Paraben-ormal Activity!

I’m lucky enough to have avoided most skin issues; I get penny sized patches of eczema here and there on my arms and spots of rosacea when I have a cheeky drinky. And of course I have my cold-sore companion creep up. But my skin is pretty unreactive to chemicals (apart from, you know, hydrochloric acid…but I think that’s a universal skin quality).

I do know people who’s skin responds to certain products by becoming the texture of a leather handbag! I received a request to do some recon by a fellow Sassy Spoonie on Wednesday night!

Person: I DUNNO WHAT A SPOONIE IS.
ME: Keep your hair on! CLICKHERE!!!

She asked me about paraben-free concealers because she was in the market for an under-eye cover-up but couldn’t go to the market! So I took up the challenge…beginning with actually finding out what the finelinesandwrinkes a paraben was!

I found that parabens are preservatives found in most beauty products and are also used in some foodstuffs. Considering the amount of controversy there is about parabens (links to cancer, links to hormonal adjusting of skin chemistry, links to pretty much everything which is rather scary that you wouldn’t think of when putting things on your body) I’m surprised I haven’t heard of them before! Only a small percentage of the population has a paraben allergy but those who do react really badly; redness, soreness, skin sensitivity, swollen glands, fever, stomach upset if ingested. All rather uncomfortable stuff and considering make up was supposed to do the opposite of that, in my estimation, I paid real attention!

Now knowing what I was looking for and why it is important to some of my Chronically Sassy ladies (not to mention other folks) I hit my usual haunts for some swatching!

I ain’t cheap when it comes to my makeup but I certainly ain’t gonna shell out for all the concealers in the world so I went fresh faced and clean armed to try some out! I stuck to high street rather than high-end; being a Spoonie is already incredibly expensive so I don’t wanna cause any one else an extra expense just because they want a little glamour in their life!

To start; Primark, PoundLand, H&M, Makeup Revolution, Sleek, MUA …the majority of the cheapest brands on the high street; they all contain parabens in their concealers. I think this goes without saying: Something that costs you £1 is going to be all-filler-no-thriller. The lower end of the market, this was probably a bit foolish place to start!

That’s not to say that an inexpensive paraben free option didn’t present itself! So let’s start there!

NewLook has a bargain make up range. This concealer was £3.99. And contained extra Vitamin C which is perfect for rejuvenation so if you have any broken capillaries around your under eye circles then this is an extra bonus!

I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re a bit of a panda like myself as the coverage is mighty sheer! But if you’ve only got some mild discolouration then this is for you. The colour range in my NewLook store was quite limited but given the sheerness of the product I don’t think that would be an issue really. It has got some buildability but eventually you are putting a cheap product on top of a cheap product and it can look a bit chalky.

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The second cheapest concealer was All-In-One from The Body Shop at £8.50. This came in a solid retractable stick with the moisturising gel in the centre and it came in 4 shades.

I was surprised to find that even with a gel core for moisturisation this concealer had some really good coverage and it was incredibly moisturising and softening on the skin. When blended in it was smooth and it didn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.

Getting into the more expensive areas we have Topshop concealer for £10. Following suit it was just like the others and completely paraben free however it came in a blass bottle with a plunge system for getting the product out. No I know I don’t have to use it but I am picky so bear with me; I want something that gives me just the right amount of product without any of the clean-up or waste and this didn’t allow for that.

The product is heavily pigmented and it is incredibly thick which is awesome so you don’t need a lot of it. The delivery system gives you way too much. The product itself did have some serious sticking power however it took a very long time to dry and when it was dry it was very drying. This is coming from the perspective of somebody who already has quite dry skin but if you have oily skin I think it would be a good shout.
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The final paraben-free Corrective Stick concealer I tried was from Vichy’s collab with Derma Blend. It was the most expensive by far coming in at a staggering £15. Derma blend specialises in cover-up make up for tattoos and serious scarring and this concealer presents itself as one with the best coverage.
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The product is thick, the product is buildable, the product is wearable. The colour selection is marginally Ltd even the lightest shade at the smallest amount to much orange for spot checking but for under eye circles I can imagine it being perfect. The product boasts an SPF 30 and protect against UV rays so flashback might be an issue if you’re taking/photographs but the benefits greatly outweigh those negatives; I don’t wander around with 100 W flashlight on my foreheads trying to pick out the titanium oxide levels in your make up!
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There are loads of other paraben-free options out there. This was a quick nip around my local stores to show how easy it is for you to pick something up when out and about without wasting those spoons traipsing from shop to shop.
Other brands include Lord & Berry, Tarte, NYX and Stila. These brands are only available at select boots and Debenhams stores but you can look on their website!
I hope this help’s you Sassy Spoonies and Sultry Sista’s alike get to grips with some paraben-free concealers.
Want me to do some leg work for you; leave a comment about a product you’re not sure about!
Laters!

Happy To Live In Sin

I held out for as long as I could but it was no use! I had to have it!

The Urban Decay Vice4 Palette now belongs to me, part of my ever reproducing collection of things! My make up is somewhat like the Daleks, when it feels an enemy is near (Mr Panda with a garbage bag) it shall seek to assimilate -all objects around become make-up- and exterminate –all the money in my purse is destroyed by make-up.

I am no fool, I understand that resistance is useless…until The Doctor arrives, I am a slave to a higher power. And so Urban Decay won out after months of defiance, Vice4 takes pride of place on the makeup go2 for my eyes and I couldn’t be happier!

I nabbed it from Debenhams for a staggering £43 (No shade; it’s worth it!) and I opened it to find it stashed in this too-cute black and holosexual zip-case with the words “Beauty with an edge” on it!

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The palette is a raised, green/pink duo-chrome web with the word VICE (as if I needed reminding of why I should be attending Make-up’s Anonymous) on it!

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It comes with the usual UD duel ended brush.

Can we talk about that for a second!

 

Urban Decay… is there a national sortage on bristles or something? I’ve seen thicker hair on a naked molerat! Sort it out!

Anyway- if I had bought this palette for the brush, that would have been irresponsible…! So back to the subject at hand!

Vice 4 is a beautiful mix of nudes, brights, shimmers, satins and neutrals and, actually, I would say perfect for a beginner whom wants to invest in high-end thanks to the range of colours and textures!

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Swatchy time!

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Next! If you’re a newbie at creating looks or putting colours together then Vice kinda does it for you!

I swatched the colours into columns (working in the palette rows) and that shows you complimentary colour combos. Go across these swatches (working down the columns of the palette) you can see some gorgeous clashing colour combinations!

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Of course if you’ve a wicked rainbow princess the you can rub this palette on your face and it will still look beautiful!

It took a while to commit myself to this palette due partly to the price tag and also due to my nostalgic adoration for Barry M. But now that I have it you couldn’t part me from it…sorry Barry, it’s been fun but sometimes a girl’s gotta stretch her wings and fly away with some high-class billionaire. I gotta taste of the good life…but we can still be friends? Every birthday, kids disco and Christmas when only Fine Glitter Dust will do?

Say! If you’ve read this far I should let you in on a secret: I’m having a giveaway on my instagram of some items from the Rosie for Autograph make-up line to celebrate reaching 400 followers. It’s international too so follow me @Todayspippa on Instagram to be in with a chance of winning!

Blink and You’ll Miss It! 

Michelle Keegan is beautiful in my opinion and, as seems to be the trend, has blossomed enough for a make-up company to snap her up to advertise something! I harbour a little bit of envy for her, to be honest, and who wouldn’t? The girl is hot, with a hot man and a hot lifestyle (many many Marbella holidays).
Enough of my girl-crushing, let’s talk product!

I was doing my usual procrastination on YouTube (because that’s how you earn a degree) and up MK popped up with a new Revlon mascara!

Revlon have created an easy-to-shop line of mascara’s, each colour coded for a different look. And I chose the All-In-One with the red top; volume, length and colour!

The packaging is really pleasant; the tube is matte black and the lid is lipstick red. It sort of resembles a dry marker. Not appealing to all but there is something distinctly pleasing about the reminder…possibly the smell? Which, while I remember, is actually quite strong! I don’t think I would want to accidentally stick myself in the eye with the brush.

However the brush is so dinky that an eyeloke wouldn’t cause too much damage. And it narrows at the top which means you can reach every lash but the bristles are few and short. This sort of affects the separation of the lashes somewhat so they seem to taper groups of them to points. However! If you have a lash comb then that shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

The product is thick and has fine fibres through it which gives a lot of volume! And it is super black creating a really classic, glamorous look!
I took this pic come the end of the day and there was no flaking or smudging after 5 hours wear and that is a major plus in comparison to other drugstore mascaras I own!

All in all this is a winner…and if it brings me closer to being Michelle Keegan, I am completely on board!

Get Your Glow From Downtown

I used to think I had a bouncing baby face…correction, I used to have a bouncing baby face because I carried a large amount of puppy fat. I do still have some spectacular tweekable cheekables but they have evolved into something a little less beachball-y and a little more adorable. This is what happens when you give up binge eating Cadburys mini-rolls kids! Preserve some cheekbones, don’t abuse chocolate; treat it kindly with a glass of wine to wash it down!

Where was I? Oh yeah! Tackling the moon-face will probably always be a curse of mine because I’ve been blessed with wide cheeks, wide jaw and wide forehead for all of Nasa to see. Capturing the angles with the camera was always my method of choice until I discovered contouring!  And from contouring…I discovered strobing; some new-fangled trend that I am yet to dedicate myself to in the day-to-day. Think contouring in reverse. In response to this trend or perhaps the other way around, high end brands have begun churning out shimmer after shimmery shade of highlighter to bring out the more edgy edges of your visage. Call me tight but I am loathed to shell out £30!!! for a trending product no matter how desperate I am for a cheekbone that rivals Ange in Maleficent! Judge all you want! A girl’s gotta eat…and this girl can’t live off own-brand miniature chocolate rolls! Gimme the good stuff!

So while some more dedicated (and probably a tad more well-off) make-up gurus are investing in Anastasia Beverly Hills Gleam and Glow palettes, I went on the hunt for something a little less bankrupting! Imagine my joy when I found a remarkable dupe from my guilty pleasure Makeup Revolution! I give you the Highlight and Radiance palettes. Jumping out at me like gold bullion from the stand for a mere £8 each from Superdrug; Yup! That’s for me!

The Highlight pallet features three shades more on the cold end of the colour spectrum and I mention it first because it is undeniably my favourite! They don’t have names for themselves but I couldn’t resist giving them some of my own!

 

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L-R: Tchaikovsky, En Pointe, A.Pavlova

 
So the first is Tchaikovsky; so named because he wrote the score for several of my favourite ballets…you’re going to notice a theme here VERY quickly. Tchaikovsky is a yellow-toned ivory with a gold shimmer.

En Pointe is next because I think it is the exact same colour as a pair of brand new satin pointe shoes. It is a near to neutral nude with a peach shimmer.

A. Pavlova (so named after the Prima Ballerina…or the dessert…I’m not picky but I am hungry) is a cool pink with a rose gold sheen and this, by far is my favourite from my favourite palette of the two! I loved it so much that I did a random make-up look just so I could use it as much as possible! Here I use it on my cupids bow, nose bridge, brow, cheekbones and on the inner corner of my eye. Simply can’t get enough.
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The powders are smooth and don’t clump but, I have to admit, they’re not as fine as a high end product…I’m not complaining. I believe in layering so I wasn’t put off by the fact that I had to apply the powder twice to get some extreme pay off. But I don’t think you’ll be wanting such a strong appearance for every day wear as this anyway!

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The Radiance palette is something I see being perfect for the summer time but, for whatever reason, it didn’t sit as well on my skin in either colour or texture as the other. I guess for the sake of not appearing biased (THE OTHER PALETTE IS SO MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL AND NICE AND I AM GOING TO WEAR IT SO MUCH) I will have to name the colours in it to…they’re not going to be as inventive, I warn you.

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L-R: My Skin But Better, Barbie Flesh, Slutty Skipper

So! First we have My Skin But Better. And by this I mean I am not entirely sure if it’s just a translucent powder with a hella lotta mica in it. It really is just the tone of my skin but with a healthy sheen.

Barbie flesh is next. It is a lighter, cooler nude with a satin pearly finish.

Finally we have Slutty Skipper. It is a warm honey shade with a satin gold sheen which I think is probably my favourite but I’m not gonna be wearing it for another few months as it’s quite tan whereas I am channelling my inner Casper the friendly ghost and am so pale that I practically glow in the fricken dark!

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The feel of these are more talc-y and I felt the application wasn’t as smooth as it could have been with powder clinging to dips and fine hair all over the show…and I’m not exactly sporting much bum-fluff on my face!

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The one thing I will say about both is that there is a lot of shimmer in them. The aim is for it to be fine but any fallout is gonna have a bit of a sugar-plum fairy effect so watch it! I, personally, love glitter in all it’s forms so I relish in that extra sparkle I leave behind every hand shake!

So here they are in a row!

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Daylight without flash.

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Daylight with flash.

If you’re low on funds and still desperate for an attempt at the strobing trend, this is a perfect alternative to ABHs!

See you anon,

P

Kisses Like Sugar! 

You recall the bubblegum from Venus Lush lipstick Passion that I reviewed a while ago? Well here’s something to get your sweet tooth aching even more! From the people that brought you the shade of choice of the triple breasted hooker in Total Recall, I bring you some more lip goodies that will have you licking your lips so vigorously and salaciously that no Martian…Venution? Alien! That no alien will be able to resist!

Lush Cosmetics released their Valentines Day lip bits just in time for the weather in Portsmouth to turn a teensy bit more frightful (I’m from Scotland; I have no idea why people are so bundled up…isn’t it still summer!?). My lips respond to this minor change in temperature by drying up like the harsh, cratered surface of an unterraformed planet. Not to be caught off guard by such things, I nabbed some stuff to beat the cracks into submission and ensure my smooch-pillows stayed as snoggable as possible (yes…I just called my lips smooch-pillows…I have gotten over the embarrassment of that and so should you!).

 

Ooft…ain’t no kisses happening here!

I nabbed The Kiss lip scrub made by Tomek, your friendly neighbourhood Lush buddy:
A combination of caster sugar, sea salt and cocoa butter with red edible hearts and a pink “glimmer lustre” (I didn’t really see that part personally but there was a little pink tint to my pasty wasteland smackers after application!) It contains Sicilian mandarin and almond essential oils and smells and tastes like strawberry fricken candyfloss! Yummy!

I’m skeptical of the purpose of the edible hearts other than the fact they are super duper cute!  The scrub is gentle and sort of tickles, I like to apply it to my lips with my ring finger and rub it across the skin in circular motions with the tip until I can’t resist just sticking out my moist tongue and tasting…this is beginning to sound a bit too erotic. I have very sensitive lips; remember that time I made us both feel uncomfortable when I called them “smooch-pillows”? Ha! Yeah! That was…mortifying…but it shows you how delicate they are! It’s just not an abrasive scrub. I’m not sure if it was because I needed to put it on again or because I loved the sensation but it certainly didn’t do my lips any damage to reapply! And that time I rubbed my lips together instead of using my finger and pouted like a living sour patch kid, before lapping it off like a happy space puppy! The Panda watched; The Panda was bemused.

Thanks to the cocoa butter and essential oils there wasn’t much need for any further products…but I wanted to apply some anyway! Plus they were still a tad on the super dry side after the very awkward and lopsided 3 mile walk The Panda and I took! So I popped on some Buttered Brazils lip balm lovingly created by Shida which contains Brazil nut butter, obviously, but also dark chocolate of all things! Yummy! AGAIN!

 

It’s got a grainy texture at first and then rubs in to being super moisturising without being sticky!

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Totally smoochable smooch-pillows!

It wasn’t necessary but I shoved on this Body Shop Born Lippy Balm in strawberry (a common purchase for the last 13 years or so because it literally tastes like strawberry laces) to give my lips a little more of a rosey glow!

Behold! My newly terraformed, plump peckables are all luscious and ready for any thing! Like my Plum-Plum Girl Rouge Velour from Bourjois!

 

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I think I’ve used so many food themed products on my lips that you could literally eat my lips! I’m off to find me a xenomorph egg, get me a facehugger!

Yeah… that’s the xenomorph queen getting off with an MIB agent…this stuff exists, don’t ask me where I find it (look at the link) but this actually exists!

Polish that Chrome-don’t!

Disclaimer: You can tell by my wratchet cuticles and lack of nail real-estate, that like to chomp my nails to pieces and I am not a fan of manicures…and if I do anything to my nails then it is expensive and nail ruining acrylics! You’ll see my dedication to these procedures by the fault lines on my nails! I built this chrome rose city on rocks that roll. So bear that in mind as you read through this blog! ONWARD!


Hey there guys and dolls!


I went for a little splurge a few days ago and nabbed some bits that I never really go for…nail bits! I am all mouth so my claws don’t need much prep…which is good because their isn’t much to prep in any case!


I have a confession to make; I find rose gold cosmetics undeniably sexy! It began with my Naked 3 pallet by Urband Decay…and has progressed from there. There is something about that innocent pink with that inner glow of gold and shimmer that just reminds a girl of post-candlelit coitus perspiration.


BUT I’m still waiting on a certain eyeshadow piece to arrive before I can spritz some sensual dew over the interwebs so we’re gonna explore something different today!


Nail polish!


This is Models Own Chrome Rose polish which I snapped up for £4.99 at Superdrug!



Let’s talk packaging first! It’s massive, and heavy, and thick and super-duper shiny! One might even say ‘chromey’. To be fair…it is as close to chrome as the polish is going to get but we’ll get to that in a sec. The bottle itself is the embodiment of the model stereotype…all style….veeeeerrry little substance! The bottle is completely opaque but the polish is super duper light so I’m tempted to say (without upending the lot into a measuring cup) that we have some blubber thick glass to contain the 11ml dribble of product. The bottle coulda easily been narrower and taller but I’m guessing it needed to be a plus size to accommodate MODELS OWN stamped all across the front! I’m being picky possibly…but wait; There’s more!




The reason it could be narrower and taller is partly due to it then being able to accommodate a brush more suitable to normal nail application! This is a really wide brush and SUPER stumpy so it’s really awkward to see your nail beyond the lid of the polish and it’s really difficult to get precise coverage without rose gold plating your cuticles and fingers in the process!



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To the product; in my completely unprofessional and inexperienced opinion, I appreciate the polish itself being highly pigmented meaning one coat is all you need HOWEVER it takes on the texture of the brushstroke which a gel topcoat didn’t really blend away. Though pigmented, the product is thin and sinks into every nook, cranky and dent so make sure you don’t have a single chip…or, you know, unbuffed ghetto dents from your old acrylic sets!



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Colour wise this is more of a rosy bronze than a rosy gold HOWEVER that completely depends on how like your rose metallics. Whatever metal it is, it’s rosey! It’s more a shagged out Beyoncé glow than a shagged out Jennifer Lawrence glow. But she’s not bent over the chrome exhaust of a triumph motorcycle. The high shine isn’t really there. It’s more of a metallic than a chrome even with a high shine gel topper. Not that I expected a MinX style finish but certainly more of a gloss. This dries to almost near matte!




Let us compare. The fore and middle finger nails are two layers of a metallic polish by O.P.I without a top coat and they are almost exactly the same as the MO nails with a top coat. If not even shinier! Then pop on a top coat and HOLY HELL, MARY GOARN BLIND!



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Perfect example of you get what you pay for…and I don’t buy nail polish. The O.P.I was a gift! So even that phrase doesn’t apply! Ha! You get what other people pay for…said every mob wife ever!




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I think the pros outweigh the cons on this one for me so I wouldn’t buy Models Own polish again.



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And so I didn’t feel like I wasted all my time I popped on some pink rhinestones because I’m AWLLLL about the blang blang!

I Think She’s a Pippa Ever So Pink!

Oh my dearest spoonie gods…you torment me with ailments that I must sleep through like the dead and then raise me up like a zombie! I look like one, I smell like one and, given my appetite, I proceeded to eat like one with fury and gnashing teeth! Omnomnomnom! I have passed my waking time watching BBC dramatized versions of The Chronicles of Narnia from the late 80’s and much stroking of the catten!

Yesterday I managed to get out and about to do a spot of shopping! It was fantastic! People, fresh air, being upright. Never underestimate the ability of small things to make one feel alive! I took a saunter into Lush for a wee scout around thinking I would do a wee expo on how to make your lips look fantastic in winter! Myskin has been a bit greasy so my lips haven’t needed much tlc so my best of intentions turned into a bit of a swatching session!

A swatching of this.

This. THIS. Let us talk about this colour for a second. I can’t even…it’s like pink bubblegum from Venus; look at the cool toned shimmer! It’s Passionate. Made by the loving hands of Bianca and 50% off at Lush. Who am I to say no? I was close when I saw the use by date of October THIS YEAR!

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But what the hey! I love you guys, I love make-up…I have just got to dedicate myself to this colour for the next few months! So I said yes! Yes yes yes! It smells waxy, for lack of a better word. It’s all product and no perfume which I like because I know the pigment isn’t diluted by trying to make the product smell like a bed of roses. That’s what the other shiz I bought is for…but more on that another time!

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The applicator is one of those sponge tips which is perfect for thesmooth formula to glide on! The weird non-functional dropper-top thing came off mine which is good because the wider rim made application a like a game of hide and seek with my Cupid’s bow, but was bad in the way that the applicator was the size of my pinky finger…

AN APPLICATOR FOR ANTS?!

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My T-Swizzles meant that using this made for a lot of resting and wrist pain! Ain’t no body got time for that! So I think next time I will switch to using one of my make-up brushes. Also… can we talk about product gains? I felt I had to dip-double dip- triple dip to get a decent amount of product on the applicator! I see me taking out that infuriating stopper and decanting the whole thing into a pot because you really can’t get enough on the damn stick!

The beautiful and chipper sales assistant described it as a stain. But it was so moisturising on application (seriously, like room temp butter on bread) that I didn’t really get the feel of a stain? The coverage was smooth and I doubled up the layers to get a stronger payoff and then waited….and waited…and waited for this stain effect. Then I got bored and wanted to drink something so I blotted it twice. BOOM!

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It’s a matte liquid lipstick; colour me surprised…and pink. We discussed the pink didn’t we? Let’s die a little bit more over it shall we? Truly put a nail in the coffin?

Yup! Ready yourself St Peter, I’m coming up fabulous and ready to repent! Unsurprisingly this came off super easy with soap and water and no scrubbing! But it stuck on through a whole session of yoga and a pint of smoothie! And it didn’t make my lips into two slabs petrified wood! So aside from the applicator being the size of a baby’s finger and the stingy amount you get from one dip in the bottle, Lush have nailed a liquid lipstick!

I. Am. In. Love!

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