Beauty Without Fuss

Friday 19 June 2015

Jil Sander - Sun

There are always a bunch of people discussing Jil Sander's Sun on my Twitter timeline, and I've wanted to smell it for the longest time, so when I found a bottle at a bargain price at Vienna airport recently I snapped one up without even the slightest hesitation!

It's an odd one, the name conjures up suntan lotion and coconut, maybe jasmine and tiare in line with other "sunny" smells, something tropical at least.  But no! It's actually a benzoin-heavy, warm and slightly powdery fragrance, practically an oriental (it has hints of vanilla and spice) to my nose.  Not what sprang to mind, and, slightly the better for it, to be honest.  It is definitely a warm scent, but warm like a hug rather than a sunny day.  

There are no tropical flowers here, just heliotrope, which gives it that powdery-almond effect, which, coupled with the balsamic-woods scent of the benzoin makes this a very snuggleable (totally a word) fragrance.  There's also a slightly "clean" facet to how the fragrance smells, which is, I think, down to a combination of bergamot and blackcurrant in the opening, but it's neither fruity, nor floral, weirdly, it's a warm, ambery, slightly spice slice of "Sun", rather than the suntan lotion you'd expect from the name.

If you're travelling this summer, you can pick up Sun for around £12-15 at Duty Free, for some reason, it's impossible to find in stores in the UK.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Thursday 18 June 2015

Madame La La West Coast Face Bronzing Serum


I am almost as violently opposed to fake tanning as I am to contouring, but occasionally a product will pop up that sounds interesting enough to make me try it again, and Madame La La's West Coast Bronzing Serum really made me take notice when I first read about it.

Containing real skincare ingredients such as vitamins A, C & E, aloe vera and CQ10, West Coast Face bronzing serum promises a natural looking tan, adapted to your own skintone, which also contains "blurring technology" (similar to primers) so you won't need to wear foundation whilst waiting for your tan to develop.

To use, you apply a pea-sized blob over clean, dry skin (I applied all my usual serums and moisturisers beforehand), and blend all over your face (you'll need to work quickly), and the guide colour will leave you with a subtle golden glow.  The tan itself takes around three hours to develop fully, and lasts for three to four days even with a full twice-a-day double-cleansing routine. You can wear gloves whilst applying if you like, but I found that excess tan on hands and fingertips washes off quite easily with just soap and water.  Of course, you need to make sure that you take the product all the way up to the hairline, and all the way down to the d├ęcolletage, if you want to avoid tidemarks.

This is why you need to work quickly, whilst I was taking swatch pictures, it stained!
I found I was left with a very natural looking tan, good enough so that some people were fooled into thinking it was my normal skin-tone. Colourwise, I've been very impressed.  I've found that it has faded smoothly too, no patchiness or flaking, just slightly less tanned, day on day.  I was very happy that there was no streakiness either in application, or when the tan developed - the guide colour really helps. Whilst it wasn't quite the colour I naturally tan to, it was very close indeed.  For me, it added just enough colour to hide my high-colouring, and even out my skintone, and make it look like I'd had a week away somewhere sunny.  Impressive!

Skincare-wise I was impressed too,  the serum applied smoothly, and I was happy to go foundation-less whilst it developed. I didn't find (as I have done with some other similar products) that it caused any zits, either.  My skin just felt moisturised and cared for.  Oh, and no smell of biscuits! Overall, I really, really liked this. I think, come winter, it'll be a godsend.

You can buy Madame La La's West Coast Face Bronzing Serum direct from their site, or from LookFantastic who currently have a multi-buy offer. (NOT affiliate links).  It costs £28 for 100mls, which should last you quite a while.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Wednesday 17 June 2015

Phytoplage Sun Protectant Hair Oil and Recovery Mask

Sharp-eyed readers might have noticed there's a bit of a theme this week ... holidays!  This is because I'm preparing to head off into the sunshine for a while, and, in typical "me" fashion, I'm concentrating on the products I'll be packing instead of the clothes ... (I hate summer clothes generally, it's always a problem when you basically dress in black all year round!).

I actually trialled both of these during my honeymoon in 2013, and thought they were so marvellous that I'm taking them along with me during this year's holiday too.  I have coloured hair, and it is also rather curly, so hot climes and saltwater tend to do a lot of damage to what I laughingly call "my hair" when I'm away.  The oil spray protects from pool chemicals and UV rays from the sun during the day, meaning you can both swim and sunbathe without worrying about your hair frying, and the hair mask (which I use as a normal conditioner when abroad) helps soothe frazzled strands after a hard day in the sunshine.

They smell delicious too. There's a matching shampoo, but I don't bother with that, usually just taking whatever I normally use, but it's hard to beat these two for hair protection in the sun.

It's that or a hat. And I look like an idiot in a hat ... Phyto haircare is available now, and these two products will set you back £16 each.

The Fine Print: PR Samples

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Tuesday 16 June 2015

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Shower Oil

 Last year Nuxe released a perfume version of their cult Huile Prodigieuse, which I liked a great deal (and reviewed it here), and this year they're releasing a Shower Oil version, which, I'm not going to lie, I like a great deal.

Smelling identical to both the oil and the perfume versions of Huile Prodigieuse, it's a creamy floral, suntan-lotion scented shower oil in a slightly balmy-texture. It has a slight golden shimmer (similar to the Huile Prodigieuse d'Or version) throughout, which will leave your skin with a slight gleam, but not looking like you've showered with a drag queen.  It lathers up nicely with a shower puff, and leaves skin feeling clean and moisturised, without drying or dragging.

All in all a very nice product, I'll be packing this one to take away with me this year.  After all, if you can't smell like you're on your holidays when you're actually on your holidays, when can you?

It'll be instore soon.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Shower Oil  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 15 June 2015

Guerlain Reissues Terracotta le Parfum for 2015

Last year, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their iconic bronzing range, Terracotta, Guerlain released a limited edition tiare-inspired fragrance Terracotta Le Parfum, and to say it was a hit would be a mild understatement.  It sold out in what seemed like moments, and I kicked myself hugely for not hunting down a bottle as soon as I saw the press release. So this year, when I discovered it was being re-released, I wasted no time and literally had a bottle in my hands the day after I found out it was back ....

On first spray, you're enveloped in a cloud of white flowers and sunshine. Tiare always smells tropical to me. Waxy and fat, it's an ingredient I used to have trouble with after overdosing on LouLou in the eighties, but it is something I'm slowly re-learning to love, and love it I do, now.  Anyway, here the tiare is surrounded by jasmine, ylang-ylang coconut and vanilla, and the effect is like expensive suntan lotion on hot skin initially, bringing to mind beaches and cocktails, and sun-warmed sand.  Once the tiare flowers wear off a little, there's a creamy and milky musk with hints of orange blossom left behind that wears close to the skin, and reminds you of holidays in warmer climes than the UK.

It's a lovely bottle too, a flat gold-embossed flask with a wooden top.  I'm actually taking this away with me on my summer holidays this year, but if you can't afford a holiday away, the bottled sunshine of Terracotta le Parfum might just be an acceptable substitute ... 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Tuesday 9 June 2015

Juliette Has A Gun - Gentlewoman

At a lunch last week with Romano Ricci, the creator of Juliette Has A Gun, I was surprised that he thinks Gentlewoman is all about almonds, because to me, Gentlewoman is green, all the way down, and when it is not green, it is citrus.

Conceived as a masculine-style fragrance for women (and as a woman who used to wear aftershave, because I couldn't stand the sugary-sweet confections the high-street called perfumes for years, I totally get where that impulse has come from), JHaG Gentlewoman is a real treat if you like cologne-style fragrances with lasting power, and without that particular "sporty man smell" that some cheaper aftershaves specialise in.

Opening with bittersweet neroli and bergamot with wafts of deeply green petitgrain, Gentlewoman is sharp and exhilarating at first sniff, threatening to become totally heady and off-balance, but this is soon offset by an almost soapy orange blossom scent (soapiness in a perfume being something I happen to adore, but your mileage might vary), and there is just a hint of a marzipan accord which adds a little sweetness to take the edge off the headiness. It's not overly nutty, or sweet, but it just takes the scent in a slightly different direction to how you would expect after the almost straight-forward cologne-style opening, adding a little creamy depth to the ode to orange in all its forms in the upper notes of the fragrance.  In the dry-down there are musks and woods, but the marzipan and orange-blossom stay all the way to the end, and it lasts incredibly well on the skin.

It's rather discreet, staying close to the skin, and yet it is subtly sexy, reminding me of hot, soapy skin after a long and steamy shower (rugby player optional).  It reminds me, in the best possible way, of Jean Paul Gaultier's classic Fleur Du Male, which attempted to play with gender roles in a similar way albeit from the opposite end, creating a feminine fragrance that men wouldn't be afraid to wear (only they were terrified, and JPG FdM was discontinued a couple of years ago), but whereas Fleur du Male's take on orange blossom was very much of the soapy barber-shop shaving-cream variety, Gentlewoman does have a slightly lighter and fresher, in spite of the unusual nutty creaminess, take on the note.

Romano mentioned that the marzipan note was inspired by the French version of PVA glue, scented as it is with almonds, and, for him, this accord is the one that he smells most of all.  Having worn it a few times now (for, since this turned up, this has been the only fragrance I've wanted to wear, despite only having had it a week), the marzipan note definitely gets more apparent the longer you wear it.  I'm genuinely slightly in love with Gentlewoman, and I never expected that. Is it original?  Not particularly.  But it is bloody, bloody lovely.   I lack the vocabulary to tell you how much I HATE the damn box though.  It's cheap and nasty foam, and it takes up three times the space it needs to, for no reason whatsoever. So, there's that.

Gentlewoman, for when you want to smell like a hot sexy man, but can't be bothered nicking his aftershave.  Currently a Selfridges exclusive, for £75.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: Juliette Has A Gun - Gentlewoma 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 8 June 2015

Chantecaille Autumn/Winter 2015 - Protect the Wolves Collection

Every August, Chantecaille release their autumn charity collection and this year it is wolf-themed.  5% of the proceeds of each "Protect the Wolf" collection product will be donated to the Northwest Conservation group.  I love the animal palettes, and this years collection is a nice one:

A nude lip, a smokey eye palette and a peachy blush, it's bang on trend for a winter palette (well, if you can wear nude lips, it is).  Let's take a closer look:

From left to right in the eye palette, we have Evergreen, which is a sparkling blackened pine green.  Then there is Timber Wolf, a beautiful metallic old gold taupe, and finally Midnight which is a slightly shimmering soft black.

The taupe (for Chantecaille are the queens of taupe) is perfect for every day, and you can use the black and green either as liners for a daytime look, or smoke them out for a more dramatic night time look.  If you use them without a primer, you will get a very subtle look, but the above has been swatched over primer.

Macro close-up of Evergreen
Macro closeup of Midnight
Pretty and versatile, and will cost £65 when released in August

The Lip Chic is called Patience, and is the usually balm-y feeling wondrous texture of the lip chics. A soft, peachy nude, it's sheer, but not unpigmented. Sadly, this particular shade is one that makes me look like death warmed up, so I won't be wearing it out of the house.  It'll cost £30 when it is released in August, however.

A good companion to Patience Lip Chic is the Ella Blush, which comes complete with an embossed wolf head, as does the eye palette.  Another soft peach, this is a perfect complement to the smokey eye palette, and is a good match to the lip colour.  It will cost £33 when it is released in August.

Here's the entire collection swatched - Ella blush at the top, Patience Lip Chic at the bottom. and with the eye palette in the middle.  It's a well thought out. and tightly edited collection.

Will you be helping Chantecaille save the wolves this year?

The Fine Print: PR Samples - collection released in August 2015.

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Friday 5 June 2015

Jo Loves: Candle Shot

There's no doubt whatsoever, that Jo Malone is the queen of packaging, every brand she has been involved with has understood the power of making boxes and bags so pretty (for every purchase, at every price point) that they're ideal for gifting, making the concept of "gift wrapping" totally redundant in the process.  The latest launch in her newest brand, "Jo Loves" takes the concept up a notch, allowing you to create a "bespoke"  shot candle in a very simple process (which was actually three years in the making), and have lots of fun doing it, too.

Tucked away in the back of the brand's flagship store in Elizabeth Street in West London, is the Jo Loves Shot Candle studio, and here you pick a "base" scented candle, and a complementing "shot" to go with it.  The two are then fused together in one large candle jar, and presto, your own bespoke scent!

In the glass is the base scent, and you pick a "shot" to go with it

The bases are available in four varieties: Mint Mojito a fresh and bright minty scent, Charcoaled Lemons, which is both authentically citrus and slightly smoky, Tahitian Gardenia, which is flowery, waxy and almost bubblegummy in the glass, and finally Fig Tree, which reminded me of nothing so much as Diptyque's Philosykos in candle form, it being green and figgy and woody and rather delicious.

You then pick a shot to complement your base scent.  You can either choose from the four bases as already mentioned. or from three other "shot only" scents, Mango, an almost photorealistic slice of mango, lemongrass (something my nose didn't like at all, sadly) or petitgrain, which is reminscent of orange blossom, but with an added hint of wood and leafy greenness.

Once you've selected your base and your shot (you're given the scents to smell on painted canvas tiles), your candle is created. Using a blow torch to melt the base candle, the plug-shaped "shot" is pushed into the jar, and pressed down to create your "bespoke" candle, then the whole caboodle is packaged up ready to either burn for yourself, or to pass along to someone else as a present.

Whilst there's nothing particularly new about separate cores in candle making (it's a particular bugbear of mine when you buy a "handpoured" candle, only to find when burning it that all they have done is "handpour" a tiny amount of fragranced wax around a separate - unfragranced - core and wick.  It's why many people don't think scented candles actually smell of anything when they're burning. I shan't name names though) the presentation here is beautiful, and as both the shot and the base are scented, it's actually a rather nice present for anyone, including yourself.

If you can't make it to the Elizabeth Street store, you can make your own shot candle online at where they will cost £75 each.

As for me, I chose Tahitian Gardenia and Petitgrain.  But I'm rather coveting Charcoaled Lemons and Fig Trees for my next one ...

 The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Thursday 4 June 2015

Helena Rubinstein Wanted Stellars Lipstick - 304 Cosmic Purple

 And now for something you definitely can't buy in the UK (there will be more next week, don't worry), Helena Rubinstein Wanted Stellars Lipstick in Cosmic Purple.  It's not really purple, it's really a sort of bright berry shade, and I fell in love with it at the airport and refused to leave without it.

It's another sheer shade, but not unpigmented, and one packed with beautiful gold and blue micro-shimmers:

I miss Helena Rubinstein cosmetics a great deal, part of it is sentimental attachment, Helena is a beauty idol of mine (she was short, fat, sarcastic, and didn't have any time for the more frou-frou elements of the beauty industry, she's been a huge influence on my blog. She was also a genius, sadly, I can't even slightly claim to follow in her footsteps there), and Helena Rubinstein the company was responsible for many of the beauty innovations we take for granted today, mascara in a tube with the brush built in, anyone?  They withdrew from the UK a good few years ago now, and it's only when I go abroad that I can stock up.  So I have ...

Anyhoo, back to the lipstick:

It's another glossy one, as you can see here in the post-swatch pic.  It's a bolder colour all-round than the Dior lipstick we featured on Monday, and it's rather lovely, if less subtle:

Here you can really see the micro-sparkles catching the light, but here's another swatch from a slightly different angle:

On the lips its a deep rose, or berry shade, made multi-dimensional from the sparkles.  It doesn't feel gritty on the the lips at all (as you might expect looking at the amount of glitter in the bullet), and it doesn't look "glittery" in wear either, you just get a bit of a blue flash, or a gold gleam, depending on which angle you're looking at it from.

It's beeeyootiful, and I'm kicking myself right now for only having picked the one of these up, believe you me.  Anyway, next time you're near a duty-free, check out Helena Rubinstein, you could do a lot worse ...

The Fine Print: Duty Free.  I love a bit of duty free.  Sorry.  Not sorry.

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Wednesday 3 June 2015

Guerlain Meteorites Compact - Medium

I'm a bit of a Meteorites completist, I admit.  So, when I was brutally mugged by this compact at the Guerlain counter at Vienna airport recently, I didn't mind too much.  I love Meteorites, and have almost every edition they've done in the last ten years.  It's very sad, as I rarely use them, because they're not very portable.  I do love the glow you get from the little pearly balls though, there's nothing quite like them.

The Meteorites compact is very prettily embossed, and, because it's plastic (boo!), it's actually quite light, which improves its portability.  I chose the shade medium as it contains a little more yellow, which is good for covering up my redness:

It still has the same incredibly finely milled texture, and slight pearlescent glow that you get with the beads, but they have been pressed flat in the compact, which contains apricot, lavender, white, pink and beige which are meant to correct redness, sallowness, and dullness on the skin.

Once swirled together, however, these shades blend together to form a translucent powder which is excellent for setting a slightly too-dewy foundation, without leaving your skin "flat" or chalky-looking.

So yeah ... couldn't resist. It's actually in stores now and will cost you £40.  It'll last you practically forever though.

The Fine Print: MOAR Duty Free!

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Tuesday 2 June 2015

Dior Addict Tie Dye Lipstick 003 Hypnotic Plum

 If you're going to accidentally check-in far too early for a flight home, then you can do much, much worse then spending three hours at Vienna airport, to be honest.  It is huge, mostly deserted, and the shopping is fabulous.  There is also a branch of the amazing bakery Demel, so you can spend your last few hours in Austria in sophisticated comfort with a hot chocolate and a cake or three ...

Did I mention the shopping?  I did go a bit mad in duty free, so prepare yourselves for a couple of posts where I talk about things you can only buy abroad for a day or two, but first I couldn't resist picking up this Dior Addict lipstick in Hypnotic Plum.  I love that it has the Christian Dior logo running right through it (somewhat contrary to what you might expect from a collection labelled "Tie Dye", but I digress), and the colour is very natural, and great for a "My Lips But Better" look.

A sheer plum, with a sheer peach section running through the centre - this isn't just an embossed logo on the top - this is light and exceptionally glossy, and a perfect lipstick for people who hate opaque shades (strange people though they are), but who still want to look slightly polished.

You can see from the bullet just how glossy this is after one swipe, Hypnotic Plum is a perfect rosy mauve on skin, ideal for just evening out paler lips, and adding just a whisper of colour to darker ones.  Lasting time is rather slight, this being both sheer and glossy, but it doesn't dry lips out.

For my liking, the other shades in the Tie Dye collection from Dior are rather wishy-washy pastels which I would have trouble wearing, but Hypnotic Plum is rather lovely.  The collection is in store now, and the lipstick will cost £25.50, which is rather on the pricey side for something this sheer, but it is a nice, caring formula on the lips. 

The Fine Print: Duty-free, bitches!

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Monday 1 June 2015

Cire Trudon Josephine Candle

Me, I can't resist a candle at any time of the year.  I know that some people think candles are just for winter, but in this dark and damp late "spring" that we're having at the moment, it seems like an ideal time for having candles around to brighten up the dark afternoons, and cool evenings.  Josephine, the latest fragrance from Cire Trudon (long one of my favourite candle brands), is perfect for summer. 

Prettily clad in pale frosted blue, instead of the brand's signature dark olive glass, Josephine is a soft and gentle floral composition, a slight departure from Cire Trudon's slightly heavier and usually rather masculine scents.

Inspired by the gardens of the Empress Josephine (she of the "Not tonight ..." infamy), it's a really very pretty, very flowery and very lovely candle indeed. The smell has hints of citrus from bergamot and kaffir lime, then I mainly smell powdery rose and iris. Ladylike is definitely the word that springs to mind.

As always, Cire Trudon candles burn cleanly and evenly, dispersing their scent both throughout their burn time and just when sitting wherever you put them. 

The blue glass version is limited edition for the summer, but the scent will be in the permanent collection (in the green jars) later this year.  All in all, a lovely way to bring a beautiful garden indoors in this sun-deprived "summer" we seem to be having this year ...

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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