Show and tell… 5 Bronzers for pale, cool-toned skin!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 21 - 2010

For someone who’s scared of bronzers… I own a few.  I’ve also ditched many more.  The ones that I’ve kept work for me, though not without effort.  This isn’t a fault of the products… it’s my unconfidence with application and with wear.

The ones that I’m showing you are my current favourites based on their tone.  With my (admittedly) untrained eye… they all complement cool-toned skin.  I should also point out that I’m not talking bronzer for contouring – these are all the products I use to mostly just warm up my complexion and give it a sunkissed look.

Swatched in the same order from left to right (note that swatches are to show tone, not intensity… some are VERY heavily swatched):

1. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Maui (£23.50)

Is it a blush, is it a bronzer?  Well… it looks a bit like a blush but if Bobbi says it’s a bronzer, who the hell am I to argue?  Maui is a warm pink shimmer that’s shot through with golden sparkle.  It’s an incredibly easy-to-use bronzer because it never looks muddy and on the rare ocassion that I actually do catch a bit of genuine sunlight… it’s much closer to how my skin would naturally colour than the more traditional golden browns available.

2. NARS Blush in Douceur L.E. (£19.50)*

Being a limited edition item <–ignore, am stoopid – it’s not Limited Edition!  I wasn’t going to include this one.  But it’s still available online at HQHair… so I figured it couldn’t hurt?  Now… this is a blush (if I’m not gonna argue with Bobbi, I’m certainly gonna agree with Francois!) but on my skintone, this matte blush works very nicely as a light pink/brown bronzer.  Although it looks dark in the pan, it’s the 2nd sheerest that I’m showing you.  Even I can’t mess this one up.  Just perfect.

3. Becca Pressed Shimmer Powder in Princess (£30)

Again, not a bronzer per se, Becca’s PSP in Princess is just lovely.  It’s shimmery but not AT ALL glittery… it’s very well behaved and grown up about things.  Smooth in texture, it imparts a subtle sun-kissed glow to my cheeks that is never overcooked.  Pricey, but worth it.

4. Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Rumour (£16)

If there were one black sheep in the set, this would be it (being Illamasqua, it had to be the naughty one didn’t it?)  The tone is perfect – devoid of any orange… and being so matte, it makes the best contour shade I own.  The problem is, that’s not saying a lot because it’s the ‘only’ contour shade I own.  I find Rumour a little hard to work with due to it’s heavy pigmentation and it can end up looking a bit muddy.  I want to love it and I feel that it’s my inexperience that stops me rather than the product itself.  Any tips for this one ladies?

5.Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in Blondes (£31.50)

Finally, a classic.  The sheerest of the lot (and the most expensive!)  Blondes is the lightest of the three shimmery bronzer options from Guerlain.  I also own the lightest in the matte version but reach for this one more often.  I would defy anyone to overdo this… it’s a must-have for pale skintones.

Other honourable mentions: Bobbi Brown Antigua, Bobbi Brown Bali Brown, The Body Shop Warm Glow, Guerlain Terracotta 01 (matte)

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I know that all my bronzers are at the higher-end of the price spectrum… but experience has shown me that if I want to rid myself of orange-toned monstrosities, this is where I have to look.  Please do comment and let me know if things have improved in that respect on the high street because I’ll be one of the first out the door to go check out a bargain alternative!

What are some of your favourite bronzers?

* denotes PR sample.


Dupe Alert – NARS Deep Throat vs. The Body Shop Golden Pink

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 16 - 2010

I’ve always thought that The Body Shop Golden Pink blush (04) was considered as a reasonable dupe for NARS Orgasm?  But when I swatched the two… they were quite different.  TBS’ Golden Pink seemed a darker and far more intense.

Then I dug out my NARS Deep Throat blush and got a much better match!

What d’ya reckon ladies?  Dupe or Poop?

HQ Hair introduces me to David Scheffen…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 4 - 2010

…and thank GOD!

Last Tuesday, I attended an event at HQ Hair’s very own hair & beauty store in the heart of central London.  It’s an oasis of pampering conveniently located just off Regents Street with the added benefit of a storefront offering your favourite HQ Hair brands.

I was delighted to see so many brands on the shelves!  There’s not too many places you can pick up Mario Badescu, Yonka, Alpha H, Murad, Bare Escentuals, Paul & Joe, Philosophy, Fusion Beauty and much more… all under the same roof!

Because the Salon is located to the rear of the store, it doesn’t feel like you’re walking into a hairdressers.  You don’t feel out of place if you just want to visit for a browse.  Even better, if you’re in there getting a new colour or a trim… you don’t have the general public checking out your ‘no makeup face’ while they’re doing their shopping!  The two areas are zoned well.

I visited the store before when I came for a haircut back in June.  I’m sniggering to myself as I write this next bit because I dragged my husband along with me having just spent a couple of hours doing some serious debit card damage in Selfridges.  Poor Mr L was relieved it was all over.  Little did he know there was another shopping opportunity waiting for me at the salon!

But anyway… let me tell you a little bit about the lovely David Scheffen who came along to meet a group of very cold and slightly bedraggled bloggers on a snowy Tuesday evening.

I should warn you now that I’m actually his #1 fan girl.  It’s genuinely embarrassing.  I giggled and stumbled over my words… I may even have snorted when I laughed.  I’ve since gone as far as to ask Mr. L if I could please have a David Scheffen for Christmas.

Let me explain… I don’t always have a lot of luck with makeup artists.  I’m not great at coherent speech in social situations… what I want, what I’m trying to achieve… well it rarely comes across well in conversation, which results (quite rightly) in me walking away with advice I don’t care about and a look I hate.

Not. This. Time.

“What’s that?” I asked, as he swivelled up one of the NARS Multiples.

“St. Barts” he said (in his endearing French accent).

“I have that!!” I exclaimed, getting all excited… like he was going to give me A* for owning it or something.  “But I can’t make it work for me…” my lips continued to move as I expressed to Francois’ right hand man what a dumbass I was at applying makeup.  Smooth.

David looked surprised and explained that the cool toasted-taupe shimmer should work well on my colouring and I agreed… it’s one of those products that tick all the right boxes.  In theory.

Forty seconds later and the magic has been done, quick fingers transferring product from stick to skin with an effortless grace that I could only dream of emulating.  It looked good.  Really good.

A little on my cheeks, a touch along my browbone and a speck (or two) along the line of my cupids bow.  I didn’t look bronzed, I just looked… healthy.  The trick, he explained “…is to always build up to the level you require”.

“I know that!” I thought to myself… “But I can’t help being heavy handed!” Reading my mind (I told you he was good), David explained that tapping the product onto my skin with my fingers would result in a more controlled application.

Not only does that work 100x better for me but I now can’t stop applying this product to my cupids bow.  It has the desirable effect of making my top lip look instantly fuller and defined.

“And now for my next trick!” announced David, reaching into his top hat (ok, I made that bit up).

I was totally at ease in his company.  He has a light, affable manner with a generous side-serving of wicked humour which resulted in me being brave enough to admit something a little shameful.

“I don’t know where to apply my blusher.”  Then, in the hope that it would make the previous statement seem slightly less retarded… “Does it really make a difference where you apply on different face shapes?”

“Absolutely!”

Placing two finger widths parallel to the side of his nose, David explained that the area covered by his fingers was a no-fly zone.  “Don’t apply blusher too close to your nose… it doesn’t look natural and isn’t flattering for you”.  I thought of all the times I’d grinned at myself in the mirror, applying my blusher EXACTLY where he’d just described whilst thinking I was hitting the ‘apple of the cheek’ bullseye.

He patiently showed me where I should concentrate the colour for my face shape (widest at the cheeks and quite pronounced.  Hamster podge).  I’ve artfully constructed a little diagram.  Don’t laugh.

I’ve found that if I keep my initial application focused right within that small dotted area, I get a natural (and less overdone) flush that detracts attention from the fleshier ‘apples’ and leaves my face looking more contoured.  I can hear angels singing Hallelujah.

Once blended, the area of ‘flush’ is larger than shown above and I tend to blend back toward the hairline and down toward the hollow.  It felt alien to me at first… mostly because of how high I’m applying but it’s definitely a better method for my face shape.  It’s only taken me 29 years to get that one right!

The makeup maestro at work!

He also had a message for you guys…  “Wear more purple eyeshadows.  Women are too intimidated by purple.”

You have to love him for that alone.  But you can’t.  ‘Cos he’s mine.

For more David-related goings on, keep a close eye on the HQ Hair blog as the HQ Girls get to regularly feature his tips, tricks and looks.  I think they keep him locked up in the beauty cupboard.  Lucky things.

HQ Hair & Beauty Salon,
2 New Burlington Street
W1S 2JE
0871 220 4141 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0871 220 4141      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

HQHair invites you to WIN a NARS makeover!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 10 - 2010

HQHair have teamed up with NARS international makeup artist David Scheffen (2nd in command to Francois – ooh la la!) to offer three lucky winners a fabulous Christmas makeover (not to mention a goody bag full of NARS products to take home with you!).

To qualify for entry all you need to do is tell the HQ Girls who your beauty icon is… and why?

The three lucky winners must be available to attend HQ Hair and Beauty Store in Central London (I’ve been there, it’s fab!) on Tuesday November 30th.

For more information, T&C and to enter… click here!

NARS Holiday/Christmas Gift Sets

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 29 - 2010

The Christmas gifts are coming in thick and fast now that we’re approaching November at a blistering pace.  The latest are a pairing of festive gifts from NARS.

Kicking off with the Crazy Heart Set which contains 5 medium-sized lip glosses and features the shades:

Easy Lover (Ultra Sheer Hot Pink),
Babe (Sheer Orange Red)
Orgasm (Sheer Warm Pink with Golden Shimmer)
Turkish Delight (Pink Sorbet)
Misbehave (Sheer Cherry Red with Gold Shimmer)

Prices at £35 and available from November 1st exclusively at Selfridges.

Love ’em or hate ’em… NARS multiples tend to divide opinion… personally I’m a fan and so I should be considering I own 5 of them now – though none of these ones… *lightbulb flick*

The shades included in the Sweet Disposition Set are:

Orgasm (Peachy Pink with Shimmer)
Luxor (Iridescent Pink)
Malibu (Pinkish Brown)

Priced at £32 and availabile from November 1st exclusively at Selfridges.

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A couple of rather lovely sets no?  I’m a little disappointed that there’s no Holiday palette to get our teeth stuck into this year but at least that’s one less thing on the old wishlist.  Are either of these catching your attention?

When you think you’ve made an expensive mistake…

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 11 - 2010

As beauty addicts, how many times have we done that huh?  I’ll tell you how many… too bloody many.

Not only that, but let’s not forget that when in the UK, you’ve got more chance of finding genuine MAC on eBay than you have being able to return your purchases… these mistakes can really add up.

So, you can imagine my utter deflation when my NARS #12 Small Domed Eye brush turned up and wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.  I mean, I know that it’s called ‘small’… but I didn’t expect the head to be quite SO small.  My fault entirely.

But then I used it and I fell in love.

The NARS blurb on the website reads… Squirrel hair for definition and for creating depth in the crease of the eye.

I say… If you have hooded eyelids, get this brush.

(excuse the eyeshadow dust – it needs cleaning!)

The NARS #12 Small Domed Eye Brush is incredibly soft.  I find some NARS brushes a little scratchy for their price… but this one is a winner.  It’s densely packed and firm enough to do more than just place the colour.  This little beauty is a master blender to apply defined but soft crease colours.

Hai!  My name’s dopey.

Ignoring my moronic eye-expression (and need for a one-on-one with my tweezers) for a moment… can you see how perfectly the brush fits under that hood?  I don’t have the most hooded eyelids in the world, but they are a pain for muddying colour when the upper part droops onto the lid itself.  If I’m wearing a v. dark crease colour, I need to be precise and I need to focus it in the outer corner and just in the actual crease itself because of that reason.  With this brush I can do this.

Why not just use a pencil brush or a small eye contour brush then?  Because I’m crap at makeup in general and those kinda brushes always encourage me to be too heavy handed.  With the NARS #12 brush, I can do gentle windshield wiper movements along the crease contour (whilst keeping my eyes half open) and achieve a soft, smoky but perfectly defined dark crease.

At £22.00 (for such a teeny little brush) my initial disappointment almost resulted in a mild strop but now?  I’m considering a backup.

Which NARS brushes do you rate most highly?

Dupe Alert: NARS Albatross Vs. E.L.F. Gotta Glow

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 1 - 2010

The comparisons have to be made don’t they?  At just £3.50 for the pale gold E.L.F Gotta Glow compared to £19.50 for NARS iconic Albatross highlighting powder… who isn’t hoping for a remarkable dupe?

The NARS on the left.. E.L.F’s Gotta Glow, on the right.

I’m not gonna talk about the differences in packaging.  They’re there… NARS is annoying and icky sticky, E.L.F’s is sleeker but hella cheaper looking.  Do you *really* care?  I don’t.

But what about the product?

E.L.F’s Gotta Glow is slightly more yellow toned in appearance and the gold shimmer is less refined looking in the pan… chunkier.  This is pretty much what I expected.  On close inspection, you can see a visual difference in quality.

The texture?  Again… this lives up to expectations.

NARS Albatross is smooth and very finely milled… there’s no flaking when you brush the surface of the pan and no fall out upon application.  The E.L.F version can’t claim the same.  It’s powdery and there is fall out if you don’t give your brush a tap off before applying.

But how about this?  Please look past the hairy arms… I have enough hair elsewhere on my body to frankly give a crap about hairy forearms.

That’s pretty simillar no?

Take a guess before reading on… which one costs £3.50 and which one costs £19.50?  I’d love for you to tell me if you got it right in the comments…

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Ready to find out?

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Sure?

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Oh ok… Well… E.L.F’s Gotta Glow is on the left and NARS Albatross is on the right.  I think that I can tell the difference between the swatches… the E.L.F one looks slightly less pigmented and a bit ‘chunkier’.  But is that *really* a £16 difference?  Not when you take into consideration that once applied and blended… I truly struggle to tell the difference on my face at all.

Before I get really excited though… there is one point to note that although not an issue for my skintone, may make ALL the difference on someone else.  I see a slight ashiness with the E.L.F incarnation that I’m not seeing with the NARS original.  It’s only noticeable when I swatch on my fingertip… but I’m thinking that on a darker skintone, the E.L.F Gotta Glow may leave a slight white cast along with the golden sheen.

Has anyone tried it with a darker skintone than mine?  How are you finding E.L.F’s new Gotta Glow highlighting powder?

E.L.F Gotta Glow is available online and priced at £3.50 – a bargain if ever I saw one.

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick launches at Selfridges

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 3 - 2010

The new range of lipsticks from French makeup maestro Francois NARS have launched into Selfridges.  Priced at £18 each, the NARS Pure Matte Lipstick range promises intense, stay-true colour.

But that’s not all…

[stextbox id=”alert” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa”]Defying the traditional challenge of long-wearing lipsticks, it won’t dry out lips.  Rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin E and Acai Oil, Pure Matte nourishes and conditions lips.  Wild Mango Butter’s advanced moisturizing properties work  to repair lips from dryness and scaling, leaving lips feeling supple and soft.[/stextbox]

If that claim is to be believed…. sign me up!

I haven’t tried any of the shades on my lips, but did swatch a couple at a recent press day.

Clockwise from Top Left: Tashkent (Nude Beige), Volga (Deep Aubergine), Terre de Feu (Black Cherry) – incidentally, how great does Terre de Feu look for a vampy Winter lip?, Bangkok (Soft Rose), Tonkin (Cinnamon Plum) and Vesuvio (Full Bodied Red).

Tashkent and Bangkok

Tashkent and Bangkok swatched.

I clearly remember Bangkok (the rose), dragging on the skin of the back of my hand as I swatched, so I’m not sure how that would apply to my lips… though to be fair, the tester could well have dried out a touch after being open for however long.  By contrast, Tashkent glided on without too much friction burn 😉

Are any of these calling to you?  I must admit that Vesuvio and Terre de Feu look like wonderful Wintery options!

Incidentally, how beautifully shot is this promo?

NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks are £18 each and until 1st October are exclusive to Selfridges.

Backstage with NARS Cosmetics!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 13 - 2010

The Autumn/Winter Fashion Week vids are up!

Here’s 3 very different NARS looks created using some of the new products available this season.

3.1 PHILLIP LIM

Lead Artist:

~ Lisa Butler for NARS Cosmetics

Key Products Used:

~ Douceur Blush (new for Autumn!), Coconut Grove Single Eyeshadow (new for Autumn!), Abyssinia Eyeshadow, London Eyeliner Pencil, Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Luxor Multiple, Riviera Multiple

.THAKOON

Lead Artist:

~  Diane Kendal for NARS Cosmetics

Key Products Used:

~ Douceur Blush (new for Autumn!), Coconut Grove Eyeshadow (new for Autumn!), Tzarine Duo Eyeshadow (new for Autumn!), Portobello Duo Eyeshadow, Belle de Jour Lipstick

MARC JACOBS

Lead Artist:

~ François Nars, Founder & Creative Director, for NARS Cosmetics

Key Products Used:

~  NARS Enchanted Cream Blush, NARS D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow, NARS Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo, NARS Black Moon Eyeliner Pencil, NARS Barbarella Lipstick

NARS Holiday 2010 Collection + Swatches

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 5 - 2010

As promised yesterday, here’s some images and swatches of the NARS Holiday 2010 collection.  Due out in the UK in November.

The palette is a trio of cool shades with the almost cobalt blue being the star attraction.  Continuing the Japanese theme throughout the entire collection, this little eyeshadow palette is named Okinawa.

I’d love to tell you the names of the rather beautiful glosses (Yinka fell in love with the one on the right, me… the one on the left).  But I had a bit of a photographer camera fail.

Anyone good at Magic Eye puzzles?  Sorry ladies!

The rest of the collection….

Close ups and swatches after the break…

Read the rest of this entry »

NARS Holiday 2010 Main Collection – Sneak Peek!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 4 - 2010

Oh HAI gorgeousness!

I have more indepth pictures and some swatches of the NARS Holiday 2010 Collection that I shall post up tomorrow, but here’s a quick sneak peek at the collection as a whole.

Have I got your attention?  Come back tomorrow for more!

NARS Holiday 2010 – NARS Bento Box Lip Set

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 4 - 2010

Yeah, Christmas again!  Sorry!  Bite me.

Check out this Kabuki-inspired Bento Box Lip Set which will be on many a NARS’ fan’s Xmas wish list!

Inspired by the Japanese Kabuki theatre, the set comprises: 2 lip colours (Maiko and Sakura), 2 boxed dish thingies and a rather lovely lip brush. Will the lip colours be in the dishes?  I’m not sure… I got a bit confused at that point but it reminds me of a Japanese curio that Lisa Eldridge talked about.

The lip shades are pretty darn beautiful.  Look!

Heavily pigmented and smooth, a pair of beautifully bright shades that are sure to tantalise and tempt!

I adore this set, it’s a little bit quirky… a touch unusual but thoroughly useable.  What a wonderful Christmas gift this would make… for ourselves of course 😉

No price details or release dates yet, but I shall update as and when they become available.

Do you like it?

EDIT: I’ve now been reliably informed that this set is due to retail in the UK at £95 from November the 1st and will be available at Selfridges.

In Kabuki theater there is a style, Kumadori, which uses shades to represent different emotions and moods: red represents passion and vigor while pink represents cheerfulness and youthfulness. So it is no wonder that François chose to capture the majesty of the kabuki lip with these two colors for the elegant yet modern woman. Maiko, a vibrant red, is the Japanese word for dancing girl and is used to refer to apprentice geishas. Sakura, a hot pink, is Japanese for cherry blossom, the symbolic flowering cherry tree integral to Japanese culture.

Each cup has been hand-filled, weighs the same as a bullet of lipstick, and will provide around 150 uses. Similar to the NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush, the lip brush is hand-made and the handle is wrapped in Wisteria, a flowering plant native to East Asian states such as China, Korea and Japan. Only one thousand sets were created for sale in the United States, and just over two thousand in total were created worldwide.

Yes, £95 *jawdrop*.  It’s beautiful n’all… but erm… £95?  Am I going to have to sell both kidneys to fund this I wonder?

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