SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 18 - 2014

Shall we have something a little more demure today? All this holographic sparkle is lush n’ all but not always the most work-appropriate of choices.  If you are looking for the kind of polish that is possibly more work-appropriate than even you are, look no further than this Suqqu Spring release…

SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha is so demure and understated that it makes Emma Watson look like Miley Cyrus.  This pale, creamy nude is completely and utterly neutral, like the milkiest tea-latte in the coffee-shop.

suqqu-nail-polish-ex-05-shirakoucha-notd

It’s a little sheer on the first coat and needs a full 2 or even 3 coats to build up to opacity and you only get a rather laughable 5ml for your money here, so if you’re wearing this frequently as part of your nail wardrobe, you’ll get through a bottle sharpish.

That aside, it’s a lovely polish to work with, quick-drying and glossy… I’m on day 3 of wear and it still looks as good as new.

SUQQU Nail Color R EX05 Shirakoucha is priced at £18.00 and available to buy on counter at Selfridges while stocks last.

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Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

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

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

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

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

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

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

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

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

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Butter London Crumpet NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Have you seen the square crumpets that Asda do? Oh my… they’re huge and fill the toaster to the edges…crying out for a slathering of butter, jam, nutella or whatever gets your taste buds excited in the morning!

I can’t have them at the moment because anything that tastes deliciously carby in the mornings makes my obstetrician shake his head at me.  And so, instead of a hot, buttery treat… I’ll have to make do with this tasty morsel of another kind…

Butter London’s Crumpet was released last year as part of the brand’s Starkers collection, a trio of nudes to suit most skintones.  Of the three, crumpet is the middle-toned shade… and as you can see, looks fairly happy sitting against my uber-cool skintone.

Butter-London-Crumpet-web

The brand describe this one as a “warm caramel creme” and it’s opaque in a couple of coats.  I find wear to be pretty standard throughout the Butter London range and I easily get 5-days before the tip wear begins to appear.  Of course, with shades such as these, this isn’t hugely noticeable even when it does set in.

Butter London Crumpet is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

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Butter London Shandy NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2014

Is there room in your collection for a pale apricot creme nail polish?

Butter London’s Shandy from last year’s Starkers collection delivered a trio of nudes and this one is an extremely pale hue which leans warmer than neutral.  It would make a great nude shade for fellow sun-dodgers who have less pink in their skin-tones than I do.

Butter-London-Shandy-web

On me, it’s a little stark because it’s yellow-tones stand out against my skin but it’s not unnervingly so and thanks to a great formula, it was easy to build this one up to full opacity in three coats.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about was that as wear-time increased, it began to look a little dirty in a nicotine-kinda way.  However, as an ex-smoker, I may well be a little more sensitive to this than others!

Butter London Shandy is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

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Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2014

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

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection

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

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2

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

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Close

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

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

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Swatches

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

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

Clinique Nude Nail Polish Beige

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

Clinique Peek A Boo Nail Polish

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

Clinique Birthday Suit Nail Polish

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

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

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Butter London Cuppa NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 13 - 2013

You know how you can get those mugs with the how-much-milk scale on the side of them?  From “builders brew” at the top end of the scale right down to “gnats piss” at the bottom?

Well, Butter London’s Cuppa is definitely in gnats piss territory.  Infact, if someone actually brought me a cup of tea and it was this colour.  I’d tell them that their parents had clearly dragged, rather than brought them up.  After which, I’d send them back to the kitchen for a second attempt and remind them not to forget the biscuits this time.

Butter-London-Cuppa-web

So, clearly I prefer a strong brew… on the nails, however, Cuppa is a real stunner.

Until now, I’d majorly-lemmed for a super-pale beige but I hadn’t found one that managed to look creamy rather than chalky.  Cuppa hits the spot, the tones are just right, the neutrality is perfect, and it applies smoothly without any issues.

My only grumble is that it takes three coats to eliminate all streakiness… many super-pale pastels suffer from baldy spots here and there but beyond that, I adore this shade.

Butter London Cuppa is priced at £11.95 and is available to buy online from powderrooms.com

Carolyn K Armineh NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 14 - 2013

If you’re a fan of classic shades, Carolyn K’s Armineh is about as classic as it gets.  This beige-toned nude should work well on most skin-tones as it leans neither too cool nor too warm in tone.  I often find that nude shades (unless pink-toned) can pull orange against my colouring so a true neutral is most welcome.

carolynk-armineh

Application was smooth but this one did unfortunately need a full three coats before it even considered becoming opaque on the nails.  The formula has been infused with Pro Vitamin B5 for stronger, healthier nails and employs a flat brush for an easy (and speedy) application.

Carolyn K’s Armineh is part of a three-piece set, available online from www.powderrooms.com, priced at £12.99

A little update and a recent FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 11 - 2013

Wotcha, I just thought I’d post a little update to apologise for my lack of… err… updates.  You see, to put it plainly, I’ve lost my blogging mojo in a big way.  So majorly infact, that I didn’t really want to voice it aloud out of fear of cementing it in my psyche as a “thing”.  In 4+ years of beauty blogging, I’ve only ever lost my blogging motivation in the most superficial of ways but this time it feels more emotional and backed with the full force of a little resentment.  I’ve always been a great believer in not forcing things and sometimes you just need to take a step back for a while, I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve said that to other bloggers who have found themselves drifting aimlessly and posting for the sake of it.

The problem is, I’m actually a bit too scared to take my own advice.  It’s not as if I have a thrilling social life once Leila has gone to bed, sure I’m kinda tempted to get back into the CSI franchise that made my pregnancy 100x more enjoyable (“Oh, I think the morning sickness is back, leave me alone with Greg Sanders K?”) and I haven’t watched an uninterrupted episode of Eastenders since 2011!  But where will all those unwritten posts go?  Not the reviews as such, but the random observations that creep into my head at 2am when I should be sleeping.  Has a lapsed-blogger ever exploded from not having somewhere to put these things?

Anyway, while I work through my “ishoos”, I’ll share yesterday’s FOTD.  You might be a little surprised to know that I’ve rediscovered a bit of love for nude lips.  I often look to the queen of nude lips (a.k.a Holly) for inspiration and remember my first nude lip love which was an old YSL Rouge Pur Transparent (we’re talking 10+ years ago).

Nude look

This isn’t my old old favourite but it is still a YSL, and one of my favourites, Rouge Volupte #1 Nude Beige.  I bought this a few years ago when the Volupte’s were causing major pants wetting across the blogosphere and unlike my dabble into #7 Lingerie Pink, this one has remained a staple for whenever I need to glam up a smoky eye.

Whilst I prefer my bold shades to be richly pigmented… for me, there’s nothing worse than a white-based nude.  Anything remotely chalky can go straight into room 101 and this one is about as opaque as I can go before I start to feel like a wannabe ganguro.  I’m excited by YSL’s latest launch of Volupte Sheer Candy lipsticks (obv. not the should-be-bloody-bold-and-nothing-else shades) and hope that I may find another nude friend (please with sparkle?) among its collection.

Nude look1

The rest of the FOTD was a touch warmed up by the setting sun but it involved rediscovering my MUFE Face and Body Liquid Foundation in #36 (what lovely, natural coverage), a bargainous Wet n’ Wild palette in Comfort Zone, and some eyeliner (which could have done with a lot more smudging) courtesy of Clarin’s Kohl Kajal, which was a limited edition release from last Summer.

I hate to be such a giant cliche when it comes to changing my lipstick according to the seasons but when something feels right, well… you’ve just got to go with it haven’t you?

What colours are you wearing on your lips at the moment?

Contrary to popular belief (bloody blog name), I don’t much like lipgloss – I tolerate it because it’s so damn easy to apply and wear without any maintenance but I only wear it when I’ve got my hair tied back and even then, only in nude shades.  I’d like to tell you that this is the lipgloss that changed my entire opinion on the product genre, I mean… if any brand could do it, it would be a gloss that comes from the Kevyn Aucoin line right?

Wrong.  I still don’t like lipgloss, but don’t let that put me off telling you lipgloss lovers about a very pretty one from the U.S brand that has recently returned to our shores.

Lilium is a sparkle-packed nude pink which flashes silver reflects on the lips.  It’s packaged in a nicely-weighted, square tube with a wider-than-usual doefoot applicator and would look sleek in any makeup bag.  The formula is tacky but not super-sticky, though I still wouldn’t recommend you go out on a windy day without a pair of tweezers to pick off all the leaves/grit/small children that may become stuck to your face, it is still lipgloss afterall.

There’s no discernible scent and the product applies nicely without doing that jizz-lips thing.  Sorry, but you totally know what I’m talking about, lipgloss can look pretty rank when badly formulated or over-applied.  This one won’t leave you shame-faced.

It’s actually pretty hard-wearing for a gloss formula, the colour fades after a couple of hours but the pale reflects linger on to give some natural shine and depth to your lips in an illusory lip-plumping way.  My only caveat with this particular shade is that the sparkle does feel the tiniest bit gritty on the lips… it’s not uncomfortable, but I can feel something there if that makes sense.

Kevyn Aucoin The Lipgloss in Lilium is priced at £23 and available to buy instore and online at SpaceNK*

* who need their butts kicked for such an awful swatch on the shade – can you remember when there weren’t beauty blogs and all our online purchases had to be based on those little damn circles?!

** press sample

*** I bought the Sensual Skin Enhancer in another shade before my no-buy, I’m gonna make it love me.

Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush in Nude

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 28 - 2012

A good “nude” blush isn’t as easy to come by as you might imagine.  It should lean neither too cool nor too warm, this is no time for that “pop” of colour you often hear mentioned.  It’s the blusher you reach for when you just want to look fresh, more awake – a workhorse that will never let you down.

Liz Earle‘s new cosmetic line contains a particularly lovely nude blush, imaginatively called “Nude”.  It’s in a forgiving cream formula that drier skin types should gravitate toward.  Having said that, it’s not too emollient for the warm weather though I wouldn’t recommend it for oily skinned wearers.

The packaging conforms to the navy blue (with a hint of sparkle) colouring that we first saw on the brand’s Sheer Skin Tint.  Enclosed with the product is a mini-booklet featuring application tips.

As for the shade itself, I’d describe it as a true nude.  On first inspection, I didn’t think it was as it does look a little warm and dark in the pan, particularly for my very cool-toned, pale skin.  However, once blended on the cheek – it seems to allow my own rosy cheeks to influence the shading, rendering it a very natural-looking flush without any of the ruddiness that my natural natural flush would try to impose.

Buildability is impressive, I’ve been wearing it with no more than two “layers” which offers plenty enough pigmentation for me.  The product does set, though not fully – there’s enough workability there to blend the edges (I usually go back in with my foundation brush) but this does mean that longevity may be an issue if you find that your blush generally wears off quickly.  You could set it with some powder (especially in this warmer weather) but I prefer to keep a dewier finish.

My only gripe with the product is that I’d like to see more product for my money.  At 2g, I frankly own larger eyeshadows.  Sure, it’s not the most expensive blusher in the world but ideally, I’d want another gram of product in there to warrant a price on the “wrong” side of the fifteen pounds mark.

Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush is available in 7 shades and can be bought online from LizEarle.com, priced at £16.50

* press sample

Orly Spring Cool Romance Collection: Prelude to a Kiss NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 15 - 2012

Orly’s Spring 2012 Collection is out and pays homage to some of the gentlest pastels around.  We’re not talking sweet-shop pastels here, these are the slightly edgier, grungier cousins of the pastel world.  Just about.

I don’t generally go much on pastels, so Cool Romance’s dirtier take on the trend is right up my street.  Infact, I love the look of all of them except Steel Your Heart, the non pastel that gives me the “Geez, it’s Spring not Autumn/Winter!” feeling.

Prelude to a Kiss* is a pretty pale pink creme with a hint of peach.  It feels like it should be opaque in two coats but needed a third to even out a little bit of streakiness.  It’s a little bit thick in formula, like many pastels, but applies without too many frustrations.  I love these shades for lazy weeks when I can get away with a whole heap of tip wear!

Orly Cool Romance Collection is available to buy in two sizes: 18ml are £6.95 each from www.beautybay.com and the mini 5.3ml are £5 each at www.boots.com

Do you have a favourite from the collection?

* press sample

NOTD: Butter London Hoorah Henri

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 20 - 2012

I’m going all demure and sophistimicated with today’s nails courtesy of Butter London…

Hoorah Henri is a pale, creamy nude that would make a beautiful French mani with clean, white tips.  The above photo shows three coats because I wanted to see how it built up – not too badly as it happens because three coats were just about enough to disguise the ‘orrible stains on my nails.  The formula was good and drying time perfectly adequate.  What do you think, too pale?  I don’t actually own anything quite like this and it may well inspire me to attempt a Frenchie before the month is out.

Butter London Hoorah Henri is priced at £11.95 and available online from PowderRooms

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