YSL Baby Doll Mascara in Black (review and comparison)

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 13 - 2013

You know, I’ve been “pretty” faithful to my true mascara love since I fell head-over-heels in love with it a couple of years ago.  I say “pretty” faithful (complete with irritating quotation marks) because it’s fair to say that I do throw a tantrum every now and then when it dries up too quickly.

I mean, when you find something that works in the makeup world… the heavens generally open and angels throw down rose-scented petals in celebration, it’s kind of a big thing.  I’ve since toyed with a few high street alternatives (mostly from Boots No7) that I quite like… but I do find myself returning to my original love for my lashes-that-flutter fix.

Except, there’s a new contender in town and she’s all gold n’ shiny n’ stuff.

YSL Baby Doll Mascara Review

Actually, I don’t like the limited-edition packaging.  I don’t like the word “Baby Doll” either… especially when used in the context of makeup and allluring lashes, whilst being scrawled in a Jordan-esque style font across the packaging of a brand that generally represents more class than that.  But maybe that’s just me…

What I do like, however… is the fan-bloody-tastic contents inside the tube.  But let me tell you a little bit about why I like this mascara and what it delivers that places this one firmly in the same camp as most of my other mascara-loves.

YSL Baby Doll Mascara Review3

The thing that this mascara has in common with my other top-3 mascaras is the wand.  They all share the same plastic-bristled heads.  In all honesty, this is something that I’ve only recently noticed… and I’m thoroughly delighted to have found a common factor.  Any excuse to pee my pants in excitement at a mascara wand can only be a good thing… but seriously, it’s always nice for a bit of tangible vindication when you find an obvious similarity to an otherwise, rather abstract love.

I find that this type of brush delivers a lengthening formula that defines and coats beautifully in a single sweep.  It works really well on my naturally long but fair lashes that look like little wisps of nothingness when bare.  If you have the kind of short, stubby lash that needs a good few coats of product or you really dig the spidery look… this one may not be for you.

The beauty of a plastic-bristled wand is in its ability to comb through the lashes and give great definition which really makes the most of each and every lash… obviously something which is generally more appreciated by those of us with a good lash count to begin with.  I do wish that this wand had a couple of bristles on the very tip to help reach the inner/outermost corners with precision but otherwise, I’m really happy with the design.

YSL Baby Doll Mascara Review2

The formula is inky black and a great consistency to deliver an even coat whilst drying to a non-crispy finish that doesn’t flake, smudge or migrate to my eyelid hood as the day progresses.

The only downside?  The price.  An eye-watering £24.50 makes this an expensive choice for anyone except the most die-hard of mascara freaks (I know you’re out there).  YSL mascaras also have a bit of a reputation for drying out sooner rather than later, though in fairness… it’s too early for me to comment on this one’s longevity.

All in all, a bloody great mascara with a horrible price.  If you can stomach the price-tag and like a bit o’ bling, buy it… otherwise, give the Boots No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara a try for a more purse-friendly £11.00

YSL Baby Doll Mascara is available to buy instore on counter or online from yslbeauty.co.uk priced at £24.50

* press sample


Doubling up with YSL Rose Baby Doll Eyeliner

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 4 - 2013

I do love a bit of eyeliner, I mean… it’s only taken me approximately 15 years to get the hang of applying it, so I feel entirely justified in my urge to play around with it a bit.

Enter YSL’s latest release in the form of their Rose Baby Doll Eyeliner, launched as part of their Baby Doll collection and currently on counters now.  Rose Baby Doll isn’t actually as pink as the name might have you believe. It’s a rosy-copper shade with more shine than a new penny and works really nicely on green eyes. Even if I do say so myself!

It applies with one of those spindly, super-fine brushes that gives utmost precision but tends to get tangled up in my lashes, resulting in an ocassional “splodge” of colour just where I didn’t want it as the brush flicks back, untangling itself as it sweeps across the lashline.

I will always prefer felt-tip style nibs for liquid eyeliner but when you’re crafting colour with as much shimmer and depth as this one delivers, this is the only style of brush that really cuts the mustard.

YSL-Baby-Doll-Collection-Rose-Eyeliner-16

YSL-Baby-Doll-Collection-Rose-Eyeliner-16-brush

Whenever I wear a coloured eyeliner, I almost always pair it with a black line… doubling up, so to speak.  My eyes need the added definition that a slick of black brings, and I love the contrast which almost always evokes a compliment from someone at some point through the day.  Not about me, just my eyeliner you understand!

I often find that with this style of highly-foiled eyeliner, I suffer from flaking.  Illamasqua Precision Inks, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid (some of them), and the old-style Guerlain Divinoras do this to me and by the end of the day, I’ll look into the mirror and see chasms of emptiness across my lashline where the coloured liner has simply peeled off in sections as the day has progressed.

Which makes me rather pleased to state that I had absolutely no problems with this one.  Infact, it lasted so well… that even the flicks were still intact 8 hours later.

YSL-Baby-Doll-Collection-Rose-Eyeliner-16-FOTD

YSL-Baby-Doll-Collection-Rose-Eyeliner-16-FOTD2

This particular shade is selling out fast, and is already out of stock at many of the major retailers so if you want to jump on the rose-gold eyeliner bandwagon, do it quickly!

Do you wear coloured eyeliner?

YSL Rose Baby Doll Eyeliner is available to buy on counter and online now, priced at £24.00

* press sample

Four the love of violets!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2013

I’ve long held the opinion that I wasn’t a great fan of floral fragrances… at least, that’s what I’ve always thought until I recently took another look at the perfumes I’ve gathered over the years.  You know, for someone who proclaims such nonsense, I own far too many rose, violet, and iris-based scents… and of the three, I think it’s the violet ones that I’m drawn to the most.

I thought that today, I’d share with you some of my favourite violet-based fragrances.  There are actually two missing from the list (PR Ultraviolet & Yardley(!) April Violets) because they’re still boxed up at my Mum’s house and writing this has now made me desperate to raid her garage for my long-lost loves!

violet fragrances

The first thing I should say is that I don’t own any pure-violet fragrances, not the posh ones anyway and I’m still no fragrance expert but hopefully I’ve sniffed my way through enough perfume departments to form a coherent opinion!

My favourite thing about this note in particular is just how fickle it is, sometimes seeming greener than a freshly-mowed lawn and at other times, more powdery than your grandma’s old compacts.  It’s a chameleon of a note, beautifully suited to this changeable Spring season.

It’s also a note that pairs wonderfully with others, and infact (in my opinion) works far better when working as a flanker, as part of a well-structured accord rather than singing a solo chorus.

The first perfume in my list of four, is a great example of precisely, this.

Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste (£145, armanibeauty.co.uk) is not an easily-tamed fragrance.  For a scent that calls into play such a beautiful floral note, it’s a growling animal of contradictions.  From the opening headiness of the sticky, woody violet to the dirty leather, well-worn and battered into a masculine suppleness that shouldn’t work on female skin, but does.

The tenacity and indeed, audacity of this scent appeals to me for its unique take on the genre.  It’s an over the top indulgence complete with powdery nostalgia that makes me feel all the more a “lady”.  Albeit, a slightly sleazy one.

violet fragrances

In stark contrast, YSL’s Paris Premieres Roses 2013* (£25.50, escentual.com) is a recent re-issue that puts the violet firmly in the back seat.  That’s not to say you won’t find it there because it’s confidently lurking, flanking the rose and smoothing the petals until they reach a state of velvety creaminess within the heart of the scent.

It’s the epitome of fragrant youthfulness without the pink-pepper, juicy-fruit explosion up your nostrils.  A refreshing and commendable take with mass-market appeal in an often tired genre.

violet fragrances

For a greener, fresher take on the wonderful floral, look no further than Balenciaga Paris EDP* (£44, debenhams.com) for a new opinion.  You can see that I’m running low on my bottle and it’s not hard to understand why.  Paris is a perfect rendition of how Spring should be, with a clean opening that descends into a softer, sweeter heart and powdery base.  All the while, remaining light, airy and a little bit watery but never so sheer as to be unappreciated.

Floral-chypres can often be difficult to stomach for those under the age of 25, but Balenciaga’s Paris bucks this trend and delivers a grown-up yet flirty scent that takes you on a true violet journey from the sharp leaf, all the way to the sweetshop!

violet fragrances

My final pick of the bunch (gettit?) is for Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde (£45, johnlewis.com) which I picked up not long after its release in 2011.  I immediately fell for its well-projected, prickly opening that blends a green violet with pink pepper before developing into a richly sueded base.

Despite being a wonderful choice for a sharply-dressed young professional woman (you know the type), I don’t mind admitting that my husband wears this with great skill.  His skin chemistry thrusts forward the spice and musk and conjures up something more masculine and vintage-feeling, tempered beautifully by the violet.

Do you like violet-based fragrances?  Please share your favourite!

* press sample

Makeup.  You can’t deny that it’s pretty damn tactile.  And shiny, let’s not forget shinyyyyyy.

I think that all makeup lovers out there have a certain magpie quality to their personalities.  I mean, we don’t go around destroying other people’s eyeshadows (did you know magpies destroy other bird’s eggs? stupid magpies) but there is something fairly irresistible about small, alluring objects.  The shinier the better.  Did I mention shiny?

Of course, brands positively count on this element to our personalities and play us for all they’re worth.  Have you seen YSL’s latest collector offering?  NO?  Oh, you must!

YSL Touche Eclat Collector Edition Radiant Touch

YSL have released a while-stocks-last collector edition of their iconic complexion highlighter* that has been inspired by the crystal bead-covered Haute Couture “Edition Soir” evening gown designed by Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself in the 1960s.

It sort-of looks as though it’s been attacked with a bottle of topcoat and a nail dotting tool but the website blurb assures me that I am wrong, as it has infact been delicately engraved and embossed with a sparkling shower of light like an exquisitely embroidered dress.

Oh, alright then.

YSL Touche Eclat Collector Edition Radiant Touch

Whatevs.  It’s small, gold, kinda spangly, and a limited edition.  I’d swoop into your nest and steal it.

YSL Touche Eclat Collector Edition Radiant Touch

The YSL Touche Eclat Collector Edition is available to buy on counter, instore at Boots and online from yslbeauty.co.uk priced at £25.00 and available for a limited time.

Are you a makeup magpie?

* press sample

A little update and a recent FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 11 - 2013

Wotcha, I just thought I’d post a little update to apologise for my lack of… err… updates.  You see, to put it plainly, I’ve lost my blogging mojo in a big way.  So majorly infact, that I didn’t really want to voice it aloud out of fear of cementing it in my psyche as a “thing”.  In 4+ years of beauty blogging, I’ve only ever lost my blogging motivation in the most superficial of ways but this time it feels more emotional and backed with the full force of a little resentment.  I’ve always been a great believer in not forcing things and sometimes you just need to take a step back for a while, I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve said that to other bloggers who have found themselves drifting aimlessly and posting for the sake of it.

The problem is, I’m actually a bit too scared to take my own advice.  It’s not as if I have a thrilling social life once Leila has gone to bed, sure I’m kinda tempted to get back into the CSI franchise that made my pregnancy 100x more enjoyable (“Oh, I think the morning sickness is back, leave me alone with Greg Sanders K?”) and I haven’t watched an uninterrupted episode of Eastenders since 2011!  But where will all those unwritten posts go?  Not the reviews as such, but the random observations that creep into my head at 2am when I should be sleeping.  Has a lapsed-blogger ever exploded from not having somewhere to put these things?

Anyway, while I work through my “ishoos”, I’ll share yesterday’s FOTD.  You might be a little surprised to know that I’ve rediscovered a bit of love for nude lips.  I often look to the queen of nude lips (a.k.a Holly) for inspiration and remember my first nude lip love which was an old YSL Rouge Pur Transparent (we’re talking 10+ years ago).

Nude look

This isn’t my old old favourite but it is still a YSL, and one of my favourites, Rouge Volupte #1 Nude Beige.  I bought this a few years ago when the Volupte’s were causing major pants wetting across the blogosphere and unlike my dabble into #7 Lingerie Pink, this one has remained a staple for whenever I need to glam up a smoky eye.

Whilst I prefer my bold shades to be richly pigmented… for me, there’s nothing worse than a white-based nude.  Anything remotely chalky can go straight into room 101 and this one is about as opaque as I can go before I start to feel like a wannabe ganguro.  I’m excited by YSL’s latest launch of Volupte Sheer Candy lipsticks (obv. not the should-be-bloody-bold-and-nothing-else shades) and hope that I may find another nude friend (please with sparkle?) among its collection.

Nude look1

The rest of the FOTD was a touch warmed up by the setting sun but it involved rediscovering my MUFE Face and Body Liquid Foundation in #36 (what lovely, natural coverage), a bargainous Wet n’ Wild palette in Comfort Zone, and some eyeliner (which could have done with a lot more smudging) courtesy of Clarin’s Kohl Kajal, which was a limited edition release from last Summer.

I hate to be such a giant cliche when it comes to changing my lipstick according to the seasons but when something feels right, well… you’ve just got to go with it haven’t you?

What colours are you wearing on your lips at the moment?

About (the new YSL Babydoll Mascara, Cara, and) a boy.

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 15 - 2013

I’ve just received this striking campaign image for the new YSL Baby Doll collection featuring the ubiquitous Cara Delevigne which will be released at the end of May.  The collection will include: four coloured mascaras (black, brown, blue, and purple), five coloured eyeliners, a new glossy lipstain and a nail polish.

I still haven’t tried any the YSL glossy lipstains (my intense dislike of “gloss” is making me so hesistant) but I always love the promise of a new YSL mascara, one of the few cyclic launches that gets me excited!

ysl-babydoll-mascara2

ysl-babydoll-mascara

Now, am I getting horribly old or is the male “interest” in the campaign image genuinely young enough to be my offspring?  I can’t believe I’m able to say that without a hint of sarcasm.  He looks about what… 14?  I’m 31.

SON?!

Sweet jesus of all things prematurely ageing, I’m off to drown myself in mint imperials.

The new YSL Baby Doll Mascara will be available on counter, and online at yslbeauty.co.uk from the 22nd May, priced at £24.50

That beautiful moment when makeup does what it’s supposed to…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2013

We wear makeup for many different reasons. Some of us like to experiment with colour, some of us like to improve upon our natural beauty *cough*, and some of us enjoy piling on everything we own just because we can.

At the moment, I’m somewhere between number two and a facefull of slap. Whenever I’m sick (is she still going on about that?), my skin is the first place it shows and the last place it recovers. Flaky, blotchy, purple under the eyes, and spots a-plenty are the order of the day. Which is exactly what one needs when you already feel like shit, of course.

Whilst I’d love to tweak my skincare routine to improve my natural radiance and rebalance my complexion from the inside out… I’d also like to be able to sprout a pair of wings and crap on the EDL headquarters from a great height. Sadly, neither are happening any time soon, and so instead, I turn to my makeup routine for the answers and pray that it won’t fail me.

a skin transformation_01

This isn’t a tutorial as such, I’m no bleedin’ make up artist after all… but I thought I’d go into some real depth about the products that I’m using to work, what is basically, a skin miracle at the moment.

a skin transformation_02

First things first, skin prep. If your skin is suffering, you can’t ignore this step in the routine. It’s imperative that you give your makeup the best possible base upon which to sit. It may be that you’re fighting an oil-slick or something akin to moon craters, or perhaps like me… you’re battling dryness of epic proportions. Take an extra five-minutes to target these concerns before you even go near your face with foundation, the finished result will be worth the effort.

a skin transformation_03

Starting with a cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturised face… I deal with the dryness that has been causing my foundation to cling in patches. Upon Caroline‘s advice, I’m treating my skin to a moisture sandwich of oil and cream, first with an Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss (£62.00) capsule which delivers an antioxidant-rich hydration boost in the form of moringa oil, followed immediately by a generous layer of La Roche Posay’s Nutritic Intense Riche* (£14.00)

And then I wait. A couple of minutes later, I can tell where I need additional hydration, so I work a little more of the LRP into the skin, avoiding the areas that are prone to midday oiliness. That done, I move onto the one product that generally replaces “primer” for me during the colder months.

a skin transformation_04

Maqpro Makeup Mixer (from £8.00) is a makeup artist’s trick taught to me by the wonderful Kenneth Soh who recommended it to me a couple of years ago as a great base for mineral products on drier skins. It’s a tip that continues to save me whenever my skin is behaving badly. Not only is it a wonderful mixer for sheering out heavier foundations, it also does wonders for improving how a product applies over, and sits ontop of dry skin without compromising the moisture levels underneath.

At this point, I use a brush to apply the Maqpro but I don’t work it fully into the skin, preferring instead to dot the product allover with the brush and only lightly blend. This way, it combines easily and increases the glide of the next layer of product.

a skin transformation_05

a skin transformation_06

Before even contemplating foundation, I still want to improve the radiance levels of my skin. A lot of the time, I reach for a liquid illumintor that I can apply allover and then “tone down” with foundation. I’ve been trying something a little different recently in the form of this rather splendid Lyster Cream Bronzer* (£36.00) from Swedish brand Manasi Makeup.

The pot contains far more product (55g) than I could ever see myself using and as such, I do wish they offered a smaller-size for less money but I can’t deny that the product itself is beautiful. Free from mineral oils and parabens, it delivers something inbetween a bronzer and a luminizer that works very nicely against my pale skintone. If you’re blessed with naturally great skin, I could see something like this being your one-pot wonder for sunkissed, healthy-looking skin without fear of looking orange or overdone.

I tap my brush lightly on the top (you don’t need much) and work the bronzer all over my skin using a circular motion, it blends nicely… but even more beautifully with my layer of Maqpro beneath it.

a skin transformation_07

Finally, it’s time for foundation! At the moment, I’m alternating between my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in shade 4.5 (£34.50) and my beloved tube of Clinique Supermoisture Makeup* (£19.35) which is a better option for when I don’t have the time to do this kind of skin prep. If I am using the Clinique, I skip the Maqpro in this next step as it’s an exceptionally moisture-rich foundation on its own merit.

When I’m using anything other than the Clinique, I reach again for the Maqpro (as shown below). One blob of each and using the same face brush as I’ve been using all along, I give the products a little mix on the back of my hand before working into my skin lightly.

a skin transformation_08

I never apply foundation heavily or in more than one layer when my skin is playing up because it doesn’t matter how much preparation or effort I put into the application, after a few hours… my foundation will clump over the dehydrated patches if it’s too heavy. Which is why, I always reach for concealer as the last step despite usually being a bit of a concealer-phobe when my skin is less fussy.

a skin transformation_09

Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer* (£21.00) is the perfect choice for dry skin-types thanks to a light texture and a lot of slip. It’s very creamy and offers a good amount of coverage, making it a great choice when your aim is to keep your layers as thin as possible. The final step is a little precision highlighting with something like the iconic YSL Touche Eclat (£25.00).

Now, that’s quite a lot of product but use my “how-to” as a guide rather than a manual. The principles are simple and you’ll already have certain products in your collection that you know you can substitute…

1. Make a real effort to get your skin in the best condition possible before you go near it with colour.
2. Work in thin, lightweight layers.
3. Add additional moisture or “slip” as you go.
4. Now isn’t the time for powder, keep things creamy.
5. If you’re nervous about being too heavy-handed with illuminator or bronzer, apply it before your foundation.
6. Leave concealer until the last possible moment, you’ll end up using less product as a result.

How’s your skin behaving at the moment and what trickery are you employing to get the best from your complexion?

* press sample

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2013

I’ve been having a strange relationship with the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation over the past month.  To begin with, I loved it… then the snow came, my skin became drier and this love affair turned into a horror story.  But now… it’s coming good again.  Let me start at the beginning.

I bought this online from the YSL site just before Christmas and was more excited about this purchase than almost any other throughout the year.  All the reviews I’d read had described its ability to deliver a luminous, sheer finish that dry skintypes would adore.  Most reviewers marked it down a little on lasting power, but that didn’t bother me.  All in all, I figured that I’d found my perfect foundation.

I ordered BR10 the lightest “pink” shade, untested because there seemed to be a jump between the lightest and second lightest shades, in my mind, I was erring on the side of caution.  It’s actually a little too pale for me, I should have gone for the next shade up.  It looks ok in the before/after photo at the bottom of the post but it can look a little ghostly unless I work it in to the skin carefully, it just think it has the potential to look much better tone-wise, were it a hair darker.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

So what’s right with it and what’s wrong with it?

Well firstly, it’s extremely faithful to its Touch Eclat concealer counterpart.  It does indeed add only a little coverage but a lot of luminosity, it’s actually quite an unusual formula for a foundation in this regard.  It doesn’t cover redness exceptionally well, neither does it cover blemishes (although it combines beautifully with concealer).  Despite this, it delivers a very natural uniformity across the face and it’s honestly quite hard for me to put my finger on just how it achieves this.  It’s one of those foundations that anyone with a normal skintype should adore, but the further away your skin is from the “normal”, the more problems I suspect you’ll encounter.

When I first started using the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation, my skin was dry but not problematic, I kept it well-exfoliated and well-moisturised.  As January progressed, my skin became drier still, I developed the kind of dryness that forms patches where the texture would be markedly different… not quite flaky, but heading in that direction and boy, did this foundation show it.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

The particularly odd and redeeming feature about this foundation however is in its ability to adapt and melt into your skin.  Without fail, each time I applied it… things would improve after around 15 minutes.  I hypothesised that perhaps I was missing a trick and should be using the warmth from my fingers to apply it and achieve a better initial result, but no… it still grumbled terribly about my dry patches, only to look remarkably less rubbish quarter of an hour later.

So really, this foundation is still a bit of an enigma to me.  I don’t mind that it doesn’t hold up so well down the bridge of my nose as the day progresses, although I’d imagine that oilier skintypes will be exceptionally bothered by this.  And I don’t mind that it doesn’t fully cover my redness on the sides of my nose and cheeks because a touch of loose powder and/or concealer really brings the coverage up to par.

I love the luminosity that it delivers, how lightweight it feels on my skin, and the way it melts into my skintone as time progresses, almost as if it’s self-adjusting.  I really hope that I love it even more when the weather warms up but I’m concerned that my shade mismatch will be the nail in the coffin for this bottle.

If you have a fairly normal skintype and you’re looking for a foundation that is a genuine “my skin but better” affair but with more refinement and coverage than a tinted moisturiser, you should be running to your local YSL counter.  Anyone else, please beg, steal or borrow a sample before splurging.  Also, make sure you ask the SA to shade match you, there are an amazing 22 shades from which you can choose.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Clycerin, Dimethicone, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Ethylhexyl-Glycerin, Parfum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Dipropylene Glycol, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, {+/- May Contain: CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride], (F.I.L. B50106/2)

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation is available on counter and online, priced at £28 for 30ml

* I keep meaning to do some arm swatches of my current foundations with their shade names, just so you can see the shades I’m using at the moment… there may not be much in the way of words to accompany, but if I’ve reviewed it, I’ll link.  Sound useful?

Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s day, it’s an event that’s pretty much unmissable in terms of marketing and hype.  A walk down the high street from mid-January is all you need to be reminded of how much of a little shit Cupid actually is.  He’s not the most endearing figure from Roman mythology is he?  I mean… for one thing, what’s with the nappies?  Does falling in love make you incontinent?  I know it certainly makes some people sprout a load of crap… but that’s from their mouths.

When I was little, my Dad would send me a Valentine’s card each year… but I became pretty high-maintenance about the effort he had to put into deceiving me that my card had actually come from a secret admirer.  It’s no surprise he stopped sending me them when I reached my tween years and discovered that my solitary valentine’s card had been postmarked from his workplace for the last few years.  Having your card sent from a category B men’s lifer prison is enough to make you not want to take it into school to show your friends.

As for now, we don’t really do Valentine’s day.  That is to say… I tell my husband that I think it’s a load of old crap because he does lovely things for me throughout the year.  Then my husband doesn’t do anything for Valentine’s day and I don’t talk to him for the rest of February because he didn’t buy me anything.  It works for us.

Here are some bits and bobs that have been catching my eye in the run up to V-day.  I suggest printing them off and drawing a massive red circle around anything you want (preferably in your partner’s blood) before leaving it taped to the front door (both sides).  Taking such precaution may ensure that you at least end up with some flowers from the local Esso garage.

valentines-for-every-budget-and-taste

01: Ladyshape Intimate Shaping Tool, for err… shaping your “lady”.  The only reason I’d do this would be to see the look of confused WTFery from my husband.  We’ve been together for 12 years, he would not be expecting this.  He would point, I would laugh, we’d all have a nice cup of tea and I’d spend the next seven days scratching. (£12.99, stressnomore.co.uk)

02: Avon Perfect Kiss Lipstick*.  Currently on sale, this well-received range of full-cover lipsticks from Avon offers the full rainbow of Valentine’s appropriate lip shades.  From Berry Smooch to Lovey Dovey Pink, Naughty Nude to Red Embrace, even the shade names are getting in on the act!  (£4.99, avonshop.co.uk)

03: Be Mine Lip Balm Trio.  You don’t usually get much change from a fiver nowadays when picking up gifts but this little trio of lip-smoothing balms should get your pout ready for some kissing action.  (£3.00, asda.com)

04: Saving those pennies from my last selection will ensure that you have plenty left to pick up the ultimate Valentine’s gift.  You can’t beat the iconic Swizzel’s-Matlow Giant Love Hearts when it comes to romancing your beau… apart from maybe a sunrise jaunt in a hot air balloon over Paris, complete with Krug Grand Cuvée but who’s got time for that?!  Seriously though, nothing leaves behind a sweeter taste than saying I Love You with 30g of sugar per roll.  Yum.  (£0.35, everywhere!)

05: Fluttering lashes go hand-in-hand with hearts that are all of a flutter no?  What greater excuse do you need to customise your next purchase of YSL’s best-selling False Lash Effect mascara with a Swarovski crystal heart.  Still not convinced you need this extra sparkle in your life?  How about when I tell you that you can get this bespoke addition for no extra cost… available from February.  (£23.50, selected YSL counters at Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks, Brown Thomas and Fraser’s)

06: Ahh la rose.  The quintessential flower of love.  The problem with a dozen roses is that it’s not long before the flower’s fresh scent changes from ravishing to rancid once the petals begin to droop.  Prolong the good-feeling with this beautiful limited edition candle from Diptyque.  The Rose Duet, so-called because of its marriage of two wonderful fragrances in one candle (Rose and Baies) will ensure that the scent continues to linger perhaps even longer than the relationship (harsh!) (£42.00, instore and online at diptyqueparis.co.uk)

07: Looking a lot like a pencil tips/gold-dipped Madonna boob hybrids, these From Dusk Til Dawn massage bars* from LUSH offer a convenient excuse for a foot rub.  Or a back rub.  Or a bum rub.  Whatever floats your boat.  They smell delicious in a just-stepped-out-of-the-orange-grove kind of way and leave behind a subtle sheen on the skin.  They melt beautifully and I don’t mind admitting that I prefer to use these solo while I’m still warm from the shower, as Charlie from LadyoftheLane advised me, they’re brilliant for dry shins! (£4.95, lush.co.uk)

08: M&S have released a few makeup cuties just in time for Valentine’s Day.  The Limited Collection Multi Blush* features a variety of pink-hued blush hearts compressed into a single pan to deliver a rose-tinted flush to cheeks.  Sparkle, flush and glow get it (ho ho ho) from your nearest store.  (£6.00, marksandspencer.com)

 

Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day?  And how much of a diva-strop do you throw if you get nowt?

* press sample

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?

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?

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?

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