Sometimes, my FOTDs are semi-interesting…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 22 - 2012

…but most of the time, I take the photos – write the post, upload the photos, think “job done”, click preview and then wonder why the hell I bothered.  Today is one of those days.

I would blame the camera, the lighting, the mis-calibration of your monitor… but the truth is, my face absorbs colour.  Unless of course, I wear a shade from one of my Sleek palettes which seem to encourage my chemistry to saturate the colour to the max, turning me into some kind of deformed caricature of myself.

Grumbles aside, and seeing as this was intended to be a FOTD post, I’d better get on and list the products just as I would for any other FOTD post… who cares if you can’t actually see them right?

Face

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer #2
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW15
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX03

Cheeks

Trish McEvoy Golden Bronzer*

Eyes

Trish McEvoy Glaze Eyeshadow in Rose Quartz
Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara
Estee Lauder Intense Kajal Eye Crayon in 01 Dramatic Black*

Lips

Clinique Chubby Stick in Oversized Orange*

I’m liking the MAC Studio Fix more than I thought.  It’s a little drying and perhaps a touch too matte for me but I mix in some Fluid Sheer to give it a boost of luminescence and I’m quite enjoying it.  The Kevyn Aucoin SSE is starting to work for me now that I’m using it to conceal rather than as a fuller-coverage foundation – though I am still determined to work out how to get full-face coverage from it.  I received the Trish McEvoy Golden Bronzer last year and it’s a sheerer formula which is quite forgiving despite my pale skintone, it has a subtle sparkle and is quite buildable.  I’m not the best at applying/blending bronzer though… consider me still a bit of a bronzer noob.

The eyes were the most disappointing aspect of today’s look.  The Trish McEvoy shadow I bought for my palette, although a beautiful colour didn’t create much impact – which to be honest, is fair enough – it is intended to be a sheer wash of beautiful rosy taupe… nothing too dramatic, it’s my fault for not bothering with a contour.  I’m sitting on the fence when it comes to the MUFE Smoky Lash mascara, I know that many of you swear by it and although it’s certainly quite impressive at creating some drama, I feel that it’s a little prone to clumping and I don’t like the way it makes my lashes feel.  Finally, the Estee Lauder Intense Kajal Eye Crayon in 01 Dramatic Black seemed to look more ‘dramatic plum’ on my waterline… perhaps it’s those sleepless nights finally showing through!

The one component of today’s FOTD that I thought I’d be indifferent about (sheer lip colours – “meh”), I ended up really liking.  The Clinique Chubby Stick is such a nice formula to wear and for me to reach for it, well… perhaps I was feeling more ‘subtle’ than I was letting-on!  You won’t see a huge amount of colour with this range but the Oversized Orange gives my lips a nice polish and a hint of warmth.

What’s your favourite product that you’re sporting today?

* indicates press samples


… this cracking Elemis deal pops up from FeelUnique.com

Priced at £75 – the set includes eight full-sized Elemis products (and not the stuff off the back of the shelf that no-one else wants either!):

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 50ml
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash 200ml
Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask 50ml
Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt 100ml
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel 50ml
Elemis Sp@Home Skin Nourishing Milk Bath 400ml
Elemis Sp@Home Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream 100ml

and just so that you can get away with the purchase….

Elemis Men Anti-Ageing Time Defence Wrinkle Delay 50ml

I’ve never seen quite such a value-for-money deal on the British brand, though obviously, the £75 outlay is still considerable.  However, if you’re looking to give your skincare routine a major overhaul for the Summer, this has your name written all over it.  I’d personally recommend applying (and sleeping in) the moisturising mask directly after removing the Papaye Enzyme Peel – I do this twice a week and it’s keeping my normally dry skin both well-exfoliated and moisturised.

I’d imagine stocks on this one to be pretty limited.

Elemis FeelUnique.com Exclusive Hero Collection, priced at £75.00 with a £300+ value from FeelUnique.com

Essie Armed & Ready NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 2 - 2012

Essie Armed & Ready is from the Spring Go Overboard collection and one that I picked up owing to it’s beautiful golden shimmer as perfectly demonstrated by The PolishAholic in her great swatches.  Can I get the golden shimmer to show up?  Can I bollocks.  I’m putting it down to the fact that she lives in Orange County, CA and I’m currently staying in Shitsville, NBA (Newcastle Brown Ale).

Despite the lack of golden glitz, Essie’s Armed & Ready is still a very nice army green, a dirgy khaki if you will.  It also applies in a single coat if you get the brush fill right, you definitely don’t need more than two coats before whacking on your quick-dry topper.

I wish I could give you some beautiful shimmer shots, but in lieu of those…. have a look at just what I have to put up with while I’m trying to blog – it’s a wonder I actually get any bloody posts written…

I’m heading home today (after my fortnight at the in-laws), have had a lovely time but it’ll be nice to get back into my normal routine!  Hope all my lovely UK/Commonwealth peeps enjoy the Jubilee Weekend! x

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 to remind us that although it may well be almost JUNE, it feels uncannily like February out there.  My skin has been feeling so unbalanced as the year has progressed and finding the solutions to keeping everything under control has felt like applying weights to an old-fashioned pair of scales whilst wearing a blindfold.

Clearly, I needed some expert advice and whilst checking out the new beauty hall at John Lewis, Oxford Street on Tuesday evening, I noticed the Elemis counter looking a bit quiet so I asked if I could jump in the chair for one of their complimentary skin consultations, I was excited!

Until I caught sight of the picture that looked back at me.

“Dude, trim your eyebrows” was my first thought, I almost felt the need to apologise to the therapist for them.  Second thought was “oooh, my skin looks quite clear!” (vanity is never far behind).  To be honest, I didn’t really have a clue what I was talking about but I was guessing that the less blobs on the scanned area, the better.  Turns out, I was mostly right.  You can click the picture above to view a large version… I’ll tell you a bit more about what the equipment can pick up on…

Spots – self explanatory, the facial assessment picks up on any blemishes/congested areas that are on the skin’s surface, lurking just underneath about to erupt, or hiding dormant… waiting for the opportunity (read: important ocassion) before putting in an appearance.  My cheeks are actually where I seem to get the most blemishes, so I was surprised to see such a large number around my nose.  Not really sure why I was surprised when I got home and checked out the blackhead congestion in the mirror…

Wrinkles – I was blindly hoping to score low in this area.  I think I got about average… but the therapist pointed out that the scanner had detected more furrows in the areas where the skin was visually quite dry.  There’s a good reason right there to keep your skin as well-moisturised as possible I think!

Texture – This indicated the areas of my face that would benefit from additional hydration, and also the areas that showed signs of “healthy” oil production.  Unfortunately, because I was wearing makeup at the time of the scanning session, I don’t think this image is as accurate as it could be, but it does show that there aren’t too many clearly defined areas that can be categorized as traditionally dry/oily.  As I’ve always complained, I’m perfectly capable of producing makeup-melting oil in the same areas as I’m experiencing practically, scaly patches of skin.

Pores – Another self-explanatory one, I’m very… err… pore-y.  Great.

Brown Spots – FINALLY.  Something I can smile about!  Apparently, for my age (I told her I was 73)… I have very little sun damage (the yellow areas are ok, it’s the brown ones that aren’t!).  That’ll be all those years spent in my bedroom being an angsty teenager then.  Result.

Red Areas – Well, this I just knew wouldn’t be brilliant.  You can see that I suffer redness in the classic areas across the nose and cheeks.  I’ve mostly (not really) made peace with this as a hereditary condition and frankly, I’m not inclined to give up curries/hot showers/central heating/all that fun stuff in an effort to reduce it.  I’ll just LAZOR the bitches when the capilliaries get too much and hope for the best, job done.

My therapist went over my results and discussed my lifestyle with me, she asked me about my current beauty routine (I nearly bored her to tears), and then she made some suggestions about how I might tackle the classic symptoms of unbalanced skin and get things back on track.  This included:

* drinking more water to ensure I’m not physically dehydrated.

* exfoliating (gently because of redness) more frequently.  I currently only exfoliate once every couple of weeks, she suggested that I up this to twice a week.

* I explained that I’m not using water during my cleansing and that I feel this has helped with sensitivity issues but that I hated using cotton wool pads.  She suggested that I use an extremely well wrung-out face cloth instead, practically dry so I’m not actually splashing water on my face but still benefiting from the warmth, gentle exfoliation and more definite cleanse.

* treating my skin to a moisture-rich mask after an exfoliation and leaving it on overnight, just once a week.

* ensure that I apply my moisturiser prior to applying my sunscreen to lessen any potential issues with congestion.

I was really impressed because most of her tips weren’t brand-specific and more about how I conduct my beauty routine than what products I use.  Of course, she did recommend some Elemis products based on the results from the SkinLab Assessment and our discussion on what kind of products I actually liked to use, which was novel.  Usually I can spend 10 minutes talking about how I don’t like foaming cleansers only for the SA to recommend me their foaming cleanser.

Here are her product recommendations to help battle unbalanced/combination skin:

Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturise
Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser (AM + PM)
Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner (AM + PM + as needed throughout the day)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (AM as day cream)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream (PM as night cream)

Treatments
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (2x weekly as exfoliator)
Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask (1x weekly after one of the exfoliating sessions, sleep in it!)

Supplements
Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules (when skin needs a pick-me-up or before special events etc.)
Daily Redness Solution (applied topically to the red areas)

Of course, I haven’t just sold one of my kidneys so I couldn’t afford it all but after feeling the beautiful slip and glide of the Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, I couldn’t leave the counter without it.

I’ve only used it 3 times so far but I’m loving it for complete makeup removal (eyes and all) with a non-drying formula that doesn’t have me rushing to slap on the moisturiser.  I really like the idea of sleeping in the moisturising mask and I’ve just received press samples of the Apricot Toner and Papaya Enzyme Peel (not related to this counter visit) so I’m looking forward to putting some of the products and all of her tips into action!

There was no hard-sell, and the therapist even sent me away with some sachets of the Daily Redness Solution (before I told her I wanted to purchase the cleanser) to see if my skin would tolerate it.

The Elemis SkinLab Skin Assessment is available in many Elemis Spas and on counter at some department stores – John Lewis lists which counters offer treatments at their SpaPod, you can call your local counter to find out if they offer a complimentary SkinLab consultation – it’s the best thing I’ve done for my skin this year!

Inexpensive Beauty Find: E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 6 - 2012

Small portions at restaurants, a child that can’t complete a sentence without repeating the word “Mummy” over and over before getting to her point, and body lotion that slides ineffectually over my skin for all eternity without actually sinking in.  These are the kind of things that get on my tits daily.

E45 have released a trio of new body creams that dodge my irritation-o-meter, they’re light, pleasantly slippy, cooling on the skin and quick to absorb.

The three varieties are best suited to normal/dry skins as a daily moisturiser, if you’re looking for something more nourishing for brillo-pad elbows and shins, look elsewhere in the range for heavier formulas.  My favourite of the three and the one that I’m classing as my “inexpensive beauty find” is the E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion* (the one on the far right in the above picture).

This is going to be a particularly good choice for the summer months as it contains a really subtle shimmer that makes you look all glowy and healthy.  I can’t even emphasise just how crucial it is to have shimmery limbs right now – I mean, I can’t turn on the telly without being blinded by some s’lebs shiny legs and this is a far more appealing version which doesn’t like you’ve rolled around in the butter dish.

E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion is available to buy instore and online at Boots.com, priced at £3.99 (also available from Supermarkets and the usual places)

* press sample

Deal Alert (London): Elemis Amnesty Tomorrow!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 4 - 2012

If you’re in central London tomorrow, it’s well worth your while taking a pot of unloved face cream along for the ride.

Say what?

Elemis are doing one of their much-loved Pro Collagen Marine Cream amnesties! Infact, it was one of these sneaky initiatives that got me hooked on the stuff in the first place!

20120504-013054.jpg

The amnesty is only available in John Lewis, Oxford Street and is in celebration of the branch’s re-launched beauty hall! If you want to get your hands on a free 15ml tube of the legendary Pro Collagen Marine Cream (worth £26.60), simply pop along to the new Elemis counter with your current face-cream and make the swap!

Just don’t blame me if you get hooked ok?

The offer starts tomorrow and is available while stocks last. Hurry!

Essie Limited Addiction NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 3 - 2012

Essie Limited Addiction came out a couple of years ago and I picked it up alongside some of it’s partner releases, Sew Psyched and Merino Cool, you remember that collection?  Lush wasn’t it?

I don’t own very many Essie polishes, and I don’t really like this one.  As a red, it just misses for me.  It’s darker-toned with a not-entirely-creme finish.  You may be able to tell that despite the three coats shown in the photo above, the overall look isn’t quite uniform?  It’s a little sheerer and more jelly-ish in some places and whenever I look down at my fingers, it just looks a little… untidy.

If you’re looking for a more work-appropriate red that isn’t all shouty and screamy though, this may well be the one for you.

Essie Limited Addiction is priced at £8.50 from BeautyBay.com

Deal Alert: Elemis GWP in May

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2012

Elemis fans, gather round – I have a great gift-with-purchase to tell you about occurring during May and it’s worth upto £89, yes really!

From the 10th – 27th May, the British brand are running a national GWP which will be available through their Debenhams, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols counters, and it goes something like this…

Buy any 2 full-size Elemis products and choose FOUR complimentary travel-sized Elemis fan-favourites from a selection of EIGHT.  Elemis travel-sized products are generally pretty generous on the sizing and I’m peering at that picture above to see what’s on the list!

Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner (50ml)
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash (50ml)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (15ml)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment (15ml)
Elemis Pr0-Collagen Quartz Lift Serum (10ml)
Elemis Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash (100ml)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Body Cream (50ml)
Elemis Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir (100ml)

You also get the grey cotton cosmetic bag to go with it.

If you’re not sure which products you should choose from the eight on offer, the therapists on counter have been briefed to offer some tailored guidance over which would suit your skin type.  If it were me?  I’d totes hit up the best bang for my buck ‘cos I’m mercenary like that and plump for the pro-collagen range.

To find your nearest participating Elemis counter, click here.

Which four products would you choose?

Because I need another taupe like a hole in the head…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 24 - 2012

Browsing my local Debenhams last week, I came across this Color Intrigue Eyeshadow from Elizabeth Arden in shade, Smoke. Ohhh, the familiar beauty of a cool-toned taupe sucks me in almost immediately.

It was reduced down to £7-something, and as I hadn’t been able to find the jumper that I was in there to buy, I consoled myself with an eyeshadow instead.  You can imagine my tutting when I got home and found it for sale on DirectCosmetics for £3.49. Tut.

But nevertheless, I’m happy with my purchase – I adore the Elizabeth Arden eyeshadow formula which is so terribly underrated in the blogging world.  Smooth and creamy powder formulas with long-lasting wear and good pigmentation.

I’ll do a giant swatch comparison of all my taupey shades soon (if I remember), you’ll probably find that most of them look pretty much exactly like the one above.  For my shame.

What colour eyeshadow do you over-buy?

Deal Alert: ESPA’s “Try Me… Love Me” GWP

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 20 - 2012

You know how I love a good gift with purchase and I’ve got another one to share with you today.

Until 31st May, all customers who purchase one or more full-sized ESPA products will be offered a uniquely personalised GWP with a set of four trial-sized products.  Take your pick from a selection of ten carefully-chosen products that hail from British brand ESPA’s most-loved ranges.

The gift with purchase Try Me… Love Me collection takes inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and each set also contains a unique code which can be entered online to uncover the chance to win £500 worth of ESPA skincare or one of five runner-up prizes.

Currently, the offer is only available in spas, salons and stores nationwide but will be rolling out on the ESPA website shortly.  Search online to find your nearest stockist.

Brush Lust: ECOTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 7 - 2012

I love a bit of alliteration in the mornings and the ECOTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush is just the kind of tongue twister that my beauty routine was waiting for.  I’ll start my review by pointing out that this little big brush has amassed an amazing 4.8 (out of 5) average rating over on makeupalley.  No great shakes you might think, except when you take into consideration that it’s been rated almost 300 times.  That’s a lot of very happy brush owners.

Although sold as a bronzing brush, this thing is so large, I have to assume that ECOTools intended this to be used as a body-brozing brush or simply an all-over face bronzing (as in tanning) brush.  There’s no way you’d wanna reach for this daily to “sunkiss” your face in specific areas, it’s mahoosive!  Where this baby excels is in its ability to buff – buff, buff and buff again.  It’s a wonderful long-handled kabuki for mineral foundation and an even more awesome applicator for the kind of liquid foundations that would normally give you an armache as you try to blend them before they quickly set.

This particular brush pairs up wonderfully with all manner of foundations including powders, creams and liquids and if you love the ELF Powder Brush for buffing in your foundation, I’m willing to bet that you’re going to love this even more.  The synthetic bristles are kitten-paw soft, keeping dry skin happy while you buff away to your hearts content.  I’m not gonna call the finished results ‘airbrushed’ (because it’s a naff expression) but I did get a lovely sheen to prove that the product had been worked well into the skin before any excess was buffed away by the densely-packed fibres.  I don’t find the large handle cumbersome to use, neither have I experienced any problems with shedding.

I’ve since bought another one to keep as a finishing brush and I use it to apply an illuminating/setting powder and ensure that everything is fully blended with a non-powdery finish – something I can struggle with when my skin is on the dry side.  The only negatives about this brush is that it’s a bugger to clean, takes an age to dry and isn’t very-travel friendly.

The ECOTools brush range is available to buy instore in Boots, priced at £9.99.  It’s also available online from cutecosmetics, priced at £8.99

Deal Alert: Elemis get ready for April Showers with a 2for1 offer!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 23 - 2012

I cherish those precious moments in the day when I can lock myself in the bathroom and jump under a hot shower, pretending that the sound of the water blocks out all outside interference.  Let’s face it, we all love our bathroom indulgences and I’m not talking about quilted loo roll.  The one downside to indulging in this way, is the price.  It’s tough times and I don’t know about you, but some of the first luxuries to hit the chopping block when I’m financially challenged are bathroom toiletries.

Well, here’s one luxury from Elemis that you can reacquaint yourselves with for a limited time only…

Get 2for1 on a selection of shower products, choosing from: Elemis Skin Nourishing Shower Cream Duo, Elemis Exotic Frangipani Shower Cream Duo or Wild Lavender Hand And Body Wash Duo.  My money’s on the Frangipani… trust me, it smells divine.  If you’re feeling particularly savvy, buy one for yourself and keep the other as a gift for someone special – it’s never too early to get those Christmas boxes in order.  Unless you start on Boxing Day, ‘cos that would be kinda cuckoo.

Do you have a favourite from the products on offer in this deal?

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