A super-cute short to introduce Penhaligon’s new grooming range!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 30 - 2014

I don’t usually post videos but there was something about this short from Penhaligons to introduce their new gentlemen’s Bayolea grooming range that brought a smile to my lips.  It’s cute and a little bit quirky, not unlike the brand themselves.

To be honest, I have a vested interest in Mr. L’s grooming routine. He’s a man of few products but most of what he does use, he’s been coerced into buying, not because he loves them, but because I do.  Control freak much?

I’m a sucker for “masculine” scents and as a die-hard wet shaver, he wears them so well.  At Christmas, I always buy him a little scented-something as one of his stocking fillers (last year he got Pour un Homme de Caron) and then I’m relentless… nagging him to hurry up and wear it.

I realise that I sound like a terrible bully, I *do* let him choose too… but in honesty, our tastes are so similar that we mostly just share our collection.  Not to mention, it makes those $90 Parfum d’Empire purchases so much more palatable when you’re sharing the cost too!

Do you have any say in your husband’s/partner’s fragrance choices?

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Make yourself beautiful from the inside out!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 10 - 2013

Beauty dosing. What’s that all about then?

We’re all too aware of the importance that a healthy diet can play when it comes to promoting clear skin, strong nails, and shiny hair and sometimes you only need to make the simplest of changes on the inside to see a profound effect on the surface.  But, let’s say that you’ve upped your water intake, ditched the junk food, and cut down on the booze… what next?  Well, the beauty industry have some clever concoctions up their sleeve to tempt you into exploring some potential shortcuts to a new, even-more-beautiful you!

Let me show you a few that have caught my eye recently:

beauty-dosing

01:  You don’t need to spend a fortune to take your first, tentative steps into the world of supplementing your standard beauty regime.  Beauty’in Beauty Drink B Focused contains: Vitamin A, C and E, B2, B6,PP, B12, zinc, selenium, guarana and acerola, all of which promise to stimulate the brain and metabolism to help fight fatigue.  The 340ml bottle contains only 8 calories, so dose-up safe in the knowledge that the only thing you’re beefing up is your levels of concentration!  £3.50, selfridges.com

02:  As William Gladstone once said: “If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.” Tea.  It’s everything.  And if you drink as much of it as I do (milk, no sugar), you might aswell make that afternoon cuppa work a little harder!  Viridian Nutrition describe their latest Ultimate Beautea as a “refreshing and cleansing blend of hibiscus flowers, rose petals (rosa damascena), calendula petals, chamomile flowers, licorice root and cleavers leaf.”  £12.00, nutricentre.com

03:  If you’re fretting over the recent appearance of the sunshine and what it means for those “bikini bodies” we’re all supposed to be unveiling (to great applause), I’m on your side.  I somehow haven’t found the motivation to jump out of bed, straight into 400 crunches every morning.  Until that motivation strikes, there’s always the promise of some serious body toning courtesy of Functionalab whose Body Toning Beauty Dose assures a significant improvement in the appearance of cellulite.  The 30-day program contains Grape seed polyphenols which contribute to fat metabolism and the appearance of smoother and firmer body skin. £33, functionalab.co.uk

04:  Planning a heavy night out this weekend?  Been burning the candle at both ends too ferociously?  Faust’s Potions offer something a little bit quirky to help boost your morale and aid in the recovery of the dreaded hangover.  These 25ml vials deliver a much-needed blend of vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts just when your body needs it the most.  If the reviews on Cult Beauty are anything to go by, these should make essential packing for festival goers nationwide this Summer.  £5.99, cultbeauty.co.uk

05:  If beauty comes from within, this Skin Clear supplement program from Perricone MD is bringing out the big guns.  The 30-day regime delivers an impressive 7 tablets a day which include: B-Complex + Vitamin C, Evening Primrose Oil, Tocospan Vitamin E, and Omega 3.  It offers a convenient and no-fuss way to ensure you supplement your skin efficiently with a system formulated to help improve skin’s clarity while providing toning benefits and improving skin’s texture.  £69.50, uk.spacenk.com

06:  Hailing from the oddest-looking tree in the world comes the much-revered Baobab Fruit.  So revered infact, that this fruit – which has three times as much vitamin C as an orange – has long been heralded as a bit of a cure-all for many health complaints.  Containing almost fifty-percent fibre and fourteen essential vitamins and minerals, it knocks spots off many of the other so-called super fruits in existence.  It’s simply not difficult to see the potential beauty benefits from a fruit with almost five times the antioxidants of fresh acai berries!  Aduna’s Baobab Fruit Pulp Powder provides a convenient way to supplement your diet by sprinkling it on your morning cereal/porridge/smoothies and reaping the beauty benefits!  £17.99, aduna.com

Do you beauty dose?

NOTD: Priti NYC in Snapdragon from MyBeautyEmporium

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 17 - 2013

Last week, I received a couple of samples from online beauty haunt, MyBeautyEmporium and one of them caught my eye instantly.  Priti NYC is a nail polish brand that have been around for a couple of years and I remember they caused some controversy back in the day when it was revealed that their collection (allegedly) consisted entirely of repackaged Diamond Cosmetics nail polishes.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Diamond Cosmetics are an inexpensive brand who offer a private label division for just such a thing.  There’s nothing wrong with this, nothing at all.  Private label cosmetics is a huge market and a huge amount of the cosmetics we buy aren’t made by the company on the label.  So what’s the issue?

Well, the problem was that Diamond Cosmetics polishes retail to the public at less than half the price of Priti NYC polishes.  The blogger Polish or Perish wrote a post on which polishes from the two brands crossover so-to-speak.  It would be foolish to spend more on an identical polish no?

Priti-NYC-Nail-POlish-My-Beauty-Emporium

Well, this isn’t really an issue for us in the UK anymore.  With the new Royal Mail restrictions, we’ve never been more of an island than we are today.  The only UK retailer of Diamond Cosmetics polishes packed up her online store a couple of years ago and if you want to get hold of some of the stunning polishes that DC used to offer… Priti NYC may be the only way you can achieve this nowadays.

If you haven’t already discovered the brand for yourself, I really recommend you pick up Lambstail Cactus – a beautiful, scattered holographic charcoal black.  Snapdragon* shown above is also a bit of a Summer must-have with it’s warm opaque-in-just-one-coat, jelly-esque squishiness that reminds me of a Jolly Rancher.  No top coat in that picture by the way.

Priti NYC polishes retail at £8.95 each online at MyBeautyEmporium

* press sample

Get flicked with POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 12 - 2013

Please tell me that you had to read my title twice!  Childishness aside, I thought I’d share a recent purchase with you.

Just as with foundation, I love the promise of a new eyeliner.  You may have noticed that I’m not a gel liner kinda girl, which was tricky in the old days because when I first started blogging, it was ALL about the gel liner.  Oh lord how I tried to make them work for me, I bought brush after brush… slanted ones, angled ones, thin ones, push ones… and liner after liner… but for the life of me, gel liner is something I am just never going to love.

This was a frankly devastating situation because I wanted a flick.  I wanted ALL OF THE FLICKS.  And you can’t do that with kohl, well… not unless your name is Charlotte Tilbury, and I’m only halfway there with the name thing.

“What about liquid liner?” I hear you ask…

Well, up until the time I started blogging… I hadn’t even heard of gel liner.  All my friends used kohl or liquid and I couldn’t. bloody. do. liquid either could I?  The closest I could get to achieving the semblance of a straight line was with the Ruby & Millie i-writers (remember them?), but even then… I couldn’t do it consistently.

I wish I could tell you that I’m about to share the secret of the liquid eyeliner.  I’m not.  All I know is that my unevenly hooded eyelids make the task trickier than it ought to be, which explains why despite copying exactly how my peers applied their liners, my flicks would always be wonky.  All I can say is: don’t give up.  Find the tool that you feel gives you the most control (even if you aren’t quite there yet) and keep practicing.  For me, it’s always been felt-tip shaped liners.

Massive introduction over, the POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner is a pretty brilliant felt-tip shaped eyeliner which you should try if you struggle with your flicks.

Get flicked with POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner

Let me tell you about it…

This liquid liner is a chunky affair, built like a giant kids crayon with a stubby length and chubby girth (“girth” *beavis laugh*).  You can see that the nib is also super-sized, rendering it useless if you want super-fine lines but marvellous for those of us who want to rock a more dramatic look.  The felt tip is quite firm but soft enough to give a little flexibility at the tip without sacrificing any control.

With a light stroke, you can achieve a fine line but it does take a little patience.

I’ve only been using this for around a month, but it doesn’t show any signs of drying out.  Infact, the closure “click” is very strong and it takes a bit of effort to pull the lid off – it gives the impression that they’ve paid attention to preventing it from dehydrating too rapidly – something which can be a real problem with this kind of eyeliner.

Get flicked with POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner

Get flicked with POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner

The formula is inky black and dries quickly.  It promises to be water-resistant although I feel that it sometimes fades quicker than I’d like, especially as I’m one of those awkward people who cry when they laugh.  It doesn’t even have to be that funny.  I don’t have watery eyes at any other time, life’s a bitch.

The swatch above shows two single swipes, one using just the tip and the other, showing a firmer press at a 45 degree angle.  The beauty of this eyeliner for novice application is partially thanks to the fact that you don’t have to repeat your lines, one pass and the pigmentation has reached its full potential.  It also cleans up very nicely with the tip of a cotton bud should you make any mistakes.

Get flicked with POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner

POP Ink Outliner Eyeliner is priced at £10.00, and is available to buy online at www.asos.com and popbeauty.co.uk

How are your flicks?

If you’re gonna get boozy with your afternoon tea this Christmas, ditch the standard champagne flutes and do it in style.  In conjunction with fine perfumer’s Penhaligon’s, the head bartender at Sofitel London St. James has created four exclusive cocktails, inspired by some of the british fragrance house’s best-selling perfumes: Endymion, Juniper Sling, Peoneve, and Artemisia.

The cleverly-concocted cocktails are infused with essential oils, spices and unusual liquers… ensuring they represent an innovative take on the key fragrances that inspired them.

Penhaligon's

Endymion Cologne: Spicy and fresh, Endymion is a fragrance of contrasts, sensual, light and dark, velvety, sweet and sharp.

Penhaligon's

Artemisia Eau de Parfum: Artemisia is both floral and fruity with a sensual powdery dry-down.  Caramel soft, sweet, powdery and silky.

Penhaligon's

Peoneve Eau de Parfum: An exquisite portrayal of an English garden, bursting with green foliage and the scent of blossoming flowers.

With our five senses so closely affiliated, I love the idea of playing with taste and smell in this way – what a fabulous idea and a great touch to what is becoming a staid tradition in London’s hotels.  In addition to the cocktails, head chef Vincent Menager has created an afternoon tea menu that also includes some real scentsations: scones with rose-scented jam, cardamom-scented creme brulee tartlets, and pear mousse snowballs with violet flakes.

The bespoke cocktail and afternoon tea menu will be available at the Sofitel London St. James from the 28th November 2012

5 days on the Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 19 - 2012

I’m not your classic party girl… but if I were, I’d be panicking right about now.  You see, December is the most traditional of party seasons, that time of year when you’re really not supposed to wear the same dress twice.  And as thankful as I am for a red carpet-void lifestyle, I’m even more thankful for the fact that I don’t have to embark on strict beauty rituals to maintain an appearance fit for public consumption.

So why the hell did I agree to trial a Beauty Juice Cleanse for 5 days?  Well, because I had massive bloat, felt like a spotty teenager, and wanted a kick up the backside toward behaving more healthily again.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

Almost everything is provided on the plan, the juices (and supplements) arrived by early-morning post and were still cold on arrival thanks to a well-insulated cool bag and a nip in the air.  I eyed them suspiciously, I’m of the firm opinion that rarely does anything green actually taste pleasant.  I was proven both right (and wrong), as you’ll soon discover.

The morning ritual consisted of starting the day with a barrage of powders, capsules and warm water that tasted suspiciously of sub-standard supermarket lemons (my fault) before consuming the first of the day’s three Purifyne juices.  The Colosan powder ensures that you purge the waste efficiently whilst taking on the benefits of the juices.  Unless you know your tolerance for herbal laxatives, start small and build your way up.  And don’t stray too far from a toilet at first.  Trust.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

I continued to sip at my juices throughout the day, alternating them with filtered water – by the end of day one, I would have robbed your granny for a Pepsi Max.  I can honestly say that I didn’t feel hunger throughout the 5 days of the plan.  Not once.

But don’t confuse that for one-second with “not wanting to eat anything” because as your granny was getting back on her feet, I’d have knocked her back down again for the Greggs sausage roll in her handbag.  Infact, on day 2 and day 4, I had to put myself to bed early because I was quite the grumpiest of baggages without a square meal inside of me.

Having said that, with the exception of one… the juices were good.  Hilariously, out of all of them, it was only the very greenest of juices that I couldn’t stomach (there’s a picture of it toward the bottom of the post).  I ended up pouring it down the sink, I just couldn’t deal.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

I must have gone into ketosis at some point between day 3 and day 4 because I felt a little shaky and light-headed on the morning of day 3 and recognised those symptoms from the Cambridge Diet – however, this isn’t a “diet”… not at all, and I definitely suffered less carb withdrawals (headaches etc.) on this plan.

Afternoons involved taking a beauty “shot”, of a substance quite hopefully named “elixir of youth”, and do you know – it was delicious!  Unfortunately, I had to follow that up with a shot of Aloe Vera juice, which… I could only get down my throat by holding my nose and praying for instant sinusitis.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse is the wonderful excuse for a bit of pampering.  Every evening, I bathed in Dead Sea salts whilst sporting a hideously unnattractive mud mask.  Creature from the Black Lagoon much?  You could have thrown in a bit of seaweed and I’d have been dodging harpoons left, right and centre.  I felt so completely relaxed (and slightly wobbly) after pulling the plug each night that I was more than happy to head to bed with my final drink of the evening, Brazil Nut Milk.  Not quite a hot chocolate… but refreshing nonetheless.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

Day 4, the penultimate day…. was a strange one.  I felt SO ready to eat normal food, but I was also just starting to feel the benefits of four days of juice injection.  Mr L told me that my eyes looked sparkly.  I wasn’t sure if he’d caught me remembering what a KFC tasted like or whether I was actually reaping the benefits of all those vitamins, either way – he was kind enough to notice that I was looking more perky than usual.  Of course, I weighed myself every morning… I wasn’t going to, but I couldn’t resist.  I lost a total of 8lbs over the course of the five days.

I also put 4lbs back on within 72hrs, but then I didn’t follow the “aftercare” plan and I was well aware that a lot of what I’d lost would have been water, which pops straight back on when you start eating refined carbs, sugars, salt etc.  But anyway, I didn’t do it to lose weight… hell, this juice cleanse isn’t even about that.  The Beautifyne Juice Cleanse offers the opportunity to “enhance your beauty” through chlorophyll-packed Green Juices and carefully selected supplements.

Did it?

Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse

I will say that my spots and blemishes healed remarkably quickly compared to normal and I felt that my “lush-flush” (a.k.a diffused redness across my nose/cheeks) seemed less angry.  I also think that you can actually see I’ve lost half a stone in the before/after pictures – even if it didn’t stay off for long…

The plan is cleverly-devised, simple to follow and well-supported.  Any queries I had over email were answered within the hour and I was also provided with a daily email alert reminding me how to stay on track and get the most from the experience.  My only complaint is that I would have liked to have been provided with an “in preparation” shopping list so I could have been ready with things like fresh, organic lemons/epsom salt/additional drinks.

Ultimately, would I do it again?  Well, if I had the money and was told that I’d be wedged between Watts and Mendes for a couple of pap shots, I’d be chugging back the “elixir of youth” shots in a heartbeat.

I definitely felt better for it but I also won’t pretend that I skipped around sipping at my pantothenic acid, folic acid, carotene and choline-rich juices like Mary Poppins’ cheerier sister.  I snarled on more than one occasion.  I’m also divorced now ;)

The 5-day Purifyne Beautifyne Juice Cleanse costs £345 and works well to hand-hold your way through what is, after all, quite a serious detox.  For more advice, you can talk to the guys behind the cleanse on Twitter and Facebook.

* press sample

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

Pukka Nourishing Brightener

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 19 - 2012

Let’s get this straight… Pukka Nourishing Brightener smells like it needs to go in a curry. It looks like it needs to go in a curry and if I sneeze whilst standing too closely to it, chances are, it will end up in a curry. It’s aromatic in the extreme, horrendously messy to work with, and an eternally bemusing thing to put on your face.

That said, it’s bloody brilliant.

I don’t think I’ve actually ever used anything in 3/4 years of beauty blogging that’s had such an instant effect on my skin.  Long-lasting effects?  Well, I don’t know about that but in terms of the skincare miracle that you’d want to apply before a big night out for a glowing complexion?  Well, I think I might have found mine.

I don’t even know what it actually is… Pukka say that it’s got Amla and Gotu Kola in it.  Say what?

I mean, how can this little pot (and you don’t get an awful lot for your money) of… of… what looks like the scrapings off your burnt toast (sorry Pukka) coax my parched skin into such a glow?  It’s like a post-facial glow but without all the steaming, blackhead extraction (the blackheads are still there unfortunately), and skin pummeling.

Simply mix a little bit into your usual cleanser (I use a creamy one like A-Derma Sensifluid Cleansing Lotion), rub it in a bit (technical term) and then rinse off with a warm flannel.  HELL-O GLO!

Pukka Nourishing Brightener is priced at £13.00 for 15g and available online from PukkaHerbs.com – it’s probably awful in a curry.

* press sample

Handbag Hero: Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy Red

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 3 - 2012

Over the last couple of months, I’ve come to rely on a handful of products to see me through the times when the majority of my makeup and skincare have been inaccessible, buried deep in the depths of a cardboard box.  A mis-labeled cardboard box as it happens.  I didn’t take much time over thinking about which cosmetics I’d like to keep close by me during the moving process.  To be honest, I thought that I would have everything unpacked within the week.  Naive.

If I’d thought more about which products I was going to keep available, I probably wouldn’t have chosen this one.  I assumed that it would be far too sheer for me, too much like an insipid lipgloss.

I was wrong.

Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy, as it turns out, is a rather wearable red that doubles-up as both a lip and cheek product.  It packs a decent amount of pigment whilst remaining a long-way from being an in your face red.  The Lip Twin comprises a squeezy tube of sheer-to-medium pigmented ‘goop’, suspended in a jojoba oil-infused formula that doesn’t feel sticky.  You could wear the ‘gloss’ part alone, adding just a hint of colour to your lips – but I prefer to use the balm initially to amp-up the pigmentation.

When it comes to cheek application, I actually prefer to use the ‘gloss’ part on my cheeks, the balm delivers a little too much pigmentation for my fair skin.

The trouble with a great red lipstick will always lie with the upkeep, the most difficult colour to maintain and once it starts looking bad, it lookds *really* bad.  The Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy Red makes a great multi-tasking casual red to tote around in your handbag, making on-the-go maintenance a doddle, which is just as well because longevity (at around 2/3 hours) isn’t its strong point.

Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy Red is available to buy online at pixibeauty.co.uk, priced at £12.00

* press sample

July Product Loves (vol. 533493492)

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 12 - 2012

Or is it vol. 533493491?  With over 2250 posts under my belt, you can appreciate that I’ve loved and fell out of love with all manner of things, such is the fickle nature of beauty and such is the fickle nature of “ooh shiny”.  I’m always reticent to admit to Holy Grail products because I’m not really the kind of person to stick to one thing for life (except perhaps for Mr. L and Boost bars).  If I repurchase something, that’s pretty damn good going when there’s all manner of other lovely things that promise the earth and deliver about 2 continents worth instead.  As beauty lovers, we’ve grown to expect a certain amount of over-selling when it comes to product claims and I guess that’s why blogs are so useful, they simply provide the experiences of peers who generally have the same expectation levels as yourself.

With that in mind, these are the things that I’ve been currently loving long time.  Well, about two weeks – which, in the coquettish world of beauty, is literally, forever.

1). Calling all mermaids!  VOYA Ritzy Spritzy* hails from the salty depths, quite literally!  The hero ingredient to this refreshing toner is hand-harvested seaweed, packed with vitamins B1, B2 and B12 (sounds like Bananas in Pyjamas), plus polysaccharides and alginates, all of which combine to offer a tonic that delivers a moisturising, oil-free formula.  I’m an toner-nut and after using it continuously for a week in-place of my usual variety, this one is particularly efficient in cooling the skin, making it a great holiday choice for those jetting off to far-flung beaches. £23.00 from Look Fantastic.

2). Hello Glow! Hello indeed to this budget-friendly alternative to a particularly well-known Dermalogica favourite!  If you’re a Daily Microfoliant addict, you might want to give Hello Glow‘s Whitening Plus Facial Polish* a spin.  Released just last month, the powder formulation mixes with a little water to create a mildly exfoliating paste that leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft.  It contains a 100% natural blend of coconut milk powder, potato starch, milk, honey, rice and essential oils and is suitcase friendly too! £9.99 from RoseLinkUK.

3). It wouldn’t be Summer without a fresh, summer fragrance to distract myself from the necessity to build a replica Ark and Prada’s Infusion d’Iris offers maximum distraction.  A classic, green scent which despite the name offers a more sensual, woody edge than I’d expect.  The floral is clearly there, along with a burst of Italian-inspired citrus zings that never smell too sharp but it’s the drydrown that leaves my mouth watering in it’s pure cleanliness that leaves me feeling like I’ve just stepped from the shower (minus the cheap soap!).  A perfect balance of floral, fresh and woody that simply works very nicely on my skin.  From £40.00 at Debenhams.

4). From one classic to another, in the form of Trilogy’s Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, which I purchased as a little moisture-booster to my current skincare routine.  I use it while my skin is still wet from the shower (water really makes my skin feel tight), and massage it in to my elbows, knees, heels and any little eczema patches that have flared up overnight – what’s left on my hands after this, goes straight on my face.  In the winter, I may use it more often but a couple of times a week at the moment is enough to keep my skin supple and happy. £16.50 from Boots.

5).  Another one for the holiday bag is Laqa & Co’s Nail Pen in Incestuous*.  Hate the name, love the colour!  This muted lavender nail pen is one of those products that you think will never work.  Nail polish in a pen?!  But work it does… though I discovered that painting with your “wrong” hand is significantly more tricky than when using a regular polish brush – it’s just like writing or drawing with your weak hand!  The polish dispenses easily and is fluid enough to work with without too much fuss.  5ml for £11 makes it an expensive option, but it’s great for travel and is a real conversation starter as I discovered on the train the other day! £11 from PowderRooms.

6). There’s lots of classics on my list today and Olay’s Classic Care Nourishing Beauty Fluid (Sensitive) is perhaps the consummate defintion of the word.  My day moisturiser recently ran out, and being on a no-buy meant that I had more chance of a sunny day than guiltessly hot-footing it to the Elemis counter, so I settled for Asda instead and picked up this one to tide me over.  I actually meant to pick up this one but couldn’t find it on the shelves.  That being said, it’s doing a sterling job at leaving my skin feeling hydrated with a non-greasy finish.  I’m not sure I’ll repurchase, because I’ll hopefully be off my no-buy when this one runs out and I’ll try and pick up the one I meant to get next time.  Still, £4.69 from Boots – mustn’t grumble!

7). Can you tell I’m not going on holiday until September?  My goodness am I packing in these travel essentials this month!  The St. Tropez Bronzing Gel* is a great option for pasty legs that demand a streak-free finish!  Creams are all well and good but this dark gel will ensure you leave no patches un-tanned!  Combine it with an applicator mitt and really work the formula into your skin to ensure an even tan.  I like the gel formula because it looks a bit scarier, thus making me less complacent with my application – it’s all in the mind folks and this one just makes me work harder (in a good way!). £21.99 from Boots.

8). Last but by no means least!  Benadryl Allerfy Relief (Acrivastine) keeps both myself and Mr. L free from hayfever.  I’m fortunate to only suffer from mild symptoms but when the pollen count reaches the top of the charts, I reach for one of these and it knocks all symptoms on the head within half an hour.  I do sometimes have to take another tablet later in the day and they’re not the cheapest (I don’t think you can get generic versions) but they’re the best I’ve found for controlling the summer sniffles!  £3.80 from Tesco.

What are you loving so far this month?

* press sample

Style it, don’t fry it with Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 4 - 2012

If we’re not straightening it, we’re curling it.  If we’re not dye-ing it, we’re stripping it.  Our hair goes through more daily turmoil than the cast of Eastenders and I’m always on the lookout for ways to protect my locks, because heaven forbid, I should actually just stop mistreating them!

Philip Kingsley, major hair guru (or trichologist to give him his proper name), offers an anti-breakage, heat protecting conditioning spray for all hair types in the form of his Daily Damage Defence* spray.  It’s spendy at £22.50 for 250ml but if you only straighten your hair a couple of times a week (like me), this hefty bottle is going to last you 6 months or more with no trouble.  If you straighten your hair daily, stop that at once!

Many of us straighten our hair to eliminate the frizzies, at least… that’s what I do.  I’m a little bit addicted to the glossiness that ironed hair imparts and I haven’t yet discovered the secrets to achieving the same with a decent blow-dry.  I’m only washing my hair a maximum of twice or three times a week at the moment because I lose too much colour, too quickly if I wash more frequently and I’m finding that this by itself is helping my hair retain more moisture than normal.

I wash (still keep cheating on my SLS-free shampo), condition (deep condition once a week), pat dry with a towel, spray with the Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence, and comb through with a boar-bristled brush.  Then I blow dry, and finally… run my straighteners through at as low a temperature as I can (anything above 180 degrees is really too hot for hair to handle).

The Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence is a silicone-based heat protectant (silicone avoiders beware) with added nourishing benefits from ingredients such as: hydrolised elastin, almond seedcake extract, amino acids and other hygroscopic (moisture-attracting) properties.  It smells good and dispenses a fine mist so I don’t overload my fine hair and weigh it down.  It’s the only styling product I’ve been using except for hairspray in an attempt to grasp any other benefits that it may be delivering.

Has my hair been breaking less?  Not really… at least, not that I’d directly attribute to the use of this product.  My hair breaks more so (in my opinion) because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome, I’m also a terrible shedder and I can’t have a shower without emptying the plughole of enough hair to stuff a pillow.  I haven’t noticed any improvements in this regard since using the Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence.

Do I see any benefits at all?  I find that it’s helping my straighteners glide through my hair more efficiently and more quickly, something which I believe is lessening the scope for damage whilst still delivering good results when I’m done.  I haven’t noticed it causing any additional colour leech, infact… I’d say that I’ve had less since I’ve been using it (and it does say “suitable for use on color treated hair”), something which has become a bit of a priority recently.  I’ve just been for the chop (4 inches off) so I can’t comment on split ends but I hadn’t noticed a significant improvement and really don’t believe that any product will deliver on that score!

It’s more than I’d want to pay for a heat-protectant… but you get a lot of product for your money and it’s packaged in such a way that there is no waste during use, so if you don’t already have something that you’re happy with and can stomach the initial splurge, I do recommend the Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence.  If you already use something that you swear by at a more bargainous price, I’m all ears!

I’ve tried a few and hadn’t (until now) found a happy balance between the product weighing down my hair and not actually achieving anything other than a bit of additional scent!  Thumbs up for this one.

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence (250ml) is priced at £22.50 and available to buy instore and online at Marks&Spencer

* press sample

Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer SPF35

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 23 - 2012

We all know that concealer is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to create the illusion of a more well-rested complexion, it’s also the most misunderstood and mis-used of tools in our arsenal and the one product that I enjoy the biggest love/hate relationship with. But when is a concealer not just a concealer?

When Perricone MD debut their No Concealer Concealer of course! This new product launches next month online at perriconemd.co.uk and johnlewis.com, it’s priced at a none-too-shabby £37, so just what does it offer to justify that price tag?

Perricone MD’s No Concealer Concealer* builds upon the brand’s previous success: No Foundation Foundation, taking a fresh look at how our makeup interacts in the long-term with our skin. It promises the kind of multiple skin benefits that you’d expect from a high-end cosmeceutical line including:

~ Vitamin C Ester for brightening and collagen boosting
~ Hyaluronic Acid to boost skin’s natural moisture throughout the day and hep minimize wrinkles
~ Phospholipids to deliver essential moisture while creating a barrier to further protect the skin
~ Neuropeptides to address wrinkles, firmness and smoothness
~ Microcirculatory agents to help treat dark circles, making them less visible over time
~ Mineral-based, non-chemical sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB damage

It obviously makes sense to combine some of the most potent anti-aging ingredients into the products that spend the longest amount of time in direct contact with our skin and although this theory has often been employed in the form of foundation, less so when it comes to concealer and even more enticingly, this one works nicely in that most time-sensitive of areas, the eyes.

The packaging is unpretentious and simple, a self-assembly pump system that works well and allows full control over how much product you dispense. The brand recommend to dispense a single pump for use on both eyes, with any excess applied over other parts of the face that need concealing. I found this encouraged me to pile too much on in the eye area, which in turn, led to some settling into my fine lines. You really don’t need much at all to create a more even appearance. The formula is rich without feeling sticky and despite my dry skin, it left the delicate area feeling nourished throughout the day – that in itself, a bit of a miracle. I usually have to use the lightest of textures in this area to avoid settling and clumping and this one works well despite a heavier texture than I’d usually use.

I’d suggest dispensing half a pump, warming it between the ring fingers and first pressing it to an area of your face (other than the eye area) that needs concealing. Then move immediately to the eye area (without further concealing or blending) to press the product onto the dark circles, socket bones and inner contours.

You can see that the shade is fairly forgiving despite my pale skintone, unlike the No Foundation Foundation (which was too dark for me when swatched). It’s perhaps still a hint too dark to be ideal for the under-eye area but it works particularly well to conceal my redness across the bridge of my nose. I’ll leave you with a picture of the concealer applied on a foundation-less face. I think I applied it a touch too heavy in certain areas, and I’m sure that (as with most things), there’s a learning curve to get to grips with but I’m really impressed with how this both conceals and feels on my skin.

Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer SPF 35 is priced at £37 and will be available to buy online from perriconemd.co.uk and johnlewis.com.

* press sample

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