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Tuesday 10 January 2012

Slight Change to Lipstick of the Week ...

It is so difficult for a blogger to get motivated in January, it's dark when you leave for work, it's dark when you get home from work, and the light is so horrific for photos that half the time it is not even worth taking any!

So to brighten up my life a bit, I'm going to go through my make up collection a bit more, and do slightly different things with it.  Last year, I started doing "Lipstick of the Week" posts, highlighting what I'd been wearing the previous week, and they were hugely popular, so I'm going to keep doing them this year, but, to keep myself interested, I'm going to set myself little challenges, or have themed weeks.

I have close on 500 lipsticks/glosses/balms/stains and I really should use more of them!  This week's theme (if you can't tell from the pic) is ...


I'll only be wearing red lipstick this week.  But I'll be wearing it every day this week!

If you want to join in, send me pic of yourself wearing your brightest/favourite red lipstick and I'll feature the best ones on the blog this Sunday, or, if you're shy, you can leave me a comment suggesting themes or challenges in the comments on this post today.  Here's to red lips!

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Monday 9 January 2012

My 8 Week Challenge with Phillips ReAura

This innocuous looking bit of kit is a laser. Or, as Dr Evil* might have it, a "lay-zor".  Actually, it's a home facial re-surfacing gadget from Philips, and it's called a Re-Aura.  Retailing at just shy of £800, this has been in my beauty cupboard for the few weeks since it arrived. 

Because, I am, quite frankly, terrified of the flipping thing.

But, I am a woman of my word and I went through all manner of pre-purchase checks before I signed up to use it, and so I WILL be using it twice a week for the next eight weeks.   Actually, I have to admit to being very impressed with Phillips' service in this matter, they ask you - and anyone else intending to use the system, whether a blogger or not - a lot of questions before they'll let you have one.  A little about your medical history, a lot of questions about your skin and a few questions about your routines, they're very thorough, and extremely good at preparing you for what lies ahead.

The Re-Aura is a form of laser dermabrasion, and the Philips website states that it reduces fine lines, evens skin tone and smoothes the texture of your skin.  It's said to be very good for skin that has pigmentation marks from the sun.  I've read some remarkable testimonials, and so I'm going to give it a go.

Only, not on my face.  I have an inkling that it'll be too much for my delicate little noggin, so I'm going to be using it on my decolletage.  I met with leading dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe a couple of years ago, and he mentioned that if I was a client of his, the first thing he'd deal with is the sun damage that I have in that area (which I've felt self-conscious about ever since, thanks, Doc!), but he didn't give me any idea how to go about fixing it myself, so this is how I'm planning to sort it out!

You use the Re-Aura twice a week, the instructions seem pretty straightforward, and I've been warned - extensively - about what the possible side effects are.  I've just realised, however that this means you'll be subjected to pictures of my chest every week for the next couple of months.  Sorry about that ...

The Fine Print - Why yes, this is a PR sample.

* True story, when MrLippie and I met, it was on a website where my screen-name was "Only Slightly Evil".  He can't say he wasn't warned.  I'll zap him ifhe steps out of line.

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Friday 6 January 2012

My Holiday Makeup Bag

I like to travel light when I go away - in December I was away a fair bit, and these were the bits and bobs I took along with me:

Here we have Le Metier de Beaute eyebrow pencil, Tom Ford eyebrow pencil, Makeup Forever eyeliner No19, DJV Beautenizer Volume Lash mascara, Clinique Lip Smoothie, Becca lipstick in Giselle, Chantecaille lip chic in Tea Rose, Paul and Joe face powder, Nars blush in Sin, and on the top, Le Metier de Beaute eye kaleidoscope in le Cirque, Chantecaille tinted moisturiser in Glow, and Nars Concealer in honey.

Here's a look at the shades:

And with flash:

I find with this kit I can accomplish a number of looks, from polished neutrals, to smokey eyes, to barely there.  In particular I love the le Cirque palette, as it always looks polished, and always gets compliments whenever I wear it - however I apply it!

As for brushes, I like to keep those to a minimum too:

One blush brush, three eyeshadow brushes, and one powder brush.

What do you pack to take away with you?

Oh, there are some full reviews of some of these products coming up soon, do let me know if there's anything you want to see.

The Fine Print - mixture of PR samples and purchases.  But mainly purchases.  These are mainly the products I can't live without ...
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Thursday 5 January 2012

Tom Ford Nail Polish - Bitter Bitch

I splashed out a bit before Christmas, and went a bit crazy at the Tom Ford counter - admittedly, going a bit crazy at the Tom Ford counter can be very hurtful on the old wallet area, but sometimes you just have to, don't you?  I looked at the lipglosses, and simply couldn't decide which I wanted, but I knew I just had to have a nail varnish.  I picked Bitter Bitch (in spite of the name), because I don't have many brown polishes, and this looked like a a nice rich one.

And it is:

A warm brown with reddish tints, I figured this would be a great shade for my new - shorter - nails.

With flash:

Natural light: 

It applies like a dream - the brush is slightly too long for my short nails, which can lead to pooling, but applied carefully, this is great, great polish.  The square lid on the top is removable:

Making for easier application.

It's a creme finish without a hint of shimmer, and three coats makes for a delicious finish:

And again with flash:

Best of all, this stuff wears like iron!  The first time I applied it, it survived cooking Christmas dinner for ten, and was one for the best part of a week without showing any major chippage, but this was with three thin coats.  I've applied it since with just two thicker coats, and it has shown signs of chipping, minor signs, but still.

So, at £25 a throw, they're pricey.  But, as I never reapply the same nail varnish twice in a month, and I've had this one for the best part of a fortnight now (with a two-day break for some Pasha from Zoya - as you can see in the second picture), I think you can safely say that it's love ...

The Fine Print - Purchase.  I bought this AND something else (coming soon), I think I was bamboozled by some unexpectedly good service at the Tom Ford counter in Selfridges ...

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Wednesday 4 January 2012

By Terry - Rouge Terrybly 203 Fanatic Red & 304 Cherry Cherry

First off, Terrybly is a dreadful, dreadful, dreadful name for a diffusion range of cosmetics.  Especially a diffusion range that is, in actual fact, more expensive than the original line ...

Right, that off my chest, lets have some lipstick porn, for these are the most beautifully packaged lipsticks in all of creation:

These are gorgeous, weighty and glamorous to carry around, particularly in their little silk bags. So, what are the shades like?  Here you go:

 And with flash:

Yes, I went for brights, and what beautiful brights they are.  A wonderous deep blood-red and fuchsia.  Ah, fuchsia, how I've missed you and your hard to spell ways ... I love the retro-80's nature of the fuchsia shade!  I had this one applied at an event before Christmas, and immediately had to ask the team to open up the tills so I could purchase one ... I'm easily led, what can I say?

Natural Light:

And with flash:

These are very emollient - By Terry wax lyrical about "Lumilip" technology on the packaging, without, of course, mentioning what it is, but I think it has something to do with rubies.  These shades do, in fact, have a glow about them, and I enjoy wearing them a great deal.

However, they cost £31 each, which is on a par with Tom Ford (£36), so are they as good?  Well, yes and no, to be honest.  On the packaging side, I'd say the Rouge Terrybly win.  I know everyone goes on about the click of the Tom Ford lipsticks when you close them, but I don't think they're particularly inspiring personally, nice, yes, but ... I prefer the Terrybly.  When it comes to performance, well, Tom Ford wins hands down.

When I bought these lipsticks, I was told that they wouldn't wear off, they were longlasting, and wouldn't leave a ring of doom.  Well, all of these claims are untrue.  They're no more longlasting than any other lipstick, and they do wear off within a couple of hours of applying (you'll be finding lipstick stains on everything for days afterwards), and as for a ring of doom, well ... RING OF DOOM might be better putting it!

Serves me right for listening to a pushy sales assistant, I guess.  More fool Get Lippie.

All that said, I do like these lipsticks a great deal, they're moisturising, and they're wonderful colours in great packaging, but they're not a groundbreaking formula, they have average (very average) staying power and aren't really any better than other lipsticks in their price range, but they are pretty.  Very pretty ...

The Fine Print: Purchases.  Lovely, lovely not-at-all longlasting, impulse purchases.

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Tuesday 3 January 2012

Estee Lauder Cyber Eyes Collection

It seems Estee Lauder are continuing their innovation in eyeshadows into the new year, and their first collection by Tom Pecheaux this year is Cyber Eyes, a collection of six "tribryd"* gelee eyeshadows, four mascaras, and six eyeliners.   I selected a few to get a feel for the collection:

Here you can see Cyber Copper, Cyber Pink and Cyber Green eyeshadows (the other available shades are Cyber Teal, Cyber Lilac and Cyber Silver) with Blackened Cocoa and Blackened Plum Eyeliners.  The other shades of liner are Electric Teal, Blackened Olive, Blackened Sapphire and Blackened ... um ... Black ...

Here are the shades with flash:

The shades are beautiful, as is the product in the pan. The Cyber Eyes shadows are a creme/gel/powder, which lends them to being used either wet or dry.  Used dry, you get a beautiful sheen, and a complex shade on the skin:

They are easy to blend and last extremely well on the skin with or without primer beneath.

Applied wet, you can see how the colours deepen, and gain a lovely metallic finish:

 Even the pink, which applies a little more sheerly than the other two shades.  

The pencils are a real treat, being both densely packed with pigment, and very, very soft and easy to blend.  I think, if it came down to it, I'd say the pencils were the best part of the collection, but it'd be a very close-run thing.

Here are swatches of both Blackened Plum and Blackened Cocoa:

Plum is at the top and cocoa is at the bottom.  Blackened Cocoa is lovely, but I'm a little disappointed with the Plum,  it's a little more of a navy blue with a hint of purple than a plum, which is nice in itself, but it's not the shade I was expecting from the name, I always think plum should be on the redder side of purple than the blue.  That aside, these are lovely, lovely pencils, soft, smudgeable and unbudgeable.

MrLippie and I had a bit of a giggle over the name of this collection, as there's very little "cyber" about it (and hey, "Blackened Black", really?  How much more black can it be?  Answer: none, none more black*), and it has to be said that with the exception of Cyber Green, the shades themselves aren't hugely original choices, but these are lovely, glorious glowing eyeshadows and I can see I'm going to get a lot of wear out of them.

Cyber Eyes Shadows are available now, and cost £19 each.  The liners cost £16 each.  Some of the shades are limited edition though, so you'd better get your skates on ... 

The Fine Print: Cyber samples, through the interwebs.

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Sunday 1 January 2012

Haircare Gadget of the Year

Haircare gadgets and I do not get along.  I'm both a cack-handed muppet, and lazy.  Very, very, very lazy.  I do, in actual fact, own a hairdryer, but I've no idea where it is at the moment. In 2011, I practically gave up using all heated appliances on my hair (even my beloved Cloud Nine's have taken a little break over the last six months or so), because I'm both that lazy, and that cack-handed.  Because of my commitment to the blog though, I continued to trial and test gadgets, and there was only one I used more than twice.


Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers.

To say I fell for these would be a mild understatement, I fell big, and I fell hard.  These are your average muppet's daydream for glamorous hair, needing not even the slightest bit of hair-styling talent to be able to use them.

The secret is in the clip, metal-lined so they heat up alongside the roller, and ensure that your hair is heated from both inside and outside the curl you've formed on them.  Oh, and the clips ensure they stay in place too - I've had horrific trouble with velcro rollers slipping out, and rollers with pins are, well, painful, lets face it.

I also discovered that it doesn't matter how haphazardly you position them, either, you always end up with wonderful bouncy, shiny, glamorous hair.

Anything that can take my hair from looking like:

It's not dry, it's frizzy, I got caught in a rainshower before I took this pic!
To looking like:

(Um different room, and I'd finished applying my makeup...)
In about 20 minutes without my a) having a nervous breakdown or b) burning myself can't be all bad ...

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