Hints and Tips for Winter Lips!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 30 - 2012

When it comes to skincare, it can occasionally feel like I’m chasing my tail, fixing one problem only to be faced with another… but if there’s one aspect of looking after my face that I seem to have gotten the hang of, it’s caring for my lips.  This time of year reminds me of the miserable winters I used to spend with constantly sore and painful lips.  If I wasn’t licking at them like a dog attempting to heal its wounds, I was picking… or even worse, peeling.

Lip condition can deteriorate rapidly, we put the central heating on on Sunday for the first time (we didn’t make it to November!) and last night, lying in bed, I could feel that tell-tale tingle around the edges of my lipline.  It’s time to up my game and put my winter plan of action into… well… action!  Without further ado, here are my hints and tips for winter lips!

Hints and Tips for Winter Lips

I shower in the evenings, and the first step in my annual plan for luscious winter lips involves the most basic of cosmetic tools, the washcloth (£3 for 10).  Whilst I’m waiting for my hair conditioner to turn my locks into mermaid-hair, I grab my hot flannel and gently rub back and forth across my lips.  Be gentle mind, you’re not trying to remove a wine-stain!  Doing this every day will soften any flakes that are ready to come away whilst encouraging blood flow and regeneration.

Once I’ve left the shower, my first port of call is to reach for my moisturisers and my lips don’t get left out here.  My night-time ritual (and I do this everyday) is to apply a layer of Lanolips 101 (£11) before bed – this rich, lanolin-based balm provides the best barrier for locking in moisture through the night.  When I wake up in the morning, it’s still there and my lips are plumpity soft underneath – this stuff has been a lifesaver for me over the last couple of years.

During the day, I opt for something a little lighter in texture, which brings me on to Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (£7.25).  Whilst not as nourishing as the Lanolips, the formula is more comfortable to wear during the day and the added SPF is a bonus.  It’s a compromise that I’m really happy with for now – plus the flavours are lush!  I reapply this over the top of my lipstick whenever I feel that my lips need it.

Talking of lipstick, it can be tricky to provide your favourite shades with a great base and The Body Shop’s Lipscuff (£8) is a cult classic for priming your pout in preparation for every shade.  Swipe the bullet over your lips in the morning, massage in the formula with your fingertip and wipe the excess away with a tissue (or the back of your hand if you’re a bit of a grot like me).  The Lipscuff leaves just enough coconut oil behind to provide moisture without slip and the exfoliating granules ensure that your lipstick won’t emphasise any dry bits.

Lips shrivelled up in the cold?  I’m just joking… we’ll leave the shrivelling up thing for men to deal with.  But if you do need a little extra plumping – particularly lovely for when you’re rocking a nude lip – I still swear by the original (and the best), Du Wop Lip Venom (£11.85) – it’s delightfully tingly (IT’S BURNING, IT’S BURNING!) and leaves my top lip almost matching the stature of my bottom lip, almost.  Thanks for the genetic un-eveness parents…

Finally, you literally shouldn’t leave the house without a little bit of lip highlighting.  Don’t know where to do it?  I stick to the cupids bow, using a subtle highlighter like YSL’s Touche Eclat (£25) which makes for quick and easy blendability.  If you’re wanting to go for a full-on pout, you can also add a highlight along the centre edge of the lower lip line to give the illusion of fuller, more lifted lips.  The Touche Eclat is subtle enough for daytime but if you’re wanting to highlight for a “going out” look, choose a highlighter with a little more shimmer for added wow-factor.

What are your favourite products for keeping your lips soft and full in the colder weather?


Sorry if I’m on a bit of an Yves Rocher bore train at the minute but I’m slowly working through the order I made last month and included in my naughtiness were a few taupe eyeshadows that had caught my eye in Prague.  This is one of them…

Taupe Bruyere is in their range of single eyeshadows and has a soft sheen, gentle (but not too sheer) pigment and for a powder… a nice, creamy texture wearing well throughout the day.  If you’re looking to see if you’ve already got something simillar in your collection (of course you have), I’d pitch it as closest to a slightly-more-violet version of NARS Lhasa or a less glittery (much less) version of Chanel Illusoire.  I can’t find an exact dupe in the bits that I’ve already unpacked.

Yves Rocher Taupe Bruyere is available to buy online, priced at £12.00 – the price fluctuates in the sales though and I paid half that only a few weeks ago…

Want it?

Bargain Buy: Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre Shower Gel

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 18 - 2012

Who says you need to spend oodles of money to smell like a goddess in the shower?

Yves Rocher’s Voile d’Ambre Shower Gel defies its (current) sub-£10 price tag and smells more like one of the department store fragrance flankers.  At £7-odd, I don’t use this daily… but it’s perfect for layering under your favourite oriental, woody perfumes and is a great scent choice for ushering in the colder weather.

I’m not going to review it like it’s a perfume… it’s a shower gel after all, and I can only hold a certain amount of excitement for shower gels regardless of how nice they are, but still… the amber in Voile d’Ambre isn’t overpowering but lasts beautifully on my skin.  I’m keen to explore the other shower gels, and perhaps even the perfumes in the Yves Rocher line – I’m glad I added this one to my recent order, it’s so nice to find a new brand (to me) to get my teeth stuck into!

Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre Shower Gel is currently priced at £7.80 and is available to buy online in the UK from the Yves Rocher website.

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 12 - 2012

When I made my first online Yves Rocher order a couple of weeks ago, they were offering a couple of free gifts and one of them was this mascara: Sexy Pulp, which to be honest makes me think more about Jarvis Cocker busting a Common People move than anything mascara-related.  And yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I had a soft spot for Jarvis growing up… go listen to Babies/Pink Glove/She’s A Lady and tell me they aren’t some of the best tunes of the 90s!

But less about my taste in music and back to the makeup…

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp mascara has one of those brushes that curves inward in the middle.  I don’t think I’ve ever used one before and they do work quite efficiently, mimicking the natural curve of the lashes to ensure that you can achieve an even distribution of product across the lash-line without bending your arms into awkward angles.

The formula is neither too wet nor too dry but the packaging doesn’t provide much in the way of a seal when you slide the brush in/out of the tube so I don’t expect the formula to remain wet for very long.  The mascara is nicely rich in pigment and has an elastic quality to it that lengthened my lashes considerably, stretching them out to their full reach without weighing them down.

Two coats are shown above.  I didn’t experience any flaking or smudging and removal was easy enough with some warm water and my usual cleanser.  Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara doesn’t blow me away but it’s better than I expected from a free gift, no complaints here!

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara is available to buy online, currently priced at £8.45 (but do look around for free gift codes!)

Yves Rocher Peau Parfaite BB Cream

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 9 - 2012

When it comes to BB Creams, I remain unconvinced of their reinterpretations within the Western market.  In the past year, I’ve experienced attempts ranging from uninspiring tinted moisturisers with little skin protection to re-badged HD foundation to glow-givers with great SPF that wouldn’t cover a tea stain on a teabag.  I’ve found that in the majority of cases, I’ve ended up reviewing them on the basis of their efforts as a foundation which probably says a lot about how much they’ve achieved when it comes down to the skin benefits side of the equation.  Not a lot.

The first thing I really noticed when I applied Yves Rocher’s Peau Parfaite 6in1 BB Cream was the instant boost of hydration.  I mean, I actually looked down at my fingers to check that it was indeed a tinted cream and not just a moisturiser, thinking that perhaps, I’d misread the box.  But no, looking back up at me, were indeed, skin-coloured fingertips with skin-coloured gloop all over them.

The Yves Rocher incarnation of BB Cream loveliness comes in only two shades and the lightest version, imaginatively named light is a spot-on match for a NW15/20 skin-tone.  It’s extremely pink-toned which I have almost no doubt will cause problems for pale ladies with yellow or olive-toned skins.  For the rest of us, it makes a nice change.

Now, before you get all excited – as I did – as far as I’m concerned, the Yves Rocher Peau Parfaite BB Cream is an immediate BB Cream fail on account of having absolutely no sun-protection rating.  None, nada.  The skincare benefits listed are also pretty vague… as you can see for yourself…

It’s very easy to say revives, restores, smooths and unifies without actually saying much at all in terms that can be tangibly judged.

But just because I’m writing it off as a BB Cream, that’s not to say that I’m writing it off completely… my skin felt very comfortable whilst wearing it throughout the day, it caused no aggravations or flakiness and I was pleased with how my skin looked everytime I looked in the mirror.  My nose did need blotting a couple of times throughout the day but I always experience that whenever I wear a moisturising base, which is what I believe this to be and where, I feel, its greatest strength lies.

I do have to laugh at the packaging which claims that from a satisfaction test on 26 women, 85% thought that their skin was visibly more beautiful.  Basically, that’s a bit of a crap claim isn’t it?  Talk about damning oneself with faint praise.

A perfect skin-tone match though eh what?

I’m aware that a lot of my foundation before/afters aren’t the most mind-blowing examples of WOAH, WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  But that’s probably because I favour (and get more excited about) base products that give a natural, flawless finish rather than a mask-like one.  I probably wouldn’t be happy with my nose redness completely obliterated, what can I say… it matches my eyes!

Yves Rocher Peau Parfaite BB Creme is currently priced at £9 (usual price £18) and is available to buy online at YvesRocher.co.uk – please do a quick google search for discount/free gift codes before buying – my latest order came with a lovely bounty of freebies after spending over a certain amount.

* press sample

Lipglossiping’s still lusting! (and this time, it’s not just beauty)

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 8 - 2012

I don’t know if it’s my return to being allowed to treat myself to frivolous things once again, or just normal (forgotten) behaviour for me but I’m walking around like The Cat out of Red Dwarf at the minute. “This is mine; that’s mine [etc.]”…

I am the human equivalent of Pepe Le Pew, desperate to lay claim to most things I see!

Here’s what I’ve been lusting after this week, and considering I’m still lusting after half the stuff from LAST WEEK’s list – this could get messy.

01: YSL Teint Eclat (£28) – I STILL haven’t tried it!  On paper, it sounds like it might be perfect for my dehydrated, winter skin.  But I just haven’t gotten close enough to a counter in the last fortnight to colour-match. It’s my mission this week. (nice mission huh?)

02: Linea Softs Blanket Stitch Oversized Scarf In Blue (£6.75) -Is it certifiable scarf-weather yet?  Maybe not quite but I might make an exception while this one is at such a lovely, lovely price!

03: Topshop Hooded Clasp Coat (£85) – Meh, about £20/£30 overpriced but if you’re like me and don’t own a pair of curvy hips, a skirted coat is flippinamazing at making you look more hourglass-y.

04: Dior Grand Bal Collection nail polish in Diva Diorific (£20) – I’ll admit it, I only want it for the packaging.  I can totally tie some gold thread around it and upcycle it to Christmas tree ornament next year yes?  Which means that in girly budgeting terms, I can justify the price-tag.  Almost.

05: Silver Spoon Ring but Tangs and Tines (£13.95) – Silver plated vintage cutlery turned jewellery?  Where do I sign up?!

06: Fly London Black Mol Boots (£135 but £94 on amazon!) – I wish my current boots were up for replacing but alas, I had the heel reinforced last January and they’re still going strong.  I should be happy, I know I should – but gosh, I want THESE ONES *stamps well-heeled boot*

What have you been hankering after?

Save the sad candle!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 7 - 2012

Remember when Clintons was all like “OH NOES, WE’RE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!”.

Talk about crying wolf… (I’m joking!!!)

But anyway, they marked down loads of goodies and I bought enough wrapping paper to NOT BE ABLE TO FIND ANYWHERE TO STORE IT.  And I bought a large Yankee Candle Jar in a super-lemony scent for a nice price.

It smells amazing, zingy and edible – uplifting and warming.  Lush.  But then I put the candle in the loft, because we were moving house and all… and completely forgot about it and left it there.

All summer.  And now it looks like this….

Obviously I *had* to store it on its side, because that’s a totally sensible thing to do isn’t it?

The wick is hidden in there somewhere… I want it back!  I’ve thought about blasting it with a hairdryer in an attempt to uncover the wick but is that dumb?

Have you got any tips or ideas on how I might save my sorry-for-itself candle?

One of the few benefits of being physically unable to tan is rarely finding it necessary to change my foundation shade… at most, I fluctuate between a NW15/20 and neither look too wrong on me at any given time.  If, however, you’re more prone to being ‘kissed’ by the sun, you might be on the lookout for a new foundation to complement your new, less-bronzed (cough *pasty* cough) skintone.

Or perhaps you’re just looking for a more moisturising formula to see you through the colder months ahead?

YoungBlood Mineral Cosmetics have launched a customised Foundation Bar in the Beauty Workshop at Selfridges London and are challenging you and your regular foundation to the ultimate test.

Simply bring your current foundation (and of course, your lovely self!) along and experience, what they promise, is an unrivalled degree of colour matching from within their range of Loose, Liquid, Moisture Tint, Pressed and Crème formulas.

The new Beauty Workshop at Selfridges is an exciting and innovative beauty arena offering over 5000 square feet of space.  A veritable beauty playground in which to discover new brands, trends, and products. Instore at Selfridges, London now.

Do you change your foundation with the seasons?

The beauty blogging world is buzzing with details of the new YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation (currently available exclusively in Selfridges).  The foundation is touted to have built on the Touche Eclat luminising technology which has kept the infamous “clicky-pen” a bestseller for the past 20 years, providing a natural, radiant finish with impeccable brightening properties.

If you’re in the market for a new foundation (or even if you’re not!), take heed of this sampling offer, courtesy of the Yves Saint Laurent Facebook page.  Simply “like” the brand’s page and register your details to print a voucher that is redeemable for one 5ml sample available from all UK and Ireland YSL counters.

The full-size foundations roll-out to counters nationwide once the Selfridges exclusive finishes on the 9th July.  If you’re a tricky shade to match, it’s worth noting that Selfridges will be the only retailers to carry the full 22 shades.

Will you be trialling the new YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation?

Launching Today: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 14 - 2012

Oh boy, oh boy.  Forget cards, flowers, and chocolates and check out these beauties from YSL new to the counter today.

The YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres are a new lipstick/stain hybrid in an impressive range of 20 shades, each featuring a nifty precision applicator.  They promise a light texture with buildable coverage.  From the few swatches I’ve seen online, they look to be sheerer than something like Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque but I’m hoping that at least one of the reds fills the painful hole left behind by the discontinuation of Dragon.  I’m currently lusting after #05 Red Mauve to satisfy my ‘red’ craving and #15 Pink Lollipop for a more day-friendly alternative.

Watch the ‘behind the scenes’ video below for a further insight on this new lip-offering from the Parisian fashion house.

Are any of those shades calling you to the counter?

Men of the World. Y U No Smell This Good?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 14 - 2012

We all have definite ideas about the scents we like to surround ourselves with — be it the washing powder we use to clean our undies; the candles we light when we step through the door after work; or the bath oils we pour under a hot running tap at the end of the night.  When was the last time you chose a new shampoo in the supermarket before flipping up the lid and inhaling a quick whiff to make sure you shared the product’s olfactory persuasions?

But what about the people we share our lives with?  What control do we have over how they smell?!

It’s taken a long time to gently steer my husband away from the Umbro Aftershave of his early twenties and onto scents which don’t make me want to check behind his ears for dirt.  I sound like a fragrance nazi right?  I’m not… it’s not that he resisted either, he just didn’t have an opinion either way.  Over the past couple of years, he’s developed a greater understanding and passion for fragrance — and thankfully, we do share quite similar tastes — something which comes in very handy for sharing the cost of those more extravagant fragrance purchases.

On this day, St. Valentine’s Day — I thought I’d hand the reins over to my brilliant husband, who has picked out the fragrances from his collection that make us both swoon when he wears them.

YSL – M7 Oud Absolu | Molton Brown NTS – Rogart | Parfum d’Empire – Ambre Russe | Oscar de la Renta – Oscar for Men | Floris – Santal

I’m still an awful fragrance reviewer, I just don’t have enough words swirling around in my puny brain to conjure up enough ways to say “if this fragrance were a doughnut, you’d consume four of them in one sitting”.  Although, I’ll never get better if I don’t try, so – in our own bumbled together manner… (at least I’ve got someone else to blame)

Yves Saint Laurent: M7 Oud Absolu (£58.00) *

As part of the reworked YSL Heritage Collection which celebrates half a century of expert perfume creation, the brand have released a reworked version of M7 which first came to the public nose in 2002 under the direction of one Mr. Tom Ford.  From such an agent provocateur, you’d expect to experience something special and you won’t be disappointed with this fragrance, which despite the reformulation is described as the climax of male sexuality1.  M7 is a deeply smoky scent with notes of myrrh, french labdanum, patchouli and a resonating woody, almost leathery oud accord.  There’s a medicinal hint that lingers through the dry-down which we both find comforting.  It’s not sharp but resinous and syrupy, like a cough drop.  M7 is a fragrance for the night, of the night.  If Serge Gainsbourg were to walk in behind me right now, this is the smell I’d catch (and hold onto) as he passed.  An intensely sexy, dark scent.

1 yslbeauty.co.uk

 Molton Brown Navigations Through Scent: Rogart (£60.00)

If you prefer to scent your senses with a touch of the gourmand, you may be interested in Rogart’s unusual but profoundly delicious note more usually found on your pancakes than in your perfume: maple syrup.  The tasty fragrance from Jennifer Jambon opens with a bracing blend of juniper berries and fir balsam which gives it that ‘great outdoors’ feel and indeed it should, as it draws its inspiration from the Cobequid Mountains of Canada.  All this freshness contrasts wonderfully as it warms on the skin and develops a hint of campfire, resinous wood and that sweet, mouthwatering maple.  Jointly, we’ve purchased nearly all of the releases in the Navigations Through Scent collection but Rogart firmly remains my husband’s favourite.

Parfum d’Empire: Ambre Russe (£84.50)

Not sure we’ll ever fall out of love with the majestic, imperial notes contained within Parfum d’Empire’s exquisite nod to Tsarist Russia.  It’s all here: vodka, champagne, tea, leather, amber and incense.  It’s like the party you know will conclude with most of its guests going home in a meat wagon before sunrise.  It’s raucously obnoxious and it knows it.  It wants you to know it too and you can’t help but admire Ambre Russe for it’s audacity to even exist.  It manages to be simultaneously effervescent (that’ll be the champagne hic!) and creamy, with the boozy amber trumping all else.  If you like dark, oriental fragrances, consider this a contender for the big daddy – shy, delicate noses need not apply.

Oscar de la Renta: Oscar for Men (£45.00)

We fought a little over the inclusion of this… I wanted to place Bvlgari Black above this one but Mr. L triumphed by making me a cup of tea and pointing out that, for once, he was entitled to call first dibs.  Oscar de la Renta’s Oscar for Men can be picked up online for as little as £17.00, which admittedly, ups the desirability stakes.  It’s a far sharper, more summery scent than the ones we’ve so far included – the top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and black pepper ensure that it prickles a little with a zestiness that makes you stand up and pay attention.  It has a floral heart that tempers the spiciness a little but if you’re a fan of the peppery notes of something like Marc Jacob’s Bang, you should enjoy this equally.  Oscar for Men trails with a suggestion of leather and vanilla which further smoothes the pepper without ever fully quietening it.  A spicy serenade that wears well in warmer months thanks to it’s sparkling opening.

Floris London: Santal (£69.00) *

As is my prerogative, I’m a woman of many contradictions.  Sometimes, I will eschew the feral, growling sensibilities of something like M7 (though never Serge) and want the man in my life to appeal as much to others as he does to me.  Floris Santal is the perfect scent to meet that need with its clean but never soapy existence.  Creamy sandalwood (and good sandalwood at that) gives Santal the most distinguished of edges in the overpopulated woody oriental category.  A hint of spiciness and musk keeps things warm and sensual whilst the crisp bergamot and trickles of lavender promote the balance beautifully and prevent this classic scent from ever feeling generic or old-fashioned.  Longevity is unparalled, displaying the kind of quality one would expect from a traditional British fragrance house like Floris.  I may have started with Serge Gainsbourg, but please… let me end with a young, freshly-shaven Paul Newman.  Rawr.

I’m feeling a tad hot under the collar now!  Happy Valentine’s Day you lovely lot.

Do you lust over leather or go crazy for classic cleanliness?  Do those animalic undertones bring out your wild side or perhaps you simply prefer a good old splash of Brut! 

Tell me, how do you like the men in your life to smell? (note: “of money” isn’t a valid answer!)

* press sample

The John Lewis Blogger Nail Art Challenge

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 30 - 2012

I don’t do nail art very often, or even… ever, you just need to look back through my ‘nail of the day’ archives to see that.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate it, I look longingly on tumblr at all the cool kids and their striping brushes but the problem is that I’ve got an essential familial tremor.  It’s genetic – you can hear my Dad carrying a tea tray from the other side of town.  Because I’m still (fairly) young, you’d be hard pushed to notice it in everyday tasks but when it comes to something that takes skill, precision and a delicate touch… I get the shakey jakes and the more I concentrate, the worse it gets.

Which is why, I’m pretty damn impressed with my attempt at some Valentine’s themed nail art.  It’s not massively complicated and thank God for being able to play dot-to-dot with a dotting tool BUT, it took me about 3 hours to finish (stop laughing), and I feel like ronseal-ing it to my nail beds to last for all eternity.

So why on Earth am I spending frankly ridiculous amounts of time drawing not very symmetrical hearts on my nails?  Well, because John Lewis sent an email out to some bloggers, challenging them to create some eye-catching nail art using a selection of shades that they would send out for this purpose.  Here are the shades they sent me:

YSL La Laque in Sparkling Garnet | Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish in Trafalgar Square | NARS Space Odyssey | YSL La Laque in Copyright Red

Dudes, I even tried to magnetize the hearts.  Dedication.  Not that it worked very well.

I’m not sure who else is taking part in the challenge (Sophy Robson’s blogging twin knowing my luck) but the participants stand a chance at winning a £150 John Lewis voucher so I am totally trying to bring my a-game!

Good luck to my fellow nail art(istes) taking part and cheers to John Lewis (and the makeup and beauty team) for the polishes and the opportunity to play along.

Do you ‘do’ nail art?  Who are your biggest sources of inspiration?

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