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Thursday 12 October 2017

Look fabulous forever? Of course, darling.

This is a sponsored post - don't faint! But believe me, the opinions expressed, as you'll see, are 100% Mel.

My lipstick is getting down to the nub, one of only two lipsticks in my life to do so - so when I got the offer to test-drive some cosmetics from Look Fabulous Forever (LFF), based in England, I thought, what the heck? The products are cruelty-free and the company was launched by Tricia Cusden when she was 65. Right on!

I've been dabbling in these products since they arrived in mid-September. I had two big do's on my calendar, one a cocktail party, Silver Foxes and Vixens, for Fluevog shoes' new season reveal, and one, front row at a day of Vancouver Fashion Week, both of which would require heaps and heaps of cosmetics.

First up, the lip and eye primers. I decided to try them with my existing makeup as a control group; I already know how well/hard they are to apply/remove.

I love the shiny foil bubble pack for shipping

Existing problem: Migrating & hard-to-remove lip liner

I wear lip liner and lipstick almost daily and I can't stand it when my liner migrates. It's like my lips are the Amazon and the wrinkles around them the tributaries where many a British explorer has gone missing. It makes me think of the movie African Queen too. Yes. So my goal was to erect a little dam around my lips with LFF lip primer.

I admit, I didn't have high hopes - I know too well the supernatural attraction of lipstick to wrinkles, like red wine to shag carpet. I opened the package and traced the outline of my lips with the slender spongy wand, like the kind that comes with lip gloss.

These are all the products I received. This photo was taken after I had tested everything.

Test 1: Application

The primer is clear like gloss but slightly more viscous, which worried me
I always use matte lipsticks and liners because they tend to be dry - you almost have to scrape them off - meaning staying power in my mind. 
But this primer felt wet
I actually dabbed it with a tissue to make it hurry up and dry. 
And then I put on my regular lip liner.

Alarm! My matte liner glided waaay too smoothly over the primer. I thought, no way will my liner stay put on that. Already I was frantically wondering how I could write a review that LFF wouldn't despise. Too late now. I applied my lipstick and went out. Silver Foxes and Vixens, look out!

Photo courtesy of Judith of  blog/IG - Silver Foxes & Vixens party hosted by Fluevog.
Left to right: Judith, Judith's Handsome, moi, Su, Vancouver Barbara

That's what I wore to the cocktail party. The shoes are Fluevogs from the late '80s.

Well, I had far too much fun at the party to stay neat and tidy, so when I got home I expected a mess of clogged tributaries. And guess what? The dam held! No tributaries! No more lost explorers! I love you Mr. Allnut! (referencing the movie African Queen) Hurray!

Of course I didn't believe it - so I tried it again the next day.

Again, all explorers accounted for. Winner!

Test 2: Removal

Often the lip liner gets buried in the surrounding terrain and I have to stretch my face to get in there with olive oil for removal. The primer created a barrier that prevented my lipstick from leaching into those ditches in the first place. Removal was far easier. Brilliant.

Existing Problem: Stubborn-to-apply shadow that fades, then won't come off

With one success I was nervous to push my luck, but Vancouver Fashion Week was calling and my eyes needed major cosmetic doing.

You may know how I loathe removing eye makeup. For days after I wear it, I must go spelunking to dig out the runaway bits. So the eye primer would be another real test.

Test 1: Application

I dabbed some spots on each lid, again with a spongy wand applicator, and smeared it around with my finger. It's flesh-toned in colour, much like foundation. Then I applied glittery fuchsia eye shadow from my old stash, very stubborn stuff, which, !!!, went on smoothly and evenly. It was noticably rougher to apply in an area I had missed with the primer. Check. A+.

Off to the fashion show I traipsed in my sky-high black glitter platform booties.

Photo courtesy of Stella of IG @stellarpanagiotidis - Vancouver Fashion Week (she invited me)
L to R: Designer Giovanna Ricci, Model/Art Enthusiast Stella, moi, Ms. Canada Universal Tetyana Golota 

What I wore to VFW. I upcycled an oversized vintage tartan jacket into this little bolero.

Test 2: Staying Power 

Much eye candy ensued over the next four hours, but would there be eye candy all over my face or completely gone when I got home? I approached the bathroom mirror with trepidation. Gaaa! Everything stayed bright and right where I put it. Success!

Test 3: Removal

I pulled out my spelunking gear: olive oil, cleansing pads, and soap. I shut my eyes and hoped for the best. When I opened them again, my shadow had come right off. The primer sealed my skin to prevent deep-penetration of the shadow. Clearly this product is an absolute gem!

Problem: None - except for stubborn removal (now eased with primer). Playtime!

I received Sweet Pea, which is a frosty pink/violet, and Cherry Red. After applying lip primer, I did an ombre lip, with the outline and sides in Cherry and the centre part in the lighter Sweet Pea. Neither of these colours was matte finish so their creamy smoothness felt pleasant but unfamiliar. They also smelled like the lipsticks of my childhood. 

The frostiness of the Sweet Pea was unexpected; the online colour swatch looked matte, but when you click it, the pop-up photo clearly shows the sheen. Note to self: click the photo! But I was pleased with the soft, feminine look it gave me. Definitely, I can incorporate Sweet Pea into my outfit repertoire.

Both the Sweet Pea and Cherry Red also have a shine uncharacteristic of the mattes I'm used to wearing, but I enjoyed the change.

I used the lip/eye brush from LFF to apply the lipstick as a liner. 
It will take me a while to get the hang of, not because it's hard, but because I am not very patient. It may be worth the effort because the results are cleaner and more precise than my pencil.

Problem: None, except for stubborn removal (now eased with primer). Playtime!

I received Aubergine, Charcoal, and Cream powder shadows. Using my fingers, I applied the Aubergine to my lids and along the outer bottom lash line.

Then I applied Charcoal to the crease and bottom lash line, blending with the Aubergine. Using the cleaned lip brush, I lined my upper lids with Charcoal too.

Finally, the Cream I applied just under my brows and inside corners of my eye.

I am definitely not a great makeup artist, fearless maybe, but not pro.
And this is what the makeup looks like applied in my usual slap-dash manner. 
I took these photos in natural light with a black velvet backdrop. 
I'm not wearing foundation or face powder.

Pay no attention to the scraggy brows - I like them like that. And I added bloodshot to the eyes for extra drama. Heh. The mascara and brow eyeliner are both from my existing tool box, although LFF sells these products too.

And there you have it!

I'm wearing LFF makeup in the photo below when I went with my friend Vancouver Barbara to an exhibit of photo/conceptual artist Ian Wallace's work. She took this photo. She told me to look sad. Heh. Maybe it's the frosty lipstick that made me reach for these beige Missoni pants at the last minute, to complete this bad-ass-ish lady/man vibe going on. I like it! You may have seen this photo before.

Photo courtesy of @vancouverbarbara - taken at Rennie Collection

By chance, I went back to the gallery days later for an evening talk by the artist, and Barbara took this next shot while we were standing in line. I'm wearing all LFF eye makeup and Sweet Pea lipstick with red liner. 

The lipstick may be sweet/feminine, but it definitely works with a misbehavin' tower hair outfit as well. 

Photo courtesy of @vancouverbarbara - taken near Rennie Collection

My verdict
  • The lip primer and eye primer are absolute winners! Must-haves that solved many of my makeup issues.
  • The lipsticks are creamy and the colours are gorgeous. I shall definitely use them when I want to add softness to a look. I'll also wear them on top of my matte lipsticks for extra depth and shine.
  • The shadows are more powdery than the ones I am used to, the colours are beautiful, soft yet dramatic, and they have staying power. The Aubergine is a particular favourite and works well as a smudgy bottom lash liner. I would wear Cream on my lid with a primer base if I want bright eyes. 
  • The brush is a great tool for detail work, although I would want more than one so no cleaning is necessary when switching eye to lip. LFF has a range of brushes. This one was hardy.

My lunch-bag hand bag with the Cherry Red lipstick and charcoal eyeshadow

I felt like a scientist trying out these products, which was fun. When I was testing the lip primer, I kept asking my friends, how are my lips? how are my lips? are they leaking? Heh. If you decide to buy anything from LOOK FABULOUS FOREVER, I hope you like them too. 

And if you're struggling about how to apply your makeup, Tricia Cusden has a series of easy-to-follow makeup videos and other materials that should help. Me? Well, I'm always flying by the seat of my pants, BEIGE in this case! Or madly patterned too for that matter.


  1. Oh awesome! I've been reading a lot about LFF makeup lately, am going to have to give it a try!

    1. That's great! The primers were the true winners for me, but I have been wearing everything off and on since I got these products.

  2. I also have.problematic lips, so I only wear gloss. Now I know what to do and am truly thankful.
    Love your fabulous style, the coll outfit for fashion week , your menswear inspired look, and that fabulous ensemble hinglignted by that glorious sky blue fliuffy piece! Have a wonderful weekend. I have so much fun reading your posts,

    1. Thanks, Elle! This primer really, truly helped. I hope you have good results too. xo

  3. I love your review. So amusing and different from the usual beauty review! The makeup really highlights your gorgeous face.

    1. Thanks, Gail! I'm afraid I can't do a standard review. I would get bored and my blog is my creative outlet, so that would never do.

  4. Great post. I'd definitely try the lip-liner and lipstick. Does she have a retailer in Vancouver?
    And yes, dahling, you do look fabulous!

    1. No retailers in Vancouver, but they ship from their online store. I have to admit it took a while from England, not because of their company but the postal system. Bear that in mind when you order. I'd say it's worth the wait.

  5. A sponsored post which didn't require you to compromise or surrender any of your brilliant, creative sass! All the entertainment and fabulosity we expect with the plus of some advice at the cosmetics counter. Thumbs-up!!

    1. Thank you! You know how I've thought long and hard about sponsored posts and my blog's authenticity. It has to be on my terms, and I am thankful that I can do it.

  6. I usually skip sponsored posts (bored now!) but this was such a fun read, and of course I trust you, Mel. I have been using Prestige eye primer for about a year (it's lasting forever), picked up at London Drugs on super-clearance, and love it. I'm super-oily, so my eyeshadows tend to melt off after about an hour (so annoying!). I haven't experienced my lippies trying to run for the border (yet), so a lip primer is intriguing.

    Now, onto my jealousy of you going to the Silver Fox event at MY Fluevog store (I think I will have to gift it to you, though, now that we have one over here). I love your vintage (80s is vintage...and I die a little inside) 'Vogs! So much love for that picture. You looked shmashing at the AG event. Gawd, you're gorgeous...

    1. Thank, Sheila. That means a lot coming from you as a long-time blogger. The primers are amazing. The lip one really helps with my runaway explorers. I hope you don't have to buy that product for a while yet. Heh.

      I must graciously decline your kind offer of the Vancouver Fluevog store. By rights it belongs to you and L. Hahaha! I wish you could have been here for the party though. The Pims and tea drink was heavenly. Darling, we are ALL gorgeous. xox

  7. Flying and makeup applying by the seat of her BEIGE pants, Mel soared gorgeously into the sunset.
    xo Jazzy Jack

  8. Love that tartan top/jacket always and the black blazer. Proper lip & eye make-up is sooooo helpful. Especially with a red/wine lippy color!!!!! Those products sound awesome.

    1. That tartan is one of my all-time fave upcycles. I thought several times I had wrecked it, which of course only kept me going. The older I get, the more I consider products which to me in my youth seemed ridiculous. Yup. Payback, what a biatch.

  9. Lovely post, genuine and interesting!, I like to read some Real experience from somebody who is not a makeup expert, that's useful for a notoriously clumsy lady like me.
    I've felt very intrigued by that 'eye primer' product, and now I think that I have to test it by myself.
    (and hurrah for that Mr.Allnut reference!)

    1. You and me both, clumsy! The primer really helped with makeup removal. And, yes, I thought of you when I wrote the Allnut comment! Hahaha!! xox

  10. I believe you. And I will look into this brand. Don’t know it. Thanks Mel.

    1. I agreed to take this product on in part because I've seen so many other bloggers trying it out and loving it. I was worried about the smoothness and not being able to deliver a complimentary review. But it all worked out. Whew!

  11. You look GORGEOUS! and I, too, am using LFF and finding it wonderful. The videos are super useful!

    1. Hi Margy!! I know, it's good, right? Her videos are not only super informative, but I love her choice of models too. xox

  12. I'm loving the photo captioned, "and there you have it" You are so lovely!
    You are also trustworthy; that's huge!
    I will check out the brand. Jude

    1. Hi Jude, I should have squinched more in that photo though. Heh. I like the brand, Jude. I wore the primers and aubergine to another event last night - splendid. xox

  13. oooh looking fab Mel!

    Smart move by LFF in asking someone with integrity to try out their products - they must be super-confident and it seems with due cause! One thing I struggle with, is less the wandering lip thing and more a colour shift. I've always been prone to it - but it has got much worse with age. I start off with a nice cool toned lip product and it quickly develops warmth-to-outright-ginger tones. I'm looking for a blue toned red - but I end up with something copper-y. I wonder if this is just getting older thing?

    1. I've never heard of the colour shift thing, just the geographic shift. Does this happen even with mattes, the concrete of lipsticks? Maybe Tricia Cusden could tell you something...
      About the confidence, yes, they must be because I was super worried when the lipstick went on so smoothly over the primer. Maybe a primer sealant under your lipstick would work. I chalk up all unknowns to "getting older thing." Heh. xox

  14. Excellent review - both honest, and entertaining! I'd love to try the lip and eyelid primer as any eyeshadow I wear disappears into a line after an hour.

    Nice photos - your flat-lays are very well done, and you look like a style celebrity in the event photos (which you are, by the way).

    1. Thanks, Shelley! There's a tendency to enshrine sponsored products, but I don't have to do that because my entire life is a shrine. There is a seamlessness there. Hahaha!!! But really, what's the point if I can't write the way I always do? I suspect primers should stop that disappearing act.
      I'm learning how to "do" events without freaking out and feeling wretched when I get home. I think this is a good thing?

  15. What an in-depth review! I'm so clueless about make-up, I thought a primer was something you used when you were decorating the house.
    Looking like a total star in your out and about photos and the outfits you were were splendid. xxxx

    1. Yes, that's what I thought too, Vix. House, walls. But it definitely works for the face too. Who knew?

  16. I loved your reviews! They sound like a hit which is a relief as it would be hard to write a review if they were awful! I am loving the outfits you wore to the events and that picture of you sitting down is so pretty!!x

    1. I was so worried that the lip primer was a big fail, at least for a few hours. That's the thing about sponsored posts, right? But all the reviews I read in advance were so positive, by bloggers I know, so I felt pretty confident. Whew!!!
      Thanks, Kezzie. xox

  17. It's all so complicated, but you sure do look swell, Mel.

    1. HAhaha, yes, it is. I'm a slap-dash kinda gal but makeup just doesn't obey as well as it used to. Dang!
      Thanks, Pao. xox

  18. A sponsored post from you somehow gives me a real lift. I maybe didn't sell my soul to the devil after all! hahaha. No, what I really ought to be saying is that a sponsored post from you has real value as you don't run with these all the time. I've not heard of the brand, but suffer with migrating lipstick all the time and therefore it's definitely worth a try. You have a fragile beauty Melanie that wows me especially when you show photos like these. #girlcrush

    Anna x


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