Food Friday: Brioche Vendéenne

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 16 - 2014

When I think about French food, I think fuss… showiness… style over substance…

In case you’re wondering, I pretty much think about British food as the complete opposite.  I mean, how could you not equate fuss and frippery with a country famous for producing cute little boxes of multi-coloured macarons for heaven’s sake?  Suffice to say, I usually steer clear of attempting to recreate French cuisine.  I am not a patient cook and I am, in no way at all, a perfectionist.

Which is why I wasn’t at all sure about my strange hankering to rustle up a loaf of brioche.  And not just any old brioche, but the kind of brioche that I grew up with when I spent my summers in the Vendée.

The Vendéenne Brioche is all about a light, cakey texture with just the right amount of sweetness.  Many in France will spread their morning slice with jam but I’m an all-butter purist, just make sure that it’s *proper* butter though, ok?

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My brioche recipe is fairly basic as most go… I didn’t attempt to add Orange Blossom Water as some do and the same goes for rum!  I wasn’t going to spend £££ (or should I say ) on ingredients that I might never use again.  However, now that I’ve got the basic recipe under my belt, I may be a little more adventurous next time.

You will need:

220ml milk (regular or semi-skimmed, no fully skimmed please!)
1 large egg, beaten
85g caster sugar
80g butter, room temperature
10g fast-action yeast
500g plain flour
1tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract (good quality)

If you’ve got a stand mixer with a dough hook, I ain’t gonna lie… all the better.  But of course, this can easily be done with some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Warm the milk to around 35 degrees celsius (tepid) before adding the sugar, vanilla extract, and beaten egg.  Then in this order: add the salt, the butter, the flour, and finally the yeast.

Bring the ingredients together until a smooth dough forms, making sure that you’ve combined all the ingredients well.

Place the dough into a bowl, covering it with a tea-towel and leave it to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.  I usually turn the oven onto 50 degrees c for around 2-minutes before switching it off, letting out a little of the heat (you want it warm, not hot!) and then shutting the oven door on my dough after another minute has passed.

After an hour, your dough should have (roughly) doubled in size.

Tip your dough onto a lightly-floured surface and punch it to release the gas from the yeast.  Split it into two equal halves and get ready to braid.

I use this video for braiding inspiration… it’s a lot easier than a 3-stranded braid and looks super-authentic once baked!

Once braided, place your brioche onto its cooking surface.  I prefer to cook my brioche (and other breads) on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet but you can pop it in an oiled tin if you prefer.  Put it back in the oven (or other warm place) for a second rise, another hour will do.

Brush the surface of your brioche with egg (add a few drops of white vinegar for a super-shiny crust) and bake it in the centre of a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for anything between 20-30 minutes.  Check the colour of the top regularly to get an idea of how quickly your loaf is cooking.

Once removed from the oven, let it cool and enjoy the fruits of your labour with a generous slathering of butter, or jam… or both if you’re feeling particularly decadent!

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Bon Appetit!

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Win It! China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You Nail Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 16 - 2014

This year, China Glaze’s Fall release includes one of the prettiest polishes I’ve seen in a very long time.  Choo-Choo Choose You, from the All Aboard collection, is an absolute stunner and one that I’d gleefully describe as a “must-have” this Autumn.

To my eyes, the base shade is a dusky violet/taupe, China Glaze describe it as a purple/grey smoky shimmer but I can’t pick up the grey in it at all.  Regardless of the base shade, China Glaze do it a dis-service with such a mediocre description, talk about underplaying its depth and chameleon-qualities!

Choo-Choo Choose You is packed with a myriad of colour-changing shimmer.  The polish duochromes from base to tip, in some lights it looks quite olive-y, in others… almost coppery.  It’s quite, quite, beautiful!

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Thanks to the guys at @nailpolish_uk, I have three bottles of this lovely polish to giveaway to you fantastic lot!  If you’d like to get your hands on one… please enter via RaffleCopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C
1. Start date for this competition is 16th September 2014
2. Closing date for this competition is 20th September 2014
3. There is one prize to be won, a bottle of China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You (worth £4.95 each). No cash alternatives.
4. Competition is open to UK residents only.
5. Lipglossiping.com is the sole promoter of this competition.
6. Personal details will not be kept or forwarded and are only used in the context of this competition to inform the winner(s) of their prize status.
7. Three winners will be selected at random from all entries received.
8. Winners will be notified within 5 working days and will be expected to reply to an email sent to the address used to enter the competition within 5 working days or risk forfeiting the prize.

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The Lipstick League: Week of 8/9/2014

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 14 - 2014

Question of the Week: When a beauty product is labeled “Limited Edition” (LE), are you more inclined to purchase it?

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Answer: Oh, ab-so-bloody-lutely.  The thought of potential regret at a later date makes the wantsies so much more intense!  Unless it’s MAC, because they’re constant LEs just piss me off.

Gouldylox Reviews – Need dark circle help? Want to look well rested? This may be just what your looking for.

Lipglossiping – All the shine without any of the removal issues! Revlon debuts their take on the latest drugstore “gel-a-like” nail polishes!

My Beauty Bunny – Looking for a dark, vampy red polish for fall? You must check out my new favorite, Mrs Mia Wallace, from the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction collection!

Prime Beauty – has fallen for NARS Night Caller Collection, especially Unlawful Blush: it definitely doesn’t play by the rules!

Phyrra – You demanded it! I’m bringing you the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette!

we heart this – We’ve got swatches of the limited edition MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow palette. 30 of ‘em. You may want to grab your wallet…

Beauty Junkies Unite – See the differences between the Urban Decay NAKED Basics palette, and the brand new NAKED2 Basics eyeshadow palette! Amber has the breakdown.

Clumps of Mascara – is holding on to summer with this sizzling summer look!

EauMG – shares her August 2014 Empties. She also proves that she can’t go more than two months without buying cosmetics…

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage – Does the Wet n Wild High Waisted Jeans palette live up to it’s value of $3.99? You decide.

 

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

 

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Gouldylox ReviewsHarshleen at Beauty Tidbits is always so sweet and her blog has great advice. Check out this recent post about affordable shadow palettes!

Get Beautified on a Budget… in Primark?

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 13 - 2014

If you wanted to target a specific segment of the UK demographic on a Saturday afternoon… say, fashion and beauty-conscious ladies in their twenties, where would be a really bloody obvious place to look?

In fact, when I think about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before…

What hasn’t been done before?

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Why, the launch of affordable beauty studios in Primark, of course!

Love Beauty Nail & Brow Studio by Monika Mohindra (sister of brow-guru Shavata Singh) will launch as a one-stop beauty destination in selected Primark stores nationwide.  The studios will offer treatments which include: eyebrow threading, lash extensions, mini-manicures, and creative nail art… all at what they like to call “New York Prices”.

You may remember my feelings on having any kind of beauty treatment done in public (I’m expecting Love Beauty to pop-up booth stylee somewhere between the vest-tops and the jeggings) but I can’t deny that for many, it’s a bloody brilliant idea.  Picture the scene… you’re trying on a billion dresses to find the perfect one for tonight’s party when you notice your eyebrows are looking kinda Bert (Sesame Street-esque), what you gonna do about it?  Call in at a billion salons on the way home, hoping that one has a walk-in appointment available?  Nuh uh.

Hell, if you’re very lucky, by the time you’ve been threaded at Love Beauty, the queue at the tills may even have subsided… it’s genius!

What do you think, will you be trying it?

Follow @lovebeautybymm on Twitter for more news on openings and some sneak peeks of the new studio set-up at Manchester, which launches on Monday!

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Why Clinique is your perfect lip pick this Autumn…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 12 - 2014

Apart from the baby thing, 2014 will forever be known to me as the year of the lipstick.  We’ve been treated to some fantastic lip launches this year haven’t we?  From Estee Lauder’s dreamy Sculpting Lipsticks to Clarins’ Spring Joli Rouges that I literally wore all Summer long… just some of the great examples that I’ve enjoyed over the past nine-months.

Bringing up the rear with another extremely well-formulated lipstick launch is Clinique.  I’ve had the pleasure of trialling their new Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick which launched back in May/June kinda time – sorry for my tardiness but I was busy with that whole “baby thing” I mentioned before.

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Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

There are eight shades available in the line-up, ranging from ultra-bold oranges and reds to more demure but equally pigmented nudes.  It’s not the most comprehensive selection but this isn’t a problem for me.  Choice is great… but in all honesty, I’m a terribly indecisive person, choosing a Friday night takeaway practically tips me over the edge.  At least with this range, if I want a red… my mind has been made up for me and I don’t have to examine the ever-so-subtle nuances between ten different shades of crimson.

The packaging is sleek and sophisticated.  It’s heavy enough to feel reassuringly solid in my hands, with a part matte/part glossy exterior and some very tactile ridges.

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Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

#45 crimson – #50 beauty – #51 plum

Crimson is a bold red with strong cool undertones that give it vivacity and sparkle but its bold pigment means that you really do need a lip brush to do it justice.  There’s nothing informal about this red, wear it loud and wear it proud!  Beauty is the archetypal my-lips-but-better shade.  A shade that removes all traces of anaemia from my otherwise pasty complexion and injects life with the least amount of effort on my part.  When you don’t know which lipstick to choose in the morning, this is the one your hands would reach for.

Plum is a shade that I haven’t seen very many blogs featuring but I think it’s my favourite of the three!  It’s easily the most vivid plum-shade I own.  It leans purple enough to induce excitement without filling me with the I-can’t-wear-this fear factor.

But most importantly of all, how does the range feel and wear on the lips?

Amazingly well as it happens.  My first instinct was to be completely surprised by how the bullet glides.  There’s an expectation with long-lasting lipsticks of a drier texture, one that drags and skips during application… but not these…. they positively glide over the lips.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “buttery” but they’re very smooth and comfortable.

As for how the range wears, well that’s also worth getting excited about because I was able to apply in the morning and still enjoy how the colour looked mid-afternoon.  The pigment does fade after about 4-hours, but it fades evenly and cleanly, leaving a soft stain on the lips.  They’re not the lightest-feeling lipsticks in the world to wear (unlike the Estee Lauder Sculpting Lipsticks, which are frankly made from pixie pee) but neither do they feel heavy or drying on the lips.

Infact, my lips suffered no ill-effects at all from day-long wear, whether I’ll be able to say the same once Winter sets in, time will tell.

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#45 crimson – #50 beauty – #51 plum

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#51 Plum

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipsticks are priced at £17.00 each and are available to buy on counter or online at clinique.co.uk, boots.com, and other outlets.

* press sample

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The Urban Decay Limited Edition Pulp Fiction Collection hits the UK!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 10 - 2014

20 years ago, I hot-footed it to my local Our Price (remember them?) to pick-up the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction… on a cassette no less.  I still remember the total cringe of whacking it in the car’s tape player during a journey across France, only to greet my parents with the opening line “Any of you fucking pricks move, and I’ll execute every motherf*cking last one of you!”

To be fair to them, they were pretty cool about it, despite my tender age… and we later pulled in to McDonalds to see if we could order a Royale with Cheese.

Of course, just like any other girl who was lucky enough to be a bonafide teen in the 90s, I had a bit of a girl-crush on Mia Wallace.  The hair (ok, the fringe), the lips and nails, and the coolest way to wear a white shirt ever? Suddenly your school blouse didn’t seem quite so unappealing in the morning.

Urban Decay have recently honed in on Mia’s badass look with their Pulp Fiction Collection, and what started out as a homage to her lipstick and nail polish quickly developed into an entire line-up of products.  The brand gleefully states that one of the perks of creating the collection was simply being able to watch and rewatch the film over and over, all in the name of research, of course.  Sign me up for that job!

The limited edition line-up consists of five products: an eyeshadow palette, Revolution lipstick, 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, Nail Colour, and a Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner.  It’s not a straight-down-the-line copy of Mia’s look (she didn’t rock glitter in the film) but UD insist that had she rocked the more sparkly look, this is pretty much the way she would have done it.  Bold claims.

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Kicking off with the Eyeshadow Palette (£17.50), the shades are your standard 90s browns.  Despite it containing three brand new UD shades, there’s nothing here that most of us can’t replicate by having a dig through what we already own.  The shades lean to the warm side of the spectrum and mix up the matte/satin texture throughout.  All blend well and are deserving of belonging to the Urban Decay family of equally marvellous eyeshadows.

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Having said that, for me… the palette’s lustworthiness comes not from its contents but from the completely superfluous (yet highly desirable) branding.  I mean, who doesn’t want an eyeshadow palette with Bad Motherf*cker quotes on it, I mean… really?

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I’m so sorry but I’ve deleted my lipstick pic!  I have the swatch shot though, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils (£13) are some of my favourite in the world, there’s nothing worse than a hard, dry and draggy lip pencil that takes an age before it warms up.  Urban Decay have the formula on these just right.  Dry enough to give some serious long-lasting coverage but creamy enough to apply with ease.  Mrs. Mia Wallace is a deep red, slightly deeper than the matching lipstick.

Talking of the lipstick, I have to say, it didn’t fully impress.  Compared to the brand’s other Revolution Lipstick (£15) shades and my own, frankly ridiculous, array of reds, Mrs. Mia Wallace (yes, the same name as the pencil) just didn’t capture my heart.  The shade is pretty fabulous and much darker in the bullet than it is once applied to the lips, but unfortunately… I found the texture to be firmer than I’d like.  Of course, this makes for a longer-lasting lip experience… oh so important for the shade in question, but damnit, I demand total lip comfort nowadays.  No compromises.

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Perversely, I fell in complete and utter love with the Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Gunmetal (£14.00).  Of COURSE I DID.  The one item in the collection that, to all intents and purposes, feels a little bit like a “quick, let’s make some more money from this movie tie-in” product that the rest.  Honestly, if you’re a lady of a certain age (i.e. over 25) and feel a little bit foolish rocking the glitter (but secretly still want to)…. Buy it.  Buy it now.

The clear base locks the glitter particles in place, ensuring absolute minimal fall-out and the sprinkling of black and silver sparkles deliver a more understated glitz that really amps up a night-time look without throwing it into ABBA category.

And finally, we come to the nails…

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For me, it was always going to be pretty hard for Urban Decay to pull off this part of the collection.  I mean, in my mind… you’d have to prise Chanel’s Rouge Noir out of Mia’s cold, dead fingers before she’d relinquish that baby.  The Nail Colour (£10) is a deep red that lacks the vampiness of Rouge Noir but does through in some gold glimmer to the formula.  Not enough to make it sparkle (unless you’re in direct sunlight, angling your nails 10 degrees to the east) but just enough to add another dimension and a glassy (jewelled?) kinda finish.  I like it, a lot but it’s not quite Mia Wallace to me!

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Ultimately, the collection both sinks and swims.  Urban Decay have styled it beautifully… the glossy noir packaging with badass quotes and eye-catching headers, the Mia Wallace “get the look” insert… it all makes for a covetable release for the U.S. brand.  The products contained beneath the hype range from the great to the average, not one of them is a dud… but many are ultimately completely dupable.  Does that matter?  It depends on how much you love that Pulp Fiction styling.

Me? I’m a sucker for it.

The limited-edition Pulp Fiction collection is available on-counter at Debenhams and House of Fraser with prices starting from £10.  You can also find it online at feelunique.com.

* press sample

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Life, lately. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 8 - 2014

September eh? How and when did that happen?

It’s a strange old month.  For me, it marks the end of Summer and the beginning of the slow decline into Winter.  I feel as though I’ve entered an odd sort of limbo, one that will persist until the clocks go back… because only then will I start getting excited for a more festive season.

For Leila, however… September isn’t the end of anything, quite the opposite infact.  I can clearly remember starting the new school year myself, the satisfaction of a clean exercise book, delighting in a bunch of new teachers to annoy, and later in my school life… the annual frustration that the Summer break hadn’t afforded me the opportunity to return to school less ugly duckling and more beautiful swan.  Again.

You’d think that now I’m older, things might have changed… but no, I still had that “damn, I didn’t lose any weight over the Summer holidays” feeling as I walked Leila closer to the school gates last week.

You may have noticed that I’m still struggling to find room for Lipglossiping in my life.  I’ve come to the harsh conclusion that anyone who blogs regularly, and has more than one kid, should probably be reported to social services for child-neglect.  Either that, or my baby boy is particularly high-maintenance.  Come to think of it, he is much more of a diva than his sister ever was.

However, I did manage a FOTD and some other blog photos this morning, feeling terribly guilty all the while, as it meant that Mr. L had to stop his work to afford Joe the kind of attention to which he has become accustomed.  Having said that, things are on the up!  This mother/baby thing is finally becoming a two-way street – oh, how rewarding a little interaction feels after four months of dead-behind-the-eyes newbornhood.  Some people love the very littlies… me?  I’ve always felt much more fulfilled (and happy) as my babes have grown older, even if it is more tiring!

It’s our 10th wedding anniversary next week and I’ve nearly burnt myself out trying to organise something to celebrate.  We never celebrate anniversarys… it’s a rare thing for us to even exchange cards, but 10 years does feel kinda special and I wanted to mark it somehow.  To be honest, we’ve (I’ve) gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.  To begin with, I stupidly thought that we might be able to escape for a couple of nights to Barcelona.  I bent poor Karleigh‘s ear on Twitter about the city’s highlights, found some cheap Ryan Air flights and a hotel shortlist but alas, I conveniently forgot about having two children.  I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids!

Then, my cousin stepped in and offered to have Joe for a night and I immediately hit Google up for the plushest, most loveliest hotels in the area.  Key criteria: food-to-die-for and spa facilities built by angels.  I’d even talked Mr. L into having a massage, and that’s no mean feat!  Having now realised that I’ve left it quite late and found the proverbial inn (Botleigh Grange Hotel) to be closed, I’m scuppered.  And this is where the aforementioned “ridiculous” comes in…

…I’ve booked 3 nights in Pontins, Camber Sands.

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You see, Leila has an inset day on the Friday (long weekend) and I’d been feeling pretty guilty that she hadn’t had an actual holiday this year.  I figured that I could cope with Pontins on the premise that I would be well prepared, having been massaged into a long-lasting sublimity earlier in the week.  But now, I just basically want to kill myself.

And that, ladies and … err, ladies… is my life, lately.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 1 - 2014

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When it comes to my current beauty routine, I’m sorry to admit that painting my nails is about as intense as it gets.  I’m still struggling to find “me” underneath all this baby stuff, not that I mind… it’s just that everything else seems so much more… not important per se, but… urgent, at least.  I was able to put aside some beauty and blogging time when Leila was born.  Back then, I lived with Mum and Dad, and Paul wasn’t on a constant deadline… plus, I guess I didn’t have another kid to invest my time laughing with.  It’s been an odd few months… simultaneously both easier and tougher than the first time around.

Anyway… back to the pretty polish.  I’ll save my blatherings, perhaps for another day.

Revlon have recently released a range of gel-effect nail polishes into the UK market.  The shade selection is huge, 30 colours in total alongside a diamond top coat.  There’s a lot of these gel-effect polishes around, jumping on the buzz-word bandwagon, but what do they actually offer above and beyond a normal nail polish?

Well, in this case Revlon promises: brilliant colour, gel-shine and long lasting wear.  But does it deliver?

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Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy – #100 Cardshark

The formula, in my opinion, isn’t the easiest to work with.  It’s fairly thin but well-pigmented and has a tendency to pool at the edges if you overload the brush.  Working with thin layers is your best bet, even at the expense of having to apply another coat to achieve an opaque finish.

Having said that, the formula isn’t without merit because it self-levels as it dries, ensuring a neater overall look.  This makes it especially kind to those of us with ridges, flakes, and any other imperfections that may show through a freshly-painted nail.  The finish is lovely, intensely shiny and smooth… in terms of how it looks, there’s no need to add any kind of top-coat.

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Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy – #210 Casino Lights

I’ve already mentioned the rich pigmentation delivered by the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy range and nowhere was this more apparent than in #210 Casino Lights, a lemon yellow that dispenses with the classic yellow-polish-streakiness completely on the third coat.  Yellows are notoriously hard to work with, and this one was easier than most.

As for wear, I can’t comment on how it fares with the addition of the Revlon Diamond Top Coat… but worn naked, they did well.  I reached day 5 with minimal tip wear and no chipping.

Have you tried these yet?

The Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy range is priced at £6.99 a-piece, available insore and online at Boots.com

* press sample

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Agent Provocateur Fatale EdP Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 23 - 2014

If you haven’t yet found an Agent Provocateur fragrance that you’ve liked, things are (probably) about to change.  The release of Agent Provocateur Fatale heralds a more mainstream approach from the lingerie brand who have thus far been known for their slightly quirkier take on perfumery.

I’ll begin this review by putting my hands up and admitting to being a die-hard fan of the original pink-bottled Agent Provocateur in all it’s rose-tinted skankiness. From the off, Fatale has its work cut out, at least for me, to live up to the original.

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Agent Provocateur Fatale

This sense of departure, of exploring new ground, is immediately apparent in the packaging design.  Gone are the hand-grenade ‘fume bombs of old… goodbye to opaque containers and hello to crystal-cut clarity and what amounts to a showier centrepiece.  It seems a shame to muddy the waters of what is such a striking and instantly recognisable part of the brand’s identity, but hey… what do I know?

As much as Agent Provocateur may want their latest femme to be of the “fatale” variety, my nose finds her a little too playful to live up to Hollywood’s benchmarks of Phyllis Dietrichson and Cora Smith.  It’s true that Fatale is seductive… I mean, if Agent Provocateur know how to do one thing well, it *is* the art of seduction, after all…. but with this latest release, I’m missing the deceptive kickback, the surprise that waits patiently in the wings.

Upon first spray, the powerful blend of blackcurrant and patchouli is brought to the fore – a combination that proves to be a heady, exotic pairing with a juiciness that retains the essence of youth.  A scent best-suited for the cooler weather, its inherent warmth springs forth from the sensual musk that lingers many hours after initial application.  There’s also a slight bitterness omnipresent throughout, gently tempered by the creamy gardenia… it has the same affect on me as how a well-made tiramisu might still appeal to a coffee-hater.

For me, Agent Provocateur Fatale is all about the slow smoulder… its gourmand hints of chocolate are to thank for an endurance that ensures a magnetic personality.  It is… at least, reassuringly addictive.  Though it may not be my favourite AP release to date, I can’t help but return to my wrists for just. one. more. sniff.  What it lacks in old-skool glamour, it makes up for in charm.

Agent Provocateur Fatale is available in 30ml, 50ml, and 100ml – priced from £36.00.  Buy instore or online from Debenhams, John Lewis, and Escentual.com

* press sample

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When grown-ups steal their baby’s products…

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 7 - 2014

When Joe was born, I received a couple of products from Childs Farm – a brand that specialises in toiletries for little ones. I wouldn’t usually blog about children’s products, I mean… I’m not entirely sure how many of you would appreciate a foray into mummy-blogging, I actually started Lipglossiping to get *away* from being a Mummy for five-minutes!  Having said that, and the reason that I’m even talking to you about this range is because, well… I’ve stolen something from the range for myself.

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The first thing you’ll notice about Childs Farm products is the delightful packaging, full of playfulness and colour that gives a hint to what awaits you inside.  The labels depict real animals and ponies that actually live on Childs Farm,  the Hampshire home of the brand’s owner, Joanna.

The products have been formulated to be as natural as possible and are free from parabens, SLS, mineral oils, and artificial colours rendering them suitable from newborn-age upwards.  The scents are blended beautifully and elaborate on the brand’s styling with funky fusions: the strawberry mint shampoo is summer in a bottle.  And this is partially why I’ve stolen it for myself.

The other reason is that I’m now 3-months post-partum and that lovely pregnancy mane that took 9 months to thicken is shedding in tear-inducing handfuls.  Everytime I change a nappy, wipe a stinky fist, or unload the washing machine… I’m met with strands of my hair.  They get everywhere!  It’s with this in mind that I’ve been reaching for this gentler shampoo… and also the reason why, when I noticed the brand was currently on offer in Boots, I popped in to restock and grab the detangler spray!

Now, where’s that candy?  I feel like stealing something else from my babies…

Childs Farm products are currently on 3for2 and are available to purchase instore and online at boots.com, priced from £3.99 each.

* press sample

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The Lipstick League – week of 28.7.14

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 4 - 2014

Question of the Week: Which celebrity do you wish would create a celebrity fragrance and why?  What do you think it should smell like?

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Answer: What a great question! Ok, I’m sticking with ladies for now…

If the celebrity has to be living… then I’d say Debbie Harry or Grace Jones.  However, if I could choose anyone, it’d be Janis Joplin.

Phyrra – Looking to save time in the morning? Check out my Best Time Saving Multi-Tasking Beauty Products!

we heart this – Have you ordered the Summer FabFitFun VIP box yet? If not, you’re in luck! We’ve got a review and a coupon code for $10 off.

Clumps of Mascara – is head over heels in love with Too Faced’s Cat Eyes palette. Could it be the packaging? The quality of the shadows? Or both?

EauMG – tries one of the newest perfumes from Diptyque that happens to be so refreshing in the summer heat.

Gouldylox Reviews – I’m a little obsessed with these bright colors (which surprises me as much it might you!)

Lipglossiping – gets acquainted with the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains, a gloss/gel hybrid that punches well above its weight in the colour stakes!

My Beauty Bunny – Tarina Tarantino adds a punk edge to beauty basics with the Jewel Shadow Palette in Delightful – these shades are not the standard neutrals!

Pink Sith – tells you all about Haughty Cosmetics Perfect Finish Lip Gloss in shades called Give and Inspire. Plus don’t forget the Haughty Cosmetics Giveaway ending on the 6th of August!

Prime Beauty – has discovered the ancient skincare rituals of the geisha in the TATCHA Ritual Discovery Kit.

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

 

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Phyrra – I chose Ange from Hairspray and High Heels as my pick. I love her blog! She created a great post on the Best Lipsticks for Pale Skin, which I appreciate!

A quick and easy #youonlybetter look with Clarins! *SP

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 1 - 2014

With both a 5-year old and a 12-week old baby, time to myself is the most precious commodity in my life. When Leila was born, I treasured my daughter’s nap-times and would use them to invest in some quality pampering time. I knew that I could have been spending those precious hours catching up on lost sleep but to this day, I believe that taking the time to spoil myself was the key to preserving some normality in a newly-changed life.

This time around, my time is even more compressed. If Joe is napping, I tend to spend any spare moments with Leila. I miss not being able to spend so much one-on-one time with her and we’ve developed a new-found addiction to making loom-bands!

That being said, I have sorely missed the time to myself and I won’t deny that it’s taken its toll on my well-being. I’m sure that I’m not the only Mum to experience this but honestly? I feel less attractive, scruffier and not so well “put together” without my usual beauty routine. Superficial as this may seem on the surface, it really impacts on my confidence daily.

When I first saw Sali Hughes’ new videos for Clarins, I was inspired. I’ve been around the beauty scene long enough to know how to do a 5, 10, or 15-minute look… but it was only when I saw how beautifully polished she looked in such a short amount of time, that I realised I needed to get back into the game!


I decided to sit down and work out exactly which parts of my beauty routine were most important to me. What did I need to focus my limited amount of time on perfecting? My complexion? Concealing my tiredness? Or perhaps just introducing some much-need colour to my face? For me, it’s all about good skin and luminosity… I’ve always been crazy for a glowy, radiant look but without compromising on a decent base upon which to build it.

Clarins sent me a few products to see if I could use Sali’s videos as a starting point and tailor my own time-saving routine.

Clarins 10 Minute Face

Clarins 10 Minute Face (2)

I separated the “essentials”… the items I knew I couldn’t leave the house without. Mascara, eyeliner (liquid is my preferred choice), and a base product. Then I got to work on the luminosity aspect of my look.

Clarins 10 Minute Face (3)

I ended up with a stripped-back list of products, nine in total. A routine that I hoped would balance the time I had available without compromising on creating a polished “me” that would improve my confidence at the school gates in the morning.

I also had one more set of criteria up my sleeve. No brushes. In the mornings, I don’t have time to spot-clean brushes, that kind of luxury is a weekend-only deal. Could I do it with only the tools provided and my fingers? I had about 10-minutes to find out!

On a freshly-moisturised face, I started with a small amount of Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, a pore-filling primer that gives your make-up a headstart. If your base is right, you’ll be surprised at the much-improved performance of your subsequent products. I dotted the primer onto my troublesome areas, around my nose and across my cheeks before blending with a clean finger.

Next up, faking some luminosity. I turned to the brand’s new Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 02 Champagne for some help. The yellow tone neutralized the ruddiness in my complexion whilst simultaneously illuminating and brightening. I concentrated my application across my t-zone for a more natural glow.

BB Creams are a firm favourite of mine and the Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream also delivers a generous SPF25, plenty of protection for a standard day spent running the odd errand. I found the formula non-greasy without accentuating any dry patches and it worked well to unify my skin-tone. It also applied nicely using just my fingers.

Finally, in my quest for complexion perfection, I turned to Clarins Instant Concealer … more out of necessity than choice. My under-eye circles have packed their bags and they’re ready to move out! This concealer blends beautifully with a light texture that doesn’t sacrifice great camouflage or sit in my fine lines.

Base done… next, on to colour.

Clarins 10 Minute Face (4)

Clarins Multi-Blush in 04 Rosewood is a product I was already familiar with. It’s a cream blush that blends better than most with a slightly drier texture that melts into the skin, imparting a natural flush without mattifying my cheeks.

I was unsure about what to do with my eyes… I knew that in 10-minutes, I’d be limited to a single shade and was tempted to go without eye-shadow altogether. In the end, I opted for a quick sweep of Ombre Minérale Eyeshadow in 08 Taupe, you know I can never resist a taupe! Using the sponge-tipped applicator provided, it barely added 20-seconds to my routine.

To define my eyes, I pressed the brand’s innovative 3-Dot Liner into my lashes and because I wasn’t concentrating on creating a flick or drawing a hard, graphic line, I didn’t need to go back in with a damp q-tip to correct mistakes. There weren’t any!

The final product for the eyes was mascara, I can’t leave home without it! Clarins Be Long Mascara increases length and creates further definition with an easy-to-use small brush that reaches every lash.

Clarins 10 Minute Face (5)

The final flourish to complete the look was a quick swipe of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 05 Candy Shimmer. This gave a gentle flush of low-maintenance pink that reflects light and further served to brighten my complexion.

And the final result?

Clarins-10-Minute-Face

Clarins 10 Minute Face (6)

Glowy and polished! Ok, so it’s not a cutting-edge look but… you know what? It’s exactly what Clarins promised.

It’s a “you, only better” look. And that’s just what this new Mum with no time for anything more adventurous ordered!

* sponsored post

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