It’s National Kissing Day… C’mere gorgeous!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 20 - 2013

“I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss. I’ve always found time to teach them.” – Mae West

Whatever you forget to do this morning, don’t forget to brush your teeth.  Twice.

You see, today is National Kissing Day.  The one day of the year where I think it’s practically legal to demand kisses and if you don’t get enough?  Stand your ground, stamp your feet and demand some more!  Failing that, take a look at some of the lovely things below that practically guarantee to make your pout as irresistible as a sugar-coated crumb on National Doughnut Day.

There is a national doughnut day right?

national-kissing-day

01: BareMinerals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish (£18, bareminerals.co.uk)

Take your pick from a total of over 20 shades of lip-boosting gloss.  From the sheerest of pinks to the sparkliest of corals, the tingling formula of BareMinerals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish will ensure a knee-trembling rush of blood to the hea pout.

02: LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.35, lush.co.uk)

Smells and tastes so damn good you’ll be hard-pressed to divert your attention away from this little pot of lip-smoothing scrubbiness.  But divert you must!  You have 24-hours to secure a lip-smacking partner, don’t delay.

03: Carmex Strawberry Moisturising Lip Balm (£2.55, asos.com)

With Wimbledon just around the corner, how could you resist this strawberry-scented offering from Carmex?  If it’s a slightly less tremendous tingle you’re after, this cult classic balm with leave you feeling suitably nourished and prepped for a good ol’ smooching session.

04: L’Occitane Rose Aurore Radiant Lip Gloss (£8, uk.loccitane.com)

If subtlety is more your thing, L’Occitane have got your back with their Rose Aurore Radiant Lip Gloss.  Adorn your lips with a pink, delicate shimmer and let your natural radiance shine through while the moisturising formula ensures you’re well nourished enough to still be in a lips-locked position this time next year!

05: Lipstick Queen 3 Piece Lip Nouveau Collection (£30.96, qvcuk.com)

When is just one lipstick not enough?  Always!  Have your cake and eat it with this collection of colour from Lipstick Queen.  A classic high-voltage red, a shimmering pink and a sheer deep crimson, this trio will see your lips looked-after from dawn-to-dusk, prepped for every occasion with a variety of texture.

One final piece of advice from the lip queen herself, Poppy King: “Most importantly, smile!  It has been suggested that simply smiling increases endorphins which are the most flattering thing for natural glow ever.”

Have a great day lip-lovers, whoever you may be smooching!


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?

Eat it or apply it? Products that smell too good to wear!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2013

When it comes to enticing us into a purchase, beauty brands fully understand the power of gluttony. When was the last time you bought a shower gel from a supermarket without giving it a good sniff first?

Foody smells in beauty products have always been one of the most popular experience-enhancers available to the industry and I’ve been trawling my bathroom cabinet in the quest to find some of the most deliciously scented products around.

Things are about to get tasty!

gourmand scented products

Milkshake Conditioning Whipped Cream* even sounds completely edible!  This tasty product from Milk_Shake contains some great natural ingredients, including a milk protein that promises to leave your hair soft, shiny and thoroughly swishable.  But the best thing about it?  It smells like a bonafide strawberry milkshake.  Make no mistake, you won’t know whether to stick a straw in it and lap it up or smoothe it through the ends of your locks.  £14.79, www.specialisthairsupplies.co.uk

gourmand scented products1

Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream is a fruity reinvention from a high-street classic.  Packaged rather snazzily in hot pink, you won’t miss this in the back of your bathroom cabinet.  The scent reminds me of a cross between Starburst (I nearly said Opal Fruits – I AM OLD ALRIGHT?) and a fruit salad, ensuring that the blend between completely synthetic and somewhat natural is fairly well balanced.  The scent doesn’t last long on the skin but the cream itself is pretty moisturising for an el-cheapo! £1.99, www.boots.com

gourmand scented products2

Who thought that Roger & Gallet was the kind of brand you’d buy your Nan for Christmas?  Yeah, me too.  But things are getting modern with the Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier* range and this Body Lotion punches well above its weight with a tantalizing blend of: mandarin, grapefruit, fig pulp, and musk.  Still not convinced… how about when I reveal the little-know-fact that the fragrance for this new range has been created by none other than fragrance maestro Francis Kurkdjian.  Got your attention now haven’t I?  Seriously.  Lap this beauty up.  £12.50, www.marksandspencer.com

gourmand scented products3

Another super-cheapy here in the form of Lidl’s very own Cien Nail Polish Remover, oh the glamour!  I’m not sure we’re supposed to be sniffing our nail polish removers (pack it in at once!) but this bargain-hunter’s dream purchase puts me in mind of a bakewell tart with its almondy-goodness.  It’s a pretty decent nail polish remover too!  Also… it’s got that pro-dispenser pump thing going on up top, and anything that makes removing your nail polish just a weeny bit more fun is ALL good in my books.  £1.49, Lidl

gourmand scented products4

Finally, what else would you expect from a brand named Fudge than some foody-related shenanigans?  Fudge were one of the first hair brands I reviewed on this here blog so I’m pleased to be adding the Fudge Urban Iced Coconut Cocktail Hair Spray* to my list of tempting treats.  It makes sense for hair spray (which is notoriously noxious) to be made more pleasing to the senses and I’m delighted to report that Fudge have done the business nicely with this offering.  A mega-strong hold and lasting scent in a compact can ensures that my hair will be smelling delicious for the foreseeable!  £4.99 (currently £2.99), www.superdrug.com

What are your favourite foody-scented products at the moment?

* press samples

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

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?

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!

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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.

I have been loving…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 9 - 2011

It’s the lists… I can’t escape them.  Once you start, it’s very nearly impossible not to drown yourself in post-it notes.

1.  NARS Super Orgasm Blush. I feel like a leper loving this.  I’m sure there’s some unwritten rule somewhere that if you love makeup, you’re not allowed to like NARS Super Orgasm or Urban Decay MCRA.  I’m with you on the second… but I love the glitter in this!

I do give it a gentle tap against my arm to knock the bulk of the glitter away before applying but I like to see a couple of flecks of gold as I turn my cheek.  Go on, cast me from the blogging community.  Sniff.

2.  Lord & Berry Inkwell Liquid Liner in Slate. Everyone should own a good charcoal eyeliner… sometimes, you need something a little softer than harsh black and grey is your friend.  This one has got me wanting to investigate the Lord & Berry line in greater detail, it’s a wonderful liquid liner with a good, firm tip.  Formula is long-wearing and well-pigmented.

3.  Face Atelier Ultra Foundation in #2 Ivory.  After the recent disappointment of Illamasqua’s Skin Base… this, I’m swooning over.  I didn’t think I’d like it… infact, with all the silicones I thought it might be similar to the Illamasqua one but this applies like a second (perfect) skin on my face.  I won’t review any deeper because I’ll do a proper post on it soon.  But seriously, this is lovely, lovely, lovely.

4.  Trish McEvoy Brush 5 Powder Brush. Is one I haven’t talked about before but is the cream of the crop when it comes to my brush collection.  Beautifully shaped, soft enough to tickle but dense enough to mean business, there’s not a powder brush like it in the world.

5.  Paula Dorf Sheer Crease Brush.  You can pretty much repeat the things I said about my Trish McEvoy brush, only substitute the word powder for eye.  It fits my socket perfectly, retains its shape as I blend and never scratches.  Lovely!

6Pixi Fairy Light Solo in #2 Champagne Glow*. This is a shimmering champagne that works beautifully over my entire lid area to brighten.  It reminds me quite a lot of my beloved Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Sugar Biscuit in terms of use.  A proper all-rounder, only this one leans more pink than the Lauder.

7.  Burberry Lipstick in Cameo #2. A pretty peachy nude that’s not too peach against my pink skin tone.  Wonderfully creamy and super glossy without a hint of frost, this is a splendiforously luxe feeling lippie in an elegantly wearable shade to see you through every season.

Yeah… I been liking ALL this stuff this week!

* press sample

Products I’m loving – July 2010

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 30 - 2010

~ Shampoo: Pantene Pro-V’s new Aqua Light Shampoo FOR THE WIN!  I’m so impressed at a product that simply does what it claims to do.
~ Conditioner: Pantene Pro-V’s new Aqua Light Conditioner – I know, I’m sounding like a broken record… sorry!
~ Styling products: OSiS Mess Up Matt Gum is giving my hair some sweet texture atm without making it look like it’s got a ton of product in it
~ Shower Gel: TAO Rituals T’ai Chi Shower Foam… smells good, and it’s bubbly!
~ Night Cream: PerriconeMD Cold Plasma has been working nicely for me as a night cream during this hot, sticky month.  It’s light and moisturising… but I wouldn’t pay £120 for it… review coming soon!
~ Day Cream: Ponds Light Day Cream
~ Cleanser: NUDE Cleansing Oil followed up with Priori Advanced AHA – Gentle Facial Cleanser
~ Exfoliator: Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask
~ Primer: Shu Uemuera UV Underbase SPF 30
~ Foundation brush: Pout Airbrush
~ Concealer: MUFE HD Concealer
~ Powder: MAC MSF Natural in Medium
~ Blusher: Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer in Maui
~ Highlighter: None, it’s been too hot and I’ve been too glowy for that malarky!
~ Eyeshadow base: UDPP (as always)
~ Eyeshadows: Shu Uemura IR Beige 800 allover the lid for a brighter, more awake look!
~ Eyeliner: Sleek Kajal in Black
~ Mascara: Boots 17 Wild Curls
~ Lipstick: Guerlain Rouge G in Gabrielle
~ Lipgloss: None

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Have you noticed any stand outs this month?

MAC MSF Natural… let me count the ways…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 24 - 2010

Love, love, love.

“Repurchase” isn’t a word you’ll find used too often on this blog.  I try to save it for products that really make it into daily use.  When you own and enjoy using makeup as much as I do, there’s tons of products that you love with all your heart.  But a repurchase?  When there’s so many gorgeous new things to try?  Gotta be reserved for something genuinely useful.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (£18) is one of my most used products.

I usually use light medium, but was colour-matched to medium last time I was instore at MAC.  On the way home I was all “Oh noes, why did I let him persuade me to get medium… gonna look muddy and orange”.

Yanowot?  It works really well.  I couldn’t go darker than this, but when I apply Light Medium now (I still have a scrap left in the bottom of an old pan) it simply isn’t as flattering as Medium which warms me up a teeny bit without a hint of orange.

Love. It.

Also, now it’s Summer… I’m making more use of my MSF Natural than ever before.  It offers more coverage than many pressed powders and when worn over a sheer tinted moisturiser gives me the coverage I’m looking for but with a light texture.

Did I mention I love it?

MAC MSF Natural is available instore at MAC or online.  My tip for this product?  Next time you’re instore, ask the MUA to apply a shade darker than you would normally go for…

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