PRIMARK PS… Workout Make Up

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When I ‘accidentally fell’ into Primark in January they, like most shops at that time of year, had all the workout gear right at the front of the store. Amongst it, the PS Work Out No Sweat make up range caught me eye. I don’t necessarily put on a full face of make up for the gym, but I like a little bit of coverage to keep the redness at bay, and am always on the look out for a decent waterproof mascara anyway. I have already filmed a first impressions on the products and you can find this on my YouTube channel (here), but here are some more detailed thoughts now that I have given all the products a decent trial.

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As I mentioned in the video, this was my first dalliance with a foundation stick. It works best worked in with your fingers to warm up the product and get a good blend. One layer will give you a very light coverage and doesn’t conceal much (if any) of my redness. It is buildable but starts to feel a bit thick and pore clogging (if that is a phrase) after the second layer. However, there is enough coverage in the powder that I can get away with one layer of the foundation. As you can see, the shade is yellow toned ivory and pretty much in line with other ivory offerings from various drug store/high street brands. The sweat proof claim really holds up and this is what has impressed me most about the product. But despite this, it is no more difficult to remove at the end of the day which gives it more bonus points. On the down side it doesn’t have longevity in the coverage. That sounds contradictory with the sweat proof claims, but I find if I have put the foundation on at the beginning of the day has already faded quite a bit by the time I leave work and head to the gym. There also seems to be a very limited shade selection (I’ve seen three). All in all though, a bargain at £2.50.

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The powder, also at only £2.50, has been the stand out product of the three for me. It even made it into my February Favourites video. It provides just enough coverage to wear alone for a gym session and is incredible for keeping me matte and surviving the sweat! I’ve also found it suitable for dry skin which is a plus for any powder product. My habit lately has been to wear my regular work make up and then pat this on my face just before an evening gym session to keep the beetroot face and shine at bay! Down side? Same as the foundation stick – there seems to be limited shades (again, I have only seen three).

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The mascara has been the most disappointing of the three. Price wise it is in line with the rest of the range at only £2. Unfortunately that is where the praise ends for me! The formula is really dry and difficult to work with. This made it quite messy to apply and I usually had transfer to my upper lid when wearing this, despite the dry formula. Once on, it does seem to stay in place throughout a workout but it is an absolute nightmare to remove at the end of the day. In short, there are better waterproof mascaras out there that are worth paying more than double the price tag of this for, so this has been left rattling around in my make up drawers and not really touched after a week of use.

 

 

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Disney Princess Collab – Rapunzel at Halloween

Over on my YouTube channel I’m lucky enough to be involved in a collaboration series where a group of us create a make up look in a certain theme, and upload on the first Friday of each month. Currently we are working our way through the Disney Princesses and for October some of us decided to throw a Halloween twist into the mix. I’m no make up artist and special FX make up is something I admire, but have never attempted. I am also sensitive to a lot of the products used in such make up looks so decided to use items from my existing make up collection to see if I could create a spooky look without buying any new products. It is therefore (hopefully) easy for anyone to recreate. This month we had the choice between Rapunzel or Merida (from the film Brave).I decided to base my look on the ‘Once Upon A Zombie’ Rapunzel to give it that Halloween edge…

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Why am I chatting about this on the blog if it is a YouTube project? Well, after spending almost two hours creating and filming my look, the video footage was faulty! So here I am sharing my pictures of my final look, along with a list of all products used. If YouTube is also your thing, make sure to check out the other ladies’ looks – linked below.

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Products used…

Primer – Dr Feelgood, Benefit

Colour corrector – Above & Beyond full coverage concealer in green, NYX

Base – Radiance BB Cream in very light, Rimmel

Concealer – Pro conceal & correct pallete, Freedom

Powder – Translucent loose powder, Shisheido

Brows – Tame & Frame tinted brow pomade in Espresso, NYX

Eye shadow – Scandaleyes eye shadow stick in Witness White, Rimmel. Soft Touch shadow pencil in Trash, Nars. Urban decay shadow in Alien. Trio eyeshadow in 318, Barry M

Lashes – Scandal false lashes, Primark

Mascara – False lash effect, Max Factor

Liner (used as bottom lashes) – Awesome double flick liner, Make Up Revolution

Contour – Mono eyeshadow in Killer, Make Up Revolution

Lip Liner – PS lip liner pencil in 19, Primark

Lipstick – Atomic lipstick in Make it right, Make Up Revolution

Stitches – Lip liner in 11, Barry M

Clare’s look is linked here

Leah’s look is linked here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Makeup Revolution: Fortune Favours the Brave – worth the hype?

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Typically, when there is a lot of hype around a new make up release, I like to wait until the excitement levels have died down, read or watch plenty of reviews, and then decide if it is a bandwagon I want to jump on. When Makeup Revolution announced the Fortune Favours the Brave palette in collaboration with British Beauty Blogger, I knew I needed it straight away! Why? The brand has to be my favourite budget friendly line, and I am a huge fan of Jane’s (i.e. British Beauty Blogger) posts, so the two combined had to be a match made in make up lover’s heaven. Many people obviously felt the same as Makeup Revolution even released the product a few days earlier than planned due to high demand. Being nearly a month since the palette was released, reviews are ‘two a penny’ but I wanted to get plenty of use out of mine before I posted an opinion.

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At £9.99 the price is in line with the rest of Makeup Revolution’s range (in other words very affordable), and for that you are treated to 30 shades in a variety of finishes (matte, glimmer and sheen according to the website). I like that the packaging stands out from the rest of the range, and is smart yet practical; I love a big mirror in a eye shadow palette! You also get a brush, which I’d say is of better quality than the average ‘free’ brush, but I still far prefer using my own selection, especially for blending. The colour selection is great. Something for everyone I’d say. A decent number of matte neutral shades, gorgeous jewel tones and some really dramatic shades in a variety of finishes.

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On first impressions, the quality of the shadows are certainly of the high standard I’ve come to expect from Makeup Revolution; great pigmentation, easy to blend and hardly any fall out. The swatches above are all just one swipe without any primer, so as you can imagine, they perform even better on the lids on top of any primer. After trialling the whole palette for a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed there is some variation in quality between the shades. The lighter matte colours are great for a transition shade, but I’ve found when used to create a look by themselves, the lasting power could be better. The lighter more shimmery shades also work best in combination with other colours within the palette rather than alone or with the other lighter shades, but this could be down to my fair skin. However, where this palette really comes into it’s own is when used to create a more dramatic look. The darker shades, jewel shades and medium toned shimmery shades can be used to make beautiful looks, especially for when you are ‘going out out’! And when built up in this way, the look will definitely last all night. To see the palette in action you can check out this video on my YouTube channel, or my Instagram feed.

Overall, I wouldn’t call this palette a perfect all rounder. I have other palettes in my collection that I would use over this for the every day looks, especially if you favour matte shades for your day time eye shadows. However, if you are a fan of dramatic eye looks, this is a winner, especially if you are on a budget. Sadly, at the time of writing, the palette is out of stock on both the Makeup Revolution and Superdrug sites (surely a testament to it’s popularity!) I’ve been reliably informed it will be back in stock soon so if you are keen to add it to your collection, I’d recommend joining the mailing list or keeping a close eye on social media so that you don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

 

Is it really a dupe? Mac Painterly Paint Pot vs Maybelline Creme De Rose Color Tattoo

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 (if any) dupes myself – all my knowledge on this subject comes from taking advice from other blogs, YouTube channels, magazines and friends! 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 Painterly Paint Pot’ vs ‘Maybelline Crème De Rose Color Tattoo.’

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The Packaging

Mac Paint Pots come in the brand’s immediately recognisable chic and understated packaging and aesthetically I have no complaints. The Maybelline Color Tattoos appear to have been designed to emulate the Paint Pot packaging but with, in my opinion, a less sophisticated look. However, I find the Maybelline packaging much more practical; the lid is flat which makes it easier to store turned upside down so that you can see the shade without having to rummage, whereas the Paint Pot lids are domed meaning they have the tendency to roll around. You get 5g of product for your money with the Mac product and try as I might, I couldn’t find any reference to the weight of the Color Tattoo anywhere on the product, or online! Just gauging by eye though, it looks as though the Maybelline packaging might contain slightly less product, as the packaging is not as deep.

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The Product

The Mac Paint Pot in the shade Painterly (shown on the right in all photos) was the first product of its kind I owned. Mac describe them as a highly pigmented cream eye shadow and I’d say that is a pretty accurate description. Maybelline, however, describe the Color Tattoos as a gel-cream eye shadow but with finger dipped into both products if there is any difference in the texture, its almost impossible to tell. Crème De Rose is not an exact colour match for Painterly but pretty close as you can see. Even though Maybelline call this shade matte I would say it is not quite as matte as the Mac offering, which shows in both the pot and the hand swatch. Worn on their own I find both these products have the tendency to crease after a few hours, but to me these are best worn as a base for eye shadow given the neutral shades. For this reason, I have brushed some eye shadow over the hand swatches in the last photo and both products make the shade more vibrant than when worn without a base. In fact, if anything the Maybelline formula does a better job at this. That’s because once dry, the Color Tattoo has a more tacky feel to the Paint Pot. On the down side, this can mean shadow requires slightly more effort to blend than when worn over the Paint Pot. Both products make your eye shadows last all day. Maybelline claims to last 24 hours but I can’t verify that as I have never had make up on that long!

The Price

So far there has been barely any difference in the products but the price is where they do vary. The Paint Pots come in at £16 whereas the Color Tattoos will set you back around £4.99 and are often part of a 3 for 2 offer. Even if the Color Tattoo does contain less product, it’s hard to argue with that saving especially when the results are so similar. I love my Paint Pot but if I ever use it up and want to replace it with a similar shade, I’ll be happy to go for the cheaper alternative.

The Verdict

Is it a dupe? Good enough for me!

 

 

Previous ‘Is it really a dupe?’ posts…

Mac Candy Yum Yum vs Maybelline Fuchsia Flash

Nars Audacious Mascara – review

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I’m definitely a drug store mascara fan. I find that you can get amazing results from plenty of budget friendly brands and that means it’s often not worth spending the extra money on high end mascaras. Even more so as mascara is the product that I repurchase the most because I try and stick to the recommended 3-month expiry date (which is usually how long a mascara lasts me anyway if I’m using it every day). Back in the early 2000’s I had a few high end favourites (you can hear more about these on my YouTube channel here) but other than a brief fling with Benefit’s They’re Real, since then I haven’t really felt the need to splash out on a more expensive mascara. That was until an email from Space NK dropped into my inbox back in September announcing the launch of the ‘Audacious’ mascara from Nars and I couldn’t resist a cheeky purchase!

At £21 the ‘Audacious’ mascara is around the price you would expect from a luxury brand. It promises “extreme volume, extreme length, extreme control” and claims the “exclusive lash-catching brush intensifies with every layer, over 200 hooks and bristles guide a silky formula from roots to tips with full precision”. Mascara is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ product; we were all blessed with natural lashes of all shapes and sizes, and therefore have different wants from a formula. So, in this post I will let you know what I loved, liked and loathed about the product so that you can make your own mind up about whether it is worth a try for you!

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First things first, the packaging. I love the way it is in keeping with the rest of the brand packaging and the matte effect of the mascara tube means you can get a really good grip when applying (I’ve lost count of the amount of times a mascara wand has sprung out of my hand when a brand uses the more standard glossy finish). However, the matte effect also means it gets grubby really easily, just like the blushers from Nars.

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Onto to the wand. With so many mascaras on the market now and having tried a pretty huge selection out myself, it’s not often I come across a wand that is very different from others I’ve used. However, this one had me a bit surprised! There are four rows of ‘teeth’. Each row has smaller teeth at the tip which get bigger towards the centre, and then tail off again. In addition there are tiny teeth dispersed between the larger ones. The material is also really flexible and the main body of the wand itself is ever so slightly curved. In other words, this wand really ‘grabs’ each lash with ease and makes the mascara an absolute doddle to apply. I bought mine online (from the Space NK website) which shows the wand to be coloured red. To me this seems a little pointless as it is always covered in the product so you cant tell.

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So what about the formula? As you can see from the photos above just one coat makes a dramatic difference in terms of the length. If your natural eyelashes are very short, and it is length you are after this may be the mascara for you. Personally, I love a bit of volume and I don’t think this delivers from that point of view. Once layered, I also found the formula became a bit ‘clumpy’ for my liking but if you like the ‘spidery lash’ look you can layer this up and it does make your eyes look bigger. It was very easy to remove at the end of the day with my normal eye make up remover (unlike the Benefit They’re Real which is why I gave up on that) but I did find that after a long day at work it had started to flake.

Overall? This may not be a regular repurchase for me but if you are looking for a lengthening mascara with dramatic results and like a mascara that is quick and easy to apply, this may be worth a look. Let me know in the comments your thoughts on this product if you have given it a go…

High End Beauty at Marks & Spencer

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Over a year ago I noticed that Marks & Spencer had upped their game in the beauty department. Gone are the days of Lavender hand cream and bath salts, and instead (at least in the larger stores) you can find a decent selection of high end beauty brands (and some more budget friendly too). More recently the available selection seems even better and it’s great place to shop for brands that can be otherwise difficult to come by unless you are lucky enough to live near a Space NK or Selfridges. I will list the full range of brands available at the end of the post, but I’ve picked a make up, haircare and skincare brand that interests me to demonstrate just how great Marks and Spencer can be for beauty obsessives!

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I’ve loved the handful of Stila products I have tried so am keen to try more. The brand is pretty easy to find online but what if you want to handle and swatch the products before you buy?. Yes, you can find it in some Boots stores but in those I’ve found it, they seem to stock a limited selection. My local M&S has the full collection. My favourite products are the ‘One Step Correct’ primer and the ‘In The Light’ eye shadow palette. I’d love to try the liquid liner. Let me know of any other Stila recommendations in the comments!

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I only recently discovered the brand Mio and it was by accident when I happened upon a free sample. I fell in love with ‘The Activist’ firming active body oil so purchased it when I had the chance to go into a Space NK (you can find a haul on my YouTube channel here). Now that I know I can pick up Mio products literally around the corner from my house I know I will be trying more from the range!

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I am yet to try any products from Living Proof but I will be now that I know I can get my hands on them! An American brand priding themselves on using ‘proper science’ to create hair products designed to give you beautiful hair. Co-owned by Jennifer Aniston who has been giving us hair envy since 1994 which is why I will be heading straight to M&S once my current hair care stash runs dry!

Full listing of brands available (according to the M&S website):

Alice & Eliza, Amazing Cosmetics, Ambre Solaire, Ameliorate, APTIVIA, Apothecary, Autograph, Barry M, Bliss, Blue Harbour, Burt’s Bees, Butter London, Collezione, Crabtree & Evelyn, Crystal Clear, Cowshed, Diega Dalla Palma, Dr Hauschka, Fake Bake, Filorga, Floral Collection, Florentyna, Formula, Fragonard, GLAMGLOW, Global Escape, James Read, Josh Wood, Jurlique, Korres, L’Occitane, Living Proof, La Maison de Senteurs, Leighton Denny, Limited Collection, Lola, Mamma Mio, MakerAide, Mio, Monotheme, Morgan Taylor, Murad, Nails Inc, Nature’s Extracts, Neal’s Yard, NUXE, Percy & Reed, Per Una, Philip Kingsley, Pixi, Pure, Pur Minerals, Ragdale Hall, Red Carpet Manicure, REN, Rituals, Rodial, Roger & Gallet, Royal Jelly, RUSH, Sampar, Shay & Blue, Skyn Iceland, STILA, St Tropez, Strivectin, Studio 10, Sun Smart, Swell, Tangle Teezer, T LeClerc, Ultrasun.