Thursday, 28 June 2012

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Collection

You probably already know that the summer 2012 Desert Twilight Collection from Bobbi Brown is due to be available from stores in July.  This collection combines soft, neutral tones with pops of brighter hues.  The sun-swept tones combine rose, plum and bronze shades to compliment a dusky tan.  Bobbi Brown is renowned for her natural take on make up and prefers the more toned-down approach, preferring to simply enhance a woman's natural beauty rather than a dramatic transformation.

The first item that caught my attention was the Eye Palette featuring a plethora of neutral and nude tones...something which you all know I am a fan of.  I know neutrals can seem boring but as I have said before, you can't go wrong with them.  All my favourite eye shadow palettes are predominantly neutral in tone and I use them on an every day basis! I personally love the contrast of warm tanned skin with cool toned taupe and dark brown.  It gives that dry, tawny, dusky desert look and this palette is designed to mimic the glowing tones that happen just before dusk.

The next piece in the collection that sparked interest in me was the limited edition Bronzer/Blush duo (pink peony and bahama brown).  The pink tone looks like perfection for my skin and the bronzing side looks like a great illuminating shade for glowy skin.  I need to swatch this in store to check how much shimmer they both have though and whether it's finely important aspect of cheek products!

The obligatory mini brush set is an eye-catching metallic and turquoise combo.  I love these little sets for my handbag...they always come in handy! The fact that this compact little arrangement is in a summery little shiny pouch makes it all the more appealing.

The lip glosses didn't excite me really because the shades are just a bit too dull and boring.  I would have preferred to have seen something to pep up the look a little bit.

Now this is more up my street! The Turquoise nail polish is vibrant and fresh and very summery! A perfect contrast to all the dusky shades in the collection.  I will definitely be checking this out!

I also love the look of the Twilight Shimmer polish which is a metallic shimmering plum shade...perfect for night time!

I can't say I'm that enamoured by the Long Wear Cream Shadow in Blue Moon...I don't think it would do much for me.  I always have to be careful with blue eye shadow given that I have blue eyes.  Browns and Bronze shades are far more effective at bringing out my eye colour.

The Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Twilight Night, a shimmering plum is lovely but since I own about 5 of these babies already, I don't feel like I need another one.  I own the Heather Shimmer one which is very similar to this shade.

So what are your thoughts on this collection? Anything that you will be picking up for yourself or will you give it all a miss?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Liparazzi on Facebook

Yes I now finally have a Facebook page for Liparazzi...about time right?!

I will be giving previews of upcoming posts, recommending my favourite blogs to read, letting you know what I'm up to and getting your opinions on what you would like to see next on Liparazzi.

Please 'like' my Facebook page here.  It would literally make my day! I wouldn't be here without the support of all you lovely readers and I would love to hear from you on my Facebook page!

ASOS Coral Knitted Dress

I can't seem to stay away from the ASOS website at the moment and my latest dalliance involves two dresses, one of which is the feature of this post.  I would say it's definitely worth paying the annual fee of £14.99 to get unlimited next day delivery.  

It seems my current obsession with the colour Coral is showing no signs of waning.  This dress caught my eye immediately because it looked like a comfortable and versatile piece for summer. I look like a right miserable cow in the first pic...maybe one day I will get my blog photo face sorted out!

The length of this dress is perfection for me.  I am 5'7 and it hits about 2 and a half inches above my knee which is short enough to make it a lovely dress for night-wear but long enough not to be outrageous for daytime.  It can be accessorised with a belt at the smallest part of the torso, with flat sandals or heels and paired with gorgeous summer jewellery to mix it up.  I plan on wearing it on Saturday night with a black leather jacket and chunky black platforms to give it a harder edge.

This dress is made from 100% cotton and could be described as a fine rib-stitch knit.  Initially, I thought it might be overly clingy and unflattering but because it has a fitted high waist and pleated A-line shape, it's actually extremely flattering.  I was surprised at how slimming it was!  The fact that the dress is fine gauge knit means that it has some give in it too which helps in the boob area for me!

The back of the dress features a contrasting black false zip placket.  This strikes me as a brilliant summer dress and the fact that it's so comfortable means that it would be the perfect BBQ dress so you could eat to your heart's content without feeling restricted.  Funny...I've just realised how I often base my clothes around eating comfort...ha ha.

This dress was £40 and in my opinion, it's definitely worth the price tag because it's so wearable! The colour compliments most skin tones and the soft cotton knit doesn't feel itchy or irritate your skin.  I hope ASOS start making this dress in more colours because it's likely I would buy every one! It would look fabulous in a soft duck egg blue or maybe lilac.

To view the dress on the ASOS website, click here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pastel Jeans & Flamingo Print

I had a client meeting today and the sun was shining for the first time in days so naturally, I dug out my new soft turquoise ASOS skinny jeans for their first airing since buying them last week.  To be perfectly honest, my life at the moment is a contradiction in fashion terms because I'm either dressed up for client meetings or slumming it in dog-walking clothes when I'm working from home.  Going from hiking boots to sky-scraper heels is a strange thing indeed but I refuse to let the fact that I live in the country mess with my mojo.  I am determined to bring the glam where I can!  

Initially I was a bit dubious about the whole pastel jeans trend because I had an inkling they might make my legs look tree trunks.  You know the old fashion rule...the darker the colour, the more slimming it is.  However, after all the vigorous dog-walking of late, I feel like my legs are toned enough to be able to get away with them (at least I flippin' hope so!...).  

I am a big fan of ASOS skinny jeans because they always have a bit of stretch, which lets face it, is a must when it comes to pouring yourself into these bad boys.  You need that bit of give when you sit down or things could get very uncomfortable!  Also, you are less likely to get that baggy-knee look...or worse...the baggy ass look!

The jeans are also very inexpensive at £28, wash well and keep their shape.  I love the soft turquoise shade which looks so fresh and summery when teamed with whites, neutrals and other ice cream sorbet shades. 

I'm also loving the contrast of the CND Tropic Coral nail polish against the turquoise hue! So summery!

Hubby's mum and dad were over recently from Ireland to stay with us and check out the new house.  Chris' mum always spoils me and this visit was no exception.  On arrival, Maddie pulled out a bag of clothes she got for me and I have to say that I love all of it.  The bag of goodies included this pale turquoise Flamingo-print blouse from Dunnes.  I love these kind of sheer tops for summer that can be worn alone or layered.  They are so versatile in that they can be dressed up with a blazer and skinny jeans or dressed down with flat sandals and denim shorts for warmer days.  I love the fun print, dipped hem at the back and the fact that it's a relaxed fit...good for long lunches!

I now have my sights set on some other skinny jeans from ASOS, namely the cornflower blue, white and if I'm feeling brave...the neon pink ones! Although I have a feeling you would have to be very careful how you styled them or you could end up looking like Barbie!

Jeans: ASOS (link)
Blouse: Dunnes
Blazer: A Wear
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins
Bag: Ebay
Cuff: Warehouse
Bracelet: Warehouse
Ring: New Look
Necklace: Accessorize

There is something I wanted to run by you guys.  I am currently in the process of transforming my blog into something bigger and better.  This may take a couple of months.  I wanted to ask if a decor/interior design section of my site would be of interest? I was also thinking about adding in a section for posts about wedding/event planning, more specifically the little details like cakes, flowers and place settings.  They are all things that I enjoy being a creative sort so let me know if it's something you would like to read about!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Coral Nails & Stila In The Light Palette

It all started with a penchant for peachy-coral blushes which quickly transitioned into an obsession with coral toned nail polishes.  My justification lies in the fact that coral just brings out a nice tone in my skin...ok I'll 'fess makes my hands look tanned.  A shallow admission, but very satisfying all the same.  Given that my hands are the most tanned part of my body (there hasn't been much opportunity to sun the rest of my limbs lately), I have to take these small gratifying moments as they come.

Pictured without flash

I bought two such shades recently; CND Tropic Coral which I got from Ebay after my beautician used it on me for a night out and Rimmel Instyle Coral which was a complete impulse buy on a trip to ASDA!  The CND polish is by far my favourite of the two.  They are similar in colour although the Rimmel one is slightly paler and more creamy-looking.  The CND polish leans more towards an orange-coral and the truest colour representation is shown in the pic of my nails.  The polish dries slightly darker than it appears in the bottle.

Pictured with flash

The main difference between the two polishes is that the Rimmel one lasted only about a day before beginning to chip despite both being applied with a protective base coat and top coat.  Not even a fantastic top coat could save it!  That's very disappointing but given that it costs less than £2.50, you can't expect amazing results.  It also required 3 coats to get an even, streak-free finish.  In contrast, the CND polish lasts around 4-5 days on me without chipping and only requires two coats to achieve even coverage.  The Tropic Coral shade just makes me feel summery and I love how it looks against turquoise jewellery.

What are your favourite Coral nail polishes? Any recommendations for me?

Just as a quick side note, my favourite base coat at the moment is Mavala Protective Base and Orly Polishield is a godsend when it comes to making your nail polish last as long as possible.

Now for a neutral eye shadow palette review...can I hear audible groans? ha ha.  Yes I know neutral palettes are ten a penny and not the most dynamic of make up candy BUT I still get excited about these kinds of palettes and I will tell you why.  

I have surmised that the key reason why neutral palettes excite me is because there's a good chance that I will end up using the product every single day.  It will work it's way into my daily routine and become a no-brainer.  You reach for it without even having to worry about the shades clashing with what you plan on wearing that day.  Neutrals go with everything! That's why they are so popular.  Bright and gawdy shades will come and go with trends but neutrals are here to stay, they work on everybody and they bring a kind of polished elegance to your make up that just can't be emulated by anything else. 

The Stila 'In The Light' eye shadow palette features 10 neutral shades and one smudge stick in damsel (a matte brown retractable eye liner).  The case itself is made from cardboard and doesn't feature a mirror...a fact that has bothered many a beauty blogger.  However, I must admit that it doesn't rile me because I rarely re-apply eye shadow on the go.  I find that there's always a mirror around so to me, it's not a problem as such.

The ten shades offered up in the palette consist of:

Bare - matte ivory
Kitten - delicate pink-nude with gold reflects
Bliss - matte beige pink
Sunset - shimmery canyon pink
Sandstone - matte light cocoa
Bubbly - shimmery pale gold
Gilded Gold - golden brown with shimmer
Luster - dark aubergine-grey with gold shimmer
Night Sky - grey-blue with shimmer
Ebony - soft matte black

I do find in general that matte eye shadows tend to have less pigment but I think the reflective shades show up more because of the way they catch the light.  I am however happy with the level of pigmentation in these particular matte shades as I think they were added to the palette as a softer way of defining the eyes as opposed to a dramatic inky look.  I absolutely adore the Kitten, Sunset and Bubbly shades purely because they have that metallic quality that I love for summer make up.  Those golden hues against tanned skin are just so flattering.  I could also see myself mixing the cooler shades like Luster and Night Sky with the warmer hues.

I was impressed by the lack of fall out on the more shimmery shadows.  There's nothing worse than having a ton of glitter under your eyes by the end of the night!  With a good eye base like Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin or Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in RSVP, these shadows last all night without creasing or fading.

The downside of this palette?  The cardboard packaging wouldn't be my first choice as it can get a little tatty over time.  Also, the shimmery shadows are quite delicate and can break and shatter easily so no hoffing this around in your bag!  It's a simple trade-off with these kind of highly pigmented shimmery shadows though because their buttery consistency is exactly what produces the amazing finish.

The smudge stick in Damsel, a matte brown shade, has great pigmentation, is easy and smooth to apply and has can be smudged to create a softer look.  Because it's retractable, you never have to sharpen it which is very handy as I always lose my sharpeners!

I know the question that is playing on your mind does it compare to Urban Decay's Naked palette? Well, in my opinion, this palette is more pink toned rather than beige/taupe like the UD palette.  Is it just another neutral palette? Well that depends on your standpoint.  There are a lot of neutral shades out there but...personally when I find the perfect combination of everyday shades in one palette, I know I will use it day after day.  This palette is staying firmly in my every day make up drawer thank you very much!

The palette is priced at £25.00.

Have you tried it? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

My Current Favourite Products

After a long interruption, I am back to blogging again.  I was really flattered to receive so many emails and comments from readers asking me to blog more regularly.  I also realised something whilst having a break...I actually really missed the interaction I have with all of you and after over three years of blogging, it has become probably one of my favourite pastimes.  So really, when I'm not doing it, it feels like something is missing.  Does that make sense?  I guess I had told myself that given the sheer amount of blogs out there, no one would really miss my little ramblings on here.  But I have been really touched by the fact that so many people enjoy reading about my thoughts, advice and generally about the goings on in my life.'s back to business (or leisure) as usual! I thought there would be no better way to kick off than to share with you, a few products which have been rocking my world of late.  Can a beauty product really rock your world? Well anything that makes my day-to-day life that little bit easier is a welcome addition to my regime!

LA Science Follicle Stimulating Shampoo

Now I'm no sucker when it comes to outrageous claims by brands promising the world and delivering very little.  So when I initially spied this shampoo, my beauty spidey-senses were telling me not to be taken in by claims of rapunzel-esque locks.  Now I don't have an issue with hair loss and I wouldn't make jokes about it as I know it's a very real problem for some women.  However, I was seduced by the thought of a shampoo which purports to have "assumed a ‘cult’ following among women who simply want to add volume and increase the thickness of their own fine hair and benefit from the ‘growth-factor’ peptide properties of this luxurious, conditioning shampoo!".

So the long and short of it is that this shampoo isn't just for hair loss, it's for anyone who wants voluminous and healthy hair in general.  So how did it perform? Well, I would say that for this formula to be truly effective, you really need to spend that extra bit of time in the morning to massage it thoroughly into your scalp.  A slap dash approach just won't cut the mustard here.  After a good 3 weeks of using the shampoo, I have noticed that my hair feels fuller, has more body and looks healthier overall.  I think the important thing to remember is that this isn't a solution to make your hair grow quicker per se, but a treatment shampoo to improve the health of your scalp to encourage healthier hair.  Although this shampoo can also act as a conditioner, I still prefer to apply conditioner to the ends of my hair but it's completely up to your hair type.  Given that I highlight my hair, I really have to take care of the ends or they get so dry.

This shampoo is available here for £11.90 with free delivery.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime

I had heard a lot about this product in the beauty community and being a fan of Macadamia Oil, I was keen to find out how this haircare product would compare.

"Winner of Best Hair Innovation at Harper's Bazaar Beauty Hot 100 Awards 2011.  Unveiling the magic of oils, this is a versatile beautifying treatment enriched with a complex mix of four luxurious oils.  Unlock the latest secret of true hair beauty with just a few drops, leaving your hair shiny and nourished.  Intense conditioner for your hair, leaving it smoother and more manageable".

Now my problem with hair oils is often that they are too heavy and viscose for my fine hair, leading to my locks being weighed down by the product and looking just plain greasy.  The thing that immediately struck me about this hair oil is that it is so light in texture, almost more like a serum consistency.  You can either use this hair oil half an hour before you wash your hair as an intense treatment or apply it to towel-dried hair as a leave in treatment.  I use it as an intense treatment once a week and every day as a way to smooth my hair and prevent it getting frizzy at the ends.  I only need one pump to cover the lengths of my hair (it never goes near my scalp).  I am so impressed with this product and in my mind, it's perfect for anyone with fine hair.  I suspect that products like MorrocanOil or Macadamia Oil would be more effective on thicker, more unruly hair-types.  Given that you only need a tiny amount for each application, I reckon this bottle I got will last a long time.

I bought a 50ml bottle from this seller on Ebay for £16.95 with free delivery.

Origins Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Body Souffle

It's no secret that I am a massive fan of Origins as a brand and I love to treat myself to their body souffle products when I'm pampering myself.  My all time favourite has to be the Ginger Souffle which is just heavenly.  This variation contains Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil and it leaves your skin so smooth and soft.  These products aren't cheap by any stretch of the imagination but I like to have these more pricey pampering products stashed away for when I need a proper treat.  It smells delicious and the scent really does relax you.  The consistency of these body moisturisers are what make them for me because they are reasonably light in texture but they are supremely hydrating and sink into your skin quickly.

You can buy the product here at £22.00 for a 200ml tub. I personally like to save up my Boots Advantage Points using Treat Street to buy my more pricey items.  It's like getting yourself a present!

Estee Lauder Smoothing Manicure/Pedicure Treatment

I have mentioned this product on my blog before but it deserves another mention I think! This mani/pedi treatment is the best I have ever come across in terms of it's smoothing powers and hydration.  What with all the work I have been doing in the house and garden, my hands have really suffered.  They get dry very easily, especially between my fingers and so they require a super-charged moisturiser to get them back in a presentable condition.  

It is described as an "intensely hydrating creme. Rich in concentrated emollients, paraffin and a special moisture retainer, it pampers even the driest skin into extreme softness. Like a "paraffin dip" spa treatment, it eases away dryness and discomfort".

I apply this treatment every night and massage it into my nails.  It keep my hands soft and smooth, without leaving a greasy film.  The treatment also transforms your feet into something a lot more sandal-worthy.  If we ever get any more sun this summer, at least my feet will be ready for it!  I have also been using this intense moisturiser on areas which also get dry such as my knees, elbows etc and it really is effective at keeping your skin in tip-top condition.  A must have for me!

You can buy it here at £19.00 for 250ml.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning

Clarins are, hands-down, my favourite brand for facial self tanning products.  A lot of other brands break the skin out on my face, probably because they block my pores up and aggravate my sensitive skin.  However, these two products are non-irritating, give my skin a lovely natural golden colour and fade evenly.  

"This cutting edge self tanner has a refreshing, silky-smooth texture which is quick to apply and dry. From natural-looking honey through to a warm golden glow, skin is left soft, moisturised and protected against free radicals."

I generally apply fake tan about twice a week to maintain a slightly tanned appearance.  I don't like to overdo it as I find that a really deep tan can be ageing.  This Liquid Bronze formula is a light milk consistency and therefore, very little is required to cover the face/decolletage area.  It dries super-quick and has no tint to it so you're bed covers are safe!

You can buy it here at £17.50 with free delivery.

Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

This particular product is more of a balm consistency and my skin always feel so incredibly soft and smooth the morning after using it.  It gives a slightly darker colour than the Liquid Bronze lotion but I only use this product on my face. 

"The silky, lightweight mousse melts into the skin, for quick and ultra-easy application. Lines and enlarged pores are instantly smoothed away, the complexion is luminous and later develops a subtle healthy glow. With regular application, the tan intensifies, but always with a subtle, natural-looking colour result." 

The jar is smaller in size so it's more suited to facial application only.  Only a very small amount is required for each application and you are left with a gorgeous golden colour.  Highly recommended!

You can buy it here at £17.50 with free delivery.

Clarisonic Mia

I have finally joined the Clarisonic club!  What with me being a skincare junkie, it's incredible that I haven't tried this product before.

"Using Sonic Technology, Clarisonic’s patented micro-massage motion works within skin’s natural elasticity to gently remove the impurities traditional methods leave behind- leaving skin softer, smoother and more beautiful.
  • Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds
  • Works with skin, not against it, to gently massage away impurities trapped within pores
  • Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers
  • Gentle enough to use 2x a day".

I have to say that I normally use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleansing method but the Clarisonic device just gives that extra deep down cleaning sensation that I love.  Since I started using it about 5 weeks ago, I have seen a really improvement in the texture and appearance of my skin.  It feels like it is refining and fine-tuning my skin, making it appear more radiant and healthy.  It really is gentle enough to use every day and never feels scratchy or uncomfortable on my skin.

This Clarisonic is compact, great for travel and very easy to use.  I just apply my usual cream cleanser all over my face, then use the Clarisonic in circular movement over my skin.  It doesn;t take much time at all and you are left with skin that feels super clean, refreshed and invigorated.  I generally use it ever night before bed but it's also great for use just before you apply your makeup for really glowy skin! I love this!  

You can buy the Clarisonic Mia here for £117.50.

And if you are wondering how Decky is...well as you can see, after being introduced to Haagen Dazs ice cream, it's now a firm favourite of his! He has become very demanding and barks every time he sees the little pot!