The real steal: Two fragrances that belie their price tags!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 22 - 2014

If you always struggle to buy the man who has everything, something… then I might be able to help you out.

Whether it’s a partner, a brother, a son, or a father… there’s always one fella in the family who leaves you scratching your head when it comes to accommodating him in your annual Christmas shop.  You may not think that fragrance is the most original gift choice in the world but if you get it right… you’re on to a bonafide winner.

Over the years, I’ve managed to grind down Mr. L’s resolve to the point where he is finally, a fully-fledged fragrance fiend.  His tastes vary but he’s not too particular… if it smells great, offers long-lasting wear and isn’t too extreme, he appreciates a well-crafted scent whatever the notes.

I’ve picked out two from his collection that I think would appeal to most men on your gift lists… and perhaps even more excitingly, you can pick them up for less than £16 each!  Yes, I’m talking about some of my favourite kind of fragrances, those mainstream buys that slip under the radar, punching well above their weight!

budget men's fragrances christmas 2014

The Dad/Husband Choice: Pour Homme – Van Cleef & Arpels (from £12.15 – link)

Of the two fragrances that I’ve selected as “great buys”, this is the one that would be better suited to an older gentleman.  It has a 70s vibe that might not appeal to the younger, Paco Rabanne 1 Million-wearing crowd.  It was revealed by VC&A a couple of years ago, that Pour Homme was one of Serge Gainsbourg’s favourite scents and if you know me, you won’t be surprised that this fact alone made me RUN for the nearest stockist.

Pour Homme opens with a vintage blast of green, a combination of aromatics that include basil, juniper, and bergamot.  It’s a pungent beginning, herbaceous and dated – though depending on your personal tastes, that last adjective is not meant as a criticism – merely a caution.

The heavyweight bottle hints at the darkness of the juice inside, I like to imagine the contents swirling around in there like some kind of twilight-zone vortex because I do believe that the dark arts were afoot during its creation.  I simply cannot envision how it is possible to blend so many different discernible notes without creating a complete hash of a fragrance.  From the freshness to the spiciness, the leather to the wood, the soapiness to the magnificent rose – it’s all in there, managed like a military operation.

Though I have mentioned the Serge Gainsbourg connection, I find it quite hard to associate the two personalities, myself.  Pour Homme is the epitome of a formal fragrance, it’s perfectly styled to sit beautifully against the backdrop of a dark suit, buttoned up to the hilt.  I can only amalgamate the personalities by unbuttoning that collar a few inches and adding 20 Gitanes into the mix.  Ahh yes, there you go.

As the fragrance dries down on my skin, the soft rose notes blossom into a bouquet against a somewhat-soapy backdrop… on my husband’s skin the rose whips against leather and patchouli, darkening the shadows further and stretching them into a bygone age.  The projection and longevity is equal to nothing else in his collection of fragrance, it can only be described in a cliche, as a powerhouse.  I can still smell this on my husband’s collar when doing the laundry, days later.

Talk about getting some serious bang for your buck.  Oui, Je T’aime.

van cleef pour homme 24 gold

The Son/Boyfriend Choice: 24 Gold Eau de Toilette (from £15.00 – link)

If you can get past having Twentieth Century Fox logos emblazoned across the outer packaging, you’d be extremely wise to give this one a chance.  24 Gold is indeed a spin-off fragrance, paying homage to TV’s Jack Bauer.  On paper… it’s about as gimmicky as they come, Mr L’s bottle even arrived with a 24-emblazoned ipod armband… presumably so he can listen to his favourite tunes while taking down the world’s baddest baddies.  Frankly, it should be shit.  But it isn’t, it’s about as far away from shit as you can get, it’s amazing.

24 Gold has an alltogether younger feel than Pour Homme, with gourmand chocolate box qualities and a boozy heart of amber.  From the off, it delivers up a beautiful and striking blend of powerful oud and vanilla – remaining forever sweet and better suited to the cooler weather.  It’s an atomic blast of a fragrance, lasting for hours and hours on both mine and Mr. L’s skin, projecting itself into a room long after we’ve left its walled confines.

24 Gold describes itself as a unisex fragrance, and I agree… it has some feminine qualities and a sweet oriental heaviness that would undoubtedly frighten off most Davidoff Cool Water-loving men, so do have a precursory sniff at some of the other scents in your intended target’s collection before jumping in with a blind buy.  Certainly, if most of his collection is light and airy… steer well clear, 24 Gold is decadent, rich, and very, very dense.

If you think you might have the green light on a bolder choice of fragrance, 24 Gold genuinely wouldn’t be wildly out of place in a designer’s private blends collection – exclusively available to only the world’s most revered department stores.  In conclusion, it belies its frankly ridiculous price tag.

Taken at face value, it would be easily forgivable to overlook this one in your local perfume store’s bargain bin.  But do so at your peril!

 

These two fragrances prove that it’s simply not necessary to drop £££ to find an incredible fragrance and although fragrance buying is a very personal experience, I believe you’ll be hard-pushed to find better quality for the money this Christmas.

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Limited Edition products for Superdrug’s 50th Birthday!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 10 - 2014

Superdrug, in dog years… let’s be honest, you’re dead.

The big Five Oh.  1964-….

It’s not a number to be sniffed at, especially in the kind of financial times that have proven too much for even the greatest of high-street institutions *cough* Woolworths pick n’ mix *cough*.

You must be doing something right.  And infact, I know you are… because even with the ridiculous amount of shopping opportunities available to me when I wander through town, I always pop in for a look at your best budget beauty, your splendiforous own-brand hair colourants, and fridges that burst at the seams with Appletiser.  I hope I’ve still got half of what it takes to remain relevant when I reach my half-century!

superdrug-big-50

In honour of this milestone, a host of the world’s favourite beauty brands have created some rather special limited-edition Superdrug products for the birthday celebrations.  You may be noticing a bit of a colour theme going on, I’ll give you a clue… it ain’t blue.

The products available range from fragrance to cosmetics, skin-care to everyday essentials and include favourites such as: Astral’s iconic multipurpose moisturiser (£3.89), Lipcote (£3.69), BarryM Nail Paint (£3.99), Cacharel Amor Amor (£35), and Cocoa Brown One Hour Dark Tan (£6.99).

Alongside this barrage of pink produce, the celebrations take a more comprehensive turn with lots of instore and online promotions, including some nifty 50% off deals, and various Facebook/Twitter promotions.

They’ve even released a video on YouTube to showcase the changing face of the must-have party look over the past half-century:

If you want to wish the brand a happy twoscore and ten, simply use the hashtag #superdrug50 on to join in the celebrations on Twitter. 

And don’t forget to check out the Superdrug website for a chance to win a hamper packed full of exclusive Superdrug 50th Birthday products!

Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner in Neptune & Sparks

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 26 - 2014

I have very little patience for a lot of things.  Life’s little foibles that increase my intolerance levels are varied and far-reaching… waiting to use the bathroom in the morning, picking up a freshly-boiled kettle only to discover that the person before you didn’t put enough water in for two cups… you know the kind of thing.

I’ve got another one for you.  Reaching for your eyeliner only to discover that it’s so blunt, that were you to use it… you’d risk losing an eye.

So, it’s just as well that Smashbox have saved my sanity and devised an “always sharp” waterproof liner range and I’ve got two from the 3D (a.k.a sparkly) line-up to show you swatches of today.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill retractable eyeliners, they actually feature some kind of voodoo sharpener in the lid, meaning that everytime you twist the cap off… the tip appears neatly tapered and ready for some precision action.  You don’t need to twist these up to expose more product, they’re just ready-to-wear time and time again.

My only complaint about them is that from what I can tell, there’s no way of discovering when they’re nearing the end of their lifespan.  3D Sparks is a golden olive shade, dark enough to pass for a softer black or grey with a bunch o’ gold glitter and 3D Neptune is a very pretty navy blue with brighter sparkles.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners Swatch

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

The formula is quite firm and stays put well, giving long-wear without transfer or running.  I’ve even worn one along the lower waterline with great success and no eye-irritation from the shimmer particles.

The Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are priced at £16-a-piece, so I’d like to point out that for those on a budget, it’d be worth checking out the Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner at £6-a-piece which also give a similar sparkle finish, albeit with more drag and none of the fancy self-sharpening!

Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are available to purchase instore at Boots and online at boots.com or smashbox.co.uk priced at £16.00 each

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SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 18 - 2014

Shall we have something a little more demure today? All this holographic sparkle is lush n’ all but not always the most work-appropriate of choices.  If you are looking for the kind of polish that is possibly more work-appropriate than even you are, look no further than this Suqqu Spring release…

SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha is so demure and understated that it makes Emma Watson look like Miley Cyrus.  This pale, creamy nude is completely and utterly neutral, like the milkiest tea-latte in the coffee-shop.

suqqu-nail-polish-ex-05-shirakoucha-notd

It’s a little sheer on the first coat and needs a full 2 or even 3 coats to build up to opacity and you only get a rather laughable 5ml for your money here, so if you’re wearing this frequently as part of your nail wardrobe, you’ll get through a bottle sharpish.

That aside, it’s a lovely polish to work with, quick-drying and glossy… I’m on day 3 of wear and it still looks as good as new.

SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha is priced at £18.00 and available to buy on counter at Selfridges while stocks last.

* press sample

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My favourite luminizing eye shadows!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2014

As a simple lady (in more ways than one), I’m just not interested in painting my eyes with a rainbow of colours anymore.  It makes me feel conspicuous, something that I don’t enjoy being at the best of times.  Whilst I may be getting past the whole idea of using makeup as a way to be creative, I don’t think I’ll ever get over its abilities to make me look more refreshed, and leave me feeling more confident in my own appearance.

Truth be told, nowadays… I rarely stray from wearing anything other than a highlighting shade across my eyelids.  I need something that puts luminosity into a part of my face that is often the first to express just how little sleep I’ve gotten in recent weeks.  I know that many of you will be the same as me, “boring” though it is…

I thought I’d share my favourite luminosity-delivering eye shadows for a quick morning post… these are the ones that I use in constant rotation… whichever is closest to hand, I’m happy to use that morning.

Favourite highlighting lid shades

Top row, left to right: MAC Vanilla Pigment, MAC Femme Fi, MAC Phloof!

Bottom row, left to right: Becca Vicuna, The Body Shop Colour Crush 101, Shu Uemura IR Beige 800

I rarely feel makeup guilts about purchasing a highlighting shade, which is silly… because six, used in rotation, is more than enough for anyone.  However, I know that as part of my daily staple, I’ll get through them… eventually.  In a pinch, most of them can also be used as a skin highlighter across the cheekbones, I do this particularly with The Body Shop Colour Crush 101 eyeshadow when I can’t find my NARS Albatross.

Favourite Highlighting eyelid shades eyeshadow

Of the six, MAC’s Vanilla Pigment delivers the most intense light-reflection, it’s wonderful for the inner corner but my skin is a little too mature to wear this as an under-the-browbone highlighter, it makes me feel like I’m in drag to be honest… not really a good thing, when err… you’re not actually in drag.  I do love this one as an allover lid colour, I just make sure to blend it well and combine with some black liquid liner for a simple-but-polished look.

If you were to push me, I’d probably call out MAC’s discontinued Femme-Fi as my ultimate favourite.  It just has such a lovely quality that never looks chalky or stark across the lids, sometimes the cooler-toned, more frosty Phloof! can look a little too highlightery across the lids.  Whenever I spot Femme-Fi in someone’s blog sale, I always succumb to the purchase.

Becca’s Vicuna is also a beautiful one-shade option, I probably reach for it the least out of the six just because it’s in a cream format… but when I get my head around working outside the box, I’m always pleased with the result.

Finally, the discontinued Shu Uemura IR Beige 800 and The Body Shop Colour Crush 101* are really similar to each other in tone.  The Shu Uemura is a little more refined in texture, but once both are blended, you’d be hard-pushed to notice a difference between them.  These are both perfect for the inner corner but when worn across the lid, I try to combine them with a more golden-toned crease colour as opposed to my usual taupe.

What are your favourite luminosity-delivering eye shadows?

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Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Smashbox’s answer to the Urban Decay Naked franchise is finally here, and for anyone who can’t get enough of these nude eyeshadow compendiums, prepare to have your head turned by another claimant to the throne.

The Smashbox Full Exposure Palette features a full set of complementary shimmer and matte shades.  Complementary in the sense that they pair up beautifully… you’re not really looking at a full palette of fourteen-different shades, it’s less convoluted than that.  Consider it more like a palette of seven daily-use shades that give you a choice between two textures.

The housing is pretty substantial in a I’m-not-very-portable kinda way.  If you don’t mind the chunkiness of the UD palettes, then this won’t bother you but if you prefer something a little more streamlined, take a look at the recent Clinique offering as an alternative.  The front of the Smashbox palette features some too-gorgeous-for-words holographic lettering that made me go a little weak at the knees.  I’m not ashamed to admit that my head gets turned by such frivolity… it’s beautiful.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

Once inside, there’s a large mirror, the fourteen eyeshadow pans, and a high quality, double-ended brush.  The brush is worth a particular mention as it’s been designed to work in partnership with the textures in this palette.  One end should be used for applying the matte shades and one for the shimmers.  It’s a nice touch.  There’s also a mini mascara included.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

Onto the shades themselves, this is, afterall… the heart of the palette.

I would have prefered to see the mattes along the top row here… they are, after all, the workhorse part of the palette.  The mattes are beautiful, non-chalky and rich in colour.  They apply with great pigmentation and blend smoothly… a reason in themselves to pick up this palette.  The seven shades offer the full-spectrum from palest to darkest along the neutral line and I can’t really fault them.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

The top row of the palette will confound you.  How can the mattes be so uncomplicated and these beautiful shimmers so… high-maintenance?  The easiest way to give you an idea of how they apply is to remind you of the “notorious” glitters from Urban Decay, the likes of Midnight Cowboy… such a beautiful shade but so finickity.  With the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, you’re basically getting a set of seven of these along the top row.

Are they unworkable?  No.  Are they useless?  No.  But you have to learn to love them if you don’t want to cast the whole thing out the window.  The learning curve for this isn’t steep but for many, it will be an ask too far.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

The base of the shimmers is only lightly pigmented, meaning that you’re going to need a primer for these shades to display anything more than a pretty scattering of glitter across your lids.  This isn’t a problem and I recommend using something like the Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy which still works better for adhering glitters to your eyelids than anything else I’ve tried.

Alternatively, you can just go with it and ride this palette bareback.  Embrace a dusting of complementary light (and lack of colour) across the matte base that you’ve applied from lower portion of the palette.  That is after all, I’m assuming… the reason why these shades work so nicely paired as you look at them from top-to-bottom in the pans.  Just be sure to do your eye-makeup before your foundation routine to work around any fall-out issues.

Basically, this palette, beautiful though it is… has its pitfalls.  There’s room for post-purchase disappointment if you don’t know what you’re getting from it… so do go and check it out on the counter with an open but cautious mind about whether it would fit in with your beauty routine.

A final special mention goes to the rather nifty eye-shape chart that the brand have included.  It features mini-tutorials on how to use the palette to suit a variety of eye-shapes from almond to round, downturned to monolid, and even includes some tips and techniques for hooded eyes.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

The Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette is priced at £36.00 and is available to buy instore and online from boots.com or smashbox.co.uk

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Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 24 - 2014

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear about a new all-in-one face base, I get very hopeful at the thought of being able to shave minutes from my morning beauty routine… any opportunities to hit the snooze button in bed are precious to me and I welcome them with open arms.

Sarah McNamara is a lady that I’d never heard of before but her range is available to purchase in the UK via QVC and includes a variety of products based around the idea of one-step application products that are designed to “instantly transform your skin”.  Her hero product, and the one that launched the brand’s range is the original Miracle Skin Transformer SPF20 which has recently been flanked by the illuminating “Spotlight” version of the product, which I’ve been trialling over the past few weeks.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 02

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 06

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 03

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight Swatches

The product claims to be a 5-in-1 skin enhancer to help hydrate, prime, illuminate and protect your skin.  My hormonal dryness is the bane of my life at the moment and I’m sticking to products that promise to brighten the dullness and provide coverage that I can amp up with concealer as needed.

On paper, the Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight should be exactly what I’m looking for… but can a suit-all product cope with my drier-than-normal complexion?

At this time of year, I’m not too concerned about SPF protection but in the Summer, I would be all over the SPF20 this product provides… my only caveat is whether you’re actually applying enough of it to achieve the rating stated on the bottle.

The formula is silicone-based with the traditional primer slip and glide.  It takes a reasonable amount of rubbing in to blend so I’d recommend applying it with your fingers rather than a brush, something I’m happy to do with a lighter base product.  The illumination is there in the form of a subtle and rather grown-up sparkle which you can hopefully detect in my swatch photo set above.

My biggest issue with this product is that it’s sadly just too dark for me.  The original Miracle Skin Transformer is available to purchase in a variety of shades but this Spotlight (illuminating) flanker is only available in the one shade.  It’s best suited to fair-medium skintones and if you’re any paler or darker than this, you’ll be limited to applying only a thin layer of product before it starts impacting on your natural skin colour.

Sadly, this isn’t the answer I’ve been looking for… it copes well with my dryness and doesn’t ball-up or migrate toward the drier patches but it’s just not the all-in-one solution I was hoping for.  Because of the shade, I can’t actually apply enough of the product to achieve any kind of even skintone without darkening my pale skin… so for me, it works purely a primer… and I already have plenty of illuminating primers that I’m happier with for my skin-type.

I’d have little hesitation in recommending this as being one of those products that would probably work fabulously on women without any real skin issues, I could imagine it being a great summer-holiday investment for fair/medium-skinned folk who are looking for a little sun protection and illumination without a foundation-heavy feeling on their skin.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight is available to buy online from qvcuk.com, currently priced at £26.88

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I haven’t really explored the B. range at Superdrug since its launch, to be honest… I just can’t say that any of the brand’s releases have inspired me to make the trip further-afield to a better-stocked Superdrug.  I saw a press release for their new B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colours, and for one moment… I thought I might well be converted by the look of these chubby lip crayons.  But was I?

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango and B. Sculplted Contour Kit Review3

Along with one of the new B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colours in Fandango* – a hot pink, I was sent the new B. Sculpted Contour Kit in shade Dark*.  I’ll start with the Lip & Cheek Colour first…

It’s packaged in a traditional, crayon-style format with a twist mechanism to raise and lower the waxy nib, perfect if like me, you hate having to sharpen anything!  It feels well-made and the colour glides over the lips effortlessly.

Perhaps a little too effortlessly, you see… it feels quite greasy and to achieve anything like the kind of vibrancy I was expecting, you need to layer up.  More layers = more grease.  It’s not a great combination.  I wasn’t expecting a matte formula but there’s just something about the way this feels that doesn’t appeal to me.  It’s not sticky and it’s not overly heavy, it’s just… not quite there.

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango and B. Sculplted Contour Kit Review2

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango and B. Sculplted Contour Kit Review4

Once I’ve built up the pigment to a medium-high finish (the swatch above shows about 5 swipes with the crayon), I tend to grab a tissue to blot.  That’s the only way I can enjoy wearing this shade on my lips.  To be fair, this doesn’t take down the pigment too much and possibly increases overall wear time but I just wanted something more instantly vibrant from a product that calls itself… vibrant.

As for my cheeks?  Perhaps the multi-use function of this product has something to do with why the formula feels the way it does… but you know about my distaste for sharing my lip products with my face and if I saw someone smearing their lip crayon around on their cheeks after I’d just watched them apply it to their mouth, I might be forced to spit on a tissue for them.

The B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colours come in five shades, ranging from a soft pink through to a rather striking mandarin.  I’ve only tried the one shade and would be interested to hear your thoughts on the others!

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango and B. Sculplted Contour Kit Review

The other new release from the brand is a Sculpted Contour Kit that is available to buy in light, medium, and dark.  This is the “dark” shade choice.  The kit is split into two pans containing just over a total of 10g of product.

The powder, the contouring side of the pan feels finely-milled with a nice, soft texture and a good amount of pigment pay-off.  The cream highlight shade is an oddity.  When I first saw it in the pan, I angled it under the light, expecting to see some mica particles glimmer back at me.  But no, either mine is defective or it’s just a translucent white cream.  Much like a thin, theatrical greasepaint.  On my skin, it doesn’t do an awful lot other than look… greasy.

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango and B. Sculplted Contour Kit Review5

Once blended, it reminds me of putting a slightly more-refined version of vaseline on the high points of my face… there’s nothing wrong with this, women have been using vaseline as a highlighting trick for years, it just wasn’t quite what I anticipated.  It’s best applied at the end of your makeup routine, otherwise any setting powder that you apply will ruin the effect.

All in all, I’m not excited or enthused about these two releases from the budget high-street brand.  In 2014, I expect better formulas for the not unsubstantial RRP price tags of these products.

B. Vibrant Lip & Cheek Colour in Fandango is priced at £7.99 but currently a third off at £5.32 for a limited time.  B. Sculpted Contour Kit in Dark is priced at £11.99 but currently a third off at £6.99 for a limited time.  Available to buy instore at Superdrug and online at superdrug.com

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Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx Now!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 13 - 2013

If you’ve been into a TKMaxx store recently, you might have spotted some lovely goodies from Sue Devitt.  I was alerted to the discount store’s recent haul of premium cosmetics by the lovely Wordbird on Twitter who only had to mention the eye pencils to have me running to my nearest store.  If you don’t know about the Australian brand (and the makeup artist behind the name), let me quickly tell you a little bit about it.

The brainchild of international makeup artist Sue Devitt, her brand was born from her love and experiences of travelling around the world.  You may recognise many of the shade names as global locations (particularly some lesser-known Australian ones!) that she has visited throughout her career.  The line was based around an idea to bring together the benefits of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals alongside a colour palette of cosmetics.  In the UK, the brand was sold in Fenwick, and Harvey Nichols but alas folded earlier this year.

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-1

My TKMaxx “splurge” came to a total of £15

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-2

Sue Devitt Intensifier Eye Pencils (£1.99 ea)

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-3

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-4

Esna Eyeshadow and Vanuatu Blush (£1.99 ea)

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-5

Sue Devitt Makeup at TKMaxx-6

Sue Devitt Seaweed Gel Based Liquid Foundation in Tanami (£3.00)

I’ve only really had a quick play with the pencils which are creamy and richly pigmented.  They move about fairly easily and the chubby format dictates a slightly more lived-in look but I’m loving using them as all-over eye colours and smudged under the lower lashline for a more informal wear.

The foundation has a ton of slip and feels lightweight on the skin, you can see that the shade Tanami is more my Summer colour so I’d suggest it as a good match for a NW20.  It delivers a sheer finish but doesn’t feel too drying on my parched skin.

The eyeshadow and blush, I’ve yet to wear but both feel finely-milled with a decent pigment and a soft, almost creamy (powdery) application.

Have you spotted the Sue Devitt range at TKMaxx?  Picked up any bargains?

Relaunched: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick Range

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 9 - 2013

Whether you’re the kind of girl who revels in a red, takes comfort in a faithful skin-toned nude, or paints the town pink… you’ll recognise the transformative power of a great lipstick.  It’s the one item in a girl’s makeup arsenal that can take a look from zero-to-hero in a second with the minimum of fuss.

However, geting down to the serious business of choosing the perfect lipstick is always a subject up for great discussion!  The choice of shade, texture, and finish can be somewhat overwhelming when confronted with a bewildering array of counters at your local beauty hall.

Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura were responsible for one of my first high-end lipstick purchases when I fell in love with a perfect pinky-nude that paired beautifully with a smoky eye.  I relished finally finding a range that offered more than just the standardised option of slug-toned nudes, they offered true nudes for all skin-tones!

Never content with resting on their laurels the cult brand have re-launched their entire Rouge Unlimited line of lipsticks and you’re practically guaranteed to find your perfect match among the impressive 44 new shades available.  The new range incorporates some cutting-edge technology to ensure the smoothest of applications whilst delivering head-turning pigment.  The brand promise to achieve all of this without the usual compromise on comfort thanks to an active moisture-locking cream plus lip care which will help protect and nourish your lips.


The behind-the-scenes video above is not only beautifully shot but gives a good insight into the new range’s transformative ability, also… can you say cheekbones much? *swoon*.

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Advent fun with Urban Retreat, Clinique, Escentual, and more!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 2 - 2013

If you’re left feeling disappointed by the synthetic aftertaste from your el-cheapo Advent Calendars, never fear… I’ve got something here to perk up your taste-buds.  Some of our favourite stores and brands are running Advent promotions and competitions to get you back into the Christmas spirit, here’s a quick run-down of some of my favourites…

chrimbo-countdown

Clinique

Every day from the 2nd – 8th December, the brand will be unveiling a Christmas treat available with online purchases.  I’d love to give you a full run-down of what will be on offer but the bods at Clinique HQ are keeping their secret’s firmly under wraps until the morning of the offer.

They have, however, released a few teasers which include…

Monday 2nd DecemberThe Christmas party must-have
Tuesday 3rd DecemberAll you need is Comfort & Joy this season
Wednesday 4th DecemberTreats for everyone
Thursday 5th December - All you’ll want for Christmas is this
Friday 6th December - A Happy Friday it shall be
Saturday 7th December - A cracking treat
Sunday 8th December - You’ll wish it could be Christmas everyday

Log on to www.clinique.co.uk each morning to discover the latest treat….

Urban Retreat

If you’re feeling a bit bleary-eyed, you’d better reach for the Optrex.  Your peepers will need to be in top condition to scoop the prizes on offer at Urban Retreat’s Beautique.  Starting today, the company are relaunching their Great Christmas Quest campaign featuring a decadent array of prizes up for grabs!

Simply log-on to the site from 12pm daily this week and begin the treasure hunt, scouring the site for the standout present icon selling for only 1p.  When you find it, add it to your basket and checkout to claim the prize but be quick about it, you’re in a race to be the first to secure the item!

For more information and find out more about the prizes up for grabs, follow the brand on Twitter @URBeautique and keep an eye on the #XMASQUEST hashtag.  You can also find more details online at Urban Retreat.

Escentual.com

The beauty emporium are once again running their ever-popular #EscentualWish promotion on Twitter!  Hooray!  Starting this Thursday and running for one week, the company will be randomly selecting a winner each day on Twitter to receive their most wished-for Escentual product!

If you want to join in with the fun, simply get involved using the hashtag #EscentualWish and follow the brand on Twitter @escentual

Superdrug

For Facebookers everywhere, this one’s for you.  Head on over to the Superdrug fan page and jump on board with the high-street retailer’s 25-day Christmas extravaganza!

Every day from now until Christmas, open the virtual door and discover a new prize up for grabs.  Make sure you enter your details into the prize draw form which resets every night at midnight.  Good luck!

Big Green Smile

Last but not least, natural beauty experts Big Green Smile are running a 12 Days of Christmas promotion featuring a host of beauty bounty from some of the world’s best-loved brands.

To be in with a chance of winning, head on over to Big Green Smile and check out the entry form and T&C for this promotion.

 

Hope you’re feeling lucky folks!

(Probably) the most expensive face wipes in the world…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 23 - 2013

In these times of austerity, does anything seem more wasteful than spending ££££ on disposable face wipes?  But for every face-wipe detractor out there, you’ll find someone who wouldn’t be without the convenience of their skincare-enriched, disposable towels.

As someone who tries to avoid too much water when cleansing, I’ve been known to use face wipes as part of my cleansing routine.  Not to remove a full face of makeup, but to freshen my face in the mornings…  I have to admit, however, that I’ve never paid more than around £6 for a pack.  I’m not sure I could bring myself to pay any more than this… but would you part with the cash for any of these?

face-wipes

01: Murad Clarifying Wipes for Blemish-Prone Skin (£18.00, lookfantastic.com) – 30 wipes per pack / 60p per wipe

These wipes from Doctor-led brand Murad have been enriched with witch hazel, algae extract, grape seed extract and vitamin E.  Designed specifically for blemish-prone skintypes, the wipes promise to tighten your pores, regulate sebum and oil production and protect your skin from free radical damage.

02: Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes (£14.40, jerseybeautycompany.co.uk) – 20 wipes per pack / 72p per wipe

The Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes contain Antibacterial Triclosan, extracts of Balm Mint, Coneflower and Camphor, Salicylic Acid, and witch-hazel to cleanse, remove excess surface oil, and purify the skin.  These are particularly recommended for popping in your gym bag as a post-workout freshen-up.

03: Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes (£15.00, hqhair.com) – 30 wipes per pack / 50p per wipe

For a less astringent cleanse, the Ole Henriksen Truth To Go wipes offer naturally based mild surfactants to gently lift away dirt and impurities while essential fatty acids nourish the skin.  These orange-scented wipes also include Vitamin C and Micro Algae stimulates Collagen production to lighten, brighten and tighten the skin.

04: Stila Ready for Take Off Moisturizing Cleansing Cloths (£12.50, fenwick.co.uk) 30 wipes per pack / 42p per wipe

The clue is in the name.  These wipes from Stila promise to deliver a more moisturising cleanse, perfect for the upcoming colder months.  Containing extracts of  lavender, chamomile, and aloe vera these wipes are made without synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens or phthalates, making them a great choice for more sensitive skins.

05: MAC Cosmetics Wipes (£15.00, debenhams.com) 45 wipes per pack / 33p per wipe

These oversized wipes from staple cosmetic brand MAC promise to make quick work of makeup-removal.  Saturated with M·A·C cleanser and infused with vitamin E, they offer a convenient cleanse.  Less of a skin treatment wipe, more of a fuss-free cleanse and go.

Would pay over £10 for a pack of face-wipes?  Are you a fan of any that I’ve mentioned?

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