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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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).

NEW Corsodyl Daily Toothbrush

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Gum health. Not quite as glamorous as beauty blogging or some other areas of health blogging I know. Yet, we only get one set of adult teeth so I reckon we ought to pay as  much attention to our dental routine as we do to our other beauty routines. If you follow my blog and YouTube channel you will be familiar with (aka bored of) the fact that I have sensitive skin. Well guess what, my gums are sensitive too! I’ve found I haven’t got on very well with electric toothbrushes in the past, and I find it difficult to find a manual toothbrush that is both effective and gentle enough for my delicate gums!

So, when I was offered the chance to try the new Corsodyl Daily Toothbrush I was willing to give it a go but wasn’t expecting anything special. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. Correction. Very impressed! So much so that I went out and bought another so that my husband could have one too!

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Corsodyl recommends selecting a toothbrush with a small head, and easy grip handle. The Daily Toothbrush has both of these perks. I thought the bulky looking handle might not be for me but it actually makes it easy to keep a hold of when brushing your teeth. They also claim the added perk of this toothbrush is the dual length bristles. This is the main selling point for me. It’s one of those ‘you will see what I mean when you try it’ situations but the longer outer bristles are soft and therefore gentle, but ensure the tooth is cleaned right up to the gum line, adapting to different tooth shapes. The shorter outer bristles seem slightly less soft to me and therefore do the harder work. I don’t think I have ever thought about teeth cleaning in so much detail before! The upshot is, this toothbrush does not irritate my gums but leaves my teeth feeling really clean. I’ve never been loyal to a particular toothbrush before but see myself repurchasing this one (after 3 months if I am to follow my dentist’s advice!).

The Corsodyl Daily Toothbrush retails for £3.49. I managed to get my husband’s one on offer in Asda for only £2.

 

 

 

 

This content is not sponsored. I received the initial Corsodyl Daily Toothbrush as a PR sample.

PS Love to Glow Face Mask

I’ve got my daily skincare routine down. I am also (unapologetic boast coming up) really good at sticking to it every day without fail, even when extra tired or under the influence of a few gins (find my evening skin care routine video here). I am not very good, however, at regularly applying face masks. I love the Lush fresh face masks but am guilty of forgetting to use them before they expire. Then when you factor in my sensitive skin and preference not to spend a fortune on face masks, I haven’t actually tried that many. SO you can imagine my delight when I discovered the PS Love to Glow face mask, at only £3, was a hit!

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First things first, I have it on reliable authority that this is not a dupe for the famous Glam Glow masks. There was a fair bit of hype when the Primark skincare range launched including speculation that the mask could be a dupe. I haven’t tried Glam Glow myself, but I have read enough comparison reviews to be able to say with confidence that they are not very similar. That doesn’t mean this PS Love product isn’t a great one though.

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The packaging is pretty classy. The glass tub has some weight to it, giving it more of a luxury feel than the £3 price tag suggests. I would describe the scent as a little clinical and a little on the strong side for my preference, but not a deal breaker. The texture is clay-like without being too sticky and I find it easy to apply with an old make up brush.

I love how it immediately provides a cooling sensation on the skin, without being tingly or uncomfortable. After 10 minutes (the recommended time to leave in place) the colour definitely darkens and the product feels tighter on the face, but again without being at all uncomfortable.

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As it is removed, the mask has an exfoliating effect and leaves my skin feeling soft and looking brighter. I am really pleased with the effect this has had on my skin and I am yet to react to it despite there being some potentially inflammatory ingredients such as fragrance, but it seems to be far enough down the ingredients list for it not to be a problem for me. The ingredients that seem to ‘do it’ for me in this are Kaolin (clay), Shea butter and Argan oil. Now all I need to do it remember to use it!

The only way to drink water!

dsc00605eI’m keen on exercise and in the past found myself going through bottles of mineral water like nobody’s business. Not only was that expensive, but terrible for the environment. I then moved on to reusable plastic bottles. I found these prone to staining and they usually left an unusual taste in my mouth. Worse, more often than not they fell apart in the dishwasher – not great for this un domestic goddess!! Then two months ago, glass water bottles with silicone sleeves (catchy, I know) walked into my life. I’ve been using this for the gym, exercise classes, at home and at work and I’m converted! This one is by the brand Apana, which appears to be mainly available in the US, but I picked this up in TK Maxx for just a tenner. There are plenty of alternatives available on Amazon too. Read on to find out why I fell in love.

The water really does taste better – honestly it does! Fresher and it also stays cool for longer. I don’t think this is a placebo effect either. If you search BPA and phthalates (commonly found in plastic containers) there is certainly opinion out there that these can change the taste and quality of the water contained in them.

It’s (almost) indestructible – I’ve put this through the dishwasher almost every day and it looks as good as new.

Great for the clumsy ones among us – The silicone sleeve gives it amazing grip meaning even the more accident prone (that’s me!) will find it difficult to drop.

Looks as good as it performs – I don’t think I’ve ever had compliments on a water bottle before! So many people have asked me where I found it before rushing off to TK Maxx to get themselves one!

If I had to offer a down side, the bottles are naturally more heavy than their plastic counter parts so may not be ideal for some types of exercising including road running.

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

 

 

Little Miss Piggies – Brighton

For years I have loved visiting Brighton for it’s seaside charm, independent shops or restaurants, and the eclectic street style. This Summer was my first visit to the Kemptown area and I fell head over heels instantly. A network of little back streets packed full of places to eat and drink, it seems to be a popular choice for locals – always a good sign. We (my husband and me) stumbled across Little Miss Piggies on a Friday morning when we were feeling hungry and were tempted in by the eye catching frontage plus the promise (and smell!) of freshly cooked food…

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According to the website, Little Miss Piggies is a family run café specialising in traditional English food, promising good value and freshly cooked dishes. I immediately sensed the friendly vibe on walking in and loved the way the décor was fun yet homely, making it feel like you were sitting in a friend’s kitchen while they cooked you breakfast. Free Wifi and newspapers while you wait are a great touch too.

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Also impressive was the selection on offer on the menu. Of course you can find a variety of cooked breakfasts but also brunch items, vegan/veggie options and some more healthy choices including a lighter cooked breakfast (i.e. low carb). A build your own breakfast option is also available – great for those that don’t like any of the pre-set breakfasts on offer.

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I went for the Eggs Royale with wholemeal bread and was impressed. I also thought it was incredibly good value for £4.95 considering the quality of the smoked salmon was very good and the hollandaise sauce was one of the best I’ve tasted. In his typical style my husband went for the Hangover Breakfast, the biggest choice on the menu! Being more of a quantity over quality kind of person when it comes to breakfast he felt it was a little over priced at £8.90. I take his point as you can get bigger breakfasts for less in central London, but having tried his (for research purposes of course!) I could tell great quality ingredients are used so personally thought it was good value.

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Plenty of hot and cold drinks are on offer too, and I especially appreciated that the coffee drinks come up large! It was a hot day and the iced coffee was welcome and delicious. I also loved the attention to detail with the crockery and other tablewear. And the service? Excellent! We will definitely be returning in the future.

You can find Little Miss Piggies at 85 James Street, Kemptown, Brighton, BN2 1TP