Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 30 - 2014

When Joan Collins Timeless Beauty launched earlier this year, I was curious to discover how the brand would be received.  It seems quite unfeasible in today’s culture (sadly) that an 81-year old woman could release a line of makeup and, to put it bluntly, appeal to anyone under the age of fifty.

Let’s face it, the older you get, the more invisible you become.  I’ve heard this sadly-bemoaned by my own parents, who are now in their 70s, and I wondered how a makeup range, launched by an octogenarian would fare in today’s youth-obsessed society.  I held out hope that the undisputed glamour credentials of Joan Collins would be able to transcend the age-divide and appeal to your average Cosmo reader.

Despite my curiosities, this is the first time I’ve taken a closer look at the range for myself.  And my initial reactions are wholly positive.

Joan Collins Summer Kiss Compact Duo

Above all else, the range feels authentic.  It doesn’t bend its personality to conform to the popular.  The nail lacquer bottles remind me of the delights my teen self might discover, rummaging the shelves in my local chemist through the dusty old stock leftover from the 80s.  The packaging is bold, angular, and of course… gold.  It’s one pair of shoulder pads away from Alexis Carrington.  Just as it should be.

And yet, somehow it doesn’t feel old-fashioned or over-styled.  How is that even possible?

Joan Collins Summer Kiss Compact Duo1

Joan Collins Summer Kiss Compact Duo2

Despite the audacious packaging of the Summer Kiss Duo compact (£29.50), the bronzer housed inside is a mewing kitten by comparison.  Just how this pale chick likes it best, I did fear a pair of 80s go-faster stripes would appear across my cheeks after the initial application but there’s a refinement to the powder that delivers a soft, velvety texture and a buildable, flattering hue.

The included brush is useless and it doesn’t have anywhere of its own to sit within the palette, I’d recommend chucking it and using your own brush instead.

The lipstick nestled-in-palette combination is darling and the duo deliver a beautifully unfussy pairing for a polished look.  Combined, they deliver no more than a healthy flush of colour, providing the epitome of an unpretentious daytime touch-up.  A true old-skool compact.

Joan Collins Summer Kiss Compact Duo3

The lipstick, Marilyn, is an easy-to-wear shade… one that will go with everything.  A neutral rosewood creme that will add flush and colour to your lips without making any huge statements.  It has a fairly hydrating formula that I imagine will be easy to enjoy and comfortable to wear whatever the weather throws at us over the coming months.

Finally, the Nail Lacquer (£12.50)… also called Marilyn, as you might imagine, matches the lipstick.  The shade when worn on the nails, does feel a little “older”, I know that my Nan had a whole drawer full to the brim of these pinky/brown concoctions!  But I can’t deny the formula which applies smoothly, thickly, and is completely opaque in one-to-two coats.

Joan-Collins-Nail-Polish-Lacquer-Marilyn

Ultimately, there’s not much I can find to fault my first foray into Joan Collins’ beauty range.  It has just the right amount of chutzpah to remind you of the origins of the brand but doesn’t “Disneyfy” itself by going over the top and playing too much on the “in-your-face diva”.  It’s completely wearable, has obviously been curated by someone who knows what they’re doing, and should absolutely appeal to beauty lovers of all ages.

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty is available to buy online from qvcuk.com and urbanretreat.co.uk

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here


Review: The Basingstoke Country Hotel (and spa)

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 26 - 2014

In line with my usual state of perma-disorganisation, I’d left things quite late when I decided to book a night away for mine and Mr. L’s 10th wedding anniversary.  It felt like such a frivolous thing to do, I wasn’t really sure whether we should be doing it at all, given our current state of finance (we’re saving for a deposit) and the fact that Joe is only 20-weeks old.  But when my cousin offered to have Joe for the night, my resolve was tipped over the edge and I began to frantically google for something that would give us the little treat we felt that we wholeheartedly deserved!

Unfortunately, our anniversary coincided with the Southampton Boat Show, which sees thousands of visitors descend upon Hampshire.  Hotel rooms were at a premium.

The deal I *really* wanted to go for, which was a Balmer Lawn break in the New Forest from Travelzoo, wasn’t available for booking on the date we needed!

In the end, I found something that looked very reasonable on Amazon Local, an overnighter at the Basingstoke Country Hotel which included a meal and a late checkout for £109, good value no?  Reading the reviews on Tripadvisor, people suggested that it was worth upgrading to a better room, so I gave them a ring and asked to upgrade.  I happily paid the extra to upgrade to one of their top rooms, a deluxe double.  I also enquired about the treatment menu at the spa and promptly booked two massages for us over the phone.  All at additional costs.  Mr. L was a bit of a reluctant spa-goer, having never had a massage before but I was excited to introduce him to the experience, and hoped it would be a good one!

IMG_6619

Upon arrival, we checked in and were given directions to our room, which we promptly headed for as we didn’t have long before we were due to go for our spa treatments.  The deluxe room was large but sparse, with a large bed and a flat screen TV.  However, the furnishings are quite dated and things are looking tired.  The bathroom was lovely and big but again, pretty basic.  It had a bidet but to be honest, I would rather have had a clean (non foisty-smelling) shower curtain!

Overall, what became apparent, very quickly indeed, was that this hotel wasn’t going to be a luxury experience.  It’s aimed at the corporate market.  It feels like a Premier Inn.  There’s nothing wrong with a Premier Inn, heck, I spent my honeymoon in one – I’m no hotel snob… but this just wasn’t matching up to its star-rating and description.  There were stains on the carpet, the skirting boards and walls could have done with a good scrub to remove the tea stains, and despite there having not been a drop of rain all day, you couldn’t see out of the window for the condensation and dirt.

basingstoke-country-hotel

A quick peek through the leaflets on the sideboard revealed that had I not booked my spa-treatments in advance, I could have had 20% off by booking them on the day.  Leaving this information for all guests to access seems a little insensitive.  I understand the principle behind encouraging last-minute bookings in the spa but it’s irksome for a customer who has had the foresight to pre-book only a few days earlier.  A better option would be to invite the receptionist to enquire upon check-in as to whether guests have pre-booked any treatments.  If they have, fine… if they haven’t, perhaps at this point it would be wise to make them aware of the offer.  Rather than, “Hey, here’s a discount YOU CAN’T HAVE”.

We headed down to the spa area, which involved checking-in at the reception area of the gym before being led through to the waiting room.  There was a coffee machine, and we were told to help ourselves while we waited.  I made two teas but then realised that there was no milk available and no-one around to ask so I had to leave them on the side.  The “relaxation” area was pretty unrelaxing.  Hard chairs, too-loud “musak”, and the room is in general need of repair.  The wall behind the coffee area (which I think was also a reception desk), had been boarded up for hopeful future repair?  Basically it just didn’t feel like a retreat.  In any way, shape or form.

treatment-area

The treatments themselves were sadly pretty insipid.  I’d booked over the phone for two Hot Stone Massages but for some reason, we ended up with plain back massages instead.  I’m pretty easy-going and didn’t mind this but it’s a point to note that you should double-check before arrival.  During the massage, at no point was I asked what kind of pressure I liked, neither was my husband and the CD in his treatment room kept skipping throughout his massage.  The oils, if scented, were undetectable to my nose and although I could feel my therapist passing over various trigger points in my back, she didn’t ask if I’d like her to work on them with a little more firmness.  Again, at the time, I didn’t particularly mind because I was happy to opt for a more relaxing experience.  However, the offer of a little customization would have been nice and really sets one therapist apart from another.

Sadly, we walked out of the treatment rooms feeling quite indifferent about the experience.  I have since assured Mr. L that not all massages are equal and that it is completely possible to experience bliss and relaxation from a good therapist!  He’s unconvinced and it will take some work getting him to try again!  Perhaps I’ve just been spoiled in some glorious spas over the years.  Overall, it certainly wasn’t a terrible experience but I wouldn’t book again.  I just don’t feel that the treatment achieved anything… in terms of easing tension, inducing relaxation, or lifting mood.  It was… for want of a better word, all pretty “meh”.

We headed back to the room to relax a little before dinner.

10597277_1574950452733228_894802340_n

Dinner wasn’t too bad, and our server (an older lady, I forget her name) was really lovely.  The fat on our belly pork hadn’t rendered very well though and we could only eat about 30% of the meat… also a little more (well-flavoured) mash wouldn’t have gone amiss!  My favourite was the chicken liver starter that I enjoyed, it was really very tasty indeed.

Sadly, my chocolate brownie dessert was ridiculously small, I would have been red-faced had I been serving that night, a quarter of a strawberry and a piece of brownie no bigger than a small scoop of ice-cream? Come on now!  Also… lose the slates-as-plates please, my ice-cream was melting quicker than I could chase it around the bumpy surface, I reckon I lost most of it either in the ridges or off the side!

We retired to bed feeling pretty dispassionate about the day but we were, at least, very much looking forward to an undisturbed, baby-free sleep!  Unfortunately, the bed was really uncomfortable… both of us found the mattress to be lumpy as hell and fidgeted all night because bits (springs?) were digging in to us.  At least a Premier Inn guarantees you a good nights sleep!  We actually laughed over the following weekend, as we took the kids to Pontins, and got a better night’s sleep in what we had expected to be terrible beds there!

Upon checking out of the Basingstoke Country Hotel, the receptionist asked if we had enjoyed our stay.  In all honesty, I couldn’t even bring myself to do the very British thing of moaning about it throughout before smiling and saying “Oh, yes… lovely” to the reception staff.  I just simply said:  “It was alright, thank you”.

And it was.  But only just.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel Really Rio NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 23 - 2014

I hereby declare that Autumn has finally begun.

As I walked my daughter to school this morning, I could see my breath swirling around infront of me, just as misty as the surrounding fog that threatened to obscure anything further than 100ft away.  Leila asked if it was nearly Christmas… in response, I let out a shudder.

While my brain may slowly be getting to grips with the idea of colder, darker climes… my nails, aren’t.

clinique-really-rio

Clinique’s Really Rio may well be a summer screamer but I’m not ashamed to wear it, whatever the weather!

A pretty peach with a super-glossy finish and a slight jelly-esque quality that makes it look warm and squishy on the nails.  The coverage is a little sheer and you’ll need a few coats to achieve the finish above but it wears beautifully well, longevity is a dream with next to no tip wear, even after four-days.

Really Rio is available to buy on counter and online at clinique.co.uk, priced at £12 for 9ml.  I’ve also spotted a couple of minis on offer for £3-a-piece from directcosmetics.co.uk – bargain!

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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?

brioche-vendeenne

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!

brioche

Bon Appetit!

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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!

china-glaze-choo-choo-choose-you

choo-choo-choose-you#

china-glaze-choo-choo-choose-you-bottle

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.

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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?

lipstickleague - final

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?

49e1c824cb-lb

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!

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

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.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

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.

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte

#45 crimson – #50 beauty – #51 plum

Clinique-Long-Last-Lipstick-Matte-Plum-51

#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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

IMG_6382

IMG_6383

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.

IMG_6389

IMG_6499

IMG_6391

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?

IMG_6410

IMG_6411

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.

IMG_6403

IMG_6408

IMG_6500

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…

IMG_6393

IMG_6514

IMG_6523

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!

IMG_6444

IMG_6470

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

FML

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

Revlon-Gel-Envy(1)

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?

revlon-cardshark-nail-polish-gel

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.

revlon-colorstay-gel-envy-210-casino-lights

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

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.

Agent Provocateur Fatale (2)

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

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

RANDOM

Aurifere - Excellence in Brushes

I first heard of Aurifere when I saw their stand at IMATS back in January… …I was on the hunt for a Shu Uemura foundation …

HQHair invites you to WIN a NARS makeover!

HQHair have teamed up with NARS international makeup artist David Scheffen (2nd in command to Francois – ooh la la!) to offer three lucky winners …

Clinique Autumn / Fall 2010 - Bigger, Brighter Eyes in an Instant

Ohhh I do like this model image Clinique… it’s how my makeup would look everyday in a world unhindered by problematic issues such as not …

Cartier La Panthere Perfume Review

Whilst I try not to get too hung up on product packaging, I do feel that it’s only fair to point out that the bottle …

L'oreal Voluminous Mascara - Review

L’oreal’s Voluminous Mascara in good ol’ black.  It’s one of those purported ‘oldies but goodies’ thought of in the same way as Max Factor’s 2000 …

Butter London Slapper NOTD

Butter London’s Slapper, a.k.a the hardest nail polish to photograph in the world, ever.  It’s a super-bright teal which definitely leans more green than blue.  …

Guest Review: Doctor Brand Blemish Relief Kit

This week, Lucy from Miss Lucy Loves is bringing us her guest review on the Doctor Brand Blemish Relief Kit which promises to be a …

Outgrowing Yourself

That’s it… that’s all that I have left of my current favourite fragrance after decanting myself a small amount and giving the rest to a …

Get a prescription to glow with the Elemis SkinLab, just what the doctor ordered!

Just when we should all be tailoring our skincare to lead us into the warmer weather, those pesky chaps at the MET office are happy …

Search for a Simple Star! The hunt is on!

Listen up, this is exciting stuff! One lucky person could win the job of a lifetime…and a prize package worth up to £50k! . Are …

POPULAR

CLOSED: Competition Time: Givenchy Very Irresistible L'eau en Rose Perfume!

Want to really spoil Mum this Mother’s Day?  Or perhaps you just want to spoil yourself?  It’s ok… I won’t judge… there are plenty of …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning with a distinct “Hello Monday morning, I’ve been expecting you…” kinda feeling.  Maybe it’s …

Win a gorgeous "glow" trio with prizes from Urban Decay, New CID, & Arbonne!

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

COMMENTS

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Admin

  • Ads