Nails Inc. designer collaboration for London Fashion Week: Sloane Street

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2014

Do you remember when Nails Inc. polishes used to be the pinnacle for British nail polish junkies everywhere?  Our sisters across the pond would be desperate to get their hands on the London street-themed bottles via generous MakeUp Alley swappers and eBayers who were willing to risk sending flammable items overseas.

I’ve had a niggling feeling for a long time that the brand hadn’t been improving with age.

My feelings have been confirmed after taking delivery of a press sample from their latest collaboration with emerging British design talent for London Fashion Week which feels – and looks – like the most half-hearted attempt at spinning a bit of money from a loyal customer base.

So, what exactly is wrong with this new collaboration then?  I’ll start at the beginning…

Nail-Inc-Teatum-Jones-London-Fashion-Week-Collaboration

On paper, the press release is impressive.  It makes the collaboration sound as buzzing and inspirational as it should be.  Nails Inc. founder Thea Green waxes lyrical about how “Fashion is at the heart of everything Nails Inc creates. Each designer was given complete creative control to design packaging for three new fashion forward shades in celebration of London Fashion Week 2014.  I am thrilled to be able to showcase such amazing talent”.

Great.

Except for a few things…

1. There are three shades available in the collection: a pink, a nude, and a dusky purple.  So blindingly fashion-forward, I can hardly contain my excitement.

2. The designer-created packaging doesn’t actually fit the bottles.  The boxes bulge at the front, it looks untidy.  How can you not get that right?

3. The standard Nails Inc. bottles that we’re now entirely used to grabbing as freebies on the front cover of magazines have a transparent sticker on the caps announcing the name of the designer who created the ill-fitting box (poor designer).  Hilariously, the sticker on mine hasn’t been applied properly and has air bubbles… oh, it’s also a bit wonky.

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Am I being fussy?  I am when the brand are making such a fuss about “showcasing” emerging talent.  If I were a designer and they offered to showcase my talent as shoddily as this… I’d politely decline.

Also, let’s not forget that these are being marketed as “collector pieces” at £12.00 a pop and in this competitive market, brands are saturating the market with high-quality nail polishes for less than half the price Nails Inc are demanding.  The majority of these will be available at a cut-price from your nearest TKMaxx in less than 5-months.

The formula on the polish itself is infact, alright.  I used two coats which offers complete coverage as-long as you apply with a fairly heavy-hand.  You’ll absolutely need a top-coat to conceal the dull but not-quite-matte finish which polish-heads will know to expect from an almost-neon shade.  The finished manicure is nice, it’s a pretty hot pink.  It doesn’t scream cutting-edge fashion to me though, I own a billion hot pinks.

I haven’t been this critical of a brand on my blog in a very, very long time but I’m left feeling annoyed by this collaboration, mostly at the quality control issues that do nothing to showcase the designers who got involved and most of all, lets down the paying public.

All three of the Nails Inc. Designer Collaboration for London Fashion Week polishes are available nationwide and online from nailsinc.com, priced at £12 each

* press sample

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EDIT: (update: 13/02/14) – Nails Inc. were good enough to respond to my criticism(s), here’s what they had to say:

We are sorry that you were disappointed with our young Designers Collaboration.  At nails inc we are genuinely passionate about supporting our talented British colleagues in the Fashion Industry. The association with nails inc and the mentions on the various nails inc platforms is a real benefit in helping to raise the profile of emerging talent.

The colours of these limited edition polishes, which will only be available for six weeks, were chosen to complement the designers’ collections, not necessarily to start a new trend in nail fashion.

We recognise how passionate you are about nails and the importance of this on your site, so we very much hope that you will like our future collections and collaborations more.


Pink Week! Nails Inc Poppy Delevingne Pinkie Pink Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 2 - 2013

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What is it?

A pretty polish packed with micro and medium-sized pink glitter particles. There are two special versions, with lids designed by both Poppy Delevingne and Matthew Williamson.

How much is it?

Each 10ml bottle is priced at £11.00

How much of our money goes to supporting PINK projects?

£1 from every sale of Pinkie Pink polish will be donated to Breast Cancer Campaign, the UK’s leading breast cancer research charity.

How do I get it?

Now sold out on the Nails Inc. website, you can still get your hands on it online (with free delivery) from lookfantastic.com

To sleep: perchance to dream (with NEOM!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 9 - 2013

When your head hits the pillow, are you out like a light?  Or do you gaze at your alarm clock slowly ticking over… counting down the minutes until it’s time to wake up?

I’m a bit of an insomniac.  Well hang on… that’s a pretty catch-all term isn’t it, often misused.  I don’t mind admitting a “just one more go at Candy Crush” addiction that can often keep my brain overly-stimulated into the wee hours.  Infact, Mr. L reckons that if we banned our iPhones from the bedroom, we’d average at least an extra hour’s sleep a night.  Hardly “proper” insomnia but it’s a cycle that can be hard to break nonetheless.

But it’s not just my late-night Daily Mail app addiction that I have to contend with.  I do find it a lot harder to “switch off” now that I’m older…. there are just so many things to think about aren’t there?  Worries… plans… hopes and fears… it’s a wonder we sleep at all.

For the month of September, NEOM Luxury Organics have launched the Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep campaign in association with The Sleep Council. Alongside the Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep 3-Step Guide, the brand have also introduced the Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep Kit (£55.00).

neom perfect sleep

The kit includes three items from NEOM’s lavender, sweet basil and jasmine-enriched Tranquility range:

NEOM Tranquillity Candle (380g, £39.50)
NEOM Tranquillity Bath Foam (200ml, £20.00)
NEOM Tranquillity Mist (100ml, £15.00)

The usual price of these three items would total £74.50, but bought together as part of the Perfect Night’s Sleep Kit, will save almost £20, costing only £55.00.

In addition to this, the organic brand are running a wonderful competition that I want to give you a heads up about…

To celebrate the launch of the Perfect Night’s Sleep Campaign, NEOM Luxury Organics has teamed up with like-minded premium companies such as Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, Abaca, The Wool Room, The Fine Cotton Company, Hush, Amelia Freer Nutritionist and Pukka to launch a very special competition to win a deluxe package worth over £2,000, all geared towards giving you the Perfect Night’s Sleep.

To enter the competition, visit: http://www.neomorganics.com/sleepcomp.html

What’s been keeping you awake recently?

Get your NYX fix in Next!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 5 - 2013

Yeah, catchy title… I worked for ages (15 seconds) on that one, it shows doesn’t it?

So… NYX Cosmetics. I remember when they were stuff of legends. Cheap lipsticks that glidddded and delivered pure pigment, eye crayons of the like that modern chubby sticks could only dream of!

We risked life and limb (and the bloody Royal Mail import surcharge) to get our hands on the goodies all the way from the U.S. I had a particularly nasty encounter with one supplier, and it took me months to get my money back for a no-show order.

Ahhh, those were the days.  Of total inconvenience.

Well, not anymore… because NYX is about to become more accessible to your average UK makeup-buyer than it ever has before.

From August, NYX Cosmetics will be available to purchase from selected Next stores nationwide… and an even wider range of beauty goodies will be available online, should the instore selection not fulfil your appetite for the U.S. brand.

Get your NYX fix in Next!

Just think, no more waiting for American Public holidays to take advantage of sale prices before ordering, no more pacing the floor waiting for the postman, no more crying when you’ve got stung by customs.  GOD, there might even be swatching opportunities?

Hold me ladies, I’m pretty excited by this!  And I’m itching to try the new Matte Lip Cream shades!

NYX Cosmetics will be available instore (selected stores) and online at next.co.uk from August.  Get in!

Nails Inc. launches the Green Queen Manicure. Feeling arty? DIY it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 25 - 2013

Keeping up with the latest trends in the fast-moving world of many manicures can be pretty hard work!  In light of this, Nails Inc have recently launched their Guest Manicure initiative which allows you to get to grips with a new nail trend for just £15, available from Nails Inc bars across the country.

This month sees the launch of the Green Queen manicure, a nod to the colour of the season, worn in a slightly more demure way than going all out HULK on your tips.

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Nails Inc. say:  This is the Queen of all manicures for the festival season – a base of Royal Botanical Gardens in mint with with stunning emerald green Queen Victoria Street tips.  This is a subtle look to make your nails pop all festival long.  It’s the perfect way to accessorise your outfit – through rain, mudslides, thunder or sunshine, whatever the weather throws at us this summer, your nails will be bold, beautiful and bursting with colour.

I say… this one’s a bit manageable innit!  For once, will I be on trend?

Grabbing the closest colours I could muster, I did a pretty neat job (even if I do say so myself).

DIY-green-queen-manicure

Not got the time for such frivolities?

Your life is undoubtedly more exciting than mine… perhaps you’re off to Glastonbury this week to sample the delights of the long-drops and the she-pees.  In that case, skip the am-drams and get a pro to sort you out.

Book in for your Green Queen Manicure at your nearest Nails Inc. via their online booking service, here

For superficially soft skin! Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 13 - 2013

I’m all for spending a little extra time in bed, I can clearly remember my early morning pleas of “just five more minutes Dad?” each morning before school.  How heavenly it is to know that you have full permission to hit the snooze button.

Well, heads up!  Nivea have recently released an in-shower body moisturiser that should definitely go some way to granting your wish.  It’s an allover body conditioner in cream form that you apply whilst in the shower (although not whilst stood under running water, that would be stoop) and rinse off before grabbing your towel.  It’s not a novel idea, LUSH have already done the whole in-shower body moisturising thang with their Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (one of my fav bodycare products, ever) and let’s face it… there are numerous in-shower body oils on the market already… but… and it’s a big but…

The Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser is likely to be the most budget-friendly of any in-shower moisturising product you’ll come across this year.  They’ve taken a great idea and modified it for the masses.  And who doesn’t want a bit of that?

But the question is, is it any good?

nivea-in-shower-body-moisturiser

Well… yes and no.

Yes, it’s convenient, saves a bit of time in the mornings and it smells comfortingly Nivea-ish.  At £2.56, it’s nice and cheap and comes in sensible packaging that doesn’t skimp on the quantity.  It’s a solid offering from a brand that regularly deliver good, no-nonsense bodycare products.

But, it’s just not moisturising enough on anything other than a superficial level (unlike the LUSH in-shower moisturiser).

When you apply the cream in the shower, it feels exactly like you’re rubbing in hair conditioner…. and you can feel it sitting on the surface of your skin, even after rinsing off.  I’m not saying the residue is a bad thing… it’s not.  It leaves skin feeling silky-smooth to the touch, even after drying.  You’ll likely purr to yourself as you stroke your legs.  But that’s as far as the moisturisation goes and as the day wears on, this superficial nourishment doesn’t hang around.

If you actually suffer from dry skin, in any way, shape or form… this is unlikely to be hydrating enough for your skin concerns.  In the winter, this simply wouldn’t last five-seconds on my scratchy shins.

But if you’re heading out for the evening, or simply want to feel all soft and silky for a limited time only… for the price-point, the Nivea option makes for a sound investment.

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser is priced at around £2.56 for 250ml and is available instore and online at Boots.com and Superdrug.com

* press sample

Revive your spirits with NEOM’s Inspiration Candle

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 7 - 2013

When it comes to feelings of discouragement, there’s no better place to look for inspiration than within your own shell. The only problem is that this is one of those wretched “easy to say, harder to achieve” scenarios.

Inspiration is a slippery customer, often working hand-in-hand with another sought-after commodity, motivation. I believe that most of can usually only achieve one of these at a time but when we’re firing on all cylinders, it can be a joy to behold.

British brand NEOM have been doing a little bit of inspiring recently via their Twitter feed… the upcoming release of their limited edition Enchantment candle has filled their feed with images and chatter about one of Britain’s most delightful wildflower, the bluebell.  But before we all go crazy for a new fragrance, let me tell you a little bit about a NEOM classic, their Inspiration home candle.

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_01

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_03

I’m going to start this post – particularly as I’ve reviewed a number of NEOM scents in the past – by categorically stating that the Inspiration Candle* is my favourite thus far.  It probably helps that I adore the scent of violets, especially when paired with a blend of roses or grounded in a sultry, woody-base.

In the case of Inspiration, the violet has been beautifully fused with the spicy, resinous notes of cedarwood and it is this in particular that gives the candle a heady throw that can be enjoyed throughout the entire flat when it has been lit.  For some, candles can be “too strong”… to which I simply say, “open a window”.  If you’re concerned about purchasing a candle that delivers value for money, this one delivers more than enough scent for your buck.  It’s a beautiful little perfumed powerhouse.

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_02

NEOM Inspiration Candle Review_04

The packaging is emblazoned with an inspirational quote, but I won’t hold that against them (haha).  No… I don’t mind the odd inspirational quote and the one they’ve chosen for the interior of the box (which you see as you take the candle out of the packaging) is a particularly nice one:

Life is about choices, even when it doesn’t feel that way.  Attitude is a choice.

Well, quite.

Whether or not this scent actually delivers any bonafide inspiration… well, that would be telling… but I’d describe the feelings evoked from the fragrance as both uplifting and calming.  This isn’t an invigorating type fragrance, it’s not one to put a spring in your step but instead, a soothing and deeply aromatic cwtch.  And that’s something that’s always welcome in my home.

NEOM Luxury Organics Inspiration Candle is priced from £15 (for the travel size) and is available instore at John Lewis (selected stores) and online from neomorganics.com

* press sample

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 19 - 2013

I’m a simple girl. I don’t want much from life: flawless skin, lashes that touch my eyebrows, a bigger bum/smaller belly, and hair that doesn’t look like it’s been backcombed, when it hasn’t.

When I was growing up, I didn’t associate “frizzy hair” with my hair-type.  I thought that “the frizzies” was something only women with thick, curly hair were afflicted with.  You remember the old adverts on the telly where some super-serum would turn a mass of unruly curls into poker-straight silken locks yes? Well, that’s not me.

My hair is pretty straight to begin with but full of flyaways and random sticky-out bits that won’t lie flat?  And let’s not forget the flat-at-the-roots, major poofy stuff going on at the ends which results in my number-one nemesis, triangle hair.

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

It took me far too long to realise that half my problem was being caused by my hair dryer.  I can emerge from the salon with the hair of my dreams and most of the time, there’s very little “product” in it because the stylist always tells me that… “your hair is fine, you don’t want to weigh it down.”  OK.  Then what VOODOO are they doing to my hair that I can’t do at home?

“It’s all in the blow dry!” they say (as smug as you like), wriggling their fingers at me like they’ve been possessed with the powers of the late, great Alexandre de Paris himself.

“Shut up.”  says me.  OK, I don’t… but I bloody want to.

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

The Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer* is a supposed solution for taming the frizz on a daily basis.  It’s far bulkier than my current hair dryer and boasts three heat and two speed settings with a cool-shot button which is great for “setting” curls if you’re using rollers.  Despite its bulk, it’s really lightweight… infact, it feels pretty “cheap” to be blunt.

I guess there’s always a payoff between designing something like this so that your arms don’t ache after 30-seconds of use, and wanting the product to actually “feel” good in the hand.  This doesn’t feel good in the hand… but then, it doesn’t make my arms drop off either.

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

The 2000-watt motor delivers enough power to dry my hair within around four-minutes.  This is particularly interesting because my old hair-dryer (also rated at 2000-watts) takes around seven-minutes to get my hair dry enough so I can leave the house.  That’s a pretty good time-saver, and I’m assuming that I have the ionic and tourmaline technology to thank for this difference.

Or maybe it’s VOODOO!  Either way, it gives me more time to enjoy my cup of tea that I usually have to leave half-finished… and for that, I’m thankful.

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

The Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Hair Dryer is also pretty quiet.  I live in a flat and have washed and dried my hair later than 9pm with ALL OF THE GUILT.  I try to do it as quickly as I can… with all the doors shut and sometimes, if I’ll just do my fringe (absolute essential!) because I’m a considerate neighbour… but this hairdryer is pretty quiet.

I must admit, I didn’t notice it at first and it was my husband who pointed out the difference.  You can imagine the fun I had annoying him by comparing the two hairdryers for noise levels.  Don’t worry, I made sure I did it during daylight hours!

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

This dryer comes with some freebies, they’re pretty lame.  An unbranded, generic comb and a couple of sectioning clips.  I kinda wish it came with one of those BIG HAIR diffusers as well as the nozzle style for when I’m rocking the curly-haired look but I guess we’re not in the 80s anymore Toto.  Perhaps more impressively, it comes with a loop so you can hang it up if you want.  Ok, it’s only me that’s impressed by that addition.

There’s one final thing that I don’t like about this hair dryer, the cord isn’t quite long enough for me.  I mean, cords have been getting longer and longer haven’t they?  I need a longggggg cord to stretch into the hall so I can use the big mirror sometimes, and this doesn’t reach.

It’s not shamefully short (don’t make me go and measure it) but if you need a hair-dryer with a “long” cord, don’t get this one.

Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer

And finally, what about the frizz?  Am I now sporting super-sleek locks?  Well, I sort-of am actually.

Ok, it’s no salon blow-dry, it’s not a miracle but, BUT… there is definite improvement.  No longer am I sporting an equilateral triangle on my head, it’s now more…. Isoceles.  And that’s a good thing people.

The Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy 2000-watt Hair Dryer is priced from (a ridiculously reasonable) £18.00 and available to buy online from very.co.uk

* press sample

Neom Luxury Organics Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 16 - 2013

It’s hard to beat a wonderfully-scented candle.  For one thing, there’s something undeniably romantic about how the gentle glow can make even Quasimodo look like Cara Delevigne.  Fire-safety aside, we all know that beauty brands would sell a truckload more product if beauty halls became wick-powered, but as flourescent lighting proves, there are times when candles just aren’t the most convenient option.

Before you reach for the plug-ins, consider another option.  The humble reed diffuser.

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_01

Brands do try and make these diffusers look elegant but the reality is that a reed diffuser is basically a pot of scented oil with a bunch of twigs sticking out of it.  Whilst candles can rightfully get all superior about what a great table centrepiece they make, diffusers are better off putting in their hard work from the sidelines.

Thankfully, the continuous and long-lasting scent that this one from NEOM Luxury Organics delivers to the home is nothing short of wondrous.  Sumptuous is a blend of rose and neroli that is both calming and uplifting, albeit in a more tender way than something like their Invigorate fragrance which slaps you about a bit to get the blood flowing.  Sumptuous on the other hand is all about the caresses and telling you that you’re the most beautiful person in the world.  No, really!  Well, sort of…

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_02

My reed diffuser has been doing the rounds since I unpackaged it last week.  A couple of days in the bathroom where it’s far too bloody pretentious to actually light a candle, hidden behind my Mother’s chair when she came over for her Mother’s Day dinner last week (“what’s that lovely smell Charlotte?” / “Oh my flat always smells like this!”), and propped up on the windowsill in the kitchen when I burnt some popcorn.  And if you’ve ever burnt popcorn, you know you need a massive scent-intervention.

If you have pets in the house, small children, or clumsy partners… reed diffusers make a great alternative to the mighty candle.

Neom Organic Reed Diffuser in Sumptuous_03

The NEOM Organic Reed Diffuser is discreet too, I’ve seen some that are around 3ft tall and higher… no-one needs that much scented-twig in the house.  Despite its small-size, this one delivers enough fragrance to scent a small room easily.  Bathrooms and hallways are blissfully filled with the perfume and I’d say that it delivers strong fragrance to just over half of my (average-sized) sitting-room.

Remember also, that the scent is continuous, you can control the strength of the scent simply by adding or reducing the amount of reed sticks in the aroma diffuser.  I no longer have to scramble around for a lighter to light a candle after I’ve buzzed a guest in through the intercom!

As for longevity, well NEOM rates their reed diffusers to last for up to 5 weeks, so you’ll be pleased to hear that you can buy fragrance oil refills for £18.00 each, as opposed to forking out the original price tag for the bottle, fragrance and sticks again.

NEOM’s Organic Reed Diffusers are priced at £35.00 each and available in a choice of eleven different fragrances from www.neomorganics.com

* press sample

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 20 - 2013

Eternally revered as one of the world’s most precious metals, gold has been a highly sought-after commodity from the earliest of ancient civilisations right through to the modern day.  Much of its worth has been built through socially-constructed symbolism rather than via any intrinsic financial value, but the rare metal has nevertheless proven useful in some fields thanks to certain unusual properties.

Gold is extremely durable, stable, and for a metal, unusually coloured making it a perfect exhibition of wealth.  It holds a strong continuity of value over time, and looks just as beautiful when first laid in a treasure chest as it does 20, 30 or 50 years later.  It’s an element that is difficult, dangerous and laborious to mine and rarity has always held a value when it comes to the importance of status within our society.

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare...

But what about in practical use?

We regularly see gold put to good use in the field of electronics, to plate connectors and prevent oxidisation.  As a metal, it conducts electricity extremely efficiently (though interestingly, not as efficiently as silver).  In dentistry, the metal is valued for its malleable attributes which can be used to easily construct fillings, crowns, and bridges.  Its chemically stable nature, makes it a suitable, nonallergenic material which has thus far proven to cause no adverse effects on long-term health.

But what about the usefulness of gold within the beauty and skincare industry?  Let’s take a look at some products today which seek to employ the midas touch…

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare...

1). Nahbi Pure Repair Gold Essence contains 24ct nano gold and gold leaf extract which claims to help stimulate circulation, cell renewal and the removal of toxins from the skin.  Nahbi use colloidal gold (suspended in liquid) and nano-technologies to increase the likelihood of physical absorbtion.  The particles are rated at 1.5nm, which is tiny indeed when you consider that the thickness of gold leaf is rated at a rather chunky 125nm!  The full range includes masks, serum, toner, a moisturiser and a cream. priced from £25, beauchoix.co.uk

2). Jamela offer a range of gold-infused masks that combine “active gold” and plant collagen with other, more recognisable ingredients including hyaluronic acid.  The masks have been designed to contour various body parts to deliver their collagen-boosting benefits including: eyes, lips, face, and even breasts!  I particularly like the idea of wearing one of these masks overnight before throwing it in the bath with me the next morning, they dissolve in hot water to release any remaining goodness!  priced from £24,50, jamelaskincare.co.uk

3). Chantecaille are well-known for their high-end formulations so it comes as no surprise to see an entire Gold Collection from the U.S. brand.  Their Nano Gold Firming Treatment is not simply content with exploring the supposed anti-inflammatory effects of nano gold, but hedges its bets on another recent “technological breakthrough” in the form of Swiss Apple Stem Cells which claim to deliver the creme-de-la-creme of antioxidant benefits within skincare.  For all this technology, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny.  priced at £280, uk.spacenk.com

4). Focusing on exploring the links between the precious metal and its soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits.  Omorivicza’s Gold Eye Lift uses gold ferment in an attempt to repair micro-damage and strengthen the delicate skin by renewing lost elasticity and as you would expect, the Hungarian brand remain true to their spa roots with the infusion of mineral compounds and their globally famous thermal waters rich in copper, zinc, calcium and magnesium.  priced at £110, selfridges.com

5). For the “gold standard” (geddit?!) in gold-enriched skincare, look no further than Swiss brand La Prairie for their Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold which claims to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles and help regulate discoloration.  The gold, suspended in a colloidal gel promises to help prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin whilst illuminating the skin with a stunning radiance. It will certainly lighten your wallet.  priced at £408, urbanretreat.co.uk

6). For something a little more tangible, not to mention… affordable, Zoya’s Gilty Pleasures trio contains an 18k real gold flake top coat which will transform all your manicures into something a little bit special.  priced at £29.60, nailcareclub.com

7). ByTerry’s Or De Rose Elixir Extreme is a rose-tinted primer which delivers instant radiance thanks to its blend of 24-carat pink gold micronized particles and light-reflecting prisms.  More of a cosmetic radiance-giver than a skincare marvel, coming from the queen of highlighting herself… that ain’t no bad thing.  The closest I’ll get to being a gold-dipped bond girl.  priced at £108, uk.spacenk.com

 

So, the question remains… can the benefits of gold be applied to anti-ageing theories?  Scientists and dermatologists are frankly divided on the issue and serious research is ongoing on the potential health benefits of using gold in the fight against cancer and the relief of rheumatoid arthritis.

To my mind, there appears to be a somewhat necessary leap of faith in order to believe that something so valued for its chemical inertia can also posess such life-changing, tangible benefits but there’s no doubt that this is one debate that will run and run.  Especially while it continues to give cosmetic companies such a wonderfully marketable element of luxury and privilege.

What say you? Are you interested in unleashing the power of gold on your skin, hair and nails?

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder Satellite of Love vs. NARS Albatross

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 6 - 2013

Alright glitter munchers, how’s 2013 treating you so far?  I’m coming to terms with taking down the decorations today (12th night and all that), to be honest… I started to take them down a couple of days ago after Louise told me that taking just a few down each day makes the process less soul-destroying…  Still, let’s all take comfort from the knowledge that it’s only 352 days until Christmas.

Last month (year), I treated myself to a new blusher… at least, I thought it was a blusher because I didn’t pay any attention to anything that I saw or read about it until after I’d bought it.  NARS Satellite of Love was released as part of the Andy Warhol collection a couple of months ago… an odd collection in my opinion, with exceptionally expensive eyeshadow palettes but rather tempting nail polishes.  What did you make of it?

Anyway, the one item that caught my eye immediately… I assumed (on sight) was a blusher.  Infact it’s a highlighter… or Highlighting Blush to give it its official name.

Rather than just review, I thought I’d compare it to my super-beloved highlighter from NARS, the only (powder) one that I really reach for, a product that can transform your look in seconds: NARS Albatross.  Albatross is a cult product in the NARS catalogue and it’s easy to see why.  It imparts a smooth, champagne-gold shimmer that both lifts and illuminates the complexion without dusting your face in glitter or an odd pinky/white highlight.  It’s a wonderful product to use at anytime, night or day – just use a light hand and a loosely packed brush for optimum effect.

NARS Satellite of Love is… different.

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder Satellite of Love vs. NARS Albatross

Now, don’t be assuming that I don’t like it, because I do… but it’s a completely different animal, and that’s probably for the best because what would be the point of it otherwise?  Satellite of Love is a warm-toned peach/nude/orange shade with gold glitter.  Gold glitter like Super Orgasm glitter, chunky knock-it-off-the-brush-before-that-shit-comes-near-my-face glitter.  Again, not necessarily a bad thing, I own and love Super Orgasm… but you just have to pay deference to its bling.

I treat super-glittery blushes in the same way that I treat McDonald’s hamburgers.  The glitter – like the gherkin/pickle – is optional.  You’re in complete control and the only time any kind of issue arises is when you take your eye off the ball and dive in without paying attention.  When it comes to NARS blushes/highlighters… all you need to do is swirl (gently) and then tap the handle of your brush against your forearm to rid yourself of the chunkiest pieces of glitter.  Infact, it’s far less hassle than removing gherkins from burgers, and you don’t get the nasty surprise of a second hidden pickle in your blusher*.

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder Satellite of Love vs. NARS Albatross

I am disappointed that Satellite of Love isn’t as nude as I expected it to be, there’s a lot of warmth in that there pan and whilst this is a minus for me… I can only imagine how beautiful this would look highlighting richer-toned girls who suit warmer blush.  Can you imagine?  With all that gold sparkle in the summertime (when the weather is fine)?  Lush.

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder Satellite of Love vs. NARS Albatross

In the face swatch below, I’ll apologise for the placement – I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to wear it as a bronzer, blusher, or highlighter… so I just sort of put it in a really weird place on my cheeks.  I’ll call it the brunzlighter placement.

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder Satellite of Love vs. NARS Albatross

NARS Satellite of Love and NARS Albatross are available to buy online from narscosmetics.co.uk priced at £21.00 (and if you could pick me up NARS Dragon Girl VMLP while you’re there? Cheers!)

Do you own either of these blush/highlighters?

* this is all bullshit, I actually LOVE the gherkins in burgers.  I’m the original give-me-all-your-gherkins girl.

More than just mineral? NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 12 - 2012

If I concentrate hard enough, I can hear my Nan speaking to me in her sing-song valleys accent.  She’s saying: “There was a little girl, who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead.  And when she was good, she was very, very good.  And when she was bad, she was horrid.”  Which is precisely how my skin feels about mineral makeup – on a good day, nothing comes close to looking better and more naturally flawless on my skin.  At other times though, it can look like I’ve dipped my face in a vat of semolina flour… which then slowly cooks in situ, as the day progresses.

I tried NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation, after it was recommended to me as a cross between a mineral foundation and a setting powder. This is good news for me as I often use my mineral foundation as a setting powder… albeit with a very light hand.

NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation

Compared to most mineral foundations I’ve tried, I found this to be sheerer… more finely milled, and lighter in texture.  The unglamourous but practical packaging features enough space to hold a sponge between the lid and the sifter should you need a way to avoid spillage during travel.  This extra roominess also means that you’re more likely to keep the powder in the pot whilst picking up product on your brush, and not allover your dressing table.

The foundation is available in four shades, and I was sent the second lightest – which as you can imagine, is a touch too dark for my skintone but thanks to its sheerness, doesn’t cause me much concern.  The foundation is about as genuinely organic as you can get, certified so by the prestigious ECOCERT and promises a hypoallergenic, paraben-free formula which has been approved by AllergyUK as an allergy-friendly product.  Quite interesting when you consider that the label states that the product may contain Bismuth Oxychloride, a known potential irritant and something that many of you have grumbled about in the past.

NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation

The quantity shown in the lid is roughly the amount I’ve been using for a full face after applying a light tinted moisturiser as a base.  It’s my favourite way to apply this foundation and both sets my makeup and gives me a little extra coverage in the areas where my base is letting me down.  The combination of the two products as a single base gives me great medium/full coverage with none of the heaviness that I’d get were I using liquid/cream foundation alone.  It’s a real time saver as I don’t have to worry about the finish looking at all caked-on or artificial.

The NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation lacks the pretty sheen that I enjoy from other brands such as Bare Minerals, infact I’d consider this one as fairly mattifying, obviously a bonus for half the population but I prefer my finishing powder to have a little luminosity in these darker months.  I’ve been mixing a liquid luminizer into my moisturiser to solve this problem.

NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation

Hopefully the above photo will let you deduce the amount of coverage you can expect from using NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation on bare skin, it’s a sheer-medium finish and as I’ve already mentioned, a matte one.  I’ve been enjoying using a flat top kabuki brush which works the product into the skin and ensures that you get maximum coverage with the least effort.

NATOrigin Loose Powder Foundation is priced at £17.75 for 5g and available to buy online from www.natorigin.co.uk

* press sample

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