Beauty Without Fuss

Sunday 31 January 2016

LipsNspritz of the Week 31 January 2016

Perfume and lipsticks featuring Molton Brown, Escentric Molecules, Demeter, Diptyque, Hermes, Shay & Blue and Lipstick Queen

 So, I take all my LipsNspritz pictures in one batch on a Saturday afternoon, then wear them throughout the week, taking different pictures of stuff on a daily basis is far too much like hard work for me!  I assure you I do wear them though.  LipsNspritz is my attempt both to wear my entire perfume and lipstick collection, and to help my nose "relearn" perfume whilst I continue my recovery from parosmia.  I'm no longer completely anosmic, merely hyposmic (I estimate that I have around 60% of my sense of smell back now) and I'm leaving my parosmia behind.  It still bothers me, but to a much lesser extent than it used to.  That said, I still struggle with recognising smells out of context, and I still struggle with some smells, though I have recently discovered that coffee no longer smells of sewage (it doesn't - yet - smell of coffee, however), and that has been a huge breakthrough.  

Anyway, on with what I was wearing this week.  The week began with Molton Brown Black Pepper, which is a divinely spicy, prickly, peppery hoot of an aftershave.  Or rather, it was before they reformulated it and called it Black Peppercorn.  It's still good, but a shadow of it's funny, unexpectedly sexy former self.  I wore it with Lipstick Queen Red Sinner, which as fine a red lipstick as a red lipstick can be.

I also tried a re-wearing of Escentric Molecules 01,  There's been a lot written about this one over the years (and if I read one more piece mentioning pheromones, or how it "melds with your personal chemistry to create a bespoke scent for the wearer" piece - ALL perfumes do that - I shall grind my teeth into powdery bloody stumps), and I shall not go on too much, but the "trick" of 01 is that it contains only one scented ingredient; a molecule named Iso E Super.  Iso E Super is a light and airy, slightly sweet and woody scent, and it can be difficult to smell in isolation.  On skin, it smells like clean skin, with a slightly cedary spect, and smells good, without really smelling like a traditional "perfume", much in the way ambergris-based fragrances smell to my nose.  As it happens, I couldn't really smell it whilst wearing it, but others could, and they liked it, without being able to say either why, or what it smelled like.  But this matches with my experience of wearing it before anosmia too, so that's that then.  I wore it with Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Lipstick in Smitten, something else which doesn't draw attention to itself, but makes you more polished just the same.

Right now as I write this, I'm wearing Demeter Wet Garden, and Lipstick Queen Deep Red Sinner lipstick (alongside my favourite polka dot pyjamas.  What?).  I smell like lilacs in April, and I'm - apparently - channeling  Norma Desmond.  In pyjamas.  Oh yes, it's glamorous alright in beauty blogging.  Aren't you glad I don't vlog?

I love the sour-rhubarb and white flowers of Jour d'Hermes.  The sour fruit of the opening is such a surprise compared to grownup and ladylike white flowers of the middle notes, and I like the opening very much.  Sadly, for my nose, the white flowers are a little too ... ladylike and so it's not a fragrance I reach for very often as a result.  The lipstick was Jean Queen by Lipstick Queen, which is something else I find confusing.  The concept of matching ones lipstick to ones jeans is a bit ... superfluous (and my jeans are black, anyway), but it's a pretty pink-mauve, which doesn't scream "I AM WEARING JEANS!", so it will do.

I also wore Diptyque's Phylosykos this week.   I love this fragrance so very, very much.  It smells of a fig tree in its entirety, from the leaves, to the bark, to the milky fruit, with just a slight hint of coconut oil in the base.  It's rather wonderful and it reminds me, every time I wear it, of my days off in Cyprus (I used to be a holiday rep over there) where I used to slather myself in Hawaiian Tropic (factor 2!)  and drink cocktails under the fig trees on the beach.  Not only is it the best fig fragrance on the planet, it's also an instant holiday in a bottle.  Get some.  I wore this with Lipstick Queen Sinner in Wine.  I also like wine. Wine is good.

And finally, Shay and Blue Atropa Belladonna starting with a savoury blackcurrant accord, Atropa Belladonna slides into a waxy and fat jasmine and sandalwood, which is interesting, before ending in a sticky vanilla kiss.  I like this very much (not quite as much as I like their surprising and lovely Salted Caramel, however), and it was a fitting fragrance to spend a Saturday (also in pyjamas) afternoon wearing.  I paired it with Revlon Red Velvet Lip Butter, which should never have been discontinued.

What have you been wearing?

The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

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Skincare of the Week 31 January 2016

By Terry, Pixi Beauty, Tata Harper, Kate Somerville, Zelens, Votary, Bioderma, Eloquence Beauty,

A short and sweet Skincare of the Week this week because I was ill, and hanging around a cold bathroom taking pictures of my skincare (like you do) took a deserving backseat to me being wrapped up in the duvet, and slathering myself in Pommade Divine, frankly. Nothing better for a sore nose than Pommade Divine, if you ask me.

Anyhoo, yes, I'm still a bit obsessed with Tata Harper, but I'm finally swapping things around a bit, they're still great products, but I do need to keep mixing things up a bit.  I was in the mood for something rosy on Monday, so I pulled out my bits from the ByTerry Cellularose range, including the cleansing oil, and the Hydra Toner both of which are softly scented with rose, and leave the skin soft and clean without stripping.  I followed those up with Pixibeauty H20 Serum and Glowtion Day Dew after prepping with their rose oil blend.  I have to say, the H20/Glowtion combo is quickly becoming a firm favourite, adds hydration and glow without greasiness, and no matter how little sleep you've had, always leaves you looking well rested - a great base for foundation, too.

A new brand I trialled this week was Eloquence Beauty, which is based in Chester (my old home town!), and their Eloquence Beauty Nourishing Treatment Oil made it into my routine this week when I realised I needed a little more oomph than Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturiser alone could provide.  Eloquence specialise in mid-price beauty products (the 50ml oil costs £29.99 and is the most expensive product in the range) containing Sacha-Inchi oil, which is high in fatty acids and proteins, and is similar in effect to argan oil.  It absorbs quickly, and I've enjoyed using it, but I'll be trialling a few more bits from the range in the coming weeks.and I'll be sure to let you know how I get along.

But mostly, this week is dedicated to Pommade Divine.  And Kleenex.  And duvets. 

The Fine Print: PR Samples and purchases

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Friday 29 January 2016

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil

Oh, I do love an oil in the winter, and I've been adoring this one, recently. a blend of sweet almond, apricot, borage, cotton and evening primrose oils, the Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil also contains an ingredient called: bakuchiol which also, alongside having anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to have a retinol-like effect on the skin, only without the side effects.  Allegedly.  And only if you use it twice a day, every day (the study I'm citing wasn't funded by Omorovicza, btw) though.

I wear an facial oil almost every day in winter, but occasionally despair of how thick and heavy some of them are.  Having an oily-combination (occasionally dehydrated) complexion means heavy and thick oils really don't suit that well, but Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil is a wonderfully "dry" oil, and it is exceptionally light too. It absorbs into the skin very quickly indeed, there's enough time to have a swift massage when applying, but it absorbs fast and leaves no greasy residue.  I use it in place of a night cream, as a serum in the mornings, as a moisturiser, and (my favourite), I use it as the carrier for my much loved Cover FX Custom Cover Drops.  I find three drops of Custom Cover to four or even five drops of the Miracle Facial Oil gives great coverage, and really beautiful glow.  I'm wearing the combination in the following picture:

Omorvicza Miracle Facial Oil + Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Applied Get Lippie

You can also use it on your hair, your cuticles, any dry patches, etc. It's on the pricey side though, so I keep it for my face!  It smells (gently) of mimosa, but the smell disappears very quickly.  It feels very nourishing on the skin, whether you've used it during your skincare or your makeup routine, and it's very protecting in cold weather. I've found it's a great addition to a not-quite-moisturising enough face cream, in this weather. But, because it's so light, you can use it year round, it's a great multi-tasker.  Whilst I haven't seen any retinol-like effects, I don't use it twice a day every day, so I haven't been expecting to.  I do love it though, and I love the hefty glass jar with a dropper, which makes application easy, and adds just a touch of luxury to the bathroom shelf.

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil costs £75 and is available from Liberty, or from Omorovicza's website.

 The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Wednesday 27 January 2016

A Blow Dry at Bardou

Bardou Covent Garden Interior Front

Last week I popped along to Bardou on Shelton Street in Covent Garden and had a wonderful blow-dry from the team there. There are a few blow dry bars around London now, but quite a few of them are "dry" bars (meaning they don't wash your hair first), and me and my insane barnet have never got on particularly well with those.  I'm pleased to say that Bardou is (mostly) a wash'n'blow-dry bar, and the staff are really talented.

Bardou Covent Garden Interior Back

Originating in a salon in Reading, Bardou have recently finished a pop-residency in Kensington, and have now moved to their new home in Covent Garden. It looks pretty groovy in a session-stylist kind of a way, with the movable stations (which they occasionally pack up and trundle over to other nearby destinations like the Hospital Club, for special occasions), and a small backwash area.  I really liked it, there's plenty of space, and it doesn't feel like you've been packed in there like a sausage factory.

Bardou Covent Garden Product Range

I was pleased to note that they have their own product range too, no fly-by-dry-by night operation, this one!  The products used on my hair were great, and my blowdry lasted a couple of days afterwards, which I always love.

Get Lippie Bardou Blow-dry
A one-day old blowdry - I was really impressed!
They're open 9am-9pm, Tuesday to Saturday, so whatever occasion you need special occasion hair for, there's bound to be a slot that suits you, and prices begin from £20 (if you don't need your hair washing), to around £35 for a dry in one of their signature styles.  They can even do your makeup, if need be!  If only I still worked just around the corner ...
The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Monday 25 January 2016

Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser

Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser

I'm not generally a massive fan of cream cleansers, but this, the Refreshing Cleanser by Tata Harper has slipped in under my radar, and made me its willing slave.

I first tried the Tata Harper range, as so many people did, as a result of the serum which was included in the Caroline Hirons Cult Beauty Box last year (which I mostly bought for a back up of the May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Balm and the Zelens PHA pads, both of which I already adore, and the whole box cost the same as just those two products, so why not?) and I liked it well enough to want to investigate the rest of the range.  But, and I'll be honest here, I found the range difficult to navigate, particularly when you're looking at it from a sensitive-skinned point of view.  As Tata Harper is most definitely a luxury-priced range (the cleanser is £60 at Content Beauty, where I bought this from) these weren't decisions to go into blindly.

However, I finally decided on the Refreshing Cleanser, as it was the one described as most suitable for sensitive skin, but the description saying it contained salicylic acid, and enzymes to cleanse the skin gave me slight pause (salicylic acid can be drying, and sometimes the fruit acids used to give a chemical peel in some cleansers can cause irritation on my skin), but the formula also contains pink clay and neroli, both of which are soothing, so I pressed buy with some trepidation.

A grapefruit-scented peachy cream, you apply Refreshing Cleanser to dry skin, and massage it in to allow the enzymes to dissolve the dead skin cells, then you remove it with a hot damp cloth as you would with a normal cleanser.  Once removed, you are left with soft, smooth, clean skin.  It definitely delivers on the cleansing side of things, and it also  - I've found - provides a gentle exfoliation effect which means that you can effectively stop using acid toners quite so often.   If you have sensitive skin, over-exfoliation can lead to redness and irritation very easily, and I've definitely found recently that exfoliating less often (two or three times a week maximum as opposed to every day) definitely leads to happier, less pink, skin.

It's not great for makeup removal, and I definitely wouldn't use it around the eyes, but it is a fabulous second cleanse, and I use it as my morning cleanser most days.  You can't use it for a massage in the same way you can with a balm, or an oil-based cleanser because it's clay-based and it dries on the skin quite quickly as a result, plus you don't have the same "slip" you do with a greasier formula.  I find any "rough patches" of skin I have on my face, such as on my forehead or nose, are dealt with just with this cleanser, instead of having to resort to acid toners, which is a good thing for my redness-prone skin.  My skin loves this stuff, it's tough enough to soften, and gentle enough to do that without irritating.

I'm getting through it rather fast though, and at £60 a bottle, it's definitely an investment purchase, but it's the only cleanser I've wanted to use since it turned up, which is both a blessing and a curse ... 

The Fine Print: Purchase

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Sunday 24 January 2016

LipsNspritz 24 January 2016: The Lavender List

Lipstick and Fragrances from Guerlain, Diptyque, Creed, Clarins, Tom Ford, Caldey Island, Laura Mercier, Burberry,

Lots of people don't like lavender, and I have no real idea why. Its distinctive scent is unusual in having both floral and herbal facets to the scent, and the smell can range from menthol, to balsam, or (just a little, if you get a screechy batch) like cat pee.  But a good lavender fragrance is a thing of beauty, and this week, I thought I'd wear my favourite lavender fragrances and show just how many different faces lavender can wear.  

On Monday, I wore the dirty lavender of Jicky by Guerlain.  Every perfume lover who considers themselves a bit of a perfumista owns a bottle of Jicky,  because it is a classic, created in the late 1880's, and one of the first fragrances to include synthetic ingredients,   When I first discovered Jicky, it was long before I knew anything about perfume, and I just thought it didn't smell like anything else, it smells of coal tar, and leather soap, and it actually took me several years to figure out that the herbal-fresh scent that plays amongst the leather scraps in the coalyard was lavender, and that's when Jicky finally made sense to me.  Less a perfume, and more a statement of intent, Jicky's the lavender scent that won't remind you of your granny.  Ironic really, as your granny probably did wear it at some point.  My bottle dates back to the early 90's and it's a full-throated roar of a fragrance, even now.

Tuesday brought the spicy, warm lavender of Diptyque's Eau de Lavande.  Unlike most of the lavenders on this page (Jicky is the main exception) which have a cool, or fresh-seeming quality, Eau de Lavande is warm and cosy, positively inviting cuddles and becoming a beguiling skin scent at the end as a result.  Opening with cardamom and ground coriander root alongside nutmeg, the menthol of the lavender is somewhat muted, and it's only after wearing it for a while does the lavender reveal itself. There are some lightly bruised woods at the end, which comes quickly because this is an eau de toilette, and it's simply a pleasure to wear.  I'd love this in an EDP concentration, and I'd probably never wear anything else, if it did come in just a little stronger formulation.

On Wednesdays I wore the woody-chocolate of Creed's Aberdeen Lavander (sic),  which to me starts off quite funky-smelling and rather animalic, but which softens slowly over time to reveal an unexpectedly creamy-chocolate aspect to the lavender flower, atop a leathery base. I've seen it described as a "modern Jicky", and, whilst I wouldn't go that far (it's cleaner and far more definitively "lavendery" than Jicky), it's certainly a very interesting lavender to wear.  Interestingly, it's the only one on this list that I could easily convince MrLippie to wear, having more elements of the "fougere"-style of fragrance than many of the perfumes on this list.

Thursday brought the gender-bending citrus lavender of Tom Ford's Lavender Palm.  A fragrance I've written about before, and enjoyed, I described it back then as smelling like "a burly granny with a mean right hook", and, whilst I wouldn't go quite that far this time around, I can see what I was getting at.  A lively dance of bergamot and lavender in the opening gives a slightly misleading fresh quality to the first few moments of wear, before the scent opens out, and becomes a darker, smokier proposition, filled with vetiver and olibanum.  Somehow meant to evoke California,  it's more of a damp English garden, and a little tweedy.  A lavender you wouldn't be surprised to find Miss Marple wearing, showcasing the steel trap mind behind the affable appearance.

On Friday I wore the classic lavender soliflore of Caldey Island Lavender. Much closer in form (though not in execution) to a classic lavender "toilet water", and most certainly a bargain, Caldey Island lavender begins with a photo-realistic peppermint whoosh, like you've just inhaled an entire packet of polos in one go, then swiftly settles into a cool menthol-herbal lavender which smells precisely as if you've crushed a few fresh lavender blooms in your palm, and that's how it stays, right until it disappears.  Simply beautiful.  A few drops of this added to the water in your iron, by the way, is divine, and can make even that most-boring of chores more of a pleasure.

This week, I also work lipstick (as pictured), but, who wants to talk about lipstick when there's lavender to discuss?

The Fine Print: PR Samples and purchases

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Skincare of the Week 24 January 2016

Skincare featuring: Tata Harper, May Lindstrom, Dr Dennis Gross, Omorovicza, Vichy, Clinique, Pixi Beauty, Zelens

 This week was another Tata Harper-heavy week, I've totally fallen in love with one of the products, and I *like* the others, but for me, the Refreshing Cleanser really is the outstanding product of the range so far.  There's a full review of just why I like it so much coming up later this week.  I also went for a Tata Harper facial, at the always-excellent Content Beauty and Wellbeing in Marylebone this week, and you can look out for a full review of that later this week too.

It has been a very cold week this week, and I've found that the Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturiser, whilst being otherwise excellent, hasn't given quite enough protection from the weather as I would like, so I've been using the wonderful (again, a full review upcoming this week!) Omorovicza Miracle Oil as a base for my foundation, which adds just a tiny extra boost of hydration, and weather protection, without adding an extra layer of skincare.   I'm still formulating my thoughts on the Dr Dennis Gross Ferrulic + Glycolic Eye Cream, but thoughts are mostly positive so far. 

Even though I've mostly dropped acids from my routine this week, skin has been quiet and smooth and less red.  Result!  Just a short roundup this week, because I'm doing a few in-depth reviews to supplement in the coming days.  How's your skin been?

The Fine Print: PR Samples and purchases.

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Friday 22 January 2016

Clinique Sweet Pots

Clinique Sweet Pots in Orange Blossom, Candied Cassis and Pink Framboise

Packaged like macarons, and available in the sweetest of shades, the Clinique Sweet Pots are rather cute and lovely. This is Candied Cassis, Orange Blossom and Pink Frambois.

Clinique Sweet Pots in Orange Blossom, Candied Cassis and Pink Framboise
Yeah, I broke the cardinal blogging rule and swatched before shooting!

Consisting of a finely-textured sugar scrub and a gently tinted balm in either side, these are Clinique's answer to Lush's Lip Scrubs.  The idea is that you take the macarons apart, scuff your lips with the scrubby side, then apply the balm to keep your lips soft for hours afterwards.

Clinique Sweet Pots in Orange Blossom, Candied Cassis and Pink Framboise

The scrub is really finely textured, and I found I had to dig through the top layer of balm to get to the sugary stuff below, but it's not too grainy and hard once you're scrubbing. The balms are soft, and sweet - I can't discern any particular flavour, but your mileage may vary on this, owing to my smell problems - and I find them very hydrating, they remind me of the really good Superbalm that they do. Contrary to the rather dramatic shades in the pot, the balms are very very sheer, and add only a whisper of colour to the lips when you wear the balm.

Clinique Sweet Pots in Orange Blossom, Candied Cassis and Pink Framboise

 Now, to the price, they're undeniably expensive. They are £15 each, and the amounts of both scrub and balm that you get is quite small, considering the size of the pot - the majority of the bulky, but very pretty, packaging is the ring that holds the balm and scrub in one place. Compare this to the £5.50 that a Lush Lip Scrub will cost (which, of course, doesn't come with a matching balm), and the price seems a little extortionate.  That said, I have just bought the Red Velvet and online exclusive shade of Black Honey to round out my collection ...

Now, Clinique, just what does a blogger have to do to get the Black Honey Superbalm made permanent in the UK, please??? 

The Fine Print: PR samples

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Wednesday 20 January 2016

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl - Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent & Rose Transgressif

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl - Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent & Rose Transgressif

I know it's not right to fall in love with a lipstick simply because of its packaging, but boy, a sexy case can make up for a lot as far as I'm concerned!  I'm shallow, I know.  On Monday of this week, the latest addition to the Rouge Interdit lipstick collection from Givenchy was released, the Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl, and I love, love, love the packaging.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl - Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent & Rose Transgressif
L-R Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent & Rose Transgressif
Essentially a sheerer version of their classic lipsticks, the Rouge Interdit Vinyl is a brightly pigmented and very glossy balm-formulation lipstick.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl - Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent & Rose Transgressif
Yeah, I used Rouge Rebelle before I took the photos.  Sorry.

I have three shades, Rouge Rebelle, Beige Indecent, and Rose Transgressif.  Rouge Rebelle is a sheer clear red.  Beige Indecent is a browned-caramel-beige and Rose Transgressif is actually a brighter cool pink, not quite the candy-baby pink you see here.

Personally, my favourite is the Rouge Rebelle (surprise!  Some of you will have seen it on my instagram #LipsNspritz feed already), but I find Beige Indecent to be surprisingly wearable, because of the good pigmentation.  Rose Transgressif is tricky for me to wear because there is a lot of white in the formulation, but it's a good summery pink, if you can wear candy-pinks.

There's also a BLACK one, which looks terrifying in the tube, but I discovered at the launch last month that it is surprisingly wearable on the skin.  Mine hasn't arrived yet, but I'll be sure to show you it when it does ... For readers of a certain vintage, if you remember Honey Tea by Shiseido, then this will be the replacement you've been waiting for, so pick one up fast!  It's called Noir Revelateur, and is No.16 in the range.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl are now available nationwide and cost £25 each.

The Fine Print: PR Samples

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Monday 18 January 2016

Get Lippie at the Jasmine Awards!

Jasmine Awards Logo

 This time two years ago, I was over the moon because I'd been shortlisted for a Jasmine Award by the Fragrance Foundation. It was for a comedy piece I'd written about perfumes from the pound shop for Basenotes.  I didn't win - there was no way a funny vignette about perfumes no one in their right mind would have wanted to buy could have won, to be honest - but it was a huge honour to have been selected in the first place. It remains one of the high points of my blogging career!

A couple of months after being nominated, however, I caught a cold, and lost my sense of smell completely.  As my anosmia progressed, and particularly after it turned into parosmia (after around six months), which made absolutely everything in my life both smell and taste like sewage, I thought my life as a fledgling perfume-writer was over.  And, for a while, it was. But, for those of you who have been reading Get Lippie over the long term, you'll have noticed a few perfume reviews pop up every now and again, and particularly if you've been following my instagram, you'll have (hopefully) noticed my quest to wear my entire fragrance wardrobe one by one, documenting the process via my #LipsNspritz project.  

Parosmia is still very much a part of my life (bacon, coffee and chocolate have been the worst casualties, there are others, but those are still the worst parosmia offenders), but I'm happier than I could ever describe that perfume is now back as a part of my life too.  I currently only smell about half as well as I used to - my right nostril still doesn't register smells at all, nearly some two years on -  and it'll probably never get back to where it was back in the days before I damaged my olfactory nerve, but things are better.  Much better. 

So much better in fact that I've just been shortlisted by the Fragrance Foundation for TWO Jasmine Awards!  Three pieces that I wrote last year, two of which have parosmia as a central theme, have been nominated in two separate categories, and I couldn't be a happier blogger if I'd even tried.  To be nominated for a Jasmine Award (sometimes referred to as the "Oscars of the beauty world") is huge honour in itself, but for a perfume writer with a smell-disability - I believe I'm the first anosmic perfume-writer ever to be shortlisted - it is, quite frankly, a bloody miracle. During my darkest days of recovery (and things did get really very dark indeed) I never thought this could happen. But best of all, many of the friends I've made through perfume blogging have been shortlisted alongside me too, so win or lose on March 16th - when the winners are announced - it'll be a fun and happy occasion.  I can't wait! 

The pieces that have been nominated are:

Jasmine Independent Voice Soundbite Award:
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood - aka the one where I change my mind about the Oud fad (a bit).

Jasmine Independent Voice Literary Award:
A Parosmic At The (An)Osmotheque - a piece written about a trip to the perfume museum in Versailles, where a tiny purple light began to glow in the parosmic darkness;
and its companion piece:
Paradox by 4160 Tuesdays and Get Lippie - which is the tale of how myself and Sarah McCartney created a perfume that a parosmic perfume writer could not only smell, but love.

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Sunday 17 January 2016

LipsNspritz of the Week 17 January 2016

I spent this week wearing some of the "big hitters" in my collection, and thoroughly enjoyed it!  I began the week with Chanel No19 and Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Collection Ruby Red, and enjoyed the grown-up sophistication (something I'm sorely lacking in naturally) of bitter greenness and aldehydes. Tuesday brought brash spice and a gentle hint of the barnyard in Estee Lauder's Cinnabar, which I paired with the (accidentally) matching Sunset Red of the same Max Factor collection (click the previous link to see what I thought of these lipsticks in full).  Cinnabar is warm and full-bodied and is rather wonderful in cold weather.

On Wednesday, I thought I'd wear what was the first "fine fragrance" I ever owned (at the tender age of 13!), O' de Lancome by Lancome.  I remember it as being the lemoniest thing on the planet, and, what can I say, my  memories aren't that reliable, because it isn't, of course, that lemony at all.  Yes, there's citrus, but there's also a hefty punch of green herbs behind the citrus, and I loved wearing this, I kept sniffing myself in delight at such a great re-discovery.  On Thursay, I wore Samsara, which was the Guerlain answer to YSL Opium (as was Cinnabar, now I come to think of it), but it has a lighter, fresher, more citrus take on the heavy spice and warm resins of the original Opium.

On Friday I took advantage of the fact that my boss was "working from home" to wear Dior Poison.  Well, why wouldn't you? Applied in a small dose - no more than two sprays, maximum! - Poison is actually a lovable tuberose fragrance, with an appealingly powdery drydown. Applied with a heavier hand however, it deserves all the opprobrium it gets.  It was surprisingly popular in the office, and people were amazed when I told them what it was! I wore it with Lipstick Queen Private Party, which is one of the best pinks ever.

Saturday daytime, I wore YSL Paris, another fragrance I used to wear in my youth. Remembered as a sugar-rich, sweet, sweet, SWEET confection, this rosily pretty fragrance is another done a disservice by my unreliable memory.  It's not the explosion in a candy-floss factory I thought it was and is actually a neon-rose-violet that I actually can't smell in too much detail.  Oh well, I'll keep trying with this one, it's a classic for a reason. I topped it up with Paradox for a night on the tiles with MrLippie, and that worked well.  I wore it with Zelens Lip Glaze in Nude, which is the only "nude" I ever wear...

And what have you been wearing? 

The Fine Print: A mixture of PR samples and purchases

This post: LipsNspritz of the Week 17 January 2016 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


Skincare of the Week 17 January 2016

Skincare, Tata Harper, Kate Somerville, La Roche Posay, May Lindstrom, Zelens, Dr Dennis Gross, Votary, Merumaya, Omorovicza, Indeed Labs, Vichy

Well, as if you can't tell, I spent this week acclimatising myself to the Tata Harper products I treated myself to over Christmas!  Inital thoughts are positive so far, extremely positive in fact, but I need a little more time with them before I review them in full.

I wasn't too sure about the Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser at first, it's a little outside my cleansing comfort zone, if such a thing could be said to exist!  It's a lightly grapefruit-scented cream cleanser, which utilises enzymes and clay to cleanse your face, and it's the one said to be most suitable for sensitive skin. It's an unusual texture - completely unlike my usual (beloved) balms and oils - but it genuinely does clean the face, and I think it has a slight exfoliating effect, which hasn't - so far - caused any irritation.  I wouldn't use it for removing makeup though, I prefer oils for that, but for a morning cleanse, or a second cleanse in the evening, I really like it.  Now.

I was cautious about adding the Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence and the Rebuilding Moisturiser, because the essence contains essential oils (something my skin always has a bit of trouble with), and because moisturisers are always my troublesome area, so I added them into my routine on separate days, seemingly with few ill-effects.  Overall, the introduction to a "proper" Tata Harper routine has gone pretty well! I'm heading off to Content Beauty this week for a Tata Harper facial, and I can't wait!  I will, of course, report back.

On Saturday, I trialled May Lindstrom Honey Mud on Saturday, and again, my experience was a mixed one,  It's quite sticky (and smells of chocolate, which I can't bear at the moment), and I found my skin was a little "tight" after, but I suspect this was down to user-error than anything else.  It needs, for example, wetter skin that I am used to.  May herself was kind enough to comment on the Instagram post I put up with some suggestions, and I'm looking forward to using the Honey Mud again, with some more specific ways to use it.

What's been on your face this week? 

The Fine Print: Mixture of PR samples and purchases.

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Wednesday 13 January 2016

Iiuvo Emmie Candle

Candles.  I fupping love candles, and I love finding new candle brands, especially when the scents they are offering are a little different to those you can find on the market already.  Iiuvo, an independent British candle brand, founded by Leo Gibbon and Tomi Ahmed (whose experience runs the gamut from Commes Des Garcons to Dover Street Market), offer beautifully minimalistic candles with interesting scents.  

This one,  Emmie, smells of an evergreen hedgerow, just after a light rainshower at the beginning of spring.  Galbanum and cedar combine with a mossy, bosky base to make this quite the greenest and most interesting candle I've smelled in a long while.   They're clean-burning and good-looking, and the scent - even when unlit - will fill a room really well.  I love the jar, and am looking forward to keeping my favourite coloured pencils in it once the candle has burned down completely.

Iiuvo candles cost £50 and they're available from Liberty. 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: Iiuvo Emmie Candle 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 11 January 2016

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Lipstick Collection

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Collection Packaging
 I love lipstick.  I love Marilyn Monroe, so when the press release for this Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Collection came in, it was a bit of a no-brainer.  A collection of four reds, inspired by the iconic looks of Marilyn, and selected for every skin-tone, I leapt to take a look at this one!

Four red lipsticks from the Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Collection

The four shades are Marilyn Ruby Red - a blue-based red cream.  Marilyn Sunset Red - an orange-based red cream.  Marilyn Berry, a pink-based red, and Marilyn Cabernet, a sightly deeper true red, with just the tiniest hint of gold shimmer.   Here's how they look in the bullet:

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Collection Shades
 For some reason, my camera is making Marilyn Berry look like a baby-pink there, but I assure you it's actually a pink-red (as you'll see in the swatch pic below).  I love the shades they've picked out, actually, I think Sunset Red is the nearest to a lot of the reds Marilyn actually wore - she did love an orange-toned red, in pictures - but Berry and Ruby would work well for paler and cooler skin tones, respectively, where Sunset and Cabernet are good for warmer and darker skins.  Me, I'll be happy in all of them except Sunset, as I am both pale and cool, and find anything with an orange tone quite difficult to wear.  It's still lovely though.

Swatches of Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Collection
(L-R) Ruby, Sunset, Berry, Cabernet

The formula is a silky and relatively opaque one, the swatches show several passes with the bullet on my skin.  This pic is a much better representation of Berry too (third from the right, there).  I found the formula to be averagely long-lasting - four or five hours or so, unless you're eating and drinking - and oddly, a little bit sweet-tasting.  All in all a great collection for your money, and at £10.99 per lipstick, it'll be a little easier on the pocket, not to mention easier to get hold of than MAC's recent Dita Von Teese lipstick, so if you missed out on that (I only got mine by accident, I admit) then pick up one or two of these instead ... they're in-store now.

The Fine Print: PR Samples

This post: Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Lipstick Collection 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 10 January 2016

LipsNspritz of the week 10 January 2016

Estee Lauder Youth Dew/Sensuous Nude, Carven Le Parfum, Hermes Voyage d'Hermes, YSL Nu, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds

I fell in love this week, and I never expected to! It started on Monday with a brief squirt of Estee Lauder Youth Dew, and it continued later in the week and it ended up with my buying a bottle (or two!) of the matching bath oil, which is divine, by the way, and every home should have a (tiny) bottle. Youth Dew opens surprisingly bright with bergamot, and is fresher than I remember it, then once the top notes wear off, it is deep and rich with almost-medicinal balsams and resins.   It's not a fragrance for you if you prefer "clean" scents, but it's a grown-up, sophisticated and no-nonsense kind of a fragrance. I love it very much.  

On Tuesday (top row, middle), I wore Carven Le Parfum, which, after the confident brass balls of Youth Dew, seems a tiny, ladylike whisper of white flowers and office-appropriateness.  It's incredbly light and sheer and pretty, and as I generally prefer a bit of attitude with my fragrance, it's not something I'll wear too often in all honesty.  But if you like clean and pretty and light, it's very lovable indeed.

Wednesday (top right) saw me in Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude,  which is another light and office appropriate fragrance, and one which I don't wear too often as a result.  It's a little more interesting (to me) than the Carven, because this really does smell like warm, clean, freshly showered skin, and I like it, but it doesn't feel very "me".

Thursday saw me right back in my comfort zone, with Voyage d'Hermes by Hermes, in the parfum concentration.  A spiced (cardamom and juniper) rose over a bed of amber, this is surprisingly sexy for a diaphanous Jean Claude Ellena concoction, and is one of my all-time favourite fragrances of all time. It's one both myself and my husband wear (when I'm not hiding it from him that is), and we both  love.  Completely backup-worthy, this one.

Friday, I wore a vintage bottle of Nu by Yves Saint Laurent.  The first fragrance released by Tom Ford for YSL, Nu is a symphony of black pepper and incense, and was a) the first time I'd ever heard of Tom Ford, and b) realised that perfume didn't have to smell of just fruit and flowers.  Nu is spicy, peppery, and at the time that I bought it (around 2001) didn't smell like anything else on the market.  It was truly and original, and the fact that around approximately 60% of all new "niche" perfumes try to rip it off just goes to show how influential it was.  Another one of my favourites.

On Saturday I actually left the house and went for dinner with my husband (I never leave the house on Saturdays if I can possibly help it!) and to celebrate, I went with Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds.  Because: Elizabeth Taylor, White Diamonds. All powder and aldehydes, White Diamond is a true 80's classic, as long as you don't mind smelling like an exploded makeup bag.  Which, of course, I don't.

Lipsticks this week included (Mon-Sat) Max Factor lipgloss in Polished Fuchsia,  Guerlain Kiss Kiss in Very Cherry, Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy in Rebellious Rose, Dior Addict Extreme in Paparazzi, Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Grand Palais, and (not pictured, but please see Monday's post this week), Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Collection No1 Red Ruby.  Pictured bottom left is actually Bare Minerals Moxie lip colour in Live Large, which is excellent.

So, what've you been wearing? 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: LipsNspritz of the week 10 January 2016 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


Skincare of the Week 10 January 2016

Skincare products from Kiehls, Clarins, Darphin, Weleda, La Roche Posay, Zelens, Kate Somerville, Tata Harper and Murad.

 I took a couple of weeks off blogging over Christmas, which was fabulous, but I still kept at the "cleaning my face" thing.  It being a new year, I thought trying out some new products would be a good idea, but I think I tried too much new far too quickly, and my skin fairly quickly let me know it wasn't entirely happy with the idea.

Top left, Monday, I tired the Murad Correcting Moisturiser, which has a slight green tint to help neutralise redness. It's a nice moisturiser, and I'm looking forward to trying it again properly in a couple of weeks time.  On Tuesday/Wednesday I introduced some Kiehls skincare to my routine, beginning with Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Toner, and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. Now, I have to say, I absolutely loved using these products - the moisturiser in particular made my skin feel velvety, rather than oily, and left a semi-matte finish that was a great base for makeup.  However, the effect of trialling three new products in three days (not something I'd normally do, but I got a bit excitable!) made it's mark on my skin a little bit - bumpy bits around the edges of my cheeks and temples - and so I pre-emptively swapped to my SOS skincare kit to head off any breakouts or irritation.  I've written about my SOS Sensitive Skin kit before, and you can read that if you click the link. 

The second half of the week was spent trying to soothe irritation, and (as I took delivery of a massive skincare order from Being Content last week too) being desperate to try MORE new products!  I'm my own worst enemy sometimes, I really am.  Nonetheless, Thursday found me trying a new cleanser from Tata Harper - one designed for sensitive skin, natch - the Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser.  I haven't come to any firm conclusions about it yet, it's a cream cleanser, and I'm always somewhat ambivalent about cream formulas, but it hasn't cause any irritation, so hoorah for that!

So, what's been on your face this last week?  

The Fine Print: PR Samples and personal purchases, as always.

This post: Skincare of the Week 10 January 2016  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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