Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford: Line Diffuser

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 26 - 2011

You say tomato, I say tomato (that works so much better in person).  They say Line Diffuser: Wrinkle Smoothing Capsules*, I say Primer (mine’s snappier).

Firstly, the capsules instill that “squee cuteness!” thing in me that I need to resolve before I buy up half the Disney store on my next visit.  Secondly, this thing is packed full of ‘cones… it has more ‘cones in it than an Ice Cream van parked outside IBM.

When I saw this I was all “hmmm, this ain’t skincare!”, “but it sounds like skincare?”… “nahhh, this ain’t ‘skincare’”.

Apparently, it IS skincare.  Here’s the ingredients, I’ll let you make your own mind up.

I like the sound of the peptides… so I’m gonna call it a primer with ‘skincare benefits’.  That’s a compromise to you and me.

I apply it under makeup as recommended and the silicone helps me achieve baby-soft, velvety skin in an instant.  Infact I’ve been a bit sarky about this product so far but I can’t deny that it’s actually one of the best ‘primers’ I’ve used.

My foundation glides on once the Line Diffuser has had a minute to dry down.  You know those rare, blissful times when you get a great foundation application that looks flawless?  Since using these prior to buffing in my liquid foundation, all applications have looked flawless.  It simply makes my skin look smoother and more even-textured.   I don’t have anything other than a few fine lines around my eyes to test claims on wrinkle-smoothing but I’m liking its pore polyfilling abilities a lot.

I don’t believe I’ve achieved any additional longevity from my foundation since using this but I am finding this noticeably more suited to my skin than my Smashbox primer or my MAC Prep + Prime.

I’m torn.  I think the marketing as to what it actually is, is a bit squiffy… it’s potentially a little drying with daily use (best reserved for days when you NEED great skin?) and it’s pricey at £29.95 for 60 capsules which works out at an overall volume of around 21ml.

But I’m loving its work.  Something I never thought I’d say about a brand brought to life by Cindy Crawford.  I know that’s snobby… that’s snobby right?  Still… she does rock the 90s brown lip like no other!

Meaningful Beauty’s Line Diffuser Wrinkle Smoothing Capsules are priced at £29.95 and can be purchased online at www.meaningfulbeauty.co.uk (a Guthy Renker site).

* press sample


Just how magical is MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder?

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 16 - 2011

You may have noticed that I’m not a prolific MAC buyer… it’s not some conscious decision to avoid MAC, I just don’t have access to the brand in Southampton.  My nearest MAC store is a good 45 minute drive away and so I generally only pick up bits and bobs when I’m in London.

Last time I was in the MAC store in Covent Garden, I was enjoying the company of Katie from My Lips But Better and she pointed out this MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder to me.  Well, actually… she kinda dragged me to the pot and insisted that I HAD to play with it.  It was love at first touch… a liquid/powder/uber cool thing?  Get. In. My. Bag.

I used the tip of a pen to pop some holes through the sticker covering the sifter but it doesn’t actually work that well as the powder is reluctant to dispense without a lot of tapping.  I think you’d be better off peeling back about a quarter of the sticker and snipping the excess.

So, what is this Magically Cool Liquid Powder thing all about anyway?  I’ll let MAC explain…

An alchemical fusion that charms water droplets into a loose powder while remaining over 50 percent H2O.

This feather-light silky powder goes on with the refreshing impact of an ocean mist.
What’s more, this magical melange contains just enough optical blurring via its light-diffusing pigments to render skin’s surface into line-softened, natural luminosity.

How magical is that?

Magical indeed… I’ve swatched it heavily below so you can see the shade.

I bought the palest shade of the three available, Truth & Light.  At the time of purchasing, I thought I was buying it as a highlighter… but I’m delighted to be able to wear it as a setting powder.  I think of it in the same way I think of my Guerlain Metorites.  A light dusting for an added dimension of luminosity.

A significant difference with the MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder though is in its longevity.  The swatch above needed to be washed off, rubbing with my hand wouldn’t budge it!  This makes for an excellent setting powder but some tricky application issues.

I initially applied this with a normal powder brush and it transferred way too much product to my face.  If you apply too much, it balls up and will not blend, not to mention it sits there caked on your face looking pretty awful.  I’ve since started using my Sonia Kashuk stippling brush which deposits the perfect amount of product and delivers a wonderful cooling sensation!

Horrible photo but hopefully you can make out a bit of sheen (NO SPARKLE!) where the light hits my cheeks.

I’m really pleased with my purchase, one of my favourites MAC buys in a very long time!

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder is available on counter and online priced at £23.50 for 28g of product.

Mii Cosmetics Illuminating Face Base SPF15

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 13 - 2011

I mentioned this new Mii Cosmetics base last week as something a li’l special.  I’ve been wearing it solidly since then in an effort to pin down exactly what it is that makes it stand out for me…

I mean look at it…

It’s a bit too dark and a bit too peachy.  It comes in a big plunge pot and heaven knows, I hate getting product under my finger nails.

This is the lightest of 5 shades, 01 Gentle Glow and you get 25g of product for your pennies.  If you’re paler than a NW15 – I would be hesitant to recommend it at all.  Yes, it’s sheer and has the potential to blend without too much bother but really… the colour may well limit your enjoyment of this product.  And that’s a shame, because this is an awesome base.

Mii Cosmetics Illuminating Face Base (£25.20) is for drier skin types and in my humble opinion, you won’t appreciate this product if you’re oily… it’s incredibly luminizing without sheen or glitter, imparting moisture and dewiness as if by magic.

I suffer the kind of dryness that concentrates itself in tiny flakes around my nose and eyebrows, I occasionally get scaly patches under my eyes and when things are out of control in the winter, a general dullness to the overall appearance of my skin.  I don’t have anything as bad as that at the moment… but I know how it feels on my skin in comparison to other products I’ve used and I’m going to love this when the weather turns cooler.

It’s sheer… more like a tinted moisturizer, don’t expect blemish coverage but it will dampen mild redness and uneven skintones nicely.  It’s very creamy and my preferred method of application is with my fingers because I can literally feel the product melting and gliding more smoothly as it heats up from the warmth.  Once on, I bounce my (dry) beauty blender over my skin to remove any excess (something I do with most foundations that I use my fingers to apply) and set with a finishing powder.

For extra coverage, I wait a few minutes (it feels quite ‘wet’ when you first apply) before going back in with a light dusting of mineral foundation.

Want to see a direct before/after comparison?  I didn’t finish off with any additional powder because I thought you might like to see the coverage…

I would love, LOVE Mii to create something with the same formula but with slightly heavier coverage and in a tube.  I would literally sell Leila’s Granny (sorry Mum) for that product.  As it stands… I’m still hugely enamoured.  It’s dewy, fairly long-lasting (about 8hrs with a little slip on my nose) and doesn’t grumble when I slap other face products over it to get better coverage.

Here’s a shot showing the base combined with finishing powder (MAC Magically Cool <3)…

If you already have awesome normal or normal/dry skin and you’re looking for sheer, summer coverage… do see if you can discover Mii Cosmetics Illuminating Face Base.  I really don’t think you’d be disappointed.

Mii Cosmetics are sold exclusively in Spas/Salons, call 0845 217 1360 to find your nearest.

* PR sample

Taup-ally Obsessed with Maybelline’s Silken Taupe!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 10 - 2011

Following my pledge to suffocate the makeup snob in me that threatens to overwhelm, I spent a little while swatching at the Maybelline stand in my local Tesco the other evening.  OK, I swatched at all of them, I’m a quick healer.  Infact, I was gone for so long (just popping out for a pint of milk dear!) that Mr. L looked slightly white-faced when I returned home after 10pm having forgotten to take my phone.  Oops.

I thought I’d share some photos of my favourite purchase of the evening, Maybelline’s Eye Studio Mono Eye Shadow in Silken Taupe (£4.09)

Alright, so it’s not exactly the Show Orchid of the eyeshadow world.  It’s taupe.  But damnit, I like my taupes… and I like them a lot.  Wanna know how much?  Well… here’s some potential dupes I pulled out…

From left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Shu Uemura M810 ♦ Helena Rubenstein Dark Ebony Duo ♦ NARS Ashes to Ashes ♦ Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha

Swatched from left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Shu Uemura M810 ♦ Helena Rubenstein Dark Ebony Duo ♦ NARS Ashes to Ashes ♦ Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha

Wait… there’s more…

From left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Chanel Safari ♦ MAC Style Snob ♦ Paul & Joe #23 ♦ MAC Satin Taupe

Swatched from left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Chanel Safari ♦ MAC Style Snob ♦ Paul & Joe #23 ♦ MAC Satin Taupe

Last one, I promise…

From left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Stila Cloud

Swatched from left to right: Maybelline Silken Taupe ♦ Stila Cloud

The moral of this post of boring eyeshadows is…

a).  Go and buy Maybelline’s Silken Taupe right now.

b). Count your neutral shades and work out just how many millenia it will take to use them up.

c). If you want to borrow a taupe, you’ll have to ask elsewhere… I don’t seem to have very many, must rectify this.

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* estee lauder’s tempting mocha was a pr sample

Mii Cosmetics Minerals Irresistible Face Base SPF25

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 8 - 2011

I was recently introduced to a new salon-brand: Mii Cosmetics, who carry an astonishingly wide range of products.  The range is divided cleanly into two sections: Mineral and, well… non-mineral.  The mineral lineup is packaged in black boxes to clearly distinguish from the rest which you’ll find housed in white packaging.

From the bits that I’ve had the opportunity to play with, the bases in particular stand out as something special,  I can see one of them becoming a bit of a hero product for the brand, it’s not like anything I’ve come across before.

I’ll tell you more about that one a little later in the week… I know, I’m teasing… sorry.

I’ll begin with the straight-up, no-messing mineral foundation: Irresistible Face Base (£21), a loose mineral foundation powder with a sifter.  It comes in 7 shades and naturally, I’m showing you 01 Precious Porcelain.

Mii Cosmetics Perfect Mineral Brush (£28.95) also shown.

For an 01, it’s actually a little dark.  It matches me well enough but if you’re paler than a NW15 you might struggle with this.  I swatched it alongside my Bare Minerals foundation in fair and it was a good shade darker.  I find the Bare Minerals a little too light for me in the Summer months so, selfishly… this pleases me.

Swatched heavily on my hand, it looks a little warm but to my eye it’s pretty neutral once you take away the pink bias in my skin.  You should be able to make out the sheen in the swatch… less sparkly than my Bare Minerals but a little more glowy.  It also feels more finely milled than the Bare Minerals, which I have to admit, surprised me.

Having said that, it does offer less coverage.  A personal preference but I’m not skin-confident enough to wear this alone over bare skin.  However, combined with one of the other Mii Cosmetics bases (the one I’ll be showing you later in the week!), the pairing delivers flawless but dewy, natural looking skin.  My favourite kind.

A promising start!

Mii Cosmetics are sold exclusively in Spas/Salons, call 0845 217 1360 to find your nearest.

* pr sample

Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2011

Do you know the last time I did a mascara review?  No, me neither… but it’s been a hella long time.  I used to do at least one a month but I ended up disillusioning myself seeing such little overall difference between the various tubes available.

One Mascara that I’ve always meant to pick up and try is the Max Factor False Lash Effect which I know often gets loads of praise from MUA circles.  I umm’ed and ahh’ed in Boots over whether to go for the original or this new spangly looking purple one.  I lived up to my girly stereotype and went for the spangly one.

See?  Spangly.

How about more important things though, like brush… formula… ability to falsify lashes?

They say:

False Lash Effect Fusion combines Max Factor’s biggest ever volumising brush with its latest lengthening formula to create thicker and longer lashes. For those girls who want an extreme lash look, they’ve come to the right place.

I say, the chunky brush is pretty nice… but I imagine that for those with short lashes it could be a nightmare.  I always have difficulty trying to detect whether the bristles are indeed bristles, plastic or rubber… these feel like stumpy old-style bristles to me but I could be wrong.  It’s been known to happen!

The formula is pretty good.  I hate thin formulas that practically drip off the brush (I’m looking at you Bourjois 1001 cils) but I equally dislike mascaras that last about 3 weeks before drying up.  This is middle of the road.

Are the results middle of the road too?  See for yourselves…

I see a good amount of volume and I love how the Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion has emphasised my lashline so heavily but I’m not seeing the length I was hoping for from this mascara.

I’m gonna try combining it with my favourite length-boosting mascara… who knows, I may stumble upon the ‘ultimate’ pairing!

You can currently purchase Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion for a very reasonable £8.99 (saving £3 off the original price) at Boots.

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Have you tried Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara yet?  How about the original?

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #19 – Pretty Purple!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 13 - 2011

And so my MUFE Aqua Cream collection grows because I wasn’t able to help myself when I saw a swatch of Aqua Cream #19 and couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks afterward!

MUFE Aqua Cream in #19 is a blue-toned purple with an almost electric quality.  Like most Aqua Creams, it can be a bit tough to blend and I’d recommend applying it more as a base than an independent eyeshadow.  Unless you got the skillz of course.  And if you have?  Come show me how to do it!

Look, ain’t she purdy?

Lasting power is more than adequate on my lids, without any primers I get around 7/8hrs before creasing… the more heavy handed I am with it, the faster the product heads for my creases.

I particularly enjoy pairing this one up with NARS Ashes to Ashes eyeshadow, creating a KILLER violet-taupe from the combo.

MUFE Aqua Creams are available to buy online from Guru Makeup Emporium and PAM priced ar around £16.75

Do you own any MUFE Aqua Creams?

4 products I want to love… but don’t…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 12 - 2011

We all have a few of these in our collections right?

Those products that we wanted for ages… thought about more frequently than food or sex and then when we eventually found ourselves clutching them in our hot little hands, wished we’d opted for those other thoughts instead.

Here are my current disappointments.

1. Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder – £18.50

I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for finishing powders, the right one really makes a huge difference.

The reviews for the Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder are generally pretty good but it’s just a bit too sparkly for me.  I’ve tried using different brushes to ensure that I’m not being too heavy handed but I still don’t dig the effect.  It’s a nice powder… but the (albeit minute) particles of glitter seem to catch the light in a sparkly rather than glowy way.

2. Make Up For Ever HD Blush – £21.75

Can’t. Blend. It.

It doesn’t look atrocious but it doesn’t look as well-blended as my other blushes and whilst I’m fully aware, confident even, that the problem lies more with my (lack of) skillz than the product… this knowledge doesn’t make me like it more.

Shame ‘cos the shades I own are gorgeous… *sigh*

3. Benefit Erase Paste Concealer – £18.89

I always thought that Erase Paste was for under the eye area and Boi-oing (or whatever it’s called) was for blemishes but for the life of me, I cannot make this work on my dark circles.  It cakes and gathers in any fine lines within an hour of wear.  It may be heavy duty in terms of coverage but I’m not willing to comprimise about 10 years of my youth for a bit of concealing.

I’ve tried: warming it up before using/buffing it in with a brush/patting it on with my ring finger/setting it with powder/a combination of all the above!  Disappointing.

4. Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation – £21.50

I bought this with the hope of mixing it with a moisturiser and really being able to control the amount of coverage I achieved.  It gives the ‘death mask’ look when worn alone… which is fine for a night out but unwearable (for me) during the day.  I’m fine with this though, I expected it… what I’m not fine with is the fact that everytime I try to use it, it’s separated and takes about 5 minutes to combine with vigorous shaking.

What products in your collection do you wish you loved more?  Are you like me and can’t bring yourself to ditch them incase you suddenly get an a-ha moment?

Did you know that April is Earth Month?  Well it is, so listen up!

Now in its 12th year, Aveda created Earth Month in April 1999 to raise awareness and funds for critically important environmental issues around the world, and has since raised more than $18 million for organizations that directly affect environmental change.

This year, Aveda are focusing on helping to provide access to clean water and sanitation for children and families around the world.

Lisa Snowdon and Margherita Taylor join Aveda’s 2011 Walk for Water as part of 12th Earth Month Initiative

Last week, the brand successfully organised and completed a five mile “Walk for Water” campaign along London’s Southbank, raising funds for Wateraid along the way.

The company have also released a rather lovely, limited edition “Light The Way” candle.

The Aveda Light The Way candle features a French-inspired aroma made with 100 percent certifed organic ingredients, including lavender, lavandin and clary sage sourced from the Diois region of northern Provence, France.

Formulated from soy wax, which means that the candle burns cleanly and completely from first light through to final extinguish.

The candle retails in the UK for £16.

Of that purchase price, £12.80 per candle sold in the UK will go to Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) and their water-related projects.

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Origins have established a partnership with Global ReLeaf to plant trees and restore wildfire-damaged areas which means that for every Plantscription sold during 17th – 30th April 2011, Origins will plant a tree on the customer’s behalf.

What a good way to get green thumbs without getting dirty!

In addition to this, you need to know about their trade-in/amnesty deal!

For one day only on 22nd April 2011…

Customers can bring in any current skincare product (any brand, full or empty) and trade it in for a complimentary full size of either Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash or A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea.

That’s a deal worth £16/€23!  Yes, really!

To find your nearest Origins counter/store, check the Origins website and search for your postcode.

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Finally, French organic beauty brand Melvita are celebrating Earth Month and honouring their own bee-entwined roots by installing an apiary above their London flagship store in Covent Garden in an attempt to protect the declining bee population!

The apiary will be a permanent fixture on the roof of the Covent Garden store and also celebrates the launch of The Melvita Foundation which exists to protect the environment and bee populations around the world.

“We should not be scared of bees.  They are the guardians of the environment, they contribute to ecological biodiversity.  With the Melvita Foundation, you can act and protect them” Bernard Chevilliat, Melvita Founder.

During Earth Month, Melvita customers can help add more hives to the Melvita City Apiary through purchasing select Melvita products which contain honey.

•  Hydrastim – £22.00
•  Softening Hand Cream – £12.00
•  Apicosma Body Balm – £19.00
•  Softening Shower Gel – £9.50
•  Capiforce Hair Mask – £18.00

For each of these products purchased, Melvita will donate £1 to the Apiary fund, which will raise money to buy new hives and to further encourage the protection of the bees in and around London.

If you want to learn more about the Foundation, Melvita are holding a Bee Workshop on the 22nd April in the St Martin’s Courtyard store from 1pm – 4pm.  It’s open to all, so pop along to take a closer look at the bees and indulge in some free honey tasting!

The Anti Ageing Beauty Bible and its winners…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 4 - 2011

So, The Anti-ageing Beauty Bible may have only been on the shelves for a couple of weeks but Beauty gurus Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey’s new book is already ensuring brands are making an effort to capitalize on their mentions from withing the Bible’s hallowed pages.

I don’t have a copy of the book yet, so I had a crafty ‘google’ to see which brands had already publicized their awards and mentions!

Liz Earle have released an Anti-ageing Beauty Bible collection (£25) to coincide with the book release.  This kit features 4 of their best-selling products that were featured within the pages of the book.

Monu are making sure we all know that their Skin Perfector (£16.25) got a big thumbs up in the book.

Nutritional skincare purveyors Oskia are keen to tell us why their Micro-Exfoliating Balm (£46) was an Anti-ageing Beauty Bible award winner!

Finally, NUDE Skincare are so proud of their award that they’re shipping their Replenishing Night Oil BUNDLED with a copy of the book!

Will you be picking up a copy of the new Anti-ageing Beauty Bible or checking out any of the brands that feel the Beauty Bible love?

Models Own goes Crackle Crazy with Smash-Up!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 11 - 2011

The crackle craze started in the UK last Autumn with a certain black top coat from BarryM that cracked and shattered to create interesting effects and nail art for the unartistic.

Then the BIG guns got involved with OPI and even Dior getting in on the act!

Now Models Own have jumped squarely on the crackle bandwagon and are doing it in style with their new collection SMASH-UP

Available from April, Models Own will be introducing an entire rainbow of crackle shades to glam up your nails for the Summer!

Priced at £6.00 each, you’ll be able to get your hands on them in Boots and online at www.modelsownit.com

Mother’s Day: Mont Bleu Glass Nail Files

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 10 - 2011

If there’s one thing I associate with the Czech Republic (other than beer), it’s the country’s long and distinguished history of working with glass.  Czech glass is world renowned for it’s quality and craftsmanship.

I took delivery of a sample nail file a few weeks ago from Mont Bleu, a company based on the outskirts of Prague who produce tempered glass nail files by hand.

It arrived in a substantial leatherette mock-croc gifting box.

The nail file itself is tucked inside, housed in a velvet pouch and arrived with an authenticity card.  All these little extra touches really single a product out as being gift-worthy!

I received the Red Medium Nail File with Swarovski Crystals in a ‘marbles’ design which you can view online here.

It’s a well-made product as one might expect and is comparable to my Leighton Denny file in both size and quality.  I’ve used it daily to give it a thorough wear test and so far, the surface has remained as pristine as the day it arrived.

My one distinction in the quality between them would be that the Mont Bleu file feels ever so slightly “grittier” when filing than the Leighton Denny.  I’m not 100% sure on this and have been wavering and asking everyone who visits to weigh in with an opinion.  It’s divided everyone!

The Mont Bleu files are available in a variety of designs and can be bought online in the UK through their distributor BestCrystalNailFiles.

Priced at £10.99 for a medium size, it’s a lovely gift choice for Mothers everywhere this Mother’s Day.

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