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Wednesday 19 February 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

By Luke

There are a lot of palettes out there at the minute with all of those easy to use, neutral browny grey shades that no one can really live without.

By far the best I have seen is this one, with no less than 14 colours in it, in two finishes, WITH two brushes AND a guide for different shaped eyes on how to get the most out of all the colours without those all too common left in the palette coz I’m not sure how to use it colours.

The top layer has the nicest shades of bone, to taupe, brown and black in a lighter wash of shimmer, and the bottom has almost exactly the same colours, ALMOST but not quite for variety, in a fabulous shades of matte. Perfect.

This went straight into the kit, and if I can’t do a natural eye right through to a smoky eye with this baby, I need to hang up my brush belt.

Available from, and Boots stores, now and costs a measly £36.

Own it.

This post: Smashbox Full Exposure Palette originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper


Wednesday 12 February 2014

Gateway Drug: Dior Oud Ispahan

By Laurin

I meant to write something completely different for my introductory "Get Lippie" post. But as I was writing last week during quiet moments in the shop, I began to feel like I was sitting down to watch a play halfway through the first act. I need to tell you how I got here, because I can hardly believe it myself.

I know the exact time it happened: July 14th, 2012. About 12:40pm. Early for lunch with a friend in Marylebone, I took a detour through the fragrance hall at Selfridges, and that decision changed my life.

I think it was the softly glowing pink liquid that caught my eye. It certainly wasn’t the rather stark, sturdy bottle. Dior had just launched Oud Ispahan earlier that year as part of their more exclusive "La Collection Privée" and a jewel-like displayof bottles sat enticingly near the entrance to the Dior Fragrance Lounge.

The official notes are rose, oud, patchouli, sandalwood and labdanum, but I could have told you precisely none of that 18 months ago. All I knew was that when I sprayed it on my wrist, that I was instantly transformed into a languid, heavy-lidded seductress with the power to ensnare helpless suitors with one bat of my fluttering eyelashes (well - IN MY MIND). Make no mistake - I am about as far from the Thousand and One Nights as you can possibly get. I am a blonde-haired, green-eyed girl from coastal Alabama who could potentially be mistaken for a transvestite in heels. I'm more likely to swear at you than I am to whisper sweet nothings your ear. But this, I discovered that day, is the transformative power of fragrance, to make you into the person you never imagined you could be, if only until the clock strikes midnight and your rainbow whirl of silk scarves turns back into a Gap jumper.

Oud Ispahan is not original. The combination of rose and oud is a classic one in Eastern perfumery, and it has been done to death in recent years, from the inarguably beautiful but eye-wateringly expensive Kilian Rose Oud, to the slightlyless grand but more accessible Body Shop Rose Oud (creativity, it seems, is not a priority when naming your oud perfume).

But sometimes ignorance is bliss when it comes to fragrance (who really wants to hear that Caron's Tabac Blond is but a shadow of its former glory when time machines are still in dreadfully short supply?) and to my fresh nose, Oud Ispahan smelled like the most haunting evocation of hazy desert sands and gold-leaved minarets this side of the Persian Gulf. A transparent, shimmering rose coupled with the raw, inner-thigh heat of oud, the nose-tingling prickle of patchouli and the richness of sandalwood smelled to me then like nothing ever had before.  I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. Later that afternoon, I lay in bed sniffing my wrist three hours and listening to a low buzz in my head that I later came to realise foretold  that I was about to spend an ill-advised amount of money in a completely frivolous manner. Less than 24 hours later I found myself back in the Dior Lounge armed with a MasterCard and a wilful disregard for my bank balance.

Words like "cheap" and "value for money" take on new meaning in niche perfumery. If you love it and you can afford it (even as a treat), it's good value for money. So I'm going to stick my neck out and declare that at £125 for 125ml, Oud Ispahan is excellent value for money. A couple of sprays carry on all day, and into the next. The sillage is epic - it's about as close as you can get to a fanfare of trumpets announcing your arrival. And it makes people SWOON. You know the scene in the English Patient where Juliette Binoche tells charred Ralph Fiennes that she would summon her husband by playing the piano? I'm pretty sure I will summon my husband by wearing Oud Ispahan. Well, my next husband,that is.

After making such an unexpectedly extravagant purchase, I should have gone home and enjoyed my newfound love for the next year. But that's not what happened. Instead, I picked up a book that had lain untouched on my bookcase for the last two years entitled Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, fell down the rabbit hole of niche fragrance, and a year, thirty bottles and a dozen new friends later, landed in a Saturday job in a perfumery in Marble Arch to support my financially ruinous hobby. Frankly, a drug habit would have been cheaper. But whatever, I can quit at any time. Honest.

Oud Ispahan and the rest of Dior’s La Collection Privée are available at Selfridges, Harrods and Dior Boutiques.


This post: Gateway Drug: Dior Oud Ispahan originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Meet the Team!

I mentioned recently that I was making some changes to Get Lippie, and we're finally ready to announce them!  Life has got in the way of blogging a bit recently (and by life, I actually mean "work", so I won't bore you with the details) and it has become increasingly obvious that I've needed a hand to keep up with my ever--more-absorbing "hobby ... with that in mind, I'm delighted to announce that some of my amazing friends are joining me here on the "editorial team"!

I'm delighted that a few of my favourite people from the internets have decided to join Get Lippie, and here they are, introducing themselves in their own inimitable way ...:

Tindara Sidoti-Mcnary

Art and film geek, feminist, fatshionista and London flâneur, works in architecture and engineering, likes lipstick. Find her @Tindara 
(Tindara is practically the only person on the planet who likes lipstick more than I do - a perfect fit for Get Lippie!)

Laurin Galdis Taylor

I had a chance encounter with a bottle of Oud Ispahan on July 14th, 2012 and instantly fell headlong down the rabbit hole of niche fragrance, landing nearly a year later with a Saturday job in a London perfumery. When I'm not pursuing my financially ruinous hobby, I get paid to eat cakes in the name of "research". It's not such a bad life, really. " Find her @laurinemily

(I met Laurin via a perfume group on Facebook - I've admired her enigmatic yet passionate updates for quite some time, looking forward to seeing more of her in-depth writing!)

And last - but very most definitely NOT least! 

Luke Stephens

(or, to give him his full name: LukeStephensMakeupArtist)

Raised in Rangoon by wild monkeys, he fled in a crate on a pirate ship to England, where he ran up and down the country screaming like a banshee until he was about 14. When he calmed down, and took a few slaps in the face, his precociousness knew no bounds and he picked up a twig and started to daub coloured goo and fat onto peoples faces for food. Something he continues to do to this day for the benefit of those people on the telebox, and in clothes magazines and the like.

His work in making people look different, and his knowledge of beauty, like his sense of humour, is second to none (see:precocious), and he was asked to be guest Beauty Editor at a magazine, where he remained chained in a cage and had products thrown at him from a safe distance for nearly three years. Upon his release he vowed world domination, but mysteriously disappeared to continue painting faces. He now occasionally scrawls his thoughts and findings down for the delectation of other people, and is rarely allowed civilized human beings. Only models. Find him @LukeStephensMUA

(sorry Luke, this bio was too good to waste!  The translation is that, basically, Luke is a makeup artist and a damn good one.  I've been at many an event with Luke, and he's very often a voice of sanity in what can be a strangely pink and fluffy world ... )

So there you have it!  We'll be back with a more regular posting schedule from next week, we've got tonnes of ideas! But don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, I'll still be pottering about and writing whenever I can, but for the foreseeable, Get Lippie is now a four-author blog. 

Looking forward to it!

The Fine Print: No PRs, or makeup artists were harmed in the writing of this post.  I suspect I'm going to get a punch from a particular makeup artist nect time he sees me though ... wish me luck!

This post: Meet the Team! originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Jasmine Awards 2013

A couple of years ago, I owned - quite literally - about two bottles of perfume: Chanel Crystalle and my constantly replenished bottle of Aromatics Elixir.  I would have owned a bottle of Acqua di Parma too, but I'd run out, and hadn't (still haven't - whoops!) replaced it yet.  In early 2011 after reading Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, Project Perfume (and a new obsession) was borne, and I've been writing regularly about fragrance ever since. 

I love writing about fragrance, it's very different to writing about makeup, more abstract, and it allows me to set my inner creative-writing ponce out on the loose, albeit slightly.   I've been extremely lucky to have made some wonderful friends through the perfume blogging world, and I'm always amused that this little beauty blog occasionally gets to hobnob with some of the best fragrance writers around - they've been a hugely welcoming bunch, and happy to say that some of them have crossed the divide from mere fellow fume-nerds (of which I still consider myself very much a fledgling) into actual real-life friends!

To say my approach to fragrance-writing is irreverent would be a  .... slight ... understatement (Tom Ford's output regularly reduces me to writing so insanely that I'm astonished the brand are still speaking to me, frankly) so you can  imagine my surprise this week then when the nominations for the Jasmine Awards were announced, and I discovered that I'd been shortlisted for one!  They're hugely prestigious, and cover both online and traditional print perfume journalism, previous winners include Jo Fairley, who is an inspiration of mine!

I'm shortlisted for a prize in the "Best Digital Perfume Experience" category for a piece I wrote for Basenotes last year, about wearing perfumes from the poundshop. Yes, really.  It's a bit different to the other pieces in the same category, featuring, as it does, nothing that most people in their right minds would ever want to buy, but it's a piece that I hugely enjoyed writing, and hey, it also let me torture my husband for an entire week, and who wouldn't like that?  

If you want to read the other pieces nominated in the same category (and I recommend that you do, there's a couple of gems - besides mine, of course!), you can find them here:

-The Pound Shop Fragrance Challenge by Louise Woollam for
- YSL release The Oriental Collection by Katie Chutzpah for
- Tom Ford releases London by Katie Chutzpah for
- The Scent Matrix by Teo van den Broeke for Esquire Weekly
- The Perfect Good Book and Candle Combos by Joanna McGarry for
- The New Niche in Perfumery? A Return to the Classics by Joanna McGarry for
- Men’s Fragrances for Women by Annabel Meggeson for Red Online

I'll be at the ceremony, practising my best "Oscars Best Supporting Actress Nominee Smiling Through the Defeat" face on March 12.  I'll keep you posted!

This post: Jasmine Awards 2013 originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday 3 February 2014

BaByliss Pro Perfect Curl

 Somewhere, down deep inside Lippie Mansions is a graveyard.  A dark and forbidding place, it is where hair gadgets go to die.  There are straighteners, wands, tongs, dryers, brushes, brushes that spin, brushes that don't spin but do heat up, special combs of all kinds, heated curlers, rollers what you are supposed to sleep in, bits of string you're meant to tie your curls into, crimpers, wavers, totem poles, seriously all kinds of things, all of which are completely useless to me.  Many is the time I've thought that someone should start a support group for cack-handed muppets with insane hair and a slight tendency towards clumsiness.

Luckily, I no longer need that group, thanks to the BaByliss Pro Perfect Curl.  I was lent one a couple of weeks ago so I could try it out, and now I'm in love.  If I could leave my husband for a gadget, this would be the one ...

Seriously!  It's so simple, so easy to use, and gives such great results, it's A M A Z I N G.  I've never had such good hair, either so simply, or so quickly.  It's as simple to use as a pair of straighteners, because basically, the machine does all the work for you.  All you do is feed your hair into the round section at the end, hold it closed till the machine beeps, then out drops a perfect curl (do you think the clue is in the name?), keep going till your entire head of hair is curled, and there you go!  Here's how it worked on my hair:

This is what my hair looks like when airdryed and combed through.  Scheckshy, no? Apologies for not wearing any makeup here ... anyhoo, this is what one curl looks like after going through the Perfect Curl (and after a bunch of liner and lipstick got applied too):

Simple, and took less than 10 seconds to form without snagging, tangling or burning my fingers.

You keep forming curls until your entire head is covered, in my case, this takes around 15 minutes.  Bear in mind, I have a TONNE of hair though:

Now, if you like the Taja Sevelle (google is your friend if you don't understand my 20 year old cultural references) look that I'm sporting here, you could stop at this point and just spray yourself with a bit of hair spray and go. It was a bit ... severe ... for my taste, so I shook it out a bit:

And then a bit more:

Because I like it messy, frankly.  Best of all, if you use a decent heat spray, your curls will last several days:

This is, without doubt, a life (and, indeed, hair)-changing gadget, I love it.  By experimenting with the various heat and timing settings you'll find the one that gives the curls you like best, lower heat and a shorter time in the curler will give you looser waves, higher heat and longer time will give you tighter, more ringlet-y curls.

I've had the Perfect Curl for a couple of weeks now, and my hair has been commented on a LOT in that time, a hell of a lot, even by people who tend not to notice this things at all.  Bosses, and the like, you know.  I've even had a few people find themselves unable to resist touching it!  They're dead now. Worst part of all of this is the price, the BaByliss Perfect Curl Pro is around £200 or so, but you can pick up the similar BaByliss Curl Secret (which is identical bar a heat setting or so) from around £120 at Boots.

Now, how to tell my husband that I've replaced him ....

The Fine Print:  I was lent the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl for two weeks only - and there were hot, salty tears on giving it back, I can tell you.  One of these is now currently on my wishlist.  Which contains one thing.  THIS.  Do you hear me, BaByliss??????

This post: BabyLiss Pro Perfect Curl originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Body Shop Teenage Cancer Trust Concerts 2014

Seriously, I do not know where the time goes ...  It's that time of year where The Body Shop gets their Corporate Social Responsibility hat on, and sponsors a series of gigs at The Royal Albert Hall to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.  This year they'll be match-funding up to £30,000 worth of donations at the concerts.  Last year, 2013, the series of concerts (which were curated by Noel Gallagher) raised upwards of £500,000 for charity which is a quite magnificent sum!  And, from a person working in the charity sector, trust me, donations like this are simply NOT to be sniffed at. In the current climate, anything that brings in money will help charities do their jobs, and support people in need.  I only wish my charity could do things like this! 

So, who do you fancy seeing?  For me, it would have to be The Cure, or the Comedy Evening (I love a good comedy evening, I do).  Maybe Suede.  But mostly The Cure.  Or the comedy evening ... Anyhoo the gigs run from 24th to 30th March and the tickets go on sale this Friday 31st January.

As an aside, I know it's been quiet here recently, but there is good reason, honest!  Also, there's lots of great stuff going on behind the scenes which will make the quietness a thing of the past, so look out for an exciting announcement (or three) coming soon!

This post: Body Shop Teenage Cancer Trust Concerts 2014 originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday 13 January 2014

Best of 2013 Pt II

Fragrance of the year:

Maison Francis Kurkdijan - Aqua Vitae

According to Persolaise, I said it best  - at a preview of the scent -  when I mumbled that it smelt like a hug from the seventies.  I'm astonished that I've not really written about this fragrance since though (might be something to do with having my best line used before I could commit it to my own blog post alongside a touch of the writers block I've had recently.  Oh well!) ... Anyway, there's something reassuringly familiar and comforting about Aqua Vitae, alongside something a little disturbing.  Built around citrus, hedione atop a base of guaiac wood, there's a hint of CK One here, but also very much more. It's richer, deeper, and more enjoyable to smell, but I can't avoid the comparison between the two completely.

Francis was inspired to produce this by the phrase "the space between us", and, in a way, this is precisely what he's created.  Smelling Aqua Vitae is like slipping into a favoured clothing item of a loved one who isn't with you, wrapping yourself in the ghost presence of your beloved, and smelling and comforting yourself with all the associations you have with that person.  It's the smell of nostalgia, of love, of longing and comfort, with just a hint of the smell of their body too.  It's not a groundbreaking smell, it'll drive you a little crazy in fact, trying to remember precisely what smell it is that it actually reminds you of, but it's a wonderful scent to wrap yourself up in, cozy, warm, comforting and very, very sexy in a quiet, understated kind of way.   Less a fragrance, and more a complete sensory experience, it's the most memorable thing I smelled all year.  The price however will make you cry: it's £175 for 200ml.  Mind, a bottle that size will last you forever.

Fragrance Bottle of the year:

Elizabeth Arden: Untold 
Whilst I don't particularly care for the fragrance (it's perfectly good, by the way, just a little too sweet for me), this beautifully tactile design, which looks completely different from every angle, is one of the most gorgeous bottles I've seen in a long time

Combining curves and geometrics with the transparency of glass, and the permanence of metal, it's an objet d'art in its own right.

Fragranced Toiletries of the Year:

Noble Isle

I'm an idiot, I spent a great deal of last year completely ignoring the press releases about Noble Isle as I had the impression that they were some kind of fruity aromatherapy brand.   More fool me, because, whilst the marketing of the products is based on traditional British ingredients, such as rhubarb, and their imagery is based around hedgerows and rolling countryside, there are some seriously good scents in this range.  Rhubarb, Rhubarb for instance, whilst it is distinctively fruity, is sharp, and rounded and gloriously juicy, more like a fine perfume than the fruity stew I was expecting.  Whisky and Water is woody and peaty and smokey, and gorgeous.  Fireside is also smokey, but gloriously spicy and comforting with it.  Since being given a bottle of shower gel to try, I've bought hand soaps and hand creams to keep by every sink in the flat, and I've bought bottles and bottles of different products as gifts for other people too. The packaging is sophisticated and unisex, and the contents are glorious. Don't be an idiot like me, try some Noble Isle, you might like it.  Brad Pitt does ...  

Candle Brand of the Year:


 God, I do love a Neom candle.  Clean-burning, and gloriously scented, I burn a Christmas Wish, well, every Christmas ... scented with orange, cinnamon and rounded out with tonka bean, one of these will last you a good few  weeks if you burn it a couple of hours a day. AND it smells of Christmas what more could you want?  This year, I supplemented my Christmas Wish with the Pine, Cedarwood & Eucalyptus varieties, and a Comforting home scent too, which is a smokey-scented blend of cedarwood, star anise and vetiver.  Burned separately, or together, these are the scents of winter.  At £42 each you'll get a couple of Christmases out of each if you burn them judiciously, but they're currently available on the Neom website at  £30.50, which is a bargain!  Go snap them up, and hoard them till next Christmas, you won't be disappointed.  Might have to get a couple of backups myself ...

Hair care product of the year 

 Aveda Sun Care After Sun Masque

A late entry into the hair care stakes, this was a product I gave the harshest of tests to, I took it on my honeymoon!  Sun, sand, sea, chlorine, all are hell on the hair, and, when your hair is both curly and coloured, a holiday is about the worst thing you can do to your hair. Ironically, I came back from my trip to the Maldives with hair in better condition than I went away with!  From the slightly fizzy ginger scent, through to the great slip, and down to the wonderful condition this leaves your hair in, this is a fab product.  So good, in fact, I'm still using it now, in spite of the lack of sun!  And sea.  And sand. And pool.  And endless cocktails.  No, I'm not crying, why do you ask?

So there you have it, these are my discoveries of 2013, what was on your list? 

This post: Best of 2013 Pt II  originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper
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