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Sunday 15 November 2009

The week ahead ...

Have just hit 77 followers, thank you so much lovely people!  This means there will be TWO prizes in my giveaway, which you can find here: Great Giveaway Unveiling. Your chances of winning have just doubled, so if you haven't entered yet, why not? ;)

Coming up this week: Lancome and Rimmel foundation reviews, Lip of the Day featuring NARS, the second part of my eye makeup remover challenge, Organic Wednesday featuring Dr Organic, as well as announcing the giveaway winner on Thursday!

Organic Pharmacy are having a shopping event in all their branches on Thursday 19th too,  I'll be popping along to that, so I can sample their wares properly!  I've always been intrigued by their products, so I'm thinking this will be a good way to find out more about them, they're promising discounts and mini-treatments (you know I'm a sucker for a mini-anything!) so I'm looking forward to getting my sticky fingers into their organic cosmetic range ... see you there?

Have a lovely week!

Makeover: Anna

Another Sunday, another makeover ... please meet Anna:

Anna came to me a couple of weeks ago, wanting to look more polished, and also to see how to create a smokey eye that would suit her beautiful grey-green eyes.  We decided on a neutral brown palette from Pixi to create the look around - I can't read the name on the packaging anymore, sorry - and I thought keeping the focus on those lovely eyes was definitely the way forward.

First things first, as always, we start with creating the perfect base.  Anna has some red marks, and a few pigmentation issues, so a foundation that could double up as a concealer was ideal.  I chose Benefit Play Stick foundation in Jax.  I really like these foundation sticks as they're really versatile, and you can amuse yourself painting pictures on your face before you blend them in! (Yes, I am a child).  We dotted a little extra over the problem areas,  blended well, then finished with a layer of Benefit Bluffdust to even out the complexion.  Here's how it looked after:

Already a little more polished! From the eyeshadow palette below, I used shade two as a colour wash all over the lid, and used shade 1 as a brow highlight (this is a well loved and much abused palette, so please forgive how it looks!):

I thought these colours worked really well on their own and would be suitable for a pretty and polished day time look with just a touch of mascara.  Anna wanted something a little more defined however, so I went on and used shade 3 to add some contour definition, and shade 4 as a liner:


Then, of course, it was time for mascara, we added a layer of Lancome Hypnose, and it really made her eyes stand out:

After this, we added blush (MAC Blushbaby) and a tiny slick of lipgloss (Prescriptives Stellar) and the look was finished:

Polished, subtle, slightly smokey, and really lovely.  Here's the before and afters:

Still waiting to hear how the date went, Anna!


Saturday 14 November 2009

Eye Makeup Remover Challenge - Pt 1

Even though I use cleansing oils to remove my makeup, it seems I'm still collecting eyemakeup removers at a rate of knots for some reason!  This isn't entirely a bad thing, as I do love me my full on lashes and liner, even with a "natural" look, and sometimes, you just want those bad-boys OFF!

If you've ever read my Products I Simply Can't Live Without post, you'll know that I swear by Chanel's Bi-Phase remover, but I wanted to put it to the test, is it really the best, or is it something I'm just so used to using that I only think it's good?  So, I'm setting up an eyemake up remover challenge over the next couple of weeks - cheap and cheerfuls first, then high-end removers, then I'll pit the winner of each of those categories against each other in a final showdown.  I'll wear the same makeup in each week so that it's fair ...

The Contenders:

On the left there, we have Amie Bright Eyes Very Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, and on the right we have Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover.

Amies Say: "Bright Eyes removes make-up effortlessly and gently without stinging or irritating the delicate eye area.Harmonising natural actives – meadow cornflower and chamomile soothe and decongest while grape water cleanses. Cooling cucumber hydrates and refreshes."

Boots Botanics say: "Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover effortlessly removes eye make up even waterproof mascara while also comforting and soothing the eye area, containing soothing Iceland Moss with high sugar content which helps to hydrate and calm skin as well as cleanse"

The Challenge:

Doesn't look too difficult, eh?  But I've used Urban decay primer potion, three powder shadows and two coats of mascara to look that "natural" ... oh well.

Round one:

First thoughts are that the Amie has a cute little push button top to control how much you get out of the bottle, and the Botanics bottle has a stupid little screw-top and no flow control, so I ended up spilling the stuff all over the counter.  Botanics is a bi-phase remover meaning you have to give it a damn good shake before using (which makes it look rather unpleasantly globular), whereas the Amie is just a clear blue liquid that doesn't need shaking.  There's no scent whatsoever in the Botanics, but the Amie smells quite "perfume-y".

I always apply makeup remover to a cotton wool pad, then hold it over my eye for about thirty seconds, to allow the remover to dissolve the products a little.  Here's how the pads looked after:

You can see, the Amie has definitely got to work on that mascara a lot quicker than the Botanics. (the order of the products is reversed on my face, so I've added labels to make it easier to see which is which)

Round two:

Once the remover has had a chance to melt the makeup off my eyes, I then use the pad to - very gently - remove the rest of my makeup. here's how everything looked at the end:


Thoughts at this point are that the Botanicals remover is very oily and has left my eye with a greasy, soapy feeling that will have to be rinsed off.  The Amie has removed my make up nicely, and not left me with a greasy afterfeel (it's actually oil-free), so it's at this point, that I would ordinarily declare Amie the winner.


Amie stings.  It really stings! It's not meant to sting.  They mention how gentle it is on the packaging about three or four times! Now, I have stupendously sensitive eyes and practically every eye product on the market stings my eyes at some point (cosmetics don't for some reason), but the Botanics doesn't sting me at all.  I have someone else using the Amie at the moment, most likely it won't be sting-y at all, it's just an odd quirk of my skin, but I'll mention their findings. Now, I'm torn, Amie's the better product, but Botanicals isn't painful.  What to do?  Can't fail both products in the first round!

So, which wins?  

This picture actually decided it for me:

I had a shower after removing my eyemakeup, and this is what looked at me in the mirror when I got out.  The Amie had completely removed my makeup, whereas the Botanicals had left a residue of mascara, and that's not good.  In fact, it's completely the opposite of good.  Don't care that you don't hurt at this point, removing make up is what a makeup remover is meant to do, and frankly, this isn't good enough.

Amie wins, (by a default).

Boots Botanics currently costs £1.93 on, and you can buy Amie from Superdrug at £4,95. The Botanics is my own purchase, but the Amie was provided for review purposes.

Next week, Chanel vs Talika.  

Friday 13 November 2009

Feature in The Beauty

I'm over the moon to have been featured in The Beauty Pages today!  Especially alongside some of my very favourite blogs too, what an honour!  Please check out the original article here, and have a look at the fabulous blogs by:

And of course, don't forget to have a good look around The Beauty Pages itself, it's great!

In honour of this momentous occasion, I've decided to add another prize to my giveaway! If I get to 75 followers by next Thursday (when the giveaway ends) there will be two prizes.  So, if you haven't already become a follower, please follow the link on the right there, then add your comment to the original giveaway post, and you too could be sharing in some lovely free stuff!

Thursday 12 November 2009

My Mini-Makeover at NARS

Whenever I'm offered a makeover in a department store, I try and take the salespeople up on it, unless the salesperson falls into one of these two categories: a) is wearing black lipliner or b) works for Benefit.  Sorry Benefit ladies, you're all no doubt wonderful people, but I tend to come away looking like I've let a toddler loose on my mush face with the crazy glue, a bag of glitter and some magic markers.

This week, I went to see the NARS people at Selfridges, and this is how I came out looking:

Normally, I avoid browns like the plague, but I'm really rather liking the look she's created here - and I actually quite like how she's accentuated the fact that my eyes are different colours as well. Unintentionally, undoubtedly, but I like the odd effect - I tweeted at the time that I felt a bit like a drag queen (a midget drag queen to be exact, but the less said about that, the better), but it's grown on me since then.  She used Cyprus as a highlight in the inner corner, and blended both Mekong and Galapagos as the socket shade, and used Galapagos (again) as an under-eyeliner.


The flash on the camera is really reflecting the coppery/bronziness of the shimmer in the eyeshadows, in the flesh it's actually a LOT darker, and dramatic, but it made an excellent change from my more natural usual looks.

I have to admit to not loving how the Sheer Glow makes me look exceptionally sweaty though, I have to admit.  Feels nice on, but if it looks like this after only two hours wear, and under powder, it's not something I'll be investing in, if I'm being honest.  She used a flat brush - something I've never thought of, but it seems so obvious now - to apply the lipstick (Falbala) and that's definitely a tip I'll be using again!

I did in fact purchase both Mekong and Galapagos, and here's a more wearable daytime look I created with Galapagos and Flesh by Bobbi Brown:

Again, the flash has washed the colour out a bit here, but it was a fair bit more dramatic than my usual look for the office.  I've used a more matte foundation as well, which I think works better.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Organic Wednesday - Tisserand

I'm reviewing several products this week, a handwash, a shower gel, and a shampoo.

The background:

Tisserand has been making SLS-, paraben-, synthetic perfume-, animal product- and mineral oil-free products since 1985, Robert Tisserand has been practising as an aromatherapist since the late 1960's and is still involved with the company helping them to put together formulations for their products.  Currently they have a range that includes everything from body oils to shampoo to aromatherapy oil blends to perfume and deodorants.

I've used a great many products from Tisserand over the years, and I've found their handcreams to be really lovely, especially the "Essential Oil Rich" one.  The lavender deodorant I didn't love so much, but it was nice as a complementary scent to Guerlain's Jicky!

The Reviews:

Tisserand Lavender and Mint Moisturisng Shampoo:

I have dry, colour-processed and curly hair, and if you've read my Cloud Nine review, you'll know it's the bane of my existence occasionally a bit difficult to handle.  I used this shampoo alongside my regular conditioner for a week, and it's basically an okay shampoo.  I don't love it,  though I do adore the smell in the shower, it's wonderfully floral and uplifting, even if you can't really smell the mint.  I found that before using conditioner it made my hair feel a bit dry after rinsing, but after conditioner and drying, my hair feels nice and soft, and with a faint flowery scent.

To be fair, the product doesn't offer a miracle cure for hair issues, so it doesn't deliver any, but as a mid-price shampoo (mine cost £4.95) it's a very nice one, if your hair doesn't have any particular special requirements.

Tisserand Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf Hand Wash

According to the blurb on the back, this is a non-drying, soap-free handwash containing rose, rose geranium, pink grapefruit and linden flower extracts.  As a result of these this smells absolutely edible, and it's a little like washing your hands in liquid turkish delight.   I love this stuff, and it really does deliver what it says on the tin, hands aren't dried out, and the scent lingers just long enough to keep you happy.  It lasts for ages, as well.  There are four people living chez Lippie, and our bottle is only a third gone after month in the house!

My bottle cost £2.99 on special offer at Wholefoods, but it usually retails around £5.95.

Essential Oil Rich Rejuvenating Shower & Bath Wash
(Pictured at top of post)

The problem with looking at lots of organic products is that because they're based on essential oils and a lot of essential oils come from flowers means that the products occasionally smell a bit "same-y", and they can be decidedly girly and floral.  Not this stuff, it has a deep rich, and herbal, almost musky, smell, which is quite unlike anything else.  I love the scent, and so does MrLippie, it's nice to find some products men can use too, for once!  As a shower gel it's pretty much of a muchness with any other gel you'll use, but the smell is lovely and refreshing (and slightly redolent of freshly sliced lemons once it's lathered up).  The product contains oils of lemongrass, yarrow and may chang (known as the "oil of tranquility" for it's calming properties), and extracts of bilberry and linden flower.  I love to use this stuff in the mornings, as it sets you up for the day quite nicely.

This normally retails at £5.95, but my bottle came as part of a package sent to me for review purposes.

Have you tried any Tisserand?


Tuesday 10 November 2009

Face of the fortnight - as promised!

Sorry about the extreme close up nature of these pics, I'm in the middle of a major hair crisis!  A really major hair crisis ... But this is how my Maybelline/Bobbi Brown makeup looks when it's put together.  I've been trialling Lancome Teint Idole, and Clarins Wonder Perfect mascara in this pic too, so expect a post on those later on in the week ...

I'm wearing the Cargo Plant Love mineral baked Illuminator in wind on my cheeks, still totally in love with that product, and how it looks in these pics.
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