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!

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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.

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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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A Tuesday FOTD with Vitage Colour Minerals

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 21 - 2013

You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Vitage and their range of Colour Mineral makeup… a small, British brand who only appeared on my radar when I received a set of samples through the post a little while ago myself.

At first glance, I’m not gonna sugar-coat it… this range looks uninspiring.  Housed in the kind of packaging that is incredibly easy to forget.  Not that this is an entirely fair conclusion to reach… because, you know, I don’t actually know how much thought has been put into the packaging but c’mon, look at it… hardly exciting stuff is it?

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However, if my Mum taught me anything, it’s not to judge a book by its cover (much) and housed within this little selection of beauty goodies, lie a couple of lovely products.  Let me give you a quick rundown, and by “quick”, I mean “really rambly”, of course.

First things first, who are the brand behind the products?

Vitage are a British brand, better known for their premium skincare which has been packed with scientifically-proven ingredients and vitamins and is suitable for a wide spectrum of skin concerns.  The range includes cleansers, serums, moisturisers, sun protection, and lotions for both the body and the face.  This latest update to the brand introduces a line of colour mineral cosmetics which includes: foundations, eyeshadows, tools, primers, blushers and eyeliners.

The Vitage Natural Daily Perfector (£25)* is a primer product with a mousse-like texture that has been enriched with antioxidant-rich Brazilian Green Tea.  It delivers little in the way of pigment but much in the way of pore-filling, skin-smoothing wonderment.

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Promising to be suitable for even the palest of skintones, it isn’t.  Frankly it annoys me that it dare even suggest that it is.  I’m pale but I’m not super-pale and this is too orange-toned and dark for my skintone.  It gives me a faint unnatural looking hue that no pale, English-rose complexion should suffer.  If this came in a transparent variety… I’d buy it in a heartbeat for its skin-resurfacing prowess but it doesn’t, and so I won’t.

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The Vitage Natural Foundation (£24)* looks like your standard mineral powder foundation in clumsy pot packaging.  Again, the lightest shade is not quite right on my skintone, and seeing as the brand only offer four shades… there’s a fair chance you may not find a perfect fit either.  And it’s a shame, because the pigment on offer from this pot is pretty impressive… a single swatch with my finger below demonstrates the kind of coverage this product packs.

Although it’s officially described as “sheer”, I find it builds coverage quickly without looking powdery, a sure sign that you’re looking at a well-crafted product that has been milled to deliver the softest, creamiest texture that a powder could offer.

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For its price, the Vitage High Definition Brush (£21)*, I’m simply not sold on… there is nothing about this brush that would make me urge you to go and spend your pennies on it.  It’s solidly built, well-cut, and soft on the face… but so are a million others, at a cheaper price than this one.  Stick to Real Techniques.

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Now, I don’t know if the PR knew how to sucker-punch me with a beautiful taupe… but well, they got me good.  The Vitage Natural Eye Colour in Velvet Storm (£14)* is a beaut.  Easily worth £14 of anyone’s money for neutral-toned or fellow taupe-addicts like me.  Again, the quality shines through and this product delivers a creamy, well-pigmented and smooth application.  Staying power is perfectly acceptable once paired with an eyeshadow primer.

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But who cares about all that when it comes to simply “oohing” over a pretty plum-taupe?  Not me, that’s for sure…. look at her, go on… look!  She has that ghostly sheen thing going on that reminds me of my Kjaer Weis eyeshadow in Wisdom.  Just luverly.  If it had been pressed, I’d have probably fainted from taupe-love.

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The final product to show you is the Vitage Natural Lip Lustre in Fuchsia Glaze (£14)*, and although I’m impressed by a non-sticky texture and fair-to-good lasting power, I’m still kinda mehh-ing all over this one, again… particularly for the price.

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I’d describe it as a gloss/liquid lipstick hybrid which leans more to the gloss side of things.  The pigment is buildable but the texture suffers as a result if you start applying multiple coats which is sacrilege because for me, the beauty of this product lies in its ability to deliver a realistic and super lightweight natural flush in a single coat.  I’m not one for natural flushes, but don’t mind applauding a nice “gloss” texture when I feel one.

Overall, my feelings on the Vitage range of colour minerals are mixed, a couple of the products made me raise an eyebrow upon reading their price tags (and I think the plain packaging does nothing to persuade me that they’re worth a premium mark-up) but it’s also quite easy to take it for granted that these are products are produced by a company that specialises in premium skincare, and as a result, has injected some high-tech ingredients into this cosmetic range…

I’ll leave you with a FOTD which uses the products discussed above.  It’s a natural display, not exactly ground-breaking but easy to wear and suitable for most modern women looking for a polished look.  Please excuse the grey hairs, my face is the only part of me showing any “polish” at the moment!

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The entire range of Vitage Colour Minerals is available to buy online from beautybay.com with prices starting from £14.00

* press samples

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:

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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?

Plum Twinkle EOTD!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2013

Do you know what I can’t get enough of? Glitter. I know, I know… it’s not Christmas anymore and I’m not telling you anything new but seriously, I am rebelling against my 30s like you wouldn’t believe and in the classiest way possible (if I do say so myself!)

I may be a little too old to rock glitter eyeliner, I’ve never been one for glitter lashes and my rapidly-dilating pores are in danger of swallowing any glitter that comes in contact with them but you can still enjoy a subtle glitter infusion without creating a “wrong season!” scene.

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All you need is some cosmetic-grade glitter, my favourites are by Victorian Disco Cosmetics (Tac Nuke is lush) and your favourite cream eyeshadow. Create your base look, it doesn’t need to be complicated, I often only do one shade across the lid and blended up into the crease. Once you’re happy with how that looks (don’t give it too much time to set), take a synthetic flat brush (like a concealer brush) and pat some of the glitter over the top. Not too much, you don’t want solid glitter, just enough to catch the light as you turn your head.

I much prefer this to using shimmery shadows (think Sleek/MUA) which I’m starting to discover can look quite ageing now that I’m on the other side of 30. This way, I get the best of both worlds!

Don’t give up on glitter ladies, it makes the world a better place.

I do have an A Level in French but everytime I add any of the beautiful language to a blog post I just get reminded of this scene from Only Fools and Horses!  Anyway, I’ve received all of your lovely entries, have had a fully sleepless night over choosing my single favourite interpretation of the brief, of which I shall now remind you….

Create an artistic representation of Paris, with one catch.  You have to use the medium of BEAUTY to create it.

Here are the entries I received (click to enlarge, hover to see who created them!)…

As you can see, the standard runs pretty high, as does the obvious misuse of recreational drugs (I want what some of you are on!)

But without further ado, the one that stood out is this one… a portrait of Coco Chanel, done in the pointillist style, in nail polish.

The entry features one of the most iconic women from the world of beauty and fashion, from perhaps the most iconic Parisian brand of all time created using a technique made famous by Parisian painter Georges Pierre Seurat.  You can’t get much more Parisian than that!  It pays excruciating attention to detail and embodies all aspects of the required brief.  Plus, it simply looks flippin’ brilliant.

So, please join me in delivering a huge congratulations to Sophie, a.k.a @Radiofireworks who has just won herself and a friend a 5* weekend in Paris with £500 spending money!

Here’s a couple of bonus images Sophie sent through showing the “arteest” in action and a scan which displays the technical details more clearly.


Congratulations Sophie, bonnes vacances!

I’m so pleased you guys got into the spirit of things and threw yourselves at the challenge.  When I say that I wish I could award you ALL with a prize, I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you so much everyone for joining in and a big thank you to Vaseline for allowing me to host such a wonderful and generous competition.

Vaseline launches PINK BUBBLY… Petroleum jelly with a hint of decadence!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 5 - 2012

Did you guess the mystery Vaseline flavour?  Well, most of us bloggers were spot-on with the scent, if not quite the name (the popular guess was “Pink Champagne”) but now I come to think about it, isn’t there extremely strict laws about calling something ‘champagne’ unless it actually is champagne from er, Champagne?

Anyway, what’s in a name?  A tin of goop that smells like sparkling booziness by any other name would still smell like a tin of sparkling booziness!  Or something.  Sorry Mr. Shakespeare.

While I’ve got your attention… you may remember my attempts at bettering the Vaseline tin for Pink Bubbly?  Well, I only bleedin’ went and won a weekend trip to Paris with £500 spending money didn’t I? *closes eyes tight and sprints on the spot*.

And not only that, but I get to offer the same prize package to one of YOU LOVELY LOT too!  Don’t worry, you don’t have to share the trip with me, I won’t cramp your style.

I’ll get back to you with further details on that just as soon as I have them.  But, yano, squeeee!

The Limited Edition Vaseline Lip Therapy Pink Bubbly tins go on sale today, exclusively at Selfridges priced at £3.49 while stocks last before rolling out nationwide at Boots and Superdrug.

Right, better go and put the lottery on then.

The Limited Edition Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin returns to Selfridges!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 31 - 2012

Following the roaring success of last year’s Crème Brûlée sellout, Vaseline have once again returned with another Limited Edition Lip Therapy flavour to tempt our senses.  What will it be?  Nobody knows for sure until the official launch on the 5th September BUT the team have been tantalisingly tease-y to the blogging community with a little challenge that you may have seen popping up on beauty blogs across the ether…

In hot pursuit of the chance to win a pair of trips to Paris (one for me AND one for a Lipglossiping.com reader – ooh la la!), I’ve been given the opportunity to guess the new flavour (from an unbranded tin) and decorate my own Lip Therapy tin, using the hints they sent as inspiration!

So, without further ado (and because my fingers are partially still super-glued together)… I’m very proud to show off my decorated tin!

Presented with a variety of hints which included: a pink candle (cupcake optional), a champagne flute filled with bubbles, a pink balloon, and a box of champagne truffles, it didn’t take me long to notice a bit of a theme.  I mean, it’s like a doggy bag from a Barbara Cartland party isn’t it?  Pink is the colour… but what is the flavour?

Taking a deep sniff of the unbranded tin, I detect a fizz – not quite sherbert-y, but with a definite tang that reminds me of pink grapefruit.  But those clues… those clues… I can’t overlook the champagne glass, and neither can I overlook the mention of “wine extract” in the ingredients list…

I chose to decorate my tin with a sparkly base of gold glitter and stars to embrace the obvious glamour abundant in the clues.  The motif could only be one thing for me, a champagne flute!  If you turn it upside-down, it also looks a bit like the Eiffel Tower right? RIGHT?  Come on girls, we want that trip to Paris!

I finished my decorations by studding the edge with pink diamantes and black seed beeds (about a billion of them, which I will be hoovering up forever more).

Which leaves me with only one thing left to say… my guess for the new Limited Edition Vaseline Lip Therapy flavour?

  Pink Champagne!

It’s girly, fizzy, glamourous, and it makes you do silly things when you’ve had a glass too many!  It’s the perfect antidote to a lacklustre evening and should be compulsory at all parties.  If I’m right, I’ll even put some red food colouring in my White Lightning to celebrate.

What flavour do you think would make the perfect Limited Edition scent?  In a straw poll of my living room – one said “toad in the hole”, and the other said “Quavers”.  Let’s stick with Pink Champagne for now shall we?

If you want to keep up with the latest clues on the new flavour, head over to the Vaseline Facebook page for hints and updates.

The new Limited Edition Vaseline Lip Therapy tins will be available at Selfridges from the 5th September, priced at £3.49 each

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

Deal Alert: Free Versace Tote Bag with fragrance purchase

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 3 - 2012

Everyone loves a good gift with purchase but the problem with them is that once you’ve got the freebie in your hot little hands, the offering can be somewhat… underwhelming.  I should point out that this isn’t the general rule, infact I’d go so far as to say that GWPs are far better nowadays than they were just five years ago.  But, there’s still more than enough disappointing ones out there to go around, which is why I’m pleased to be talking about a particularly well-made and generous GWP that’s available this month from Versace Parfums.

The Versace Tote Bag.

Now we’re not talking fold-up magazine freebie here, this is a serious bag for serious perfumistas!  This Versace gift with purchase* (exclusively at Boots btw) is so well-constructed that I’m properly appreciative of the effort that’s gone into putting out a worthwhile GWP.  As an aside, and because it’s somewhat relevant – Lancome often do great makeup bags for their GWPs, keep an eye out for them.

Anyway, back to the Versace Tote Bag… here’s some detail shots…

It has reinforced corners, a base board, a studded bottom and is fully lined.  It’s also huge.

You can nab one of these limited Versace Tote Bags with the purchase of any Versace pefume over £50.  This includes: Crystal Noir, Yellow Diamond,  Bright Crystal, Vanitas, Pour Femme, and my favourite Versace Versense… a beautifully crisp Spring scent that’s been on my wishlist for over a year.  The GWP is running exclusively instore at Boots, while stocks last.

Do you have a favourite Versace fragrance?  What’s the best GWP you’ve ever received?

* press sample

Swatch Saturday: Victorian Disco Cosmetics – a sample eye shadow haul

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 7 - 2012

I first heard about this new indie brand via Sirvinya’s blog and immediately fell in love with a couple of the eyeshadows featured in her swatches.  I hot-footed it over to the Victorian Disco Etsy page and ordered a batch of sample baggies to have a closer look myself.

Despite the Christmas rush, I received my order (from the U.S.) after only a week – not that I’m saying it’s unusual to receive products promptly from an indie retailer, but… well… you know…

The shadows are finely-milled and well mixed, they apply smoothly and blend beautifully when applied with a dry brush.  With mineral eye shadows, I tend to pat the lid colour on with a wet brush and apply the crease colour with a dry, blending brush to soften the edges and (usually) smoke out.  I haven’t experienced any application issues so far with my usual method.

On with the swatches! (…and official colour descriptions) – these have been swatched with a damp brush on dry, bare skin.

Archduchess: Medium dusty purple with violet, gold and blue sheen
Baroque: Light brown with gold flecks and sheen
Ewok Pajama Party!: Straight black with gold and violet sparkles, slight purple sheen
Lightsaber: Medium blue with a violet sheen
Luna: Deep strong black with a very prominent gold sheen and sparkles
Millenium Falcon: Deep silver with red, purple and 3D sparkles

Pannier: Deep brownish taupe with violet and gold flecks
Powder Wig: Bright metallic white with purple flecks
Revolutionary Ball: Black with a deep blue sheen
Sailor Mars: Rusty red with a pink sheen
The Fett: Deep purple with a light violet red sheen
Tuxedo Mask: Deep reddish black with purple and gold sheen

Pannier bleeds a green tinge around the edges of the swatch and I’d say that some of the colour descriptions are a little off but the shadows are really very, very beautiful.

My top picks are Revolutionary Ball, Sailor Mars, Tuxedo Mask, Ewok Pajama Party!, Archduchess, and Luna.  So, err most of them really.

Here’s a quick FOTD – I’m wearing Millenium Falcon (wet) on the lid with Tuxedo Mask (dry) blended softly into the crease and under the eye.

Also wearing: Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer  |  MAC Angel Lipstick  |  Illamasqua Sob Cream Blusher  |  Clinique High Impact Mascara

Any of those swatches show a shade with your name on it?

High-Tech Waxing: Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit Review and Video

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 23 - 2011

I’ve never waxed in my life.  Well, no that’s not entirely true, there was this one time my Mum did a bikini wax on me while I lay on the table in the conservatory.  It left me bruised, bleeding and I swear more hairy than when she began.  You don’t want or need to know the back-story but let me tell you, it was far from successful.

And so I felt a tingle of fear when the Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit* dropped through my letterbox last week.  It’s waxing gone high-tech with a self-heating unit that dispenses a film of wax as you roll it over the skin.  In theory, this should eliminate all that messy spreading.  In theory.

I’ve done a short video that shows how you put the kit together and then Mr. L made me do a video of my first proper waxing experience.  I think it’s payback for that little episode of cardboard craftiness the other day (it’s STILL not finished btw!)

The kit is simple to assemble and contains comprehensive instructions.  I’ve demonstrated setting the unit up for use in the video below.

Once plugged in, I waited just over 20 minutes before attempting my first leg wax!  Wanna see how it went?

Overall, my feelings on this device are a bit mixed.

Priced at £29.99 (with refill cartridges costing £9.99 each), I can see this being a good investment for a regular waxer over the cost of say, wax strips.  I did find that although overall, the unit dispensed the wax fairly evenly there were a couple of patches that seemed to skip and get less wax, leaving a few hairs behind that needed a second go to remove.  I’ve since used “ready to use” wax strips on the other leg to achieve a fair comparison and I have to say, the wax strips did a more complete job – but also hurt more and felt like an expensive way to remove hair.

I didn’t compare to the traditional ‘heat the pot in the microwave’ style simply because I’m not interested in that kind of faffing and messiness, I’d rather buy a razor to be honest.  The refills are supposed to last for 4 waxing sessions, making them much more economical than strips but probably still more expensive than the old-style pots.

My final feelings on the Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit is that although it doesn’t offer the ultimate solution to at-home waxing, it does offer another alternative that could prove popular for regular waxers.

The Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit is available to order online at Boots.com priced at £29.99.  There are only 300 available during this pre-launch period, so don’t hesitate for too long if you’re planning on snapping one up!

Do you wax?

* press sample

 

Product Love: 25th July 2011

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 25 - 2011

I’m not letting the end of the month sneak up on me again like usual.  Infact, I’m gonna do my “product love” post right now in a rebellious “up yours” to the Gregorian calendar.  Screw you end of month!

 

Veet Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser*(£4.99) - The difference in hair growth since I’ve been using this has been minimal BUT I’ve just repurchased a bottle regardless because it smells amazing and has become my go-to body moisturiser this month.  Light, easily absorbed and keeps my skin soft and supple during the warmer weather.  If it is slowing down my hair re-growth, good… but I’m not completely convinced on this (though do keep in mind that I has weird hair issues!)

Goody Tortoiseshell Slide Combs (under £2 a pack) - I get annoyed with Goody because they seem to discontinue my favourite hair accessories at such a rate of knots that it sometimes feels like a conspiracy *looks around*.  I’m not sure if these have been discontinued but I haven’t been able to find a backup pack when I looked this month.  These side combs are brilliant because they grip my fine hair like no other.  Brilliantly well made and discreet enough to make it look like you’re creating awesome hair styles with the help of magic pixies.

Kings & Queens Sultan of Grenada Lemon Flower Roll-On Deodorant (£3.50) – My best friend at Uni came from Grenada so this always reminds me of her.  I’m not sure she’d be keen to know that our friendship lives on in my bottle of roll-on mind you.  Without compromising on efficacy, this is simply a lovely (and slightly different) choice for deodorant scenting.  If you haven’t tried Kings & Queens yet, you should.  Keep your eyes peeled in T.K. Maxx too because I’ve seen some mini sets in there recently.

ASDA Little Angels Liquid Talc (£1.47) – If you’re well-endowed in the chest department, you may be familliar with the overuse of talc on particularly warm days.  This liquid talc is Leila’s but I stole it this month and plan to steal it again.  Talcum powder that applies like a lotion?  Clever!  No more mess, no risk of talc on dark clothing but with the same effectiveness as the powder alternative.  For less than £1.50… gerroff Leila, it’s Mummy’s now.

Neals Yard Power Berry Daily Moisture (£22.50) – This was in a try-me kit that I bought a couple of months ago and I’ve been using it on and off since then.  Whenever my skin feels like it’s ‘playing up’ I return to this… it’s like the nurturing, inoffensive aunty of the skincare world that safeguards your delicate state until you feel ready to take on the big boys again.  Make sense?  Well… it did in my head.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties, something I lurve to find in my skincare.  Big thumbs up!

Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser* (£15.00) – This has been a staple on my bathroom sink since I was given it a few months ago (and it’s still got a 1/4 left!) – I use this after oil cleansing as my second cleanser and it cleanses away any residues and leftover grime without leaving my face feeling stripped.  To be fair, that’s all it does… but it does it just as well as Cetaphil but with less product.  Basically, it’s my Cetaphil replacement.  I take issue at the product’s claims to remove eye makeup (it doesn’t) but I’m going to forgive it just because everything else is spot on.  Definite repurchase when it eventually runs out.

Trevor Sorbie Beautiful Curl Beach Hair (£5.10) – Currently a massive bargain at Boots because of a 2for£6 offer across the range, this salt spray gives my natural waves some good definition without the crunch you’d get from mousse!  I spray this on to almost dry hair and comb through with my fingers.  If I’m near the hairdryer, I give it a blast to finish.  It’s a quick fix for lazy hair days!  Also very excited that Trevor Sorbie have brought their original curl cream back recently, it was discontinued for a while, hoorah for consumer pressure!

Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl EDC (£9.00) – Still only £9.00 makes for an incredible bargain Summer fragrance.  I won’t go on about it because you can read my review here but more than one of you have fallen under its spell at ASDA’s bargain price since I mentioned it last.  I’ve been reaching for this one more than any other this month.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant* (£27.99) – This has become my morning cleanser/exfoliator in one… non-stripping and effective at ridding my complexion of dead skin it’s hugely convenient when I’m time-pressed.  I love the exfoliating action which makes use of Papain and Salicylic Acid to help dissolve excess surface cells in a more gentle way.  Who doesn’t like results-driven skincare?  Mr. L has also discovered its delights, something I’m not so keen on, it won’t be cheap to replace!

Floris London Florissa EDT (£22.50) – Another one that’s already been mentioned recently but deserves another shout out as my 2nd favourite fragrance of the month.  I’m particularly appreciating the complexity in this one which is (to me) a real outdoorsy, traditional scent and one that I’ve been complimented on more than once this month!

.

Phew!  That’s quite a few products… what have you been loving this month?

* press sample

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