Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nail Effects with IZ Beauty of London

By Emily

A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to the launch of IZ Beauty of London’s new collection of nail effects at The Sanderson Hotel in London. Other than nails, my other favourite thing is pick and mix, so imagine my glee when I arrived to discover a table piled with nail amazingness and jars of sugary delights! It’s like they knew I was coming!

Nestled amongst the bonbons and strawberry laces was a whole new kind of candy…and I was invited to fill up a box with all my favourite bits. From simple studs, to punk spikes and gold leaf, this collection is pretty damn awesome. Even the humble nail sticker has had a makeover: the Deco It designer nail decals are a revelation; something between a transfer and a sticker, they lie flat to the nail with no annoying edges to come unstuck. Most of the elements have been designed with gel nails in mind, but that hasn’t stopped me applying some of these amazing effects to my natural nails. I hope you like them!

I love the simplicity of this look – a simple black gloss nail with single gold studs at the base, and a graphic decal in gold on a feature nail. After sealing with a good top coat I was impressed that the studs stayed put for a good week (though the provided glue was very strong!).

The second look I tried was a bit fiddly but once you get into a rhythm applying the studs it doesn’t take long at all. I started with two coats of my favourite Essie polish called Cocktail Bling. Then using a dabber with a touch a glue I added the individual studs (alternating gold flat studs and blue pearls) in a long strip. I love this effect and once again, it lasted for a week, with the studs out-lasting the polish!

The good news is that all these lovely embellishments and decals will be available at at the end of October.

And finally, when you’ve got studs (or worse, glitter polish) that won’t budge, here’s how to remove it quickly and simply – just soak cotton pads in remover, wrap around each nail, wrap in foil and leave for about 10 mins. When you remove the foil and pads away comes all the polish!

The Fine Print: PR Samples

This post: Nail Effects with IZ Beauty of London 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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Sali Hughes - Pretty Honest: Beauty Book Review

By Get Lippie

I love beauty books, I've been collecting them for years now, and even have some that date back to the mid 1800's.  There's a special joy in reading beauty regimes from days gone by, and if the book dates back far enough, they're a wonderful historical document, opening your eyes to just what life was like for women back in the day.  On the flip-side of that coin, there's the special joy that comes from reading a mid-1980's beauty book, and laughing at all the pictures and wondering how the hell no one noticed just how INSANE they looked. I have a lot of books from the 80s for some reason ... funny that.

Traditionally, "modern" beauty books fall into two categories: the picture heavy "How To" tome, usually presented by a makeup artist, filled with impossible to follow "simple" instructions, which are usually dated the second they're sent out from the printer, and the second is a "lifestyle" kind of tome, filled with snippets of how the author (usually a "celebrity" of some kind) lives their "beautiful" life, replete with soft-focus heavily posed pictures of said celebrity in yoga positions, arranging flowers, diet tips, and a small interview with their hairdresser or makeup artist towards the back.

Delightfully, Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes doesn't fall into either of these categories, being on the text-heavy side, and providing more of a guide for people who fall into the "What the hell are they talking about now?" category when faced with a "helpful" sales assistant in Debenhams. We've all been there. I've actually been known to say it to them, which is why I had to move to London where no one recognises me in the department stores any more.

Pretty Honest is logically laid out, with discrete chapters on every aspect of skincare and make up, for all ages, and whether you like to where a little makeup or a lot.  Sali (rightfully) avoids the trap of recommending specific products for specific uses. This can be a particular pitfall of so many books because, as we all know brands tend to discontinue things (or change the formulation) the very second people fall in love with them. Yes, I'm looking at you, Chanel India Pink lipstick.

Refreshingly candid, funny and down-to-earth, I enjoyed reading (and I do mean actually reading, as opposed to flicking through and admiring the pictures) Pretty Honest a great deal.  It reminds me, in the very best of ways, of how beauty blogs used to be before the hidden sponsorship and "lifestyle" prettiness took over a year or so ago.  I love the pretty blogs, actually, but I do genuinely prefer meaty content to beautiful pictures and Pretty Honest has that in spades.

It's actually a consumer guide on to how to use products (and avoid skincare problems), disguised as a beauty book and I, for one, am glad that it exists.  Sali's a great bunch of lads, and whilst I think she's frankly insane on the issue of foundation primers, there's a lot of great information in here.

It'll make a fantastic beauty-related gift for anyone who's ever worn lipstick.  It's £22 and available in all good bookstores now.

The Fine Print: PR Sample.

This post: Sali Hughes - Pretty Honest: Beauty Book Review 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, 26 September 2014

London Fashion Week: Emerging Trends

By Tindara

It’s been a little while since I wrote anything for Get Lippie, and to get me back in the writing saddle, and so I could atone for this appalling neglect, our resident pro make-up artist Luke Stephens arranged a ticket for me to attend the London Fashion Week Synergy event: Emerging Trends. Luke was second in command to make-up supremo, Nicci Jackson and the London Muse pro make-up team for Emerging Trends. This is an annual European showcase of new designers and can be a really important springboard into the industry for them. There was certainly some interesting work in show, and I really enjoyed the whole experience, especially getting a glimpse of what happens backstage.

Obviously, it all started with me panicking about what to wear on Facebook, as I’d never been to anything at London Fashion Week before! I dutifully went with black, as everyone had told me to, with some killer Pavie Gioelli chain earrings and my faithful furry leopard ankle boots. When I got there I was welcomed backstage by Luke and Nicci, and it was all remarkably calm. Models were milling about in jewel encrusted and geometric patterned silk, and the mother of all make-up collections was spread out on one side of the room. I could pretend that I was like, totally cool, but the reality was my mind was screaming “OHMIGOD, the girl from Tottenham is backstage at London Fashion Week”. I know it sounds supremely hackneyed, but everyone really was lovely, especially Nicci and her London Muse Academy team who gave up their time to be there, who didn’t seem to mind me nosing about while they worked away.

Luke and Nicci had an impressive schedule with the corresponding series of looks photographed, rehearsed and ready. As I was whisked away I got to see the first few models ready to go for Naveda Couture (USA), the diaphanous fabrics, shimmery beading, and olive, coral and cream colour palette were set off by a gleaming metallic sheen on the skin with fishtails plaits and natural curls.

Anya Liesnick’s (Germany) slick cuts and Rorschach style patterned fabrics were complemented by strong straight dark brows and exaggerated winged black liner, and matt peach or red lips. Shefali Couture’s (Dubai) satins, lace and shimmer, were accompanied by more metallic sheen, white liner round the eyes and matt orange lips. Fleur Kelinza (UK) and Stefan Meuwissen’s (Belgium) beautiful brown, orange, cream, black and gold geometric honeycomb silks were teamed with more peach matt lips and a china blue shadow with a lovely sixties vibe.

The real stars were Prieston (NoƩmi Nagy Hungary) and La Mo Designs (Leonora Asomanin UK). Prieston in particular, featured beautifully cut dresses in innovative richly coloured and textured fabrics, modern floral brocades with see through elements, Russian influences and crystal-encrusted bling. One dress in particular made me and my neighbour sigh. It was a grown up princess dress with puffs at the shoulder, gathers at the waist and discreet V-back coupled with a saucy red floral fabric with see through areas. I loved the baby-pink gloss used on models, the sunkissed look with long tousled braids was really playful with the full on drama of the Prieston stuff.

Asomanin’s work was also structurally impressive, influenced by Japanese traditional kimonos, though brighter with beautifully colourful fabrics, long trains attached to belts and shoulders. Make-up was strong and dark and goth-inspired, with both black shadow and lips, or heightened colour, like blue, pink and yellow on both eyes and lips.

I hadn’t appreciated how much hard work make-up for one of these shows is before; Nicci, Luke and the rest of the team did a great job. No wonder Luke said it was like a conveyor belt back there! The amount of different looks and how they corresponded to each designer’s work was a creative and organisational feat. Tune in next LFW for more back-stage make-up stories, meanwhile, I’m practicing sashaying in very high heels and triple top knots with blue lipstick.

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tauer Perfumes: Sotta La Luna Gardenia Review

By Laurin

Spending one’s Saturday afternoons poking around perfume blogs and websites brings one to a small and perhaps completely obvious conclusion. Many perfumers and perfume lovers alike are also gardeners. This makes sense when I think of it, that a love of fragrance might be born out of a love of nature and the bounty of odours within. Or perhaps having a living reference to hand is useful when attempting to evoke through scent a childhood memory of long summer nights and fragrant breezes. OR, maybe we’re all just natural hedonists for whom the feel of one’s hands in wet soil or the sun on bare skin is just as irresistible as any foray into gluttony or lust.

All of the above?

I have neither a green thumb, nor a garden in which to put it to work. My personal smellscape is limited to the urban, the gourmet and the grotesque. To my knowledge, I have never smelled a gardenia. So, when I sat down to write this piece, I found myself at the mercy of the Royal Horticultural Society via Google. On the subject of gardenia, they have this to say: “(Gardenias are) grown for their attractive foliage and highly scented showy flowers. (They are) often considered to be difficult.”

Attractive, highly scented and possibly difficult could easily apply to Andy Tauer’s latest release, Gardenia Sotto La Luna. To be fair, you could apply the same to most of his fragrances and you wouldn’t be lying. They are not fragrances for the faint of heart, nor do they make small talk. They should only be sprayed when you’re in the mood to listen.

Gardenia gets straight to the point as it takes the stage. This is a heady, intense floral with no aldehydes or bergamot to soften its seductive message. The flower is laid over a creamy base of tonka and vanilla, which peek through its spicy facets of gingerbread and clove from start to finish. But lest you thought you were getting a freshly baked confection, warm from the over, you should also know that this gardenia always keeps its feet planted firmly in the more earthly scents of overripe banana and tiny mushrooms pushing through the forest floor.

There is a telling scene in Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises in which Montoya, the bullfighting aficionado and hotel proprietor, walks into a bar in search of the young bullfighter Pedro Romero and finds him: 

“with a big glass of cognac in his hand, sitting between (Jake) and a woman with bare shoulders, at a table full of drunks. He did not even nod.”

Sotto La Luna Gardenia is that bare-shouldered woman, Lady Brett Ashley. Nominally an upstanding fragrance that you could introduce to your grandmother, but ready (and more importantly, willing) to fulfil your most carnal urges behind closed doors. Or, as that noted 21st century philosopher Usher noted in his 2004 treatise entitled Yeah!, “a lady in the street but a freak in the bed!”  

The Fine Print: Sample sourced from Les Senteurs

This post: Tauer Perfumes: Sotta La Luna Gardenia Review 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

Monday, 22 September 2014

My Little Box comes to the UK

I am somewhat sceptical (shut up at the back) about "beauty boxes".  I'll be honest, I'm not really a fan.  I think some of the Glossybox limited edition boxes have been great (fabulous, even), but ... yeah, £10 (+ p&p) or so a month for a couple of things you can usually get free from department store counters, plus a bonus "full size" product or two just doesn't really float my boat, especially when you can't pick and choose what you get.  So when I heard about My Little Box, the subscription box service from the team behind "My Little Paris"  I simply wasn't that excited about it.


However, that lasted just until I received my first sample box, and then I realised that My Little Box was actually something quite, quite different.  And rather wonderful to boot. And then, being the sceptical so-and-so that I am, I wondered if it was just that one first box that would be great,  and the next box would be full of those department-store perfume sachets and "lifestyle" teabags that we've all begun to know and dread.

It wasn't:

Not a sad-looking perfume card, "bonus" chocolate, or "artisan" teabag in sight. These are the contents of the last three boxes, two of the French original boxes on the right, and the first UK-exclusive box bottom left (top left is a special one-off box I'll talk to you about a bit later on).  What I hadn't realised about My Little Box at first is that it's not merely a beauty sampling service, it's actually a proper gift box sent to you from Paris.  And they do it beautifully.

What you get every month is a proper magazine (not just a puff-piece for the brands in the box), a "lifestyle item" (these have included playing cards, jewellery, scarves and sarongs in the past), several beauty samples (usually three, at least one of which is always full size), and some other bonus items which fit with the theme of the box, because every single My Little Box has a theme, and it follows through on the theme both inside and out, through the magazine, to the lid of the box, to the actual contents of the box too, it's a joy to unpack.

In this months UK box we got a half-size Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, a travel-size bottle of Nuxe oil, and a full-size My Little Beauty Highlighter Pen, alongside a "My Little Carnet" notebook (which also contained this month's magazine), some "Parisian" stickers, and an iPad cover, which I was delighted with!  (ETA it's actually a laptop cover, but it'll work for iPads too!)

Real thought and care goes into every box, and the house style (created by in-house designer Kanako) is cute without being too whimsical, and it all just adds that little something extra to every month's delivery. Unlike some boxes where all the thought apparently goes into the box itself, it feels like every single My Little Box is a limited edition. It's a lovely feeling.

The reason for this is that the My Little Paris team live and breathe the brand.  Last month I was lucky enough to be invited along to their Paris offices which are in Montmarte, directly in the shadow of Sacre Cour, to see how they work.  I came away with a new appreciation for the company (which started as a mailing list to 50 people every month, and now has 1 million subscribers across France, alongside 80,000 box subscribers every month too) where every member of the team seems to live and breathe beauty and lifestyle through everything that they do.  We were treated to a view of their Paris, which was wonderful, and I now have a new list of places to go and things to do when I go back!    Whilst we were there we were presented with a souvenir "Welcome to Paris" box, which is the one you saw in the group shot above, and now I've finally taken pictures of it, I can't wait to get stuck in! Here's a little photo-essay of my day in Paris with My Little Box:

Breakfast. Check out those Eiffel Tower biccies!

You don't really get more Paris than this view from the roof garden.

They have a book.  Did I mention the book?  There's a book.  It's good.  Get one.

Reference books in the My Little Paris offices

Emails from happy subcribers are hung everywhere around the building.

I want this office.  That is all.
The ideas laboratory where the team get together to brainstorm.

Sacre cour!

Internet circa 1895

Boxes!  Loads of them!

Gorgeous work-spaces 
Art from the Quiet Gallery.  I nearly bought this.  Still regretting that I didn't.

Lunch - a real hidden gem.


Notre Dame
All the boxes cost £11, which is just £1 more than other beauty boxes on the market - and, considering the box is sent direct from Paris, the postage costs just £3.95, which is around 70p more than UK based box services.  The difference in quality, however, is priceless. Think you deserve a treat?  Well so do My Little Box.

The Fine Print: Get Lippie was a guest of My Little Paris in Paris.  Boxes have been sent as PR Samples.   There was no expectation of review, but I've been so delighted and surprised, I just had to.  Even sceptics get excited sometimes, you know.

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

No7 MatchMade Lipstick Service

*Sponsored Post*

My love of lipstick is fairly well-known, I think, after all, there's a reason this blog is called "Get Lippie"!  Even before I started blogging my lip product collection numbered in the (low-ish) three figures, and now I am a fully-fledged five year plus blogger the only reason my lipsticks don't take over the entire house is because I'm fairly ruthless at editing my collection every once in a while and donating anything I haven't used in a month or three to charity.  That said, there are lipsticks in every room of my house, and from the sofa where I'm sitting blogging right now, I can see around 100 lipsticks or so on the book case on the other side of the room ... oh well, everybody needs a hobby, right? And they are very decorative.  THEY ARE.

What might be less-known is that I also love finding lipsticks for other people. I've spent many lovely hours in department stores around the country terrorising sales assistants finding gorgeous lipsticks for my friends, family and even complete strangers, helping to find them that perfect shade that complements their skin, their eyes, their hair and the occasion they need the lipstick for.  I'm a firm believer that there's a perfect red lipstick for absolutely everyone, too.  Everyone.

But I can't be everywhere, sadly.  So, when I heard about the new No7 Match Made Lipstick service, I was intrigued.  Based on their foundation-matching technology, Boots No7 have now created 43 lipstick shades and grouped them according to how well they go with each individual No7 foundation shade.  You go to your favourite Boots store (we've all got one), ask them to scan your skin tone, and you'll come away with a little card that groups your best shades of pink, coral, red, plums and natural lipsticks, in a variety of moisturising and matte finishes. It's painless, and really good fun!

This is Soft Paprika
I popped along to Boots on Oxford Street last Saturday to see the lipstick matching in action, and help people with their pressing lipstick questions - we had lots of fun! We had a photobooth, and we spent a happy hour or four getting people matched up with their best shades, then going for a little singalong in the booth before taking pics of ourselves in our new lipstick shades. We met some lovely people, and if you were one of them, thank you for popping by!

Not constipated.  POUTING.
So, if you can't afford a personal shopper, and you don't have a blogger handy to help pick out your best colours (and hey, who does?), why not pop along to your nearest Boots and let No7 take the strain?

The Fine Print: This is a sponsored post, however,  Boots No7 products photographed in this piece were purchased at the author's own expense.

This post: No7 MatchMade Lipstick Service 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
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