Beauty Without Fuss
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Now I don’t know about you, but I am a bit over the whole grey windy wet weather we seem to be experiencing at the minute. It affects your mood, your energy levels, and not to mention your enjoyment of just about anything worth doing.
So, in anticipation of the bright sunshine, and frivolity and frolics of the spring time, let’s have a look at some really lovely bits that are so colourful, Spring may come that bit earlier.... at least to your dressing table.
Greens shoots! With the garden looking like its making an appearance with all sorts of springtime flowers shooting up, this is the perfect combination of spring sights and smells to get you in the mood for the new season.
CK One Summer
Nothing says summer like crushed sugar and Tequila, and this has it all in there! CK One do a summer fragrance every year, and I am always a bit in love with them, Not least for the bottles alone! This years is a supernatural looking ombre of green and blue that sort of moves around, Magic, and smells fine too. Available from April 2nd, £32 for 100ml.
L’occitane Zesty Lime
With its famous Shea Butter formula, mixed brilliantly together with a very zingy Lime fragrance this body cream will definitely put you in mind of sunnier climes. This does smell amazing! And the lome scent lasts for a little while too.A great mood lifter. L’Occitane Zesty Lime Shea Butter Body Creme, available now £18.
Van Cleef & Arpels Aqua Oriens
Another annual favourite of mine for the sunny season. If the bottle alone isn’t enough to cheer you up with its glorious imitation of an actual ring by Van Cleef & Arpels (yes, I have tried the lid on my finger and felt like a fairy princess), then the scent will definitely inspire you. Light and fruity, with essence of pear, amber and honeysuckle, it’s a super girly scent with a bit of class. I adore this fragrance on account of it being so easy to wear, light, and lasts! 5oml EDT £54, available nationwide.
Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner by Urban Decay in Spandex
I am a big fan of the more extreme end of colour as far makeup is concerned, and Urban Decay always have it nailed.Their Glitter liners are some of the longest lasting, non flake off formulas I have used. Use them as is, or over aneyeshadow to really get some sparkle. The clear fluid dries quickly and doesn’t crease either so very much a partyingfave. The Spandex has flecks of petrol blue and green through it, so would be amazing on brown eyes! £13 available from Debenhams and House of Fraser stores.
Friday, 7 March 2014
The first I liked the look of is a heavily pigmented liquid lipstick from lip colour experts Lipstick Queen. Vesuvius Liquid Lips in Coral is a lovely deep orange shade. It’s really hydrating and looks glossy but is not as sticky as a regular lip gloss. I really liked the depth of colour and the fresh minty feel of this. It lasted fairly well too and left a more neutral coral stain to my lips through the latter half of the day. Though the liquid gloop did leak a little into the lid after a day being battered around in my bag, but that could just be me and my rough bag handling. I will try a few more of these gorgeous colours, I think.
|Models Own Matt Hyper Brite|
Day two of my orange experiment and I felt like something brighter and more full on. I had been given Models Own Matt Hyper Brite lipstick in Orangeade a while back but hadn’t had the guts to wear it much. Time to give it another go. I got lots of compliments with this shade. It happened to be a really spring like day, the sun was out and my hyper-bright orange lips made me feel happy. The texture is actually quite sheer so I had to build up the colour to get a depth to it, but it is a bright matt orange that stays put fairly well for a lipstick at this price point.
Next was Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral. For various reasons I have always avoided Tom Ford products, I always thought they were pricey and overblown and I really didn’t like the past perfume marketing. But I have to admit that this lipstick is pretty bloody awesome, my lips are really dry at the moment and it glided on and hydrated well. The white and gold packaging is gorgeous and the coral packs a mean orange punch. I didn’t want to like it but I really did, what can I say. It’s a luxurious lipstick and a beautiful colour.
Ultimately, oranges and corals can be really flattering and wearable, I had to get my head round the idea of having bright orange lips, and now for me it’s just a small step from the likes of my fave scarlets to some of these shades. With smudgy or flicky black liner they can look really modern and fresh. I may go even brighter and lighter next time.
Lipstick Queen Vesuvius Liquid Lips in Coral is £22. Models Own Matt Hyper Brite lipstick in Orangeade is £6. Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral is £36.
The fine print: PR samples.
This post: Orange Crush with Tom Ford, Models Own and Lipstick Queen. originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
One of my favourite customers of recent weeks was a dapper young gentleman who had clearly just been bitten by the perfume bug. He was high on vetiver and giddy with tales from the Le Labo counter. I was immediately jealous of him in the same way that I'm jealous of people who have never watched Six Feet Under - that is, I wanted to throw my arms around him and shout, "WELCOME TO MY WORLD YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO SORRY ABOUT YOUR WALLET!"
Now, I'm no psychologist, but I know a case of Acute Fragrance Psychosis when I see one. It's a condition that has afflicted many who have trod through the niche perfume path on the quest for fragrance Zen. Symptoms may include compulsive spending, an excessive proliferation of tiny glass vials about one's person, waxing lyrical about Portrait of a Lady, an overwhelming desire to loiter at the Guerlain counter, an obsession with pre-WWII leathers, vivid dreams in which Andy Tauer takes you to the cinema for a screening of Titanic (and in the dream he's like, your dad) and sudden, unexplained snobbery towards "department store brands".
Acute Fragrance Psychosis can end in one of two ways: you either keep chasing the dragon of that first extraordinary hit and end up committed (to the poorhouse) or you realise one day that you cannot possess all the things and you learn to be more judicious with your purchases, buying only what you truly love. Fortunately, I took the latter path, but my newfound enlightenment came with a price. Specifically, it came with the price of £108 for 30ml. Sit down, you guys. We need to talk. We need to talk about Buyer's Remorse.
Nasomatto's Black Afgano ticks all the boxes for a case of serious fragrant regret: it's over-hyped, overpriced and damn near impossible to find. I can think of at least five places in the UK where you can buy Nasomatto fragrances, but there's always a tell-tale gap on the shelf where Black Afgano should be. Once, I tried to smell it at Selfridges and was told they didn't even have the tester. It's basically the Keyser Soze of perfume.
What's so special about it? In a nutshell, it's supposed to smell of hashish. When it was created by Alessandro Gualtieri back in 2009, there were rumours that he’d had Afghani hashish smuggled to his Dutch laboratory in order to faithfully recreate its smell for his latest project. Some even say that the dark brown juice itself even contains a bit of the stuff. The Nasomatto website is quiet on the subject, revealing only that the fragrance “aims to evoke the best quality Hashish. It is the result of a quest to arouse the effects of temporary bliss.” Which is funny, because “bliss” is exactly how I would describe traipsing up and down Oxford Street on a Saturday in December, trying to get a whiff of the stuff as you slowly marinate in your own sweat under layers of wool and cashmere.
If you are lucky enough to get your sticky mitts on a bottle, what awaits you? Well, my main experience of cannabis is via an ex who liked to mix it into Cadbury’s chocolate mousse pots, so I spent my early 20’s convinced that it smelled and tasted exactly like Flake. Since then I’ve had the benefit of living in Brixton for over seven years, where a Local Businessman in a purple satin wolf jacket generously flogs his wares to the public from his office just outside the KFC. So I feel qualified to confirm that yes, for about 30 seconds, Black Afgano smells like sweet, syrupy Dairy Milk cannabis intertwined with parched labdanum. After that initial high, it puts on its slippers and dressing gown and mellows out into a languid stretch of warm honey, incense, a touch of medicinal oud and sweet puffs of pipe tobacco. On my skin, this lasts for about 6 hours before the fragrance finally nods off for the evening into a happy, drooling slumber of sandalwood and nutty coffee. This is an extrait de parfum, so be prepared to spend the entire day with it. Overall, I get about sixteen hours of wear out of it.
Actually, I’m making it sound pretty good. And it is pretty good. So what is your damage, Heather? Simply put, £108 for 30ml is stupid, stupid money for what is essentially a nice Oriental with a distressed wooden cap that looks like a parody of something you’d find on Etsy. I finally tracked down a bottle at a lovely branch of the Avery Fine Perfumery (http://averyfineperfumery.com/) while in New Orleans with my mother and sister. They had one left (of course). I hesitated for a moment, and then handed over my credit card. Later that week as I was packing my suitcase to return to London, I caught sight of the box and felt sick. There it was, a $200 statement of one-upmanship in a tasteful bottle that would have its fifteen seconds of fame on Instagram before being consigned to the top of my dresser and worn once a month. Maybe twice if I was feeling guilty. I wedged it in my bag next to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups an eight-pack of socks from Target and thought, “I am powerless over perfume, and my obsession has become unmanageable.” Acceptance, after all, is the first step towards enlightenment.
Black Afgano is available at Space NK (http://uk.spacenk.com/black-afgano/MUK200005701.html), Roullier White (http://www.roullierwhite.com/nasomatto---black-afgano---extrait-de-parfum-30ml-3742-p.asp) and Bloom (https://bloomperfume.co.uk/products/perfumes/27). Or not.
Not buying it? Here are three perfumes you could try instead, for a lot less money:
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour Le Soir (http://shop.lessenteurs.com/p/4926/Absolue-Pour-le-Soir-EDP-70ml), £115. Okay, I lied about the “a lot less money” thing. But you get 70ml for your money, and smells like baklava being smuggled in a dirty thong. Guaranteed to make you blush.
Serge Luten Chergui (http://www.escentual.com/sergelutens17/), £69. The master of Orientals brings us his take on honey and tobacco, with a refreshingly spearminty top note of hay. I want to cheer when I put it on: “Cher-GUI! Cher-GUI!”
Yves Saint Laurent Opium (http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_123064930499_-1), £69. The original narcotic perfume. Let’s get hiii-iiiigh, retro-style!
This post: Nasomatto Black Afgano: Chasing the Dragon originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper
Friday, 28 February 2014
I don't remember it myself, but my birth certificate tells me I entered this world in 1978. That makes me, Laurin Emily Taylor, 35 ½. My mental age on the other hand clocks in somewhere around 80. I like early nights and stern disapproval and I'm counting the days until my physical age (and bank balance) allows me to genuinely rock a Chanel suit. I plan to wear it on hot summer days with red lips and a sneer as I sit on my front porch shaking my well-manicured fist at the neighbourhood urchins and screaming, "GET OFF MY LAWN!" until my manservant Raoul rushes out of the house to place a cool cloth on my fevered brow and lead me gently indoors for my afternoon repose (I've thought this through - it's essential to have a retirement plan, ladies).
Back here on planet Earth in the year 2014, my 9-5 often demands my presence in a kitchen, where the rigours of the job take mercy on no woman's nails. I love the polished look of nail varnish and lipstick, but it all seems like such a faff when you know your manicure will only look great for 24 hours, tops. My one attempt at gel ended with most of my nail bed sitting in a pile on my carpet after I gave in to the urge to pick at a chip. What I long for is a forgiving nail varnish that goes on easily, dries quickly and doesn't take require a professional to remove.
Enter the Illamasqua Glamore Collection, three brand new shades of ultra-dense, highly textured glitter nail varnishes and complimentary shades of satin-finish lipstick. I spent the week road testing two of the varnish shades: Fire Rose, a disco-flamingo shade of pink, and Trilliant, a champagne gold with the slightest tint of rose. There is also a juicy tangerine, Marquise, which I suspect would be brilliant for poolside lounging this summer.
If you're a bit cack-handed AND impatient, these are brilliant. The glitter particles are rough and chunky enough that they easily disguise a less-than-perfect application technique, and they are so dense that one coat does the trick. Even better, they are completely dry after 15 minutes, so you can get on with zesting lemons for your martini or sticking pins into voodoo dolls or whatever it is you like to do on Tuesday nights (don’t try picking a piece of Parma ham out of your back tooth with your index finger, though - this is may cause damage to your new manicure. Or so I hear).
Last week was a bit hectic, so I ended up putting my Fire Rose manicure through the paces at work: dish washing, gaffer tape picking, typing, parcel wrestling, vegetable chopping and every other not-so-glamorous job that gets thrown my way in the office. There are no miracles to report, I'm afraid. By the end of day three, the tips of my nails were starting to show some wear and tear, though there was no serious chipping. Time to start again: unlike other glitter polishes I've tried, Glamore comes off relatively easily. I was advised to wrap my nails in acetone soaked cotton wool and a layer of tin foil for 15 minutes before removing, but I found it wasn't necessary. It came off with Cutex and a bit of elbow grease, leaving my nails ready for Trilliant:
Of course my future self would never leave the house without a slick of bold lipstick, and the Glamore collection has that covered as well. The three shades of satin finish lipstick are designed to complement (but not match exactly) the nail varnishes. Satin finish is new territory for Illamasqua, who are known for their dramatic matte lipsticks. I've spent the week trialling Soaked, a bold orange and Luster, a shocking candy pink (there is also Glissade, a deep fuchsia). As you would expect, these are high-pigment, statement making colours, but they both feel soft and moisturising on my lips. My only quibble is with the packaging. It's perfectly serviceable, but for £16.50 a pop, I'd like something a bit more weighty and less plastic.
If you're already an Illamasqua fan, the Glamore collection will no doubt be right up your street. But if like me, you've always hung back around the Bobbi Brown counter with all the flattering neutrals, the nail varnishes are a great way to join the brights party without frightening the horses, and the finish of the glitter is rough and edgy enough that you needn't worry you'll look like a five year old who's just been let loose in Claire's Accessories. As for the lipsticks, the shock of bold colour in the middle of my face is going to take some getting used to. But I think I'm well on my way to being a lipstick lover. I have to be. My future self will accept no less.
The Illamasqua Glamore Collection launches in store on February 27th. Nail varnishes Fire Rose, Trilliant and Marquise are £15 each. Lipsticks Soaked, Luster and Glissade are £16.50 each.
The fine print: PR samples.
This post: Illamasqua Glamore Collection - Lips and Tips originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper