Beauty Without Fuss

Friday, 25 November 2016

Get Lippie Gift Pick: Origins Ritualitea Matcha Madness Gift Set

Get Lippie Gift Pick: Origins Ritualitea Matcha Madness Gift Set Get Lippie 20161120

Origins always do lovely gift sets at this time of year, and who can resist a little tea-based relaxation? One of my recent addictions is a matcha tea latte whenever I can get hold of one (to me they taste just like Horlicks, and I love Horlicks.  I know, I need to get out more), and so the Matcha Madness gift set was a little delight when it arrived.  

Housed in a giant green tea-caddy, the Matcha Madness gift set contains one Matcha Madness Revitalising Powder Face Mask, one Powder Mask Mixing Bowl, and one Powder Mask Mixing Tool.  My picture above also features the Matcha Madness body mask which I didn't realise wasn't part of the kit until after I took the photos, sorry!

The idea is that you mix two spoons (one end of the mixing tool is also a spoon) of the powder mask with two spoons of water in the bowl provided, and mix until combined, then apply to your face with the other end of the mixing tool ten relax for ten minutes whilst it dries.  Rinse to remove, and presto!  Smooth and softened skin practically in an instant. 

At £45, this is a great set, and the bowl and spoon will be great for anyone who is following the multi-masking trend, but personally, I'm in love with the great big tin which I'm desperate to find a use for!

Brilliant present for the tea-obsessive in your life ... 

The Fine Print: PR samples

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Clinique Aromatics in Black Essentials Gift Set

Christmas isn't Christmas in the Lippie household without an Aromatics gift set of some sort, and so, after discovering that I have enough of the original Aromatics Elixir to last me approximately 400 lifetimes (so around 4 bottles then, including various special editions), this year, I went for an Aromatics in Black box.  Released in 2015 as a "Noir" version of the original, Aromatics in Black boasts plum and grapefruit in the top notes alongside more vetiver in the base.

My nose and I didn't really get along with Aromatics in Black when it was first released (I suspect it was the grapefruit) as it caused parosmic reactions, but I'm enjoying rediscovering it now.    It's about as "noir" as playdo frankly, but that doesn't mean it's uninteresting.  The addition of plum and grapefruit gives it a more "oriental" feel, without it really turning into a bog-standard "fruitchouli", but it is very different, both sweeter and lighter than the original Aromatics Elixir, which I love simply because it doesn't smell like anything else on earth - and it was my signature scent for nearly 20 years, and if that doesn't tell you how much I love AE, then nothing will - whist still retaining something, albeit a soapier "something" of the fragrance it's based on.  As flankers go, it's a good one.  It'll never replace the original AE, but it'll do for the days when real AE is simply too much effort.

It's a little odd that they've made a "noir" version of something that's already the "noir-iest" fragrance on earth, if you ask me, but there you go.  The very best thing about Clinique gift sets is the price, you get the 50ml fragrance, the body wash and lotion and gift box for the exact same price of the 50nl fragrance alone, which in this case is £56.  Not at all bad.

The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Nuit Blanche editions

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Nuit Blanche editions Get Lippie 20161120
l-r Eau de Parfum (black glitter), Eau de Toilette (copper glitter), Nuit Blanche (white glitter)
Recovering from a disabled sense of smell, particularly a sense of smell that has been distorted, can be a tricky business. And, as a writer with a particular interest in fragrance, it makes life even more complicated, because sometimes I find I either can't smell a particular ingredient in a fragrance at all, or another ingredient will set off a parosmic reaction, and then I can't smell anything else in the fragrance whatsoever.  So writing perfume reviews is trickier for me than it ever was these days,  as I can't always be sure that what I register as a smell is literally what I'm sniffing, or  if it's just something that my smell-damaged brain is registering as a smell, in order to fill in some scented gaps.  Stay with me, it'll make sense in a minute why I'm mentioning this in a minute, I promise.

YSL Black Opium in particular is tricky for me, because the central ingredient in the fragrance - of whatever edition - is coffee.  And it just so happens that one of my most troublesome smells is coffee.  Back in the heady days before dysosmia struck, I loved the smell of coffee (I could take or leave drinking it though), its rich darkness and instantly recognisable savour was a delight.  During the worst of my parosmic days though, just the smell of someone putting a cup of coffee on their desk would cause me a whole world of distorted horror, and I'd occasionally have to excuse myself to go puke in the loos before I could continue working.  My reactions to coffee smells these days are much less dramatic however, and I can actually drink the occasional cup of coffee now, but I've discovered that I no longer register the smell of it.

All of which is a very long way of explaining that I can't smell the YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum edition at all.  On paper, the fragrance might as well not exist, and on skin I just get a faint hit of celery, so if you want a "proper" review of the Eau de Parfum edition, this probably isn't the blog post for you. Sorry.  However, I can smell the freshness inherent in the Eau de Toilette edition of Black Opium quite well, and it's rather lovely, but I lack the ability to smell the whole thing with the coffeeness added in.  There's a fair bit of citrus up top, with some jasmine and musks and just a hint of orange blossom, which makes this a very easy wear, if not the most complicated fragrance you've ever tried.

Black Opium Nuit Blanche, however, I find the most interesting of the three, opening as it does with creamy almond, almost marzipan-like top notes, making this more of a frothy cappuccino than the "espresso" of the original.  There's some orange blossom there too, lending a silky greeness to the crreamy nuts, and there's a milky-caramel accord too.  Altogether, this is far more gourmand than the other two, and it's probably the only one of the range that I'd consider wearing on a regular basis. Despite the lack of coffee, I like it, and I LOVE the bottles of the whole range.

I do just wonder what they smell like to other people?  It's a lonely life having a nose with brain-damage, you know.

The Fine Print: PR samples

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Clinique Sonic System - Purifying Cleansing Brush with Extra Gentle Cleansing Head

Being a delicate soul at heart*, sonic cleansing brushes and I don't always get along.  I used A N Other brand's "sonic" brush for a few months until I realised it was giving me chronic redness and broken veins than vowed no more.  I've had a Clinique Sonic System for a while now, but in the house move a few months ago, the base unit charger and the handset had somehow become separated and neither has been seen in about six months as a result.  Clinique kindly replaced my unit recently though, and I'm reminded that I do like this particular face cleansing brush a great deal.

Priced at £72, which whilst still pricey, but actually around half the price of A N Other brush, I find this simple to use, even with an oil-based cleanser rather than the "soap" Clinique recommend, and, with the Extra Gentle Cleansing Head (the white and grey brush on the unit above - the green and white brush head also pictured is the regular), this is a great addition to my skincare routine.

Sonic brushes promise to make your face cleaner than any other cleansing system, and thereby make your skin more receptive to anything you apply to it after using the brush.   Now, having sensitive skin, I must admit that I do not (and will not) use this on a daily basis, but I do use it two or three nights a week, usually on the nights that I am not using a retinol-based product.   The brush heads have a dual-bristle function, the slightly shorter coloured bristles at the top are for areas that need a bit more cleansing "oomph", such as around the nose, and the chin, and you just tilt the brush slightly over those areas so the firmer bristles can get to work, and just tilt it back so the rest of your face gets a good, gentle clean too.  The brush works in 30 second bursts, there's no awkward requirement of tricky button-press combinations to remember in order to get the cleanse you require, if you need longer, just press the button again ...

An ideal Christmas gift for the sonic-brush virgin, or someone who needs a more thorough cleanse than a flannel can manage.  Clinique have a number of Sonic System gift sets this year that come with some funky cases, I'm tempted to buy MrLippie one.

* I can hear you laughing from here, you know

The Fine Print: PR sample

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Shower Cream and Body Oil

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Shower Cream and Body Oil Get Lippie 20161120

Confession time: I only own one bottle of Frederic Malle fragrance, and I've never reviewed it.  As perfume writers go, I'm a terribly untimely one, I know.  I shall review my (tiny) bottle of Bigarade Concentree one day, but in the mean time I'm having far too much fun reviewing the more peripheral products of the range, some of which are so lovely, they have made me gasp. Like these, the Shower Cream and Hair and Body Oil from the Portrait of a Lady line.

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle's Portrait of a Lady is not a fragrance I've overlooked in the past so much, as simply thought wasn't for me.  Too sophisticated, too dark, too ... well, ladylike.  Lipstick Rose, the bright and bubblegum-pink confection of rose and violet (smelling of nothing so much as a waxy lipstick from the fifties, or your grandmother's bowl of dusting powder on her dressing table) has always been, for me, the defining rose fragrance of the Frederic Malle range, and I've been caught huffing it in a slightly demented fashion by more than one Frederic Malle stockist in several countries.  Why I've just never bought a bottle is beyond me, but I think I just love winding shop assistants up.  

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Hair and Body Oil Get Lippie 20161120
ANYWAY, someone mentioned that there was a hair and body oil in the Portrait of a Lady range, and I thought that was a marvellous idea. PoaL is an oddity in that is a huge, dark and deep fragrance - a red and black rendering of rose, writ large in smoke and fire - but one that also remains remarkably close to the body, lacking the wide sillage you'd expect from the ingredients list.  I thought an oil would be an excellent way to experience the fragrance again.  I was surprised by the starkness of the bottle when it arrived, but as the Frederic Malle line is all about the contents, not the packaging of the fragrances, then I guess I shouldn't really have been.  

The oil itself  is light in texture yet deeply, headily, fragranced, delivering a story of darkest burgundy rose, set amongst a bouquet that also includes cinnamon, frankincense and deep resonant - yet surprisingly clean - patchouli.  It's a scent that's at once velvety, smokey and (I find) somewhat leathery, a supple Spanish glove-leather, which is unlined, so you can experience both the sensual suede and smooth leather against your skin.  It's beautiful.  And yet, not as ladylike as I remember, I find myself wondering what it would smell like on my husband.  I'll probably never know, as one look at the name, and he'll run a mile, which will be a shame for the both of us.

I applied some Portrait of a Lady Body and Hair Oil to my hands in lieu of handcream (it absorbs beautifully used so) in the office the other day, and the fragrance was commented on by everyone who came by my desk afterwards. It's not too fruity, not too floral, not too much anything, just Oriental-fragranced beauty from start to finish. It absorbs quickly, and leaves skin feeling deeply hydrated and beautifully moisturised, and of course, gorgeously scented.  I had been planning to use it as a layering product, expecting it not to be that scented on on its own merits, but it's so satisfying to wear alone, I don't think I'll be bothering with using fragrance over it now.  You can also apply it to the hair, I haven't tried that yet having just had a keratin treatment, and I'm awaiting washing that out, currently, but I can't deny that the idea of hair that smells of PoaL makes me swoon slightly.  It's great on dry shins too, but the price point means I won't be using it for that too often ...

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Shower Cream Get Lippie 20161120

However, if you do want to layer your fragranced products, then there is also the hydrating Shower Cream, which is identically scented to the oil, and produces a rich and creamy lather in the shower without stripping the skin.  It's heady stuff though (as is the oil), and you need very little to scent your skin gently for the whole day.

Perfect for Christmas presents,  the Shower Cream retails at £40 for 200ml, and the (organic!) body and hair oil retails at £130.  A big investment, possibly, but what price beauty?  They're available from Selfridges, Les Senteurs, and Liberty.

The Fine Print: PR samples

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Friday, 11 November 2016

This Works Sleep Plus Range

This Works Sleep Plus Range Get Lippie 20161106

I'm deeply half-hearted about aromatherapy, if I'm being completely honest. Okay, not aromatherapy itself (seriously, no one knows more about the effect of smell on well-being more than a recovering parosmic, believe me) per se, but some of the practitioners of it can be a  little ... well, woo.  I was trying to arrange a massage for the blog once, and I'd mentioned that I suffered from gallstones to the PR so it could be taken into account by the therapist, and the therapist took it upon herself to telephone me, and tell me my gallstones were actually "compressed anger" and I should relax a bit more and they'll disappear.  Well, even though I did happen to take a few chill pills after that particular phone call (and if the stones weren't "compressed anger" beforehand, they sure as crap were after) I found only having my gall-bladder really did have any effect (and my single gallstone was actually an inch-long monster that could have caused some serious illness if left in situ), and that's my aromatherapy story. I never did get that massage ...

Anyhoo.  That being said, I do love some aromatherapy products, not always because of the therapeutic claims for the oils used, but because in quite a few ranges there's a lot of care put into the formulations, and sometimes they just work in spite of everything. I must say that some of my favourite products do have aromatherapeutic benefits, but I firmly believe that a good product is a good product whether or not you have "faith" in the ingredients.  This Works Sleep Plus is one of those ranges I was sceptical about trying beforehand, then I got over myself and gave it a go regardless, and now I love it.

I started with the Pillow Spray back when it first launched - it turned up in a goody bag, I think, and liked it well enough, but then I lost my sense of smell and aromatherapy became a closed book for a few years, so I stopped using it.  Despite a couple of therapists trying to convince me that aromatherapy works whether you can smell or not (I firmly, but politely, disagree. But then, I would), just the idea of any kind of scented product in my bed gave me the heebie jeebies.  However, now my sense of smell is recovering, I'm slowly reintroducing (some) aromatherapy back into my life,and replaced my old bottle of Sleep plus.  The Sleep Plus range is designed for people who have trouble staying asleep (Deep Sleep is the range for you if you have trouble getting to sleep in the first place) or are restless sleepers, which is usually my most regular sleep problem.  Rare is the time I take more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, but early-waking is a particular problem for me.  

The idea is that you mist a couple of sprays over your pillow, and the encapsulated essences of lavender, camomile and vetiver - it's a surprisingly zingy scent, and smells slightly gingery to my nose -will refresh themselves as you change sleeping positions, thereby helping you stay asleep.  I genuinely do find that I sleep better when I use a couple of sprays of this, I may not always sleep longer, but I do find that I'm more refreshed after whatever sleep I do get. 

I've recently added the Sleep Plus Hair Elixir and Troubleshooter to my night-time routine - not every night, just those nights where I MUST sleep, or where sleep has been really bad for a couple of days beforehand - the hair elixir is essentially a spray containing the same ingredients as the pillow spray, with added emollients for the hair, and Troubleshooter is a soothing spray for dry skin patches such as elbows and knees, which will also aid sleep when you use it before bed.  On the occasions where I've used all three products together, I've generally been asleep before my husband makes it out of the bathroom ...

There's also shower gel and bath salts, but I find both bathing and showering too energising at bedtime, so I've not yet tried them.  I do think the products are on the pricey side, the original Sleep Plus spray is around £25, but it does last a good long time if you don't use it nightly, and I have purchased it on several occasions now, and the other products are at the same price point.  Use them sparingly, and you'll sleep well for months.

The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Flowerbomb Dry Body Oil by Viktor and Rolf

Some of my favourite people wear Flowerbomb, but I will admit that up until recently, the appeal of the clean and sugary pink floral, which is incredibly aptly-named has passed me by somewhat.  Never really having been a fan of sweet fragrances, Flowerbomb, one the most successful fragrance franchises in the UK wasn't really designed to appeal to me, someone who has always preferred something with a little bitterness at its heart*.  I have always loved the gorgeous faceted grenade of a bottle though, it's both a fun illustration of the contents and a beautiful item in its own right.

Until now.   Viktor and Rolf recently (unexpectedly) sent me their Christmas offerings for Flowerbomb, and I rather unexpectedly fell in love with one of the flanker items, the Flowerbomb Dry Body Oil.  Not being of the dry-skinned persuasion, I've completely ignored the body lotion (which is actually lovely - but I use body lotion maybe once or twice a year, tops), but the oil really caught my eye, and my nose.  Being an oil, the scent is rather less diffusive (and effusive) than the original spray EDT, and is rather quieter, and more sophisticated to wear as a result.  The spray is fine, and gives a great misting effect, which disappears into the skin nicely. It leaves a nicely emollient layer behind which, whilst not greasy at all, makes a great layer for anchoring other fragrances, even Flowerbomb(!) onto.

Moisturising without being greasy, sweet without being too sugary, and floral without being too screechy, the Flowerbomb Dry Body Oil is rather a handy product.  At this time of year, my shins tend to get a bit scaly from the change in the weather, and this is stopping them getting too itchy, which is great.  And hey!  Who doesn't want beautifully scented shins?  If you're dry-skinned, it might not be moisturising enough to wear on its own, but it will make a great layering product for scents.  As it is rather gentler in fragrance than the original Flowerbomb, you can wear anything over it, and it'll just add a hint of floral sweetness to whatever you're wearing, whilst making it a little longer lasting.  It's great under citrus-based colognes to give them a little oomph, I've found.  Oh, and you can scent your hair with it, which is something I love doing.  Because it's an oil, it's (largely) alcohol-free, so won't dry out your locks if you love scented hair.

V&R didn't send me the press release, but I'm sure it'll be in-stores soon.  A Flowerbomb for people who don't really respond to Flowerbomb?  You could have knocked me over with a feather! Get some.

* Like me.  I know, I know.
The Fine Print: PR samples

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette

Urban Decay Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette Get Lippie 20161106

 Not so much a review this as just a deep sigh of: "IT IS SO PRETTY, I CAN NEVER MAR ITS FABULOUS BEAUTIFULOSITY BY ACTUALLY  USING IT", the Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette is released online now and costs £43.

Just look at that damned bejewelled cover.  LOOK AT IT.

Oh, and the eyeshadows are quite pretty too:

Arranged beautifully in ombre-d colour groups, there's every shade here for someone who wants a bright, beautiful and clear eyeshadow look.  Peacock eyes?  It's all here, and look at that yellow, amazeballs!  (I'm so channelling 2013, I know).

Cor.  Some seriously beautiful colours there.  I won't ever use it, my days of colourful eyeshadow are long gone (I'm all about the lips now, baby), but it is SO BEAUTIFUL.

What critical faculties?  I'm in lust.

The Fine Print: PR sample.

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Update at The Parosmia Diaries

It has been quite a while since I updated my other blog: The Parosmia Diaries, and I've had a little flurry of emails re my smell difficulties recently, so I thought it was time to dust it off and get back on with it.  So here's the first parosmia-based post in over a year (it's been a very busy year), you can read it here:

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment

 Getting older sucks, and I can sum up why in just two words: reading glasses.  

I had fairly major eye surgery as a kid, and my optical prescription varies so wildly (one eye is long sighted, and the other is short sighted) that one optician told me years ago that I would never need reading glasses.  He. Was. Wrong. I do so need them, so much so that my eyeballs now feel like they're going to explode out of their sockets if I attempt to read even the largest of large print without my reading bins on.  Talk about feeling cheated!  Anyhoo, I now I have a tendency to squint much more than I used to, which is where Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment comes in.

Eyes are always the first place on your face to show your real age, because the skin is so thin it wrinkles more easily, and is more prone to dehydration than the skin on any other part of your face.  Certainly, if I haven't had enough water to drink on the average day, my eye wrinkles always look far more pronounced than if I have managed to guzzle down a litre or so on top of my tea-intake, anyway.  I'm very lucky in that I'm not particularly plagued by bags or dark circles, but my "crows feet" are rapidly turning in to emu tracks*, and I HATE THEM.

These made me laugh so hard, thank you Murad!

I also have sensitive skin, and eye cream has a nasty habit of setting off my sensitivity, so I approached Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment with trepidation, first encountering it after a Murad facial earlier this year.  The packing does warn about a "tingling" sensation, so I was a little sceptical that I'd be able to use it at all, to be honest.  A decent size (30ml!) bottle that comes complete with 40 eye pads (so you can get 20 treatments out of it, by my reckoning), you apply three pumps in a thick layer to the skin under each eye, then rest a pad over the top and relax (or blog!) for 10-15 minutes and pat any excess product into the skin.

I've used this once a week since it arrived, and I have to say, I'm mighty impressed with it.  Yes, it does tingle when I first apply it, but it has never lead to any lasting, or visible, irritation and the skin under my eyes is definitely plumped up and hydrated after using it.  It's particularly good on those mornings after the night before.  Allegedly.  Ahem.  Anyway.  The major ingredient is hyaluronic acid, and it has a great, visible plumping effect, and lines are definitely diminished on using.  I find it sinks in easily (there's never any excess to "pat in" when I remove the pads), even though it feels like you're using a huge amount of product in comparison to a usual eye cream, but the skin never feels overloaded or greasy, and it's never caused a breakout. 

As for long-term effects, I can't speak to those, but for a temporary "refresh", this is great, and makes eyes look younger/less tired/squinty/dehydrated very quickly in a way ordinary eye creams can't.  The box says to use the treatment 2-3 times a week, but I think for my sensitive skin that might be overload, but as a weekly treat whilst I'm sat at my computer searching for the blogging muse, they're hard to beat.

And the price, at around £45-£55 (depending on the supplier) is actually a bit of bargain in comparison to some eye creams with only a fraction of the product in the jar!

* Emus are heavier than crows, right?

The Fine Print: PR samples.

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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Jo Malone London Launch Basil and Neroli Fragrance

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of Jo Malone London Basil and Neroli fragrance earlier this year,  and I'm very glad I did go, because this little bottle of sunshine hasn't left my handbag since.  I'm a huge fan of Lime, Basil and Mandarin, the brands "signature" fragrance and I was delighted when I discovered that Jo Malone London were back using basil in a key perfume launch. It's an interesting scent that doesn't pop up often, which is a shame.

I've spoken of my love of orange blossom before, and whilst Basil and Neroli lacks that hot, soapy, barbershop note that I love in other fragrances so much,  Basil and Neroli is a fine, fine, simple yet beautiful and classy fragrance.  Neroli is a greener scent than orange blossom, less overtly floral, and with overtones more of citrus and leaves than flowers, it is altogether less "sharp" than a regular citrus accord. When amped up with the leafy green basil - completely recognisable, though lacking some of "real life" basil's somewhat aniseed-y notes - Basil & Neroli is a great, light, unisex fragrance that's suitable for all occasions.

It's bright and zesty on first spray, citrus-fizzy without being too sharp or lemony, and light without being too insubstantial, or simply disappearing. It smells of sunshine and grass and happy memories, and has a genuine presence without being overwhelming overwhelming at all.  It's not sweet, and marries the savoury nature of basil really well to the citrussy neroli, then dries down to pleasant white laundry musks  on the skin.  It's in a light, cologne-style, but with hints of foodiness (I was wondering about an orange-basil salad dressing after encountering it, but the fragrance itself isn't foody at all), and would suit a crisp white shirt (on a wearer of any sex/gender, frankly), as well as a white t-short kind of an outfit.

It's a perfect example of the things that Jo Malone London do well, actually.  A very simple fragrance that still manages to give an air of sophistication, and smells really good without being too challenging on the nose.  It's a difficult trick to pull off, smelling both good and accessible, without being boring, or bringing up the dread word "inoffensive".  Yes, you won't scare the horses wearing this one, but you will love wearing it.  I do.

Available now, and costing from £42 for a 30ml bottle, it layers well with Blackberry and Bay, and Wood Salt and Sage from the same range.  It'll make someone a great Christmas present.

The Fine Print: PR samples

This post: Jo Malone London Launch Basil and Neroli Fragrance 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, 14 October 2016

Mugler Alien Candle

Finally, the nights are drawing in, and we have perfect candle weather!  I love candles, own hundreds, but this Saturday was the first night we've lit a candle in the new flat, and we've been here nearly six months now! 

And what a one to start candle-season off with.  Recently released by Mugler perfumes, this Alien-scented candle is a joy.  I love Alien, with its unapologetic oddness (space jasmine, anyone?), but still beautiful in its own right, it's a perfect scent for room fragrance, and candle. We burned this for several hours on Saturday night, and the flat still smelled amazing the next day.  My nose doesn't detect a lot of household fragrances these days (the fault of my olfactory nerve damage, not the products), but this has a surprising amount of "throw", so even I could detect, and love it.

So, what does Alien smell like?  It's white flowers, amber, woods and jasmine, with just a tiny, tiny, tiny hint of licorice, in my view. it's sweet and flowery, but very sophisticated, however, if you don't like jasmine, you won't like Alien at all.  I like jasmine.  A lot.  Which is lucky.

Winter, wine, candles and (not pictured) Strictly Come Dancing.  The perfect autumn evening.

I love the way the purple glass glows whilst the candle is burning, and the scent is great (have I mentioned it smells great?  I should have, it does), every home should have one.  Mugler have also released an Angel-scented candle this autumn, if you know someone who loves Angel or Alien, then here's your Christmas present sorted.

The Mugler candles cost £39 each, and are available wherever Mugler fragrances are sold.  I'll be getting a backup. 

The Fine Print: PR sample

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Armani Lip Magnets Lip Swatches

In yesterday's post, I gave the full review, today is just lip swatches of the newly released Armani Lip Magnets.  The colours are lovely and pigmented, and easy to wear without drying the lips.

Top Row 300, 301 and 302
2nd Row 400, 401 and 402
3rd Row 500, 501 and 506
4th Row 601 and 602.

In the same order, here are the lipswatches, beginning with 300, 301 and 302

 The difference between 301 and 302 is slight, but 302 is slightly deeper and redder.

Now the reds: 400, 401 and 402:

The reds are actually very similar indeed, 400 is a little lighter than the other two, 401 is a little pinker, and 402 is the darkest, but there is very little in it.

Now the pinks, 500, 501 and 506 (the "nude")


 And finally, the berries 601 and 602:


602 - sorry, my lips were absolutely KILLING me by this point.
Armani Lip Magnets cost £27 each and will be released nationwide on October 28th, at the moment they're a Selfridges exclusive.

The Fine Print: PR samples.

This post: Armani Lip Magnets Lip Swatches 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


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Armani Lip Magnets launch nationwide on October 28th

 2016 has been a great year for lipstick lovers, especially BRIGHT lipstick lovers, like, er ... me! Armani have launched a great range of mattes recently - they're currently exclusive to Selfridges, but they'll launch nationwide on October 28th, and I have a bunch of them here.  In today's post I'll talk about the colours and the formula, and I'll put swatches into the post tomorrow, otherwise it'll be a bit too much.  Launching in 18 shades, I have 11 of them here to show you - I'm just missing the nudes, I think.

From top (l-r) we have 300, 301 and 302.  Second row is 400, 401 and 402.  Third row is 500, 501, and 506, and the bottom two are 601 and 602.

The shades have been released in four different colour families, corals/oranges, reds, pinks/nudes and purple/berries.  They're all highly pigmented (though some are easier to apply than others), and they literally feel like you have bare lips once they're in place, and have "set" onto your lips.

(l-r) 300, 301, 302 Corals/Oranges
300 is a light, almost neon tangerine shade.
301 is a great medium coral
302 is a deeper warm red-orange.

This is me looking a bit tired in 302:

(l-r) 400, 401, and 402.

400 is a strawberry red.
401 is a cherry-pinked red and 
402 is a classic bright neutral red.  A quirk in the Armani packaging makes these look a lot more warm and "orange" than they actually appear on the lips.  Even my husband mentioned that they all looked "really orange" before I swatched them.

(l-r) 500, 501 and 506
500 is classic "bubblegum" pink on the bright side, but not too "Barbie"-looking.
501.  Barbie called, she wants her dream house back.
506 - a pinked mauve that is surprisingly easy to wear on this particular shunner of nudes.

Me moon-faced and slightly insane at 5.30am in 500:

And finally,
601 and 602 (at the front l-r)

601 is a cool-tone liverish purple
602 is a bright berry-purple shade.

602 in wear:
Can we say "goth"?
The formula is great.  A very thin and sheer liquid that can be easily built up in the more opaque shades, but I found that 300, 501 and 601/602 could be a little streaky if not applied carefully.  They have a "water-in-oil" formulation, which means they get more matte as the water in the formula evaporates off the lips, leaving just the pigmentation behind.  I haven't had any issues with my lips drying out whilst wearing these, nor do they feather or crease at all.  I have noticed an odd tendency for them to look glossier in photos than they do in real life.  I think this might have something to do with the light-reflective properties of the colours, which are opaque, but not at all flat, which is quite a feat.

The applicator is, quite possibly, one of the best I've ever used in a liquid lipstick format, it's firm, and doesn't pick up so much of the liquid that you have to smear it all over, and hope for the best.  It's on the small side, and has a very definite point to the tip, so you get an exceptionally precise application with little fuss, even if you're as cack-handed as I am first thing in the mornings!  They're not greasy, or slippery, and nor do they suck the moisture from your lips like other matte lipsticks I could (but won't) name.  They're an exceptionally nice, and easy wear.  That said, the wear time isn't like anything as great as a traditional heavy pigment and wax-based matte lipstick, but they wear off nicely (you do have to watch for the " red ring of doom" with some of the darker shades though), and they leave a nice stain of pigment on the lips.  The best (or worst, depending on your POV) ones for leaving behind a stain are the two brighter pinks (500 and 501) and the pinker berry shade (602).  None of the shades will survive a portion of chips, but they will stand up quite well to a couple of biscuits and a cup of tea (mental note, never blog when hungry).

Full lip-swatches tomorrow.  Armani Lip Magnets cost £27 and will launch nationwide on 28th October.

The Fine Print: PR samples

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Philosophy Amazing Grace 20th Birthday Special Edition

The last time Amazing Grace appeared on this blog, I referred to it as an "anti-perfume", the smell of clean laundry, and described it as perfect for people who don't really like fragrance.  I stand by those things, but I also confess that I actually have a huge, sneaking, deep vat of love for it. 

"Clean" fragrances are a not-so-secret vice of mine, the urge to smell like laundry  musks and baby powder is a source of shame considering my role as a perfume blogger. I should live for skank, for the smell of musty underwear, of tropical mangroves filled with rotten fruit, of coughdrops, catpoo and honey, of death and foof, of leather and booze, of unshaven armpits, and grannies fighting over the last murray mint in a powdery handbag, that kind of thing.  Well, one thing I've noticed since I lost my sense of smell and it's "recovery" over the last couple of years is that the sense of smell I do have now has changed a lot. Where once Tom Ford Tuscan Leather was a "full-on smack in the face with a driving glove", it's now a fuzzy, fruity suede waistcoat made of raspberries and offcuts, more Top Gear than Top Gun.  The fragrance hasn't changed, but my nose definitely has.  The world of smell is an odd place for me to negotiate these days, but I'm hopeful that my love of skank, of armpits and catpoo will come back one day.

In the meantime, a return to my love of clean and rather unchallenging scents is to be celebrated, considering the alternatives, and so to my delight to find that Philosophy Amazing Grace is having its 20th birthday this year.  Can it really be that long since I bought my first bottle?  Amazingly (see what I did there?) it can.  Blimey. It's just been released in a special edition livery ready for its party, and the smell has hardly changed at all.  At once as familiar as your favourite item of clothing, and as inoffensive as a pretty girl at a beauty pageant, Amazing Grace has charm in a quiet and low-key fresh from the dryer kind of a way.  If it's the kind of thing you like, then you'll love it.

Happy birthday, Amazing Grace! 

The Fine Print: PR sample

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Cabrini Studded Leather Jacket from Navabi (A tale of intense nervousness and the BBC)

"Just wear whatever you feel most comfortable in!"  

Was there ever a sentence designed to fill a fat lass with such dread?  I heard it from the producer of a BBC2 TV programme I'd been invited to take part in, and, well, the thought of making my national telly debut in a decades old pair of Coca Cola-themed pyjamas and a lightly Doritos-stained Motley Crue hoody didn't really appeal, if I'm being honest*. Particularly not when the TV show in question is a serious scientific documentary about my anosmia and parosmia problems over the last couple of years, anyway.  So for several weeks in September, I was in a serious tailspin over what to wear for making a documentary, I have NOTHING to wear!

Actually, not quite true, I have lots of clothes, and I scrub up quite well (for an accountant), but I wouldn't say I really had style, unless "cardigan chic" is the topic in question, that is.  As some of the filming was to take place on Shepherd's Bush market (and you haven't lived until someone calls you a wanker on film when you're trying to talk about your trials with potatoes whilst walking backwards through a market, let me tell you) I knew a coat would be necessary, but in September a winter coat would have been too much and my rain coats were all designed with thinner people in mind (that thinner person being me, two summers ago, but hey ho).  I harboured idle thoughts about a purple coat from Joe Brown for about two minutes before the idea of a leather jacket popped into my head and I remembered about Navabi.

Navabi, if you don't know, is a supplier of designer clothes for the more generously proportioned amongst us. I discovered it quite by accident last winter, and went a bit bonkers buying faux-leather trimmed skirts and dresses by the score ("Leather dresses!  For big girls! Wheeeeee!" went my brain), then I went on a total clothes no-buy for the summer, because I was busy buying furniture instead.  I love Navabi (and no, they're not paying me for this blog post) because unlike SOME plus-size clothing suppliers they don't a) feature celebrity "designed" ranges b) don't cover absolutely everything in sequinned appliqué butterflies and c) don't feature "celebrity" "designed" ranges covered in appliquéd sequinned butterflies.  Whilst I'm all for appropriate sequinnage - yes, I do wear them to the office, more regularly than you might think, actually - butterflies and applique can get stuffed, frankly.  I also love it because it's proper designer-wear (sometimes with prices to match), and whilst there are the occasional potato-sack-style couple of items, they're deliberately done so, and not your only option if you're above a size 14, unlike some websites. Whatever your style, and whatever your budget, and whatever the occasion (and your size), there's something you can wear.  I have a selection of their shift dresses and long jumpers from last winter, and the styles are both classic and timeless. A trawl through the website is always a treat - even for me, a confirmed clothes and shoe-shopping hater.  Oh yes, I went there.  Not even slightly sorry.

Anyway, where was I?  I spotted this Cabrini studded leather jacket, and I fell, completely, utterly head over heels in love.  A biker style, but so much more feminine (and flattering) than that, it had to be mine. HAD TO! And, luckily for me, Navabi were incredibly generous on hearing about my "plight" (such as it was, I know, I know) and agreed to send me a sample for the filming.  I haven't worn any other coat since it arrived, and, after a couple of years without a leather jacket in my wardrobe, I'm wondering how the heck I managed without one.  You know when an item of clothing turns up, you put it on, and it feels so completely like "you", you never want to be parted from it again?  Well, that's this jacket for me.  "Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in"?  No problem.  Thank you so much, Navabi!  You can find the jacket (and much, much more!) here: (not an affiliate link) It's buttery soft, comfortable, and aside from the studs being brass rather than the silver I'd expected, is exactly as advertised.

Me (sadly, sans jacket) with Sarah McCartney and the BBC Scotland production team

I'll talk more about the filming nearer the time of broadcast (providing, of course, that my section makes the cut!), but it was a huge amount of fun being a telly "presenter" for the first (and, no doubt, last) time, and, as well as being grateful to Navabi for solving my clothing woes, I'm also indebted a huge amount to the wonderful Sarah McCartney at 4160Tuesdays and the gorgeous Linda Pilkington of Ormonde Jayne, without either of whom the filming probably wouldn't have happened. 

Me in the jacket of joy - I had flu when this pic was taken
though, so please don't enlarge it, you won't thank me.
 I just have to save up BIG TIME for my next Navabi spree now ...

* And if you think I'm not wearing them RIGHT NOW as I type this, you'd be sadly mistaken, I'm afraid.
The Fine Print: PR sample.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Nair Nourish Upper Lip Kit Review

Nair Nourish Upper Lip Kit Get Lippie 20160903

Hello! My name is Get Lippie, and I have a moustache.  If you're reading this, you've probably got one too, man, woman or child.  Don't worry, there's no judgement here, but there is shedloads of judgement out there, this I know.  I had someone recently say in an email that they loved my choice of lipsticks on instagram, but my upper-lip hair was making them feel a bit sick, and could I do something about it? Didn't even say please!  So, I did the right thing, and blocked them on Instagram, so now hopefully my hirsute and ever-so-ugly-as-a-result-apparently mug won't be ruining their breakfast every day.

However,  I do actually occasionally de-forest my upper lip.  I say occasionally, because I am (of course), a big fat lazy bugger, who can't be bothered removing any body-hair on a regular basis (this summer has been so cold, for example, that I don't even slightly begin to remember the last time I shaved my legs.  And the least we say about my armpits the better: I haven't been able to raise my left arm properly for about 18 months, so there's probably bears or raccoons living in there now), but yes, when you take pictures of lipstick on a regular basis, and people start commenting on your facial hair rather than the colour on your lips, then maybe its time to take action.  Or not. Frankly, if this package of Nair Nourish Upper Lip Kit Hair Remover hadn't arrived completely coincidentally a day or two after the aforementioned email, I'd probably have just invested in some moustache wax and had at it.  Hey, it's a look!

But I thought I'd give it a go, mostly because the box promises it only takes three minutes, is designed for sensitive skin (there's nothing worse than removing your moustache hair only to leave yourself with a fluorescent pink skin-moustache that takes a week to die down, in my experience), needs no mixing, and comes with an aftercare moisturiser.  You apply the hair remover to clean, dry, product-free skin, wait three minutes then remove.  I found that my puke-making hair needed just a little extra time, around four minutes in total, but the hair was removed completely in that time.  

And no stinging!  At all!  And NO PINK SKIN-MOUSTACHE! I didn't particularly notice any smell, either.  In fact, my skin was so little irritated by the process that I didn't even bother using the post-removal moisturiser. Truth be told, I'd actually forgotten it was in the kit, and only realised when I came to photograph it for this review ... anyhoo, it's a winner in my book.

Here's hoping it's still as effective the next time I come to take it out of the box, which will be around mid-2018 by my reckoning .... 

The Fine Print: PR samples.

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