Relaunched: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick Range

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 9 - 2013

Whether you’re the kind of girl who revels in a red, takes comfort in a faithful skin-toned nude, or paints the town pink… you’ll recognise the transformative power of a great lipstick.  It’s the one item in a girl’s makeup arsenal that can take a look from zero-to-hero in a second with the minimum of fuss.

However, geting down to the serious business of choosing the perfect lipstick is always a subject up for great discussion!  The choice of shade, texture, and finish can be somewhat overwhelming when confronted with a bewildering array of counters at your local beauty hall.

Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura were responsible for one of my first high-end lipstick purchases when I fell in love with a perfect pinky-nude that paired beautifully with a smoky eye.  I relished finally finding a range that offered more than just the standardised option of slug-toned nudes, they offered true nudes for all skin-tones!

Never content with resting on their laurels the cult brand have re-launched their entire Rouge Unlimited line of lipsticks and you’re practically guaranteed to find your perfect match among the impressive 44 new shades available.  The new range incorporates some cutting-edge technology to ensure the smoothest of applications whilst delivering head-turning pigment.  The brand promise to achieve all of this without the usual compromise on comfort thanks to an active moisture-locking cream plus lip care which will help protect and nourish your lips.


The behind-the-scenes video above is not only beautifully shot but gives a good insight into the new range’s transformative ability, also… can you say cheekbones much? *swoon*.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

Autumn Beauty Pick: Clinique Fresh Bloom All Over Colour in Plum Poppy

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 20 - 2013

Give it a couple more months and we won’t need to use blusher.  The faux Jack-Frost-has-been-pinching-your-cheeks look will be served up daily by Mother Nature.  In the mean-time, Clinique have a rather lovely solution to inject some colour into our cheeks!

First things first, it’s a thing of beauty in the pan.  I mean, look at it.  Look!  I never tire of pretty makeup…

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Considering I struggled like hell to cut out pastry leaves that actually looked anything like leaves for the top of my apple pie last week, you can colour me impressed by Clinique’s ability to craft a bleedin’ poppy into their blusher pans.  You don’t want me to spoil that pristine surface do you?

Tough.  Here’s a swatch:

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Plum Poppy makes for a soft-neutral shade with enough pink in it to ensure that it’s a flattering choice for cool skin-toned girls like myself.  The pink keeps the colour looking fresh, rather than muddy as some plums (including the much-loved NARS Sin) tend to turn against my complexion.  There’s a slight iridescence to the formula that translates nicely once on the skin, giving a subtle highlight without any over-the-top shimmer or sparkle.

The texture is soft and picks up easily on a brush.  For application, I prefer to use a stippling brush… just for a lighter touch as I do tend to be a little heavy-handed and Plum Poppy doesn’t take too much effort to build into a natural-looking flush.

The brand actually market this as an “all-over color” as well as a blush, meaning that you could… if you wanted to…. wear this all over your face.  In my opinion, it’s far too pigmented for that kind of application but hey, whatever tickles your pickle!

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Clinique Fresh Bloom All Over Color in Plum Poppy is priced at £26 and is available to buy on counter and online at johnlewis.com

* press sample

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 17 - 2013

Sometimes technology baffles me.  I’m not talking the kind of bewilderment that leaves my Dad staring blankly at the DVD player for hours on end until someone finally takes pity and shows him where the eject button is; I mean the type of bemusement that comes from trying to understand something that employs so much science, you need a minimum of a BSc to know where to start.

Let’s just say then, for simplicity’s sake, the new Guerlain foundation is really rather technical.

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_1

It’s pretty much an unspoken rule that for a foundation to be long-lasting, I mean… truly marketed on its long-lasting qualities, it will generally suit one particular skintype over another.  Oily-skinned ladies, this one’s for you.  Except, it’s not.  Well, it is, but it’s not just for you alone… supposedly.  Confused?  Me too… stick with me…

Guerlain’s Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation makes no bones about being a wear-proof foundation, it’s been designed to provide the kind of longevity that will see you through the day, and then some.  It sells itself on “unfailing perfection”, an “infallible formula”, and “16-hour hold”.  These are no meagre claims.

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The thing about this foundation is that, it doesn’t feel like a traditional longwear foundation.  It feels exceptionally lightweight on the skin, delivering a classic velvety texture without immediately seeking out my dry patches (although in fairness, I’m not winter dry at the moment), and coverage-wise, it offers a medium, buildable formula.  This is what I mean about the rule-breaking… this isn’t really how long-wearing foundations are supposed to feel or look.

With regards to how it feels on the skin, for those who are familiar with other formulas, I would say that this feels somewhat similar to the recent Armani Maestro Fusion foundation… it’s a barely-there product with a lot of slip.  Except this one has more pigment, more coverage in a single sweep, and doesn’t highlight dry flakes within seconds of application.

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I’m not going to try to explain, question or debunk the science behind this foundation because I don’t understand it enough to pretend that I do!  Let me instead, present the information to you as it is written in the press release.  Perhaps between us… we’ll share a greater understanding of the technical aspects.

The formula forms a complexion-enhancing film over the skin through the use – a first for Guerlain – of three volatile oils that evaporate one after the other.  Three different volatilities create a flawless complexion in three stages.

The first masterstroke: the first oil evaporates instantly under the fingers, to ensure perfect wear for the product and allow it to melt into the skin, which immediately appreciates its softness.

The second key step: the second oil coats the skin, more completely and evaporates just after helping the foundation to glide evenly over the skin, providing perfectly uniform coverage.

The third highlight: the final oil is then released to apply and fix the Timeproof complex, ensuring irreproachable correction and all-day hold.

So, my understanding of this is that the first two (of the three) oils, exist to provide a kind of “inbuilt primer” for the foundation.  Encouraging greater glide and skin prep… but that, the key to the success of this foundation is in the fact that these oils “evaporate”, therefore ensuring that they don’t interfere with the formula’s longevity later in the day.  The third oil, I’m not entirely sure about.  As I said, it’s a bit beyond me!

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_4

Now, back to my trialling…

Well, you can see from the before/after pictures above that the colour match was not good for my skintone.  I used shade 13 Rose Naturel.  I count nine shades available on the retailer’s websites, which appear to be grouped according to undertone: beige, rose, and golden (dore).  Although the rose undertone is obviously correct for me, it looks as though I would need the “clair (light)” version rather than the “naturel (natural)” which I have here.

It appears that there may only be two depth-stages in the rose undertone (the aforementioned clair and naturel)… so I’m not entirely sure how pale this foundation actually goes.  Definitely do some counter-swatching and don’t buy this one blind.

You can see that the foundation evens out the skintone quite nicely but doesn’t eliminate the need for a concealer… this doesn’t provide heavy-duty coverage for blemishes but is buildable for areas of discolouration or uneven skin-tone.

You should also be able to detect that it doesn’t mask any natural luminosity either, both photos were taken within 2-minutes of each other and my skin displays similar highlights without any additional dullness after applying the foundation.  Basically, my skin still looks like skin.

I think that in the colder months, as my skin becomes more parched, I might uncover some issues with this foundation.  After wearing this for around five hours, I did notice that dryness had become more apparent when looking closely in the mirror.  Although the foundation hadn’t slipped from my t-zone – infact it lived up very well to its claims of longevity – it had gathered slightly on the dry patches around my mouth and nose.  Just enough to highlight them.

All in all, I’m intrigued, if not completely sold on this foundation.  It doesn’t help when you don’t have a colour match because your eye is instinctively drawn to the flaws that this accentuates but from the time that I did spend wearing it (indoors), I can vouch for a longlasting, lightweight formula that evens the skintone in a natural way without masking luminosity.  As for the technology, well your guess is as good as mine!

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation is priced at £37 and available to buy on counter and online at debenhams.com, harrods.com and feelunique.com now.

* press sample

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2013

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

Why?  Let me tell you…

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

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

Well, pretty well actually… let me elaborate…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* press sample

Talking Tweezers…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 3 - 2013

Since when have a good pair of tweezers not been a beauty essential? Even before I got into makeup properly, I was well-versed in the art of tweezing… that’s not to say I was any GOOD at it. I was just, proficient at trying. Or in my case, over-trying… as my sparse brows proved.

You’d think that buying a pair of tweezers would be as simple as popping down to your local chemist and grabbing whatever’s on the shelf, right? Wrong. There are so many different styles of tweezers…

Let’s start with the tips…

The most popular style of tweezer tip is the slanted, and for good reason. Slanted tweezer tips offer a great compromise between the precision of a pointed tweezer tip and the grab-all approach of a straight tweezer tip. Slanted tips generally work well on ingrown-hairs without the risks of skin-damage that pointed tips can cause when used by inexperienced tweezers.

So now that you’ve chosen a good all-round tweezer tip, you should know that not all tweezers are created equal. I’ve owned some shockingly bad bought-on-a-whim tweezers in the past. The worst of them are the ones that simply don’t grab the hair properly… and if they do, warp or twist as you press the tweezer together!

All of the tweezers below come from quality brands, none of these will let you down when it comes to tweezing!

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01: Tweezerman have been my brand of choice for the last 10-years. They offer a variety of styles, colours and patterns, often with limited-edition releases. They’re not the cheapest brand on the block but they’re pretty accessible and also offer free sharpening for the lifetime of your tweezers, though you do have to send them off to the U.S. for this service. (£22.00 / selfridges.com)

02. Sigma have recently launched their Beauty Brow Tweezer which incorporates some funky angles designed to improve accuracy and ease of use. The hot pink colour should also ensure that they’re easy to spot inside your makeup bag! (£9.95 / cloud10beauty.com)

03. Laura Mercier’s tweezer uses the classic Tweezerman design, indeed these are made for Laura Mercier by Tweezerman. This is the style of tweezer that I’ve used for the past 10-years, the rounded handle ensures that your grip is rock solid and shows those errant brow hairs who really is boss! (£18.50 / spacenk.com)

04. Glamtech’s offering is a multifunctional tool that not only delivers the sharpest of hand-honed tips but also a rather innovative brow comb on the other end. If like me, you’ve been “blessed” in the brow-length department, you’ll find this extra a useful addition in the quest to tame those brows. (£6.00 / glamtech.co.uk)

05: Mister Mascara’s Japanese Style tweezers are another pair to consider if you need a little more security in the grip. The wider handles ensure that you keep utmost control while navigating toward even the most baby-fine of hairs. (£8.95 / urbanretreat.co.uk)

06. For some super kerb-appeal, Shavata’s Heart Tweezers win the prize for cutest eyebrow accessory! Described as both fun and practical, they even come complete with a magnifying mirror, making them ideal for travel. (£18.90 / beautybay.com)

Once you’ve found your perfect pair of tweezers, it’s time to look after them. Baby these things like they’re your first-born. If you drop a pair of steel tweezers on a bathroom floor, more likely than not… when you close the grip, that precision-engineered tip is not going to close squarely anymore and if they don’t close in perfect alignment… you may aswell attempt to pluck your stray hairs with a pair of BBQ tongs for all the good they’ll now be.

You’ll also need to keep the tip as sharp as possible, a pair of blunt tweezers will struggle to grab hairs effectively and can often end up snapping the hair as you pull them away from the skin. Most of the pricier brands include little caps to protect the ends of the tweezers. Use them, don’t just throw your tweezers in your makeup bag without some kind of protection or you’ll end up having to sharpen them on a regular basis.

Now tell me…

Do you have a favourite pair of tweezers, and if so… how old are they? Mine are 7-years old!

No filler with Lipstick Queen Thriller

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 2 - 2013

“It’s cold!”

“I’m putting the heating on!”

These are two sentences that I read on my Twitter timeline yesterday, truly signalling the advent of September and the end of Summer.  There are many things to feel gloomy about… the darker evenings and shorter days will always be at the top of my list but let’s not get too disheartened.  There is nothing that a chunky knit, leather boots, and an Autumnal lipstick can’t make better.

Seeing as I’m not a fashion blog, I’ll let you go elsewhere for your style fix but hang around for a little while longer while I show you a lovely transitional lipstick that should guide you gently from one season to the next.

Lipstick Queen Thriller

Today, I’m looking at a lovely chunky lip pencil from Aussie brand Lipstick Queen.  You’d be forgiven for thinking that the brand have only recently joined the pencil love in, but oh no… The Chinatown Glossy Pencils are the forefathers of the trend, Poppy King released these back in 2009… long before you couldn’t move for chubby lip love.

There are eight shades available and of these, I’m showing you Thriller… the closest to a traditional red.

Lipstick Queen Thriller

The package comes complete with an oversized pencil sharpener, I like to think that were these put into production today, Poppy would have designed them as twist-up crayons… having to sharpen pencils is an irritation.

Lipstick Queen Thriller

The formula is soft but firm enough to apply withut any issues, the tip glides across the lips and delivers a sheer-but-buildable amount of colour.  Although glossy, the overall effect isn’t one of “gloss”… there’s no “wet-look” lips here and no stickiness either, thankfully.  The product wears comfortably over a decent-enough time period, around 3 hours, needing a topup after drinks or lunch.

The fomula doesn’t dry my lips out but leaves them in the same condition prior to application, a good choice for any dry-lips sufferers in the coming colder weather.

Lipstick Queen Thriller

The colour is a sheer, berry red with a hint of pink.  It’s a really comfortable in-between shade for anyone who isn’t quite ready to go all out Autumnal vamp.  I know I always need a little bit of gentle easing into the season… and Thriller is a great shade choice for anyone who wants to explore a red lip without having to commit to full-blown colour.

Lipstick Queen Thriller

Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Lip Pencils are priced at £22 each and available to buy online from SpaceNK.com

* press sample

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Game Changer

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 20 - 2013

Whenever I write a post or a review about a lipgloss, I start it off with the words: “I don’t like lipgloss”. This is an absolute. It cannot be changed.  I don’t like lipgloss, I think it’s a horrible lip-covering that puts me in mind of windy days/sticky lips scenarios…. lipgloss lips that create strands of gloop as the mouth opens and closes, you know what I’m talking about.

For you, as a reader, it means that when I do review a lipgloss… I’m reviewing it because it delivers something that makes it more interesting than your bog-standard tube o’ lip-jizz.

The BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie range… (btw, “marvelous/marvellous”.. you say tomayto, I say tomahto – obviously I’m right and you’re wrong) does deliver something in addition to the norm.  It packs a fair-to-middling amount of lip-plumping goodness in that little tube.  It’s not as good as the old crew mind… do you remember the old Pout Lip plumper that used to feel like you’d actually been punched in the face to achieve the trout pout of your dreams?  Those were the days…

Anyway, Marvelous Moxie contains enough peppermint oil to deliver that satisfying tingle and pleasing fullness to the lip-line.  As I’m getting a wee bit older, I’m appreciating things like this more readily.

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The formula is fairly typical though thankfully, not too thick or heavy in texture on the lips.  It spreads nicely and the applicator allows for some precision without overloading the doe-foot tip.

Game Changer is a somewhat cool-toned red, quite dense in its opacity (for a gloss) and will layer up on your lips, building in pigmentation as you apply.  For me, I can’t bear more than a single swipe, so the photos below show just that.  The texture isn’t too bad… it’s tacky but not to the extreme, just enough to ensure some longevity during wear.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Game Changer

If I’m honest, I begrudgingly like it and I’ve reached for it a couple of times in recent weeks.  Usually when I want something to brighten my look without screaming “bold lips” in your face.  That’s not to say that I don’t inevitably end up wiping the back of my hand across my mouth after an hour… but still, I’m always tempted to reapply.

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Excuse the fringe…

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One coat delivers semi-sheer coverage that, on my pale lips, delivers a fairly impressive amount of pigment.  It’s enough to give a hint to my love of red on those days when I’m not quite feeling brave enough to go the whole hog.  Red lips for wimps?  Absolutely… but with the added benefit of some super-sexy shine and a plumped-up lipline.

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Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Game Changer is available to buy online from feelunique.com priced at £12.80

* press sample

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 14 - 2013

I promised a proper review of the Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation* that I’ve been practically living in all Summer. I also mentioned about how I’d never in my wildest dreams actually imagined that it would work well on my skintype.

I don’t know about you but there are certain preconceptions I have when I hear the marketing blurb about products. To me, something that is touted as “stay perfect” or “long-lasting” inevitably puts me in mind of a foundation designed for oilier skintypes. At the very least, something that my dry/combination skin would fail to tolerate.

In this instance, I was wrong.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico

No7 Stay Perfect foundation comes in an impressive range of 17 shades and I, somewhat predictably, was matched to the lightest of these: Calico.  I find Calico to be quite neutral in terms of hue, leaning neither too pink nor too yellow.

The finish is semi-matte and I’m unsure at this moment in time how my skin will tolerate this foundation when Winter comes around.  I’d hypothesise that we may not be quite such good buddies once the dry-flakes settle in for the season but at the moment, whilst my skin is very much “combination”, the No7 Stay Perfect is ticking all the right boxes.

One of the reasons I’m getting on so well with this foundation is down to a slightly unusual reason, the packaging.  In terms of how much product the pump dispenses, for me… it’s perfect.  Now, I don’t know about you… but unless a pump dispenses a ridiculous amount of product, I generally just apply the lot without really thinking about it.  This one dispenses slightly less than the average pump’s worth, but isn’t so meagre that it makes you want to dispense another pump.  For some reason, this makes me really work the product into the skin… stroking and buffing the liquid formula until I achieve what is, quite literally, the perfect amount of coverage for me.

I know that it seems such a strange reason to love a foundation but it wasn’t until I used this that I realised just how much I tend to simply (over)apply whatever is dispensed onto the back of my hand without thinking.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico Texture

The Boots No7 Stay Perfect foundation gives me enough coverage (I’d class it as sheer/medium) to tone down the redness around my nose without obliterating my natural skin-texture, it evens out most areas without masking natural radiance and most of all, it lasts almost all day without slipping from my nose or chin.  My only caveat with this product is I feel that it has a problem with oxidisation, something I can just about get away with because I’m not particularly heavy-handed during application.

The formula feels lightweight on the skin and pairs beautifully with a silicone-based primer, despite the included SPF.  Infact, this is the first foundation I’ve used that actually makes me want to reach for a primer.  I’ve worn it both with and without but for literally, the first time, I can see a difference in my skin texture when using a primer.  It glides over the top and gives a great impression of minimising some of the pores on my cheeks.  I’m all about cutting out the extra steps during makeup application but I genuinely get a little bit excited when I apply this foundation/primer combo (for the record, I’m using my DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer).

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico Swatch

Anyway, enough gushing… I’ve taken my time with this review because I feel strongly about its value as a bloody great foundation.  For me, it’s a bloody great foundation.  It also helps that it doesn’t cost ££££, no?  Slightly bizarrely, I really seem to get on better with high-street foundations than expensive ones.  Good for me, I suppose!

The picture below shows the foundation with a full-face of makeup on top.  No highlighter or light-reflective blush, I’m loving the natural luminosity!  I just hope and pray I’ll still be able to wear this once the weather turns cooler.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico FOTD

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation is available to buy online and instore at Boots, priced at £14.  Have you tried it?

* press sample

Red Lip Series: Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 31 - 2013

You can’t eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without getting porky.  You can’t put in zero effort and reap all the rewards (unless you’re a cow).  And you can’t wear a kickass, uber-matte lipstick without it all going wrong… eventually.

This is how I feel about the Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet.  I’d held off buying for ages, I’m not a fan of the way the brand has conducted itself in the past and to be honest, I haven’t been a fan of the products that they’ve released either.  But the swatches have been amazing.  Screw the fact that I’m in the 30+ category and “really” shouldn’t be wearing uber matte lipsticks, seriously… screw that!  Red Velvet has been on my radar as a must-have for a long while.  I had to try it, I just had to, didn’t I?

Lime Crime Velvetines Red Velvet Lipstick

The packaging is rather nice actually, less unicorny and more sophisticated girlie… I do like the frosted glass container but there’s one irritation that bothers me each time I use it.  Why is there no inner ridge in the tube where I can scrape off the excess product?  Peering inside, it’s like looking into the Black Hole of Calcutta and when something is this frighteningly pigmented, you need absolute control over the amount of product on the wand.

Without smearing this around the opening, I don’t have that control and it balls up pretty quickly at the top, threatening to make a holy mess.

Lime Crime Velvetines Red Velvet Lipstick_1

But the one thing you can’t deny is that once applied, Red Velvet is in a league of its own.  Richly pigmented, deeply opaque, and velvet-textured… it’s a cracker.  I’ve found it best to apply in two thin layers… once to get perfect outline and once to fill in for complete coverage.  The formula is very wet to begin with and I inevitably end up with some of it on my front teeth.  However, within 60-seconds it dries to an almost powdery finish.

Lime Crime Velvetines Red Velvet Lipstick FOTD

The texture is lightweight but you can “feel” it on your lips because of the apparent dryness it imparts.  It’s not actually that drying in terms of what it does to the condition of your lips but it will happily settle into all of your lip furrows and stick like the proverbial to the outer lip-line.  It’s colour-depth and downright vampiness makes this the perfect choice for a night out… except, you might not want to choose it…

Let me explain…

On me, it wears U-G-L-Y.  I have a large bottom lip and the first place that this disappears is toward the inside of my lip, leaving a horribly apparent ridge of colour.  This colour-ridge narrows as the colour slowly disappears from the centre of my mouth, eventually leaving me with a rather impressive ring around the lower lip-line.  And this is without eating, only drinking.

Compared to some red lipsticks, I actually found this to be relatively transfer-proof, there’s a little left on my glass after drinking but nowhere near as much as most lipsticks.  It also resists transferring to my teeth once it has set on the lip, so it’s a real shame that I experience such horrible overall wear.  You can see the kind of wear I get in this photo on my Tumblr.  You should note, however, that this may be a peculiarity on me… many other bloggers report great wear from this product.

Ultimately, it’s a gorgeous red but I probably won’t wear it without a serious case of paranoia, and when you’re braving a lip this ka-pow, that’s not a great combination.

Lime Crime Velvetines in Red Velvet is priced at £11.50 and available to buy online from love-makeup.co.uk and cutecosmetics.co.uk

Do you own one of the Velvetines?  What are your thoughts on them?

FOTD with the Limited Edition Benefit The Rich Is Back Kit

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 10 - 2013

The 1970s were responsible for many a wonder. Star Wars, the MRI scan, the first black model on cover of a major fashion mag, the Krankies…

Oh.

Wee Jimmy Krankie aside though, let’s face it… the 70s were something to celebrate. Unless you had a box of FAB ice lollies in the freezer during one of the decade’s infamous rolling power cuts. But forgetting all the political shenanigans of the time, what about the D.I.S.C.O? The glitz and glamour of the real Boogie Wonderland?

Well, Benefit are bringing it back thanks to a collaboration with eminent fashion designer, Matthew Williamson.. himself, a child of the 70s. Ladies and… (probably) ladies, I present to you The Rich is Back!*

Benefit The Rich Is Back_01

Benefit The Rich Is Back_02

Of the kit, Matthew Williamson says:

“This is high-octane glam makeup for dressing up to look fabulous & dance the night away!”

Well, not really… is it? I mean, it’s a nice-enough kit… and probably far more sellable as it is than if it were high-octane glam makeup but c’mon Matthew Williamson… in what world would you describe a bunch of neutrals livened up with a teal… a sheer pink lipgloss and nude blush “high-octane”.

It’s not. It’s not really very 70s night-time glamour at all. But then, you’re not really Donna Summer either are you?

So perhaps we should just be thankful that this kit is a bit more wearable than the looks the girls would have been rocking down at Studio 54. Let’s see what you get for your money….

Benefit The Rich Is Back_05

Perhaps, infact… the most glam thing about this set is the packaging itself which can be repurposed as a jewellery case once you take away the makeup tray. I do love brands that do clever stuffs like that, talk about upcycling!

As for the contents, well you get:

  • eyeshadow palette 4 x 0.8g Net wt.
  • they’re real! mascara, 4.0g Net wt.
  • gimme fever cheek powder with brush. 2.0g Net wt.
  • lip gloss in inferno 6.5 mL / 0.22 US fl. oz

The eyeshadows are pretty sparkly, as one might expect from a kit dedicated to this era. The champagne shade (Disco Dust) is a really wearable highlight that doesn’t attract any attention in an unflattering way… it simply adds a touch of luminosity rather than any ageing frostiness. Solid Gold is a regular gold, a little sheerer than many but infused with some delicate sparkle that makes this a nice shade to wear all over the lid anytime of the day. Get Down Brown is a bolder choice considering the sheerness of the other shades, this one packs a lot more pigment. Finally, Feel So Teal although lovely to look at does that crappy thing of blending out to grey like many other teals.

Pretty they are, high-octane… they ain’t.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_03

Alongside the eyeshadow selection, you also get a mini They’re Real! mascara… you don’t need to be reminded of my love for this product, but incase you do – the seach box is up there! ^^^

The lipgloss in shade Inferno… is more of a match-strike really. A pretty sheer red infused with plenty of non-gritty glitter but “inferno” might be pusing the trade description act somewhat. Texture of the gloss is nice, non sticky and long-lasting. Trust me, that’s a real compliment coming from this bonafide lipgloss hater.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_04

The final product included in the kit is a Gimme Fever cheek powder with a brush. I’m not sure why they included a brush when there’s no eyeshadow applicators but include one they did. Gimme Fever is probably my favourite item in the kit, it’s a buildable blush-cum-highlighter that will suit a variety of skintones thanks to its neutral tone. On medium and darker skins this will sing as a cheek highlight and for lighter skintones like mine, it will show some of that pigment as a nude blush (again, with sparkle).

I wore it very lightly in my FOTD as I wanted to contour instead and use Gimme Fever to reflect the light.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_swatches

Here’s how the kit looks when all the products are used together… who says you need to fear the seventies? Embrace the decade!

Benefit The Rich Is Back_08

Benefit The Rich Is Back_07

Benefit The Rich Is Back_09

Benefit The Rich Is Back_06

All in all, it’s a nice kit. I’d say that the packaging belies the contents… it’s a little schizophrenic. Infact, considering the daytime makeup trend in the 70s was pretty understated, I’d say that the light, natural-looking aesthetic (with added sparkle) fits really well within the era. It just doesn’t quite fit with the disco-esque, glammed up sexy night-time packaging and leaves me a little confused as to the designer’s intentions and whether he actually saw the contents of the kit before bestowing those wickedly vibrant prints on the casing.

If you want to get your hands on this one, be quick… it’s a limited edition.

Benefit The Rich is Back Kit is priced at £26.50 and is available to buy instore and online at debenhams.com

* press sample

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