Bank Holiday chats and a current wish-list…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 28 - 2013

Did you have a nice weekend?  It’s been a bank holiday in the UK, which coincided with the last few days before my husband returns the in-laws back to their home in the North East after a fortnight’s holiday with us.  Let me tell you, as much fun as it’s been, I can’t wait to get my own bed back.  Two weeks and one day on a blow up mattress has done nothing for my beauty sleep!

Anyway, hasn’t the weather been kind to us this weekend?  Friday’s utter shitness aside, we’ve been blessed with three whole days of glorious sunshine and somewhat balmy temperatures (at least, down here in the South)… so we took advantage of this rare occasion by hitting up some of Hampshire/Dorset’s best locations.

bank-holiday-weekend

Sadly, I didn’t get to do any shopping this weekend, not unless ice-cream counts as a legitimate “haul” (rum n’ raisin ftw) and so instead, I had much fun compiling a little wishlist of stuff that has been making me swoon recently.

may-wishlist

L’Occitane Vetyver Eau de Toilette (uk.loccitane.com)

Vichy Idealia BB Cream (escentual.com)

No7 Intelligent Colour Bronzer (boots.com)

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter (thebodyshop.co.uk)

Boots 17 Lip Crayon (boots.com)

The L’Occitane Vetyver is top of the list because it’s such a wonderful, almost summery take on the kind of scent I usually wrap myself up in when the weather gets cooler.  You know how it is, you just don’t want to let go of those fragrant notes that see you through the cold months… I don’t care that the mercury might finally be rising, give me my vetiver damnit!

Vichy does BB cream… well, who wouldn’t want to give it a go?  Apparently it contains “pink pigments” to ward off the traditional BB Cream grey cast.  Either way, it’s cheaper than RRP over at Escentual.

You know, except for Guerlain’s beautifully-crafted compacts, I’m still mostly just frightened of bronzing products but I’m tempted by No7′s summer offering which promises a super-blendable mousse.  At the moment, I’m still hung up on my bronzing translucents but this is certainly swaying me!

Ahh, The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter is celebrating 21 years!  The original, and in my opinion, still the best (Sweet Lemon runs it a close second mind!)  So tropical, it’s one of those products that really makes the whole bathroom routine thing less of a chore and more of a joy.

Finally, Seventeen have just released a bunch of lip crayons to compete with those famous department store counterparts *cough* Clinique *cough*.  Lip crayons are still enjoying their “moment” aren’t they? And providing these pack enough pigment, I’m jumping all over ‘em!

What’s been on your Bank Holiday wishlist, and did you indulge?


All ur mums.

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 5 - 2013

I still feel quite new at this motherhood lark and haven’t come to terms with the fact that after all these years, I’m now included in this annual celebration.

So, when does Mother’s Day stop being about your own Mum?  Never, I’d imagine.  My Mum and I don’t have the easiest relationship, it’s not the kind I want Leila and I to enjoy in years to come, and yet we both understand our failings.  I know I love my Mum and I know that my Mum loves me… in our own ways.

That has to be enough for both of us because neither can bring any more to the table.  That sounds more regretful than it is but it’s something we’ve actually made peace with over the past 12-months, which makes this Sunday more poignant for me, maybe for both of us, than it usually is.  It’s also my first Mother’s Day away from my Mum, perhaps we just lived under the same roof for too long?!

Regardless, Mother’s Day for me, has always been the day where I attempt to repent for my sins.  All those times throughout the year where I happily let my Mum put aside her wishes/choices/motivations to please me instead must now be addressed in full.  Sure, I showed appreciation at the time, and there’s lots of you out there that feel these one-day “celebrations” are nothing more than an opportunity to line Hallmark’s pockets… but, there’s something about dedicating a whole day to say thank you for the role someone plays in your life.

I wouldn’t get rid of the celebration for the world.  Plus, my Mum gets to stock up on Walnut Whips and her favourite perfume!

All ur mums.

01: Urban Apothecary’s Macaroon-inspired candle collection will be sure to get your Mother’s taste-buds watering with a choice of scents including: frangipan, violet cassis, mint creme, strawberries and cream, chocolate orange, and white truffle.  Each candle delivers artound 25-hours burn time with a natural soy wax blend and 100% cotton wick. £30, www.urbanapothecarylondon.com

02: Volupté Sheer Candy by Yves Saint Laurent delivers sheer lip colour with a moisturising, balmy finish thanks to a formula developed with fruit extracts.  Available now on counter in ten shades and packaged so beautifully, you wouldn’t even need to wrap it. £23.50, www.yslbeauty.co.uk *

03: Did your mother give you butterfly kisses when you were a wee one?  Give one back in the shape of this LUSH Madame Butterfly Re-Usable Bubble Bar enriched with delicious rose absolute, geranium oil and lemon.  Each bubble bar should allow for around six baths, ensuring that you remain #1 daughter for a while.  Madame Butterfly also comes with a rather special tag with wild-flower seeds embedded in the paper!  The gift that keeps on giving! £5.25, www.lush.co.uk *

04: Recently shortlisted as “gift of the year” by the Giftware Association, Miss Patisserie’s Macaroon Gift Tin promises to be a true bathing delight for any sweet-toothed Mum’s out there.  Nine fizzy melts will release a range of fragrances into your bath including: sweet pomegranate, spearmint & eucalyptus, champagne, french lavender, juicy peach, coconut & citrus, cucumber, garden flowers and rose. £15.50, www.miss-patisserie.com

05: For the Mum who has everything, there’s only one option… the works.  Give her the gift of ultimate pampering with a special Mother’s Day package from Daniel Galvin.  The treat includes: An express Dermalogica facial, manicure, cut & blow-dry, and a glass of bubbly from the top London salon. £140, www.danielgalvin.com

06: For the sweetest-smelling Mum around, gift her this fruity-floral wonder from an iconic British fragrance house.  Floris Cherry Blossom delivers a fresh blend of bergamot, orange and pink pepper over a heart of cherry blossom, osmanthus, rose and peony.  It’s a delicate, decadent, and exclusive gift that evokes the very essence of Spring. £99, www.florislondon.com *

07: If you’ve ever heard yourself say “let’s have a nice cup of tea and a sit down” the chances are, you’re turning into your Mum.  Let her lead the way in style with this Blossom & Bird Tea for One set.  Comprising a teapot, cup, and saucer in the prettiest of designs, all you need is a packet of hob knobs for a wonderful afternoon treat. £5, www.tesco.com

Do you go all-out on the Mother’s Day treats?  What have you got planned for this year?

* press sample

* p.s – sorry about that intro, I started writing and it ALL came out haha!

My favourite beauty products of 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 5 - 2013

I should have known from the moment I started poking through my beauty products that I was simply not going to be able to keep this list succinct and to the point.  Instead, I have still been really strict with myself and any “categories” that have more than one item, only do so because choosing between them would have literally given me an aneurysm.

And so, I present… my favourite products of 2012.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Let me talk you through them…

favourite beauty products of 2012

Skincare

I allowed myself a little more leeway when it came to choosing my favourite skincare products of the past year.  What with cleansing, moisturising, treating, and protecting your skin – I couldn’t simply choose a single product.

In March last year, I came across a vitamin c/hyaluronic acid serum on the ‘Bay and although my head told me not to invest in skincare products from the same place that I buy my Brabantia bin bags on the cheap… I couldn’t help myself.  It’s done a really nice job of balancing my skin concerns, reducing dryness without causing congestion or additional blackheads.  Vitamin c in skincare generally has a short shelf life, so the small 10ml size ensures that I use the product up while it’s at its most active.

Another treat that I’ve been enjoying using once a week is the Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask* which I use as an overnight treatment mask.  It smells divine, gives my skin an intense boost of hydration and leaves it feeling incredibly soft and supple the next morning.  Although it’s not cheap at £32.50, you do get a full 50ml and I’ve been using this for around 8 months and it’s still going strong.

I blogged about the Pukka Nourishing Brightener* earlier in the year and called it a “miracle”.  I stand by that claim today, as it’s been a lifesaver through these colder months.  I’ve use it roughly once a fortnight as a manual exfoliator, just adding a quarter of a teaspoon to my cream cleanser before gently working it over my skin.  It keeps my foundation looking smooth on my skin without over-exfoliating.  I’m not generally a fan of manual exfoliators (especially for people like me with diffused redness) but I’ve found this one has been gentle enough not to cause any issues.

Out of all my moisturisers, Dr Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream Light has been the one that I’ve used most consistently through the changing seasons.  With my (newish) serum, I’m finding that I need to use less cream moisturiser in the mornings, which is great for increasing makeup longevity and I usually apply this just to the drier areas of my skin where my foundation can clump and go patchy.

Finally, when it came to choosing a “treatment” product, there was only one that was going to win it… La Roche Posay’s Effaclar AI has been my weapon of choice against zits for most of this year and I’m showing no signs of growing tired of it!  The cream formula sits really well beneath makeup and works wonders to calm hormonal breakouts into not-such-disastrous events.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Nails, Body, Hair

Look how strict I’ve been!  Just three products… one for each category.

For nails, it was easy… I’ve been completely loyal to my LUMOS High Speed Top Coat over the past 12 months, and long may it continue – check out my jumbo salon-sized bottle that shows no signs of thickening (screw you Seche Vite!).  It does everything that I want a quick-dry top coat to do… simply perfect.  I buy my bottles on eBay because it’s a pro-product and I can’t get my hands on it otherwise…

LUSH have really pushed the boat out with some great products in 2012 and my favourite is Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner* which has really revolutionised the way I shower.  I don’t use it every-day because it would be an expensive habit… but once a week, I’ll apply this in the shower, wash it off and enjoy ridiculously soft, good-smelling skin without any fussing around with body lotions.  Dreamy!

I feel like I’ve spent most of the year searching for a great shampoo/conditioner combo that will regenerate my dry/flat/greasy at the roots hair but nothing has ticked all the boxes.  Charles Worthington Miracle Repair Elixir Oil* has become a replacement for my long-loved Gielly Green Argan Rescue oil.  It’s less expensive and does an equally wonderful job at smoothing the ends and injecting some great shine without weighing down my hair.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Fragrances

I had another near-aneurysm moment whilst trying to decide on my fragrance choices and in the end, I had to narrow it down by choosing my two favourites that were launched this year, and even then… I tried to slip in a third perfume (Balenciaga Florabotanica) and a second candle (Diptyque Feu de Bois) but stood resolutely strong at the last moment *wibble*.

Jo Malone’s Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense* came out earlier in the year as a limited edition release (it’s still available) and delivers a hit of everything that I love in a fragrance.  Rich, dark, and beautifully balanced between the masculine and feminine, I’ve been wearing it and receiving many compliments as a result.  It’s not hugely lingering but this will probably be a positive as we move into warmer months.

I’ve been such a huge fangirl of Ancienne Ambiance* since I first came across the brand a couple of years ago and the delight that is their Phoenicia candle brings a huge smile to my face every time I light it.  The earthy Cedar and fresh herbs makes for the most soul-warming fragrance combination known to (wo)man.

My second perfume choice is this masterpiece of a scent from Acqua di Parma.  Iris Nobile Sublime* is and was my favourite fragrance release of the year – unabashedly feminine without any over-the-top sweetness, she makes a quiet but substantial statement in all the ways that you’d want a proper grown-up perfume to demonstrate.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Tools

My favourite “tool” of the year was this fabulous little mirror that I picked up on a late night shop, for some reason… the sentiment just spoke to me ;)  I’ve had lots of people admire it… but of course, I had to tell them to sod off and stop talking to me.

When it comes to my undying brush obsession, the Real Technique range has triumphed completely this year and from the range, it’s the Buffing Brush (from the core collection) that has impressed me more than any other.  It seems to possess the magical ability to create a flawless finish, particularly with cream products – which I’ve favoured this year.  I need to buy another so I don’t grumble every time I want to use it for blusher only to find it covered in foundation!

favourite beauty products of 2012

My final pick of the best tool of 2012 is this beautiful glass nail file* from Mont Bleu.  I’ve talked about these nail files a few times before but if you’re looking for professional quality crystal nail files that won’t let you down with the added bling of something a little more personal – these are the very best choice you can make.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Face

Are you sitting comfortably?  Good.  Let’s talk makeup…

Foundation is my true weakness and there was just no chance of only being able to choose one favourite.  I’ve made it slightly less wanky by choosing one that is full-coverage and one that is more of a tinted moisturiser – thus totally justifying my inability to make a concrete decision – smart eh?

First up is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer… and as I’m writing this, I’m searching for a link and CANNOT FIND ONE.  I now have a horrible feeling that they’ve discontinued it, which would be a fucking tragedy because it’s fabulous.  I love the no-fuss, no-mess packaging that dispenses the perfect amount with a little squeeze.  I love the generous quantity of product and the sheer, buildable coverage that allows my skin to look natural whilst still toning down the redness.  I love the adequate moisturisation and how beautifully this spreads over my skin with its light texture and weightless appeal.  OH KIEHL’S… WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!

Well, thank God I’ve got a backup favourite to fall back on… although for very different reasons (and also not available in stick form any longer – infact, MUA say this one is discontinued too FFS), the Shu Uemura Nobara foundation provides a wonderfully creamy base with plenty of slip to allow seamless blending.  I’ve just picked up a backup in the SpaceNK sale online (shade 584) and am looking forward to trying it in pan form.  The coverage is medium to full and the pigmentation in the creamy formula is nothing short of astounding – you don’t need a huge amount but unlike other heavily-pigmented foundations, this one is very forgiving if you’re a little heavy-handed.  It skims over pores, never settling, and gives a frankly flawless (well, nearly) canvas.  Yeah, you just keep discontinuing my favourite base products beauty industry.  THIS is why I have too much makeups.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Talking of flawless coverage (and definitely not discontinued), Bare Minerals released a variety of concealers last year and their Correcting Concealer* has replaced Bobbi Brown’s as my favourite blemish buster in 2012.  It has a particularly emollient formula that would need setting on oilier skins but is hugely forgiving around the eye area, especially if you’re seeing your first laughter lines *cough* crowsfeet *cough* gradually appear.  Soft, very creamy, and full of deception – just how I like my concealers – the SPF20 is a welcome addition aswell!

For a little while now, Clarins have made my favourite powders – they’re beautiful to look at (totally important), offer light coverage, often contain the perfect amount of sparkle for luminosity without glitterizing yo’ face, and set my makeup instantly.  Well, the brand are still knocking them out with most collections – often just called Face Palettes and leaning a little more toward the bronzier side of “powder” in the Summertime, and I for one, will never be able to get enough of them.

I thought I might struggle with choosing my favourite blusher of 2012 but my hand almost instinctively reached for Paradiso Pink from MyFace Cosmetics without my brain having to do anything!  I’ve always wanted to find that perfect pink blusher that wouldn’t make me look ruddy.  I want a smooth-blending pop of colour that marries with my natural rosiness, nothing too barbie but nothing that takes an age to build-up.  I found it last year with this little gem.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Eyes

I’ll start with the most obvious – the one product in my entire makeup collection that gets dragged out of the drawer daily, my Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Gaze.  Eyebrow perfection with a long-lasting powder formula that gives me definition in literally, seconds.  The perfect way to frame your eyes. Expect to see this on the list next year, and the year after that… and the year after…

Following on in the same order that I’d apply my eye makeup, we come to primer and one that I’ve never strayed from because it achieves everything that I’ve ever needed it to achieve.  Urban Decay’s ubiquitous Eyeshadow Primer Potion is the be all and end all of eye primers are far as I’m concerned.  I’ve tried a few others, but always revert back to the original.  My only complaint about the product was rectified when UD changed the packaging… I still haven’t needed to repurchase since the packaging changed and I’m ekeing out the last drops before I take to the above tube with my bread knife!

You’ll discover that I’m very loyal to my eye products… I’ve used the same liquid eyeliner since I discovered it back in October 2011… and literally, the same one – daily!  Now that’s a bit of a bloody good value eyeliner isn’t it?!  The Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner gives me precision that I assumed I could only ever dream of.  I haven’t touched a cream/gel eyeliner since picking this up… the fine tip and pigmented ink is just hugely effective and quick to master.  I can even do flicks consistently now.  Yes, let us all take a moment to appreciate that statement.

Ahh mascara… every girl’s best friend!  This spot should have been reserved for Benefit’s They’re Real which literally blew me away when it was launched… but the thing is, it’s quite expensive isn’t it… and it dries up quite quickly doesn’t it?  If Benefit could do a couple of tiny tweaks to the formula to address the drying up issue, it would probably remain an absolute favourite but until then… enter Clinique Lash Power mascara*.  It offers a tubing formula, tiny precision wand, and the ability to lengthen and darken my pale lashes to the max without ever clumping or smudging.  It won’t give you batwing lashes, it’s no va-va-voom (unlike They’re Real) but it will never let you down and for those of us with already decent lashes, you can’t beat the blackening formula and definition.

favourite beauty products of 2012

Here come the big guns….

Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre(s) were probably my biggest splurges of the past year, because one wasn’t enough.  I now own four of them, and use them more than any other eyeshadow in my collection.  They’re simplistic, glamourous with just the right amount of sparkle, and long-lasting with a splash of primer underneath.  I’m still not entirely sure whether they’re a cream OR a powder?!  I think they’re officially called cream-powder eyeshadows, so I guess Chanel couldn’t make up their minds either.  Out of all my shades, Illusoire is the one that I reach for with most frequency.

My next pick has been risen from the dead, literally.  I pulled my Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Shadows out from the back of my storage earlier in the year and haven’t put them back since!  When I first bought them, I found them to be all glitter and no substance… beautiful glitter with lots of irridescence that resulted in simply making my eyelids look a bit greasy.  The solution was kind of obvious, but the penny has only dropped recently… layer them.  You should know by now that I own many, many-a-taupe eyeshadow and patting a little of one of BB’s Metallic LW Cream Shadows over the top takes them to another dimension – a grown-up sparkly one.  LUSH.

favourite beauty products of 2012

And finally… lips…

I’m afraid that I has nothing but lipsticks for you – it often comes as a surprise to people when I say that I generally abhor lipglosses.  I give them a good go and can appreciate a dud from a dream BUT 10 times out of 10, put both infront of me and I will always reach for the lipstick.  My favourite kind of lipstick?  Liquid ones… especially if they’re matte.  I have a feeling that this year will be the year of the Armani Lip Maestro – watch this space…

And so, to my final picks from 2012… two very different brands, at opposing ends of the price scale.  One from the U.S. and one, British.

This year was a truly great one for red lipsticks, I kept discovering great formula after great formula – something that is so important with any bold lip colour and it’s as if the industry has finally cracked it.  Long-lasting, non-drying, evenly-wearing… this Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red* is as close to the perfect matte formula that you can achieve.  The colour is outstanding with enough warmth to give it retro leanings without scaring off cool-toned skintypes like me.

Oh NYX, I dislike your brand presence in this country… it’s a half-hearted appearance but I do love your Soft Matte Lip Creams (even if they smell a bit funky).  Seriously though, these are the one lip product that I’ve worn more than any other throughout the year – I have the shades that you can see above and they’re my workhorses.  Quick to apply, good pigmentation, matte finish, and last very nicely.  The trick for amazing longevity from these is to apply in thin layers, allowing a few moments for each layer to dry before applying again.  I would like MOAR shades please NYX.

Phew.

Have I picked any of your favourites, tempted you into trying something new, or expressed an undying love for your product nemesis?  What do you think of my choices for 2012?

* originally discovered via a press sample

Hints and Tips for Winter Lips!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 30 - 2012

When it comes to skincare, it can occasionally feel like I’m chasing my tail, fixing one problem only to be faced with another… but if there’s one aspect of looking after my face that I seem to have gotten the hang of, it’s caring for my lips.  This time of year reminds me of the miserable winters I used to spend with constantly sore and painful lips.  If I wasn’t licking at them like a dog attempting to heal its wounds, I was picking… or even worse, peeling.

Lip condition can deteriorate rapidly, we put the central heating on on Sunday for the first time (we didn’t make it to November!) and last night, lying in bed, I could feel that tell-tale tingle around the edges of my lipline.  It’s time to up my game and put my winter plan of action into… well… action!  Without further ado, here are my hints and tips for winter lips!

Hints and Tips for Winter Lips

I shower in the evenings, and the first step in my annual plan for luscious winter lips involves the most basic of cosmetic tools, the washcloth (£3 for 10).  Whilst I’m waiting for my hair conditioner to turn my locks into mermaid-hair, I grab my hot flannel and gently rub back and forth across my lips.  Be gentle mind, you’re not trying to remove a wine-stain!  Doing this every day will soften any flakes that are ready to come away whilst encouraging blood flow and regeneration.

Once I’ve left the shower, my first port of call is to reach for my moisturisers and my lips don’t get left out here.  My night-time ritual (and I do this everyday) is to apply a layer of Lanolips 101 (£11) before bed – this rich, lanolin-based balm provides the best barrier for locking in moisture through the night.  When I wake up in the morning, it’s still there and my lips are plumpity soft underneath – this stuff has been a lifesaver for me over the last couple of years.

During the day, I opt for something a little lighter in texture, which brings me on to Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (£7.25).  Whilst not as nourishing as the Lanolips, the formula is more comfortable to wear during the day and the added SPF is a bonus.  It’s a compromise that I’m really happy with for now – plus the flavours are lush!  I reapply this over the top of my lipstick whenever I feel that my lips need it.

Talking of lipstick, it can be tricky to provide your favourite shades with a great base and The Body Shop’s Lipscuff (£8) is a cult classic for priming your pout in preparation for every shade.  Swipe the bullet over your lips in the morning, massage in the formula with your fingertip and wipe the excess away with a tissue (or the back of your hand if you’re a bit of a grot like me).  The Lipscuff leaves just enough coconut oil behind to provide moisture without slip and the exfoliating granules ensure that your lipstick won’t emphasise any dry bits.

Lips shrivelled up in the cold?  I’m just joking… we’ll leave the shrivelling up thing for men to deal with.  But if you do need a little extra plumping – particularly lovely for when you’re rocking a nude lip – I still swear by the original (and the best), Du Wop Lip Venom (£11.85) – it’s delightfully tingly (IT’S BURNING, IT’S BURNING!) and leaves my top lip almost matching the stature of my bottom lip, almost.  Thanks for the genetic un-eveness parents…

Finally, you literally shouldn’t leave the house without a little bit of lip highlighting.  Don’t know where to do it?  I stick to the cupids bow, using a subtle highlighter like YSL’s Touche Eclat (£25) which makes for quick and easy blendability.  If you’re wanting to go for a full-on pout, you can also add a highlight along the centre edge of the lower lip line to give the illusion of fuller, more lifted lips.  The Touche Eclat is subtle enough for daytime but if you’re wanting to highlight for a “going out” look, choose a highlighter with a little more shimmer for added wow-factor.

What are your favourite products for keeping your lips soft and full in the colder weather?

Lipglossiping’s still lusting! (and this time, it’s not just beauty)

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 8 - 2012

I don’t know if it’s my return to being allowed to treat myself to frivolous things once again, or just normal (forgotten) behaviour for me but I’m walking around like The Cat out of Red Dwarf at the minute. “This is mine; that’s mine [etc.]“…

I am the human equivalent of Pepe Le Pew, desperate to lay claim to most things I see!

Here’s what I’ve been lusting after this week, and considering I’m still lusting after half the stuff from LAST WEEK’s list – this could get messy.

01: YSL Teint Eclat (£28) – I STILL haven’t tried it!  On paper, it sounds like it might be perfect for my dehydrated, winter skin.  But I just haven’t gotten close enough to a counter in the last fortnight to colour-match. It’s my mission this week. (nice mission huh?)

02: Linea Softs Blanket Stitch Oversized Scarf In Blue (£6.75) -Is it certifiable scarf-weather yet?  Maybe not quite but I might make an exception while this one is at such a lovely, lovely price!

03: Topshop Hooded Clasp Coat (£85) – Meh, about £20/£30 overpriced but if you’re like me and don’t own a pair of curvy hips, a skirted coat is flippinamazing at making you look more hourglass-y.

04: Dior Grand Bal Collection nail polish in Diva Diorific (£20) – I’ll admit it, I only want it for the packaging.  I can totally tie some gold thread around it and upcycle it to Christmas tree ornament next year yes?  Which means that in girly budgeting terms, I can justify the price-tag.  Almost.

05: Silver Spoon Ring but Tangs and Tines (£13.95) – Silver plated vintage cutlery turned jewellery?  Where do I sign up?!

06: Fly London Black Mol Boots (£135 but £94 on amazon!) - I wish my current boots were up for replacing but alas, I had the heel reinforced last January and they’re still going strong.  I should be happy, I know I should – but gosh, I want THESE ONES *stamps well-heeled boot*

What have you been hankering after?

Lipglossiping Autumn Lust List

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 1 - 2012

Literally. It’s not wishful, it’s damn lustful. Now that we’ve finished furnishing the flat, I’m putting aside a little money each month for some lovely beauty things that have been catching my eye recently.  It’s only fair that I be rewarded for my diligence, stiff upper lip and horrifying withdrawal symptoms, no?

Well here’s what I was daydreaming about last weekend…

01: Burberry Lip Velvet in Bright Poppy (£22.50) – I’m not sure if they’re out yet but these matte lipsticks promise to throw away the rule book when it comes to matte lip texture.  Hydrating?  I’ll believe it when I see wear it.

02: La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Cream (£15) – Oh, um.  HELL YES.  A BB cream formulated by La Roche Posay has me salivating at the thought.  I’m like a 6yr old on Christmas morning – hoping, praying that what’s under the tree is as good as she hopes.

03: Yves Rocher Flawless Finish Fluid Foundation in Rose 100 (£9.60) – Try saying that after a few.  I can hardly say it now (hides the bottle).  I tried this one on the back of my hand in the Yves Rocher store in Prague and it looked/felt soooo good but I’d already stretched my no-makeup budget to the max on some eyeshadows AND I’m currently in love with their BB cream (review coming soon!) so I skipped on this.  And now I can’t stop thinking about it.

04: Terry de Gunzburg Haute Parfumerie Flagrant Delice (£68) – I wrote about these a few weeks ago but have since had a cheeky spritz of Flagrant Delice on my wrist and I’m captivated.  Creamy almond milk and sun-ripened fig make for the most delicious combination that not only I, but Leila too have fallen in love with.  She says it’s a very “mummy” smell which I’m taking to mean that it makes her feel as downright comforted as it does me.  Honestly, such a beautiful and lingering scent. Wantsies. Can’t affordsies!

05: Orla Kiely Geranium and Myrrh Candle (£24) – I do have a soft spot for Orla Kiely, I know that those bloody designs are everywhere but, c’mon… they are brilliantly retro and modern all at once.  I was actually hoping I’d prefer the scent of the lime green design, seeing as that would have been the one to match my decor.  But in typical sod’s law-style fashion, it’s the Geranium & Myrrh in resplendent red that I’m lusting after.

 

What lovely things have you been lusting after recently?

July Product Loves (vol. 533493492)

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 12 - 2012

Or is it vol. 533493491?  With over 2250 posts under my belt, you can appreciate that I’ve loved and fell out of love with all manner of things, such is the fickle nature of beauty and such is the fickle nature of “ooh shiny”.  I’m always reticent to admit to Holy Grail products because I’m not really the kind of person to stick to one thing for life (except perhaps for Mr. L and Boost bars).  If I repurchase something, that’s pretty damn good going when there’s all manner of other lovely things that promise the earth and deliver about 2 continents worth instead.  As beauty lovers, we’ve grown to expect a certain amount of over-selling when it comes to product claims and I guess that’s why blogs are so useful, they simply provide the experiences of peers who generally have the same expectation levels as yourself.

With that in mind, these are the things that I’ve been currently loving long time.  Well, about two weeks – which, in the coquettish world of beauty, is literally, forever.

1). Calling all mermaids!  VOYA Ritzy Spritzy* hails from the salty depths, quite literally!  The hero ingredient to this refreshing toner is hand-harvested seaweed, packed with vitamins B1, B2 and B12 (sounds like Bananas in Pyjamas), plus polysaccharides and alginates, all of which combine to offer a tonic that delivers a moisturising, oil-free formula.  I’m an toner-nut and after using it continuously for a week in-place of my usual variety, this one is particularly efficient in cooling the skin, making it a great holiday choice for those jetting off to far-flung beaches. £23.00 from Look Fantastic.

2). Hello Glow! Hello indeed to this budget-friendly alternative to a particularly well-known Dermalogica favourite!  If you’re a Daily Microfoliant addict, you might want to give Hello Glow‘s Whitening Plus Facial Polish* a spin.  Released just last month, the powder formulation mixes with a little water to create a mildly exfoliating paste that leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft.  It contains a 100% natural blend of coconut milk powder, potato starch, milk, honey, rice and essential oils and is suitcase friendly too! £9.99 from RoseLinkUK.

3). It wouldn’t be Summer without a fresh, summer fragrance to distract myself from the necessity to build a replica Ark and Prada’s Infusion d’Iris offers maximum distraction.  A classic, green scent which despite the name offers a more sensual, woody edge than I’d expect.  The floral is clearly there, along with a burst of Italian-inspired citrus zings that never smell too sharp but it’s the drydrown that leaves my mouth watering in it’s pure cleanliness that leaves me feeling like I’ve just stepped from the shower (minus the cheap soap!).  A perfect balance of floral, fresh and woody that simply works very nicely on my skin.  From £40.00 at Debenhams.

4). From one classic to another, in the form of Trilogy’s Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, which I purchased as a little moisture-booster to my current skincare routine.  I use it while my skin is still wet from the shower (water really makes my skin feel tight), and massage it in to my elbows, knees, heels and any little eczema patches that have flared up overnight – what’s left on my hands after this, goes straight on my face.  In the winter, I may use it more often but a couple of times a week at the moment is enough to keep my skin supple and happy. £16.50 from Boots.

5).  Another one for the holiday bag is Laqa & Co’s Nail Pen in Incestuous*.  Hate the name, love the colour!  This muted lavender nail pen is one of those products that you think will never work.  Nail polish in a pen?!  But work it does… though I discovered that painting with your “wrong” hand is significantly more tricky than when using a regular polish brush – it’s just like writing or drawing with your weak hand!  The polish dispenses easily and is fluid enough to work with without too much fuss.  5ml for £11 makes it an expensive option, but it’s great for travel and is a real conversation starter as I discovered on the train the other day! £11 from PowderRooms.

6). There’s lots of classics on my list today and Olay’s Classic Care Nourishing Beauty Fluid (Sensitive) is perhaps the consummate defintion of the word.  My day moisturiser recently ran out, and being on a no-buy meant that I had more chance of a sunny day than guiltessly hot-footing it to the Elemis counter, so I settled for Asda instead and picked up this one to tide me over.  I actually meant to pick up this one but couldn’t find it on the shelves.  That being said, it’s doing a sterling job at leaving my skin feeling hydrated with a non-greasy finish.  I’m not sure I’ll repurchase, because I’ll hopefully be off my no-buy when this one runs out and I’ll try and pick up the one I meant to get next time.  Still, £4.69 from Boots – mustn’t grumble!

7). Can you tell I’m not going on holiday until September?  My goodness am I packing in these travel essentials this month!  The St. Tropez Bronzing Gel* is a great option for pasty legs that demand a streak-free finish!  Creams are all well and good but this dark gel will ensure you leave no patches un-tanned!  Combine it with an applicator mitt and really work the formula into your skin to ensure an even tan.  I like the gel formula because it looks a bit scarier, thus making me less complacent with my application – it’s all in the mind folks and this one just makes me work harder (in a good way!). £21.99 from Boots.

8). Last but by no means least!  Benadryl Allerfy Relief (Acrivastine) keeps both myself and Mr. L free from hayfever.  I’m fortunate to only suffer from mild symptoms but when the pollen count reaches the top of the charts, I reach for one of these and it knocks all symptoms on the head within half an hour.  I do sometimes have to take another tablet later in the day and they’re not the cheapest (I don’t think you can get generic versions) but they’re the best I’ve found for controlling the summer sniffles!  £3.80 from Tesco.

What are you loving so far this month?

* press sample

Video: March Favourites

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 13 - 2012

Um, this video is late, sorry.  I talk about Easter, sorry.  I also bang my Helmer about at one point and it might deafen you, sorry.  I’m also a bit of a bumbling idiot, sorry.

Weleda Aknedoron Cleansing Lotion (£7.50)*
Molton Brown Polynesian Kopara Anti-ageing Body Crème (£60)*
Molton Brown Tamarind Fruit Refining Toner (£25)*
Avon Solutions Plus Total Radiance Visual Perfection (not on the Avon website, £6.99 on eBay though)
ECOTools Bamboo Bronzing Brush (£8.99)
Shiseido Accentuating Color Stick in Peach Flush (£25.50)
NARS Single Eyeshadow in Lhasa (£17)
Tom Ford Violet Blonde EdP (from £45)
Glitter Gal Nail Polishes in Light as a Feather and Red (£8.75 each)
La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. (£9)
Toni&Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum (£7.19)*

What were your top products for March?

* press samples

What’s on your lust list?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 12 - 2012

C’mon, admit it… you can’t stop thinking about that certain something – it’s the one that’s going to change your life for the better.  It’s not just any old shampoo perfume dress eyeshadow lipstick, it’s the one that you will use everyday from now until forever because it is PERFECT for you.  Until you actually buy it and realise that it’s nice but ultimately the same as 90% of your previous lustings.

Me?  I’m heartily desiring a few lovely things… wanna see?


01: Laura Ashley Spot Print Silk Dress (£75.00)
02: Shiffa Aromatic Facial Cleanser (£45.00)
03: OPI Pirouette My Whistle (£11.00)
04: Lancome Jenny Packham GWP (launching in May)
05: Dior Addict Extreme 667 Avenue (£22.80)

Like any of my lustings? What is your heart desiring?

Video: February Favourites

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2012

New Year Honours List 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 26 - 2012

In a list devoid of MPs, philanthropists, and celebrities – I bring you 12 products that have impressed me beyond my expectations over the past 12 months. This wasn’t easy to compile. Infact, it was so hard that it’s now nearly February and I’ve only just published it.

Some were a given from the moment I used them (Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner), some were growers (Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil), but all of them have left a real impression for achieving what their claims suggest and let’s face it, that’s what out beauty-loving hearts desire most.

Optrex Itchy/Allergy Eye Drops  |  Lanolips 101 Ointment  |  St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray  |  Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors

Optrex make eye drops for seemingly every occassion and their Optrex Itchy Eye Drops have saved my poor peepers numerous times throughout the year.  I actually prefer their Optrex Allergy Eyes formula for the Summer months when my eyes are really suffering but I find them quite hard to get hold of (it’s over the counter stuff) and so pharmacists always offer me the Optrex Itchy Eye Drops instead.  To be fair, they both work but nothing soothes the feeling of wanting to wash your eyeballs under a running tap (and swill your eye sockets out while you’re at it) faster or more effectively than the Optrex Allergy Eyes formula.

Another product that goes beyond the pretty to simply make my life more comfortable is Lanolips 101 Ointment.  This nourishing, thick balm is as much a part of my nightly routine as washing my face or repeatedly checking Twitter on my phone after turning off my computer.  It’s simple existence means that my lips never peel or crack, as used to be the case throughout the winter months and if I like a new lipstick, I buy it based on how much I like the shade without caring about how drying the formula may prove to be.

My milk-bottle legs are anticipating the return of the warmer weather with a renewed vigour thanks to St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray.  I’m surprising myself by including a tanning product in my honours list – I really don’t care much about being tanned… but, this product surpassed all expectations of turning my blue-tinged pins into something that I wouldn’t mind showing off when the sun finally peeks out from behind the UK’s perpetual blanket of cloud cover.

As much as the U.S. brand have released some stonking palettes this year, it’s these Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors that have been ticking all the right boxes for me this year.  They pack a supreme punch of colour, offer maximum convenience and last well throughout the day.  The shades I own are all searingly bright and obnoxious, just the way I’ve been liking my lip shades this year.  These are real beauties and I can’t wait to see if Urban Decay add to the lineup in 2012.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  |  Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil  |  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil  |  Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner

An everyday staple achieves its status by being dependable, consistent, and easy to use.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara has been my go-to mascara since its release last August.  It extends and volumises my lashes with an inky formula and doesn’t let me down by smudging or flaking throughout the day.  Once it’s time for bed – it doesn’t give my cleansing oil any arguments and I’m still enjoying the same, usable formula from the original tube that I was given all those months ago.  It’s a solid but impressive addition to my makeup bag.

2011 has been a year of weight loss (and gain, and loss again) for me.  I knew from the start that I’d be putting my skin through the mill on my quest for a less flabby existence and I’ve been using various body oils with my cellulite massager in an attempt to keep my skin elastic, supple and unblemished.  While they all did a good job at moisturising, I wasn’t sure that they were achieving much more than this until I began to use Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil toward the end of last year.  Aside from it smelling as delicious as you’d expect from the British brand, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in skin-tone, texture and dare I say it… cellulite.

Another major concern over the past year has been the constant flare-ups that have turned my scalp into an itching, flaking mess.  I would start a new shampoo, only to be forced into discontinuing its use a month later.  I tried SLS-free which seemed to improve things for a while, though still didn’t eradicate the problem completely.  I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil (non-stinky) for a few months now and have so far, touch wood, not had a flare-up that’s been severe enough to cause any real misery.  I also find the oil effective at soothing any persistent itches alongside a welcome side-effect of improving the condition of my dry hair.

If I could only choose one, my product of the year would go to Avon’s Mega Impact Eye Liner for being outrageously awesome at such a reasonable price.  The blacker-than-black formula applies as smoothly as a gel with no tugging along the delicate waterline.  Give it a few moments to set and you’ll be treated to a full day of hard-wearing, sultry lashlines that resist smudging and transfer like real troopers.  They have a new metallic shade coming out for Spring, look out for it!

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil  |  Lumos High Speed Top Coat (try eBay if you’re not a pro)  |  Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream  |  NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I’ve always loved facial oils but have only recently discovered the true extent of their capabilities.  Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil is a wondrous concoction that seamlessly melts into my skin to give an instant glow on those days when my complexion is feeling particularly dull and drained by the cold weather.  Perhaps even more enlightening is the oil’s ability to turn a dud foundation into a keeper.  I’ve been adding a few drops (during application) to foundations that I consider dry-skin unfriendly and have been amazed at Suti’s ability to make the formula more compatible to my winter skin.  Lots of money saved thanks to this one!

So good do I consider the Lumos High Speed Top Coat, that I’ve bought the entire family!  From salon-sized down to purse-friendly bottles, they speed-dry my nail polish without causing shrinkage or becoming a thick, unusable mess in the bottle before I’ve reached the halfway mark.  The Lumos System also encourages you to use the High Impact Bottom Coat to achieve maximum results and longevity from your manicures but as someone who doesn’t generally suffer from polish chips, I’m happy to report that for me, it works as well with or without.

2011 was the year that B.B Creams hit the Western world with a vengeance and some bandwagon-jumping efforts from the major cosmetic players have left consumers wondering if there’s any difference between B.B Creams and Tinted Moisturisers with added SPF.  If you want to try a true B.B. Cream without the big-budget advertising hype – I can’t recommend the Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream highly enough.  It evens my skin-tone, gives serious sun protection, and calms my redness-prone skin in an instant.

I get annoyed with the NYX Cosmetics incarnation in the UK but if there’s one thing worth picking up, it’s the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that come in a variety of shades and offer easy application, good coverage, and long-lasting colour without causing unbearable dryness or discomfort.  Remembering that these are (to be fair) matte formulas, it’s a great option for those who wince at the thought of dragging a hard-textured matte lipstick across their lips.  There are some awesome lip-popping shades to choose from too!

.

So there we have my New Year Honours List – a little late, but what’s half a month between friends?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  What would you have included in yours?

* the selection includes a mixture of press samples, repurchases from what were originally press samples and my own discoveries/purchases.

Cold & Flu: Survive it and stay beautiful (well, kinda)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 19 - 2012

Last week brought with it The Lurgy – a stream of snots, a tide of tickly coughs and a barrage of bogies.  We swam through the Kleenex and consoled ourselves with bucketfulls of popcorn (salty and sweet) and re-runs of Ghosthunters.  I thought I’d share a few of the things that made it (nearly) all better.

01: Rituals Qi (£8.50): I can’t physically pass by a Rituals store without dragging my shopping companion in to show them this wonderful serum.  Apply a little to your temples and gently rub for an invigorating, cooling sensation that makes you wonder for just a moment if your brain might freeze.  Honestly, it’s better than it sounds!  Great for clearing the cotton wool sensation that coughs and sniffles bring.

02: Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Essence (£15.50)*: This is like a posh, grown-up version of Karvol.  Far more forgiving to the senses and doesn’t make your eyes water.  Shake a few drops onto a handkerchief and the pure blend of Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea-Tree oils get to work on clearing your sinuses and letting you breathe again!

03: Balham Builders Blend (£2.95): I’m no tea ponce but I’m not a huge fan of water either and keeping hydrated is essential when you’re poorly.  Tiger Spring Teas does the most delicious blend of Ceylon, Assam and Darjeeling that I drink with abandon whenever I’ve got a good excuse to.  Feeling under the weather does have its plus points after all!

04: Lucas PaPaw Ointment (£6.00): This little miracle ointment doesn’t do much for my lips but it works wonders on a dry, cracked nose!  Massage this in to your poor, red schnoz and feel the skin become more supple beneath your fingers.  Works better than any other heavy duty moisturiser I’ve tried.

05: Jurlique Moisturising Hand Sanitiser (£5.00): Stop spreading those germs with Jurlique’s natural antibacterial hand sanitiser.  It dries quickly, smells divine and actually leaves my hands in better condition than before I’d reached for it!  A handbag essential.

06: The White Company’s Cashmere Bed Socks (£32.00): I had these in my drawer for about six months before I wore them – I mean, who actually wears socks in bed?!  Lounging on the sofa infront of Jeremy Kyle soon made me realise that my chilly feet were in need of something special and if you check the OED, there’s a picture of these socks next to the definition of that very word.  Honest.

What are your favourite comforts for when you’re feeling under the weather?

* press sample

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