Beauty Without Fuss

Friday, 30 October 2015

Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Mon Beau Sapin Candle

Yes, yes, I'm having a bit of a candle moment this week.  But, you know, 'tis the season and all that.  This Christmas Francis Kurkdjian is treating us to a golden tribute to the balsam fir:

Housed in a blingy golden container, etched with representations of fir trees Mon Beau Sapin is a smokey-pine-patchouli blend that definitely feels both foresty and wintry.  It's really lovely, I'm burning it now as I write this and it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ....

Available from November, MFK's Mon Beau Sapin will cost £xx 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Perfume, A Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom

Lizzie Ostrom might be better known in perfume circles as the brains behind the glorious "Odette Toilette" website, which runs inventive and exciting perfume-themed events and excursions thoughout the year.  I've written about several of them here, having visited both the Osmotheque in Paris with Odette and been to the re-run of that event when the Osmotheque visited London earlier this year. That visit to Paris was an important turning point in my life coping with being smell-disabled, but I've been going to Odette events for years, even before I realised just what a big deal fragrance was going to be in my life.  Lizzie is a lovely, and well-respected member of the UK perfume scene and seeing her name in print is a thrill.

I've known this book was on the way for ages, easily over a year, and I've had it on pre-order at Amazon since last April,  so to say I've been dying to read it would be a mild understatement.  Perfume books can easily slip into the either incomprehensibly pretentious or overly-florid (I've read some shockers over the years, believe you me) and Lizzie sidesteps these issues with the judicious application of a delightfully playful sense of humour and by allowing a real sense of love for fragrance - and by firmly acknowledging the occasional absurdity of the business itself - to rise from the pages.

The story of 100 fragrances, organised into ten each per decade of the previous century, Lizzie selects perfumes that best exemplify each era (whether good, bad or indifferent - they just need to be important, not necessarily good), and tells the story of each in just a couple of pages.  Putting each into the context of the time it was released, and discussing the impact of ingredients as well as the pop culture of the time makes this read slightly unlike any other history of fragrance that you may have read before.  By not just focusing on the classics (you're likely to find the "great smell of Brut" discussed alongside the merits of Shalimar in here) Lizzie has found new tales to tell, and it's all the more fascinating to read as a result.

Beautifully bound, and prettily illustrated A Century of Scents is that rare beast, a coffee-table book that is wonderfully absorbing.  For anyone with even the slightest interest in fragrance, this is a perfect Christmas present. At only £16.99, it's a bargain, too.

Look out next week when I'll be giving away a copy of the book to one of my readers. 

The Fine Print: Purchase

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Clinique Aromatics in White Candle

I hoard my Clinique Aromatics Candles.  They don't come out every year, and I always like to have one around, because Clinique Aromatics Elixir is one of my favourite perfumes ever.  EVER.  I have a couple of the originals around at the moment, and I'm saving them for when winter really, really sets in.  

You can imagine how happy I was when I found out that this year they were launching candles in the flanker fragrances Aromatics in White, and Aromatics in Black.  I have the white version here,  and it's a lovely version of the original "White" fragrance, softer than Elixir, and brighter with rose and violet to the fore, it's a genuinely lovely candle.  They're launched exclusively in Harrods at the beginning of November, and I'm tempted to pick up a "Black" one whilst I'm there too, even though I didn't get along with the fragrance as well as the white because of my parosmia.  I think I'd be able to habdle it better in a candle, and hey!  I'm a completist ...

Perfect Christmas gift for the Aromatics Elixir fanatic in your life, these ... 

 The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pixi Skintreats Nourishing Cleansing Balm

I'm slowly working my way through reviewing (almost) the entire Pixi beauty skincare range, and this week it's the turn of Pixi Skintreats Nourishing Cleansing Balm.  A gently rose-scented balm, this is great for makeup removal, and leaves skin soft and cleansed after use.

A mix of almond oil, coco butter and shea butter fortified with vitamin E, this is a very soft balm, which is slightly grainy from the shea butter. It melts really easily on the skin, and provides more than enough slip for a good massage.  It's rather bland, and slightly "thinner"-seeming than more essential-oil heavy balms, and as such, I prefer this for a first cleanse rather than a second. You won't necessarily need a second cleanse with it, but sometimes I do like to follow it up with something richer.  It dissolves makeup quite easily, even the heaviest of full-coverage foundations, and copes well with  eye makeup too - I still prefer to use a separate eyemakeup remover, personally, but my approach to mascara and eyeliner is possibly a little more ...ah ... theatrical than a lot of people's.

Full list of ingredients:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Behenate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance.

This is a big 90ml tub for £18, and as such, I don't mind throwing a huge glob of this onto my face to remove my makeup.  I'm really impressed with the Pixi Skintreats range so far, they're reasonably priced, don't make any outlandish and unverifiable claims for changing your life, and do what thy tell you they're going to do very well indeed.  They're hard to beat.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Cire Trudon Gaspard Candle

The coming of winter, and the turning back of the clocks is my favourite time of the year because to me that means blankets on the sofa, better programmes on the telly, and candles.  Mainly candles, admittedly.  The arrival of the Cire Trudon Christmas collections always makes me smile, and when I initially thought the new candle was called "Gaspode", I was delighted*.  It's actually called "Gaspard", and, it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

Cire Trudon insist this is a "black" candle, I think it's actually a rather splendid and unusal (for a candle) battle-ship grey.  It fits perfectly with my rather monotone coffee table decorations, anyway. I love the gold interiors that Cire Trudon always outfit their christmas collections with, it looks so beautiful and welcoming when the candle is burning.

Scentwise, Gaspard is a warm and slightly orangey, bouyed by a base of sandalwood and incense.  It also has some vanilla in there, so it is a creamy-orange, rather than a traditional Christmas-sy orange-spice confection.  

Cire Trudon candles are always clean-burning and last a good 30-40 hours.  You can now find them in John Lewis, where the Christmas candles will cost £70 each. 

What's your favourite part of winter? 

 The Fine Print: PR Sample 

*If you don't know who "Gaspode" is, then we can never be friends

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

#LipsNspritz 25.10.15


I love instagram at the moment, and one of my favourite things I do on there is cataloguing my daily perfume and lipstick choices via the hashtag #LipsNspritz. Lipstick and perfume are really the final finishing touches to any outfit, and, whilst no one needs to know how boring my eyemakeup and dress-choices are every day (cardigans ROOL!), perfume and lipstick do add life and colour to this accountants day, every day.

Occasionally you need a Tom Ford day, and I'm entranced by the Sahara Noir bottle.  It's just so blingy and OTT.  But the fragrance inside is a good one, reminding me heavily of Serge Luten's Ambre Sultan, but drier and with a touch less spice.  I paired it with Tom Ford Cherry Lush, which is a wonderful cheerful cherry red. Far more after the jump...


 Cartier La Panthere is another stunning bottle, carved from the inside into an intaglio of a panther head, and the contents are sophisticated and really interesting.  Both waxy and leathery, and heavily floral with hints of gardenia once it dries down, it starts with muted fruit.  It's softer than this makes it sound, and I really like it.  I paired it with No7 lipstick in Soft Ruby, another of my pinky-red favourites.  This perfume really calls for a punchy shade of lip!

 Jo Malone London Wood Sage and Sea Salt.  I don't really know what to say about this one, as it was at the launch of this fragrance where I discovered that I had lost my sense of smell completely.  Being able to smell it now is a mixed blessing. It's a sea-salty-herbal fresh fragrance, with a hint of something else beneath that my damaged nose now can't put a name to.  I'm annoyed that I missed such an interesting fragrance from Jo Malone London!  I paired it with Tom Ford Scarlet Rouge, a bright and very, very warm red.

At a launch for a book written by a friend of mine (more about this later this week), I wore a fragrance I'd had a (tiny) hand in creating myself: Paradox by 4160 Tuesdays.  It's bright with violets and lemons, dark and earthy with orris and grounded by woods and musk.  I truly love it, and can't believe that something so lovely and unexpected came out of such a dark and horrible time of my life.  It's the only fragrance I'll be repeating whilst #LipsNspritz is ongoing, because sometimes, familiarity is what you need.  I paired it with the violet-plum of Becca Matte lipstick in Antoinette, because I'm good like that.

And finally this week, Lily and Spice by Penhaligons.  I'm so annoyed that they discontinued this, I can't even begin to tell you, as it's a stone-cold classic fragrance. An almost photo-realistic lily fragrance over a bed of warm and creamy spice (saffron and clove, apparently), it's a beautiful and glorious perfume for a chilly autumn day.  Such a shame it's impossible to get hold of now.  I was wearing a dress on Friday, and fancied a more ladylike lipstick than usual then, so went with Clarins Joli Rouge in Pink Berry, a creamy pink that doesn't scream LIPSTICK when you're wearing it.

What have you been wearing this week? 

The Fine Print: PR Samples and purchases

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Skincare of the Week 25/10/15

 It has been a long and busy week here at Get Lippie, and my lifestyle has shown a bit in my skincare choices, I've swapped to a more hydrating routine, and I've slipped a few new products in too.  I'll be concentrating on some night-time routines this week.  More after the jump.


Mary Kay Giveaway Winner!

Massive congratulations to Kerry Locke who won the Mary Kay Giveaway this weekend.  Kerry, I'll have your parcel in the post later this week, look forward to hearing how you get on with everything!

Such a great response to the competition, thank you to everyone who took part!

 The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Perfumer H by Lyn Harris

I spent a lovely afternoon with Lyn Harris at her new venture, Perfumer H, last week. In the stripped-back luxury of her Marylebone studio, we chatted parosmia, hyperosmia, the hard work that goes into making a life's work look so simple, so effortless and so elegant, and, of course, we chatted perfume.


Monday, 19 October 2015

How to deal with annoyingly frizzy and wavy hair

 My hair is one of the banes of my existence. It's wavy, it's frizzy, and it's a bit curly.  This was it a few years ago when I attempted a quick blow dry, something I've not bothered even trying to do since.  It's big, my hair, and not in a good way, it simply wants to fill the room with itself, and choke anyone who gets in its way.  It hates you, my hair, but it hates me even more.

 A couple of years ago, I went the "No-Poo" way, and that was a complete disaster, my hair was lank and horrific, and never ever felt clean.  Then I tried using hair gel as a "cast" to create curls, and that was better, but my hair was still prone to frizz as it dried - I prefer air-drying to blow-drying, always, but the results can be unpredictable. Basically, with my hair, you simply never know what you're going to get on a day by day basis.  But now I think I've cracked it.

The difference is "plopping". Something you've probably heard of, and the idea is - basically - to tip your head over, as if you were about to scrunch-dry your hair with a diffuser, and then just lower your curls onto an absorbent material and wrap them up.  Where it differs from a normal turban-style wrap with a towel is that you don't use a terry towel (they remove too much moisture), and you don't stretch out your hair into the twists of whatever material you're wrapping your hair up in.

So, I bought myself a curl-towel from Boucleme, and have been trying it for myself.  I also treated myself to some of their curl defining gel (you need something that sets hard for this, otherwise it won't give enough hold to your curls as they dry).  I washed with Rahua shampoo and used their hair mask (but to be honest, you can use any good and moisturising shampoo and conditioner combo that you wish, these just happen to be my hair trials of the moment).

So, how do you plop? Here's my (simple) step-by-step guide:

Wash and condition your hair as normal, using a good, moisturising conditioner.
Squeeze out as much water from your hair as you can with your hands, trying not to agitate it too much.
Apply your curl-forming product whilst your hair is still sopping wet (and be quite generous with it) all over, taking care to scrunch a bit extra into the ends to help start the curl-forming process
Have your curl towel (you can use a t-shirt if you don't have a special curl towel, but not a normal terry-towel) onto a flat surface.
Tip your head forwards, and gather your hair together as if you were going to put it up into a high-ponytail onto the crown of your head
Gently lower your curls into the middle of the material you put onto the flat surface, until your head touches the towel.
Bring the front and back (long edges) of your towel together onto both your forehead and nape of neck, leaving two long "wings" at the sides, where your ears are
Twist those wings until the fabric gathers over your ears, then tie them up at the back of your neck. 
Look at yourself in the mirror, marvelling at how stupid you now look.

By the way, there should be no hair in the wings of your material, it should all have been in the centre, so when you stand up, your hair is all now on the top of your head.


And voila, that's IT! Just leave the towel on until your hair is no longer sopping wet, and remove it to let your hair air-dry (you'll have to arrange your curls slightly to ensure they fall properly) or diffuse your hair through the towel until there's only a very little moisture left.  If your hair looks like it will be a bit fluffy once you've taken the towel off, just add a little more gel.

Once your hair is completely dry - the gel will be crunchy at this point, btw, but it's necessary! -  scrunch the curls gently in your hands.  The gel will disappear, leaving you with soft, FRIZZ FREE curls in their natural curl formation.

Makeup free, aside from mascara.  It's my blog and I'll leave off the makeup if I want to ;)
This was how mine looked after 30 minutes or so "plopping" in the Boucleme towel, then I left it to dry naturally for a couple of hours. I gently scrunched it to break the gel "casts" my curls had dried into, and this was the result!  My hair is soft, bouncy and shiny, I really like it!  I had no idea I could get those beachy curls without heat, or any real effort at all, so it was an added bonus.

The Boucleme towel has made all the difference for me, it's basically cotton and bamboo with a hint of elastane and it works really well.  For the price of £19 though, I would have expected hemmed edges, rather than the rough scissor marks that are on mine, as £19 is quite expensive for what is, essentially, a big rectangle of stretchy t-shirt fabric.  The curl defining gel by Boucleme though, I can't really fault. It smells fresh and clean, dries hard, creates fab curls and disappears completely without a trace once you scrunch it out.  At £15 for 300ml, it's a big (and not cheap) bottle, but as it's designed to be used in a generous application, so I'm not sure how long it will last.  I'll definitely be re-purchasing though, regardless. I used to use Deva-Curl which you can only source from Amazon, and it's breath-takingly expensive for hair gel, as they import it from the US.  The Boucleme is just as good, if you ask me, and much easier to find.

So, please share your curly hair tips with me in the comments, I'll be ever so grateful!

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Skincare of the Week: 17.10.2015


I've been beauty blogging a long time, well over six years now, and in that time my interests have changed. From basically wanting to catalogue my lipstick collection (where the name came from), to learning to love (and grow) my fingernails, then COLOURS, COLOURS, COLOURS, and finally to where I am now, which is obsessed with skincare.  Mostly I'm too lazy to spend hours every day applying my face - though I do wear a different lipstick every day still - so my skin needs to be tip-top at all times, hence the obsession.

My skin is combination-oily, prone to redness and sensitivity, and it is full of pores.  I suffered horrendously from adult on-set acne in my late twenties too - which I mainly cured through getting my skincare right. I'm in the "mature" skin category these days, but a lot of anti-ageing creams are too heavy for my oiliness, so I'm constantly on a quest to deal with my redness rather than my wrinkles (of which at the moment I have thankfully few, but the ones I do have grow slightly more entrenched every day - I'm learning to love them).  These Skincare of the Week posts are my way of diarising what I'm trialling, what I really love, what works - and if you see it disappear after just one use or two - what doesn't work at all.  So read on to find out what's been on my ugly mush this week.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Mary Kay Autumn Collection Competition

I love autumn, don't you? And I love autumn because makeup-wise it means we move away from the (unwearable to me) pastels of spring, and the bronzers of summer into lovely berry shades and gorgeous sludgey shades of makeup, which I always find so comforting.  This coupled with snuggly blankets on the sofa, long evenings drinking red wine, and the prospect of Christmas on the horizon thrills my cynical little heart.

Other things thrill me too. I went to tea with the Mary Kay company recently, and was amazed to discover that they're one of the best-selling makeup companies in the whole world, and they're one of the top ten skincare sellers in the world too!  It's criminal that we barely know they exist here in the UK - my US readers are always emailing me asking what I think of the products, and until recently, I didn't even know you could get them here!  Well, you can, and in the new year, they're going to be launching a fab new way of getting hold of their products, which I'll tell you all about nearer the time.

Meanwhile, in order to celebrate autumn, and the soon-to-be increased visibility of Mary Kay here in the UK, I'm offering one lucky reader the chance to win the entire autumn collection of Mary Kay products that you see pictured here, which includes four nail polishes, three lipsticks, one eyeshadow quad (and a palette to put it in), three CityScape perfumed products (a shower gel, a body oil and matching perfume) plus their brand new exfoliating kit which will retail for £50 once it's on sale later this month. All in all the prize bag is worth almost £200!

To enter, just follow the guidelines below, and bear in mind, I will be checking the entrants carefully!  Sadly, because the prize contains nail varnish, this competition will be open to entrants from the UK only.  Sorry about that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Fine Print: PR Samples

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops in P40

I was agnostic about Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, to be honest. I thought they couldn't possibly work, and thought the hype about them "mixing with everything" was just that.

I was wrong, and happy to be proved so to be, because Cover FX Custom Cover drops are ace, and I love them an impossible amount.  And, even though I have found something they won't mix happily with (because I'm nice like that, I am), I still think they're brilliant.

The idea behind them is one of those which sounds simple in theory, but that I suspect cost a fortune in R&D to actually make happen.  Essentially, these are bottles of pure pigment and you select the amount to add to the moisturiser, primer, oil or serum of your choosing to get the coverage you need.  One drop for a sheer veil of colour, two for medium, three for medium-full, and four for full-on opaque coverage.  And believe me, they're not lying about it being a drop, or two or three!

The shades are divided into Pink, "Golden" and Neutral undertones, and the sensible numbering system is easy to figure out. As I'm rather cool-toned, I was matched at Harvey Nichols to P40.  I was actually matching myself to P30, but I do think that would have been just a little too pale for me.  Altogether there are 24 shades to be matched to, and they really do range from the lightest to the darkest, which is great.

P40 is great match to my skintone, and I've tried mixing Custom Cover Drops with oils, moisturisers, serums and primers with great results all-round.  I like two drops (not being a sheer kind of girl, as discussed previously) and this gives me more than enough coverage mixed in with my normal amount of moisturiser or oil that I use for an application regardless, but I find the best results are when you mix it with a primer, as this just gives it a bit of bounce that you don't get from a moisturiser or oil, and allows it not to settle into pores as much as it might.

What Cover FX Custom Cover Drops don't like being mixed with is "hydrating" serums, or anything that is designed to stay "wet" on the skin.  I found mixing this with Pixi H2O Skindrink left this dripping off my skin, and felt very odd, but it's an easy enough mistake not to make again.  Oils give you a gorgeous dewy glow, moisturisers most resemble a traditional foundation "satin" finish, and using a primer (I really like this with Sunday Riley's primer, btw) will give you whichever finish the primer is designed to give you.

Lasting time is great, I haven't noticed any fading, but you will need a larger than average application of moisturiser or oil if you're thinking of using four drops of this for daily wear, as the powder pigments will make a small application look rather cakey and artificial.

It's official.  I love these.  They've more or less made my (rather extensive) foundation redundant.  Bravo Cover FX!  They cost £33, and my bottle came from Harvey Nichols.

The Fine Print: Purchase

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Burberry Kisses Sheer in 297 Midnight Plum, 249 Hydrangea, and 241 Crimson Pink

If 2014 was the year of matte lips, then 2015 has been the year of sheer glossy ones (it's also been a banner year for eye crayons, but more on that another time).  Now, I'm normally a full-on opaque kind of girl to be honest, but I'm always happy to play with sheers, as long as they're still pigmented enough to show up on my lips.  Luckily, these are, and they're gorgeous colours too.  More after the jump.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Fenwicks Global Beauty Icons

I love Fenwick of Bond Street, truly I do. It's clean, it's quiet, it's sensibly laid out, the staff are lovely, and there's a frankly astonishing range of brands there now.  I was invited back to their store last week to celebrate both the relaunch of their newly redesigned beauty hall, and the launch of their #FenwickBeautyIcons and #GlobalBeautyIcons campaigns, and, I admit, it was a little slice of heaven in there.  There's something so wonderful about a beauty hall before it opens to the public, all the products laid out like jewels, promising beauty and delight, just waiting for the customers to come along and take their pick, it's rather magical.

I was invited to create my own "edit" of products both old and new from the new hall, and here's what I selected.  I wanted to create a classic red lip and black liner look, so used that as my theme, and I chose both products I've used before, love an immoderate amount and desperately wanted backups for, and new products that I've been lusting after for months now.

I went a bit mad in Charlotte Tilbury (seriously, the Charlotte Tilbury counter at Fenwick really does have to be seen to be believed), and picked up both the Magic Cream and Wonder Glow as I've been curious about them since they launched.
Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser is a holy grail product of mine, and I couldn't resist picking up a backup.  I also picked up one of their Liquid Liner pens, because, you know, Chantecaille.
Also a classic, and a can't live without product is Acqua di Parma, which I finished my bottle of last year, and have been living without ever since. I adore the soapy-clean fresh scent of this, and I've been wearing it all the time since we've been reunited.
I had to pick up a Lipstick Queen product, and the Lip Parade had my name written (almost) all over it.  A three pack of classic lip colours: Red Sinner (divine), Saint Wine (DIVINE) and Metal Nude (er ... slightly less divine, but lovely for people who like nudes nonetheless) I made a beeline for them.
I actually let out a little "SQUEE!" of happiness when I spotted that Fenwick are stocking Artis makeup brushes! Look, I need to get out more, I know, but I did.  So they HAD to go into my "edit", I can't wait, seriously can't wait to give them a proper try.
I've been lusting after the new Bobbi Brown Greige eyeshadow palette too for what seems like forever (actually: probably about a fortnight) now, so I couldn't pass that up, either.  It looks fab for my colouring, and I'm torn between wanting to swatch the whole thing, and just sitting gazing at its prettiness.
And finally a couple of things from some brands I don't know much about, the Colbert Balance Purifying cleanser, and Face Matters 24/7 Collagen Balm (who donate a percentage of the proceeds of every sale to Refuge, the women's charity, which is a wonderful thing for a tiny UK brand to do), because sometimes, it's good to try something completely different.

I could have literally spent hours in there, but I was in a rush to get back to the office, so I will be back to investigate the rest of the counters more thoroughly at another point quite soon (I probably only got around a third of the hall before I had to run away!). There will be some more in-depth reviews of these products coming up in the next few weeks, but what would you have picked up ofr your "beauty edit" at Fenwick?

The Fine Print: PR Samples

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Monday, 12 October 2015

Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Cleanser

I've been very impressed with the Pixi Skintreats that I've tried so far. It's a well-priced range of good, not too confusing basics, that perform well, and do what they are supposed to without patronising or bewildering the customers.  Glow Mud Cleanser is a great product from the line, being a clay cleanser that doesn't strip or dry out the skin.

It contains aloe, which gives the formulation plenty of slip when you're applying it, and it also contains glycolic acid, which has a slight exfoliating effect too, so this is  particularly good for oilier or congested skins, as it will help with clearing spots when it is used regularly.  My skin has been a bit hormonal recently, the changes in the weather and the advent of central heating becoming a necessity in the flat,  and my skin doesn't really know what to do with itself as a result. So it's pumping out oil like there's no tomorrow. It'll settle shortly (it does this as we head into winter every year), but I'm finding this great for clearing zits as they begin to appear.

You can also use this as a mask, just apply it as you normally would, and leave it for five or ten minutes or so, before rinsing it away. This allows the glycolic to stay in contact with the skin more, so it gives a deeper exfoliation effect if you leave it in contact with your skin than you would with a cleanser normally. You'll get the familiar "glycolic tingle" when you're using this, but if you have sensitive skin, I personally wouldn't follow it with any form of acidic toner (including Pixi Glow Tonic tbh), as this might lead to irritation and redness if you overdo it.  You'll need to use a sunscreen after, as you would with any glycolic acid product.

I don't use this every day - my skin is normally clear, and it is pretty sensitive most of the time, but for those days when I need something a little more ... powerful ... than a balm cleanser, then this one can't be beat.  Best of all, it's only £18, and you can find it at Pixi, at Cult Beauty, and Marks and Spencer!

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

#LipsNspritz of the week 11.10.15

Life would be dull indeed without lipstick and perfume, I've made it a mission this last month or so to document my entire lipstick and perfume "wardrobe".  The idea is to wear every perfume and lipstick that I own, and post my thoughts on each on Instagram every day.  I'm trying to do it without repeats, but I've decided to allow myself the occasional one (admittedly an exception made for my "parosmia perfume" Paradox, because there are days still where it's the only thing I can face smelling), but I won't do it too often.  This week I replenished my stores of the original Acqua di Parma, which is one of my all-time favourite fragrances of all-time, and I'm delighted that it's largely untouched by my disability.  It's the smell of a hot and soapy sportsman emerging from the shower, and I've missed it terribly since I ran out last year!  I wore it with Burberry Kisses Sheer balm in Hydrangea, and you'll see more of that later on this week.

Other lipstick and perfume combos of the week after the jump:


Skincare of the Week 11.10.15

No blog posts last week because I was unwell last Sunday and I simply couldn't face writing in the slightest.  I still kept up with my skincare routines though, because I do (occasionally) have standards ...  The routine above was a night-time one mid-week, from when I had a congested chin - complete with zit!  I haven't had a zit in a couple of years now!  Stupid hormones - I'll be reviewing the Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Cleanser in full tomorrow, but I found that a mixture of the Overnight Glow Serum (a gel formula with 15% glycolic acid) on the congested areas and the Nourishing Sleep Mask (which contains lavender and hyaluronic acid) on everywhere else really, really helped.  The zit was only in place for a day or two, which was nice...

Another night-time routine later in the week had me trying these Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Advanced Brightening Night Capsules, and I'm looking forward to using these a couple more times, as the texture of the formula is fabulous, and I was left with lovely velvety smooth skin in the morning.  Hopefully they'll be like that every time!

For more daytime routines, please join me after the jump.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Zelens Intense Defence Antioxidant Serum


I was chatting to a dermatologist recently, and she mentioned that the future of skincare lies in antioxidant products.  Now, as I was already trialling Zelens Intense Defense Antioxidant Serum, this pleased me somewhat, but left me realising that the only thing I really know about oxidisation is that it is what causes iron to rust, and, as I definitely don't want my face to rust, this has to be a good thing, right?

Joking aside, what Zelens Intense Defence is at heart is a protective serum, designed to save your skin from everyday pollutants in the air, and save your face from environmental stress. As someone who's face is almost always permanently red through sensitivity this recently released serum from Zelens - long one of my favourite skincare brands - interested me hugely. 

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