Category Archives: beauty

NARS Guy Bourdin Promiscuous Lip Pencil Coffret

NARS Promiscuous Lip Pencil set

I think I might end up on Santa’s naughty list this year. Not only did I treat myself to an Origins Mask Marvels gift set a couple of weeks ago, I’ve also bought another gift for myself, this time from NARS.

Say hello to ‘Promiscuous’, the Guy Bourdin/NARS Lip Pencil Coffret. I’ve loved NARS lip pencils ever since buying a Velvet Gloss pencil in Mexican Rose back in January, following up with the deliciously deep red matte Cruella a few months later.

NARS Guy Bourdin Promiscuous gift set

When I spotted this limited edition gift set, featuring four Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (Cruella, Sex Machine, Dolce Vita and Never Say Never) and one Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil (New Lover), I knew I couldn’t leave it to chance that it might appear under the Christmas tree.

The pencils come in a black make-up bag with a set of Lulu Guinness-esque electric blue lips on the front. At 1.8g each, they are approximately three quarters the size of a regular NARS lip pencil. Given that one full sized pencil alone costs £18, getting five almost full-size products for £30 is an absolute bargain.

Despite this, I was a little sceptical that all the shades would suit me, but I needn’t have worried as they are all absolutely beautiful. Want one for yourself? Here is a breakdown of what you get…

NARS Guy Bourdin Lip Pencil set 1. Dolce Vita, 2. Cruella, 3. Sex Machine, 4. Never Say Never, 5. New Lover

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine

A pinkish nude and very creamy to apply – this is the most neutral shade of the bunch. I naturally have quite pigmented lips, so the photo doesn’t quite do this shade justice, but if you like natural lips with a slight shimmer then you’ll love this shade.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Cruella is such a rich, deep red with a hint of oxblood. I already own a full-size version of this (you can read the review here) and I love it, so having a smaller version to stash in my handbag is ideal.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never

This rogue of a colour is the surprise favourite for me. From the packaging I was expecting a shimmering bubblegum pink but Never Say Never is a beautiful lilac raspberry shade. It glides on like a dream but leaves a perfectly matte finish in its wake. However, unlike the other shades in this set, I’d recommend wearing foundation or tinted moisturiser with this as it can accentuate any redness in your skin.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Docle Vita

Part rose gold, part red brick dust, this is a lovely warm shade with orange undertones. It’s not a ‘wow’ shade like Cruella or Never Say Never, but rather a shade that could be worn anywhere for any occasion – ‘your lips but better’ as the saying goes.

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover

The glossy crayon of the set, I was apprehensive of the packaging as it looks like a pearlecent peach with gold flecks, but is actually a beautiful pinky peach on the lips. It has a shimmer finish and isn’t as long lasting as the matte pencils, but is great for a subtle bit of shimmer.

I purchased Promiscuous from the Space.NK concession in Harvey Nichols Bristol. It’s since sold out there but it’s worth hunting down in your local Space.NK as they’re exceptional value for money and are great for experimenting with new lip colours.

Have you tried any of the NARS lip pencils before and are their any NARS goodies on your Christmas list?

NARS lip pencils and make-up bag

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Origins Gift Sets: Mask Marvels review

Origins Mask Marvels gift set

The time has come to talk about all things Christmassy, and I had honest intentions to put together a Christmas gift guide for all things beauty… but then I cracked and bought some of the things on my list (though not the Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm or Jo Malone fragrance, for any friends and family listening!). So instead of adding to the numerous gift guides already out there, here is a review of these scrumptious ‘Mask Marvels’ from Origins.

Mask Marvels costs £25 and is made up of three 75ml masks, which is great value when you consider that one full size product would set you back £22. The set is compact and comes in pretty, festive packaging and while it’s not quite stocking filler size, it would make a great gift for under the tree this Christmas, unless, like me, you can’t bear to wait that long…

Drink Up 10 Minute mask

A lighter version of the popular Drink Up overnight mask, this can be applied and removed after a soak in the tub. It has the same consistency and a similar, if lighter fruity scent and soaks in quickly to the skin. I actually leave this to soak in completely because my face gets so dry and tight, particularly at this time of year, but for anyone with normal or combination skin, 10-15 minutes should be enough to hydrate and soften – perfect for a mini pampering session and happily it’s great for sensitive skin, too.

Drink Up Intensive Overnight hydrating mask

This hero of a product is the reason I bought the set in the first place. Whenever I go for an Origins mini facial, this mask is used and for parched skin like mine, it’s so hydrating and makes a huge difference to my skin for several days after application. The scent is a mixture of mango and apricots and although I’m not usually a fan of heavily scented skincare, this smells good enough to eat!

As the name implies, Drink Up is designed to be worn overnight. If you’re worried about it transferring to your pillow, simply apply the mask half an hour to an hour before you go to sleep and the majority of it will have sunken in to your skin before you turn out the lights.

Clear Improvement Active Charcoal mask

For me this is the rogue of the set. My skin is incredibly dry so clay based masks like this one aren’t part of my usual skincare routine. I hadn’t tried the mask before purchasing the gift set but was advised to stick to my t-zone when using it.

It’s a lot messier than the other two masks, though part of that is perhaps down to the murky grey colour. After using it a couple of times, my skin does feel clean but also a little tight, so if you suffer from the same fate you might want to consider giving it to a friend with normal to oily skin instead.

Have you tried any Origins masks before?

NB This gift set is currently sold out on the Origins website but take a look in your nearest House of Fraser or Selfridges and you might be in luck!

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August Beauty Wishlist: Origins, NYR and Benefit’s Countdown to Love

August Beauty wishlist
Clarks Trade Fair  bag / Accessorize black cat hat / Topshop cream blush / Benefit rose blush / Rimmel matte finish lipstick / Neal’s Yard Remedies beauty balm / Origins Drink Up mask / L’Occitane body moisturiser Origins Drink Up mask / L’Occitane body moisturiser

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that my house has been a bit of a disaster zone recently. The long story involves leaks, concrete and an ill-advised trip to Italy. The short story involves builders and large chunk of savings disappearing into my kitchen ceiling.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve suddenly been confronted with a serious spending ban, but enforced frugality is making me seriously crave a shopping trip, and just when I can’t have them, I want ALL THE THINGS.

The things specifically being beauty treats that I’ve had my eye on for a while, such as the Origins Drink Up mask and Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm. As the history books say, when a country dips into a recession, smaller luxury items like lipstick fly off the shelves – perhaps turning to beauty is a miniature way of making me feel better about spending a small fortune on stainless steel and grout.

Speaking of miniatures, I’ve also been obsessing over the Benefit Countdown to Love advent calendar, not pictured, ever since I saw it on Jane’s blog yesterday morning. A shiny new Benefit mini every day for (nearly) a month, can you imagine!? It’ll be appearing in shops on 2nd November, on sale for one day only, and the only place you can by it in Bristol is Debenhams – see you at the Benefit counter?

Also on my wishlist this month is the divine Trade Fair black leather bag by Clarks – there was also a scarlet red version of this bag last season which I’m scouring eBay and charity shops to find – and a cat ear bowler hat. I’m guessing a quirky item like this has already featured a lot in blogland but it’s just so cute. Looking at it would also take my mind off calculating the amount of time I’ve spent in B&Q/Ikea/Homebase/Wickes in the past four weeks, therefore it’s a totally justifiable purchase, yes?

What’s on your shopping wishlist this month?

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Festival Fashion: Beauty Essentials

Festival beauty essentials

The words ‘festival’ and ‘beauty essentials’ may not sound like a match made in heaven, but if you’re going to Glastonbury this weekend (or Leeds, Bestival, WOMAD or similar in a few weeks time) then you could do worse than packing this lot…

Origins Perfect World Moisturiser – It doesn’t have to be Origins, but a rich moisturiser will do your skin wonders and help protect against wind and rain. Apply before bed to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night. If you’re prone to oily skin then opt for a lighter product – points for wearing one with an inbuilt SPF.

Simple Cleansing Wipes – Bring baby wipes for hands and general body cleaning, but don’t forget dedicated facial wipes as these are designed for the delicate skin on your face and will also be better at removing make-up and glitter.

Hair grips – Pick a packet of these up from Boots, Superdrug or similar and your hair will thank you. From pinning your hair in Heidi style braids or keeping a headscarf or hair garland in place, a handful of hair grips will serve you well at a festival. Bring more than you need as hair grips have a tendency to disappear very quickly…

Batiste Dry Shampoo – A travel size helping of dry shampoo is a festival beauty essential, especially for longer events like Glastonbury, where you’re unlikely to be showering for five days. Please try to avoid washing your hair under drinking taps at festivals – there are often very thirsty people waiting and queues can build up really quickly. Wash your hair the morning you set off, keep it fresh with a spritz of dry shampoo and bring hats and headscarves to help disguise any grease!

Carex Hand Sanitizer – This is a no-brainer product to bring with you. As well as using this after the dreaded festival loo visits, make sure you rub a bit into your hands before applying makeup or moisturiser to your face, to avoid transmitting germs and dirt.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Protection Cream SPF 50 – I have pathetic skin when it comes to sun exposure (according to the packaging of this sun cream the technical term is ‘sun intolerant skin’) but make sure you pack a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25, even if the weather forecast is predicting rain. You never know what can happen with British weather and burnt skin at a festival isn’t fun!

Neal’s Yard Remedies Aloe Vera Cooling Spray – If you do get burnt then after-sun cream or spray can help to soothe your skin and ease that ‘burning’ feeling. This spray is light and smells delicious thanks to the lavender essential oils it contains.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara – I’m not one for wearing a lot of make-up at festivals – it’s a hassle and the warm weather can dry out liquid based products – but a sweep of mascara can help perk up tired eyes. I know there have been mixed reviews about Benefit’s They’re Real! but I love it for giving longer, un-clumpy lashes, so it’s made it’s way into my festival make-up bag.

Vasline Lip Therapy – A neutral lip balm like this has so many uses at a festival, from keeping lips chap-free to preventing blisters on your feet (yes, really) just make sure you was your hands before applying, otherwise the pot could become a hotbed of germs.

WH Smiths gold glitter pot – A festival wouldn’t be complete without a little frivolity, and glitter is a fun way to channel that. Apply liberally around your eyes or on your shoulders or hands using the aforementioned lip balm – apply a light coating of Vasline Lip Therapy in a semi circle around your temples and cheekbones and pat the glitter over the top with a dry finger.


Do you have a festival beauty routine or any tips you’d like to add? If so comment below!


Filed under beauty, festivals

Origins Clean Energy cleansing oil

Origins Clean Energy cleansing oil

My skin is not feeling particularly happy right now. If anything I’d say it’s distinctly sad, a tad maudlin and, like everyone’s favourite depressed donkey, Eeyore, a bit down in the dumps. I’m the owner of perpetually dry skin. As a teenager this translated to crystal-clear skin without a spot in sight, but as I get older my skin will wrinkle and line quicker than someone with oilier skin, boo!

Since January my face has been even drier than normal so over the last few months I’ve built up an arsenal of different skincare products in a bid to help it, one of which is Origins Clean Energy, above.

After having sampled this cleansing oil during a couple of Origins mini facials at Bristol’s House of Fraser, I decided to invest in a bottle of my own a few weeks ago. Unlike the cleansers I tried in my teens, when I knew little about skin types and thought a St Ives apricot facial scrub was the hight of sophistication, this cleansing oil is a lot gentler and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry.

The mix of sesame, sunflower and safflower oils is surprisingly light and not at all like cooking oil, which is the consistency I’d expected before I first tried it and pleasingly, doesn’t really smell. Personally I think there’s nothing worse than skincare products that have a synthetic or overpowering smell to them.

Clean Energy costs £19 plus £1 for a pump, which I’d recommend buying as it’s much easier to use than pouring straight from the bottle. I use a small pump of oil once a day and massage it into my face and neck before rinsing it off in the shower. If I wore make-up more often I’d probably use it in the evenings as well as it’s supposed to double up as make-up remover, though I’ve yet to put this to the test. I follow this with Neal’s Yard facial oil (I wasn’t joking when I said my skin is seriously dry) and E45 moisturiser and while my skin hasn’t snapped back to the way it used to be, it’s certainly calmed down.

Have you tried a cleansing oil or oil-based products before? And are there any other skin saviours you’d recommend for dry skin? Let me know in the comments!


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Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Did any of you follow the recent #bblogger Twitter chat about lipstick? As a relative newbie to the world of lip colour, I participated with interest and noticed that, alongside Mac, Nars was one of the the most popular high-end brands, receiving rave reviews for their lip products.

I found myself nodding at the computer screen – earlier this year I bought my first Nars lip pencil in Mexican Rose shade. While I was busy debating what shade to buy, choosing a texture didn’t really crop up. It was winter so I gravitated to the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil, figuring be less drying than a matte product.

After receiving a Nars makeover at the recent Harvey Nichols blogger event, the brick red shade I tried stuck in my mind, so a couple of weeks ago I went back to buy it. Typically, I couldn’t remember the name of the shade I’d tried, so after several trials with a very patient Space.NK. consultant, I settled on Cruella, a devilish matte red that I’ve worn pretty much every day since I bought it.

I’ve swatched it, below, but given the deep, blood red shade, it does look ever so slightly like I had an accident with a kitchen knife – apologies for that! Cosmetic gore aside, I find the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil very satisfying and easy to apply – very much like a child’s crayon, and it’s more resilient than the gloss finish.

Unlike the raspberry pink shades I’ve gravitated towards in the past, Cruella doesn’t require any other make-up to make my face look polished – result! The sticks cost £17 each so they aren’t the cheapest, but if you’re looking for an ‘investment lip product’, if such a thing exists…

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil swatch


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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Origins Facial | Rock The Week

  • Magpie nests. On Monday I went to the launch of a new pop-up shop on Gloucester Road, The Nest. A teeny weeny shop packed with local designers, jewellers and cake-makers, the shop is the the brainchild of Magpies & I, better known for their markets around Bristol. The shop is open until next Friday so pop in and say hello to owner Sian if you’re in the area!
  • On Tuesday I treated myself to a belated birthday mini facial from Origins. Based in House of Fraser, Cabot Circus, I’ve been a frequent visitor to Origins for a couple of years now and given how dry my skin has been recently it appreciated the attention. Give it a try if you have stressed out or sensitive skin – it’s the perfect post-work pampering treat : )
  • This week I also finally posted about the fact I’m on Instagram now. I’m still getting to grips with it but I have lots of questions in the post about how you use it, so please have a read and tell me how often you use it and who your fave Instagramers are!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…


Filed under beauty, Rock The Week

Harvey Nichols Blogger Event pt. 2

Harvey Nichols goodie bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

On Thursday I posted about the first half of the Harvey Nichols fashion and beauty blogger event that I went to on Saturday, and today I wanted to write about the beauty hall, where the 12 of us were spoiled rotten with pampering mini treatments.

After our presentation of key spring/summer trends we were let loose  on the ground floor. Walking in a gaggle past perfume counters and make-up stations, it felt like a very fashionable school field trip, with Press & Marketing Manager Nada having organised a fantastic programme of events for everyone.

I was treated to a hand and arm massage at Jo Malone, a mini makeover from Space.NK. and a shape and polish at the Nails Inc Champagne Bar.

Although I’m familiar with the latter two, the Jo Malone experience – a guided tour of each fragrance, customising scents by mixing two together – was totally new. Each cologne (all the scents are unisex) sings with rich notes, from Earl Grey and Cucumber to Orange Blossom, Wild Bluebell and Red Rose.

A lovely Jo Malone representative guided me through the scents before picking out a hand wash, moisturiser  and cologne that would complement each other, before massaging my hands and arms. I left feeling supremely relaxed and am sorely tempted to treat myself to a cologne – if only I could narrow my favourite scent down to just one!

Jo Malone cologne | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Next up was Space.NK. where Fiona guided me through a myriad of skincare and make-up products to help my dry, sensitive skin. As a make-up artist she was friendly, calming and full of knowledge and enthusiasm. She introduced me to Nude, Kevyn Aucoin and the Nars lip pencils I’d been eyeing up on my last Space.NK. visit.

After Fiona had worked her magic, the finished result – a light base and brick red lips – was perfect for me as it wasn’t too heavy but it toned down my red skin. As if a massage and mini makeover weren’t enough, I was also treated to a shape and polish at Nails Inc, and I plumped for a teal green shade.

Unfortunately the photos below, taken after the event, are the only bits of evidence I have of said manicure, as it only took a few hours before I’d chipped half of it off!

At the risk of gushing because I won a prize, below, and walked away with a bulging goody bag, thanks to Nada for organising the event and all the Harvey Nichols staff who spent time with us on the day. It was great to learn more about the individual brands that Harvey Nichols Bristol stocks and I look forward to my next visit.

Maroon maxi skirt and leather jacketNails Inc manicureHarvey Nichols blogger prize

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Filed under beauty, Cabot Circus

Bristol Blogger Meet at Cabot Circus

#bbmeet goody bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Let me preface this post by saying that although I’ve started it with a whopping great big photo of the goody bag I received at Saturday’s Bristol Blogger Meet, or #bbmeet (yeah, it’s got it’s own hashtag, and what?), this post is about more than the goodies…

The weekend was one of the most fashion-packed I’ve had in ages, and it kicked off with the Bristol Blogger Meet at Cabot Circus on Saturday. After having a cheeky morning massage at the Sanctuary Spa in Quakers Friars, I hotfooted it over to Frankie & Benny’s to attend the meet, organised by Sasha and Alessia.

River Island dress and Topshop coat | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Jen from Head of Feathers | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Above: My outfit for the day; River Island dress, Topshop coat, Sweaty Betty leggings, M&S socks and Zara boots and Jen from Head of Feathers with her impressive goody bag

I bumped in to Jen and Grace on the way in and we took a seat at one of two tables filled with bloggers from across the South West. As with events like this, it was a hive of chatter, activity and LOTS of cameras, and although I didn’t get to meet everyone, I did chat to Gina and Carly – and preceded to kick myself for not ordering pancakes and bacon when I saw her breakfast arrive!

Bristol Blogger meet cameras | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It was so nice to making new blogging friends and see old faces, and I think everyone who attended will agree that Sasha and Alessia did a terrific job of hosting the event, not to mention putting together the heaviest goody bags ever!

Blogging shouldn’t just be about the freebies – they are a perk of attending an event, but not an essential ingredient, especially from a blogger meet, so it’s always nice to take home a few goodies – from press releases and samples to nibbles and sweets (always a winner with me).

As a result, I don’t normally wax lyrical about the contents of said bags, but thought it only right to share some of the products here.

My #bbmeet goody bag* contained:

  1. Samples of Blinc eyeliner and mascara
  2. Aroma Squeeze Me lavender and bergamot stress ball
  3. Benefit Fine One One lip and cheek trio
  4. nspa Hot Cloth Polish
  5. Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil hand & nail cream
  6. The Little Bubble Co. Mango Delight shower gel (just seen)
  7. Gardenia of London Lavender & Sweet Pea body spray
  8. A selection of Metique Tea Tree Oil samples
  9. Xen-Tan Luminous Gold Gel
  10. The Vintage Cosmetic Company eyelash curlers
  11. Red glitter bow hair clip from Jen, aka Head of Feathers
  12. A selection of samples including Glam Glow Youth Mud, Vichy Deep Cleansing Gel, derma e cleanser and Aime Cooling Clay Mask
  13. Makebelieve Enhance Luminize Skin Highlighter
  14. Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil night cream + Moroccan Argan Oil day cream (not seen)
  15. Avène Cleanance Gel
  16. DGJ Organics Berutti Oil
  17. Skincare samples from La Roche-Posay and Vichy
  18. A hand written thank you note from Sasha and Alessia.

Phew, that lot should keep me busy for a while! Thanks again to Sasha and Alessia for such a fun afternoon. If any of you attended and I didn’t get a chance to meet you, please feel free to leave a link to your site in the comments, or come find me at @ShipShapeBF.

*I’m not sure if all of these products will suit my skin, so any samples that I wont use will be donated to Give and Makeup – if you have any unwanted new or nearly-new hair and beauty products, check them out as your unwanted goods could make a real difference to other women.


Filed under beauty, Cabot Circus

Neal’s Yard Remedies mini facial

Neal's Yard Remedies mini facial | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

When I won a voucher for a mini facial at Neal’s Yard Remedies for coming second at the #SWBXmas quiz (along with teammates Laura and Fritha) I was chuffed to bits. I love NYR and have used their products for years. When they hosted their first ever blogger event in their Bristol store I was there like a shot, eager to learn more about a brand that has earned it’s ethical stripes.

Typically I have good, clear skin but recently it has become stressed out, more dry than usual and I also suffered from a bout of eczema in January, a skin condition that hasn’t bothered me since I was a child. It’s left my skin itchy and has really dented my confidence, so the prospect of a facial last Saturday (with gentle, organic products) was like a song to my ears.

First up was a cup of ‘Love’ tea and consultation with Melissa, who was brilliant and talked me through each product that she selected for me, based on my answers to questions such as skin type etc. Although the facial took place on the shop floor, she positioned my chair so that the we had a little privacy and got to work. Melissa started by cleansing my skin with the Wild Rose Beauty Balm – a cult NYR product that I’ve always wanted to try. It can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser and face mask and at £37 it doesn’t come cheap, so I might have to add it to my birthday wish-list.

To complement the beauty balm, Melissa used a rose serum and rose facial oil, as well as a rich Vitamin E and Avocado night cream (yes, my skin is that dry) which all smelt divine. I was also treated to a gentle facial massage. Have you tried facial massage? I’ve been reading quite a lot about it recently – how daily massage with a facial oil or moisturiser can improve skin tone and circulation – it’s something I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t quite gotten round to.

After the massage my skin was woken up with a spritz of invigorating White Tea Facial Mist and I was free to wander around the store. I didn’t feel under obligation to buy and Melissa was kind enough to give me a few samples to take home. Mini facials at NYR Bristol do need to be booked in advance, but I would certainly recommend giving it a try – my skin felt soft and nourished all day and the staff were so friendly and welcoming.

For more information and to book a facial visit Neal’s Yard Remedies, 126 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2RP or check out their opening hours here.


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