La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Creme

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 16 - 2012

La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Creme.  Yes, it’s pretty much as awesome as I hoped it would be.  If only it had just a little higher SPF rating, we’d be best of buds all year round.  Well, at least until my new favourite base product comes out – a girl can’t be too loyal when it comes to foundations can she?

After suffering a major, practically heartbreaking disappointment over the much lusted-after Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation (which did nothing for me other than accentuate my dry bits and make me look blotchy), along comes La Roche-Posay to stroke my hair and tell me I’m not a troll.  No, really – bad makeup positively upsets me.

Paraben-free and suitable for all skin types (allegedly), Hydreane BB Creme is a rich, tinted base with an emolliating formula.  It’s perfect for the upcoming colder months but some may feel that the lower coverage levels are more suited to Summer months when we break out our tinted moisturisers.  The difference for me is that I don’t generally achieve much coverage across my nose with tinted moisturisers, with this – it provides just about enough redness-calming to make me feel a little more secure in my skin – and that, along with the great hydration, is why I’m happy to grant this BB Cream status.

Hygenically packaged in a travel-friendly squeezy tube, the cream that dispenses is a little thinner in texture than most traditional BB Creams.  It spreads across my skin with ease and almost provides enough moisture alone to go without any additional hydration underneath.  Almost.  I find that I still need to give my skin a little hydration boost around my nose (but not on it) and between my brows.

Once worked into the skin with the warmth of my fingers aiding the process, I stepped away from the mirror.  Five minutes later, I returned and was pleased to see a great skintone match, sheer coverage and skin that looked more refined and even.  Blemishes will need spot concealing and under-eye darkness will need brightening but this is a brilliant base for anyone who needs a quick, daily product to tone down redness without looking like you’re wearing a face of makeup.  It’s a skin confidence booster rather than a full-on face-fixer and that suits my tastes perfectly.  I also have no issues to report re: longevity, though I’m afraid that I can’t speak for oilier skin types.

I’m so pleased that this one lived up to the hype that I’d managed to build up for myself around it – my favourite Western BB Cream so far.

La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Creme is available to buy instore and online at boots.com, priced at £15.00 for 40ml

* press sample


Superdry Neon Pink EdT

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 10 - 2012

Superdry aren’t a brand I know an awful lot about, they first came to my attention courtesy of David Beckham sporting a certain leather jacket that seemed to cement their status as a super-brand (no pun intended). I paid them no more mind (though continued to think a little about Mr. Beckham) until last year, when they released a range of nail polishes before once again, slipping from my radar.  It was only at the beginning of this football season that I was reminded of the brand when it seemed like 80% of the home crowd at St. Marys were sporting Superdry t-shirts of varying shades.  Girls wouldn’t stand for that, we’d look at each other (all 30,000 of us) and be like… “err, awkward”.

But I digress…

The Superdry brand have released a range of female fragrances under the NEON umbrella: Neon Purple, Neon Pink, Neon Orange and Neon Blue.  The Neon Pink is touted to combine amber, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood and rose.  I definitely get rose and a hit of sandalwood (which gives a bit of a masculine/clean blast) but not much else.  It remains fairly sharp throughout the dry-down with just the very edges softened by a hint of vanilla the more it warms against my skin – I would like to have gotten more amber from this, considering it is, after all, described as an oriental amber.

And now for the packaging, which… in my opinion, is where the brand has concentrated the majority of its efforts.

For girls everywhere who want their perfume to be mistaken for an oversized, camp, Zippo lighter.  This one’s got your name all over it.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy the scent which feels jumbled and doesn’t do my skin chemistry any favours – the best way I can describe this one is as slightly confused and somewhat jarring.  However, it definitely works well within the brand’s styling and will no doubt appeal to many Superdry customers out there – let’s face it, you can’t deny that it won’t catch your attention on the shelf!

Superdry’s Neon Pink Fragrance is priced at £35 for 40ml, available instore and online at Boots.com

* press sample

M&S Limited Collection – That Owl-Inspired Eye Shadow Set!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2012

I don’t have quite the owl fascination that I know many people share but I can’t fail to appreciate a pretty design when I see one and this owl-inspired eyeshadow set is sure to get many of you hooting (groan – sorry).

The eyeshadow palette from the M&S Limited Collection features five neutral shades, and one flash of bold colour in the form of a jewel-toned blue.  All shades are shimmery, but is it a case of style over content when it comes to usability and value for money?  Or should you be owl over it before it flies from the shelves? (sorry, SORRY!)

The packaging is lovely, a substantial cardboard design reminiscent of many popular palettes featuring some extremely cute owl motifs on the front.  There’s no obvious mention of M&S as a brand, the packaging alludes simply to the Limited Collection rather than the shop where you buy your comfiest knickers.

Under the lid sits a generous, distortion-free mirror and six eyeshadow pans, each featuring a cut-out owl design.  These cutouts prove to be a little tricky when it comes to accessing the eyeshadow and I imagine that the sharp edges will begin to look fairly worn shortly after the initial use.  The palette comes complete with a sponge applicator… an actual brush wouldn’t have gone amiss when you have six shades to work from.

The textures are quite hard and sadly, I achieved little to no pigment from the top left shade, which on paper, was easily my favourite.  Taupe anyone?  The other shades deliver better results, some only marginally.  Swatches coming right up…

As previously stated, the top left shade is no bueno – don’t buy the palette because you think you’ve fallen in love with a new pretty taupe, you’ll be disappointed.  The remaining two shades on the top row are also a bit of a let-down.  They’re patchy and unpigmented for such strong colours (the swatch shows two swipes for each) – workable, but they make you graft to get a result.

The bottom row, however, tells a different tale.  All three shadows sitting across the lower half of the palette are quite delightful.  Rich in colour, smooth to apply and softly shimmering without any chunks of glitter.  The highlighter on the bottom right in particular is a very pretty warm champagne which will open up the eye area beautifully.

Ultimately?  Unless you absolutely must have it because you’re batshit crazy about owls, you don’t need this palette.  The shades are infinitely dupable in better formulas on the high street and because of the underwhelming performance of those top three shades, it just doesn’t offer value for money.

If you are a bit of an owl-obsessive, who cares what the shadows are like because let’s face it – you’re probably just going to stroke the box anyway.

M&S Limited Collection Shadow is available to buy instore and online at M&S, priced at £7.50

* press sample

What do The Grand Canyon, The Aswan Dam, my blackheads and the Great Pyramids all have in common?  All totally visible from space.

I’ve been reliably informed that my unwanted facial potholes have often been mistaken by the Mars Rover as an interplanetary field of black holes, thoroughly capable of sucking all living matter within a 1000 mile radius into them.

Sounds about right to be honest.

I’ve been trying a daily scrub from Neutrogena which promises to help eradicate these ‘orrible blighters and although it’s early days, I’ve been pretty impressed with the results so far.

There are a billion blackhead-busting scrubs out there but what makes this one a little bit different is the fact that instead of being advised to use it only a couple of times a week, Neutrogena have formulated this one gently enough to be used every day as a replacement to your usual cleanser.

The key ingredients which should make all the difference to our beloved blackheads in this instance is 2% salicylic acid.  A rather brilliant beta hydroxy acid which helps break down congestion deep inside the pore – and used regularly (which you can with this scrub) – will help keep pores free from debris.  Combine this with the manual exfoliation and massage provided by the synthetic microbeads, and it’s a pretty decent way to encourage clogged pores to remain clear.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub contains no SLS, and as a result, doesn’t foam much.  The wonderful side-effect of this, for me at least, is that I don’t have to run screaming from the bathroom in a dash to slather moisturiser on my rapidly-tightening face.  I find it a touch drying but nothing that would stop me from using this daily.

Because of the salicylic acid, I’ve actually been leaving this on my skin a little longer than you may expect in order to give the chemical the best chance at having an effect on my deep-space-nine (billion) blackheads.  I’m not the biggest fan of the microbeads because they feel a little granular to me and not quite as smooth as I’d like but I’ve been gently rubbing them in a circular motion around the sides of my nose (area of most congestion) and then leaving the product on my face for a couple of minutes before rinsing my skin clean.

I’ve noticed an improvement in the appearance of my blackheads, especially the larger ones… which I suspect, are the ones that are probably the easiest to flush out.  I’m not sure that I love using the product enough to use it daily for like the. rest. of. my. life.  It smells kinda unpleasant…. in a medicinal way but I’ll definitely reach for it often when I notice those little alien heads peeping out of my pores.

Beam me up spotty.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub is currently on offer at Superdrug, priced at £2.34 – definitely worth a punt for those among us who are blackhead-affilicted!

Got blackheads?  How do you bust them?

A little high-street shopping trip!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 22 - 2012

I don’t do many ‘haul’ posts, I don’t think they’re quite as popular in the blogosphere as they used to be?  Taken over by beauty box posts perhaps?

Anyway, I’ve been having a bit of a high-street love-in this past week and in the town where I’m currently staying, I’m limited to a Boots and a Superdrug – the Superdrug is a good ‘un, the Boots store massively blows but I did spot a good discounted section at the back that I didn’t have a chance to check out.  My LUSH purchases came from my local store in Southampton just before I drove up North. Um, that’s about it really – here’s what’s prompted me to open my purse this week!

When you’ve got a full fringe, dry shampoo is your friend and I thought I’d give Batiste Cherry a spin, I usually go for the original, dark, or tropical but I think this one is my new favourite.  I’m a massive fan of Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and surprised myself when I realised that I hadn’t given the Healthy Mix Serum version a go – again, this is a big hit with me (so far).  I think it suits my dryer skin even better and gives a slightly more translucent coverage.  The only gloss that I’ve ever repurchased is BarryM’s Lip Gloss in Toffee, it’s a wonderful colour with a pretty amount of shimmer and a non-sticky texture, I love it!

As for my LUSH dabble, I picked up another holy grail in the form of Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter, it’s the one I keep in my handbag and I generally alternate between this and CND’s Solar Oil which I use immediately after painting my nails.  I was sent a bottle of LUSH 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion a few weeks ago and whilst I’ve been enjoying using it, it hasn’t set my world alight you know?  I’m not really expecting LUSH Ultrabland to either, but I wanted to try another cleanser to discover the differences and to see which one I lean towards in terms of formula, as they’re both quite different.  Finally, I picked up a bath bomb for Leila – yes, it’s Space Girl.  Yes, it contains copious amounts of glitter.  No, I didn’t have a say in the selection and yes, I will be the one left cleaning the bath.

What was the last beauty product you snapped up?

Inexpensive Beauty Find: E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 6 - 2012

Small portions at restaurants, a child that can’t complete a sentence without repeating the word “Mummy” over and over before getting to her point, and body lotion that slides ineffectually over my skin for all eternity without actually sinking in.  These are the kind of things that get on my tits daily.

E45 have released a trio of new body creams that dodge my irritation-o-meter, they’re light, pleasantly slippy, cooling on the skin and quick to absorb.

The three varieties are best suited to normal/dry skins as a daily moisturiser, if you’re looking for something more nourishing for brillo-pad elbows and shins, look elsewhere in the range for heavier formulas.  My favourite of the three and the one that I’m classing as my “inexpensive beauty find” is the E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion* (the one on the far right in the above picture).

This is going to be a particularly good choice for the summer months as it contains a really subtle shimmer that makes you look all glowy and healthy.  I can’t even emphasise just how crucial it is to have shimmery limbs right now – I mean, I can’t turn on the telly without being blinded by some s’lebs shiny legs and this is a far more appealing version which doesn’t like you’ve rolled around in the butter dish.

E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion is available to buy instore and online at Boots.com, priced at £3.99 (also available from Supermarkets and the usual places)

* press sample

As the summer approaches, my thoughts turn to bullet-proofing my makeup to last the course of a hot, tiring day.  I don’t know about you but despite my dry skin, the first to make a dash for freedom is any and all makeup down the bridge of my nose.  Then my eyeliner melts into my tear ducts, developing into hugely attractive eye bogies before the last of my foundation gives up the ghost and literally puddles in the area where my nose meets my face (hello face).  If it’s really hot, my eyeliner will also strive for symmetry and create matching lines across my upper eyelid where the “hoods” rest gently on the lash-line.  It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Bobbi Brown’s new Long-Wear Eye Collection promises to stay the distance without letting you down or showing you up.  The eye pencils from the new collection are richly-coloured and deeply-pigmented.  They’re creamy and have that soft, gel formula reminiscent of my beloved Avon Mega Impact/Supershock Gel Eyeliner (whatever they’re bleedin’ being called at the moment).

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils* are available in six shades: Jet, Mahogany, Black Navy, Black Plum, Hunter and Smoke, providing a colour option whatever your personal taste.  I really like an off-black range that carries the density of an inky black but without the harshness on maturing features.  Not that my features are maturing, shutup.

These pencils haven’t given me any trouble sharpening, the uber-softness of the Avon ones means that I do need to chill them in the fridge for half an hour prior to sharpening, total pain when you need a pencil stat.  I didn’t have to do this with the Bobbi Brown pencils.

Mahogany is swatched on the left, Smoke on the Right.  You can see the density of pigment is really quite impressive.  It’s a teeny bit less pigmented than the Avon offerings (which are insanely pigmented) but as I said earlier, they do provide a little more precision during application thanks to a firmer texture.

Here are the same swatches after scrubbing the back of my hand with soap and water for a good 30/40 seconds.  I was impressed that they didn’t smear or transfer as I swiped and rubbed.  You can see that the pigment has eroded in places but if you imagine that swatch as drawn across your lash-line, I think you’d be fairly happy to emerge from the swimming pool 3-hours later with that much still intact no?

Unfortunately, whilst I think these pencils are brilliant.  This is where the praise ends.

I’ve been comparing these all along to the Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner pencils (which don’t come in as many shades admittedly) simply because the Avon ones are my benchmark and indeed, my daily staples.  As I swatched both alongside one another, I expected the Bobbi Brown ones to outlast the Avon.  They don’t.  They wear identically both on the back of my hand and on my waterline, around 5 hours.

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils are priced at £17 each.  The Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner pencils are currently priced at £4 each.  And there’s the rub, I’m not going to recommend that you spend extra money needlessly… both are fabulous long-wearing, densely pigmented pencil liners.  The Avon ones are substantially cheaper.

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils are available to buy on counter and online from BobbiBrown.co.uk

* press samples

How much do we love a beautiful duochrome nail polish? Almost as much as a cracking holo, that’s how much.

Love it even more if I can browse and pick it up during my weekly shop.

Oh, hai Eye Candy London… I don’t believe we’ve met but I’m liking the look of your Colour Flip polishes very much indeed!

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Well, they’re a bit pretty aren’t they? Also available from this brand are some crackles (yawn), a magnetic range, a rainbow flaky and a graphite (think chanel-inspired).

The Eye Candy London range is available to buy instore at Sainsburys (yeahhh!) priced at £8 each.

I popped into one that I was passing yesterday but couldn’t spot them yet. Keep your eyes peeled ladies!

Have you spied these new instalments in the beauty aisle yet?

Silky Skin? LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2012

I’m not a body lotion type person but I have about four bottles open, each at various stages of emptiness… I slather them on and wander aimlessly across the landing and back, waiting for the icky feeling to subside.  I have to use them because underneath my skin, I have scales.  After showering, the water seemingly dissolves the upper epidermis leaving me feeling more horny toad than supple and soft.

The worst bits are typically in those hard to reach areas, namely that horizontal line that connects both shoulder blades.  As the water evaporates, my skin tightens and I feel a familiar tingle that has me running for the body cremes.  When I say “me”, I actually mean Mr. L… I’ve already said that I can’t reach.  It’s a daily ritual… and one that I’m very grateful that I have a husband to help me with.  I’m so high maintenance.

Enter LUSH’s latest innovation, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner*.

Taking the hair conditioner theory and applying it to the skin, it’s basically a tub of sweet-smelling, oil-infused skin conditioner that you smear over your body after washing, then rinse off prior to stepping out of the shower.  Towel dry your skin gently and you’ll feel as if you’ve just smothered yourself in a rich body creme.  And unlike last year’s innovation, Toothy Tabs… I’m a massive fan.

A). It smells completely delicious, like a mixture of cocoa butter and roses… truly edible.

B).  It really works.

It feels odd on the skin whilst you’re still in the shower, like you’ve just waterproofed your skin with a slather of grease to be honest.  Deliciously-scented but lardy nonetheless.   As I patted my skin dry with the towel, it felt simply amazing and still does, sitting here 5 hours later. *strokes arms*

A little goes a very long way and the trick is to increase its ‘spreadability’, work with a small amount and don’t be afraid to really eke it out over the skin’s surface.  It’s generously rich in oils and although some parts may feel like you have more product on than others, have faith that you’ve done a good job in spreading the conditioner.  It’s not the cheapest outlay but it will easily last twice as long as my regular body moisturisers PLUS, I don’t have to stand around shivering as I wait for it to sink in!

LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is priced at £15.50 for 225g and I highly recommend it for post-shower lizard people.

* press sample

Red Lip Series: Revlon Cherries in the Snow

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 27 - 2012

I don’t know how I feel about including this lipstick in my red lip series. I mean, it’s totally like the lipstick angels came down from heaven and stole all of the cherries to make it, but…

This isn’t a red lipstick and I’m sick of hearing it described as a blue-based red.  It’s pink.  Pink like Nicki Minaj can only f*cking dream of.  Although having said that, I’m gonna propagate the “this is a blue-based red lipstick” ’cause it’ll probably work better for my SEO.  Don’t tell me you haven’t been warned though.  It’s f*cking pink.

Colour dramas aside (the ones in my head), Revlon Cherries in the Snow is totally worthy of all the praise bestowed upon it, feeling more like a £20 lipstick than a £7.49 one.  It’s rich, luxurious, deeply-pigmented and long-lasting.  You can work it into the lips like a stain or wear it in all it’s full-bodied glory.  If you apply, blot, apply, blot (and I mean really blot) – it doesn’t transfer all over your glass and stays put for most of the day.

Frankly, every woman should own this – aslong as you like pink.  I found it really hard to get hold of, it was never in Boots and I’ve been looking casually for the best part of 4 years (seriously).  In the end I picked it up on eBay for way cheaper than the RRP anyway.  Go buy it.  Like now.

Do you own Cherries in the Snow?  Pink innit?

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Imperial Leather Limited Editions!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 8 - 2012

Twice a week, I’m instructed to make bubble monsters of varying shapes and sizes.  Some are scary, some are friendly… some exist for mere seconds before a chubby toddler squishes them back down beneath the water. Others cling to the bath until I can be bothered to flush them down the plughole with a healthy dose of Cif.  We like bubbles in our house and a bath simply isn’t a bath without an accompaniment of pops and froth.

Imperial Leather have released a duo of limited edition fragrances, one of which caught my eye owing to the fact that it alludes to one of my favourite perfumery notes, and one that you don’t usually see in high street bodycare products, Amber.

Claiming an intoxicating base note of Amber, the Blissful* range (which comprises a shower gel and a bath cream) promises a highly nourishing formula, balanced to be pH neutral.  Other than the colour in the bottle, I didn’t detect too much of the promised amber but it does still offer a warm and comforting exotic floral scent.  Containing jojoba pearls to help both exfoliate and offer additional moisturisation and with bubbles a-plenty, it passed the toddler test with flying colours.

The other limited edition fragrance is Sublime and is based around a pomegranate scent, expect a far fruitier affair!

Can you remember the Imperial Leather ads from when we were growing up?  I found this one on You Tube and have to say, despite it featuring the magnificent Julie Walters, this one slipped my attention!

The new Imperial Leather Limited Editions range of pampering shower and bath creams are available from all major retailers, with an RRP of £1.89 per 250ml shower cream and £1.53 per 500ml bath cream.

* press sample

Bourjois Khol & Contour Shadow and Light Pencils

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 30 - 2012
Jen is from London and works in PR/Social Media.  She’s a bonafide beauty junkie with a self-confessed “mild” shopping problem!  The following article is a guest submission, you can read more from Jen at A Beauty Junkie in London. [br] [br]

[br] Hello!  Jen from A beauty junkie in London here!  Whilst Charlotte is away on her holidays (not that I’m jealous at all) I’m doing a little guest post for you!

Here’s a little look at the new Khol & Contour Shadow and Light Pencils* from Bourjois.  These pencils each include a light and dark liner shade that compliment each other.  The light shade in each of the pencils has a metallic sheen to it whilst the darker one is matte.

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Bourjois Khol & Contour Shadow and Light Pencils
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Natural Light
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With Flash

Shade wise, the dark shades are all consistently pigmented and feel creamy when used.  Of all of them, the navy blue is the weakest in colour pay off.  The paler shades on the other hard really vary, of course as they are the paler shades the colour pay off naturally contrasts with the darker ones… but when looked at alongside each other the ‘dragee’ shade (the one with the blue) is a bit lame.  So overall, the marine/dragee shade is my least favourite.

I also found that the texture of the lighter shade was a little crumbly, with the tip of the pencil breaking off of when I went to swatch them – because of this I’d definitely swatch them before first use as you don’t’ really want it going in your eye.

The two stand out colour pairings are the khaki and the champagne gold and the brown and the ‘caramel’ purely on the strength of the pigment and how the colour combinations are safe and neutral – but still slightly more unusual. If I was to choose one, I’d go with the khaki/champagne!

* press samples

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