Vintage hair & makeup: buying and trying right now

Vintage beauty reviews - matte red lipsticks, a retro hairdryer and Curlettes curlers

Thought I’d try a different kind of post today, partly because it’s been too cold to take outfit photos again, but also because I’ve been trying out some bits and pieces you just might want to know about…


Vintage beauty reviews - matte red lipsticks, a retro hairdryer and Curlettes curlers

As you all know, I found The One – the red matte lipstick to rule them all. And then Smashbox discontinued it after it having been on the market for just over a year. I’m not ashamed to say I cried. Would I have cried if I wasn’t a pregnant, hormonal mess? Probably. I really did love that lipstick. However, I do also cry at every single video about dogs on Facebook, totally regardless of what actually happens in the video. So, you know, this wasn’t a good time for the lipstick I’ve spent my adult vintage-loving life looking for to disappear, THANKSVERYMUCH SMASHBOX. I managed to pick up my last ever tube from eBay US, and it appears to have gone awol in the post and I can’t think about it without wanting to cry again.

Sigh. Rather than let myself dwell on my stinking luck I’ve thrown myself into the hunt again. The Smashbox lipstick had it all – the perfect colour, the longevity, the comfort – and I’ve tried my other liquid mattes again but none can hold a candle to my love for that one. The Sephora does come close, but the colour is just a little too cool and dark for me.

I’ve got a baby to buy all the things for, so I’m starting my search with all of the new budget-friendly options that have come onto the market since I wrote my round-up – and there’s lots of them! The first two I’ve tried are from Rimmel (Stay Matte in Firestarter) and Barry M (Matte Me Up in Paparazzi); you might have seen me wearing the latter on my Instagram stories the other day. I like them both but… they’re not It. The Rimmel comes closer – it has the better comfort and wear – the Barry M is still good for the price but it starts flaking after a long day (weirdly, both times I wore it I lost a patch on my left upper lip, which has never happened before and is pretty puzzling). But the Rimmel isn’t that bright, neutral red my Smashbox was, it has a hint of the blue about it. I keep hearing about Maybelline’s new one but I can tell two things won’t work for me about it: 1) the slight tacky finish and 2) the red looks too dark and cool. Can anyone help me with my new search…? And if you like good-priced cool-toned matte reds, definitely try that Rimmel.

Hair tools

Vintage beauty reviews - matte red lipsticks, a retro hairdryer and Curlettes curlers

I’m not going to lie, I bought this hairdryer solely because it looks so damn good and if I can’t have the Dyson (because I’m not a millionaire) then it might as well look pretty on my dresser. And it came in a case you can see here that looks just as good and had handy accessories like a teasing comb inside. My old hairdryer was really nothing special and I fancied an upgrade, but I’d been stung buying a very similar retro style hairdryer before by Babyliss that was about as powerful as a baby breathing on my head. That went back and I hesitated over this one but reviews looked good and hey, I’m a sucker for good packaging. Thankfully, this one is a much better dryer and performs just as well as my old one, which it swiftly took the place of. It comes in baby pink too, in case you’re as shallow as I am.

Also pictured are one pack of my new Curlettes curlers. I’d been waiting a while to try these – they’re all hand-knitted and therefore made in batches so mine took about 8 weeks to arrive. They’re essentially a way to get that tight, vintage curl set without pin curling, using rollers, or using heat. You just roll them in and sleep on them and the idea is they’re soft, so they’re a sleep-friendly alternative to wearing rollers at night. I already had a set of Rockin’ Rollers and I get along really well with these, but I find they take a while to put in because I have to pin each of the rollers to my head as otherwise they slide around everywhere. They’re also not the most comfortable. I’ve used the Curlettes (I have two packs) only once so far and they are less of a faff to put in than the Rockin’ Rollers as they don’t need pinning and they’re maybe marginally more comfortable. The curls were good, but I made the mistake of going out in the British weather of howling gales that morning and they all swiftly disappeared, so I need to test again. I’m happy to report back properly on these if anyone is interested?

So that’s what I’ve been trying this month and I’m currently eyeing up Ardell’s new magnetic half lash strips, after seeing Miss Victory Violet raving about them, and as I love my demi-wispies by the same brand (I’m wearing them in pretty much all my posts on here)… May just come back to report about these too!



  1. Alex
    March 21, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I would love reviews of these items! You always do honest and practical reviews, which I like although you have much more skills than moi!

    • CiCi Marie
      March 27, 2018 / 12:24 pm

      Aw, thanks Alex! Ok noted – I think the Curlettes deserve it for sure, they’re such an ingenious idea.

  2. March 22, 2018 / 1:37 am

    That is the hair dryer to end all hair dryers!
    I already have one that works perfectly fine…but it’s not baby blue or pink! (I am that shallow too. . . my hair straightener is white and black stripes with gold polka dots, because why not?)
    I hope your lipstick hunt goes well- that is so disappointing they discontinued it. At least you had it in time for your wedding.

    • CiCi Marie
      March 27, 2018 / 12:25 pm

      Yeah, mine worked just fine but who was I to resist an aesthetic upgrade?! I’m glad I had my dream lipstick for my wedding, but sad it is now relegated to my dreams :'(

  3. March 22, 2018 / 7:45 am

    I have the hairdryer in baby pink and love it! <3


    • CiCi Marie
      March 27, 2018 / 12:25 pm

      It’s actually really not a bad little hairdryer is it!

  4. March 22, 2018 / 9:03 am

    I’ve seen a few people talking about Curlettes… I’m *not* going to try curling my hair again, I’m *not*. I need to reread your post on creating volume instead!

    That hairdryer does look really cute.

    • Anna
      April 4, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Oh how cute is that hairdryer??? I feel a spend coming on…..

  5. March 24, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    Sigh. The hunt for the perfect red is real. One that my mum put in my Christmas stocking this year was Revlon Ultra HD Matte. I’m usually one for my go-to brands like Nars and Bite, but I tried it and was really impressed with the formula. I’m wearing it in this post: (though this is a bit dark and blue – they have brighter shades). It’s fairly velvety but has serious staying power. I’m going to try another color – cause it’s definitely easier on the wallet than some of my other favs!

    • CiCi Marie
      March 27, 2018 / 12:26 pm

      I haven’t tried that range so I’m going to take a look! If there’s a brighter shade who knows, I quite like the velvety ones 🙂

  6. March 27, 2018 / 6:50 am

    I’m laughing over the “as powerful as a baby breathing” description!! I had a new hair dryer for Christmas and it’s amazing how much a small power increase can cut drying time.
    It is annoying when they discontinue a favourite. I’m still mourning the besame mascara. I have a blog post planned on ‘5 crap mascaras I have recently tried’…

    • CiCi Marie
      March 27, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      I’ve never had a super decent hairdryer, so I know when I’m using a REALLY crap one, that’s for sure… I hear you about mascaras – I’m really dissatisfied with mine lately, I think they’ve either changed the formula or I’ve decided I spontaneously hate it… sigh.

  7. Nita S.
    May 21, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    I tried the Jordana sweet cream matte liquid lipstick a while ago and was so impressed that I bought another shade (the first one was rose macaron). It feels comfortable (not tacky) and the longevity is excellent, it lasted through my breakfast, though if you’re eating something oily it wouldn’t hold up to that. They have some lovely shades too, though unfortunately I found that the second one I bought (red velvet cake) was kind of patchy. Prices are quite reasonable, I was amazed at the quality at such a low price. Another good option is the Sascha lip velvets, though I doubt you would be able to find them easily in France. They’re a Caribbean brand, and the lip velvets are pretty well known for longevity and pigmentation. They seem to constantly be expanding the shade range so there are lots of options. Something to be wary of though, is because they’re formulated to work on darker Caribbean skin tones, the colours show up brighter on pale skin – which I unhappily discovered when I bought Leading Lady expecting a dusty rose and ended up with a bright pink shade!

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