After that initial high, it puts on its slippers and dressing gown and mellows out into a languid stretch of warm honey, incense, a touch of medicinal oud and sweet puffs of pipe tobacco. On my skin, this lasts for about 6 hours before the fragrance finally nods off for the evening into a happy, drooling slumber of sandalwood and nutty coffee. This is an extrait de parfum, so be prepared to spend the entire day with it. Overall, I get about sixteen hours of wear out of it.

Actually, I’m making it sound pretty good. And it is pretty good. So what is your damage, Heather?  Simply put, £108 for 30ml is stupid, stupid money for what is essentially a nice Oriental with a distressed wooden cap that looks like a parody of something you’d find on Etsy. I finally tracked down a bottle at a lovely branch of the Avery Fine Perfumery ( while in New Orleans with my mother and sister. They had one left (of course). I hesitated for a moment, and then handed over my credit card. Later that week as I was packing my suitcase to return to London, I caught sight of the box and felt sick. There it was, a $200 statement of one-upmanship in a tasteful bottle that would have its fifteen seconds of fame on Instagram before being consigned to the top of my dresser and worn once a month. Maybe twice if I was feeling guilty. I wedged it in my bag next to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups an eight-pack of socks from Target and thought, “I am powerless over perfume, and my obsession has become unmanageable.” Acceptance, after all, is the first step towards enlightenment.
Black Afgano is available at Space NK (, Roullier White ( and Bloom ( Or not.

Not buying it? Here are three perfumes you could try instead, for a lot less money:

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour Le Soir (, £115. Okay, I lied about the “a lot less money” thing. But you get 70ml for your money, and smells like baklava being smuggled in a dirty thong. Guaranteed to make you blush.

Serge Luten Chergui (, £69. The master of Orientals brings us his take on honey and tobacco, with a refreshingly spearminty top note of hay. I want to cheer when I put it on: “Cher-GUI! Cher-GUI!”

Yves Saint Laurent Opium (, £69. The original narcotic perfume. Let’s get hiii-iiiigh, retro-style!

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