You can’t polish a turd…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 24 - 2014

…but you can roll it in glitter.  Beautiful, beautiful, glittery glitter.

I know I’m too old for this, I mean seriously.  When your 5-year old daughter is so massively into your press sample, it’s time to retire your own love for the shiny stuff.  At least in public.

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Or is it?

The rather brilliant thing about Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Loose Glitter release isn’t really the glitter at all.  No, indeed… it’s actually the far less obvious Bondage Weightless Make up Adhesive that was released alongside the it!

Unfortunately, that also appears to have been a limited edition product and I can’t find it on the Debenhams website anymore.  Damn you Urban Decay, don’t you dare go the way of MAC with your blink-and-you’ll-miss-it collections.

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The Heavy Metal Loose Glitter is of the particularly chunky variety.  More like the kind of glitter you’d find in your nail polish than in your eyeshadow drawer.  They’re available in six shades: Catfight, Pyrotechnics, Loaded, ACDCGoldmine, and Reverb.  Pyrotechnics, the opalescent white, is actually lovelier than I would have dared imagine.

The sifter containers are just plain annoying but I truly doubt that there is any convenient and fuss-free way to store and dispense glitter.  Whomever comes up with one will surely also rule the world.

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But as I mentioned, it’s the adhesive that really won me over.  It holds the glitter tight and resists water effectively.  I’ve since used the adhesive on my stash of slightly-less-glittery loose eyeshadows and it works very well in a Pixie Epoxy way.  It’s somewhat overkill to use this as an eye primer but I can’t deny that it does a good job.

When it comes to application, it’s best to work both of these products onto the skin in thin layers.  I’ve been stroking the adhesive onto the skin before patting gently with a finger to spread and refine the initial sweep of product.  The glitter is best applied with a finger, there’s no denying that it’s a messy affair but I guess that if you’re into making-up with glitter, this won’t come as a huge shock!

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Im not the biggest fan of using chunky glitter like this… I really can’t see how I could fit it in to a “look” without looking like an aging raver, but if you’re wanting something to turn heads during festival season, perhaps you could be persuaded?!

The Urban Decay Heavy Metal Loose Glitters and Bondage Weightless Makeup Adhesive are available to buy online from UrbanDecay.com, priced at $12.00 & $14.00 respecitvely.  If they ever come back into stock on Debenhams.com, they’re available for £10-a-piece.

* press sample

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Guest Review: Urban Decay Naked Skin Loose Finishing Powder in Dark

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 12 - 2014

I was sent a new finishing powder from Urban Decay recently but the shade wasn’t suitable for me to trial.  I gave a shout-out on Twitter looking for a darker-skinned blogger to help me out and Annie from www.epiphanniea.co.uk came to my rescue… take it away Annie…

I think the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder gets an award for the longest product name in 2014. Was the plan to turn this new finishing powder from Urban Decay into some sort of beauty blogger tongue-twister because I certainly believe they achieved that.

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Loose Finishing Powder in Dark – henceforth known as UDNSKUDLFP for short – is a warm-toned, lightweight, mineral finishing powder designed to set your foundation flawlessly and drastically cut down on the amount of shine on your T-zone.  I’ve been asked by Charlotte to review this new offering from Urban Decay and to see whether it actually delivers a luminous and virtually undetectable finish on skin . . . or if it’s all just a marketing spiel.

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Before I even get round to reviewing this powder, I just want to step back and thank Urban Decay for releasing a range of Naked Skin powders where the darkest shade is actually quite Dark. More often than not, most products labeled as dark as just one step above beige so the fact that Naked Skin Loose Powder in Dark is ACTUALLY designed to work well with medium to very dark skin shades is a blessing in disguise. Taking a light dusting on my powder brush and gently tapping the powder onto my face; targeting my T-zone area and my top lip.

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As promised, the Naked Skin Powder does set makeup and leaves a super lightweight, “invisible finish” to your skin – so if you are looking for a powder with some coverage this isn’t for you – As it has a light-reflecting formula you gain a very subtle, luminous glow to your face but I honestly have to step in and object where it claims to airbrush away imperfections, leaving your skin with a soft focus effect. I’m not exactly sure where Urban Decay is going with this claim as all powders tend to give skin a matte, almost flawless canvas but I will admit that this powder doesn’t look chalky or settle in the fine lines around my eyes and last for about 6-7 hours before fading away completely.

While I do think this loose finishing powder is very creamy, subtle and lightweight, I’m not a complete fan as I don’t find it very buildable.

The Urban Decay Naked Skin Loose Finishing Powder is priced at £22.00 and comes in five shades; Light to Dark. It’s available to purchase from your nearest Urban Decay counter or online at Beauty Bay, Look Fantastic & House Of Fraser.

* press sample

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2013

With a name as catchy as that, you’ll be able to reel it off your tongue in no time the next chance you get to pass your local UD counter.  Well, whatever you need to do to memorise such a large chunk of the alphabet, memorise it you must. Write it down, tattoo it somewhere, just make sure you’ve got it committed to memory.

Why?  Let me tell you…

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder, or UDNSUDPfsfjdkjfksdlfjdklsjfdls…. as I like to call it for short, is marketed as a lightweight finishing powder that blends flawlessly and works to set makeup and cut shine. It promises to deliver a luminous, demi-matte finish and feel invisible on the skin.

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The compact is housed in this rather natty purple-swathed pouch, good for keeping scratches off the compact if you’re like me and usually have a powder compact tucked into your handbag.  Finishing powders are a must in my book… my eternal favourites come from Clarins which are lightweight, beautifully presented, and keep the oilies at bay across my t-zone.  How would Urban Decay’s offering live up to an extremely high benchmark?

Well, pretty well actually… let me elaborate…

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In true Urban Decay style, the packaging manages to please.  It blends dirty pewter with a high shine finish that gives it a true “Urban Decay” juxtaposition of glamour and grime… inside, there’s a large square mirror and two compartments… one that houses the powder, and another underneath for the sponge.

The sponge?  Uh oh… I did away with sponges for powders back in the 90s.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of this method of application.  Not that you’re forced to use a sponge, I mean, Urban Decay don’t have the sponge police hiding down dark alleyways ready to pounce as soon as you get your brushes out, but still… if there’s a sponge taking up half of my compact space, I’m gonna damn well use it.

I forced myself to remember that this wasn’t 1999 and I wasn’t reaching for a Max Factor wet n’ dry powder foundation, soaking the sponge under the tap before smearing greasy powder all over my face.  No, this is 2013 (I had to check then) and things are now far more refined.  I’ve even managed to kick my Hooch habit (although damn the booze industry for bringing them back!)

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As promised, UDNSUDPjfkdsjlkk provides a super-lightweight finish over an already made-up face.  This isn’t going to amp up your coverage, something that I was a little worried about it doing… it also doesn’t dull the complexion too much either.  It’s definitely not luminous like my Clarins face powders, so if you’re looking for a light-reflecting finishing powder, this one isn’t for you but it does provide a not-too-deadened look.  I’d say it’s great for normal/combination skintypes and probably super-efficient for oilier types too thanks to the matte finish.

It’s available in a total of five shades, I’ve got the lightest here: Naked Light.  You can see it better for tone against my fingertip below but honestly, this is such a lightweight powder that unless you go wayyyy out of your shade spectrum, you’re not going to have major problems achieving a colour match although darker skin tones should always be aware of the risk of looking ashen with finishing powders.

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As far as application goes, I press the sponge onto the powder with a little flick at the end… it always makes me smile when I see people grinding sponges into powder products like they’re digging for gold.  Would you like some sponge with your powder madam?  You can always go back for more… don’t be greedy!  Once on the sponge, I roll the product onto my face… always starting in the oiliest areas, which on me are the usual t-zone culprits.

This method ensures that I don’t disturb any of my meticulously *cough* applied makeup underneath and displaces shine for a good few hours.  I’m not gonna say it lasts all day, on me… it doesn’t.  But I get a good 4/5 hours before I need another touch up.

Do I prefer it to my Clarins finishing powders?  No.  But that’s because I love me a bit of luminosity, and this just ain’t luminous but in fairness, it isn’t supposed to be!  Matte lovers, go forth and swarm your UD counter to try it out for yourself.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder is priced at £22 and available on counter and online at beautybay.com, lookfantastic.com

* press sample

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Colour – Vice

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 5 - 2013

Have I told you before that Urban Decay were one of the first brands that made me sit up and take a proper interest in nail polish? Remember some of those early polishes… I still have a bottle of Cult and O somewhere, such a gorgeous pink!

Anyway, reminiscing aside… Urban Decay have been lightly dabbling with the (re)creation of nail polishes via some lovely mini-sets these past few years but this Autumn sees the return of full-size bottles.

Well, I say Autumn… they’re actually live on BeautyBay.com and the Debenhams website as I type.  The brand will be looking to release two limited edition shades each season, and I’ve got one of Autumn’s offerings on the blog today for your swatch-swooning pleasure!

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Polish Vice Purple (2)

Vice, one of the two limited edition shades available with their skull-topped bottles, is a rich purple with a not-so-hidden red/blue shimmer.  It’s not as duochrome as the stock images might have you believe but it is a deeply sexy royal purple with that inner glow of gorgeousness that darkens at the edges.  I’ve included a macro shot below to give you a better idea of how the polish reflects the light.

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Polish Vice Purple

The 3-three formula is bloody faultless, practically a one coater though I always do two when my nails are under swatch-scrutiny!  The polish glides on smoothly and dries quickly to a high shine, I’m not wearing a top coat in the above pictures.

If you’re in the market for a stunning purple, you’d be hard pushed to find better on the market at the moment.

Urban Decay Nail Colour in Vice is priced at £10 and available to buy online from beautybay.com and instore/online at debenhams.com

* press sample

Got a spare £240? No, me neither.

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2013

Yesterday, I talked about recession-proofing your makeup with a bargainous £6 eyeshadow and today, well… you’ll see…

We’re living through some seriously tough financial times… upon this, I think we can all agree.  Yet, out of this seemingly never-ending recession, beauty brands really haven’t done too badly.

You see, in times of “austerity” (oh, how I loathe that word and all it stands for), life’s luxuries have to take a back seat… there are bills to pay, food to buy, and children to clothe.  And of course, all of these things are far more important than the need to satisfy any aspirations for a more extravagant lifestyle.  Except that, quite understandably, it’s precisely now more than ever that we genuinely need those fluffy distractions and escape from reality that life’s superficial offerings can deliver.

And so, instead of spending our pennies on designer clothes, handbags and expensive holidays… we’ve turned our attentions to slightly less flahoolick things such as shiny lipsticks, nail polishes, and Groupon-funded spa treatments.

In the midst of all this… it’s quite clear that some brands didn’t get the memo.

247_eyelinervaultThe Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault exclusively at Debenhams.com

Launching today, exclusively at Debenhams.com is this rather spectacular and horribly-priced coffret, The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault… yours for just £240.  Now I could go on about what a ridiculous waste of money it is… but the truth is, if I could afford one… I’d be at least somewhat tempted.  After-all – and as much as I genuinely hate to call this a “bargain” – I can’t argue with the fact that this 40-shade set represents a saving of £320 compared to buying each eyeliner individually.

I could argue the toss that unless you’re a regularly-employed makeup artist, you have no bloody need for or business owning that many eyeliners.  But then, I’d be a bit of a spoil-sport wouldn’t I?  I’d also have to hide my ridiculous eyeliner stash under the bed and try very, very hard to keep a serious face whilst doing so.  And let’s not even talk about how much eyeliner you’d have to apply daily to use them up before the recommended eyeliner “use by” allocation of one year.

To put it plainly, that’s some serious investment right there.

However, I know that in all honesty, you care not one jot.  Because look at it.  It’s fucking amazing.  Lend us a tenner?

Will you be buying it?  Would you, if you had the spare change?  There are only 40 “vaults” available and the U.S stores sold out in 9 hours… you’d better be quick if you’re going to nab one!

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault is available online now, from debenhams.com, priced at £240

Gettin’ Flirty with Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 13 - 2012

Well known for their bold colours, high pigmentation and shimmering shadows, Urban Decay have gone for a softer look this time around with the limited edition Feminine Palette*. If you’ve already read my review on The Fun Palette, you’ll be familliar with the zipped-up case that doubles up as a little clutch bag should you wish to mix makeup and fashion in this way. The packaging is cute as hell, with a metallic purple outer featuring a delicate lace design.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Just as with the other palettes in this limited edition range, the housing is sturdy enough to cope with general wear and tear from daily use. It’s a great portable option for a pared-down selection of eyeshadows. The palette contains six shades that lean towards the softer tones in the spectrum, they’re slightly greyed in comparison to some of Urban Decay’s bolder colours making them a great choice for this style of palette.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

All six shades are shimmery and smooth-textured, I could do with a matte in there (as a personal preference) but have been enjoying using these as soft lid shades, more as a wash than building them up to any kind of intensity. Though, as you can appreciate (being from UD), these will build up to full pigmentation very easily if required. Both AC/DC and Hijack in particular employ some extra depth with some pretty irridescence that adds some real sparkle without adding any glitter. I imagine that these two shades in particular would look amazing over a sticky black base for a high-voltage look.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Those of us who have been around a while will remember Urban Decay’s previous Feminine Palette which was released a couple of years ago. While this (re)incarnation contains different actual shades, the feel is very similar with the inclusion of a teal and a purple among the staple neutrals. If you missed out last time, this is definitely worth a look. The palette also comes complete with a lipgloss in Wallflower – a creamy neutral that keeps everything looking pared down and soft.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

For a quick demonstration, I recreated a simple look that I’ve been wearing with this palette. I played up to its name and went for a really sheer, see-through interpretation… for which, I needed no primer. I used the shades more as a wash of colour, and find that they blend easily together without muddying. In the image below, I’m wearing Bordello on the lid, AC/DC on the lower lashline, and Hijack along the crease. I skipped lining my upper lashline but took the mascara right into the roots instead to ensure that I gave my lashes as much depth as possible.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette is priced at £25 and avaialble for a limited time from BeautyBay.com, Debenhams (£22.50 at the time of writing), and House of Fraser.

* press sample

Beauty Zipped Up: Urban Decay The Fun Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 12 - 2012

Urban Decay have released three palettes, in the clutch-style format you might remember from The Midnight Emergency Kit.  The three palettes each contain six eyeshadows and a complementing mini Lip Junkie lip gloss.

The palettes are well-constructed and tote-worthy enough to be able to throw them in your handbag in advance of a night out.  Don’t tend to reapply your eyeshadow halfway through an evening, me neither… so did you know that you can remove the platform on which the eyeshadows sit and transform the packaging into a proper evening clutch?  Yeah!

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

The Fun palette is my favourite from the new trio on looks alone (I’ll be showing you the others soon)… I mean, turquoise glitter encrusted packaging?  It’s flippin’ gorgeous.

Enough about the clutch, it’s clear I’m smitten… how about the actual contents?

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette claims to offer shades that are perfect for those who like to experiment with colour.  I like colour, and I like experimenting with it… but I don’t tend to actually leave the house in huge amounts of colour, mostly because I’m a big wimp.  Let’s take a look at them…

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Of the six shades included, only one of them is a brand new shade… meaning that if you’re Urban Decay’s #1 fan, you may already have these shades at your disposal from within other palettes.  The shades included are:

Maui Wowie – Metallic golden beige with silver glitter
Deep End* – Bright teal shimmer
Sellout – Pinky champagne
Fishnet – Bright pink with purple shift
Stray Dog – Cool metallic ash brown
Freakshow – Deep royal purple pearl

* new shade (not new shade, Bicky recognised it from the 15th Anniversary palette)

The fact is that there’s enough neutrality going on here to suit scaredy cats like me (sellout, maui wowie and stray dog make a beautiful natural eye on their own) whilst injecting enough colour to tempt me into showing a little bravery on occasion.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Swatched with no primer.

And a quick FOTD using Fishnet on the lids, Freakshow dragged outward from the corners, Deep End as an accent under the eye, and Sellout as a highlighter.  I’m also wearing the Lip Junkie lipgloss included, which is Midnight Cowboy, a sheer nude sparkle.  It’s very sticky and not my cup of tea at all.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette is a sweet offering from the brand that is sure to tempt many new UD-ites into occasionally swapping out their beloved Naked Palettes for something a little brighter.  For old-skool UD junkies, there may not be enough here to warrant another purchase, but it’s a good reminder of the brand’s founding ethos towards colour and expermentation.

The Fun Palette is priced at £25 (€ 34) and available from Debenhams and House of Fraser stores or online at debenhams.com, houseoffraser.com and beautybay.com.

* press sample

I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to comment on the latest news from Urban Decay which indicates their intention to expand operations into China.  Afterall, I’m not a “cruelty-free blogger” (writing only about cruelty-free products) and I’m not entirely sure that it’s my place to come out of the woodwork and comment on issues that I don’t normally involve myself with.  Having said that, it’s something that for whatever reason, I can’t stop thinking about.  I’ve been mulling it over in my head and it’s left a heavy-hearted feeling bumping around in my chest.  When all is said and done (and the Urban Decay press machine have spun a number of well-written statements defending their decision), it’s still (to me) an act of ultimate betrayal for the millions of fans that have been acquired, precisely because of the brand’s staunch stand against animal-testing.

In some ways, it’s due to my non pro-active status on the issue that I’m so surprised by the move.  MAC, Avon, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay and the other brands who have recently taken the decision to enter the Chinese market (therefore accepting the potential animal-testing regulations that surround the move) haven’t encouraged the slightest eyebrow-raise from my corner of the blogosphere, but then again, these aren’t brands that have built and staked their reputations on their responsibilities to providing cruelty-free cosmetics in the same way that Urban Decay have done.

Many of you will know that the EU have already banned the animal-testing of cosmetics within their own laboratories and despite postponements and potential delays, there’s still a significant push to ban the sale and marketing of any products within the EU that contain an ingredient that has been tested using animals by March 2013.  This would be the end result of a massive campaign that has been ongoing for over a decade and something that campaigners such as the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) would be immensely proud of achieving.  Above all else, it shows that there is huge demand in the world for new legislation and an appetite to develop alternative means of testing that cause harm to neither man nor beast.

So just why are these multi-national brands taking such giant steps backward by entering a foreign market which has a record of resistance when it comes to acknowledging or financing efforts into finding alternatives to animal-testing?  Well, there can really only be one reason.  China is a huge market, with the scope for almost immeasurable growth and in these economically uncertain times, it seems that everyone wants a piece of that particular pie.

The justifications released by Urban Decay focus on a rather romanticized notion of infiltrating the nation’s psyche from within through the use of education, and promoting a dialogue on the issue but as one Temptalia reader, BlackFuji succinctly wrote: This is like saying “I don’t punch my kids in the face… the babysitter does. I hope the babysitter learns from my example.”  Urban Decay’s infamous (and trademarked) tagline: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” ultimately sounds rather hollow under this new direction.

Whilst the brand have been busily reminding their followers on Twitter that they’re listening to feedback following the announcement and that they remain committed to not testing their products on animals, the BUAV have today released a statement confirming that Urban Decay will no longer be certified ‘cruelty free’ under the Humane Cosmetics or Humane Household Products Standards and that the U.S. cosmetic brand will no longer be licensed to carry the internationally-recognised Leaping Bunny trademark on their products.

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How do you feel about Urban Decay’s recent announcement?  Do you have faith in their motivations to enact change in this new market?

PSA: Urban Decay Fans – Free worldwide delivery on the Naked2 Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2012

I know that not every makeup-lover across the globe is fortunate enough to have access to Urban Decay in their home country, so I feel it my duty to inform you that BeautyBay.com not only have stock of the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette but that they’re also — for a limited time — offering FREE worldwide delivery.

Have you bought yours yet?

New Year Honours List 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 26 - 2012

In a list devoid of MPs, philanthropists, and celebrities – I bring you 12 products that have impressed me beyond my expectations over the past 12 months. This wasn’t easy to compile. Infact, it was so hard that it’s now nearly February and I’ve only just published it.

Some were a given from the moment I used them (Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner), some were growers (Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil), but all of them have left a real impression for achieving what their claims suggest and let’s face it, that’s what out beauty-loving hearts desire most.

Optrex Itchy/Allergy Eye Drops  |  Lanolips 101 Ointment  |  St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray  |  Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors

Optrex make eye drops for seemingly every occassion and their Optrex Itchy Eye Drops have saved my poor peepers numerous times throughout the year.  I actually prefer their Optrex Allergy Eyes formula for the Summer months when my eyes are really suffering but I find them quite hard to get hold of (it’s over the counter stuff) and so pharmacists always offer me the Optrex Itchy Eye Drops instead.  To be fair, they both work but nothing soothes the feeling of wanting to wash your eyeballs under a running tap (and swill your eye sockets out while you’re at it) faster or more effectively than the Optrex Allergy Eyes formula.

Another product that goes beyond the pretty to simply make my life more comfortable is Lanolips 101 Ointment.  This nourishing, thick balm is as much a part of my nightly routine as washing my face or repeatedly checking Twitter on my phone after turning off my computer.  It’s simple existence means that my lips never peel or crack, as used to be the case throughout the winter months and if I like a new lipstick, I buy it based on how much I like the shade without caring about how drying the formula may prove to be.

My milk-bottle legs are anticipating the return of the warmer weather with a renewed vigour thanks to St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray.  I’m surprising myself by including a tanning product in my honours list – I really don’t care much about being tanned… but, this product surpassed all expectations of turning my blue-tinged pins into something that I wouldn’t mind showing off when the sun finally peeks out from behind the UK’s perpetual blanket of cloud cover.

As much as the U.S. brand have released some stonking palettes this year, it’s these Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors that have been ticking all the right boxes for me this year.  They pack a supreme punch of colour, offer maximum convenience and last well throughout the day.  The shades I own are all searingly bright and obnoxious, just the way I’ve been liking my lip shades this year.  These are real beauties and I can’t wait to see if Urban Decay add to the lineup in 2012.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  |  Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil  |  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil  |  Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner

An everyday staple achieves its status by being dependable, consistent, and easy to use.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara has been my go-to mascara since its release last August.  It extends and volumises my lashes with an inky formula and doesn’t let me down by smudging or flaking throughout the day.  Once it’s time for bed – it doesn’t give my cleansing oil any arguments and I’m still enjoying the same, usable formula from the original tube that I was given all those months ago.  It’s a solid but impressive addition to my makeup bag.

2011 has been a year of weight loss (and gain, and loss again) for me.  I knew from the start that I’d be putting my skin through the mill on my quest for a less flabby existence and I’ve been using various body oils with my cellulite massager in an attempt to keep my skin elastic, supple and unblemished.  While they all did a good job at moisturising, I wasn’t sure that they were achieving much more than this until I began to use Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil toward the end of last year.  Aside from it smelling as delicious as you’d expect from the British brand, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in skin-tone, texture and dare I say it… cellulite.

Another major concern over the past year has been the constant flare-ups that have turned my scalp into an itching, flaking mess.  I would start a new shampoo, only to be forced into discontinuing its use a month later.  I tried SLS-free which seemed to improve things for a while, though still didn’t eradicate the problem completely.  I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil (non-stinky) for a few months now and have so far, touch wood, not had a flare-up that’s been severe enough to cause any real misery.  I also find the oil effective at soothing any persistent itches alongside a welcome side-effect of improving the condition of my dry hair.

If I could only choose one, my product of the year would go to Avon’s Mega Impact Eye Liner for being outrageously awesome at such a reasonable price.  The blacker-than-black formula applies as smoothly as a gel with no tugging along the delicate waterline.  Give it a few moments to set and you’ll be treated to a full day of hard-wearing, sultry lashlines that resist smudging and transfer like real troopers.  They have a new metallic shade coming out for Spring, look out for it!

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil  |  Lumos High Speed Top Coat (try eBay if you’re not a pro)  |  Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream  |  NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I’ve always loved facial oils but have only recently discovered the true extent of their capabilities.  Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil is a wondrous concoction that seamlessly melts into my skin to give an instant glow on those days when my complexion is feeling particularly dull and drained by the cold weather.  Perhaps even more enlightening is the oil’s ability to turn a dud foundation into a keeper.  I’ve been adding a few drops (during application) to foundations that I consider dry-skin unfriendly and have been amazed at Suti’s ability to make the formula more compatible to my winter skin.  Lots of money saved thanks to this one!

So good do I consider the Lumos High Speed Top Coat, that I’ve bought the entire family!  From salon-sized down to purse-friendly bottles, they speed-dry my nail polish without causing shrinkage or becoming a thick, unusable mess in the bottle before I’ve reached the halfway mark.  The Lumos System also encourages you to use the High Impact Bottom Coat to achieve maximum results and longevity from your manicures but as someone who doesn’t generally suffer from polish chips, I’m happy to report that for me, it works as well with or without.

2011 was the year that B.B Creams hit the Western world with a vengeance and some bandwagon-jumping efforts from the major cosmetic players have left consumers wondering if there’s any difference between B.B Creams and Tinted Moisturisers with added SPF.  If you want to try a true B.B. Cream without the big-budget advertising hype – I can’t recommend the Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream highly enough.  It evens my skin-tone, gives serious sun protection, and calms my redness-prone skin in an instant.

I get annoyed with the NYX Cosmetics incarnation in the UK but if there’s one thing worth picking up, it’s the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that come in a variety of shades and offer easy application, good coverage, and long-lasting colour without causing unbearable dryness or discomfort.  Remembering that these are (to be fair) matte formulas, it’s a great option for those who wince at the thought of dragging a hard-textured matte lipstick across their lips.  There are some awesome lip-popping shades to choose from too!

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So there we have my New Year Honours List – a little late, but what’s half a month between friends?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  What would you have included in yours?

* the selection includes a mixture of press samples, repurchases from what were originally press samples and my own discoveries/purchases.

I’ve still been wearing my beloved red lip shades throughout December, though not blogging them as well as I would have liked.  I have so many beautiful new acquisitions I’d really love to show you before the weather gets warm again, someone please give me a kick up the butt to get the reds (both yours and mine) setting the blog on fire again!

I sneaked 5 minutes for a quick photo-take in the back garden yesterday afternoon (the light is so poor indoors), this is my latest red purchase, and with it must go mega-credit (and a big thank you) to Frooti Beauty for swatching the Urban Decay Supersaturated High Gloss Lip Colour range for me!  I already own Big Bang and Crush, so knew in advance that I would be a fan of the formula but wasn’t sure on whether F-Bomb was the kind of true, clean red that I tend to favour.

I’d say that it leans ever so slightly warm but not enough to go all fire-engine on my face… the formula is long-wearing and lasts happily through a few drinks.  I really hope that Urban Decay consider bringing out some more shades in this lineup – I love a chunky lip pencil, especially one that gives as much shine as this!

Urban Decay Supersaturated High Gloss Lip Colour in F-Bomb is priced at £14 and available instore at the usual Urban Decay concessions and online at BeautyBay.com

Urban Decay Naked 2 – A FOTD of neutralistic proportions

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 5 - 2011

There seems to be a general consensus that the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette isn’t as cool toned as people were hoping…. in comparison to the first, and as a cool-toned girl myself, I’m sticking my head above the parapet to proclaim that they work nicely on cool-toned complexions.  Now, those first 4 shades in the palette (from left to right), are warm.  Undoubtedly.  But the rest, are certainly neutral enough to make them a flattering fit for my skintone.  My only major irritation with the Naked 2 Palette is the inclusion of Half Baked (again), it doesn’t suit me, and we’ve been there already.

I (like many other makeup fans), would be thrilled to see Naked 3 (yes, I’m going there already) filled with matte shades.  Urban Decay’s mattes are under-rated and a palette of matte neutrals would make such a great flanker to Naked 1 and 2.

As a 30 year old, I’m just not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to get away with this amount of shimmer on my eyelids. I’m hoping a FOTD will demonstrate the kind of shimmer you’ll get from the Naked 2 Palette and help you make an educated decision on whether you’ll be jumping all over this on release date or leaving well alone.

Verve on the lid  |  Tease in the crease  |  Blackout in the outer corner (and to line)  |  Bootycall to highlight

I’m also wearing the Naked Lipgloss which is included in the palette.  I don’t like this – it’s thicker than treacle, mintier than a glacier full of polos and doesn’t really serve any colour purpose.

The Naked 2 Palette will be released in the UK on 9th January 2012, priced at £36 and available from instore and online from Debenhams before rolling out to House of Fraser from February 6th.

 

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