Ayurveda (in its broadest sense) on the high street…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 13 - 2012

Ayurvedic therapies have grown in popularity within the spa world this year.  The ancient holistic practices and treatments from Southern Asia are now increasingly available to book alongside the usual wraps and hot stone therapies.

Ayush Spa in Jersey – the UK’s first Ayurvedic Hotel Spa – is dedicated to the principles of Ayurvedic therapies and even offers its own Indian physician and therapists to preserve the traditions of the ancient therapies.

If, however, you don’t know your vatas from your pittas and think I’m talking a load of old kapha, don’t worry.  What has been a fairly niche buzzword within the health and beauty industry looks set to hit the mainstream.  And by “mainstream”, I mean, the “high street”.

First up are British clothing brand Monsoon, who are upping the ante with the launch of a bath and body collection, inspired by the Indian practice.  The collection features hand washes, hand and body lotions, moisturisers, body butters, body scrubs and more.  All containing natural, 100% pure plant actives that capture the spirit and knowledge of the ayurvedic tradition.  Prices start from £4.00 and there are even Christmas gift sets available to boost the well-being of your favourite aunties!

Ayurveda Monsoon Beauty

Taking the ancient principles to an even lower price point are Palmolive, with the launch of their Ayurituel shower gel range which promises a harmonious body and mind experience to leave you feeling balanced and energised.  Blimey!

The shower gels are available in three varieties: Energy, Joyous, and Tranquility – each containing exotic extracts of Indian origin including: sandalwood, Indian mulberry and neem and patchouli extracts.

Ayurveda Palmolive Shower Gel

You can’t beat a deliciously-scented shower gel on a cold morning and my pick from the range is Energy* (the orange one) with it’s warming combination of Indian Sandalwood & Ginger.  The Ayurituel range is priced at £2.99 each and available from Sainsburys.

Noticed any other buzzwords creeping in that look set to be a feature for 2013?

* press sample


Five Autumn blushers I bet you don’t own…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 25 - 2012

I’ve been dragging my heels when it comes to getting excited for Autumn. Everyone around me has gone chunky-knit/boot-buying crazy while I’ve been trying to eke out one more wear from my floral palazzo trousers before I vacuum pack them away under the bed for the Winter.

But I’m feeling zen about it now. Infact, I feel quite vindicated seeing as Autumn has now clearly arrived with a vengeance this week. Yeah, you go ahead and shiver in your new chunky knit. You brought this on yourself.

It’s not that I hate Autumn… despite my protestations, it is indeed my favourite season too and I am particularly partial to the new collections that the cooler weather brings.  I’m already contemplating vampier lips and more Autumnal blushes.  Infact, here’s five Autumn blushers that I bet you don’t own…

1. Cargo – Tonga: A beautiful, muted matte rose with a hint of mauve

2. Makeup Store – Sugarpink: A soft, dusty pink with a touch of earthiness.

3. Becca Pressed Shimmer Powder – Princess: A muted plum with a hint of bronze, scrumminess.

4. Jane Iredale – Cotton Candy: A sparkly plum with shimmer that flatters without looking too glittery.

5. T. Le Clerc – Brun Voile: A sheer, neutral brown that will go perfectly with everything.


What are your favourite Autumn blushers that don’t get the hype they deserve?

Swatch Saturday: My Face Cosmetics Pink Paradisio Blusher

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 22 - 2012

While my heart will always remain true to an undying love for peachy pink, or even better, guava blushes… I won’t deny an eternal hunt for that perfect pop of pink.  For some pale girls, it’s Benefit’s Dandelion… for others, MAC’s Well Dressed.  I’ve been partial to a bit of Cargo’s Catalina in the past but I’ve now fallen head-over-heels for an alternative: MyFace Cosmetics Pink Paradisio (or Paradiso as it’s spelled on the website).

The blusher’s packaging is pretty cumbersome… plus, the whole “look, don’t I remind you of an iPod from 2003?” dates it somewhat, in my opinion.  Having said that, it’s always handy to make space for a mirror and brush for on the go applications.  Except, this brush isn’t very good and picks up far too much product (whilst flinging it about all over the place FALL OUT STYLE).

But the product itself? Oooh, it’s good… so, so good.  A beautiful, slightly warm pink, vivid enough to provide a true ‘pop’ without delivering instant clown cheeks.  If you’re particularly fair, I’d recommend reaching for something like a stippling brush to apply Paradisio Pink with… it does pack a punch but will be kind enough to all pale skintones if treated with a little respect.  I rescued this from my untried pile before going on holiday and whilst the brand are unfortunately no longer available to buy at Boots (which is a real damn shame because I also love the MyMix foundation), you can still purchase online from myfacecosmetics.com or at the new BeautyMART retail space in Harvey Nichols.

MyFace Cosmetics R&B Rouge Blusher in Paradisio Pink is priced at £14.99 – yeah, I’m sure that price has JUMPED from what it used to be *sad face*.

What’s your favourite “pop of pink” blush?

M&S Limited Collection – That Owl-Inspired Eye Shadow Set!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2012

I don’t have quite the owl fascination that I know many people share but I can’t fail to appreciate a pretty design when I see one and this owl-inspired eyeshadow set is sure to get many of you hooting (groan – sorry).

The eyeshadow palette from the M&S Limited Collection features five neutral shades, and one flash of bold colour in the form of a jewel-toned blue.  All shades are shimmery, but is it a case of style over content when it comes to usability and value for money?  Or should you be owl over it before it flies from the shelves? (sorry, SORRY!)

The packaging is lovely, a substantial cardboard design reminiscent of many popular palettes featuring some extremely cute owl motifs on the front.  There’s no obvious mention of M&S as a brand, the packaging alludes simply to the Limited Collection rather than the shop where you buy your comfiest knickers.

Under the lid sits a generous, distortion-free mirror and six eyeshadow pans, each featuring a cut-out owl design.  These cutouts prove to be a little tricky when it comes to accessing the eyeshadow and I imagine that the sharp edges will begin to look fairly worn shortly after the initial use.  The palette comes complete with a sponge applicator… an actual brush wouldn’t have gone amiss when you have six shades to work from.

The textures are quite hard and sadly, I achieved little to no pigment from the top left shade, which on paper, was easily my favourite.  Taupe anyone?  The other shades deliver better results, some only marginally.  Swatches coming right up…

As previously stated, the top left shade is no bueno – don’t buy the palette because you think you’ve fallen in love with a new pretty taupe, you’ll be disappointed.  The remaining two shades on the top row are also a bit of a let-down.  They’re patchy and unpigmented for such strong colours (the swatch shows two swipes for each) – workable, but they make you graft to get a result.

The bottom row, however, tells a different tale.  All three shadows sitting across the lower half of the palette are quite delightful.  Rich in colour, smooth to apply and softly shimmering without any chunks of glitter.  The highlighter on the bottom right in particular is a very pretty warm champagne which will open up the eye area beautifully.

Ultimately?  Unless you absolutely must have it because you’re batshit crazy about owls, you don’t need this palette.  The shades are infinitely dupable in better formulas on the high street and because of the underwhelming performance of those top three shades, it just doesn’t offer value for money.

If you are a bit of an owl-obsessive, who cares what the shadows are like because let’s face it – you’re probably just going to stroke the box anyway.

M&S Limited Collection Shadow is available to buy instore and online at M&S, priced at £7.50

* press sample

Inexpensive Beauty Find: M&S Limited Collection Nail Polish in Leaf

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 30 - 2012

Going a bit ga-ga in the search for a lovely green polish to see you through the drearier months?

Green isn’t a colour you’d usually associate with the final weeks of Summer is it?  We’re used to seeing the shade fill Spring collections and lead the way when it comes to the pastel trends but put that thinking aside because I’ve found a rather lovely green that will work beautifully for the more subdued months ahead…

Introducing, Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Polish in Leaf.  A dusty green creme that will set you back just £3.50 for an 8ml bottle.

Two coats will achieve opacity from a formula that doesn’t need chasing around the nail to get it to lie smoothly.  For the shiniest of finishes, you’ll need a top coat but don’t let that put you off because this mini-marvel packs a punch when it comes to pigmentation.

Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Polish in Leaf is priced at £3.50 and available both instore and online at marksandspencer.com

Have you tried any M&S polishes since they revamped the line?  How do you find them?

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

For the man who has everything…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2012

Do you remember the times when men used to stick “go faster” stripes on their cars in an attempt to make them look less like Ford Cortinas and more like racing super-engines?  Those were the (halcyon) days: no seatbelts (more fatalities), no power steering (more achy arms), and no moulded bumpers (remember when the metal ones used to fall off?!)

So, what happened?  Well… technology inevitably improved and manufacturers kept up with the times.  Men, on the other hand?  They still love a Ferrari key fob to complement their Honda Civic, and if you look closely, the stripes have just been replaced by LED running lights, the flashiest of alloys, and a stainless steel gearstick knob.

But what if your fella takes the bus to work on a Monday morning?  What if he can’t just jump in his S-Class (with its top speed of 155mph), cruising down the motorway trying to avoid the lure of Starbucks at each service station he passes.  What about him huh?  Spare a thought.

Or maybe spare a few pennies instead and indulge his taste for all things automotive with the latest fragrance from Mercedes-Benz.

The company’s first foray into the world of fragrance promises a fresh, yet refined olfactory experience combining: bergamot and mandarin with a heart of violet, an aquatic freshness from the cascalone molecule (think GA’s Acqua di Gio) with spices including bourbon pepper, nutmeg and galbanum, before descending into the tried-and-tested woody base note mix.

This isn’t a review, I haven’t sniffed at the bottle…. consider this a friendly heads up.  For the man who has everything.  Except a driving license.

Available exclusively at Harrods, priced from £48 for 75ml

You know how I love to come across an unexpected beauty bargain?  Well, this one is my latest and it’s from the M&S debut Limited Collection make-up range.  The range went live last month, you can read more about the brand’s new beauty ventures in this post but the main thing you need to know about the M&S Limited Collection is that everything comes in at under £6.00

The Limited Collection includes almost everything a girl needs for her daily makeup bag from foundation to bronzer, nail polish to cheek tint and most things that fall in-between.  I was sent a few random bits and bobs from the new collection and I’ve got enough of a feel for the products to confidently call this one out as worth a look next time you’re in store.

The shadows come in a range of finishes and although I suspect that some of the base products will be a little hit and miss when it comes to shade selection (light, medium and dark anyone?) there are some funky nail shades on offer and this little gem of a liquid liner really turned my head…

This liquid liner in turquoise packs one hell of a tropical punch in the colour stakes.  It’s incredibly pigmented and doesn’t do that annoying liquid liner thing of pushing the pigment to the edges of the line, leaving the centre colour-free and in need of seven more layers.  The above swatch images show a single sweep of colour (except for the very outer “v” on the eye where for neatness’ sake I had to go over it).  My only caveat with this product is that it takes a while to dry… I’d say around 90 seconds to set, that’s quite a long time when you’ve only got five-minutes to do your face in the morning.

Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Liner in Turquoise is a complete steal at only £4.00 for 6ml.

* press sample

Taming terrifying brows!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 7 - 2012

I know that some of you will be reading this with your neatly arched brows raised in curiosity at just what on Earth could be considered “terrifying” about eyebrow hair.  The rest of you (more normal types) will be reading this, twirling your brow hairs around your index finger.

Left to their own devices, mine grow like wildfire – and I’m not talking Cara Delevingne grandiose brows here; more… Dennis Healy.  Given an extra coat of brow set, you could zip wire from here to Lands End on one of mine.

This ultimately means that I take the business of beating them into submission seriously.  I’ve stopped shaping them myself because, like a two-year old with a biro, I simply cannot be trusted with a pair of tweezers and a magnifying mirror.  Instead, I get them threaded every 5/6 weeks and this is enough to keep the arch well-defined.  Preventing them from thereafter developing into McDonald’s ‘golden arches’?  Well that bit’s up to me.

These are the brow tools that I simply couldn’t live without.

01: Mascara Spoolie.  You can either buy these as purpose-built cosmetic tools or (more thriftily) clean an old mascara wand and use that instead.  Either way, a spoolie is an absolute necessity in the fight against unruly brows.  Comb through the stragglers before snipping and brush them into place before filling.

02: Brow Set/Gel.  You can buy brow set products but I use a clear mascara.  The Maybelline Great Lash in clear is perfect for the job because it holds the hairs in place without making them feel crusty and it doesn’t leave behind a telltale ‘wet look’.

03: Brow Powder.  Much easier than pencils in my opinion.  My holy grail is the Illamasqua Brow Powder but the most important thing is to find a good shade match in whatever you use and unless your brows are naturally auburn, beware of warm-toned browns.  Many women use eyeshadow… any powder is fine.

04: Sharp pair of eyebrow scissors.  These are nothing special, I bought them years ago off eBay but they’re brilliant.  Super sharp with a precise point that trims the hair without pushing them ineffectually along the blade.  Always brush the hair upward toward the hairline and trim any that stray outside of the bulk of the brow area.  Go easy, you can always trim more but you can’t stick them back on!

05: Tweezers.  I favour the brand Tweezerman for my tweezers, particularly the wide-grip style.  There’s nothing more frustrating than a pair of tweezers that fail to pluck.  Particularly when you’ve psyched yourself up to grab an eye-watering one only to find that the points have clutched at nothing more substantial than air.  Don’t be afraid to attack anything that looks like it may contribute to a mono-brow or those random ones that appear to be sprouting far closer to your eyelid than your brow-line.

06: Angled Brow Brush.  A fairly stiff brush is best for running the powder through the brow area.  Always start filling-in from the middle of the brow to avoid depositing too much product on the inner third.  Unles you’re going for the scouse brow/Katie Price look – in which case, just dispense of the brush and grab the nearest Sharpie pen.  Also, get off my blog.

What steps do you take to keep from tripping over your eyebrows?  Do you thread and then leave them be or are you a serial tweezerer?

This is not just any beauty hall…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2012

… you know what’s coming don’t you?

This is an M&S beauty hall.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

The press release is indepth but the highlights of the new M&S Beauty Halls (which will roll-out to 100 of their nationwide stores by Summer 2013) include:

~ a range of fragrances created for M&S exclusively by Lyn Harris (of Miller Harris fame)
~ a “virtual makeover” counter to experience different looks with a single photo
~ trained and impartial beauty advisers, with a “no-hard sell” ethos
~ External brands you can’t access easily on the high-street, including: Filorga, Skyn Iceland, and Comptoir Sud Pacifique
~ New/repackaged/reformulated M&S beauty ranges including: Hello Kitty (teen cosmetics), Pure Skincare (natural, eco line), and Formula (targeted skincare)

I just keep thinking how much fun must it be to go to work and choose which brands to stock? Gizza job!

 The new M&S beauty hall is currently debuting at the High Street Kensington branch with all products and new brands available to purchase online at marksandspencer.com

Deal Alert: £20 for £50 to spend online at Murad.co.uk

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 4 - 2012

There’s been a distinct lack of good nationwide beauty deals from Groupon recently but this one is making up for it!  Spend £20 today and receive £50 credit to spend online at Murad.co.uk

There’s £5.50 postage to pay on every order under £75 but the Murad brand has a great reputation, which is more than can be said for some group-buying beauty deal websites!  If you’ve got a bit more cash to splash, you might be interested in the other deal option which is £125 Murad credit for £50 spend on the Groupon website.

All credit expires on the 5th June 2012.

If you take advantage, let me know what you get!

Miners Lip Colour in Seduction

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 29 - 2012
Cigdem is a 22 year old Journalism graduate from London with an obsession for all things fashion and beauty!  The following article is a guest submission, you can read more from Cigdem at It’s Cigdem.


I think I speak for most women when I say that my mission to find the perfect red lipstick is never over. Unlike 10 years ago, we’re now so spoilt for choice it can be a little overwhelming – there are just so many brands selling so many different shades of red!

Miners Lip Colour in Seduction is probably the lipstick with the lowest price point, as it retails at only £3.99, but (thankfully) that’s where the ‘cheapness’ ends.

Seduction is described as ‘a velvety smooth deep red’, and that’s exactly what it is. The colour is the perfect shade for creating a ‘sexy’ pout, as it has hints of blue undertones – so I wouldn’t recommend this if you want to create a bright, retro red lip. I think it’s a good colour if you want to create an edgy, almost gothic look.

Applying it in different way can certainly alter the colour. I found that it was slightly too dark for me when I applied the lipstick straight from the bullet, but with a lip brush (as in the photo) the colour blended in with the pink tones in my lip, creating a colour that looked much better.

I wore this lipstick for about 5 hours and the colour did not wear off at all. It lasted through cups of tea and only came off because I wiped it off with a wipe, and by the end of the day my lips still felt smooth, meaning the long lasting colour didn’t try my lips out.

This lipstick definitely ticks a lot the boxes: it provides strong, long lasting colour, which doesn’t dry out over time. Is it my perfect red lipstick? I’m going to say no, only because I feel like I could find a shade of red that would suit my colouring much better. But apart from the colour, Miners Lip Colour is definitely great value for money!

Miners Lip Colour in Seduction is available online from www.minerscosmetics.co.uk and throughout selected pharmacies for £3.99 (online postage is £1.99).

If you would like to submit a non-commercial post to be considered for inclusion on Lipglossiping.com, please email for more details.

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