The Quest for my Perfect Smile

There any many things I wish I had been better at in my 20’s. Taking my make up off every night (no matter how many cocktails had been consumed!), saving money, even considering my career more carefully. Perhaps those subjects can be addressed in future blog posts. But another area I probably neglected was dental care. It’s hardly the most glamorous side of beauty but OMG is it important. To state the obvious, you only get one set of (adult) teeth. Not only are there massive health implications of not caring for your mouth but cosmetic and financial too (even NHS charges for dental work can be astronomical!) So when Sensodyne contacted me offering to make me part of their Pronamel campaign it inspired me to share the steps I take in my quest to keep my smile healthy (and mine is far from perfect, so it is a work in progress still!)

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Brush, floss and use mouthwash daily.

Hardly revolutionary I know. But the choice of products is really important to me now. Gone are the days when I simply buy the cheapest option available and now I pay attention to the ingredients and benefits of the product just as I would with skincare. I reviewed a toothbrush a while back (here) and am still using this now (having replaced it 3 monthly of course!) The Pronamel products sent to me by Sensodyne have also been added to my list of favourites and I have repurchased them multiple times. The mouthwash is the first one I’ve used that doesn’t make my gums feel like they are on fire while still feeling effective and tasting minty fresh. As for the toothpaste, it is the first one I’ve used for sensitive teeth that actually tastes decent and doesn’t feel like you are brushing your teeth with powder. The enamel protecting formula clearly works too as at a recent trip to the dentist I was complimented on my enamel!

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6 monthly dentist appointments.

Yawn right?! But if you want your teeth to look good when you do yawn, that is how often you need to go! My dental practice now allows you to book appointments six months in advance meaning I can make my next appointment each time I visit, and pop it in my iPhone diary so that I don’t forget to turn up!

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Use straws!

Even supposedly healthy drinks can damage your enamel and so many have the tendency to stain. Now, I have not researched to see if using a straw to drink from definitely helps but it seems logical right? I’ve even been known to sip coffee through a straw (be careful with this one though!) but generally I use this method for drinking fruit juices and smoothies.

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Look after your lips.

Because your smile is not just about your teeth. I’ve spoken about my favourite lip care products countless times on my YouTube channel and here on the blog but here’s a quick reminder. The ELF lip exfoliator is the best I have found for the price and smells amazing. When it comes to lip balm and treatments I recommend a lanolin based formula, especially for those with dry and sensitive skin. My favourite are Dr Lipp and Lanolips.

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Flattering make up products.

It’s well known in the beauty world that a blue toned red lip colour does wonders for making your teeth look whiter.  Favourites in my collection include Mac Ruby Woo (a classic) and Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red (also a classic).

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Is it really a dupe? Maybelline Colordrama Lip Pencil vs Primark Velvet Matte Lipstick Crayon

One of the most satisfying discoveries for a make up fan is a dupe; a product from a budget friendly line that is almost an exact replica of your favourite high end/luxury make up item. With that in mind, last year I decided to start a series here on the blog called “Is it really a dupe?” I can’t pretend to have discovered many dupes myself – most of my knowledge on this subject comes from taking advice from other blogs, YouTube channels, magazines and friends! In this series I usually test and compare two products widely hailed as a luxury product and it’s more purse-friendly dupe. This time I am proud to say I found this dupe myself while having a rummage through my make up collection. It might have been previously coined as a dupe, but I am yet to read/hear about it:  ‘Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Nude Perfection’ vs ‘PS (Primark) Velvet Matte Lipstick Crayon in 09’.

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The Packaging

Both simple and sleek, both easy to store and both with the handy feature of displaying the shade on the outside, there really is not much between the two products when it comes to packaging. Both need sharpening, and I personally prefer lip pencils with the ‘twist up option’ but that is no deal breaker for me. It is worth noting that the Primark lip pencil contains 3.5 g of product compared with 2.5 g in the Maybelline but you would still get plenty of applications out of each nevertheless (I for one have never finished a lip pencil!)

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The Product

Looking at the hand swatches you might think me crazy for suggesting the Primark lip pencil as a dupe. Both nude perfection from Maybelline (shown on the top in the three photos above) and the less imaginatively named 09 shade from Primark can definitely be described as matte nude shades but as you can see, the Primark product takes on more of a ‘pinky’ tone compared to the brown undertone of the Maybelline counterpart. BUT once applied onto the lips I think you will agree you can’t tell the difference! Of course this may vary depending on the natural colour of your own lips but on me the two shades look almost identical. As for the formula; each has it’s own pros and cons. I found the Primark product applies more smoothly and is creamier, whereas the Maybelline drags a bit on the lips and can cling to dry patches. However, the Maybelline is more pigmented so needs less layering and has a slightly better lasting power.

The Price

I am well aware that this is not your standard dupe post seeing as the most expensive of the products is still very affordable at £4.99 (Maybelline). However, the Primark option comes in at only £2 so is less than half the price and contains a whole extra gram of product. If you buy a lot of make up savings like that can add up over time! And with the Primark lip pencil equalling, if not surpassing, the Maybelline in quality it is a saving not to be sniffed at.

The Verdict

Is it a dupe? Yup.

 

 

Previous ‘Is it really a dupe?’ posts

Mac Painterly Paint Pot vs Maybelline Crème De Rose Color Tattoo

Mac Candy Yum Yum vs Maybelline Fuchsia Flash

 

 

Is it really a dupe? Mac Candy Yum Yum vs Maybelline Colorsensational Fuchsia Flash

One of the most satisfying discoveries for a make up fan is a dupe; a product from a budget friendly line that is almost an exact replica of your favourite high end/luxury make up item. With that in mind, I have decided to start a series here on the blog called “Is it really a dupe?” I can’t pretend to have discovered many (if any) dupes myself – all my knowledge on this subject comes from taking advice from other blogs, YouTube channels, magazines and friends! So in this series I will be testing and comparing two products widely hailed as a luxury product and it’s more purse-friendly dupe. This time; Mac matte lipstick in ‘Candy Yum Yum’ vs Maybelline Colorsensational lipstick in ‘Fuchsia Flash’.

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The Packaging

Candy Yum Yum from Mac comes in the well recognisable and classic ‘little black bullet’ packaging. Well designed, easy to use and perfect for ‘flinging’ in your handbag. The only downside for me is that because most Mac lipsticks come in the same packaging you can’t identify which colour it is unless you look at the base, which can be a little irritating if you have a large collection. The packaging of Fuchsia Flash from Maybelline is completely different so clearly not designed to replicate the Mac packaging. I think you can tell it is a less expensive brand from the appearance but nevertheless I love the shape, colour and feel of the packaging. It also has a very satisfying ‘click’ on closure which means its nice and secure so that you don’t have to worry about it causing a mess when it finds it’s way to the bottom of your handbag!

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The Product

In the bullet the colour of these two products is definitely a close match. If a bright and bold neon fuchsia colour on the lips is what you are after then you will love either product. Once swatched onto the back of the hand the main difference between the two products becomes apparent; the finish. The Mac lipstick (on the right in the photo) is completely matte whereas the Maybelline is more glossy. The colour still looks almost identical but can you really call this a dupe when the finish is so different? Once on the lips the difference in finish becomes even more obvious in my opinion (Mac is applied to the top lip in the photo) but again the colour is so similar. In terms of wear, the Mac formula doesn’t budge for hours even when eating and drinking. The Maybelline formula doesn’t hold up too badly, but definitely needs reapplying after a sip on a drink or a few mouthfuls of food. However, because it’s more glossy the formula feels more nourishing compared to the slightly drying feel of the matte Mac formula. Most people have a definite preference for either a matte or ‘non-matte’ formula and I think this difference in finish might be a deal breaker for those looking for a true Candy Yum Yum dupe.

The Price

I bought the Maybelline lipstick in Asda for just £5 during a special offer. I’ve seen it in Boots selling for £6.99, but you don’t have to wait long for Maybelline to be in a 3 for 2 promotion. The Mac lipstick sells for their standard price of £15.50 (unless you risk it on eBay) so clearly there is a big jump in price between the two products. I personally think both lipsticks are worth paying their respective prices for. Fuchsia Flash may not be an exact dupe due to the difference in finish, but I’m glad to have it in my collection as a glossier alternative to Candy Yum Yum. When worn together they also look fab!

The Verdict

Is it a dupe? Kind of.

If you have any requests for products you’d like me yo try out and compare, do comment and let me know…