Beauty Without Fuss

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Tuesday 9 November 2010

Purple FotD

Just a random FotD that I haven't posted earlier, I love this purple shadow from Daniel Sandler,  I've posted about it before, I think it really makes the colour of my eyes stand out:

When I'm not wearing my beloved taupes and neutrals, purple is my default "go-to" shade (my favourite smokey eye is a purple one), it's a great shade, and this is a great shadow, this lasted all day - no primer - and, iirc, also lasted through a little bout of crying without running all over my face.

Foundation is Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, blush is Daniel Sandlers Mineral blush in Natural Beauty, and I'm just wearing a touch of balm on my lips.

What's your "go-to" shade?

Monday 8 November 2010


Sorry, got all lolcats for a minute there, but I just wanted to announce the winner of my L'Occitane giveaway!

The winner is ....


Please drop me an email with your full name and address, lovely, and I'll ensure that the powers-that-be get the parcel out to you this week.

Lots of lovely entries this time around, thank you everyone for taking the time and trouble to enter!

Friday 5 November 2010

Nail of the Day: Andrea Fulerton Foxy Lady

I've been waiting for Andrea to get this range into the shops since last March!  I was lucky enough to get my nails done by this lovely lady at an event and we had a really good natter, so when I found out the range was finally available at Superdrug, I leapt to collect some bits and pieces.  I love that alongside some great polish shades, Andrea has really thought the nail painting process though, and brought out some great tools for both creating nail art, and making your application neater and easier!

The first thing I've really taken a good look at is the Colour Layering System in Foxy Lady. Essentially a double ended nail polish, featuring (in this case) one opaque metallic copper, and a shimmering sheer purple shot through with beautiful turquoise shimmer at the other end.  The idea is that you can either wear the shades alone, or layer them one over the other to create different effects, for example:

L-R Copper alone, Shimmer alone, Shimmer over Copper, Copper over shimmer. All show two coats.

Application was fine and smooth, and the polishes are very quick-drying.  I liked playing with them a lot, trying to figure out which combinations I liked best.  The brush is a standard round brush (no pro-wide brushes here, which is a shame, as I'm increasingly finding I like a flat brush for varnish application).  I think you can see from the picture above that the polishes work best when you layer the shimmer over the metallic polish, and you do get a very lovely "twinkly" effect on the nails under different lighting effects.

In fact, I liked the effect so much that I immediately applied a full manicure of the turquoise over the copper - a combination that I chose because I couldn't see, at all, how that could possibly work together - and my nails are a kind of turquoise-y-purple-y-gold-ish shade that is very hard to describe - Sometimes it's bronze, sometimes pink, sometimes lilac, sometimes purple, it depends on the light!  Lots of depth, lots of twinkles, lots of interest, and yet, not too in your face you could wear it to the office.  Which I am, in fact, planning to do.

What I also like about these polishes is that they're not really mini-sized bottles.  A full-size bottle of Andrea Fulerton polish will cost you £4.99, and contains 5.5mls.  Each of the bottles of polish in the Colour Layering System contains 4.4mls, and they cost £7.99.  Ml for ml, that is exactly the same price.  Ordinarily when bottling polish in smaller containers companies take the opportunity to double - or even triple - the ml for ml price!  Bravo Andrea for not doing that, and making sure that the bottles are a decent size in the first place.

I'll bring you some reviews of the rest of the bits I have soon, I especially love the pop up nail varnish remover bottle!  Andrea Fulerton products are available from Superdrug

The Fine Print: Products came to me via an arcane and mystical process I could not possibly describe publicly.  Links are not affliliates, what kind of girl do you take me for?  [rhetorical]

Thursday 4 November 2010

Review - Tom Ford Tuscan Leather

Alongside minty fragrances, I'm a sucker for something with a hint of leather.  Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, however, doesn't contain a hint of leather, it's a full-on smack in the face with a driving glove.

My first introduction to leather scents was with Serge Lutens (or, dear old Uncle Serge as I refer to him for some reason) Daim Blond, to me, everytime I sniff it - I don't own a bottle - I think it's the very essence of how a suede rose would smell, if such a thing existed.

Tuscan Leather isn't as lady-like - or as genteel - when first sprayed it is the very essence of a leather armchair that's spent many years in the corner of a gentlemens' drinking den, absorbing the aromas of brandy and cigars.  And, of course, with a hint of the leather itself underneath.  This isn't for everyone, but for me, I adore it.  It's another "dry" scent, without much in the way of sweetness on my skin (although one of the notes a lot of people talk about is raspberry), and I like it all the more for that.  It's masculine-seeming on first spray, but the dry down turns it more into a skin-scent, meaning you have to get close to smell the notes, and you will occasionally be able to smell yourself.  I have a scarf that's been impregnated with the smell of this now, and it's something I occasionally wrap around myself and sniff just for the pure pleasure of it.

Ironically, on MrLippie, it smells a little sweeter, and a little less "gentlemanly" as a result.  I didn't tell him what it was when I first sprayed him with it and he thought it was interesting and familiar, then muttered something about new cars ...

Tom Ford Private Collection Tuscan Leather retails for £115, and is available from Selfridges.

The Fine Print: Revoo written from samples.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Guerlain Rouge G - B62 Betsy

I love my Rouge G's, I already own a red, and a pink and I wanted something a little more neutral this time around. 

Enter Betsy.  In the bullet, a rather intense mauve shade, it's actually rather more sheer than it might appear on first look:

This is one of the B range of Rouge G's, which have a lighter, more sheer texture, and feel rather more like a tinted lip balm than a lipstick.  I find them highly emollient, and, even though I have to apply slightly more often than I do than I do with a regular Rouge G, I think it's worth it when you get the right shade. On me, this is a "my lips but better" shade which I find works better for a smoky eye than a traditional "nude" shade, as it still adds a little definition, and doesn't make me look anemic.

Rouge G's are expensive, there is no denying it, but for me, they're worth every penny, as an investment piece there are very few lipsticks that look as expensive as this.  I adore the packaging - and, whilst I might have had my head turned slightly by Tom Ford and his crack habit lately, Rouge G will always come top of the expensive lipstick league tables for me.

The Fine Print: Debenhams Oxford St provided me with this fine example of a lipstick for only TWENTY FIVE of your earth pounds.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour

I'm a little paranoid about home hair colour.  One too many colouring disasters has left me totally unable, these days, to even think about using a box dye myself.

I've lost count of the towels I've ruined, the ears I've dyed to match my hair (and scalp), the grouting I've spattered with various shades of black, red and blue - long story, don't ask - and, the patchy results always but always drive me nuts.  When you have long, dark hair that has been greying since your 18th birthday (as mine has) it can be difficult to use, particularly on the roots around the back of the head, as I'm not a contortionist!

So, when I was invited to preview a range of home hair dyes from John Frieda I was somewhat sceptical, particularly when we were told that this was something "entirely new" in the field, then found out it was a foam.  I remember foam dyes when they were first introduced in the 80's.  Invariably a shade of red, the only thing they coloured in any way was your skin.  Certainly, they never made any difference whatsoever to my hair!

However, having watched a model use the product live in front of my eyes, I have to say I was impressed with the results I saw recently, so much so that I inveigled a member of my own family to try my sample box.  Essentially, the colourant is a mousse, you mix a dye and accelerant together in a bottle, then add a nozzle applicator and squeeze it to release the contents. 

The bottle:

This is actually after it had been in use - these were the dregs!

Here's the hair we started off with:

Some serious rootage there.  I know that feeling well ...

In progress:

And after:

I have to say, I'm very impressed.  Major points in the colour's favour:

Low smell - it barely smells of anything at all.
Ease of use - my model was packed off to the bathroom with just the box and a 7-yr old "helper" and left to fend for herself, she soon figured it out!
Non-drip - once this stuff is on your hair, it doesn't budge.  Maison Lippie is a palace of white, floors, walls, seats and surfaces (it's beautiful, but not the most practical place to dye your hair, really) and there wasn't a single drip anywhere at the end of the process.  No marks in the bathroom, and no trace of her progress anywhere else in the place, either.
Non-staining - any dye that got on skin (my model was determined to dye her ears black for some reason) was very easily removed with just a baby-wipe.  There were no stains left on skin anywhere.
Short developing time - the entire process was done and dusted in less than an hour.  45 minutes if you don't include drying time.
Good results - Now, whilst the results weren't perfect (we didn't leave the dye on the roots alone for quite long enough, so even though the grey was entirely covered, it was a tiny bit lighter than the ends - this was pure operator error), they were much better than expected.

So, even though the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour is a tiny bit more expensive than most box dyes - it retails at £9.99 from the likes of Boots and Superdrug - my model was impressed enough to change her regular box dye for it.  My mum has one of the blonde ones, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing how she gets along with with it!  I've dyed her hair for years, and find it such a boring chore, this foam may be the one to change all that!

The Fine Print: PR Sample - but a very welcome one.

Monday 1 November 2010

Review - L'Occitane Fleur Cherie Make Up

On Friday, I said I was giving away a set of L'Occitane goodies, so now is the time for me to tell you a little more about them.

I'm actually giving you this set:

Which contains a lipgloss locket, full size eau de toilette and soap, plus brightening face-powder pearls.  It's a cute little set, which I've enjoyed using a great deal recently - I adore the smell of neroli (Fleur Cherie is scented with orange blossom), and the scent of the products (except the lipgloss, which is unscented) is light, refreshing and just lovely.

The powder pearls are very pretty:

Lightly scented with orange blossom, the peach and apricot pearls give a light glow to the skin - they're not dark enough to be a fake-tan product, although they will give a lovely golden-sheen on darker skin.  I use these in place of blusher.

The lipglosses that you get in the fob, are essentially clear, with a hint of sparkle, as you'll see in the FOTD later.

But this is not the whole of the range, like the peony range of cosmetics L'Occitane brought out last year, there's a few more colour cosmetics available, and I've been trying those too.  I was sent an eyeshadow duo, an eyeliner and a lipstick to try, and here they are:

This is lipstick in Rose Sequin, eyeshadow in Bleu Damasse, and eyeliner in Noir Velours.  I've actually found myself impressed with them (with some caveats, as you'll discover), the shadow is smooth and velvety, with excellent pigmentation, and very good lasting power, I found that without a primer, the shadow stayed in place for around 10-12 hours, needing only a light smush with my fingers to get rid of the (minimal) creasing. The liner is very black, and very smudgy, however, it's lasting power isn't quite as good as the shadows, and I found it had run a bit after about six hours. The lipstick is a lovely, lovely shade, but it's very sheer, so won't be for everyone, also, I've found that the cardboard packaging, whilst adorable, isn't the most robust packaging in the world.  It's nice and moisturising on though, so while it doesn't last, it's actually nice to reapply quite regularly.

Here's the face of the day I created with the shadows, liner, face powder and the lipglosses from the fob:

Foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in shade 2.

The Fine Print: samples were provided for review.  You didn't think I'd do a giveaway of untried products, did you?
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