Over the years, I’ve slowly discovered that as much as I love my makeup, I can also be rather lazy about it.  An example of this is my love for palettes.  I like knowing that someone has taken the work out of choosing which shades goes with which to ensure that I don’t end up looking more Coco the Clown than Coco Chanel.

There are a few single eyeshadows that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d relinquish my grip but for the most part, I’m pretty commited to having the hard work done for me.

IMG_6134

IMG_6136

Estee Lauder’s latest palette launch features a new line of Sculpting Eyeshadows that are firmly grounded in the neutral camp.  Offering a total of 12-different palettes across the range with shades that are designed to add definition, shadow and highlight to the eye area – these haven’t been created to break ground on new trends… you’ll have seen these shade combinations a hundred times over but they have been designed to make mornings easier.

IMG_6145

In my posession, I have 04 Rebel Metal - a collection of golden, metallic hues.  Each shade is a shimmer, there are no mattes at all.  I prefer balanced palettes that offer a matte, I’m too old and wrinkly to wear shimmery shades in my eye socket!  Having said that, the five shades do deliver some pretty, subtle nuances between them and are nicely colour-balanced to ombre across the metallic spectrum.  The palette definitely leans to the warm side but should suit most skintones well.

Pigmentation is good and the texture from each pan is pleasing, I’ve found some Estee Lauder shadows to be a little firmly-textured in the past… particularly the paler shades.  This palette, though not quite “buttery”, is easy to apply and wears nicely when applied both wet and dry.  As you might imagine, wearing these metallic shades wet creates a far more impactful and intense look, it’s nice to have the option.

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Despite eschewing a primer, I found these to be fairly crease-resistant, they didn’t move about on the eyelid but instead, faded gently as the day wore on.  In all honesty, I can’t say I’m hugely excited by this release but at the same time, there’s nothing I can moan about either.  There’s nothing wrong with them per se… they just don’t get my makeup-loving heart a-beating.

Perhaps I’ve been exposed to too many palettes of golden neutrals over the years *cough* Naked *cough* but for the £40 price tag, I’d gently suggest that your money could stretch further, whilst getting the same quality… from a purchase elsewhere.

I’ll still be checking out some of the other colour-combinations on counter though, you never know where that perfect taupe is lurking!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadow 5-Color Palette in Rebel Metal is priced at £40 and is available to buy on-counter and online from esteelauder.co.uk, johnlewis.com, and debenhams.com

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Deal Alert: Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 21 - 2014

Back in my early twenties, Anna Sui was one of the first brands to ignite my passion for make-up.  I remember my first Anna Sui lipstick clearly, a deep burgundy/wine shade that, if I’m honest, I loved more for the packaging than the colour.  You see, Anna has always known how to enchant beauty lovers with her exquisitely-presented products.  Rich colours, a theme of roses, and an eye for beautiful design captures both the heart and the wallet in an indisputable “I simply MUST HAVE IT” kind of way.

Over the years, the brand’s cosmetic “branch” has been in and out of production but each time the line has been reintroduced, a new generation of beauty geeks have fallen in love with its unrivaled femininity.

With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure that these two palettes* – currently on sale at Escentual – need much in the way of further introduction.  Look at them, they’re bloomin’ gorgeous!

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (3)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (2)

The Anna Sui Eye Color Palette features ten 1.5g pans of colour that range from the glitzy to the more demure.  The shades develop in intensity as you work your way through the palette starting with a frosty white and culminating in a super-sparkly black.

The texture on most of these is quite soft, easily blendable and prone to a little dustiness when loading a brush from the palette.  The pigmentation varies across the ten pans, I’ve tried to keep the swatches below as accurate as possible in terms of colour payoff from a single swipe with a fingertip.

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (4)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (5)

With a primer, the shades wear well but without a sticky base, the sheerer shades do fade quite quickly.  If I had to pick one thing, my favourite aspect of this palette is the delicate smattering of sparkle found in a few of the colours – it’s understated, grown-up glitz that remains nicely on the lid, without any fall-out when combined with the aforementioned eye primer.

Now, onto my personal favourite… the Anna Sui Lip Color Palette!

I mean, who doesn’t need ten different shades of lip colours in one portable package?

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (6)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (7)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (8)

The ten shades punch well above their weight with a glossy, almost balm-like formula.  Don’t mistake these for a traditional lipstick texture, I’ve included the photo above to display the “softness” of the formula, which leans more toward a solid lipgloss texture than a liquid lipstick texture.  That last sentence makes more sense in my head than it does on the screen, sorry!

Either way, the colour applied on the lips is fully recognisable from the shade in the palette – it transfers well with the kind of opacity that you’d expect from a well-pigmented gloss and lasts easily to mid-morning.

The Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes are currently on sale at escentual.com, priced at £14 each instead of the usual £28!  At this price, they represent a true bargain.

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Deal Alert – Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eye Shadow in Storm £6.99

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 24 - 2014

I don’t know if this is an unusual blogger trait, I’m willing to bet that it isn’t.  But I have a confessionary secret stash and it’s not of makeup.

Oh no, it’s far sadder than that… it’s a secret stash of photographs of makeup.  You see, the thing about us hard-boiled bloggers is that we often struggle to physically open and use makeup before we’ve documented it for prosperity.  I’ve bought some true beauties in the past that have sat for months, untouched… pristine… my fingers aching to prise open the casing and daub the contents over my face.  But I’ve resisted.  All because I haven’t gotten around to photographing it for the blog.

And so today, I’m delving into my stash of photographs for an oldie-but-goodie.  The other problem with hoarding makeup (and photographs of makeup) is that by the time you get around to blogging about them, they’re often discontinued.

But in today’s case… this may be no bad thing, because it also means…

BARGAIN.  When was the last time you saw an Edward Bess eyeshadow for £6.99 inc. postage?  Let me tell you, as happy as I am for your bank account… I’m crying for mine.

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow (2)

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow (3)

Edward Bess Storm Taupe Eyeshadow Swatch

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eye Shadow in Storm is a silvery taupe.  I like to call them “ghostly” taupes and they’re my favourite kind!

A pretty neutral with a shot of ethereal silver flashing through its veins.  It applies as smoothly as you’d expect from the premium U.S. brand and works beautifully as an allover one-shade choice for fraught Monday mornings.

Where did I spot this bargain of bargains?  Well, on the ‘bay of course!  Don’t feel too sorry for me paying full whack, I’ve spotted that the same seller also has another EB shadow that I’ve got my eye on, I may yet make it up to myself!

Are you happy to buy discontinued products from eBay (with a bit of homework) or are you too scared of fakes and fungal infections from out of date cosmetics?

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My favourite luminizing eye shadows!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2014

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

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

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

Favourite highlighting lid shades

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

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

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

Favourite Highlighting eyelid shades eyeshadow

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

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

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

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

What are your favourite luminosity-delivering eye shadows?

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Suqqu SS14 Collection: Review, Swatches, and a FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 10 - 2014

I’m not the world’s biggest Spring/Summer collections fan, I have the kind of complexion that needs contrast… it needs bold colour, the kind that you’re more likely to find in collections released toward the end of the year rather than the beginning.  That being said, I’m nothing if not a total sucker for palettes with a delicate amount of sparkle to brighten and highlight.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 Collection* is is my first experience of Suqqu’s colour makeup, it’s not a brand that’s stocked within 80-miles of where I live and when it comes to flying-visits to Selfridges in London, I’ve only ever peeked with curiosity at the much-lauded brush range that the Japanese brand are famous for producing.

It’s with this in mind that I’m approaching my post by placing more emphasis on the overall impression of the products, their textures… their longevity and blendability, than I am the colours that come and go depending on seasonal releases.  I hope this is ok, I’ve included plenty of photos to show this year’s Spring Summer shades but my curiosity was mostly centred-upon trying to work out for myself whether or not the legendary SUQQU quality lives up to my inflated expectations.

Suqqu SS14 Collection

The pieces I received* from the Suqqu SS14 Collection are shown in the photo above, from left to right: Smoothing Face Color, Sirakoucha EX05 Nail Polish, Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Quad, Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick, and Momoshuiro 01 Balancing Cheeks Blusher.

I’ll start by focusing on the Balancing Cheeks Blusher (£38.00) below, and will say outright that for me… it was my favourite item in the collection.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher Swatch

Looking at both the product in the pan, and the swatches on the back of my hand… I was sure that I’d struggle to get the colour to show up on my pale but prone-to-ruddiness cheeks.  I was wrong.  When I’m reviewing something that may end up in someone spending £38 on a blusher, you can be sure that I take my responsibility seriously… and that extends to doing something I might not ordinarily do.  I used the cheek brush that comes with the product.  Interestingly, so should you.

The textures of the blushers are incredibly soft and they kick up a lot of dust… the powder needs the touch of a whisper-light brush, and one is thankfully included in the pan.  Infact, despite owning some beautiful, and rather expensive blush brushes… the one that comes included with this duo is softer than anything else in my collection.  The colour glides on beautifully.  I ended up using the warmer and paler of the two shades in the traditional blusher “stripe” configuration before blending the slightly sparklier pink (pan on the right) into the apples of my cheeks and drawing upwards as you would use a highlighter.

Longevity is day-long.  I just can’t give any complaints about this product… except to say that it’s more money than I’ve ever spent on a blusher before and I’m just not sure I could bring myself to part with almost £40 for 4g of product.  If you could, then you should give the range a once-over on counter.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

The next item under scrutiny is the Eyeshadow Quad, Mitsucha 15 (£45.00) - a warm-toned palette with an incredible luster and grown-up sparkle.  The depth of pigmentation is perfect here, no matter which shade my brush picked up… I felt that I had – as if by voodoo – managed to transfer just the right amount of product from pan to brush each and every time!  The only occasion I returned to the palette was at the end of my application just to add a little more of the gold (top left) shade to the centre of my lid after blending the crease.

SUQQU SS14 FOTD (3)

Overall, the shades in Mitsucha 15 wouldn’t be my first choice but this is a personal opinion on what suits me.  The texture, quality and luminosity delivered by the palette is second-to-none.  This is grown-up stuff for those of us who aren’t willing to give up on sparkle and highlight but appreciate that our eyelids are a little too mature for the same heavy glitters or metallics that we used to favour.

The formula reminds me a little of how the Clarins eyeshadows suit my personal tastes, but with an undeniable added refinement brought about by the fact that with no primer applied, these shades didn’t move a centimetre in over 9-hours of wear.  For the perfect quad of shades, I would be willing to part with the £45.00 required to get my hot little hands on the product.

SUQQU SS14 Nail Polish Sirakoucha EX05

I hope you don’t mind but I’ll be covering the SUQQU polish in another post, I’d just freshly painted my nails the day before taking these swatch shots and I couldn’t give up an hours-old manicure just yet!

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color (2)

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color

The Smoothing Face Color (£50.00) is an interesting concept, featuring a trio of shades that combine together to deliver a three-in-one solution to help beat complexion imperfections.  The white powder on the right contains green pearls to create a “photography reflector effect” diffusing light and blurring imperfections.  The larger, central beige powder is a finely-milled, non-pearlescent powder that helps create “smooth-looking skin without visible pores”.  Finally, the pinker shade on the left aims to correct uneven skintone and discoloration.

Ultimately, it doesn’t leave me tempted.  It’s a lovely, lightweight powder that delivers the “smoothing” finish it promises but I just couldn’t justify the price difference between this and some of my other luminosity-delivering finishing powders in my collection.  I’m already a huge fan of Guerlain’s meteorites range and Clarin’s regular releases of LE face powders (not the “blush” ones).

SUQQU SS14 Usubeni EX-03 Lipstick Creamy Glow Moist

The final piece from the SS14 collection I’m reviewing today is the Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick (£27.00) with its sheer, balm-like formula.  Again, this isn’t one that would tempt me into a purchase, I simply need more pigmentation than this lipstick provides, but if you’re a fan of balms and want a polished-look from a fuss-free formula that genuinely leaves lips feeling better conditioned at the end of the day… I’d make it another one to check out on counter.

And finally, a couple of shots showing how the products look once applied.  Combined, they achieve a Spring look that is understated but fresh and luminous.

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD-(2)

I haven’t been disappointed by my introduction to Suqqu.  The quality is evident from the first touch… not just in the sleek packaging but in the high-tech textures and long-lasting formulas.  The introduction has made me question just how much of my own cash I’d be willing to part with to pay for the kind of quality that a range like this provides… and how much more discerning I’d force myself to be when faced with the prospect of spending £50 on a face powder.

Ultimately, it’s a range that is more than worthy of the hype that surrounds it, particularly when it comes to the kind of products that would benefit from technologically-advanced, lighter textures.  Next time I’m in London, I’ll be checking out the base products.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 range is available to buy on-counter in Selfridges and online at selfridges.com

* press samples

Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

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

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

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

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

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

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

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Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Smoky Plum

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2014

New for this season, Clarin’s Mineral Eyeshadow in Smoky Plum is a beaut.  But then I would say that, it’s a gorgeous, mauve-toned taupe… just the kind that gets me far too excited about eyeshadow.   Clarins make some of my favourite eyeshadows, they’re generally on the sheerer side… something that I’ve grown fond of as I’ve gotten a little older.

They also do light-reflecting without any of the over-the-top-shimmer that you’d expect from a more metallic finish.

Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Smoky Plum

Smoky Plum delivers a nicely-textured formula that can be used either wet or dry.  To be honest, I rarely use my eyeshadows wet… for a day to day look, I almost always use a sheer wash of colour over the lids with a staple darker matte in the crease for a little definition.  Nowadays, I don’t get much more adventurous than this, so I look for longer-lasting formulas that deliver a subtle sparkle.

This little Clarins number does what it says on the tin, in a shade that I’d wear day in-day out with no grumbles at all.

Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Smoky Plum Swatch

You should be able to pick up on the sparkle in the above swatch, this is one swipe… it can be built up in intensity… but not by a huge amount unless you apply it with a damp brush.  If you’re looking for some power-pigment, my advice would be to steer clear of Clarins but if you’re looking for something eminently wearable, non-aging, and long-lasting… do give the Clarins Mineral Eyeshadows a second look, this one particularly if you want a beautiful cool-toned neutral.

Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Smoky Plum is priced from £13.60, available to buy online from escentual.com and on Clarin’s counters (£17.00) nationwide.

* press sample

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Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2014

If you ever had reason to think that beige is boring, think again.  Clinique have recently released a lovely, understated collection of nail polishes that range from the palest skin-suiting shade right up to the darkest.  In addition to these eight new limited-edition nail polishes, there’s also an eye shadow palette featuring another eight complimentary neutrals.

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection

Focusing first on the eyeshadow palette, the limited edition All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette (£32.00/€39.00) includes an essential wardrobe of work-friendly neutrals, from the softest sparkling white right through to the smokiest dark brown.  The textures are soft and blendable with a creaminess that belies their powder form.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2

The first five shades in the palette (from left-to-right) contain a very subtle shimmer that reflects a luminosity rather than a glitter but the final three, darker shades, are the ones that will carry your look from day into night, featuring a (slightly) more prominent sparkle.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Close

The palette contains a large mirror and applicator with a sponge tip on one end and a blending brush on the other.  As much as I take issue with sponge tips, I won’t deny that the addition of a brush on the other end does ensure that you can get a decent application without carrying your own arsenal of tools around with you.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the size of the palette.  As much as I love my Urban Decay Naked Palettes, I find them far too big to offer any kind of portability.  This one is small enough to pop in a handbag with ease.  Most interestingly, despite its minute size, each pan contains more product (gram for gram) than the Naked Palette, although the Naked palette offers a total of twelve pans to Clinique’s eight.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Swatches

Now, onto the new, limited edition A Different Nail Enamel (£12.00/€16.00) shades…

I’ve got two of the eight shades to show you, so naturally, I swatched one shade on each hand!  The colours that I received are almost similar enough in shade depth to get away without anyone noticing I’m sporting completely different polishes on each hand!

Clinique Nude Nail Polish Beige

First up is the lighter of the two: Peek A Boo, I See You which is described as a nude peach.  I’m not sure I’d agree with that description… in my experience, peaches tend to be a lot warmer in tone and this one isn’t quite warm enough to qualify in my opinion.  Having said that, for me, this is no bad thing as it complements my pale skin-tone beautifully.  It gives a soft, clean finish that’s effortlessly chic and lengthens my fingers.

Clinique Peek A Boo Nail Polish

Following this is the next tone darker in the collection: Birthday Suit.  It’s a slightly deeper version of the above with just the tiniest hint of a mocha hue.  Both polishes took three coats for a smooth application, but each covered easily without pooling in the cuticles or any other application issues.

Clinique Birthday Suit Nail Polish

What do you think?  Does the collection offer enough interest for you to be tempted or are you of the opinion that beige really is boring?

The Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection is available to buy online from clinique.co.uk now.  Alternatively, the collection will roll out across Clinique counters nationwide from the 7th February.  I imagine the eyeshadow palette might sell out pretty quickly though!

* press sample

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Quick Pick: L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Metallic Lilac

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 8 - 2014

When I first reviewed the L’Oreal Color Infallible range a couple of years back, I was impressed with the amount of pigment these little pots delivered.  They were obviously hot on the heels of Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense/Chanel Illusion D’Ombre high-end releases and presented an inexpensive way to jump on the is-it-cream-or-is-it-powder bandwagon.

My only issue with them back then was with their staying power as I found them sliding around on my lids after a few hours, both with or without a primed base.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_01

However, I’m a sucker for my purples and the limited edition Metallic Lilac release had been haunting me ever since I saw swatches a while back.  Still not quite enthused enough to hot-foot it down to Boots (how many purples does one woman actually need?) I held off until I was reminded of its existence during a late-night eBay browse.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_02

The particular beauty of this shade for me lies in its irridescence.  It has a delicate sparkle that remains on your lids without too much migration and injects the area with reflected light… something that I’m particularly partial to when I drag my sorry bones out of bed in time for the school run.

The flashes of pink in the powder prevent the shade from being too icy, and there’s a subtle greyed-out quality that will appeal to those of us who don’t want our eyeshadows to scream too loudly at passers-by.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_03

I use a flat brush to apply this to the center of my primed lid before buffing out the edges for a softer finish.  I’m wearing it today on the lower lashline, a little heavier than I would across the lid and it adds a look-twice amount of colour without being over the top.  Longevity still isn’t the greatest on the lids for me but I’m a little more lenient nowadays, less demanding of staying power in my old age… perhaps I just don’t need all-day-long wear anymore.

That being said, I still get around 5 hours with a primer, so it’s not too bad.  I also should point out that I do believe that I’m in the minority with grumbling about wear issues with this range of eyeshadow.  Most bloggers tend to find that this gives great all-day wear with a primed base.

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_04

Loreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Metallic Lilac_05

You can pick the L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Metallic Lilac up on eBay from £2.25 with free postage.  Or you can go to Subway and buy a bacon sub with a drink for £2.00 – I won’t hold it against you if you choose the bacon, there’s no easy answer to this one.

A little bit of Guerlain sparkle!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 25 - 2013

Are you feeling Christmassy yet?  I’m starting to see a few sets of fairy lights glinting away through people’s curtains and whilst I wouldn’t normally even entertain the idea of decorating before the first week of December has passed me by, I won’t deny it… this year, I’m itching to get my hands on the paper chains.

How about the shopping… is that under control for you?  Have you bagged some bargains throughout the year or are you resigned to a last-minute meltdown on your local high-street?  I’m usually fairly organised (at least in my head) about what I’m buying but this year I’ve been completely lacking in inspiration.  This will inevitably mean that I end up spending more money in an attempt to solve the problem… AND end up with less thoughtful presents!  Grrr!

Christmas grumbles aside, there’s 10% off beauty at Debenhams at the moment and if you’re looking for something with a bit of sparkle to get you in the mood for the festive season, I’ve got a couple of lovely things from Guerlain to share with you…

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_1

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_2

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_3

This warm-toned eyeshadow duo from the French brand in 08 Two Spicy evokes all the spirit of a fading Autumn with a rich, earthy umber and a softly-sparkling copper.  Both shades are finely-milled and soft to apply but you’ll see from the swatches below that pigment is lacking in the copper-shade.  This is designed to be applied as a wash of colour over the eyelid, lifting the complexion with some understated sparkle as opposed to adding anything in the way of substantial colour.

To this end, it works nicely to create a more informal, smudgy look that can be applied without the need for precision as the two shades blend together seamlessly to create a contoured eye rather than a full-on makeup look.

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_4

If you wanted to add a little more dimension or take the look from daytime to party-time, the new retractable eye pencil in 04 Katy Navy is my pick of the bunch.  It features a soft but intensely strong pigment with a shimmering metallic hue of blue that would complement a range of eye colours.

There’s very little drag across the eye area during application thanks to a creamy formula that sets quickly and stays put throughout a vigorous swatch wash!  Worn on the eye, it survives fairly well (although not completely) along the waterline but exceptionally well across the lower lashline as shown in the FOTD below.

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_5

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_6

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_7

Guerlain Autumn 2013 Fall Look_8

Guerlain’s Ecrin 2 Couleurs – Colour fusion eyeshadow duo is currently priced at £27.00 (was £30) and Guerlain’s The Eye Pencil – Retractable Cream Khol & Liner is currently priced at £16.20 (was £18) instore and online at Debenhams.com

Do you have your Christmas sparkle sorted yet?

* press samples

If you only buy one thing this Autumn…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 12 - 2013

… it should probably be one of these.

Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer_1

Now, I’m flagrantly shirking my own rules and responsibilities here.  These two eyeshadows turned up only yesterday and I’m bumping the review queue like a woman on a mission to enable.  Why?  Because these Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer eyeshadows* from Clinique are bloody gorgeous, that’s why.

The 2.2g single shades are a dream for those of us looking for high pigmentation colour with a super-creamy texture.  If your eyelids aren’t quite as smooth as they once were, please don’t be put off by the “super shimmer” moniker… this is not disco ball glitz but a smooth shimmer with light-reflective qualities, it’s all very sophisticated and grown-up!

Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer_2

The acrylic packaging is rather bulky for the size of the pan inside, thanks to the included sponge applicator and large mirror.  Personally, I’d rather depot these into a palette… but Clinique haven’t made this kind of DIY trickery particularly easy in this instance.

The super-soft texture does mean that you have to be careful of a little fall out, both when you lift the colour from the pan and during application, however… this is nothing that tapping your brush before applying won’t solve.

Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer_3

The shades I received are both sublime.

08: Olive in my Martini is much more of a dirty brown than a true olive… there’s only a very little gold/green in there.  It’s more of a hint at a neutral-green than anything more directly representative.

02: Blackened Honey would be a killer set against green eyes.  The warm tones are beautiful for Autumn, thankfully the kind of burnt umber that doesn’t make you look like you’ve got pink-eye.

Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer_4

Now, I’ve only these for the one day but it’s now lunchtime and I’m sitting here wearing Olive in my Martini.  It’s been on my lids since just after 7am and despite the fact that I was too impatient to pair it up with an eye-primer… it’s holding fast.

I doubt that it will last the whole day without a base underneath but Clinique have also just released their All About Shadow Primer for Eyes too, should you be reliant on extra long wear.

Clinique All About Shadow Super Shimmer_5

So, why am I so stoked by the new Clinique All About Shadow range?

Well, if the rest of the range is anything like these (and remember, these are the “super shimmer” finishes, I haven’t tried any of the others)… you’ll be getting great texture, super-blendability and high levels of pigmentation without sacrificing on a more sophisticated, non-glittery finish.

All About Shadow Singles are priced at £16.00 / €19.00 and available to buy on counter and online from clinique.co.uk

* press sample

A Friday FOTD with Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 14 - 2013

Pow pow purple! Coming from Boots No7, I didn’t expect *quite* so much pigment in these little pans. The No7 Stay Perfect Quad Eyeshadow Palette (£10.50) delivers a real punch of colour from all four of its shades which blend effortlessly across the eyelid thanks to a soft, almost creamy texture.

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad2

If anything, the vibrant purple in the palette* does overshadow the more subtle shades contained, and on my hooded lids turned the taupe (that I’d placed in the crease) a lot more violet than I’d intended once I’d worn it in for an hour… but as a huge purple fan, I can live with this.  In the inner-corners, I used the pinky-violet shade and on the upper lashline, the deep purple powder (as an eyeliner).

I suppose if I take away my love for that single purple shade… the palette as a whole probably doesn’t work too well.  I’m here describing my placement of all four shades in the palette but the subtleties of them are completely bowled over by the gorgeous bottom left pan.  You need to find a way to either quieten that one shade down (I think I’d perhaps use it only along the lower lash line next time) or give it up to an all-out purple fest.

Boots-No7-Purple-Haze-Eyeshadow-Quad3

I completed the look with a sweep of Dainty Doll powder blush in 002 My Girl, and Urban Decay Iconic Lipstick in Naked (one of my favourite ever nudes, now sadly discontinued).

What’s your favourite purple eyeshadow?

* press sample

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