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Friday 11 December 2009

Today's Interview Look

Hair freshly coloured? Check. Eyeliner freshly flicked? Check. Lips slicked with balm? Check. Nervous? Check.

Hate interviews, but think it's important to look polished.

Wish me luck, peeps!

Thursday 10 December 2009

My current skincare regime

Don't worry, I'm not going to subject you to pics of my skin with no makeup on - well, maybe just the odd one ...

What I'm using at the moment:


Nude Facial Cleansing Oil - I wasn't too sure about this at first, I'd heard so many raves about it, people seemed to really like the smell, and I found it more than a little overpowering, to be honest.  It smells, to me, like hippies, sort of musky, and patchouli-esque.  It's not unpleasant, but compared to the light, fresh and minty smell of the Origins Liquid Crystal I've been using for the best part of the last five years, it's very heavy, and took some getting used to.  But, that aside, I love this stuff, it's a rich, thick oil that melts anything you have on your face, and then rinses away to leave you with soft clean and velvety skin.  And if you don't want to use a muslin cloth with it, you don't have to as it rinses away perfectly well with just a splash or two of warm water.

Next, I sploosh about four or five drops of Elemental Herbology Cell Food Serum onto my face and neck:

It's hard to describe what effect this has on your face - normally I don't bother with serums at all, finding them too heavy and greasy for my face, which tends to lead to breakouts, but this is very light, and seems to just soothe my skin whilst protecting it from the horrific weather we're having at the moment. I just find my skin loves this, lines seem to be smoother, and my skin is altogether more well-behaved when I'm using it. I think it's a product that's very quickly become one of my all-time favourites.

Then, as I described last week, I moisturise with this:

Which is a lovely rich, and matte moisturiser, perfect for cold, wet, wintry days.

Then, on a bi-weekly basis, I've been using this:

Which is the Elemental Herbology Facial Kit, which I wrote about here, I shan't bore you with re-hashing that post all over again, but I will leave you with a shot of it in action:

I think my skin is in better condition than it's been for a long time, and I'm really happy with it. What are your winter skin care essentials?

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Organic Wednesday - Badger Balms

So, a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned lip balms and asked for some suggestions for new ones. I really shouldn't be asking for recommendations, as a bit later on that day I went to my lip balm drawer (what, you mean you don't have a drawer devoted purely to lip balm?)  and found these babies.  Actually, the pic above shows only some of the Badger Balms I have, there are a few more hanging around.  I'm a big fan of them, in case you can't tell!

About Badger:

The original Badger "Healing Balm" is based on a concoction of  extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, castor oil, aloe vera and essential oil of sweet birch (it smells very like root beer, in fact!), and was invented in 1995 by Bill Whyte of New Hampshire.  The brand has since diversified from this one balm into aromatherapy products, hand care, lip care, body butters, soaps and sunscreens.  Badger don't test on animals, only use organic (food grade) ingredients and contain no petrochemicals.

Lippie Says:

I really like these formulations, unlike balms containing petrochemical ingredients, these don't just soothe your lips whilst they're actually sitting on your lips, but keep on protecting and soothing even after there's no balm visibly left on your lips.  Some more mineral-oil based balms can actually leave your lips feeling worse after they've worn off, but not these.  I discovered them via their "Healing Hands" balm, which I've used as a hand cream, and I also swear by their cuticle cream, which is a lovely lemon-scented butter, which works wonders for your nails, I discovered. My favourite of the lip balm sticks is the Chai Rose flavour, which I think has been discontinued, much to my distress.  I also really like their relaxation balms, I don't, in all honesty know how effective they are as aromatherapy products, but they smell nice, and they're lovely to use.

But, don't just take my word for it:

Mr Lippie says:

"Not being someone who regularly uses skincare products of any kind, I was a touch dubious when Get Lippie thrust a small tin of Badger ‘Healing Balm’ upon me, with many exhortations to ‘USE this, dammit!’. Opening it didn’t really help my qualms, as I was faced with a malignant yellow substance that was sticky/slimey to touch, and a waft of overpowering Menthol odour drifted out. I really didn’t think that extract of Badger was supposed to smell like this (nor was I sure what healing powers it had for dry skin), but I gamely resolved to try it anyway. I’ve got dry skin on my elbows (the word ‘scaly’) has been used), so I applied this to them once a day for about a week. The smell disappears in small quantities, the stickiness washes away quite easily, and, luckily, my elbows have not turned yellow. And, more to the point, it actually seems to work – which is nice. My elbows are actually becoming significantly smoother. So, overall, a thumbs up."

High praise indeed, if you ask me.

Editors Note:  No Badgers are harmed in the making of Badger Balm - there are no animal ingredients in any of the products from the range, except beeswax. 

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Nail of the Day - Rococo Vayder

If you follow me on Twitter at all, then you might already know I've fallen for Rococo polishes in a big way.  Yes, they're expensive, but all the ones I've tried are so pretty, and the wear on them is simply fantastic, usually at least five days without any signs of tip wear or chipping.  Here's my latest purchase:

It's called Vayder and it's an opaque black with iridescent micro-sparkles.  In the picture it looks like a silver glitter, but under artificial light these little sparkles light up like diamonds, I love it.  The above pic shows two coats for full opacity, and a seche vite top coat.   There's no gritty feel from the glitter on my nails, either.

I now own three Rococo polishes, all in colours slightly different to what's in my usual colour wardrobe, from left to right here, there is Vayder, Utility and Underground:

Also, I want to show you a before and after of my nails now I've been using  my ultra top secret nail regime for a few weeks:

It might not look like much to you, but for me to have ALL of my nails visible from the other side is amazing to me!  Another couple of weeks and I'll reveal all, but this new nail routine is something I'm astonishingly happy with, and I'm beginning to think my nails actually look okay instead of being something I'm really ashamed of and frustrated with.

What are the winter nail colours you're loving at the moment?

Monday 7 December 2009

Review - Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara

I love mascara.  Specifically, I love Lancome Hypnose, and Lancome Hypnose Drama (though the brush on that one drives me a bit bonkers, if I'm being really honest), I've tried other mascaras, but for me, nothing really comes close.

Clarins recently ran a giveaway on their Facebook page, and I was lucky enough to win a sample sized tube, and, I have to say, it's been the only mascara I've used since (I've toyed with Smashbox DNA which is going in the bin, and Max Factor Lash Extension, which I think is a bit rubbish as well) because, well, it delivers.

Here's what Clarins say:

"A multi-dimensional, 3-in-1 mascara, that ensures oversized volume, curl and length, with an instant and intense effect. From the first brush stroke, lashes are coated from root to tip with smooth, even, deeply pigmented colour and a beautiful lash look.
3-in-1 capabilities to ensure impressive volume, length and curl.
- Incredibly thick, volumized lashes, perfectly separated, no clumping.
- Infinitely long lashes, highlighted along their base by a superb eyeliner effect.

- Lashes with a spectacular curl that always remain supple."

And here's how it looks as compared to my natural lashes (one coat):

As you can see, the lashes on the left there are definitely longer and thicker.  After I add the mascara to the other eye (I'm not wearing any makeup in these pics whatsoever, aside from the mascara) here's how they look:

I think the product actually delivers on all three claims, which is beyond amazing, and compared to the Lancome (which has been my Holy Grail mascara since the first time I ever tried it) it doesn't flake or run after about six hours, which has long been a failing of the Lancome though I've been loathe to admit it ...

I like what this mascara does for my eyes so much that recently it's been the only makeup I've worn besides some lip balm, which, a few years ago would have been simply unthinkable, it's amazing that a mascara can in itself convince me not to wear eyeliner! I also think it's down to being happy with what my new skin care routine is doing for me, and I'll be blogging about that in a bit more detail later on in the week.

What's your Holy Grail Mascara?  What would make you change products?

Sunday 6 December 2009

Makeover: Mel

It Sunday Makeover time, and this week I was delighted to welcome along Mel:

Mel's a schoolteacher, and was looking for a simple and easy day time look that suits her colouring.  Mel actually owns a bit of very lovely makeup, but doesn't use it very often, so I was hoping to show her how to get the most of some of the things she already owns, and introduce her to a couple of techniques to get the best out of her routine.

First of all, we started with the base, to even out Mel's skintone we used YSL Perfect Touch Foundation, and for the slightly darker skin around her eyes, we used By Terry Eclat de Teint to conceal.  I like both of these products as they have the brush built in already, and they're super-quick and easy to use:

Mel has really lovely grey/blue eyes, so we decided that they would be the feature.  As we were trying to keep this simple, we use Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadow in RSVP all over the lid, up to the brow area:

Then, to define the crease - and as an eyeliner - we used Cargo Plant Love eyeshadow in Sparrow:

Then a lick of mascara

And we were ready to add the finishing touches, which in this case were a light dusting of Cargo's Plant Love Illuminator in Wind over the cheeks and temples, and a light coat of Estee Lauder's lipstick in "Beige".  I also darkened Mel's eyebrows a touch with Smashbox eyebrow powder:


Lovely, quick, and natural.  Here's the before and afters:

Thank you, Mel. Let me know when you want to go shopping!


Saturday 5 December 2009

Now, that's what I call service ...

So, after this morning's saga  of woe, I'd like to give a bit of a shout out to a brand that's getting nearly everything right, so step on down Sue Devitt and specifically to Niamh who is the Sales Advisor for the Sue Devitt counter at Harvey Nichols in London. 

A couple of weeks ago I had to take a phonecall whilst browsing on the shop floor when I was right by the counter, Niamh offered me a seat, let me take the call (and attempt to make a couple more) then stayed chatting for a while after, making sure things were okay.  I mentioned that I'd like to browse, and she happily just left me to play with the items, and stayed around answering any - and all! - questions that I had.  I pointed out that I had no intention of buying anything, as it was an accident that I was at her stand at all, and she was perfectly happy with that, gave me no pressure to buy whatsoever, and kept a personable and professional demeanour throughout.

She did give me a couple of samples of Microaquatic Primer though, which I've been using ever since, and I've been very happy with it, so next time I'm back in that part of town, I'll be picking up a bottle. It's fairly expensive, but it's silicone-free. I find it really soothes and smoothes my skin and it gives a great base for my foundation, no matter which foundation I'm using.  It also makes your skin appear to glow, even when you're using a matte base over the top, whether it be Rimmel, or something a little more high end.  It's great stuff. 

If MrLippie Santa is reading, I'd also like a couple of these and one of these.  In either Kilimanjaro or Serengeti, I'm not fussy! 

So, I'd like to say a big thank you to Niamh for restoring my faith in sales assistants recently, and let her know that I've already passed my regards on to Sue herself.
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