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Monday, 15 September 2014

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection

It's everywhere at the moment, but I couldn't not blog about the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction collection, because it contains one of my favourite beauty items that has been released ALL YEAR.  Yes, one of these items is so lovely and amazing that, literally the day this collection went in-store, I ordered three back-ups of one of the products.  I actually ended up with six back-ups, but more about that later ...

Anyhoo, in news that will make a sizeable percentage of my readershship (myself included) feel really, really really old, this year marks the 20th year since Pulp Fiction was released. TWENTY YEARS!  Jeez.  I remember Quentin Tarantino being the enfant terrible of cinema back then, I bet Quentin thinks he still is.  I'm digressing, of course, as this makeup collection is basically a tribute to Uma Thurman in character as Mrs Mia Wallace, and as Limited Edition collections go, this is a good one.

The collection consists of the eyeshadow palette, a lipstick with matching liner, a nail varnish, and a repromote of one of the Heavy Metal glittery eyeliners.   There's also a makeup instruction card that will help you recreate the definitive Mia Wallace look.

I think they've got the colours spot-on, to be honest, aside from the white, which I don't think is entirely necessary, they already have the highlight colour in Righteous, which makes "Furious" rather redundant, but, anyway.

Colours are velvety and pigmented, and wear very well over a base. The dinky double-ended brush that you get in the palette is extremely good quality as these things go, and is a handy addition to the palette, unlike many of these things.

With Flash

Natural Daylight
The one bit of the collection I'm disappointed with is the addition of the glittery liner, which I think would have been better replaced with one of Urban Decay's excellent black liners (they currently have at least four, and any single one of them would have been more useful than silver glitter, but hey, as I've already discussed, I'm an old gimmer, right?), but Gunmetal it is.

The lips and nails though, are marvellous.  Good and bloody, and very, very red.  I wore Chanel's Rouge Noir for years (both lips and nails) after Pulp Fiction - it was the first time I'd realised that dark nail varnish was even "allowed"! I was a bit hacked off, actually, when Chanel re-released Rouge Noir lipstick a few years ago, only to have changed it to a cruddy, unflattering brown shade rather than the deep bloody red of my memory (actually, not just my memory, I still have a Rouge Noir lip palette in the house, eeep!).  Whilst these colours aren't direct matches to the shades worn by Uma in the film, they are darn good, and beautiful. 

The formulation on Urban Decay's lipsticks generally excellent, and Mrs Mia Wallace is no exception.  Creamy, moisturising and deeply pigmented, it's a joy to wear. The lipliner is  just a bonus really, you don't need it for coverage, but it's a nice thing to have, all the same.

My joy from the collection is the nail varnish, however.  Yes, it's no A England in formulation, but the colour!  Oh, the colour, it's a perfect blood-red, with just a tiny hint of shimmer to stop it being too flat, but for me, this is the red I've been looking for.  It can be a tiny bit chip-tastic, but I find the sticky-sandwich technique works really well for combating that.

So, I immediately went out and ordered three bottles of the nail polish from the Urban Decay website.  But, they "lost" my order (well, it was never confirmed, and even after long discussions with the company they never could find my order) so I ordered my backups from Debenhams.  However, the Urban Decay bottles from the lost order turned up anyway!  So now I have SEVEN bottles of Mrs Mia Wallace polish.  Want one?  Leave me a comment (on this post) with your favourite quote from Pulp Fiction and I'll pick two of them at random on Friday and send you each a bottle of polish ... (UK readers only, sorry!)

The Fine Print: Samples were provided for this review by Urban Decay, however the bottles of polish being given away were purchased at my own expense - and the giveaway is not being run in association with the brand.

This post: Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection 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

Friday, 12 September 2014

Storage Week! How A Makeup Pro Does It ...

Our final post of the Storage Week! series (which is actually going to ending up lasting a fortnight, we're nice like that here at Get Lippie) shows you how a real, working, makeup artist stores their stuff.  we have to tell you, it's not what we expected.

Anyhoo, here's Luke with the lowdown:

As interested as I am in being very organised with stuff, and making products and makeup all nice and neat, what with me being you know, male, it is rather difficult for me to pop anything away neatly as I am ALWAYS having to dredge it out again. Also, storage space is more valuable than the last sheet of toilet roll at my house, and so I have to put stuff wherever there is an available orifice.

It is probably worth mentioning that I do tend to divide my products into two categories:  professional and personal.  Sometimes there is a blur between the two and this causes all sorts of confusion, which results often in a rather stressed out search for a particular item. In a very small nutshell (Ha ha! - Ed), this is how it goes.

The makeup that I use for work is itself between two categories.  Special F/X/Prosthetics/Film & TV, and everything else.  There are some pretty hefty chemicals in the former category, so it’s important that that is stored separately from the “normal” makeup. Everything else pretty much gets sorted thus...

This is my professional kit that I use all the time. No matter what the job is, I know that in here is everything I need to do a half decent makeup.  If I am ever unable to do something out of this bag, I need to hang up my brushes and find something else to do.  It is also handy for running out the door on those last minute bookings that happen from time to time. The excellent Charles Fox bucket bag is a bleeding life saver, and is so well used that it broke last week, but has done a good 3 years of being lugged. Ahhhh, if it could only talk.

Prior to ANY job there is still a certain amount of juggling that goes on.  I need to double check everything, and then edit accordingly. This is often the case when there is a particular season to be considering, or if there are male models involved, if some of the models are darker skinned etc...

That is where these come in handy.  I am only showing ONE of the seventeen of these boxes that I have for brevity (and also I haven’t the time to pull them all out from under the bed, out of the cupboard, the shed, and god knows where else).  But for each job, I will pull all of these out, have a look and replace certain items that are needed, or that I think I may be needed.  It is a long and often very frustratingly tiring process, but my human strength will only allow me to carry so much at any one time.

It is a huge box where each individual item has been lovingly placed into a freezer zip-lock bag and labelled.  The boxes are divided into Face, Eyes, Lips, body and Misc.  On each bag a big red or blue sharpie has on it what is in there. Foundations, Bronzers, Eye Shadows, Cream eye shadows etc...
They are then divided into Spring/Summer then Autumn/Winter.  No actual reason for this, other than I know roughly what sort of colours we’ll be dealing with here. Ie SS is lights, pink, corals, greens etc... and the AW is the darker side of the colour spectrum.

My personal stuff, which is largely skin care is also divided similarly.  However, the stuff that I use every day is spread on my bedside table, and on my chest of drawers in my bedroom. Again, please note the lack of ability to edit.

To save dragging out the boxes again, I have selected a few fragrances that I want to be wearing. This also tends to be seasonally dependant.

The bathroom is a similar sort of affair.  I want to be able to reach for stuff easily, so....

Send help.

This post: Storage Week! How A Makeup Pro Does It ... 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

Thursday, 11 September 2014

On anosmia and other stuff.

By Get Lippie

The sharp-eyed amongst you might have noticed that I've been doing fewer perfume reviews than usual, and for that I have to apologise.  I'm ill.  I've been ill for a while now, and whilst it's nothing life-threatening (or even anything painful for that matter), it has been life-changing.

It began inauspiciously - as these things tend to - with a severe cold back in May, and I had no sense of smell for around six weeks after.  If you read my piece for Basenotes around this time: Anosmia - Don't Take Your Noses For Granted! then you'll know how heartbroken I was by this turn of events.  Since then, I've started to recover, and things have got better in that respect, but in a few ways, they've also got worse, in ways I wasn't really prepared for.

My sense of smell has been returning for a while now, and I'm what is termed "hyposmic", ie I now "merely" have a diminished sense of smell, rather than a complete lack of it, but alongside that return of smell have been some pretty horrendous side-effects: namely "phantosmia" and "parosmia".

Phantosmia is where you can smell things that aren't there, either things that don't exist, or you react to smells that aren't actually there.  In my case I could smell burning meats, specifically that red-lacquered pork belly you get at Chinese restaurants.  Imagine smelling burning, slightly sweet from the red-laquered meat, but also deeply charred and smokey from the carbonisation of the rind, 24 hours a day, to the exclusion of all other smells.  Even applying neat lavender oil to the inside of the nostrils doesn't help when this happens. It's maddening and distracting, and there's no relief when it occurs

But worse, oh so much more worse, has been my experience with parosmia.  Unlike phantosmia - where you are reacting to smells that aren't there - parosmia is where you are reacting to smells that are happening (and do exist), but they are distorted by the time your olfactory system registers them properly.  And, of course, they are not distorted in a nice way, where roses might smell like daisies, or peanuts suddenly taste like chocolate. No, everything, and I do literally mean every single thing you encounter literally smells and.or tastes completely disgusting.

Imagine, for a moment that, you have the worst halitosis ever (you know those hangovers where you wake up wondering if an elephant took a dump in your mouth when you were asleep? That), and now further imagine that every thing you encounter smells like that, and purely of that, with nothing else.  That you can't recognise the scent or flavour of anything you encounter as itself, everyday smells are filtered through this smell, so that you can't recognise any smell individually, they just smell bad.

Imagine that every single thing you taste, even your own saliva, tastes like that. Constantly. 24 hours a day. Seven days a week. Sometimes it's only a noticeable hint, but occasionally, like playing Russian Roulette, something you encounter either nasally or orally will be like a nugget of raw, pure sewage, topped with a sauce of slimy rotted onions,  mustard gas, and well-rotted swamp.  Chocolate, coffee and cigarette smoke make me sick with monotonous regularity. Water, even - which had been a revelation during anosmia, owing to it not having any taste to miss - tasting rotten.

Well. That's my life right now. And has been for a little while.

Nothing I eat, drink or smell tastes like it should, and there is little joy in my life as a result.  I don't know, when faced with foods I haven't prepared myself, whether I can eat them.  Supermarkets are a form of torture, as I can't identify which items will set off the "sewage" nausea reaction rather than simply the "elephant halitosis" smell, which I've simply had to learn to live with.  Kitchens.  Well, let's not even talk about kitchens, okay?  I used to love to cook, let's leave it at that.

It's heartbreaking.  Over the years of writing this blog, perfume and fragrance have been an intense pleasure to me, and something I'd learned a lot about. However, I still have hopes that smell will come back properly, that the parosmia will pass. An ENT surgeon I saw recently confirmed that there is nothing physically wrong, and that the parosmia could be a sign that any nerves which were killed by the infection back in May (which would have caused the initial anosmia) are regenerating, but he also warned that these things are unpredictable, and confirmed that there is no current treatment which will lessen my parosmia symptoms.  This wasn't good news for me, as the parosmia is currently one of the worst things I've ever suffered, and I can't deny that I'm finding it very difficult to deal with.

In the meantime, I'm spending a lot of time talking to Fifth Sense, in the hopes that my troubles may help other people who are affected by any of these symptoms, and I'm hoping to be able to attend  their annual conference in November, in order to meet more people who know what this condition is like.  In the meantime, however, in the words of my surgeon, I'm just going to have to ride this out.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  Getting it down - and out! - has been helpful.

This post: On anosmia and other stuff. 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, 10 September 2014

Storage Week! Perfumes with Laurin ...

Storage week continues, and today we're highlighting Laurin's perfume collection.  Probably best you don't show this one to your maiden aunty, now we come to think of it ....

My beauty storage is what you might term "organised chaos". I know exactly where everything is, in my mind at least. In my current flat, I'm lucky enough to have my own bathroom (albeit in two halves) and I recently moved all my cosmetics from the bedroom to bathroom as I felt the lighting was better (on second thought, it isn't, but I'm moving again soon and I really can't be bothered to drag it all back). Storage is an unsophisticated combination of an over-the-door shoe organiser and a gift with purchase make-up bag. I felt pretty fancy when I picked up some brush canisters from Muji recently. There is also a wicker basket for palette storage. Like I said, FANCY.

At last count, I had about eighty bottles of perfume, which technically means I never need buy another bottle as long as I live. In reality, it means I never need buy another bottle this month. Probably. Unless I have some points on my Debenhams Beauty Club Card and there's a sale. I like seeing it all in one place, so I'm afraid I store it out of its boxes (but never in the bathroom, and never in direct sunlight). Currently it resides on the top of my wardrobe, and I am forever rearranging to make room for more. 

It's roughly organised by house, although I couldn't resist giving my two penis-shaped perfumes their own little corner. What do you mean, you don't own any penis perfumes?

Click to enlarge, but not if you're easily scared/shocked/aroused

This post: Storage Week! Perfumes with Laurin 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, 9 September 2014

Guerlain L'Homme Ideal

I have said this before of Guerlain, but they really don’t like to rush fragrances out. It’s been nigh on 6 years since they released a men’s fragrance. I may be overstepping the mark here, but I often feel Guerlain doesn’t get a fair slice of attention, and this really is a shame.

Guerlain, despite having been around since the dawn of time it seems, are still relatively new to me.  It’s only recently that I have discovered that they are quite the place to go for assured quality and proper attention to detail when it comes to practically everything they do.  Even their packaging is to die for.  I am a big fan of pretty much everything, from skincare, to makeup, and certainly their fragrances.  And you should be too. They already have a stellar line up of men’s offerings that many have grown up with, and like me, some people are discovering only now.

Many of them have stood the test of time, classics such as Vetiver, Habit Rouge, and the more modern and very flirty L’eau Boisee (easily a second date fragrance if ever there was one), and I think this is testament to their integrity as far as taking time to make sure it is right before setting it free upon the masses.  The same level of attention to detail and time has clearly been taken over their newest release for blokes, which is the L’Homme Ideal (Ideal Man, obvs).  Thierry Wasser is always a bit of an innovator, and he doesn’t seem to shy away from this here either.

The top notes are rosemary and citrus, giving it the kick it needs to really launch it, but they don’t last long, as most citruses don’t on me. Not to worry though, the best is yet to come.  Now, reading the press release (as with most that are associated with men’s products) they are keen to let you know that this is a ‘masculine’ fragrance in every sentence.  So the irony of it containing nuts is somewhat of a macho giggle. Stop yourself; the nuts that I’m talking about here are almonds.  At its heart there is an ‘amaretto’ note that gives the fragrance a beautiful dry, almost sandy feel to it, not at all sweet, and it doesn’t disappear into the marzipan end of the almond-scale.  This is accompanied by sugar cane and the increasingly present tonka bean.  It really is almost good enough to eat, and a very, sexy smell indeed. Almonds. Who knew?! The only thing is, it doesn’t project terribly well on me.  But, it does last a fair while. So you’ll have to invite people to get closer to smell it.

The bottle itself is also rather fabulous.  A faceted square cut gem, surrounded by a lacquered band of black.  It almost looks like a very smart men’s watch, which is also mirrored in the cap which has the look of a dial.  The box is also a hero.  On the monochrome front, the very classic silver and black letters all merge into each other to read ‘No need to be L’Homme Ideal anymore. You have your fragrance.’

Well, that’s a relief for us all then isn’t it.

L’Homme Ideal is out September 1st Nationwide, and starts from £48 for a 50ml EDT.

This post: Guerlain L'Homme Ideal 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, 8 September 2014

Storage Week! Tindara

The increasingly mis-named Storage "Week" continues (sorry about that), and today we have Tindara showing you her drawers, Wednesday has Laurin showing us her ... er ... rather unorthodox perfume collection, and Friday will bring you Pro-Makeup Artist Luke showing us how we should really do it (or not ... you decide!).  Our editor, Louise, will be showing you hers next week, as she needs some time to tidy up.  Allegedly.

Anyhoo, over to Tindara:

Recently, I’ve been binge watching Orange is the New Black. It’s fantastically entertaining, really well written and also pretty funny with some proper great female characters. And another thing that I really love about it is that those women love their beauty and want to keep doing it despite their circumstances. All the way through, though, I couldn’t help wondering how the hell they stored their contraband stuff.

I love my storage paraphanalia, and tend to go as nuts in Muji as I do in a beauty hall. Their PP storage baskets are ideal for compartmentalising your haul. I also use their acrylic storage for lipsticks and glosses etc. I even recycle old Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Concentrate lids as liner/mascara pots, they’re clear plastic circular containers that would be good for brushes too, and since I use this product all the time, I assume I will always have lots. Recycling containers is useful, don’t spend money on new when that little rectangular thing that used to house cotton buds is exactly right for all your chunky lip pens.

As you can see my dressing table is pretty crowded. All my perfume, jewellery, daily skincare, current nail polishes and this week’s make-up are piled up on here. But believe it or not, it’s in some order. My fave things are my Muji clear jewellery box and the knock off Eames hang-it-all for my necklaces. Clearly, I need a larger dressing table; I’m working on it, but I’m also really fussy and am waiting for the perfect vintage piece to turn up. In the mean time, the drawers are pretty organised.

The first is blushers, lipsticks, eyeliners and mascaras.

The second is skincare and perfume samples, beauty tools, essential oils, glitters, eyeshadows, nail polishes and wraps.

The third drawer contains, glasses paraphanalia, hair accessories and brushes, and scarves.

I also have an excellent IKEA Lillangen tall slim bathroom cupboard in my hall with more Muji acrylic storage dividers inside for hair and body products, hair dryers and straightening/curling irons, brushes and rollers etc.  My husband gets a shelf here and a little more room in the small bathroom cabinet that has a few travel size toiletries, tweezers, wax strips, stuff I might need in the bathroom basically. Dunelm Mill do a great extendable bathroom caddy for shampoos and shower gels and we also have this in our bathroom. By my bed I have night creams oils and balms and a bag containing all my mani/pedi tools.

And that’s about it. My dream is a bathroom with amazing floor to ceiling storage built in. One day, grasshopper, one day. In the meantime I have a ‘mid century chest of drawers with mirror’ alert on ebay and a serious Muji habit.

This post: Storage Week - Tindara 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, 2 September 2014

Storage Week! Nails ...

We're a nosy bunch here at Get Lippie, so when we were mulling over makeup storage recently, our editor requested - nay, demanded - we all get out collections out for the lads, as it were.  So this week, sit back and enjoy perving over total strangers' makeup collections.  On the internet.

We're kicking the week off with Emily, our nail-obsessed newest addition to the team:

Disaster struck this week in the form of me returning to the gym for the first time in FOREVER and donning my boxing gloves again. Of course I had forgotten that long nails and boxing don't mix and an hour later I had broken pretty much every goddam nail, resulting in me having to cut them incredibly short.

I KNEW exercise was bad for you.

So, while my nails are pretty much out of action I thought I'd share my DIY nail storage solution with you. Now, my collection isn't HUGE (yet) but probably bigger than average and I got rather fed up with various boxes and bottles lying around my flat and never being able to find the colour I wanted. IKEA came to the rescue in the form of this set of storage drawers, which of course I painted in pretty pastels and embellished with pearls. Because, why not?

I have a drawer for everything: cotton wool and buds (the pointy ended ones which are great for tidying up), a multitude of files, clippers and such like and then one for nail stickers and embellishments. I used to travel to Japan for work a lot and always paid a visit to Tokyo Hands (AKA - the best shop in the world) to stock up on cute nail stickers...these doggy and rabbit ones are my favourites, I can't bring myself to actually use them.

The middle drawers house my nail art pens, brushes and larger sets (such as Ciate's awesome if short-lived Caviar and Velvet manicure sets) and then finally the bottom drawer houses all my polishes, in colour order, from reds through to glitters and top-coats. Geeky I know but it means I can find the colour I'm after pretty quickly!

So that's my DIY nail storage solution...though i'm pretty sure I'm going to need a bigger box sometime soon!  How do you store your nail goodies?


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