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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Clinique Aromatics in White

First things first, the original Aromatics Elixir from Clinique is a fragrance I've been wearing for around thirty years now, if I were to ever have a "signature fragrance", Aromatics would be it.  So, when Aromatics in White was released, I was intrigued.  

It is difficult for me to do a direct comparison, as the original is just still a little too strong for me to wear comfortably at the moment, so I haven't smelled it in the best part of a year now, but Aromatics in White is far more of a wearable proposition under the (parosmic) circumstances.

A lightened - by emphasising the rose - and brightened - by the addition of violet leaves and orange blossom - version of Aromatics, this is very much a whisper in a quiet room rather than the SHOUTING THROUGH A MEGAPHONE IN A LIBRARY stance of the punchy spices and funky patchouli of the original. I suspect a lot of people won't like it for that.  For me, the lightness and the brightness has simply lifted the facets of the original that I couldn't really notice under the funky spiciness -  I genuinely had never noticed the rose in the original, and still have trouble picking it out now even thought I've read a thousand reviews that have mentioned it - to the fore, without turning it into a watery and weak "fresh" version, which is all to the good as far as I am concerned.

I can smell white roses and orange blossom up top, and there are some slightly smokey woods beneath, but in between there are musks galore, making this a skin scent first and foremost - no one will run away screaming in terror when you wear this (more's the pity) - but the longevity is good, and it is ladylike without being wishy washy or overly sweet.  They haven't drowned it in vanilla, either, for which I shall be eternally grateful.  It does, actually, remind me of AE, but in a fuzzy, milky, distant sort of way, like snuggling into a cardigan, or a cashmere scarf that was once dowsed in the original, and you're now left with the ghost of fragrance past.  This isn't to damn it with faint praise, though it may sound it, but there's enough of the original in the formula to evoke memories of Aromatics proper, making Aromatics in White a fair partner to have alongside.

Is it a classic like the original?  Possibly not, whilst there's still nothing available on the high street that smells like Aromatics Elixir,  and though Aromatics in White doesn't smell like absolutely everything else, it's familiar and friendly without ever being unconventional.  I like it and whilst I can't wear Aromatics Elixir, this is a good replacement for it.  But will I love Aromatics in White in 30 years?  Only time will tell ...

The Fine Print: PR Sample

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

This post: Clinique Aromatics in White 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 April 2015

Makeup Forever - Artist Plexi Gloss 102p, 406 and 209

I do love a lipgloss.  I don't wear them nearly as often as I used to because very often they don't allow a proper slick of colour, and they don't last anywhere near long enough on the lips.  However when MUFE Artist Plexi Gloss unexpectedly popped through my letter box, I was really happy  because these are pigmented and they are properly colourful!

This is 102p Sweet Beige, 406 Burgundy and 209 Fuchsia, and you can see that 406 and 209 are simply packed with pigment, which makes them a delight.  102p is practically a clear gloss on my skin (and on my lips, as you'll see a bit later), but it has a lovely shimmer and will make a great layering gloss.  The other two are pigmented enough to wear alone.  You can see that 406 Burgundy which looks, frankly, terrifying in the tube is actually quite a wearable berry in the swatch.

The glosses have a flexible paddle applicator, with a tiny v-shaped notch that allows for greater ease of application - don't ask me why it works, but it does. I am too thick to have figured out how or why though, so I'm going to guess at: physics.  No!  Aerodynamics!  No! Ergonomics!  God, I just don't know - so it's actually quite easy to get a precise application on the lips, even with the most opaque colours in the range.

Top to bottom: my bare lips, 102p, 209 and 406

 As you can see 102p Sweet Beige just adds a hint  of milky peach to my lips - which isn't a look I particularly enjoy wearing myself, but it's lovely on others - 209 is a deeply opaque blued fuchsia and 406 is a sheer and surprisingly wearable (but not unpigmented) berry in wear.

Yes, they are a little sticky, but this is part of what keeps the glosses lasting several hours instead of several minutes.  I haven't noticed any particularly discernible flavour.   Overall, if you love a glossy look but don't love wishy washy glosses with no staying power (like me), then these are a good option.  Mine came from PAM in West London, which has long been the best place to get MUFE products.  Their online swatches are a bit ... unrealistic though, so do a little research into the individual shades before buying - there are 35 of them, so there will definitely be something to suit!

The Fine Print: PR Sample

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

This post: Makeup Forever - Artist Plexi Gloss 102p, 209 and 406. 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, 28 April 2015

Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Liquid Balm


I'm on such a cleansing kick at the moment, it's not even funny. Luckily there are some amazing cleansers around right now, and from some great brands too, so I'm actually quite happy about this!  I've been dying to try Z Pure Cleansing Balm, from one of my favourite brands; Zelens, since before it was released, and I eventually gave up waiting for my promised sample a while ago and just bought myself a bottle, something I am wont to do on many occasions. It was £50 well-spent though, and I'm glad I cracked.  But then, with Zelens products, I usually am.

A clear liquid, reminiscent of the Alpha H Liquid Laser Oil I featured recently, this has a slightly sticky gel texture initially that quickly melts into an oil on the skin, and then emulsifies into a milk in contact with water. This is a beautifully refreshing cleanse, perfect for first thing in the morning, thanks to its gently minty shiso-infused scent. 

It's not so minty that you can't use it at night though, and it is a fantastic oil for massaging. It stays on the surface of your skin without sinking in for the longest time, and it prepares you beautifully for any night-treatments you might be using too.  Whilst it will remove makeup (something it does it very well, actually), at this price point, you're best off using it after you've removed your makeup, which will allow the skin-loving perilla oil - which is one of the main ingredients in the formula -  to nourish your face, rather than just have it pushing makeup debris and leftovers around your skin.

I remove it with a hot cloth, rather than emulsify with water and rinse, but it is easily removable either way. It doesn't leave a greasy residue, or dry your skin out, you just have soft, perfectly clean skin, ready for anything you care to throw at it afterwards.  Z Pure Cleansing Balm, alongside the aforementioned Alpha H Liquid Laser oil, and the Oskia Renaissance Gel I also reviewed recently are the three main cleansers I have in my rotation at the moment. Let me tell you that it takes a massively good formula to take me away from my beloved solid balms for any length of time, and these ones are very, very good indeed - I've not looked at a solid balm in months! 

Invest in a good cleanser, and your skin will thank you for it, is my particular philosphy.  Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Balm is worth every penny.  Mine came from SpaceNK, where it cost £50.

This post: Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Liquid Balm 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, 27 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks - Walk of Shame, Red Carpet Red, Very Victoria

I was lucky enough to be at the annual CEW awards lunch on Friday, and when Charlotte Tilbury won two awards (Best New Brand - Prestige and overall Best British Brand) the cheering was insanely loud in the room.  It's fairly safe to assume that they were incredibly popular wins!  I have really liked everything I've tried from the brand and thought it was time to show off some of the lip products, as I realised I've only written about eye products up until now.

I love the rose-gold packaging of the lipsticks, it screams old-school glamour, and the contents are even better:

L-R: Walk of Shame, Red Carpet Red and Very Victoria
Walk of Shame is a warm and slightly browned berry shade, Red Carpet Red does exactly what it says on the label, being a beautiful Hollywood red, and Very Victoria is a nude, with hints of taupe, which was specially created for Victoria Beckham. 

The texture, for a matte, is incredibly silky, and they're not as full-on opaque as you would expect - it feels like these have a gel base, and the finish is hugely flattering on the lips, you don't get that heavy, powdery feeling like you can with some matte lipsticks that amp up the pigment at the expense of emollients and turn your lips into rags by the end of the day.  These textures are light, and you can barely feel them on your lips.  I like that the coverage is buildable, too.  Lets face it not every day is a bright lip day, much as you might want it to be.

Walk of Shame

Red Carpet Red

Very Victoria
The colours are fairly complex, as you can see in the close-up pics, there is just the merest hint of micro-shimmer in the formulations, this is undetectable on the lips, but just adds a bit of depth and stops the formula being completely flat in wear.  The squared-off, chisel-shaped tips aid in application too, being small enough to get into all the nooks and crannies your lips might offer.

Top to bottom - my bare lips, Walk of Shame, Red Carpet Red and Very Victoria
All offer good, but not totally opaque coverage, and Walk of Shame is a perfect (for me) easily wearable "not quite nude" shade, and Red Carpet Red is a great statement shade.  Very Victoria is a great nude, but as always, I find these brown/beige/caramel "nudes" incredibly challenging to wear owing to my colouring, but I do wear it occasionally if I'm wearing strong eyemakeup.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks are incredibly well-named, as it's not a texture I've ever come across in a matte lipstick before, and they're all the more amazing for that.  They cost £23, and are available at Selfridges and online at

The Fine Print: PR Samples 
The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

This post: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks - Walk of Shame, Red Carpet Red, Very Victoria 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, 22 April 2015

Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Oud Satin Mood

I should probably preface this review with two facts: the first is that Oud Silk Mood by Francis Kurkdjian is one of my all-time favourite fragrances of all-time and this review will potentially be coloured by that, and secondly it must be made known that I am still currently parosmic  and as a result I'm not sure how much use a review written by someone with a distorted/lessened sense of smell will actually be, but I'm jolly well going to write one about this anyway.

Almost two years ago, I wrote a rather prickly review of Oud Silk Mood by Francis Kurkdjian, one in which I loved the fragrance, but had got rather tired of perfume bloggers attitudes towards oud as an ingredient in perfume.  Fast forward to now, and I'm rather over the cynical "We need middle eastern clients! Let's make an oud!" fad in perfumery myself to be honest, but I still do love an oud when it is well done.

When Francis Kurkdjian released his initial oud fragrance in 2012, there wasn't an oud fragrance quite like it.  He'd taken a thick, medicinal, traditionally "heavy" (or funky, or gross, depending on your point of view) ingredient, and turned it into a lightly shimmering phosphorescent haze of beauty.  His original Oud was still odd, but it was acceptable, even pretty, and infinitely wearable, even for the oud-phobic.

In 2013, Kurkdjian released the Oud Moods collection, featuring oud fragrances as inspired by fabrics, namely Silk, Cashmere and Velvet.  All showcased oud as the major ingredient, but featured another scent alongside to recreate the sensous feeling of fabrics on skin.  As someone with synaesthesia, which often took the form of textures and fabrics (iris, for example, was grey cashmere) in the past, this collection really appealed to me.  Cashmere and Velvet featured labdanum and cinnamon respectively, and Silk Mood was roses.  Jammy, fruity, lush and deep, deep red roses, which were displayed atop a splintery bed of shimmering, yet still somehow slightly dusty oud.  It's a perfume I reach for whenever I want to wear roses, but not the roses your grandmothers would wear, and it's probably in my top five fragrances of all time.

However, since I became parosmic, roses have become a tricky ingredient for me, sometimes smelling burned, sometimes papery, sometimes just flat and unpleasant, and so I have been reaching for Silk Mood less and less recently, as I couldn't predict on any given day how I'd be able to perceive the smell.  Life with parosmia is often hugely surreal and unpredictable, and so my fragrance choices have been by necessity been more limited over the last twelve months, in order to avoid nausea. However, when I heard that the new addition to the Oud Mood range was going to feature violets alongside the roses, I let out a little whoop of joy, for, after a trip to the Osmotheque in Paris last year, I know that violets are one of the few smells that for me are never distorted, and so I looked forward to smelling Oud Satin Mood very much indeed.

Oud Satin Mood opens with candied violets over a powdery soft vanilla, which is both sweet and floral. Until the rose turns turns up in the midsection it is rather soft and quiet, but the dark roses appear here to add both richness, and more vibrancy to the scent.  Where Oud Silk Mood is jammy and voluptuous, Satin Mood is powdery and ladylike, the soigné Grace Kelly to Silk's rather blousy Jayne Mansfield.   At the end, which takes a good long while to arrive at, there is a warm and comforting hug of benzoin mixed with the vanilla, which stays close to the skin, but doesn't get cloying. Throughout wear, there is a shimmer of oud, which adds mystery, alongside both depth and an unexpected gauziness, alongside a certain playfulness to the scent. But the oud itself never overpowers the other ingredients as it does is many other formulas, happily remaining a background player at all times.  It is quieter than Silk Mood, less prone to blooming in the heat, and stays closer to the skin. Even my damaged nose can still pick up the scent 8-10 hours after application, so wear-time is extensive.

Thanks to the roses no longer being central in this iteration of Oud Mood, this, along with the addition of ionones from the violet accord, means that they no longer seem burned or papery to my nose, making this a more pleasurable wear for me than Silk Mood at present.  As an aside: it seems that ionones have the simplest molecular structure of many other perfume ingredients, and so may require fewer functioning receptors available in the nose in order to be able to smell them (this is a theme I'll be returning to in a later blog post, however), and so even people with a distorted or hugely lessened sense of smell might be able to at least faintly pick up the scent of violets where previously it was thought they couldn't smell, or distinguish much at all*.

Oud Satin Mood is an eau de parfum rather than an extrait de parfum, and this is reflected in the price, which will be £165 when the fragrance is released on May 1st, rather than the £275 that the rest of the Oud Mood collection sells for. The packaging is also slightly different, a black box rather than the blue of the rest of the range, and the gold fascia on the bottle is no longer there, but it is good news for purses, at least!

I don't mind admitting that a few happy tears were shed on initially smelling this fragrance. So few things smell "right", much less beautiful, at the moment that having unexpected access back into the world of both one of my favourite fragrances and one of my favourite perfumers has been a very happy event indeed.  I can no longer smell in as near as much detail as I used to (though things improve almost every day at present), so if this review - my first full fragrance review in almost twelve months - seems thin on descriptions, I can only apologise. In any event Oud Satin Mood is a glorious addition to the Oud Mood collection, however badly your nose might be brain-damaged.

* Info from The Monell Centre in a conversation via Twitter.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Oud Satin Mood 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, 20 April 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick - Impassioned, Rebellious Rose and Dominant.

And we're back to lipsticks! I'm genuinely not sure why these haven't been on the blog before now, but the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipsticks are incredibly beautiful.  They feature intense, opaque colours, with a gorgeous feather-light texture, a hydrating formula, and a glossy long-lasting finish.  But anyway, they're here now, and they're beautiful.  Did I mention that?

From left to right here we have Impassioned, a crazy-beautiful tomato red, Rebellious Rose, a slightly toasted mauve, and Dominant, which is a cool blue-toned fuchsia.

The texture of these is amazing, creamy and emollient, they cover the lips in colour in just one sweep, and you can barely feel it is there once in wear.

You can see how soft and creamy the formula is here.  The bullets are so smooth and beeeeyoootiful straight from the package, you won't even believe it ...

Here you can see the glossy finish in the formula, and I am so happy that these aren't matte shades.  Don't get me wrong, I love a matte lip every now and again, but the glossy satin finish you get with these is, for my money, much more flattering.

Impassioned is a fab "statement" red, wear it with your best power suit for a huge impact.  Rebellious Rose is, for me, a great neutral lip for pairing with a smokey eye, and Dominant (is it just me, or is Dominant more of a red lipstick name than a pink?  No idea why that should be) is a lovely fashionable shade that will go fabulously wherever you would normally wear a red.  Gorgeous for us cool-toned ladies.  Rebellious Rose is probably the one I've reached for most since I bought it, it's gorgeously wearable on a variety of skintones.  Impassioned and Dominant are definitely for when you want to make a statement.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipsticks come in 21 shades, and cost £24.

The Fine Print: Mixture of purchases and samples.

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

This post: Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick - Impassioned, Rebellious Rose and Dominant. 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, 16 April 2015

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Light Beige

A concealer so good even my bathroom clock is smiling ...
I don't really use concealer. There.  I said it.  I'm really lucky in that I don't get zits very often any more, and that was all I ever really used to use concealer for in the past.  In the last couple of years, however, sleep issues alongside ongoing health and stress issues mean that I do need just a little extra help in the mornings in the eye area.  I don't particularly have bad bags or circles, but I am a little more hollow in that area than  I used to be, and so a convert to concealer I have had to become, as a result.  Once in a while, anyway.

I've tried hundreds.  Thick ones, thin ones, brush ones, pot ones, pencil ones, highlighting ones ... you get the picture, and they either look totally unnatural (I'm trying to avoid the reverse panda, thanks), or they settle into dehydration lines throughout the day, or they simply don't do anything.  GAH.  The ones I hate most are the ones that look fantastic for five minutes and then the second you leave the house, they suck all the moisture from under your eyes and make you look one hundred years older than you actually are.  I am naming no names, but I HATE them.  Anyway, Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Light Beige fell into my sticky little dehydrated paws last year and it has been the only concealer I've used from that day to this.

It has an incredibly light, incredibly spreadable texture, and you need, literally, about a pinheads worth (if that) to cover both undereye areas. But you will need a brush - don't even dream about using your fingers with this one, you will apply far too much.  I shake the tube well, then just dip my brush into the concealer you can see on the mouth of the tube there (or into the dot inside the lid, if there is nothing in the mouth of the tube) once, dot that under one eye, then dip my brush back onto the tube (or lid), dot over the other eye, then blend over the area I'm trying to cover.  You can actually see the brush marks where I've done this previously on the neck of the tube there.

Here you can see it swatched and blended (to the right of the swatch) on my skin, it's a little yellower than my hand, but my hands are both paler and cooler than my face for some reason, so this is actually a really good match for my skin tone.

I find it needs setting with powder (I use Hourglass Ambient Light in Diffused), as it can retain quite a slippery texture for a while after application, but I have never found that it settles into lines or cakes.  And for me, that is perfect.  I've had some conversations on Instagram about it which suggest my experience isn't universal - and I repeat, less is more with this product - but overall, I couldn't be happier with it.

There isn't a huge amount in the tube, admittedly, around 6ml, but you need to use so little, it isn't an issue.  I've never even squeezed the tube, apart from when I took these photos!  That tiny drop you see in one of the above pics would be enough for my to conceal my eyes for a fortnight ... Amazing Cosmetics amazing Amazing Concealer is available from M&S Beauty for £19.50.  I think a tiny tube would last at least a year, it'll probably last me two ...

The Fine Print: PR Sample

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

This post: Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Light Beige 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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