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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

LipsNspritz of the Fortnight, Pt II

 This week, I basically took a "lucky dip" approach to my perfume and lipstick choices.  After three months and nearly 80 lipstick and perfume pictures, I realise I'm probably something like a quarter of the way through my fragrance collection, and possibly, maybe, a tenth (perhaps?) of the way through my lipsticks.  There's a few months of this to go, yet, I think!

Monday was Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille, which bears a passing resemblance to Jo Malone London's Blackberry & Bay (a perennial autumn favourite), but just has a little more grassy vetiver in the mix, so has a little more ... oomph. I wore it with MAC All Out Gorgeous, which is rather aply named.

Tuesday was Etat Libre d'Orange's Antiheros, which is the lavenderiest lavender there ever was.  Luca Turin described it as "cheap lavender soap, but strong", and so it proves to be.  I've missed lavender a lot whilst I've been parosmic (up until recently, it has smelled burned and awful), and to have it back is wonderful.  Lavender contains such a variety of scents, it's herbal and floral, and has a hint of balsam, and mints in there too.  That it is maligned as a "granny scent" is an eternal mystery to me.  I wore it with Charlotte Tilbury's Red Carpet Red which is one of the best red lipsticks ever.  

Wednesday had me in something just a little more ladylike, the musky prettiness of Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely.  I only like a couple of celebrity fragrances, and this is a good one. It reminds me of Narciso Rodriguez, only at a much more acceptable price-point.  I wore it with Illamasqua Stark, which I also like very much, though it's a little patchier than I recall it being on application.

Thursday brought a board meeting and Lancome's Climat - a little-known fragrance from Lancome's back-catalogue.  It's a sweet and powdery ladylike little whisper of a thing, a proper "Grown-Up" fragrance so I rarely wear it, for that reason.  Paired with Stila Long-last Lipgloss in Firey (I think, the label has worn off), it saw me through a board meeting where I managed not to kill anyone, so a winner, I think.

Friday I wore Boucheron by Boucheron, which is a big heavy-hitter of a floral fragrance, in a beautiful bottle, designed like a piece of jewellery, which always delights when I spray it.  Paired with Estee Lauder lipstick in Dominant, which is a very fine pink indeed.

On Saturday I was heading to a party in Soho, so I wore the ultimate party-girl fragrance: Tom Ford Black Orchid, in the new eau de toilette formulation, still loud, and one of the happiest fragrances around, it's a joy.  I paired it with the Matte Balm from Revlon in Striking, which is the loudest red I own, and wore them both with sequins.  A jolly good time was had by all.

The Fine Print: PR Samples and purchases.

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Monday, 30 November 2015

LipsNspritz of the ... er ... Fortnight.

I hate being ill, and I really hate being ill to the extent that it interferes with my posting schedule.  Nonetheless, here's a double-dose (whether you wanted it or not, frankly) of my weekly diary of lipstick and perfume-wearing.  The above pic is from the week ending 22/11/15.

Monday was Etat Libre d'Orange Like This, alongside Chantecaille Lip Chic in Wild Rose.  Like This is probably my favourite "gourmand" fragrance, being a blend of pumpkin, mandarin, ginger and immortelle.  It should smell like a pumpkin pie - which it does, to an extent - but it also smells warm, sophisticated and slightly tweedy from the prickle of ginger.  Perfect for autumn, and just plain delicious at any time.  

Tuesday was continuing the gourmand theme with Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille, alongside Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Rose.  Both are easy and simple to wear, without being too challenging.  Ambre Vanille is sweet and warm, and Rose is a beautiful neutral, which will work on many colourings.

Wednesday brought Hermes Eau d'Orange Vert which is one of my favourite citrus fragrances of all time - I go a little insane for mint in fragrances, and this combination of bitter orange, sweet orange, and just a hint of peppermint oil makes me a little weak at the knees.  I only wish it lasted longer.  I wore it with the rosy mauve of Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in RD529, which is quite an opaque liquid lipstick.

Thursday I wanted to wear a classic, so I did.  Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, a beautiful dance of orange blossom and iris, coupled with vanilla and a little spicy carnation, I adore this fragrance.  It feels blue all the way through, so I wore a blue-toned lipstick too, which was Illamasqua Magnetism.  I got several compliments on the fragrance, as I always do when I wear it, and resolved to wear it more often.  Which I will when this project is over.

I fully intended to wear Tuberose Criminelle by Serge Lutens on Friday, but I was too ill to cope with the rubbery camphoraceousness (TOTALLY a word - if possibly not the spelling).  I spent the day feeling sorry for myself in pyjamas instead.

Saturday I was attempting to  make myself feel better, so a hot shower and a thorough dowsing in DKNY Drop of Rose, which I love for its soft and rosy approximation of baby powder, and a slight resemblance to Ombre Rose by Jean Jacques Brosseau.  It is pure comfort in a bottle, and I love it.  I paired it with Becca lipgloss in Palm Breeze, a bubblegum pink that wasn't too challenging.

 Part two tomorrow ...

The Fine Print: PR Samples, purchases, random stuff from the back of the perfume cabinet ...

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Skincare of the week 29.11.15

I've been ill for a fortnight now - why there weren't any posts on the blog last week, sorry! And this is the skincare I've been using to help myself look approximately normal again.  It's not working, I still look like death warmed up, but at least my skin isn't blotchy and flaking.  For now ...

Monday brought Biologique Recherche Lait, with PixiBeauty Glow Tonic, Murad Eye Cream, Medik8 Red Skin serum (something I'm starting to truly love and rely on), and SkinCeuticals moisturiser - of which there is a full review coming up, because it's a great product on my sensitive oily-combination skin. Oh, and Serozinc, which is an all-time favourite!

Tuesday was the same,  only I swapped in Bioderma Crealine spray for the Serozinc (and in all honesty, I use them both interchangably - if you have one, you probably don't need the other), plus I added in Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic, for more hydration.  Tuesday was a long day at the office, and I knew I'd need a boost of hydration to get through the day, but I needed a bit of exfoliation first to make it sink in well, so the morning also brought in my much-loved Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner.

Wednesday was one of those days where I woke up super exhausted, and it was showing on my face, so I wanted some lovely, buffering, comforting skincare, so I dug out my beloved (truly beloved) May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Balm, which is an amazing skincare product for sensitised slightly reactive skin like mine.  A rich balm that melts into an oil, and contains natural anti-histamines in the form of blue tansy oil, I use it as a night treatment mostly, but it's superb at protecting from the weather, on occasion.

Thursday - I'm experimenting with the Kiehls' Ultra Facial moisturiser at the moment, which I really liked in conjunction with the Blue Cocoon Balm, and, just because I could, I did a double-cleanse with PixiBeauty Nourishing Cleansing Balm, and Bioessense Miracle Cleansing Water Cleansing Jelly (about which more soon).  I don't normally double-cleanse in the morning , but sometimes you just want to kick things up a bit.

FridayKATE SOMERVILLE is back in my routine! I received a little package of the products a while ago, and I've been holding onto them (along with the KS products I've been keeping in my fridge for a good few months now too - thanks to kind friends and family who have been to the US this year, and dragged some back for me) till now.  You're going to be seeing a lot of KS in the coming weeks, but it's always a joy to use them.  I'm currently using the Kate Somerville Nourish Moisturiser, and the Age Arrest Eye Cream, but I'll be rotating a couple of other products in and out of my routine for a couple of weeks.  I also have a couple of pots of Goat Cream, but I'm keeping those mainly as night creams right now.

Saturday - I wanted to do a routine composed entirely of favourite products, both old and new ones, and this was the result.  Zelens Balm Cleanser, which I left on my face for a good five or ten minutes as a mask before removing (not deliberate, but it felt really nice, actually!) Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner, Serozinc, Zelens Antioxidant Serum, and three (count them!) Kate Somerville products, the aforementioned Nourish and Age Arrest eyecream, alongside Quench Hydrating Serum, which is one of my favourite products ever.  I probably need the oil-free version for every day use, to be honest, but I do like to use this on days where I'm in no rush to apply my makeup afterwards.

How has your week in skincare been? 

The Fine Print: PR Samples, purchases, and gifts which were  until recently kept in the back of the fridge ...

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Library of Fragrance - Cardamom

Spicy fragrances have been one of my saviours this year.  For some reason that's not quite clear (but which is possibly related to trigeminal rather than olfactory nerve stimulation) my parosmic nose can register spicy scents (and tastes) really quite well.  So, when I discovered Library of Fragrance were bringing out a Cardamom perfume, I was super-excited.  

Cardamom is one of my favourite smells (and tastes) anyway, so I was always destined to love this, but even so, I was a bit surprised by it.  Expecting a sharp and pungent hit of hot perfumed spice, I was greeted with a soft fluffy cloud of warm cardamom-scented powder.  Creamy and gently perfumed with cardamom, this is really lovely.  It smells a lot more expensive than any £15 perfume has any right to, frankly.

Library of Fragrance perfumes aren't particularly known for their lasting power, but this seems to last quite well on my skin, having a 3-4 hour wear time (which, compared to the 30-minutes to an hour I get from Clean Laundry, is nothing short of miraculous).  I was hoping for a sharp punch of spice to use for layering over other fragrances that I have trouble interpreting, but what I got was actually a lovely fragrance in its own right, perfect for wearing alone.  Can't argue with that.

It'll be in-store soon.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

United Beauty Gel Touch Top Coat

I'd love to be able to do a complete gel manicure at home, but sadly, I remain the cack-handed muppet I always was, and the thought of having to do all that cuticle-work and tidy-up and preparation makes me a little light-headed.  Luckily, one of my good friends is Nails by Miss Merx, so whenever I fancy a full-on gel manicure, it is to her I go.  Times being what they are, however, I can't afford permanent gel manicures, and my nose being as problematic as it is (I can no longer bear the smell of nail polish) I can't be doing with painting my own nails too often either, so what is a girl to do?

Enter United Beauty Gel Touch Top Coat, which claims to turn any nail polish into a gel manicure.  All you do is apply your nail varnish as usual, wait until dry (incredibly important, this step), cure with the included UV lamp and boom!  You're ready to go!

Costing £49.99, the kit includes a UV lamp, a bottle of topcoat and five cleansing wipes (which you use before and after applying the top coat, initially to remove grease, and then afterwards to remove any residual gel left over after curing).  I really like this, with some caveats - the cleansing wipes are on the dry side, so once you've used them pre-manicure, they're too dry to use to wipe off excess gel, and there are only five of them, and if you need two per manicure, that's only two full manis you have wipes for.  And, of course, there is the fact that your manicure won't last quite as long as a full gel manicure, either.  After a few months of using this, I can get a manicure to last ten days if I apply very (VERY) carefully, but a week is more usual. 

That said, a week is usually more than enough for me, I get bored of wearing the same colour for longer, anyway, and I can cope with only painting once a week, instead of two or three times as with normal nail varnish. 

I've used it a lot over the last couple of months (after buying myself some alcohol to use as a cleanser) and like it very much.  If you're expecting full-gel manicure wear, you're going to be a little disappointed, but if you're a lazy article, like myself, it'll save you a manicure a week.

Available from the United Beauty website. 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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