Leila got her nails did!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 9 - 2012

Another fun shade from LittleBu making my little boo a very happy boo indeed…

My daughter’s polish collection is beginning to outdo my own!  We picked up another bottle of Emma when we were in London last month to replace her beloved red that sadly met its end when the impatient one sent it flying from the coffee table.  There was no lasting damage to the sofa (thank heavens for water-based formulas!) or that would have been the end of Leila’s foray into mini-manicures.

To say that my daughter got a little bit excited when a bottle of the creamy blue Olivia landed on the doormat is an understatement.  Well, I think that first photo probably gives you the idea – it was like watching a chocoholic discover a Twix in the fridge after the local co-op had shut its doors for the night.  If you don’t have any ishoos with painting your child’s nails (the Little BU formula is non-toxic and completely washes off with soapy water – eventually!) then it is lovely bonding time, and I never realised that L was capable of such patience and stillness!  A perfect treat for Mother’s Day?

The polishes aren’t particularly cheap at £9.95 each but the look on L’s face was pretty priceless!

* Olivia (the colour featured) was a press sample


The Laqa & Co Fat Lip Pencil

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 3 - 2012

There’s nothing like feeling the pull of a good lemming and I take great pride in both creating and crushing them in almost equal measure.  Ultimately though, it feels a little bit more heart-warming to instill a good dose of the ‘want its’ in both yourself and others.  I knew as soon as I laid my eyes on these chubby little pencils, I had the easiest lemming post in the world on my hands.

Laqa & Co are a brand best known for their nail polish pens which promise to dispense glossy colour to your tips in just a couple of clicks (call the ad men, I’ve just made up that rhyme!).  The U.S. brand take great pride in promoting up-and-coming designers by featuring their work on the packaging and profiling them on their website.  It’s a match made in heaven for producing some beautifully quirky products that appeal to the ‘gotta catch them all’ magpie mentality.

I was recently introduced to their latest product… the Fat Lip Pencil*.

Just as beautifully designed as the polish pens, these lip pencils are ridiculously cute.  There are five shades available in a chunky, wind-up form… you’ll like the shade names: Wolfman, Fairyblood, Ring of Fire, Lambchop, and Bossy Boots.  I think I may aswell call my lip collection complete now that I own a lipstick called Lambchop no?  I mean, it just doesn’t get any better.  Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case, I’m very, very sorry.

So, cuteness overload aside… let’s take a closer look at these shades.

The shades range from the sheer to the uber-pigmented.  They’re fairly inconsistent in terms of glossiness with some shades appearing more matte despite the website describing each of them as glossy.  The texture also varies across the range with Bossy Boots having the most gloriously smooth texture compared to the firmer-feeling Wolfman which dragged a little on my lips.  Staying power was better than average for most shades with the mattes holding up particularly well throughout the day.

Wolfman: A firm-textured super pale pink that works best if pre-warmed on the back of your hand before applying.  It’s a little chalky looking but covers my pigmented bits with ease.

Fairyblood: Laqa & Co describe this one as a glossy sheer peach with shimmery flecks of gold but because this one is sheerer, my colouring turns this one much cooler on me.  I can imagine it looking quite different on someone with a warmer skintone.  This is a really nice, natural-looking nude on my lips giving a polished but not made-up feel.

Lambchop: A vibrant blue-pink with  pepto-bismol brightness.  What a scorching shade for spring/summer!  This leans more matte and as a result, lasts well throughout the day needing only a couple of touchups.  Again, this one benefits from warming up before application.

Ring of Fire: Well, well.  Stop sniggering at the back there.  Ring of Fire is a cool-toned red with a hint of raspberry.  This is one of the creamier shades and packs an impressive punch of pigmentation to boot.

Bossy Boots: My favourite of the five.  A beautiful my-lips-but-better shade that layers into a sheer, very wearable red.  It’s also the most glossy of all shades whilst still retaining a true lipstick feel.

I love the portability of the range and the fact that unlike the NYX jumbo pencils, I don’t need to worry about carrying a pencil sharpener around with me!  The shades are comprehensive and feel fresh and modern with non-frosty finishes.  They’re cute enough to gift but if that’s your intention, be aware – you may just end up keeping it for yourself!

Laqa & Co Fat Lip Pencils are reasonably priced at £13 each and available to buy online at www.powderrooms.com – Which one is your favourite?

* press samples

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 25 - 2012

A few weeks ago I treated myself to a new L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrance and I was completely torn between the fruity Mure et Musc and the floaty La Chasse Aux Papillons.  In the end, it came down to longevity… I had a sample of the Mure et Musc from my Discovery Coffret and although it smelled divine, it disappeared from my skin after a very short 40 or so minutes.  La Chasse Aux Papillons it was!

La Chasse Aux Papillons is a beautiful Spring fragrance, almost the antithesis to everything I usually love in a perfume.  I generally favour warmth, spice, leather… everything that’s dark and best reserved for Wintery days or cool evenings.  This is light, floaty and a little bit ethereal.  It opens with a gentle fan of tuberose and orange blossom, a combination that evokes the kind of feelings that I associate with a beautifully, sunny day.  It’s a little bit soapy in a freshly laundered way but this element is as light on the nose as the tuberose.  My one disappointment with this beautiful fragrance is that longevity-wise, I don’t get much more than a couple of hours wear from it.

For me, there’s nothing overtly sexy about La Chasse Aux Papillons, it breathes too much light and playfulness for that, it makes me want to step into a layered chiffon skirt and feel a warm breeze against my bare skin.  Realistically, it’s more of a casual jeans and white tee kinda fragrance, only fashion bloggers and models wear chiffon skirts right?  Anyway, it fills me with hope of warm days and white flowers, and frankly, that’s no bad thing.

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons is available to buy instore and online at Harrods, priced at £78 for 100ml EdT

It’s more than I can do to write this post without pointing out the horrible spelling of a beautiful name.  It’s only my opinion so cool it with the evils oh “Layla’s” of the world.  But just so you know, it’s L.E.I.L.A.  Ok?

Anyway, back to the polishes… I’m just gonna let the pictures do the talking here.

Coral Glam

Mercury Twilight

Flash Black

Layla is an Italian brand of which I know practically nothing about.  Each shade shown above was a quick-drying three coater.  Wear was fairly crappy despite the nail prep (you’re supposed to buff the nail beds to a ridge-free shine before applying).  Admittedly, I didn’t experience chipping but I did have tip wear by the end of the first day (tried both with and without a top coat).  Still, when something is this beautiful – you tend to be a little more lenient on it no?

The bottles are 10ml each and the holographic effect is beautifully dramatic in each of them.  You should note that although Flash Black looks a touch duller than the other two, it’s only because the sun was starting to set by the time I was able to take photos.  Poor Flash Black, it’s just as a vibrantly blingy in real life.

Do you like these?

I paid £11.25 for each of these and bought them online from Simply Occasions, who I believe is the only UK stockist.

Springtime in the Sahara FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 22 - 2012

My poor, poor face.  I’m in the middle of a snot fest and I’m now understanding why I was brought up on a diet of haliborange.  Throughout the year I’m not a terribly sickly person (I was as a kid) which is just aswell because I’m the biggest wimp you could meet (probably).  I even have a ‘cold’ voice – you know that weak-sounding, more-than-slightly whiney tone that resonates through the nose more than the throat?  My poor family.  Anyway, this week’s cold has been particularly frustrating because of how beautiful it’s been outside!  The whole family have had it and thus we’ve been mostly quarantined indoors through the weekend.  I decided to make a break for it yesterday and thus needed a face of makeup to disguise my ravaged skin.  It’s so dry and dull, combined with the snot-induced nose flakes and hormonal jaw-line mega zits?  Not pretty.

I massaged my freshly-washed skin with a combination of Liz Earle SuperSkin Concentrate* and Alpha H All For Eve Age Delay Facial Oil* in an attempt to revive some life.  Kinda like a cardiac massage for the face before giving my driest spots (flakey bits) at light cover of Lucas Paw Paw Ointment (this stuff is great for disguising nose flakes).  I went with the spring-like weather and injected some colour onto my face with a bright streak of blue under my lower lashline.  This is my favourite way to wear the shade and I do it quite a lot in the Summer.  Anyway, enough talk.  Here’s my Springtime in the Sahara FOTD:

I think I could have done with a touch of highlighter but I’m otherwise looking fairly perky considering I felt like DEATH.  Like my Tammy Faye Baker eyelashes?  Tough – I do!  I never put that much on my lower lashes normally but now I’m gonna (until I get bored of it).

I’m wearing:

Skinfood Gingko Green BB Cream
Priori Perfecting Mineral Foundation (lightly buffed where I needed more coverage)*
Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer

KIKO Automatic Waterproof Eyeliner
Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour in Marina under the lower lashline
Benefit They’re Real Mascara*
Illamasqua Eye Brow Cake in Gaze (I found it, I found it!)

Benefit Hervana Blush* (I did promise you a FOTD with this beauty)
Boots No7 Vital Brights Lipstick in Blooming Pink*

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What do you think?  Bit too early in the year to pull out these shades?  Hope you’re well and less snotty than me!  At least the pancakes (bacon and maple syrup!) cheered me up!

* press samples

Liz Earle launches new Beauty Insider mag!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 20 - 2012

If you’ve previously enjoyed the quarterly newsletters from Liz Earle, you’ll be pleased to know that the company have just launched a new monthly magazine for their UK subscribers, Beauty Insider.  The magazine features behind-the-scenes stories, latest news, and expert features including hints and tips from Liz herself.

Each Beauty Insider issue features a new skincare essentials regime with free UK standard p&p and will, each month, come complete with a complimentary gift.  This month features the award-winning Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask to help combat dry, parched skin and solve seasonal skincare woes.

If you’ve recently ordered from the website and haven’t received your copy of the magazine, give their customer centre a call to request a copy.  A quick heads up: if you need to stock up on any of your Liz Earle essentials, now is the time to do it – the brand’s Facebook page confirms that prices will be rising from the 1st March.

Lanolips Herbal Treatment Body Oil? Oil have some of that fnarr fnarr!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 17 - 2012

Having spent the afternoon skirting around the possibility of knuckling down and doing some actual work, I was indulging in one of my favourite evening procrastination activities (online shopping), when looksee what I spotted!

Lanolips Herbal Treatment Body Oil.  Holy mother of all things oily and lanoliny.

If like me, you’re a fan of body oils  – you’ll be delighted to hear that this one is completely free from mineral oil.  It’s a super-concentrate of Ultra Pure Grade Lanolin Oil with extracts of Pine and Eucalyptus thus needing no petro-chemical fillers, note the 60ml sizing which I’m guessing means that a little is destined to go a very long way.  There’s just one thing… where’s Lady Lamb gone?!

Ok, now I’ve got that off my chest, back to the oil…

I personally apply my body oils whilst still in the shower over skin that has been wiped with a flannel (not dried) to lock in the maximum amount of moisture.  It’s the quickest, least messy way I know of giving my skin a suppleness boost in this icy weather.

Lanolips Herbal Treatment Body Oil is priced at £9.99 and available online now from Victoria Health (who may or may not be harbouring one lady lamb)

Do you use body oils or creams?  Miss Lady Lamb too?

Luxurious lips that cost a pretty penny with Lubatti

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 8 - 2012

Luxury skincare brand Lubatti have released their latest skincare product in the form of Anti-age Wonderlip which has been specifically designed to help increase lip volume whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  I was sent a tube a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces thanks to the recent cold snap.

The tiny 10ml tube is filled with a deliciously-light, gently scented balm that promises to nourish lips whilst providing a plumped up pout with less of those pesky fine lines and lip wrinkles.  First things first, it works… really, really well but not in the stinging, lip-irritating way that lip volumisers usually plump.  This is a silicone-heavy lip primer that fills the furrows and smoothes the lip texture, creating the illusion of a prettier pout.  That’s not to say that there are no long-term skincare benefits to help promote lip volume, but first and foremost – think of this as a non-drying lip primer.

And the term non-drying is key here, as most lip primers I’ve tried in the past leave my lips looking good but feeling tight.  The Lubatti Anti-age Wonderlip* manages to prime without any unwanted side-effects.  Except for one.  A great, big dent in your wallet.  Priced at £29, it’s a costly addition to your skincare routine but seeing as it offers a tangible difference – I have visions of this becoming a bit of a cult product among those who can afford such luxuries.

If you suffer from dry lips, I think you’ll probably still need the support of something a little more heavy duty on the moisturisation front and paired with a nightly application of Lanolips 101, this has become a bit of a dream team lip-combo.  Not one that I can afford to sustain… but it’s very, very lovely while it lasts.

Ingredients: Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Cera Alba, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate, C 18-21 Alkane, Vp/hexadecene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Tribehenin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Aroma, Sorbitan Isostearate, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol.

Lubatti Anti-age Wonderlip is priced at £29 and available online from lubatti.co.uk

* press sample

If Liz Earle did nail polish…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2012

…it would probably be a lot less stinky/toxic than this one!

However, I was bored and looking at a bottle of Instant Boost Skin Tonic when I decided that I wanted to do another franken polish.  The British brand are known for the packaging’s calming hue and I thought I’d have a go at replicating the iconic shade.  I think I did rather well (if I do say so myself!)

Mine is just a hint less green, a tiny hint – but enough to annoy me. (YOU’VE DONE IT WRONG!)

Still, it looks very pretty and now I’ve totally accessorised my skincare!

Sad?  Me?  Sod off.  You know that Liz Earle-coloured nail polish is the coolest thing you’ve seen all week (ignore the fact it’s Monday).

New Year Honours List 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 26 - 2012

In a list devoid of MPs, philanthropists, and celebrities – I bring you 12 products that have impressed me beyond my expectations over the past 12 months. This wasn’t easy to compile. Infact, it was so hard that it’s now nearly February and I’ve only just published it.

Some were a given from the moment I used them (Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner), some were growers (Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil), but all of them have left a real impression for achieving what their claims suggest and let’s face it, that’s what out beauty-loving hearts desire most.

Optrex Itchy/Allergy Eye Drops  |  Lanolips 101 Ointment  |  St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray  |  Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors

Optrex make eye drops for seemingly every occassion and their Optrex Itchy Eye Drops have saved my poor peepers numerous times throughout the year.  I actually prefer their Optrex Allergy Eyes formula for the Summer months when my eyes are really suffering but I find them quite hard to get hold of (it’s over the counter stuff) and so pharmacists always offer me the Optrex Itchy Eye Drops instead.  To be fair, they both work but nothing soothes the feeling of wanting to wash your eyeballs under a running tap (and swill your eye sockets out while you’re at it) faster or more effectively than the Optrex Allergy Eyes formula.

Another product that goes beyond the pretty to simply make my life more comfortable is Lanolips 101 Ointment.  This nourishing, thick balm is as much a part of my nightly routine as washing my face or repeatedly checking Twitter on my phone after turning off my computer.  It’s simple existence means that my lips never peel or crack, as used to be the case throughout the winter months and if I like a new lipstick, I buy it based on how much I like the shade without caring about how drying the formula may prove to be.

My milk-bottle legs are anticipating the return of the warmer weather with a renewed vigour thanks to St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray.  I’m surprising myself by including a tanning product in my honours list – I really don’t care much about being tanned… but, this product surpassed all expectations of turning my blue-tinged pins into something that I wouldn’t mind showing off when the sun finally peeks out from behind the UK’s perpetual blanket of cloud cover.

As much as the U.S. brand have released some stonking palettes this year, it’s these Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors that have been ticking all the right boxes for me this year.  They pack a supreme punch of colour, offer maximum convenience and last well throughout the day.  The shades I own are all searingly bright and obnoxious, just the way I’ve been liking my lip shades this year.  These are real beauties and I can’t wait to see if Urban Decay add to the lineup in 2012.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  |  Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil  |  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil  |  Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner

An everyday staple achieves its status by being dependable, consistent, and easy to use.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara has been my go-to mascara since its release last August.  It extends and volumises my lashes with an inky formula and doesn’t let me down by smudging or flaking throughout the day.  Once it’s time for bed – it doesn’t give my cleansing oil any arguments and I’m still enjoying the same, usable formula from the original tube that I was given all those months ago.  It’s a solid but impressive addition to my makeup bag.

2011 has been a year of weight loss (and gain, and loss again) for me.  I knew from the start that I’d be putting my skin through the mill on my quest for a less flabby existence and I’ve been using various body oils with my cellulite massager in an attempt to keep my skin elastic, supple and unblemished.  While they all did a good job at moisturising, I wasn’t sure that they were achieving much more than this until I began to use Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil toward the end of last year.  Aside from it smelling as delicious as you’d expect from the British brand, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in skin-tone, texture and dare I say it… cellulite.

Another major concern over the past year has been the constant flare-ups that have turned my scalp into an itching, flaking mess.  I would start a new shampoo, only to be forced into discontinuing its use a month later.  I tried SLS-free which seemed to improve things for a while, though still didn’t eradicate the problem completely.  I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil (non-stinky) for a few months now and have so far, touch wood, not had a flare-up that’s been severe enough to cause any real misery.  I also find the oil effective at soothing any persistent itches alongside a welcome side-effect of improving the condition of my dry hair.

If I could only choose one, my product of the year would go to Avon’s Mega Impact Eye Liner for being outrageously awesome at such a reasonable price.  The blacker-than-black formula applies as smoothly as a gel with no tugging along the delicate waterline.  Give it a few moments to set and you’ll be treated to a full day of hard-wearing, sultry lashlines that resist smudging and transfer like real troopers.  They have a new metallic shade coming out for Spring, look out for it!

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil  |  Lumos High Speed Top Coat (try eBay if you’re not a pro)  |  Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream  |  NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I’ve always loved facial oils but have only recently discovered the true extent of their capabilities.  Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil is a wondrous concoction that seamlessly melts into my skin to give an instant glow on those days when my complexion is feeling particularly dull and drained by the cold weather.  Perhaps even more enlightening is the oil’s ability to turn a dud foundation into a keeper.  I’ve been adding a few drops (during application) to foundations that I consider dry-skin unfriendly and have been amazed at Suti’s ability to make the formula more compatible to my winter skin.  Lots of money saved thanks to this one!

So good do I consider the Lumos High Speed Top Coat, that I’ve bought the entire family!  From salon-sized down to purse-friendly bottles, they speed-dry my nail polish without causing shrinkage or becoming a thick, unusable mess in the bottle before I’ve reached the halfway mark.  The Lumos System also encourages you to use the High Impact Bottom Coat to achieve maximum results and longevity from your manicures but as someone who doesn’t generally suffer from polish chips, I’m happy to report that for me, it works as well with or without.

2011 was the year that B.B Creams hit the Western world with a vengeance and some bandwagon-jumping efforts from the major cosmetic players have left consumers wondering if there’s any difference between B.B Creams and Tinted Moisturisers with added SPF.  If you want to try a true B.B. Cream without the big-budget advertising hype – I can’t recommend the Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream highly enough.  It evens my skin-tone, gives serious sun protection, and calms my redness-prone skin in an instant.

I get annoyed with the NYX Cosmetics incarnation in the UK but if there’s one thing worth picking up, it’s the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that come in a variety of shades and offer easy application, good coverage, and long-lasting colour without causing unbearable dryness or discomfort.  Remembering that these are (to be fair) matte formulas, it’s a great option for those who wince at the thought of dragging a hard-textured matte lipstick across their lips.  There are some awesome lip-popping shades to choose from too!

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So there we have my New Year Honours List – a little late, but what’s half a month between friends?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  What would you have included in yours?

* the selection includes a mixture of press samples, repurchases from what were originally press samples and my own discoveries/purchases.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Discovery Coffret for Her

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 17 - 2012

I recently took advantage of the L’Artisan Parfumeur January sales and picked up a couple of items to expand my collection. The first thing to land in my basket was a 100ml bottle of Tea for Two, my favourite fragrance. I’m halfway through my last bottle and waging a constant battle with my husband about his (over)use of my beloved. I watch him apply it, trying to keep calm, share nicely and not react but within seconds I’ve launched myself across the room, snatching it from his hands, screaming TOO MUCH, YOU ARE USING TOO MUCH. Then I thrust a bottle of Old Spice at him and slink away to find a new hiding place for MY precious.

Where was I?

Oh yes, this…

The coffret contains a selection of L’Artisan Pafumeur‘s best-selling scents that lean toward the female market (you can also get a male version).  Priced at £17, the set includes: Mûre et Musc Extrême, La Chasse aux Papillons Extrême, Premier Figuier Extrême, L’Eau d’Ambre Extrême and Traversée du Bosphore.  I’ve only opened Premier Figuier Extrême so far, and have already created a bit of a lemming for myself thanks to notes that include: fig leaves, almond milk, and sandalwood.

I’m not a massive fan of the way these 5ml mini-vials open… with a peel back lid not unlike a bottle of milk, there’s no way to reseal the tiny bottles, frustrating – and with a 2 year old on the rampage, asking for trouble.

Overall, for 25ml of top quality fragrance, £17 is a very good price to pay.  If you’re wanting to dip your toes in the world of ‘posh’ perfume, this would be a great place to begin.  L’Artisan’s £5 shipping charge is prohibitive and also pretty slow for the price – it took nearly two weeks for my order to arrive.  But one sniff of Tea for Two, and I’ve forgiven them.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Discovery Coffret for Her is priced at £17 and currently available in the Sale section of their website.  Probably not for too much longer.

Winter Warmers: The ultimate Cold Weather Fragrances!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 23 - 2011

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain sledges in anticipation of blizzard-y snow and icicle snots.

There are thankfully a billion things to make up for the fact that we’ll only achieve around 6 hours of sunshine from now until February — Pringles, Quality Streets, and Christmas episodes of Eastenders would feature heavily on my list, but another thing that melts my frozen heart are the Winter fragrances that I can splash on with abandon.

Here are my TOP FIVE Winter Perfumes to ward off the big chill…

1. L’Artisan Parfumeur: Tea for Two EdT (£78.00)

Black tea, honey and an aromatic smokiness that encourages deep, long sniffs with your nose buried in your sleeve.  Most of my perfumes are unisex because I’m developing expensive tastes and I find it much easier to justify my purchases when I remind Mr. L that we can *both* use them.  It’s not true of course, as I hide them behind my scarves in my wardrobe.

Tea for Two also contains a ginger note which doesn’t present itself very well on my skin.  I consider Tea for Two to be a less-sweet, slightly less boozy version of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille.  Longevity is grand on this one but it wears close to my skin – all the better for sniffing yourself with.

2. La Prairie: Life Threads Gold EdP (£74.00 – currently £59.95 at Cheap Smells) *

La Prairie’s Life Threads Gold is a force to be reckoned with thanks to its retro leanings and powerful floriental heart.  If you like people to smell you before they see you, this one could have your name written all over it.  Notes include (are you ready?): Plum, clove, tangerine, pepper, cinnamon, corriander, rose, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, vanilla, musk, golden myrrh and precious woods.

It’s as unapologetic as it is striking – go big or go home.  Perfect for the cold weather.

I implore you to go sniff this one out – as a girly/womanly type fragrance, it’s hard to beat.  I cut my teeth on Hypnotic Poison and it harks back to all I loved about that fragrance, but this one feels like it’s for grown ups.

3. Fendi: Fan di Fendi EdP (£39.50) *

The majority of my Winter fragrant love affairs evoke a smoke, leather and amber accord that carries me away to warmer, more exotic climes.  Fan di Fendi is a kitten by comparison, rendering it very work-appropriate whilst still containing a hint to my usual leanings.

The leather base is apparent though not rough-and-ready, as if struggling to make up its mind between dominatrix and classy handbag lady.  I detect a twist of the Mediterannean thanks to a freshness from some fruity notes which include tangerine.  Silage is decent, particularly when those initial top fruity/floral notes present but it quickly calms down into a calmer experience.

4. Bottega Veneta: Bottega Veneta EdP (£42.00) *

Elegance and sophistication with a clean, smooth leather that evokes the joy of sniffing luxury leather accessories.  And so it should, coming from Bottega Veneta — purveyors of luxury handbags.  A quiet soul of a scent, work appropriate without losing the edge that sets it apart from the competition.

The leather is gentle, almost suede-like with an initial hit of citrus to remind you of its Italian heart.  It’s most similar to the Fendi but with an altogether more sophisticated personality.  It doesn’t try hard, it doesn’t have to — it’s like that girl you know who manages to ooze grace without even knowing it.

5. Parfums d’Empire: Ambre Russe (£84.50)

Perhaps the ultimate in decadence, a king of a fragrance with a boozy, amber accord that transcends all earthly dimensions.  A little goes a long way and will leave those in your company searching the room for the source of this scent that offers up a kindly lesson in “how the hell to smell amazing”.

You can’t read anything about this scent without the mentions of Tsarist Russia and that’s because you can’t wear this scent without being transported to one of those onion-domed churches, incense burning while the blizzard roars outside.  Throw in a booziness that would make vodka-loving Russians (stereotype much?) blush and you’re getting close to the experience that wearing this powerhouse offers.

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What are your favourite scents to get you through the cold Winter ahead?

* press samples

 

RANDOM

Selfridges & D&G part on bad terms…

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Men in tights…

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Josh Wood Blending Wand in Dark Brown

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

O.P.I - I Eat Mainely Lobster NOTD

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Dr Bronner's Pure Castille Soap

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Bad Apple Cosmetics, who wants a bite?

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

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

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

The Lipstick League – Week of 10.2.14

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Kryolan Supra Color as a base/primer

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Food Friday: Summer grilling with the Tefal Optigrill

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

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

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

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

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Hello? Is this thing on?

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

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

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Dear Obesity...

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

If the Met Office is to be believed, we’re ‘in for it’ (technical description) this Winter, I hope so anyway… I’ve just bought some bargain …

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