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Thursday 10 September 2009


Just to see if I can:

Here's my new hair colour. Yes, it's out of focus, many apologies.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Products I Simply Can't Live Without

Okay, I said there was going to be a follow up to my follow up (look, I know what I mean) post earlier, so here it is, these are the products I either use on a daily basis, or recommend to my clients regularly:

Chanel Precision Bi-Phase Eye Makeup remover: I have used EVERY eye make up remover on the planet (it feels like!) and this is the only one I've been able to buy more than once. So many of them sting, aren't suitable for contact lense wearers, leave a soapy film on your face, or - and this is the killer - don't remove all of your mascara. I'm a big fan of the liquid liner, and full-on tranny lashes look, so it takes some removing. The best thing about this product is that you don't have to scrub at your eyes at all, just soak a cotton wool pad in a few drops, hold it to your eye for about thirty seconds, then rub gently, v e r y gently, and all your mascara will come off like a dream. And no stinging. Did I mention it doesn't sting?

Origins Liquid Crystal Cleanser: Oh, it breaks my heart, but Origins discontinued this last year, and I'm still not over it. I have attempted to stop using products that contain SLS and parabens over the last few years, as I realised that foaming cleansers were contributing to my flaky, blotchy, dry and SPOTTY skin. I found this, and my skin has never looked better, even as I rapidly approach my, er ... mid thirties*. Cleansing with oils feels weird at first, but, once you realise that the "taut" feeling you get after using a foam cleanser is actually your skin drying out and crying for moisture, you realise that this is what your skin is supposed to feel like after cleansing! I have three bottles of this left in my cabinet, and when they go, I'll be on the prowl for a replacement.

* Those of you who know how old I really am can stop laughing now. Thank you.

Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm: I'll be honest. I'm lazy. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Most days, I simply can't be bothered with both moisturiser and foundation, so I slap on a layer of this, and I'm all set for the day. I love it because it has a fair amount of coverage that's unusual in a moisturiser product, and as well as evening out my occasionally blotchy skin tone, it's also an excellent moisturiser - which, ironically, can be many a tinted moisuriser's downfall, they just don't soften the skin! Plus, it's choc-a-bloc full of essential oils, and it smells wonderful. I have seriously dry and sensitive skin at times, but when I'm wearing this, you'd never notice. It leaves you with a lovely dewy finish, which is perfect for the day time.

MAC Blot: This is simply the best powder ever for avoiding shine. Sometimes, the BB tinted balm can leave me a little too dewy (who knew that would ever be a problem?) and a light dusting of this over the top is more than enough coverage. I love that the coverage you get is almost invisible, and that you stay matte for hours. This (alongside eyeshadow primer) is probably the product I recommend most to my personal shopping clients. It's simple, relatively inexpensive, will last a very long time, and it WORKS.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow: Man, I hate cream eyeshadows. They crease, they're greasy, and they wear off your lids in about 30 seconds. Not this baby, it stays where it's put, and it stays there till you take it off. I have a real love/hate relationship with Benefit, when the product works, they are very, very good, but so very often, they're a triumph of cutesy packaging over substance, and when they're bad, they can be extremely expensive cosmetic disasters. These eyeshadows are one of Benefit's triumphs for me, the colours stay true (although they will fade a bit over the course of a 12 hour day) but they're easy to apply, they don't crease, and they are well worth the outlay. The colour selection is slightly limited, and if you don't like shimmer, then you're out of luck, but give them a try anyway.

So, there you go. Sadly, there's nothing trendy here, and nothing too obscure (though I hope I'll be forgiven including something discontinued here!) but, these are my baseline products, ones I myself use very regularly, and ones that have been proved to me over and over again that they work. Many of my happiest customers wander away with at least one of these products, and I hear from them all the time how pleased they are with them.

Sunday 6 September 2009

Products I love - Updated!

For those of you who followed my last blog, you'll know that the original of this post (below!) was written the best part of five years ago ... how time flies! So I'm going to update the post, and see what's been replaced, and what's still going strong. I'll be doing a separate list of my new favourites later.

Kerastase Dermo Calm shampoo - Simply the best anti-dandruff shampoo there has ever been, for us sensitive scalped, dry haired people, plus it's good for coloured hair. Now sadly rumoured to be discontinued, I've recently bought four bottles just in case

... UPDATE I still use this, it was never discontinued (don't trust those pesky sales people who are only interested in upselling you to the products with better commission!) and I still love it. Have never found a product that soothes as well, and is as gentle on the hair.

Diorific 008 Mystic Mauve - The perfect neutral lipstick, if one ignores the quite ridiculously bulky packaging. Goes with smokey eyes or no-makeup makeups, somehow just makes your lips look polished and gives the perfect finishing touch to any face. And it makes your teeth look whiter, which is marvellous.

... UPDATE I still use this lipstick too, but I've redefined the colours I use as neutral these days, I use a lot more caramelly shades, and, some people might think this is odd, I use red as a neutral too. More about that later.

MAC Prolash - Great mascara with bulking fibres to make your lashes look fab of a nighttime. This was my wonder-product till I discovered Lancome Hypnose, which I find doesn't smudge as much.

... UPDATE: MAC simply couldn't compete with the Lancome Hypnose, for me! Sorry MAC, I love you, but Lancome do what they do so very well, it's not a fair competition any more.

MAC Strobe Cream - a cream highlighter/moisturiser. You can use this on your cheekbones/browbones for a highlighter effect, or use it in place of moisturiser for a slightly sheeny dewy effect. I like to dab a little all over a too matte foundation to make it look more natural. Did you know all MAC face products are vitamin enriched, like this one? I didn't either. And it's literally half the price and twice the size of Benefit's similar products.

... UPDATE: Still love this stuff, I love a dewy finish these days - I have reached that age where matte simply won't do any more, alas - and this is a marvel for mixing with other products where a sheen is necessary. There is no glitter, and no sparkles in it, so it's a little more subtle than a lot of shimmering products out there.

Laura Mercier eyeshadow in Twilight - a sort of purply-browny-greyish colour. You can wear this as a light natural colour wash across your lids, it's perfect for bringing out the green tones in hazel or brown eyes, but it also suits blue eyes. Or, you can use it as I do as the basis for the smokey eyes look as detailed earlier. The perfect suits all occasions and colourings eyeshadow.

... UPDATE: Still use this on a regular basis, but I use it more often as a subtle eyeliner, it's a beautiful shade still, and exceptionally versatile.

MAC paint in Untitled - a flesh coloured pigment in an artists paint tube. Can be used anywhere on the face - it comes in a variety of colours and finishes - but this one makes the perfect base for eye makeup, as it evens out the skin tones there, and gives the shadow something to cling to, and makes it last all day, and all night if it has to. Wonderful stuff.

... UPDATE: Still great, and still works (and still on the same tube! This stuff l a s t s) but it has serious competion from Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. In fact, if Urban Decay wasn't packaged so bloody stupidly, it'd be the hands-down winner in this category.

Urban Decay liquid eyeliner - I own about six of these, beautiful colours and simply the best brush yet found for ease of application. Stupid, stupid colour names though.

... UPDATE: Urban Decay still have the best selection of eyeliner colours on the High Street, and the product is just as good, BUT (and it's a big but) the new packaging makes it a lot more wasteful, and less easy to use. A case where less is indeed more when it comes to packaging.

Rimmel pencil eyeliner
- there is no eyeliner pencil on the market to rival these budget beauties. Soft, easy to apply, and relatively long lasting, simply no sense in buying more expensive ones.

... UPDATE: They still rule. Other companies might come up with lovelier colours, but for cheap and cheerful, you can't beat Rimmel pencils in the UK. In the US, a totally different story, as Wet'n'Wild rule, but they're difficult to find over here.

Chanel Crystalle - my favourite perfume, I flirt with others, but I always come back to this. A green, floral, herby type scent, that's not at all sweet (my pet hate in perfumes, along with that horrible ingredient in certain perfumes that I haven't identified yet which makes me retch), and apparently it's very sexy. I love it.

... UPDATE: Oh yes, I still love this. But, my other go-to perfume these days is Philosykos by Diptyque. That's a glorious green fig scent. I think green is my favourite perfume type, by far. That and incense. Again, more about that later.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream I never leave the house without a tube of this about my person somewhere, I use it as a lip balm, to pat on foundation to get a glow, as an eye gloss (great if you've smudged your liquid eyeliner, and want to make it look like a deliberate action), as a cuticle treatment, on spots, on flaky skin patches such as ankles and elbows, on scratches. It's wonderful, and last for years. Don't buy the lip treatment stick though, it has too much added vitamin e and another ingredient which can actually make your lips flakier. And it doesn't contain petrochemicals, which is one of my pet hates in balm-type products. The original wonder product, and still the best as far as I'm concerned.

... UPDATE: Still can't be bettered, as far as I'm concerned. I must have a tube, tub, jar, or tin of every single balm on the market, and I must pick up a new one every week, but the only thing I've found 8hr Cream can be bettered on is scent. 8hrs wins because, when it comes down to it, it's more versatile. Wouldn't want to waste something gorgeously smelling on burns and zits now, would you?

Chanel Rouge Noir lipstick and nail varnish Beautiful colours, beautiful packaging. Chanel do reds better than any other make up company, and these are the best reds ever, no question.

... UPDATE: Controversial, this one. They are still the best reds ever, but not for me, these days, I think. They're beautiful, but they're too dark and too ageing for me to wear regularly. Currently, my favourite red is a Givenchy CanCan which is the brightest reddest red I can find - at the moment! - and I find it gives my face a little lift, which can only be a good thing, right?


Saturday 5 September 2009

Bumper Beauty Week

It's been a great week for beauty here at Get Lippie, and I have some lovely things to talk about, but first of all I want to say a massive thanks to Jo Cruikshank who runs Puresha. On Twitter every day for a week, they ran a competion where just by adding #puresha to any of your tweets you could win a £100 eco-beauty voucher to spend on their simply gorgeous website, and I was one of their lucky winners!

After a wander through their site, I realised it was going to take me a while to decide what to buy, according to their website: "All of Puresha’s brands are handpicked for the way they look, smell, feel and perform on your skin and in the environment" and they stock products from suppliers as diverse as Jo Wood, REN and new celebrity fave rave Pure and True. In totally unlike me form, it took me two entire days, and many changes of basket, before I could make my mind up!

On Thursday evening, I finally got around to ordering Tsi - La natural perfume in Kesu, the Ren Rose Otto trio and the Pure and Simple trial set for normal to dry skin. This morning, Saturday, I was brought breakfast and a parcel in bed, and the goodies had already arrived! This is truly astonishing service! And look:

See that orange box on the top right? A completely unexpected bonus bottle (full size!) of rosewater by Duchesse Marden! I guess someone at Puresha had figured out I like roses, hmn? A lovely touch, none the less, and it's all the sweeter for me as I used to use REN's rose water spray that they had in their Rose Otto range and now seem to have discontinued. Inside that box, there was also a sample size of Duchesse Marden's Damascena Hydrating Masque, too!

So, thank you Puresha, I'll review the products individually shortly ... and I'll definitely be ordering more goodies from you too, I was so spoiled for choice!

Thursday 3 September 2009

Product Review - Lancome Hypnose Drama

I am a massive fan of Hypnose, I've used it constantly for years. Well, I say constantly, I've had occasional flirtations with Max Factor, and Benefit Bad Gal once in a while, but I always come back to Hypnose. I found it's lengthening and fattening properties to be second to none.

But ... I've always liked the original Hypnose, Lancome attempted to improve the original a couple of years back with an "Onyx" version, which I really didn't like at all. It was supposed to sparkle, and leave your lashes glossy with a shine that was meant to be visible to all. It didn't do any of those things, that I could see. It was just a slightly runnier version of the original formulation, and it dried out very quickly after only a few uses.

So, when I discovered Lancome had reformulated yet again, I was exceedingly sceptical, especially when I noticed it has a curved brush. I am notoriously cack-handed at the best of times, and to be honest, I've never really seen the point of these curved brushes. But I gave it a go anyway ...

And, I'm very glad I did, setting aside that I still don't entirely see the point of the curved brush, it's a very good update to the formula. It lengthens, and thickens even better than the original formulation, and, most importantly, it lasts better too. Some of my friends complained that the original used to flake, I never had that problem, but it didn't wear well much after about six or seven hours on me, I used to notice.

The Orange-Faced Lady on the Lancome counter said you could layer up to 12 coats, but I think that way madness lies. I notice a massive difference after just one coat, and two coats is more than enough for anyone, I would have thought.

So all in all, this is an excellent addition to the already superlative mascara range from Lancome, I'm a complete convert.

Pics of lashes to follow ,,,

Flipping heck ...

Honestly, this blog keeps winking out of existence - and deleting my posts - willynilly. Hopefully Google is keeping an eye on it now after all my complaining.

Coming next, Lancome Hypnose Drama review. I'll be updating all my how-to's shortly with photographs too.

Have updated my links with other blogs I'm enjoying reading at the moment - UK ones for now, I'll add the US links later.

Monday 10 August 2009

Where Have I Been?

Good question!
It’s all been a bit hectic chez Get Lippie, I spent half of the summer designing and producing make ups for Blackheath Halls’ production of Orpheus and Eurydice, which was great fun – especially the young Laban Dancers who played evil spawn in the Hell section, and had to be made up like skulls! Really tested my skills to the limit there … and my patience at times, but it was both aces and skill.
Hell demons
I also designed Amor, who had to look very sophisticated and beautiful, this was by far the best make up I did for the show, also took longer than the dancers:
Sadly, you can’t really see that she’s wearing A LOT of make up – it’s what I think of as a classic French make up, porcelain skin, bright, bright red lips, and a thick line of black liquid liner. This was from the initial make up test run, we beefed it up for the performances and added an almost smokey eye to the classic French look. We were very lucky that we had amazing looking women in the show, so much so that my role was practically unneeded!
Finally, I had to produce a beautiful, glowing “bridal” look for the role of Eurydice:
You can’t see it too well here, but there are lots of corals, pinks and blush colours here, but I tried very, very hard to avoid the “painted dolly” look you can get sometimes for a bride. I think we got the glow down quite well though! Also in this pic, we have Orpheus, who basically needed cheekbones, a lower eyebrow, and general mattification. Luckily, the amazing Wendy Dawn Thompson had great cheekbones already, so there wasn’t a whole lot to do.
Have also spent a fair amount of time trying to get my personal shopping business in order, but more about that later …
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