Beauty Without Fuss

Thursday 22 May 2014

A Life With a View Scented Candles

By Get Lippie

:sigh: Very few people love candles as much as me.  I rented my last abode purely because it had little cubbies I could display my candle collection on, and the love of the "candle wall" has remained with me ever since.  I love candles.  But, they have to be scented well, and they must burn cleanly.  There are a couple of cult candle brands that I avoid like the plague because they're petro-chemical based, and so produce soot like a soot-producing factory faced with a hugely increased demand for soot.  I'm not a fan of a sooty candle, you might have noticed.

A Life With a View candles deliver on the clean burn, and they are, I have to say, some of the best scented candles it has ever been my pleasure to come across.  They're strongly scented both in the glass, and during a burn, and even a tiny travel candle can scent my entire flat for a whole evening, which, bearing in mind my stupidly high ceilings is a rather amazing feat.  I have a travel set of The Gite candles, which provides a "View of Provence", they're scented with lavender, blackcurrant and spearmint, with a base of rosemary and woods,  and they are delicious.  I'm well known to be a bit of a sucker for mint-based scents anyway, but adding the lavender, with its already flinty, herbacious, minty facets works astonishingly well for a candle, even now in the slightly warmer months of the year.  The scent is both bracing and soothing, like sitting in a warm Mediterranean garden, and they're amongst my favourite candles ever as a result.

But there is one drawback, and it's something I hadn't really considered until I put this candle amongst the others in my collection.  The design.  They look cheap.  Really, really cheap, and somewhat nasty.  Look at that picture at the opening of this post, does that look like £40's worth of candle to you?  It doesn't to me.

Now, whilst packaging isn't everything, if you're paying £40 for a candle, or £50 for a set of travel candles, you kind of expect the product - especially a product that's left out on display like candles are - to also function as an object.  The reason why, say, Diptyque candles are so popular is because of the simple, striking, and lovely labels, almost as much as it is the scents inside of the candle.  

If only the outside were as beautiful as the inside (or I'd even settle for just plain not looking like it came straight out of the remaindered section of the poundshop, to be honest), then Life With a View candles might just be the best candles on the market.   You can find them here.

This post: A Life With a View Scented Candles 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 21 May 2014

London Muse Make-Up School

By Laurin
So, who likes make-up? Everyone? Excellent, good to know. I’ve always liked make-up, ever since my mother begrudgingly allowed me to start wearing eyeshadow when I was 12 years old because MELINDA’S MOM LETS HER WEAR PINK EYESHADOW AND I’M NOT A BABY ANYMORE *exits stage left slamming door, sobs are heard from offstage for next three hours*.
Like many women my age, I’ve been adorning my face on a near-daily basis for over twenty years. I read about make-up in magazines, talk to other women about it on the Internet and even blog about it. I like make-up pretty well. Or so I thought. Last Monday, for a variety of personal reasons and no reasons whatsoever, I took myself off to the foundation course at London MUSE Make-Up School near Leicester Square.
My main considerations when searching for a course earlier this year were as follows:
  1. Will I have time to do this? I work six days a week, so getting time off to do a month-long course or an entire term was not an option.
  2. Can I afford it? I had been advised that I should expect to pay at least £1,000 for a week of training.
  3. Is it a good school? This should have been my first consideration, but honestly, if I didn’t have the time and couldn’t afford it, it wasn’t happening.
The main courses at London Muse are run as week-long courses, although you can do the Foundation and Advanced certificates in make-up in two weeks back-to-back. I decided to do the Foundation course on its own because I knew I could get a week’s holiday and because I could afford it. The six day foundation course costs £1,200, although there is a 10% discount if you pay the full course fee up front, or you can pay in instalments. Finally (should have been “firstly”), several of the posters on the Sali Hughes Beauty Forum recommended the school, but our very own Luke sealed the deal when he told me that as a working make-up artist, he’s always impressed by the quality of work he sees from graduates of London Muse, even the ones who have only been on short courses. I paid my money, I took my choice.

Before arriving, I knew very little about Nicci Jackson, aside from the fact that she was a make-up artist herself, and she runs the school. I think I assumed that training sessions would be run by course tutors, and we might see Nicci once or twice. I was very wrong about this. Aside from our very last day, Nicci taught every syllabus herself and spent the afternoon sessions monitoring and mentoring our practical sessions with the help of her lovely and kind assistant Josie.

There were six of us on the course initially, five women and two men. We were a more diverse bunch than I expected, from a young South London hairdresser to a youth worker and mother-of-three from West London. We were joined on the Thursday by a woman who’d flown over from Egypt to attend the school. Only one of us had any previous make-up training, and we all had different ideas about how we’d use our knowledge when we’d finished. I thought perhaps I was a bit old to be on the course at thirty-five, but not only was one of my fellow students the same age, but Nicci assured me that she’d had plenty of more mature students on her courses in the past.

My third attempt at smoky eyes. I got told off for my “dolly cheeks”, which I slapped on at the last minute before time ran out. It is better to have no blusher than a sloppy application
Each day had the same structure: in the morning, Nicci took us through theory of a particular topic, demonstrating on Josie or one of us, and after lunch we were let loose to practice on each other, with Nicci and Josie watching and correcting. The six day syllabus touches on everything from facial geometry and contouring to kit hygiene and safe working practices to eyeliner effects, but the topics we spent the most time practising were base application and colour correction and smoky eye effects. As it turned out, everything I’d ever learned about “cool” and “warm” skin tones was completely incorrect, and it took me a couple of days to wrap my head around the correct colour terminologies and how to apply it to various skin tones. We also spent two days working on smoky eyes because as it turned out, not one of us could get it right on the first try.

Above: Nicci’s lip correction demonstration on me.

I’m not telling you much you couldn’t get from reading the syllabus on the website, so if you’re still unsure, here are a few things they don’t tell you:
  1. Nicci Jackson does not bullshit or mollycoddle her students. When you get it wrong, she tells you, immediately. And then she very patiently shows you your mistake and makes you do it again. She absolutely gives praise where it is due, but if you want someone to stroke your ego and coo over the bizarre red and orange colour scheme you chose to deliver for your smoky eye brief because you liked the idea of an “urban acid sunset”, go elsewhere. This is a place to abandon everything you thought you knew and start from the ground up. It’s frustrating at times, but it’s also exhilarating.
  2. On that note, whatever you’ve seen on YouTube is not a substitute for proper instruction from a working professional if you want to call yourself a make-up artist. The best way to learn is from true professionals who practice their craft every day.
  3. The course does not finish after six days unless you want it to. Students are always welcome to come back and re-sit any day if they feel they need more instruction or practice. Free of charge. On the day that we all failed to deliver smoky eyes, we were invited to stay on for the evening foundation course and try again. We all did, and we nailed it the next day. Several of the students on my course are planning to go back this Wednesday evening for additional instruction. Free of charge.
  4. The course runs from 10:30 to 5:30 each day, which doesn’t sound like too much of a stretch if you work regular hours, but you will be exhausted at the end of each day. If you can, don’t plan to go out in the evening while you’re on the course. Go home, have something to eat and go to bed. You will need all your energy and mental reserves for class. By the time I got home on Wednesday night, I was so tired that I forgot how to operate a perfume bottle.
  5. The studio is on the fourth floor of a building with no lift, so you will have nice thighs by the end of the week.
  6. If you thought make-up was a doddle, or had any doubts that it is a serious art and a highly technical craft, you will think differently by the end of the course. I have more respect for true make-up artists now than ever.
  7. Get used to working under pressure. Your practical sessions will be timed from Day 1. I found this frustrating and stressful at times, but this is how real artists have to work in a professional environment.
  8. If you don’t know, ASK. Help is always available during practical sessions, and I learned the best lessons by being told what I was doing was completely wrong and being shown the correct way.
  9. You will want to own ALL the Illamasqua and MAC by Day 3.
  10. You will want to go back. Three of the students from my group had already signed up for the next course when they started, and the rest of us spent the last few days discussing when and how we could get onto the advanced course ourselves.
Above: My final application on my lovely fellow student Krisztina
All in all, it was a brilliant, exhausting, maddening and completely exhilarating week and I’ve never been more in love with make-up artistry than I am at this moment. Do it. You won’t regret it.

The fine print: Laurin Attended Muse at her own expense - this is not a sponsored post.

This post: London Muse Make-Up School 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 20 May 2014

A Lippie Team Post - Skincare Routines

We're planning a number of these group posts, but we thought we'd start with the basics, so here's how the whole team at Get Lippie looks after their skin:

LOUISE (aka "Get Lippie")

My skincare routine has been kind of fixed for a while now – to the extent that one of the products is running out and I'm upset because current circumstances dictate that I can't afford to replace it at the moment, and panic is ensuing … anyhoo, here's the lowdown:

Cleanse: I'm still in love with Champneys cleansing balm. It's on the cheap and cheerful side (and the instructions are rubbish), but it gets the job done, and my skin loves it.

Treatments: I'm currently alternating between Pixi Glow Tonic and my old standby; Clarins Gentle exfoliating toner, (having temporarily run out of Zelens resurfacing pads) both of which are second to none at removing dead skin cells. I follow both of these with a quick spritz of La Roche Posay Serozinc spray, which I'm still miffed they won't bring to the UK.

Serums: Currently I'm using Sunday Riley's Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, which smells like a rancid spag bol according to my husband, but this is because it doesn't contain any scented essential oils to mask the smell of the seeds they've crushed into it. As essential oils are one of my sensitive skin triggers, this suits my skin very well indeed and I put up with the rather … unusual … scent. As always, I follow this up with a thin layer of Hydraluron.

Moisturiser: And here is where I cry, just a little bit. Sometimes I get press releases that are so bonkers that I have to call in the product, just to see how far from the point the the copy actually got. Such as it is with Argentum Apothecary La Potion Infinie. The flowery, overblown, overwritten, overpretentious prose on both the press release and, sadly, the website, mask what is, in fact, a bloody excellent moisturiser. I wasn't too impressed with it at first, but my love for it has grown by leaps and bounds over the last six months or so, to the point where I can now see the bottom of the jar, and my heart cries every time I see it. I've been known to panic about it running out. I'm sad, I know. However, formulated with colloidial silver, and featuring a really nice primer-style matte finish on the skin, this suits my fussy, sensitive, easily reddened skin very well, and as it's £147 a jar, I'm going to miss it a great deal once I do finally scrape out that final molecule from the jar. It's brilliant, but the website will give you a headache, I warn you.  It's the only moisturiser I've tried in years that's come even close to replacing my beloved Kate Somerville Goat Cream, and that is really saying something.  Once I'm back in funds, a repurchase will definitely follow.


My skincare routine is a many headed hydra, with one product being culled and another two springing up in its place. The one constant, however, is my DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I've used this for nearly five years, and I've yet to find anything better. In the morning, it's a drop of DHC and a quick swipe with a flannel before I hit the shower.  As soon as I hop out, I slap on Superdrug Aqua Pure Hydrating Serum, followed by Clinique Moisture Surge on my face and Clinique Superdefense Eye Cream all around my eyes. I've finally been converted to the cause of a daily SPF, so I finish with a layer of Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid.

Night time gets a bit trickier. The minute I get home, I take off my make-up with whichever version of Bioderma Micellar Water I bought on special last, then it's a full cleanse with the DHC and a hot cloth. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I use Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner and on Sundays I use Alpha-H Liquid Gold. Whatever the day, then use Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment. The last thing I do before I go to bed is massage in a few drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

With all the money I'm literally sinking into it, it's a good thing beauty lasts forever, and I can use my face as my pension. Right? RIGHT?


I may be shunned by the rest of the Get Lippie team after saying this, but, I’m a bit lax with my moisturising at night. Four nights out of seven my head will hit the pillow cleansed with Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Micelle stuff but unmoisturised. I love the clean face feeling, and I sleep with a CPAP mask on, as I have sleep apnoea, so no gunk on my face makes it more comfortable. Honest.

Those other three nights though, I really go for it, I hot cloth cleanse with Skyn Pure Cloud Cleanser or Boots Botanics Ultra Calm Gentle Cleansing Cream and then use Elizabeth Arden Prevage Serum and Eye Serum – they really work! – followed by Clarins Blue Orchid Face Oil, and sometimes more night cream or balm on top. Depending on my skin and/or the time of year this might be Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter or this Est Rose and Honey Remedy from Australia. It’s really soothing and healing, and I love the Lavender and Tea Tree version too. It feels just the right level of comforting and medicinal.

If it’s warm, I might leave it at the Clarins or put a little of my day moisturiser on top instead, currently that’s Skyn Pure Cloud Cream, but this changes all the time. Then some lip balm. I’m using Hurraw or Clinique lip balms at the moment. In the morning I use Organic Surge Daily Care Face Wash in the shower, and I swap the Prevage for Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Concentrate.

Most of the time, my sensitive rosacea prone skin behaves itself, but if it doesn’t I dial it right back and just use Bioderma micelle cleanser and day moisturiser and maybe one of the Est balms occasionally. 

When I remember, I throw a bit of Elemis Papaya Enzyme Cream on followed by a hydrating mask of some description, I’m not loyal to any in particular, my last was a Decleor Hydra Floral mask. Any recommendations?


Cleanse: I generally flit between these two depending on mood and what my skin feels like that morning/evening. I ADORE the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. The smell, the texture, the way my skin feels afterwards, the all of it is just fantastic. Not heavy at all (some are) and just an absolute pleasure to use. This is ALWAYS in my kit, purely because every single person I use this on falls in love with it. For the odd time when I think my skin feels a little dull, and needs a bloody good scrub, the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is ABSOLUTELY SECOND TO NONE! Did I make that clear? This is one of the BEST products for exfoliating that I have EVER used. It says daily, however I find it a little too abrasive for daily use. Once or twice a week is absolutely enough for me.

Treatments/Serums I use a lot of these. Especially at the moment with all the fake tan I am trialling, but ANYWAY, these are the ones that if I had to choose, would be the ones that pretty much cover all bases. The Clinique Laser Focus Repairwear Serum, recently reformulated, is now even better than it was the first time round. And they have improved the packaging so that you don’t end up with the drips all collecting around the edge. I use this pretty much all summer, or when the sun is out as a sort of insurance. I like the silky feel, and it seems to make my skin feel hydrated also.

Day Creams I am quite picky about my day creams. I always want a good SPF in my day cream, as I have said before. One of these has a high SPF of 30 already ‘built in’ and the other doesn’t have one, but I add one over the top. La Prairie Anti-Ageing Day Cream SPF30 is one that I will use literally every day when the sun is strong, hence why this is nearly at the bottom of the jar at this point. It smells pleasant, and has a micro blasted SPF that is so fine and non skin clogging that it’s a joy to use. I have never caught too much of the sun with this on, and it still managed to not dry my skin out either. The space age silver packaging and heavy glass make it not great for travelling with, but my, what a cream. Not cheap, but not out there expensive either.

Night cream: Finally, the night time. I am of the school of thought that if it’s a moisturiser, it’s good enough. Most of the time a good moisturiser would be perfectly adequate for a night cream I would think, but nonetheless, I am still using these like they are going out of fashion. Neal’s Yard Beauty Sleep Concentrate has been a favourite for a long while. The multi award winning cream contains all sorts of goodies in it hat help to regenerate the skin, and has essential oils that are known to relax you and gently send you off into the land of nod. Me being somewhat of an insomniac, every little helps. It’s a very light lotion type texture, but seems to be nourishing enough, and a little really does go a long way.


This post: A Lippie Team Post - Skincare Routines 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 19 May 2014

Pleasure & Purpose With Aesop & Odette Toilette

By Luke

I have been meaning for a long time to write about Aesop.  I remember Aesop from eons ago when the only place you could buy it was in Space.NK. It looked very smart and sort of clinical in its modest and understated medical grade brown glass jars and metal tubes. It was always a bit of a favourite - sceptical and unwilling as I am most of the time to use any skin care that claims to be ‘natural’ - and has few of the ingredients in them that I know work. That said, there is no getting away from the fact that Aesop products do work, and are an absolute joy to use, not least because of their scent. 

Aesop then made like £10 Poms and disappeared back its native Australia for a little while. However, without me noticing until recently it has sprung up again in the UK in various locations in the form of the most beautiful boutiques and in selected department stores. It has several locations throughout London now, and each has a very distinct, and gorgeous character of their own.

We were invited along to the boutique in Covent Garden for a bit of an olfactory treat under the tutelage of scent expert Odette Toilette. Pleasure and Purpose was the title of the event, summing up the entire Aesop line rather well, so I was intrigued as to what exactly we would be doing and shuffled along. The store itself is an absolute haven of a space. The familiar brown glass is littered along the walls, and in amongst those were gorgeous seasonal blooms. It’s airy, clean and very, very cool looking, both figuratively, and literally. 

We were guided downstairs to a makeshift classroom and were each given a ‘workbook’ for our efforts, and several exercises were undertaken with the presentation of particular oils on a blotter. Rather than guess which oil we were smelling from the scent alone, we were asked in several different ways to demonstrate how a scent made us feel, or what colours it reminded us of, or how it made us feel, or if we felt it had a masculine or feminine quality to it. This was designed specifically to make you think differently about what you were smelling, and find out more about the emotional response you can have to a smell, without any preconceived notion about the scents from the names alone. Some of the oils were beautifully scented, and others … decidedly less so. 

Of course, all the oils that were presented to us were key ingredients within some of the Aesop range. Smelling them in their raw state, they were either extremely unusual, possibly even unpleasant at times, and some were very familiar, but you weren’t able to put your finger on exactly where you had experienced it before. One exercise saw us taking coloured pencils and using only the medium of the crayon, describe in colour and texture how the scent was, which was a genius way of thinking about something very differently.

One of the hero oils that lace the Aesop range is parsley seed oil, which on its own smells rather like slightly ripe food that’s been in the sun a little too long, or, if you're Get Lippie herself: vomit. Parsley seed of course is present in an entire line of its own at Aesop, and it is extremely high in antioxidants. The Parsley Seed Cleanser is easily one of the best smelling products in the line, despite the relative stench of the pure oil, it's masked by other ingredients, and the cleanser is a joy to use as a result.

There was also violet leaf, found in the really very smooth and gorgeous smelling Hair Balm, which is particularly good for hair that has a tendency to go a bit wild for no reason and is on the fried side of normal. And there was pure geranium oil, which is in the Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, which has natural bamboo stem to exfoliate and absolutely gorgeous rose like scent.

I ended up taking a mouthwash home with me. Clove oil was the main scent here, alongside extract of spearmint. It comes in a rather grand looking, and ENORMOUS bottle complete with a tiny little glass flask (which I broke immediately on getting home) and it now takes its place rather grandly on my bathroom shelf. 

Welcome back Aesop. Welcome back.

This post: Pleasure & Purpose With Aesop & Odette Toilette 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 14 May 2014

The Reluctant Lippie. Part Two: Pinks


By Laurin

A few of the more pressing topics that have been on my mind this week include:  

  1. Why do my jeans smell like barnyard dust even though I washed them two days ago?
  2. Have my knickers been on inside-out all day? (Turns out yes, yes they have.)
  3. Oh hey, is that the guy I dated briefly last year who was in the open relationship and his girlfriend had a girlfriend? (Turns out no, because that guy over there is weirdly sweaty and has a  strange mole on the side of his  face, but I didn't realise that until AFTER I smiled and waved, so maybe quick exit.)
  4. Why  do  we  call  pink  lipsticks  pink  instead  of  nude,  because  I'm  pretty  sure  my  lips ARE actually pink when they're nude, AMIRITE?

Above: Clinique All Heart, Kate Moss 05, Tom Ford Incorrigible, NARS Schiap
I  still  have  no  answer  for  the  last  one.  As  it  turns  out,  in  the  absence  of  a  colour  wheel  or some hot, hot SCIENCE, we call them pink and not nude BECAUSE WE JUST DO. Also, it turns out that I don't much care. Really though, pink probably should  have been my first stop on my  lipstick  tour:  it  was  the  first  colour  I  played with  as  a  little  girl  from  my  grandmother's make-up bag, and  it's much easier to  find a  pretty, flattering shade without  risking looking like a zombie. Belatedly, then, here are a few I like.

Clinique All Heart Long Last Lipstick, £17 at Debenhams Studio 10 Age Reverse Perfecting Lipliner, £22 at

I've had a soft spot for Clinique gift with purchase lipsticks ever since I won one in a game of bingo at a nursing home when I was ten (the other prizes were socks or bath salts). My prize lipstick  felt  fancy  then,  and  it  still  does  a  tiny bit  today.  All  Heart  is  a  slightly  plummy  pink warmed up with barely-there gold sparkle that makes it perfect for adding a bit of oomph to a  neutral  make-up  look.  I’m  wearing  it  with  Studio 10  in  the  picture,  but  it  applies  just  as well from the tube in a hurry, and indeed, on the Tube in a hurry. The texture feels creamy and nourishing, and it lasts through at least three cups of tea before lunch. HOUSE!   

Kate Moss for Rimmel 05, £5.49 at Superdrug

Anyone who refuses to shop for cosmetics and perfume on the high street out of misplaced snobbery is denying themselves a serious small pleasure. Cheap makeup is the business, and it's hard to beat the thrill of chucking a bright lipstick in the basket with your shampoo and hand cream. This is a girly (but not sugary) pink that I can imagine your Girl Next Door would wear  on  prom  night.  It  looks  great  with  flushed  cheeks  and  a  hint  of  mascara.  Also:  IT SMELLS OF CHERRIES. What could be more joyful?

  Tom Ford Incorrigible, £34 at Selfridges  Halfway  between  a  full  on  lipstick  and  a  gloss,  so somewhat  naughty  of  Tom  Ford  to demand the full whack of £34. On the other hand, this sheer fuchsia veil with just a dusting of warm golden  sparkle is perfect bridge between the "My Lips But Better" milkmaid  pinks and the full-on BRING IT bright end of the spectrum. Unlike a fuller-coverage bright lipstick, this is easy to apply without a lipliner and a brush, and as a result it’s barely left my handbag since I bought it.   
 NARS Schiap, £19.50 at Space NK  I had a consultation with Sali Hughes last month and she sold me on it as the perfect "fuck you" lipstick. "It suits no one," she assured me. The name of this full-coverage, satin finish lipstick references the legendary fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who used shocking pink as one of her signature colours. It does not suit me. It will not suit you. But you should buy it (and a good lipbrush – colour like this demands precision application) anyway. I wore it last week  with  a  flowing  black  skirt  and  Jovoy’s Psychédélique,  a  fragrance  so  patchouli-heavy that  my  friend  Angelica  once  described  it  as  “like being  trapped  in  a  phonebox  with  a hippie.” None  of these things suit me, and I spent most of the day  feeling as though I was having an out-of-body experience. Unless you are one of those rare souls who knows exactly who  they  are,  I  believe  we  all  have  something  to  gain  by  trying  on  (as  it  were)  different identities, discarding the parts that don’t feel right and incorporating the ones that do into our  own  personal  patchwork.  I  will  never  feel  comfortable  with  wearing  neon  pink  lipstick every day, but on days when I have a bone to pick with the world, I will wear it with Bvlgari Black and sneer. I will take no prisoners.    The fine print: Purchases and PR samples.
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 9 May 2014

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Skincare


By Luke

It is with some irony that I write this with one mother of a hangover. Despite the warnings, I am partial to a glass or five of wine, and hang the consequences. So, imagine my delight when I read the press information for the new skincare range from super affordable (and rather excellent) skincare brand Caudalie on how damaging the effects of everyday living - and that includes alcohol consumption – are to ones face. It is especially ironic as Caudalie have based pretty much their entire ethos on the benefits of the antioxidant polyphenol from the grape seed. Clearly our priorities with regards to the use of the grape are at some odds here. 

Notwithstanding that (and my imminent vow to never drink again) I am pleased to tell you about the new skincare line Caudalie have added to their ranks, Polyphenol C15. As mentioned earlier, Caudalie use Polyphenol in a stabilized form derived from grape seed. Polyphenol, as you may well be wondering about it, is one of the most powerful antioxidant ingredients from the plant world. Allegedly about 70% of ageing is the result of free radical action on the skin, a result of all sorts of things like a hectic lifestyle, alcohol, smoking and sunshine, polyphenol can a pretty useful tool in the arsenal against ageing. Up to now they have used the antioxidant ingredient on its own, but have just developed a vitamin C complex that is stable enough to mix with hyaluronic acid.

Vitamin C is typically a fragile ingredient, and is notoriously difficult to get it to remain active in a pot of cream. Often vitamin c products are presented in a slightly unusual way, with a separate powder, or capsule of the ingredient. Because, once exposed to the environment, once it is out there it breaks down very quickly, and becomes ineffective. The benefits of vitamin c on the skin are numerous, and these include a brightening quality, and an ability to fight oxidisation, which is a main culprit in the skin ageing process. So trying to keep the little sucker alive long enough to be effective in a face cream has always been a bit of a challenge. Caudalie are now claiming to have cracked that.
There are three products in the range: Anti Wrinkle Defence Serum, Day Fluid, and an Eye Cream. I have been using these for a good few weeks now, and am happy to say they are all really good, and actually seem to have made a visible difference to my skin. 

I love the serum in particular, as it’s just heavy enough to nourish my dry skin. It smells great as well, as you’d expect from most Caudalie products, but this time it is not the traditional Fleur du Vin scent, but it has more of a cucumber-y sort of minty smell. It does a good job of providing a certain amount of ‘plumping’, but mainly it seemed to add a clarity to my skin that wasn’t there before. Redness has died down, and my skin looks a little more even. Perhaps it was counteracting the effects of alcohol, I don’t know. What’s more, it is a very acceptable £35.

The Anti Wrinkle Protect Fluid is also an excellent moisturiser, for £29. I have said many times before, that I am extremely fussy when it comes to moisturiser as I have very dry skin, and I was sceptical about a fluid texture. Normally, anything on the ‘oil free’ end of the market is not nearly nourishing enough for me, but this was actually pleasantly surprising in its moisturisation qualities. Perhaps it was with the benefit of the serum underneath that made it this way, but nonetheless, it did seem to do the job, and with a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) SPF of 20 to stave off any potential environmental damage (as well as the aforementioned Vitamin c and Polyphenol) it was a real pleasure to use.

Finally, the Anti Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream, which is £26. I am not a fan of eye cream per se, as to be perfectly honest (and borderline boastful), I don’t have dark circles, even with a hangover – sorry about that! – and wrinkles around my eyes are not really a concern of mine. As such, I tend not to use one, unless I am suffering from dry eye in which case I will grab whatever is nearest to try and rectify this.

Despite that, this was a nice eye cream. It is not earthshakingly amazing, but then eye creams rarely are in my opinion. It was light, and disappeared easily, has no fragrance and it didn’t sting my eyes, so it was a thumbs up from me. The added bonus of being to use it around the lip area as well, an often neglected area of visible ageing, was a coup. It also contains the latest wonder ingredient Matrixyl 3000 which apparently boosts collagen synthesis. I couldn’t really see any difference in my eyes to be honest, but then as I said, what’s to notice. Definitely worth investing in if you like the rest of the range.

Overall, I am mightily impressed by this, not least from the price perspective. So if you are on the lookout for an accessible anti ageing range, you’d have look quite hard to find one as good as this in my opinion. 

Caudalie C15 is available from and they also have a gorgeous brand new boutique on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden.

This post: Caudalie Polyphenol C15 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 8 May 2014

Colour Wow - Root Coverup.

By Get Lippie

Inside this rather unassuming little black monolith is one of the bestest, most amazingest, most belovedest products I discovered in 2013.  It would have been one of my products of the year (if not the product of the year) if I wasn't such an idiot.  Part of the reason it's taken so long to get this review together is because I have a hairdresser extraordinaire in Jack Howard, and, as such, I rarely suffer from grey roots.

For a cosmetic for covering up grey roots is what this is, and it's pretty bloody amazing at it.  I've been going grey since I was 18, and without the help of hair dye I'm pretty much a badger.  It's all stripy, I have grey temples, and a grey streak through the front, but most of the rest of my hair is as nature (and Jack Howard) intended.  Now, whilst I have the utmost envy and admiration for those who embrace their grey in full, as it can and frequently does look simply beautiful, I'm simply not ready yet to embrace my inner grey goddess.  I have enough trouble embracing both my inner accountant and control freaks, there's simply no room left for anything else in here ...

Er ... anyhoo ... Colour Wow is a root cover-up that comes in six shades (Light/medium and dark browns, black, and there are also two blonde shades: Blonde and Platinum), the one above is medium brown, and you can see it's had a lot of use.  As it's a powder, it's super easy to use,  you simply load up the brush with the powder, then paint it on to your grey hair, then presto!  No more roots till you wash your hair again!  For a cackhanded badgermuppet like myself, it's foolproof.

And here's the results.  First of all, the grey at my temples, in both normal daylight and with flash:

Pretty grody, huh?  Here's the same part of my hair after a 30 second application of Colour Wow:

Coverage isn't quite 100%, but this is because I've been using medium brown rather than dark, but I can live with that.  Best of all, it looks like hair.  It doesn't dull your roots like coloured dry shampoo can, it doesn't drop (it has a kind of static charge*, so it clings to your hair, not your scalp), and wonderfully, it doesn't leave your bathroom looking like an abattoir.  Also, it doesn't run in the rain, trust me, I've tried it ...

It's wonderful for extending the life of your most recent hair colour for a couple of weeks, and as such, it'll pay for itself over the course of a year.  Hair dye, even home hair dye, doesn't work out cheap over 12 months. If you use a home dye every six weeks over the course of a year that'll cost you around £90, but if you can move to using it every 8 weeks with this, that'll cost you £65 (assuming your dye costs around £10, that is), saving you around £25.   Colour Wow costs £28.50 from SpaceNK, so, in technical terms, this actually costs you £3.50 for a years worth of colouring-in.

The blonde powders are really quite something, as they'll actually cover up the dark roots and make them blend in with the rest of your blonde, which is rather astonishing when you think about it.  All the shades are pretty multi-dimensional, not just a flat matte shade, which makes them more realistic on your hair. I think the light brown would work well for redheads, even though there isn't a specific auburn cover-up, which is a shame) I find they last on me till the next wash (bear in mind, I don't wash my hair every day though), so this packet, which I've had for the best part of a year now, has lasted extremely well.  

Colour me (you see what I did there?) extremely impressed.  And better groomed as a result. 

Colour Wow.  Don't be an idiot like me, if you dye your hair, go out and get some now.  It's a fairly hefty initial investment, but if it stops you having to dye your hair as often, it's worth it, believe me.

So yeah, product of the year, 2013.  And still a front runner for 2014 too, now I come to think of it ...

* I am not a scientist.  I met one once though.

The Fine Print: PR Sample
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Wednesday 7 May 2014

Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum and Parfum Divin de Caudalie

 By Get Lippie

Those two great French skincare competitors, Nuxe and Caudalie, have both brought out perfume versions of their cult body oil products this summer, and I managed to get my hands on both so I could compare and contrast each of them.

Nuxe is probably the cult body oil product in the UK, and this summer, the iconic rectangular bottle has been re-issued with a cute limited edition design,  which I surprisingly rather like.  The perfume bottle is a flat oblong with a bronzed ombre effect over.  It looks rather staid in comparison to the limited edition bottle though, I think!  

The scent is warm, redolent of jasmine and sunshine, with a small hit of coconut. It actually has a rather sunscreen-y scent, instantly transporting you to a beach and the tropical cocktail of your choice.  On first spraying, it is intensely heady and rather strong-seeming, but this headiness wears off rather quickly, just leaving a floral-musk skin scent behind, which is rather nuzzly and lovely.  It's very discreet in wear, you're not going to offend any perfume-phobics in the office in this one.  

In comparison with the scent of the oil itself, it holds up very well indeed - on first sniff, they're practically identical - the oil has a more rounded profile, and because of the oil base it's less sharp-seeming than the parfum, which feels a little thinner than the original formulation.  That said the two are to all intents completely indistinguishable from each other.  Lasting power for the fragrance, even though it's a parfum formulation, is around 4-6 hours, but as it wears very close to the skin, sometimes you'll have to hunt for the scent whilst you're wearing it.  Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum costs £43 for 50mls.

Packaging is, for me, a very important part of any product, and hands down the Caudalie bottles win this particular context.  Not only is the circular shape of the oil bottle easier to handle (I struggle with the flat rectangle of the Nuxe, owing to having very small hands, and the bottle is too wide for me to grip properly in use), but the metallic ombre effect on the Parfum Divin bottle is quite, quite lovely.  I also like the wooden lids, which add just a little extra touch of luxury and texture to the overall presentation.

Divine oil is just a couple of years old, but has spawned a couple of offshoot products already - a body scrub, and Divine Legs, which is a lightly tinted body moisturiser - and the perfume is a natural extension.  A lighter, fresher, fragrance than the Nuxe Prodigieux. In comparison, Parfum Divin has an almost cucumber-y ozonic scent, atop a base of blonde woods, cedar and white flowers.  I can catch a hint of jasmine here, but it's far less punchy than in the Nuxe. It dries down to a more woody skin-scent than the Nuxe, but they are both somewhat on the discreet side, and dry down to a gentle inoffensiveness.

Whilst less initially heady than the Nuxe fragrance, it's actually a slightly more sophisticated scent overall, being more redolent of a spa than a sunscreen,  but it does still manage to smell almost exactly like the original product, in the same way.  Again, the fragrance is a little sharper, and a little fresher than the oil, but this is down to the formulation, as an oil fragrance will always seem a little "fatter" to the nose, than an alcohol-based spray. The lasting power for both fragrances is about the same. Parfum Divin de Caudalie will be available for £39 for 50ml when it launches shortly.  There's a candle version of the fragrance too, which really, really, really needs to join my candle collection, tbh.

So, do you need both fragrances?  Probably not, to be honest.  Both the fragrances are wonderful companions to their respective oils, being respectful recreations of the originals, and they're both wonderful for layering over the oils for a little extra oomph (the oils will anchor the fragrances to your skin, making them last longer), but which one you prefer will depend on which oil you have a preference for.  I can't actually pick a winner - the Nuxe is a cult product for a reason, it smells great, and is instantly evocative, but, the Caudalie is sophisticated, and (for me) a better bottle.  Which one do you prefer?

The Fine Print: PR Samples.  But I'm ordering a candle, oh yes.  No, I am NOT obsessed.
This post: Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum and Parfum Divin de Caudalie 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 6 May 2014

Beauty Project at Selfridges

By Tindara

If you’re into beauty and its associated pleasures it can’t have escaped your notice that Selfridges has something rather special going on at the moment. The Beauty Project started on the 1 May and continues till 12 June. I went along for a sneak preview on Thursday morning and not only are there plenty of new launches and limited editions; there are lots of interesting events planned; poetry workshops and advice from some of the most knowledgeable in the business, as well as serious debate and discussion. Subjects include aging, body image, self-esteem, sexual stereotyping, tattooing and body modification with the likes of two of my favourites, beauty guru Sali Hughes, and psychotherapist and campaigner Susie Orbach, as well as countless other big-hitters. 

There are also interesting collaborations with artists, Jo Malone are working with London studio collective Calm and Collected who are live screen-printing in store to decorate a suite of bottles. Their sketchbooks and inspiration boards are also on show and it’s great to see how their designs have developed. Acqua di Parma have also worked with artists to produce some beautiful limited edition hand painted lids for their Blu Mediterraneo collection. Bobbi Brown have launched Art Sticks with giant pencils about the place, and MAC have their full range displayed in giant lipstick storage too. I love a massive lipstick or eye pencil. Reminds me of my days as a window dresser in Boots. My office was full of giant lipsticks and enormous fake perfume bottles. Sigh.

For those of you against cosmetic surgery but interested in softening the signs of aging, Spa Junkie has recently unveiled her new venture, the Face Gym, which works on the premise of exercising the face in the same way that you would the body. There are also a couple of Fingers 2 Go manicure machines that paint nail art directly onto fingernails or stick on falsies then and there. There are hundreds of designs to choose from and you can even print a selfie or group friend shot onto your nails. I predict groups of teenage girls going mad for them.

In short, lot of fabulous new products and a fascinating series of events. I’ll be at ‘Sali Hughes: Beauty, Good Or Bad For Our Body Image?’ And may even do some shopping. Join me! Have a look at the programme and get down there

This post: Beauty Project at Selfridges 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 4 May 2014

Nikki Lissoni

By Get Lippie

We like a bit of bling here at Get Lippie, and Nikki Lissoni is a brand of mix and match jewellery that we were introduced to recently.  Now, anyone who knows the story of how I ended up with an accidental collection of FIVE engagement rings (chronicled here, and here) knows that I'm both a bit of a magpie, and that I am cursed with obsessive-compulsive collecting tendencies, so a new range of collectible jewellery?  Oh, I am SO in.

The Nikki Lissoni range is quite simple, it is essentially a collection of coins, which you use to accessorise a range of coin holders, either in necklaces, bracelets, or earrings.  All the coins come in silver, yellow and rose gold, as do the coin holders and chains.  So you can have a yellow-gold coin in a silver surround on a rose-gold chain if you wanted to, or go slightly more restrained with  a more monochrome look.  I am not generally known for my restraint, so I picked a silver chain with a silver coin and a rose gold surround.

The lockets open a bit like a pocket watch, allowing for really easy swapping of coins, but they feel very secure in wear too - I've barely taken mine off since I got it, and it's never yet fallen open. 

There are three sizes of coins, what you're seeing here is a medium silver (it's around the size of a £2 coin) tribal heart piece. The large size is perfect for a big statement piece, and the smaller is lovely for something more discreet.   

As well as silver, gold and rose gold, there is also a selection of swarovski crystal coins, and some natural gemstone coins too.  What follows is just a small selection of the Nikki Lissoni collection which is currently available:


See anything that catches your eye?  Me, I'm gonna be picking myself up a swarovski-encrusted pendant and coin ASAP. Prices are extremely reasonable, beginning at around £20 or so.  You can find Nikki Lissoni jewellery online, or at independent jewellers around the country.

The Fine Print: The Tribal Heart necklace featured in this post was a press sample.

Also: Pictures for this post were taken with a Nokia Lumia 1020 lent to me by Microsoft.

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