Rant. When brands go off-piste!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 5 - 2013

Radox. What are you playing at?

When I think of you, I think of relaxing in a blue-hued bath of wonder.  Sinking into realms of relaxation that I thought only existed in my pre-child lifetime. You don’t give me spendy guilts when I pop into Boots for a top-up and you don’t make me weep with sorrow when I discover that Mr. L has raided my bathroom cabinet.

So, what’s all this new nonsense about?

radox-revive-energise-uplift

Don’t you dare try to revive, energise or uplift me! That’s not what I come to you for.

You might think that you need to compete with all those shower and bath products that set your sensitive bits alight and leave you feeling like you’ve been dragged through a polo mint backwards, but you don’t.

You’re perfect just the way you are.

However, if you do get a moment… how about more bath salts in some new and ever more relaxing scents and shades. Bath salts are set for a BIG come back don’tchano?

Radox. They’ve gone all modern n’ stuff with this new Citrus range.  £2.15 ish a bottle… but if I see you buying one, I’ll disown you.


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

Inexpensive Beauty Find: H&M Wintersky Nail Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 12 - 2013

Loves me a good duochrome I do!

The problem with some duochromes is that no matter how delightfully galactic they look in the bottle, once on the nail… they require about a billion coats before reaching full opacity.  I mean, I know that I’ll have some extra time on my hands once Leila starts school in September (oh God, I’m not ready) but, five fucking coats is pushing it somewhat, no?

And that my friends, is why you need this H&M cheapie in your lives…

H&M Wintersky

H&M Wintersky

H&M Wintersky is a swoon-worthy polish.  It looks like it’s majorly accentuating my nail ridges in the second photo… but it’s quite an unkind photo to this poor polish which applies beautifully in just. two. coats.  The brush has a tendency to overload so you do have to be careful to scrape the excess back into the bottle but the formula is one of the fastest-drying (without making any application sacrifices) that I’ve yet to encounter.  Fastest-drying yet.  It’s like pixie-pee or something.

You should be able to tell from the photos that the duochrome shifts from a silvery green/blue to pink/lilac gorgeousness.  I’m also not wearing a top-coat in these shots because I was having a major swatch-session.

H&M Wintersky is currently available in H&M stores… it’s also online (if you can navigate their abomination of a website).  Priced at £2.99, it’s worth picking up next time you’re instore.

Deal Alert: Space NK 50% off Sale – My Picks!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 26 - 2013

Nothing gets me excited like a Space NK sale.

You see, I am not a woman of considerable means so I will always clap like a seal and skip like a munter at the thought of actually being able to afford the kind of treats that usually wrack me with stomach-churning guilt whenever I buy them.

Space NK have just released their (up to) 50% off sale page online, I don't know what it's like in store… our nearest is a 40mins+ drive away.  I also don't know if I'm buying yet… it's my birthday next month and I've already splashed some cash on another Sara Berman bag (my third), plus a cheeky StrawberryNET and Fragrance Direct order.  GOD SPACE NK, YOU COULD HAVE TOLD ME YOU WERE HAVING A SALE SOONER!

Anyway, if I do partake… here are my top picks, I wouldn't get all of them… but this is my shortlist!

space-NK-sale-picks

01: Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow in Mystere looks like an awesome Autumn/Winter shade that would either turn me into Snow White or simply exaggerate my ruddiness… I'm undecided.  I love the formula but the colour may work better on someone less naturally red-cheeked. (£19 £9.50, SpaceNK)

02: I'm a sucker for a neutral metallic and Space have put some lovely Rococo Nail Apparel shades in the sale.  This one in Mysterioso is calling me… especially at that price! (£12 £6, SpaceNK)

03: Everyone sorted for eye-cream?  I'm not.  I haven't found one that I like and as the clock ticks on, it's the one place that I'm really starting to notice a bit of age creeping in you know? I could quite easily panic buy this Reviving Anti-Wrinkle Fluid for Eyes from Skeen… I don't know much (anything) about them but the retinol sure sounds good! (£33 £16.50, SpaceNK)

04: It's always a good idea to buy off-season and there's no harm in preparing ourselves for the (inevitably) cold winter ahead.  Elemental Herbology's Wind and Cold Therapy promises to be the business for hands, cuticles and lips. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! Or something… (£19 £9.50, SpaceNK)

05: Miller Harris is one of my favourite perfumers and La Fumée is one of my favourite Winter scents.  Gloriously smoky and reminiscent of Bonfire Night it's a cracking EdP and although I don't need to replace my bottle just yet… this price makes me wish that I did!  (£95 £47.50, SpaceNK)

06: It wouldn't be a SpaceNK sale without a bit of nicely-priced ByTerry would it? Now, while more than anything… I would have loved to see some Or de Rose Elixir Extreme pop up on the sale pages… it hasn't.  And so I'd happily content myself with some ByTerry Colour Skin Enhancer instead.  What it does, I don't really know… I just know that I've got the wantsies.  (£64.50 £32, SpaceNK)

07: Finally, and probably my most-lusted-after item from the sale is this Sniff Scented Candle from R Nichols.  A bit of a strange lust perhaps but you see, I bought one of these (not this scent) in their Winter sale and it blew me away.  I want all of the beautifully illustrated R Nichols candles.  And as for this scent, well…. leather and woods… need I say more? (£40 £20, SpaceNK)

None of the free delivery codes I've found work anymore but if I find anything, I'll be sure to update this post… otherwise, there's the standard 6% cashback on Quidco.

What are you lusting after from the SpaceNK sale pages this time around?

Tealing kinda blue! Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 21 - 2013

Whenever I get given one of those nifty till spits treating me to X amount off Boots No7, I make a beeline.  Well, two actually… my first port of call are the brushes, I must have a million No7 brushes that I always take with me on holidays.  You know the sort of thing… not so rubbish that they’re unusable, not so amazing/expensive that you’d cry if they got bent out of shape! Makeup bag staples.

My second stop-off is in front of the Boots No7 Stay Perfect nail polishes.  I’m a little bit reluctant to hand over full-price for the range but when you’ve got £3 off… well, things don’t seem quite so expensive after-all!

Especially when they look as pretty as this…

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_1

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_2

How lovely is that teal?  Next stop, it’s going on my toes!

I generally find the No7 formula to be a two-coater, the brushes have improved recently and now I can generally cover the nail in 3 strokes with an extra one thrown in to tidy up.  Drying time is average but the gloss is usually out of this world.  My biggest bug bear with the formula is that so many of the strong shades stain my skin and require more acetone in removal than I’d usually like to use.

Despite the moniker, Stay Perfect doesn’t actually stay all that perfect.  I usually get significant tip wear within a few days and the odd chip here and there, noteworthy for someone whose nails rarely suffer from chips!

That being said, I’m almost tempted to forgive it for being such a rich, glossy shade that looks as though it’s been poured on rather than painted.  Lush.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising is priced at £6 (without a voucher) and available to buy instore and online at boots.com

Are you a fan of the No7 Stay Perfect nail range?

* press sample

Pick up a pick-me-up with The Body Shop face masks!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 21 - 2013

News of The Body Shop’s latest launch is like well-tuned music to my ears.  I’m a sucker for anything that promises an instant fix in less time than it takes to watch a movie and their NEW single-shot face mask sachets will turn you into a movie-watching, zit-busting multitasker of EPIC proportions!

Pick up a pick-me-up with The Body Shop face masks!

There are four different varieties of mask available in the range, here’s a quick guide to give you an idea of which might be the best choice for your current skin needs:

Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask

“Bring skin back to its optimum moisture levels with intensely hydrating Vitamin E.  Bursting with antioxidants this cushioning moisture cream protects and rejuvenates, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.

This is an overnight leave-on mask, great for when your skin is feeling dehydrated or in need of some extra TLC, personally… I’d use this in conjunction with any one of the cleansing masks.

Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Mask

“Filled with fine micro particles and crushed garnet stones, this zesty Vitamin C mask gently and effectively removes impurities and dead skin cells, providing deep exfoliation. It improves skin texture and tone, revealing a brighter, balanced, more radiant complexion.”

Great for combination and congested skin-types, perfect to use a couple of days before an event or big night out.  As it’s an exfoliator, I wouldn’t use this one more than once a week at most.

Tea Tree Face Mask

This antibacterial, deep cleansing clay mask smoothes and refreshes the skin by absorbing excess oil.  It gives an instantly cooling, soothing sensation whilst leaving skin clear and squeaky clean.”

A good choice for oily skin types.  If you’re wary that it might be too much for your skin, limit its use to a dab on any blemishes you have and save the rest to give your back/shoulders a deep cleanse!

Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

“Draw out impurities and rebalance the skin’s natural ph levels with this mattifying clay mould mask. Packed with the purifying properties of naturally sourced seaweed, it cleanses deeply, controlling excess oil, leaving skin oil and shine free.”

Who doesn’t love a good sea monster-esque clay mask?  These are my favourite to tackle congestion and blackheads across my t-zone.  Again, I’d use an overnight moisturising mask after treatment to restore hydration on my dry skin and limit its use to once a week.

All masks are single-use sachets containing a 6ml volume, making it a great and inexpensive way to mix-and-match treatments for an at-home pampering session.

Priced at £1.50 each and available in store and online at bodyshop.co.uk

* the seaweed ionic clay mask appears to be temporarily unavailable online

** The Body Shop are currently offering 40% off and free delivery when you spend £5 online with code EXTRATREAT

*** In other news, TBS are discontinuing the Sweet Lemon range, I’m so sad!

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayons in Bold and Knockout

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 18 - 2013

The world is awash with lip crayons! Perhaps we’re all reverting back to our childhoods as an alternative to a rather gloomy reality but what is it with wanting to make our cosmetics look like crayola?

Well, whatever it is, I’m loving it.

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_01

Seventeen, the brand from Boots… one of the most accessible in the UK market, have firmly jumped aboard the lip crayon bandwagon and released their own version.  I had no idea what to expect.  Would they be sheer and balmy a la the original Clinique formula?  Would they be drying like the Revlon Just Bitten Stains?  Or perhaps they’ll be uber-glossy like the new No7 Lip Crayons?

Well, they actually strike a rather good balance… but with the added bonus of some proper pigment.  Hear that?  It’s a choir of colour-loving lips singing in celebration.

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_02

The two shades that I’m swatching today are Bold (orange) and Knockout (plum pink).  The packaging is functional and practical with a winder mechanism to wind the crayon up and down.  It’s bright… chunky and you’d be hard-pushed to lose it in your handbag.

The texture of these lip crayons are both very similar, so although I’ve only tried two from the five shades available, I’m expecting a consistent formula from a brand as well-established as Seventeen are.

Talking of the texture, I found it to be quite light considering the amount of pigment it provided.  You can see in the lip swatches below that there is no thick layer of product over my lips.  The furrows and creases are still fairly well-defined and not filled in with goop!  Despite this light layer of product, it punches well above its weight when it comes to coverage.  That is some pretty strong colour from a quick slick of crayon.

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_03

bare lips

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_04

Seventeen Lip Crayon in shade: Bold

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_05

Seventeen Lip Crayon in shade: Knockout

I didn’t notice any horrible smell during application (I’m looking at you Revlon), and the colour glided on with little effort.  I’d say that these aren’t quite as moisturising as the original Clinique formula but slightly more moisturising than their newer, intense formula.  Considering that we’re looking at nearly the same level of pigmentation, render me suitable impressed.

I wouldn’t describe the finish as a high-gloss one, it’s fairly low-key (which I personally prefer) and the colour lasts nicely for about 4-5 hours (less if you’re eating/drinking).  It doesn’t leave a stain behind but it does fade pretty evenly.

Boots Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold Knockout Swatch_06

All in all, at only £4.99 a-piece (also currently on buy-one-get-2nd-half-price), the new Seventeen Lip Crayons* are a bleedin’ steal.  Have you tried any of the shades yet?

* 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

For superficially soft skin! Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 13 - 2013

I’m all for spending a little extra time in bed, I can clearly remember my early morning pleas of “just five more minutes Dad?” each morning before school.  How heavenly it is to know that you have full permission to hit the snooze button.

Well, heads up!  Nivea have recently released an in-shower body moisturiser that should definitely go some way to granting your wish.  It’s an allover body conditioner in cream form that you apply whilst in the shower (although not whilst stood under running water, that would be stoop) and rinse off before grabbing your towel.  It’s not a novel idea, LUSH have already done the whole in-shower body moisturising thang with their Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (one of my fav bodycare products, ever) and let’s face it… there are numerous in-shower body oils on the market already… but… and it’s a big but…

The Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser is likely to be the most budget-friendly of any in-shower moisturising product you’ll come across this year.  They’ve taken a great idea and modified it for the masses.  And who doesn’t want a bit of that?

But the question is, is it any good?

nivea-in-shower-body-moisturiser

Well… yes and no.

Yes, it’s convenient, saves a bit of time in the mornings and it smells comfortingly Nivea-ish.  At £2.56, it’s nice and cheap and comes in sensible packaging that doesn’t skimp on the quantity.  It’s a solid offering from a brand that regularly deliver good, no-nonsense bodycare products.

But, it’s just not moisturising enough on anything other than a superficial level (unlike the LUSH in-shower moisturiser).

When you apply the cream in the shower, it feels exactly like you’re rubbing in hair conditioner…. and you can feel it sitting on the surface of your skin, even after rinsing off.  I’m not saying the residue is a bad thing… it’s not.  It leaves skin feeling silky-smooth to the touch, even after drying.  You’ll likely purr to yourself as you stroke your legs.  But that’s as far as the moisturisation goes and as the day wears on, this superficial nourishment doesn’t hang around.

If you actually suffer from dry skin, in any way, shape or form… this is unlikely to be hydrating enough for your skin concerns.  In the winter, this simply wouldn’t last five-seconds on my scratchy shins.

But if you’re heading out for the evening, or simply want to feel all soft and silky for a limited time only… for the price-point, the Nivea option makes for a sound investment.

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser is priced at around £2.56 for 250ml and is available instore and online at Boots.com and Superdrug.com

* press sample

Inexpensive Beauty Find: M&S Autograph Gunmetal Eyeshadow

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2013

If, like me, you’ve been searching for clever ways to recession-proof your makeup bag without compromising too much on the quality, I’ve got a treat in store for you today.

Nestled along the “this is not just any eyeshadow, this is M&S eyeshadow” (no, they’re never getting away from that slogan) lurks a rather stunning, richly pigmented, smooth-applying taupe.

You know that I’m kinda crazy for my taupes and my purples.  If the world fell off its axis tomorrow and all other shades whizzed off into outer space, I wouldn’t give a shiny shit and neither should you.  Because, at the risk of sounding a little controversial here… taupes and purples suit EVERYONE.  You just need to find the right ones.

Inexpensive Beauty Find: M&S Autograph Gunmetal Eyeshadow

Despite what the box says, this ain’t no “gunmetal”, there’s too much dusty moth-brown goodness in there for this to be a simple gunmetal *scoffs*.  Why, this is a full-on grown-up, grenache-drinking, interest only mortgage-paying taupe.  And not only that, but it’s a rather nice one lacking in both the kind of uber-metallic sheeniness that crepes at forty paces, and chunky sparkle.

It comes complete with a mirror, and most shockingly… a not-too-useless eyeshadow applicator that actually makes a really decent job at smudging the powder along the lashlines if you just use the tip.

For your meagre monies, you get a generous amount (no weight listed) of BUAV (bunny) approved product.  And for those who find this important… it looks easily depottable also.  I doooo like a neat, square pan!

Interestingly, they also sell a “taupe”… don’t get them confused… that one’s a wimpy, slightly-sandy looking incarnation. Pff.

M&S Autograph Pure Colour Mono Eyeshadow in Gunmetal* is priced at £6.00, available instore and online at marksandspencer.com

* press sample

I may not be the internet’s biggest fan of the Rimmel Lasting Finish “Kate” lipsticks… but don’t let my thoughts stand in the way of a good bargain, hell… I might even give them another try myself at this price.

What price?  Well, they’re priced at £5.49 each in Boots and Superdrug, so…

How does £1.99-a-piece sound?

rimmel-lasting-finish-kate-bargain

Unhelpfully, there’s not much going on in the way of swatches but that’s nothing a good Google can’t fix.  Here are links to a few of them, via one of my fav lip-swatcherers: beautyswatch1, beautyswatch2, beautyswatch.

Are any of these catching your eye?  I can’t help but admit that I’m tempted by “04”, not that I should be… what with it finally being Spring n’all.

European ladies can also join in the fun with fairly-priced international shipping.  Who said Sundays are boring?

Rimmel Lasting Finish “Kate” Lipsticks are currently priced at £1.99 each, online from Fragrance Direct.  Tempted?

* don’t forget that Fragrance Direct also have the rather brilliantly-priced Dainty Doll leftovers up for grabs too (go for the blushers, gooo for the blushers!!)

Lidl makeup. Would you? Have you?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 18 - 2013

German supermarket chain Lidl have recently expanded their beauty range to include some new makeup bits and pieces.

Now, I’m no snob.  Well, I am… but not to the extent of being completely unwilling to try new things.  Hell, I do half my food shop at Lidl and if it’s good enough for my stomach, it’s good enough for my face.

Except for the foundation, I mean… look at it.  I can’t even…

Lidl makeup. Would you? Have you?

Nail polish, mascara, and lipstick though… get in my trolley, I’ll happily have a play!

Have you tried any of Lidl’s new makeup range?  I already have a few staples from their wider beauty range (though I didn’t really *get* the recent perfume hype), so I’m looking forward to trying these bits out if I can find them in my local store.

How much of a makeup snob are you?

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Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

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