Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 26 November 2014

NYK1 Nailac "Shellac" Starter Kit

We're featuring our pick of the best beauty-related Christmas presents this week, and here we have a pro-gel nails kit for less than the price of those consumer ones you can get in Boots.  For £49.95 you can get a two colours, a UV lamp, and all the assorted top and basecoats, plus preparation bits and pieces in the NYK1 Nailac Starter Kit, which is rather amazing.

You pick two colours of your choice, and everything else comes included.  It's an excellent kit, I've had a lot of fun playing with it - the lamp is a lot bigger than I expected it to be though, which was a surprise!  It's fairly simple to use, as long as you do not, under any circumstances, lose the instructions, which, me being a doofus did almost straight away.  I soon got the hang though, and I love the kit.  The lamp is even big enough to do your toes, which is cool.

For anyone even slightly interested in gel manicures, this is a great, fabulously priced place to start experimenting.  The polishes don't air-dry at all, so you can keep wiping it off if you accidentally apply it in a messy fashion ... like I  frequently do!

The Fine Print: PR Sample.
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Tuesday 25 November 2014

New post on The Parosmia Diaries...

You know when you start a new blog, and you get so excited about finally having written something for the new blog,  and then you eventually realise that you haven't actually explained what the new blog is about? 


Whoops.  Anyway, the latest instalment on The Parosmia Diaries explains what parosmia is (and a couple of other things as well), and explains why it exists.  Sort of.  You'll see.  Go read it.  Please!

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Monday 24 November 2014

Gillan Battery Pouch from

 The post deliveries for Get Lippie arrive at my office.  My colleagues are used to random stuff turning up but nothing, and I mean nothing, elicited so many excited calls of "this is the best thing you've ever got" around the office as this little purple makeup bag.

This is because the Gillan Battery Pouch has a little secret:

Can you tell what it is?  It's a micro-USB connector, and the Gillan Battery Pouch is actually a phone charger!

It is seriously handy.  It carries enough charge to fill up a completely dead iphone battery 1.5 times, which is more than enough to get you through the day, plus it carries lipsticks, face powders, everything you need to keep yourself presentable besides!  It's made of leather, and costs £50.  It's an ideal Christmas present for any beauty geeks you might know, and THIS beauty geek adores hers.  You can find them (in all different colours, and patterns) here: and if Santa is reading this, I'd like a Mighty Purse in glossy black for Christmas please!

Things you need to know:   There are micro-USB to Lightening connectors available separately on the WowThem website, so you will be able to also use this to charge your iPhones, and iPods as well as any other MicroUSB-charged items, for example, I've successfully charged my iPhone, my Nokia Lumia 1040 and my Kindle with the Gillan.  I've noticed that it can take a while to charge the pouch from a computer, but it is much quicker from a charger plugged directly into the mains.  It gets a bit warm inside the pouch, so you might want to take any really expensive lipsticks out of the pouch before you charge your phone.  I take no responsibility if you accidentally melt your Tom Fords!

I take mine *everywhere*, there's nothing worse than running out of battery unexpectedly during the day, and this is fab for not being just one more thing that you have to carry around with you too.  I always have a makeup bag with me, so having one that is more useful than normal is really great.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

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Friday 21 November 2014

It's Christmas!

Well, nearly ...

To the left: Candles of Christmas future.  To the right: Candles of Christmas past
And Christmas at Lippie Mansions means candles.  LOADS of them.

Coming up over the next few weeks we'll be featuring candles from Cire Trudon, Neom, Elemis, Ormonde Jayne, Rachel Vosper, SpaceNK, Miller Harris, Fornasetti and much more besides.

How do you guys get ready for Christmas?

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Thursday 20 November 2014

A day in the life ...

... of a parosmic.  My latest post on The Parosmia Diaries, on triggers, good smells, bad smells, and how an elephant with gastroenteritis can affect my whole day, is now live.  Please pop on over and take a look, I'd appreciate it!

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Wednesday 19 November 2014

Adventures in Ageing

© Andy Gotts MBE 2014 - reproduced by kind permission  

 By Tindara

I’ve posted previously about being a big woman and how much my creativity with make-up and fashion helps me feel confident and ready for the world. Recently, though I’ve been battling some other demon. I’m really starting to feel my age in my face. Those of you who know me or have seen pictures are probably thinking I need a slap about now, but hear me out. I’ve been blessed with high cheekbones, thanks to my mum. But as a result, as I’ve got older, my under eye shadows have become more pronounced and I’m often frustrated when applying eye-make-up. I want a crisp clean look, or a smudgy rock chick eye and all I can see is shadows.

Over the last year or so, I’ve tried every concealer and technique known to man, but nothing seems to work. Even high coverage products have made it look worse. So recently, I’ve started thinking about whether I would ever get fillers in this area as I’ve heard they can help. I’m worried about starting something I can’t finish, psychologically and financially, even though I know the vast majority of people who have these kinds of procedures have just one issue dealt with. Plus, I’m a feminist and part of me feels uncomfortable about the ubiquity of surgery, botox and fillers. I do understand however, why people get these things done. We live in a world terrified of ageing. And especially terrified of old women.

Without really thinking about it too deeply, I’d started scouring the media for women my age who haven’t had work either surgical or non-surgical, but all I see are smooth foreheads and bag free faces. I’m not sure whether it’s brilliant make-up or good lighting or just my current perception, but more and more women seem ‘done’. I’m not talking about the scary waxy immovable faces, or the recent Renee Zellweger brouhaha, but those subtle changes you don’t notice until you think about it specifically. I feel like we’ve forgotten how to age, how to appreciate looking good as a forty, fifty or sixty year old without trying to look thirty or younger. Where are the imperfect and irrepressible femme fatales wearing a kimono and burgundy lipstick, clutching a martini glass and fidgeting with a long cigarette holder? Where is the fun of getting older and having the gravitas to own a thoroughly eccentric or grown-up look?

More importantly, how can we fight the insecurities we all have as we get older if it starts to become accepted that you will have work done? I’m a problem solver, I get it, I love finding the right product or technique. I dip into online discussions and forums with a shopping list at the ready, looking for the latest serum or base that will make me look amazing. It seems, though, that at the very least, non-surgical fixes like botox and fillers will soon become the norm for both men and women as they get older. Perhaps we’re going to have to be brave not to join the club when confronted with an army of smooth foreheads in our workplaces. Perhaps I perceive it this way because I’m interested in film and beauty, which are off the charts pressurised in this respect. I try not to judge, I think if I was under that constant scrutiny I may have buckled early and often. But where do we draw the line?

I’m asking a lot of questions, probably because I’m as confused as most people are about this issue right now. I guess I respect people’s freedom to have these treatments and personally understand the insecurities and frustrations that lead to those choices. But I feel like I’ve forgotten what an untrammelled face looks like. I cling to the beautiful pictures of the Lauren Bacall or Katharine Hepburn in their forties, fifties and sixties as though they’re holy cards, praying they’ll give me the strength to resist. 

Maybe in the end, what we need is a little honesty. Let’s all get our cards on the table. Only one person I know has admitted to having anything done and I suspect she’s not the only one. How do you feel about this? Would it be a better all-round if people in the public eye were more honest about it, or friends and colleagues spoke about it in the same way they do about having a facial? It could help us know what the realities of ageing are and be more comfortable in our own skins. Lately though, when looking in the mirror, I have to keep reminding myself that no-one cares or notices as much as I do.

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Monday 17 November 2014

New Blog ...

 Don't worry, Get Lippie's still running, but I've started a new blog to detail my travails with parosmia.  It won't just be me whining about living with a new disability, I promise, but it will detail my personal journey, alongside talking about the discoveries I've made about the condition, the occasional book review, and ... perfume reviews!  You haven't lived till you've tried to review a perfume your brain simply can't handle ...

Anyway, the first, slightly rambling, post is live now, you can read it here.

If you want to know what I've said about anosmia and parosmia previously, you can read my posts at Basenotes here, and on Get Lippie here.  You can also read more about a whole range of smell disorders over at Fifth Sense.

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Friday 7 November 2014

Lacquer Lab’s Novella Collection

By Emily

Lacquer Lab is a brand I must admit I hadn’t come across before; the shame! Founded by mother-daughter duo Amanda and Emily earlier this year, they produce toxin free (AKA, free from the five main nasties: Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene or Camphor) fashion-focused varnishes that are seriously ticking my polish boxes. The best bit; they are made in the UK! Hurrah for British industry!

Creative Director Emily was kind enough to send me some samples from their AW Novella collection to try. And oooh they’re a bit gorgeous. The first two I’ve tried out are Lover At The Ritz; a decadent chocolaty plum and Cigarillo; a delicious burnt butterscotch with a hit of nicotine.

The coverage is great, two coats and you’re done, plus they have a really high-gloss finish. For this look I’ve used Lover at the Ritz as the base colour, with hints of Cigarillo on two feature nails. Because it seems I am incapable of having plain-colour nails these days I’ve added some IZ Beauty of London gold nail decals too. I found it quite hard to capture the true colours of the polishes in my photos; the plum is much darker and richer on the nail, as you can see from the pics!

At £9 a pop these polishes are less than your average OPI or Nails Inc polish and of course you get the added glow of supporting an awesome mother-daughter business AND a UK manufacturer…or maybe that’s just me? Anyway, I bloody love them, and think you might too!

The fine print: PR samples

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Thursday 6 November 2014

Deep Down: DHC Pore Cleansing Oil

By Laurin

Here is a list of instances in which I will notice a pore on someone else’s face:
  1. When they point them out to me.
  2. Oh, actually, not even then.
I bring this up because the product I’m reviewing this week, DHC Pore Cleansing Oil, claims to make pores less visible. I’m going to ignore this claim because other than squinting really hard at my face in the mirror and telling you what I see, I have no way of measuring this. Also, I don’t much care. If you do happen to care about the size of your pores, take comfort in knowing that you’re probably the only one. And if they still bother you, invest in a good primer. That’s my advice on visible pores. And with that out of the way, let’s talk about cleansing oils. AGAIN.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m devoted to the original DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (hereafter referred to as DCO). When I first heard about Pore Cleansing Oil, I was sceptical. What could possibly be so different about the two products? Upon reflection, I don’t know why I thought this. I unquestioningly accept that different skin types exist and that they therefore need different moisturisers, foundations or powders. As much as I love DCO, even I must concede that it might not be a Holy Grail product for everyone.

If you’re familiar at all with the original DCO, you know that it is based on olive oil and wouldn’t look or smell out of place on your lunchtime salad. It feels like my skin partially absorbs it when I apply it for my evening cleanse, and I often leave it for a few minutes to impart its olivey goodness onto my face before removing it with a hot flannel.

The Pore Cleansing Oil, on the other hand, is much thicker and completely colourless. Rather than being based on one oil, it is a blend of nine different ones (coconut, argan, evening primrose, olive, grape seed, jojoba, avocado, sesame and rice bran, since you asked). The texture is akin to that of a fine serum (think Advanced Night Repair) and it smells of grapefruit sweets. To this American who lived through the 80’s, grapefruit positively screams clean living and rude good health. Strangely for a product that promises to deep cleanse, Pore Cleansing Oil feels like it sits on the surface of my skin, never quite getting down to business in the same way that DCO does. Wandering off to check Facebook before removing it isn’t an option because you can never quite forget it’s there.

So how Pore Cleansing Oil managed to leave my skin feeling cleaner than it has since my last facial, I have no idea. Sorcery, no doubt. I did notice some slight tightness that I don’t get with DCO, but my skin still felt soft and completely make-up free. For this reason, I would recommend this first to those with oilier complexions. It’s also completely brilliant if you suffer from congestion in the chest/décolletage area. I do, through a combination of sweaty commutes and marinating in my sports bra for far too long after my workouts. Pore Cleansing Oil cleared that area up within a week.

At this point, what I’d normally do is spin some clever analogy or pen a pithy turn of phrase to end this post. But actually, I don’t want to. What I really want you to know is that this is a really good product at a really good price, and that if you have oily or congested skin, DHC Pore Cleansing Oil might just be the cleanser you need. Can’t say fairer than that.

DHC Pore Cleansing Oil is £25 and available at

The fine print: PR sample.

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Wednesday 5 November 2014

Shampoo to Sun Cream Snippets – Green and Spring, Living Nature, Murad, Nutra Nail and Trevor Sorbie

By Get Lippie Team

 Green and Spring Revitalising Exfoliating Body Wash and Body Lotion
Green and Spring Revitalising Exfoliating Body Wash is so refreshing! Minty zingy fresh. I love it. You feel like you’re really getting somewhere with this stuff, though, as with all minty bath and shower products please be careful where it ends up. You know what I’m talking about, don’t make that face. The corresponding body lotion is good too, hydrating but light and with a softer lasting fennel freshness, but the body wash is the star. Try them, they’re £22 each.

Living Nature Vitalising Exfoliant
Living Nature were kind enough to send me their Vitalising Exfoliant a little while ago. It did leave my skin soft after only 10 minutes or so, but I must admit that I probably won’t be using it again, unless I add a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil to it. I really didn’t like the smell of this all natural organic product. It’s probably doing the world of good and all respect to Living Nature for their no nasties ethos, but this particular product isn’t for me. Living Nature Vitalising Exfoliant is £28.

 Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35 and Sheer Lustre Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 15
It was carnage at the Acropolis a few months back when I got burnt mistaking a hot sunny Athens day for light early morning sunshine. Luckily, I had the new Murad Essential-C Sun Balm with me. Unluckily, I didn’t use enough of it. It’s a really handy roll-on dispenser with a light non-greasy formulation. I used it on my temples, nose, lips and already pink chest. But here’s a sun worshipper’s warning; it’s very light so you need to really slather it on. My chest got very burnt ‘cause I was silly and thought the SPF factor would protect me for hours too. Remember to reapply regularly, people.

Sheer Lustre Day Moisturiser is a great summery day moisturiser with a light shimmer and SPF which would be good for this Indian Summer we seem to be having. I have very sensitive eyes, and like a lot of moisturisers with SPF, this did make my eyes water a bit, though not as badly as others have in the past. With the Essential-C Sun Balm on my temples nose and lips, this protected my face very well on a sunny day. Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35 is £19.50. Murad Sheer Lustre Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is £64.

Nutra Nail Gel Perfect 5 Minute Gel Colour
This gel nail system really looks good, the shine is lovely and there seem to be lots of great colours to try, but what I learnt was the application is really important. I did one hand really carefully and rushed the other one and found that later in the day the dodgy hand had already chipped. I was really annoyed as I loved the shine and shade of Lotus, the colour Nutra Nail sent me. Now I will say that this just doesn’t last as long as a gel manicure or a sticky sandwich*. But I think carefully applied you could probably get a bit longer than a run of the mill pharmacy brand polish. I am going to persevere and give this another go. I might even try the special gel liquid thingamagig with other my nail polishes. If you hear an explosion, call for the fire brigade. Nutra Nail Gel Perfect 5 Minute Gel Colour is £14.99

Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Shampoo and Frizz Free Shine Oil
Because of a keratin straightening treatment on my frizzy curly hair I couldn’t use my sample of Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Shampoo due to the Sodium Chloride. So of course, I dutifully passed it onto my sister who has very curly hair, which also tends to dryness and frizz. While the shampoo was ok, it was quite drying in comparison with her normal more moisturising shampoo, even though she used her normal intense conditioning treatment. I suspect this shampoo would be better for those with less dryness and just a touch of frizz rather than coursely textured curly hair.

I have, however, been using a sample of the Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Shine Oil on my newly smooth locks. It’s perfect for ironing out the remains of frizz I’m occasionally left with after brushing and smells gorgeous. I will have to replace it when it’s all gone. Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Shampoo is £5.29 and Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Shine Oil is £7.50

This post: Shampoo to Sun Cream Snippets – Green and Spring, Living Nature, Murad, Nutra Nail and Trevor Sorbie 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 November 2014

Sleek Eye and Cheek and Precious Metal Highlighting Palettes

 By Tindara

This week I’ve been wearing more eyeshadow than usual. I admit that generally my habit is to wack a bit of smudgy liner or chubby eyeshadow stick around my eyes, finish with mascara and some kind of eyebrow pencil and move on to blush and lipstick. I am to lipstick as a problem hoarder is to month old newspapers and dusty odd souvenirs. I have a problem. But like a lot of you, I imagine, I also have lots of lovely palettes I rarely use. So when I was recently given another three by Sleek makeup I had to steal myself to use them, and I’m really glad I did.

The palette I used most was Dancing Til Dusk; with four wearable shadows in light taupes and dark browns (Au Naturel iDivine) and two blushes, in Mirrored Pink, and Sahara, it’s really versatile. The two lighter shadows which match my skintone in matt and shimmery finishes, and the two darker cocoa-coloured shades in shimmery and matt finishes look like they’d be lovely shadow bases on darker skintones.

The shadows are all well pigmented, soft and blendable. I used the dark browns as a liner and the shimmery light taupes up to my browbone. With a bit of pink blush, it was really easy, I only needed lipstick and mascara and I was done. I’ll definitely be taking this on trips and weekends away. The palette has been careering about in my satchel all week without too much damage too.

The See you at Midnight and Precious Metal Highlighting Palettes are gorgeous, and I’ve enjoyed having a play with them. 

I can’t wait to go out and put together a high-octane look with them, the blue-purple colour eyeshadow in the Vintage Romance i-Divine collection, and iridescent Antique Bronze highlighting cream being particular favourites. The palettes are like glittery Mondrians and have Christmas all over them. I’m now totally excited about the festive season already. Too early? Apologies, but gold sparkle will do that to you. Have a go, you’ll see.

Sleek Eye and Cheek and Precious Metal Highlighting Palettes are £9.99

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Monday 3 November 2014

Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Palette

Being rather cool-toned, most "nude" palettes are too brown for me.  I'm pink (and red) and white, mostly, and shades of beige and tan just look orange on my exceedingly pale face. Urban Decay Naked, for example, lovely though it is, might as well be neon orange for all the use I get out of it.

However, when a nice, slightly greyed "nude" palette turns up, that isn't too brown, I'm ecstatic.  So say hello to Bobbi Brown's Smokey Nudes palette, which has been the only thing I've wanted to wear lately:

Housed in the brands distinctive two layer compact palettes, this is a pale-cool girls dream:

Top layer, clockwise from top left:
Cream (matte) creamy white base shade
Nude (matte) cool flesh tone
Silver Brown (sparkle) sparkling cool brown
Woodrose (matte) greyed mauve nude (my favourite!)

Bottom layer, clockwise from top left:
Watercolour Pink (sparkle) love the shade of this almost holographic pink in the palette
Nude Beach (sparkle) slightly taupe flesh shade
Smoked (matte) dark blue-grey liner colour.
Smokey Brown (metallic) metallic taupe.

The shades are all on the cool side, and the payoff isn't bad at all:

top layer: Cream, Nude, Silver Brown, Woodrose

 You can see on my hand that the cream swatch just disappears into my skin, and the nude shade doesn't look orange at all.  Yes, Silver Brown (bottom right) is a little gritty with sparkle, but it's nice for adding a little depth to a "makeup free" look.

Bottom layer: Watercolour Pink, Nude Beach, Smoked, Smokey Brown

The two very pale sparkly shades here I won't get too much use out of, to be honest, but they are both very pretty, and if you like a bit of sparkle (and many of you reading this do), then you'll love these, as they aren't just a gritty powder with a hint of glitter in there, they're actually fairly pigmented in their own right too,  The taupe and dark grey-blue though, I adore, and they're great all-round shades you can either apply lightly for a more natural look, or apply with a little more abandon for a smokier effect.

It's a versatile, multi-use palette suitable for a variety of skin-tones, but us cooler-toned peeps will love it more.  It's a limited edition, due off counter very soon, so go snap one up if you see it.

This post:Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Palette 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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