Avon Big & Daring Volume Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 20 - 2014

It’s been a while since I tried a new mascara, the truth is that I’ve fallen into an extremely comfortable relationship with Clinique High Lengths mascara (the one with the brush that looks like a praying mantis).  Considering I first reviewed that particular mascara over 4-years ago now, it’s pretty good going for it to remain in my top-5 mascara list, no?

Anyway, as comfortable as our relationship is… I’m a terrible flirt and the latest mascara from Avon, which promises 24-hour volume with a buildable, clump-free formula, had me batting my eyelashes from 50-paces.

IMG_6776

I usually get on well with lengthening mascaras as my lashes are fair, particularly at the tips where they disappear against my skintone.  I could apply boot polish and I’d still get an initial wow factor at uncovering those lost tips!  Having said that, my lashes, particularly post pregnancy, are a little sparse and volume and thickness is something I crave.

The Avon Big & Daring Volume mascara presents a large, curved brush… densely packed with bristles of varying lengths.  The idea behind this brush is the usual “capture as many lashes as possible in one go” remit, and it works well.  Obviously, the more lashes you can capture (per sweep), the less you’ll need to layer and the chances of clumping will reduce.

I hate clumpy lashes, with a passion.  I struggle to leave the house if I’ve had a mascara melt-down and have overdone it.  As a result, I generally dislike any “wet” mascaras or ones that apply too much product, too quickly.  Instant bin fodder.

IMG_6781

Although the Avon mascara captures a lot of product on those many, many bristles… the packaging has an effective inner narrowing of the neck that ensures excess product remains inside as you draw the wand out of the tube.  The curve of the brush matches well with my eye-shape and allows me to get down into the root of the lashes without too much effort or wrangling.

IMG_6766

The overall result is great for an “every day” look, the before/after picture shows how my lashes look with two coats of the Avon Big & Daring Volume mascara applied.  I could have gone for one more coat without clumping but in all honesty, I don’t have the luxury of time to keep building my mascara in the mornings.  It’s probably not quite dramatic enough for a night out but it’s perfect for the daytime, especially as I want something a little more impactful than “natural” without going overboard.  It strikes the balance just right for my tastes.

I don’t experience any flaking or smuding with this formula, infact… if anything, it’s a little too resilient as it does take some effort to remove it in the evening.

All in all, for a sub-£10 mascara, I’m really pleased with how it works.  It’s an effective choice for those on a budget and offers a generous 10ml of product for your pennies.

Avon Big & Daring Volume mascara is currently on offer at £7 (usual price £8.50), it’s available online from avonshop.co.uk

* press sample

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


Over the years, I’ve slowly discovered that as much as I love my makeup, I can also be rather lazy about it.  An example of this is my love for palettes.  I like knowing that someone has taken the work out of choosing which shades goes with which to ensure that I don’t end up looking more Coco the Clown than Coco Chanel.

There are a few single eyeshadows that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d relinquish my grip but for the most part, I’m pretty commited to having the hard work done for me.

IMG_6134

IMG_6136

Estee Lauder’s latest palette launch features a new line of Sculpting Eyeshadows that are firmly grounded in the neutral camp.  Offering a total of 12-different palettes across the range with shades that are designed to add definition, shadow and highlight to the eye area – these haven’t been created to break ground on new trends… you’ll have seen these shade combinations a hundred times over but they have been designed to make mornings easier.

IMG_6145

In my posession, I have 04 Rebel Metal - a collection of golden, metallic hues.  Each shade is a shimmer, there are no mattes at all.  I prefer balanced palettes that offer a matte, I’m too old and wrinkly to wear shimmery shades in my eye socket!  Having said that, the five shades do deliver some pretty, subtle nuances between them and are nicely colour-balanced to ombre across the metallic spectrum.  The palette definitely leans to the warm side but should suit most skintones well.

Pigmentation is good and the texture from each pan is pleasing, I’ve found some Estee Lauder shadows to be a little firmly-textured in the past… particularly the paler shades.  This palette, though not quite “buttery”, is easy to apply and wears nicely when applied both wet and dry.  As you might imagine, wearing these metallic shades wet creates a far more impactful and intense look, it’s nice to have the option.

IMG_6162

Despite eschewing a primer, I found these to be fairly crease-resistant, they didn’t move about on the eyelid but instead, faded gently as the day wore on.  In all honesty, I can’t say I’m hugely excited by this release but at the same time, there’s nothing I can moan about either.  There’s nothing wrong with them per se… they just don’t get my makeup-loving heart a-beating.

Perhaps I’ve been exposed to too many palettes of golden neutrals over the years *cough* Naked *cough* but for the £40 price tag, I’d gently suggest that your money could stretch further, whilst getting the same quality… from a purchase elsewhere.

I’ll still be checking out some of the other colour-combinations on counter though, you never know where that perfect taupe is lurking!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadow 5-Color Palette in Rebel Metal is priced at £40 and is available to buy on-counter and online from esteelauder.co.uk, johnlewis.com, and debenhams.com

*press sample

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

childs-farm-baby-shampoo-bath

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

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

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

RANDOM

Prep your party skin with Sisley!

We all want great skin throughout the year but we all want it that little bit more when we have a slew of parties to …

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, …

Free Nails Inc. Polish only with InStyle Magazine

Free on the cover of next month’s copy of InStyle magazine (£3.60)… Choose between three shades of this season’s must have polish colours created exclusively …

NARS Copacabana Illuminator - Swatches

It was around the same time last year that NARS released the first in their line up of liquid illuminators, the NARS Orgasm Illuminator.  This …

Skincare goes minimal (and really rather good!)

Take a stroll through Soho and you’d be hard-pressed not to end up in Japanese store MUJI…  There’s something about that small store on Carnaby …

Treats to keep a dieter sane!

This is a bit of an odd post from me but I had a question last week regarding the #fooddiary hashtag that I’m currently using …

Johnson & Johnson Best Beauty Blogger 2011 – The Trophy!

A couple of you* asked to see the trophy that I was awarded following my jammy scoop of Best Beauty Blogger title at the recent …

Advent Giveaway – Day 2

Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Liner in Dime (Silver) Leave a comment to enter. Giveaway closes at 23:59GMT on 2nd December.  Comments made after this time …

Get Glitterized with Jinny Rainbow!

I’ve never been fully sold on tattoos, I love looking at the designs and I appreciate the work that goes into creating a successful piece …

About (the new YSL Babydoll Mascara, Cara, and) a boy.

I’ve just received this striking campaign image for the new YSL Baby Doll collection featuring the ubiquitous Cara Delevigne which will be released at the …

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