All being well, in just over 6 weeks, I’m going to be a Mum again.  To say that I’m feeling a little apprehensive about this is an understatement.  Five years is a long time for the mind to heal, forgetting about the sleepless nights and the frustrations at not being able to immediately comfort an unhappy little one.

I love being the Mum of a 5-yr old more than anything, but I’m acutely aware that I didn’t relish those first few months in my new role.  I’m not ashamed to admit that either, I much prefer the company of someone who can talk back to me.  That being said, I shall be patiently awaiting the flood of maternal love that will surely wash over me within minutes of meeting our new family member.  And then I’ll be demanding a belated Mother’s Day present, because… you know, how dare you schedule your entry to coincide with MISSING THE BIG DAY?!

Incase you’re listening little one… any, or you know… ALL of the below will suffice.

mothers-day-beauty-gift-guide-2014

1). It’s an oldie but a goodie.  Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish (£14.75) sales must hit the roof come Mother’s Day, I genuinely don’t know any women in my family who wouldn’t love to see this blue bottle pop out of a gift bag.  There’s also free delivery over on the website at the moment until the 25th March and a free sample with every order.

You could even build your own Liz Earle goody-bag for Mum by purchasing the mini 15ml tube and a muslin cloth for only £3.75 – now there’s thoughtful!

2). Each year, when Jo Malone release their bespoke Mother’s Day Floral Boxes (£120), I sit and drool at the thought of receiving something so mind-blowingly extravagant.  Complete with 100ml cologne of your choice (Vetyver for me please sproglet!), this beautiful floral display will melt the heart of anyone you’ve been privileged enough to call “Mum”.  Available from Monday 24th March, exclusively from the Jo Malone Sloane Street boutique.

3). Back down to earth with a beautifully-scented bump now, thanks to this perfectly-presented sweet little cone of bubbles and fizz!  The Mum’s Goodies (£13.50) offering from LUSH contains a limited edition Wonder Woohoo bubble bar, the Secret Garden bath bomb, and a Rockstar Soap.  The perfect way to show Mum that you care.  Just don’t steal the contents while her back is turned, ok?

4). For the ultimate glamour-Mum, look no further than this Paparazzi Compact (£27.65) from the new Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range.  The pretty duo features a classic lipstick/powder combination that makes “on the go” touch-ups a thing of true elegance!  The powder shade is a “neutral” tone to suit most complexions and depending on how bold your influential lady’s beauty tastes are, you can choose between a pink or burgundy lipstick!

5). When it comes to picking a perfume, you can’t go wrong with a delicate rose scent, the queen of all florals.  This Monotheme Apothéose de Rose (£18.00) from Marks & Spencer, offers a modern take on a much-loved theme.  Described as a soft, young and feminine scent – you won’t mistake this beauty for one of granny’s old perfumes.  The packaging is beautiful and will look a proper treat given pride of place at the dressing table.

6). If you haven’t yet heard of bathing brand Kneipp, trust me – you’re about to…

This German, mineral-rich brand offer a wide-range of bodycare products developed around the wonders of hydrotherapy.  The Kneipp Pure Bliss Bath & Body Gift Set (£12.95) will turn Mum’s bath water from boring to blissful in the blink of an eye.  With Red Poppy and Hemp as the workhorse naturals in this set, Mum will be sure to achieve complete serenity.  Even if its only until the water turns cold.

7). For the more traditional fragrant-fiend in your life, you won’t go wrong with a sneaky purchase of Floris’ Night Scented Jasmine Gift Set (£50) which includes a moisturising Bath & Shower Gel and an enriched Body Moisturiser.  This luxurious scent is inspired by the original Jasmine perfume introduced in 1806 by Mr. Floris.  It’s the kind of fragrant heritage that money just can’t buy… err, except luckily for us, it can!  The epitome of elegant gift-choices!

8). When spa-brand Elemis put together a special release that saves almost £30 on the full-price, you have to sit up and take notice.  Particularly when the items included are full-size products!  The Elemis Pro-Collagen Treats Collection (£49.00) comprises two beauty essentials from their iconic Pro-Collagen range: the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, and the Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment.

Both products are housed in a rather cute, silver presentation box that makes gifting just a little bit more glamourous!

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Layla Cosmetics Cloudy Violet NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 17 - 2014

Hands up who had a bloody lovely weekend?!

ME! I did!

Casa Lipglossiping is finally beginning to shake the lurgy that had taken hold with a vice-like grip for the past fortnight.  Just a “cold”, said the Doctor… but honestly one of the worst I’ve known in my time, our noses were unaffected but the coughing… oh boy, the coughing!  If anyone knows how long broken blood vessels in the eye take to heal, Vampira here would like to know the answer please.  I look like I’m on a quest for blood-lust and it’s not very attractive!

What is rather attractive though, is my latest installment in my mini-series of Layla Cosmetics nail polishes…

Layla Cloudy Violet NOTD

Layla Cloudy Violet NOTD 2

Cloudy Violet.  What a corker!  And a little better-lasting than the others I’ve featured so far, hell… I got a full three-days out of this one before it chipped.  I know, right?!  Truth be told, I’m sure I could get a bit longer out of all the Layla’s if I used a base coat… something like the LUMOS or CND’s Stickey… but I don’t really do basecoats, I don’t normally need to.  This one was another three-coater that needed a top-coat to retain the shine.

Cloudy Violet is a lovely blue-toned purple with a myriad of holographic linear sparkle.  Not a brain-dazzlingly, in-yer-face holo but not as subtle as the Catherine Arley’s tend to be.

There are seven of these left on Amazon now, priced at £5.25 each, another recommended purchase from me!

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Layla Cosmetics Coffee Love NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2014

A dark brown holographic? This is stuff of my dreams!

It’s pretty similar to the first Layla Cosmetics Holo I posted from my recent haul: Misty Blush, albeit a little less red-toned… if you’re a fan of the base shade, get both… if not, it’s quite hard to choose between them.  I had guessed that they’d be close-enough for me not to need to buy both but I love these darker holographics, so I just couldn’t walk away with only one.

Layla-Coffee-Love-Nail-Polish-Holographic

Application once again, needs three coats to ensure no patchiness but each coat dries quickly and didn’t give me any major issues.  I’m sorry for the (almost daily) Layla spam but I’m taking massive advantage of the sunshine while it lasts!

Layla Coffee Love Hologram Effect Nail Polish is priced at £5.32 and available to buy online from amazon.co.uk

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Layla Cosmetics Shock Pink NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 11 - 2014

I can’t stop showing these new Layla polishes off, I’m sorry.  Everytime I see a chink of direct sunlight, peeking through the shadows, I’m out on the balcony with my camera desperately trying to capture the holographic sparkle like a woman possessed.  My neighbours must think I’m a bonfide “speshul” case as I angle my hand this way and that to capture the brightness between the clouds.

Layla Shocking Pink Hologram Holographic Polish

Layla Shocking Pink Hologram Holographic Nail Polish

Shock Pink is a cheerful magenta that’s pretty true to its name… bright enough not to be babyish but in the shade it’s subtle enough not to be obnoxiously “pink”.  This multicoloured beauty takes on a real golden hue in the sunlight, alongside the rainbow holo effect that’s a little less intense than the one I showed you the other day.  Application was a little kinder this time but still needed a total of three coats… I think this may be the sacrifice one has to make for a great (but inexpensive) holographic.

Wear was about 48hrs before I got a chip from one of the tips…. top-coat the crap out of it.

There’s currently only 8 left in stock of the Layla Shock Pink on Amazon.co.uk, priced at £5.09 so get your skates on if you’re interested!

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LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 11 - 2014

You didn’t know that I was psychic did you?  It’s ok, I didn’t expect you to… after all, I’m the one with the special powers, not you… and I know what you’re thinking right now…

“…there is never a time in my life that I don’t need my cleansing products to smell like hot-buttered popcorn.”

You’re right.

When it comes to the brand LUSH, I feel like I’m regressing. I’m sure that the proper rite of passage is to begin with a teenage addiction of all things LUSHY, then as you mature… you move onto the beauty halls and away from the “sniff me, sniff me!” LUSH stuff, keeping only a mild interest going (and a few furtive dips into the store for an occassional bubble bar topup).

Me?  I had no interest in LUSH stuff growing up.  I was a Body Shop girl through and through.  It didn’t help matters that we didn’t actually have a local store I could nip into… but still, I just wasn’t particularly tempted by the brand.  When I did develop more of an interest, mostly through seeing other people’s LUSH hauls and the like… I appreciated their ability to turn a boring bath into a far more interesting one.  But beyond that?  I still sidelined them somewhat.

It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve come to the realisation that I have a few LUSH staples in my bathroom that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d give them up.

I’ve just discovered a new one.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Let The Good Times Roll is a skin cleanser that delivers a damn good exfoliation while its at it.  On paper, with my prone-to-redness skin, I should probably run a mile from its manual exfoliation capabilities but my flaky skin would stage a mutiny if I dared to stop using this now.

To use it, you break a small amount away from the crumbly mass contained in the pot and rub it into your palms with a little water until it begins to emulsify and develop a creamier texture.  It’s packed with grains of maize flour and polenta to exfoliate the skin and I’m careful to use only a light hand as I massage it over my skin.  If you’re particularly sensitive, I’d recommend restricting its use to a couple of times a week but I’ve been using it every morning for over a fortnight now without any signs of irritation or over-exfoliation.

I use it when I’m in the shower, keeping the pot within easy reach… it’s a little messier than your average cleanser and I prefer to do my exfoliating immediately prior to my makeup application anyway.  Before I started using this, I was using Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant for exactly the same reasons and Let The Good Times Roll has completely replaced this high-end product, which will shave 10s of pounds off my yearly beauty budget, hoorah!

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser 2

The reason that I place this above the Dermalogica for my needs, is not only because of its price point but also because it leaves a moisturising residue behind that the Dermalogica daily exfoliator doesn’t.  This leaves my freshly-cleansed skin feeling more comfortable in the short-term, giving me half a chance to get my fringe dried before I have to get my daily moisturising skincare routine organised.  It may even be enough to replace some of my moisturising needs as the weather warms up, time will tell.

I’m a proper fan of this product, I was going to leave my usual full-month of skincare testing before writing my review but I just don’t need to… I don’t need to judge it on any anti-ageing or treatment capabilities, I just want to praise it for how it fits neatly into an already established routine, rids my skin of the daily flakies, and will leave me feeling less light in pocket than the product I was using before.  Job done.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser has now been made a permanent part of the LUSH skincare lineup, it’s priced from £6.35 for 100g available instore and online.

* press sample

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Layla Cosmetics Misty Blush NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 9 - 2014

My little haul of cheap Layla Cosmetics Nail Polishes arrived from Amazon on Saturday morning, and like a kid in a multi-coloured, holographic candy store, I couldn’t wait to paint myself up.  We’ve been especially blessed with the weather this weekend too… isn’t it the warmest it’s been since last October or something?  Anyway… ultimately, this meant sunshine… and nothing appreciates a bit of sunshine more than a holographic nail polish.

Eeny, meeny, miney, mo… went I…

…I settled for Layla Cosmetics Misty Blush as my first NOTD.

Layla-Cosmetics-Nail-Polish-Misty-Blush-Holographic-Hologram

Isn’t she a beauty?  If my cuticles weren’t so ravaged at the moment, I’d have given you a close-up of the holographic intensity with my Canon point & shoot but I’m afraid this was as close as my vanity would allow me to get.  Application wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t too dreadful… the polish is pretty thin and had a tendency to “flick” specks about during application – perhaps more the fault of my virus-ridden, shaking body – but please don’t apply this anywhere near a white carpet just incase.  It took three coats to reach full opacity and definitely needs a top-coat as it dries pretty matte.

Wear also isn’t amazing… I have a tiny chip one day later, I don’t usually get any chips though… I’m a tip-wear girl, chips… barely ever.

Ultimately, I still love it.  I can’t help it.  Perhaps I’m a bit seduced by the sunshine, by how it sparkles… I think I’m willing to forgive it more than most just because it’s so damn beautiful.

Layla Cosmetics Misty Blush NOTD is available to buy online at amazon.co.uk, priced at £5.21

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Deal Alert: Layla Holographic polishes, better than half price!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 7 - 2014

Remember when I got all excited about Layla Hologram Nail Polishes? It was a while ago, so I’ll forgive you if your memory is kinda rusty. You can remind yourself by clicking through to my post here which contains a few swatches, alternatively… fire up Google Images and prepare to part ways with your pennies.

You see, as I scoured Amazon late last night for nothing in particular, I noticed that the Layla nail polishes appear to be prettily heavily discounted to the tune of 50% or more.  Whereas I originally paid over £11 a polish, you can now pick them up for under a fiver in some cases!  The only catch is that stock appears to be a little on the short side, so if you wanted to snag a couple, don’t leave it too long!

Here’s what I just picked up for my collection, please don’t tell my husband… I’m supposed to be saving for the “baby”.

layla-nail-polish-purchases

There’s also a couple of rather beautiful flakies that nearly found their way into my basket… but I was determined to keep my total in the £20s and not go any higher!

Are you tempted?  If you buy any… please tell me which ones caught your eye!

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Which new L’Occitane Tempting Tin are YOU?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 12 - 2014

It’s easy to mistakenly believe that the only worthwhile judgements in life are those that are deliberated over with great consideration and care, but I believe there’s something to be said for an impulsive reaction.  Snap judgements and the choices we make from them are a skill that takes us years to hone and develop, we should put a lot more trust and value in those instant decisions because you know what?  Our guts often know what’s right for us before our brains have even had time to digest the information.

Take these new Perfumed Shea Butter Body Cream releases from L’Occitane…

l'occitane-body-cream-tins

I bet that subconsciously, you’d already know which tin would tempt you into a cheeky sniff before you’ve read the “flavour names” below.

But what I’d love to know is whether your quick-thinking proved to be correct.  For me, I’d instinctively reach into the lush green tin, expecting a scent of freshness and a mouth-watering tang.  Thankfully, I’d be right, the brand have got the styling spot on… it’s a trigger, and it’s just aswell they’re on the ball because psychologically, there’s nothing worse than when an obvious sight trigger lets you down!

The new L’Occitane Perfumed Shea Butter Body Creams launch on the 15th February, priced at £18 each.  Which one will your nose be led to?

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Why I’m gonna need Rehab if LUSH ever discontinue this shampoo…

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 14 - 2014

I don’t get excited about hair products.  They’re not my forte, my cup of tea… they‘re just not my bag (baby).  I view them in the same way that I do many bathroomy-type toiletries, something to be chucked in the trolley while doing my weekly shop.  The truth is, you’ll rarely find me scouring online beauty emporiums for styling products and high-end shampoos.  I’d rather spend my money on lipstick.

Which is why LUSH have surprised me with this bottle of shampoo.

LUSH Rehab Shampoo_01

LUSH Rehab shampoo describes itself as a “restorative and repairing” shampoo with extracts of pineapple, papaya, and olive oil to moisturise and “take your hair back to its healthiest, glossiest state”.  You wouldn’t know any of this without reading up on it because frankly, it doesn’t feel or smell like a traditional “SOS-type” shampoo.

My hair is dry but not brittle and to be fair, is in better condition since swapping my permanent hair colours for semi-permanent almost a year ago… but still, it could never be described as soft or silky.  Introduce my hair to a hairdryer and I’m finished within three-minutes, whereas on the rare occasion that I style Leila’s… I get killer arm ache long before her hair shows any signs of drying.

I also suffer from an itchy scalp.  It comes and it goes, focusing upon the change of seasons but it lurks nonetheless, waiting to flare up in great crusts of scalp-soreness.

LUSH Rehab Shampoo_02

I’ve been using the LUSH Rehab Shampoo for around two months now, washing my hair every other day and I’ve been impressed with the noticeable improvement in both scalp-sensitivity and the general condition of my hair which feels more balanced: less oily at the roots and more nourished at the ends.  The improvement has creeped up on me, I wouldn’t say that it was an overnight miracle but more a realisation that my hair and scalp simply hasn’t been this good for a long time.

My only caveat against this glowing review are those pesky pregnancy hormones that may well be skewing the results, but in all honesty, my skin is a hot mess at the moment, so I’d imagine my scalp to react in the same way.

The strong lavender-scent may be off-putting to some… it’s certainly not my favourite and wasn’t what I was expecting.  It can be a little too bracing in the mornings but I’ll happily take the aroma hit while it’s still working its magic on my locks.  The shampoo lathers really well with only a very small amount (the texture is thin and runny) so although it’s marked up at a price-point I can only just about stomach, I appreciate that a 250g bottle will actually last me a minimum of three-months before it needs replacing (I’ve got at least 1/3 left in the above bottle after two-months use).

LUSH Rehab Shampoo is priced from £5.25 for 100g and is available to buy in store and online at lush.co.uk

Quick Pick: L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Metallic Lilac

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 8 - 2014

When I first reviewed the L’Oreal Color Infallible range a couple of years back, I was impressed with the amount of pigment these little pots delivered.  They were obviously hot on the heels of Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense/Chanel Illusion D’Ombre high-end releases and presented an inexpensive way to jump on the is-it-cream-or-is-it-powder bandwagon.

My only issue with them back then was with their staying power as I found them sliding around on my lids after a few hours, both with or without a primed base.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_01

However, I’m a sucker for my purples and the limited edition Metallic Lilac release had been haunting me ever since I saw swatches a while back.  Still not quite enthused enough to hot-foot it down to Boots (how many purples does one woman actually need?) I held off until I was reminded of its existence during a late-night eBay browse.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_02

The particular beauty of this shade for me lies in its irridescence.  It has a delicate sparkle that remains on your lids without too much migration and injects the area with reflected light… something that I’m particularly partial to when I drag my sorry bones out of bed in time for the school run.

The flashes of pink in the powder prevent the shade from being too icy, and there’s a subtle greyed-out quality that will appeal to those of us who don’t want our eyeshadows to scream too loudly at passers-by.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_03

I use a flat brush to apply this to the center of my primed lid before buffing out the edges for a softer finish.  I’m wearing it today on the lower lashline, a little heavier than I would across the lid and it adds a look-twice amount of colour without being over the top.  Longevity still isn’t the greatest on the lids for me but I’m a little more lenient nowadays, less demanding of staying power in my old age… perhaps I just don’t need all-day-long wear anymore.

That being said, I still get around 5 hours with a primer, so it’s not too bad.  I also should point out that I do believe that I’m in the minority with grumbling about wear issues with this range of eyeshadow.  Most bloggers tend to find that this gives great all-day wear with a primed base.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_04

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_05

You can pick the L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Metallic Lilac up on eBay from £2.25 with free postage.  Or you can go to Subway and buy a bacon sub with a drink for £2.00 – I won’t hold it against you if you choose the bacon, there’s no easy answer to this one.

Deal Alert: 20% off Lilash for one hour only!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 29 - 2013

It’s not often you can find a reduction on the legendary lash-extending Lilash and Librow, so hold on to your mascara wands because the UK’s only authorised stockist is having a flash sale on ‘em today!

lilash-uk

Log onto Powder Rooms between 10am – 12pm this morning (yes, you’ve only got two hours folks!) to get your hands on a tube at 20% off the RRP.  If you’re taking advantage, you’ll need to use the code “blackfriday” at checkout to claim the discount.

If you’re not sure what Lilash can do for you, check out this great review from Bubblegarm.

When good hormones go bad. My quest to smell like a man!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 18 - 2013

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m totally blaming the pregnancy hormones for this one.  Whether or not they are actually culpable remains to be seen but it feels slightly less shameful to rest the responsibility upon my ever-increasing levels of hormonal angst.

Some women eat coal, crave the taste of rubber and leather… me?  Well, I just want to smell like all of those things instead.  You can keep your girly florals, sweet fruits, and vomit-worthy vanillas… give me all of the MAN SCENTS.

IMG_3168

Were my pockets big enough, I’d carry the above candles around with me 24/7, pausing regularly for a sniff before continuing on my way.  My Jonathan Ward Woodstock candle, which I picked up whilst scouring the shelves at T.K. Maxx is the least masculine of the trio and perfect for the season, reminding me of a dampened but very-much-alive forest floor… woody and aromatic.

My Mum picked up the Rigaud Cuir de Kyara candle for me after spotting it nestled on a tabletop at her local Emmaus in France.  She said that the smell of pure, unadulterated leather “nearly knocked her head off” and thus, knew instantly that I would fall in love with it.  She was right.  It’s a blinder and I’m now obsessed with finding other candles from this Parisian brand.

Finally, and thanks to a Zuneta/Amazon bargain, I’m pleased to finally be able to add this Malin + Goetz Vetiver candle to my collection!  I haven’t been able to walk past the display of M+G candles in Liberty for ages without stopping to sniff this one in all its earthy, woody and downright sexy glory.

IMG_3171

But my obsession with man-scent doesn’t just stop at candles.  Oh no!  It gets far more serious…

I bought L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea for Two during their Summer sale a couple of years ago and it was love at first sniff but recently, I just can’t get enough of it and have upgraded to a massive 100ml bottle in order to get my fix.  The perfect blend of smoky embers, honeyed tobacco and warming ginger to keep all thoughts of frostiness at bay this Winter.

Ahhh, Molton Brown… I remember when I first came across your distinctively delicious Re-Charge Black Pepper scent (now called black peppercorn) a few years ago whilst staying at a hotel in Basel.  To this day, I kick myself for being good and not stealing all the hotel toiletries, it just felt too naughty to take the ones that I hadn’t actually opened to use during my stay!  Instead, I scoop up other people’s spoils on eBay and long for the candle version!

My final fragrant craving is one that Mr. L is less than impressed with.  He can cope with sharing most of his scents with me, infact… many times, we purchase a fragrance under the certain knowledge that we’re doing so in order to share the bottle (it makes a £70 splurge so much more palatable split two ways).  My desires to wear his smells-just-like-a-freshly-wet-shaved-man Floris Santal*, however, are falling on deaf ears.  I’ve been allowed a quick spritz, twice.  Only twice.  I actually think that might constitute domestic abuse.

Are there any “boy” scents that drive you wild?  And, question is… are you wild enough to wear them?

* press sample

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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, …

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