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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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!

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

 

 

Ladival Sun Protection for Sensitive Skin

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Two days before my recent holiday to the Canary Islands I wandered into Boots for a few last minute purchases including sun protection. I’m no sun worshiper and having learnt the hard way (painful burns) and wised up to the dangers of sunbathing I now avoid it. Unless I’m swimming or involved in some kind of day time activity, you will find me in a shady spot reading a good book (or the occasional trashy novel!) instead. Having been blessed/cursed with fair, freckly skin that is prone to multiple dermatological complaints including eczema, dermatitis and keratosis pilaris, my choice of SPF has to be a careful one, especially as once the temperature soars you can add prickly heat to that list. I’ve previously written about my tried and tested tips for dealing with prickly heat (here) and my breakthrough in realising there are ingredients I should avoid when selecting sun protection (more details in the prickly heat post). This led me to Eucerin as my brand of choice last year but on this particular trip to Boots a different product caught my eye. Ladival not only ticked the boxes for ingredients but was cheaper and on offer. Having used it for two weeks, here are my thoughts including a comparison to the Eucerin products I fell in love with last year…

Like Eucerin the sun protection from Ladival contains no mineral oils or petrolatum (ingredients that trap heat under your skin making certain skin problems including prickly heat more likely to occur). Even better, it contains no perfume or fragrance (some of the Eucerin products do but it is the last ingredient on the list so the amount is negligible). This means the Ladival creams have what I would describe as a slightly clinical smell, although not unpleasant and very subtle. One of the ingredients is titanium, intended to reflect and filter harmful rays. This means the creams, especially the factor 50, tend to leave a ‘white cast’ on your skin which might be off putting to some, but I don’t mind adding reflective skin to my poolside look which otherwise consists of frizzy hair and uneven eyebrows!

The creams are easy to apply, the factor 30 more so than the 50 due to its lighter formula. Both factors need a good shake before use (which is recommended on the bottles) otherwise it tends to flake a bit but if properly mixed this didn’t occur. Once absorbed you don’t feel like you have anything on your skin, which could be a positive or negative attribute depending on your point of view, but I just use a systematic approach to make sure I didn’t miss any patches of skin. I applied this very liberally and didn’t suffer any break outs on the face or body, so it didn’t seem to clog my pores, although it’s worth noting I’m not typically prone to spots. One huge advantage the Ladival has is that I found it far less likely to stain clothes compared to the Eucerin products.

So the big question, what about prickly heat? I still developed it; I’ve never been to a climate warmer than the UK and escaped it completely. However it was far less widespread or severe, and settled down far quicker than previous trips abroad. Overall, I’m pleased as punch with both these brands and will use either for my ongoing sun protection at home or abroad – the best special offer is likely to swing it for me when I next need to stock up!

I bought the SPF 50 and SPF 30 in 200 ml bottles for £13.50 each, on a ‘buy one get one half price’ offer.

Do you have a favourite sun care brand for sensitive skin? I’d love to hear about it in the comments…

Lottie London Soap Star Brush Cleanser – Beauty Blender dupe?

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I’m pretty happy with the ‘oldie but goodie’ method of using simple baby shampoo to deep clean my brushes. However, nowadays when it comes to base makeup my go to application tool is the much hyped (but in my opinion with good reason) beauty sponge. I find that baby shampoo doesn’t quite cut it for getting my sponges looking good as new, and worse still, they can start to tear after a few washes. When I collaborated with the fabulous Leah XL for a YouTube video (watch it here) she recommended using the Beauty Blender solid brush cleanser. The coconut and aloe ingredients apparently mean you get a great result while taking care of the sponge avoiding causing it any damage. At £14 a pop it’s not exactly cheap so when I came across the Lottie London alternative in a Sunday evening browse on the Superdrug website I didn’t hesitate to click ‘add to basket’!

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At £6.99 the Lottie London offering is around half the price of the Beauty Blender version. Essentially it is a small block of soap but with added ingredients such as coconut oil and Shea butter to ensure your brushes (or in my case sponges) are treated to a deep cleanse while staying soft. Simply wet the sponge, give it a good rub onto the block of soap to create a lather, rinse and repeat as needed. With the screw lid and compact size it’s great for travel too.

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I’ve been trialling the product for around a month on all my sponges. I wash them after a couple of uses each and considering I have 5 sponges it’s lasting really well. The cleaning block lathers up really easily so you don’t need much and I only need to give each sponge the once over providing it’s not too caked in foundation. Above is an example of what my sponges look like pre-cleaning session! I’ve used a soft, medium and harder sponge to show you how well the product works on all types of sponges, although the harder sponges do need a bit more work but that’s to be expected in my opinion.

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As you can see, post-clean they look good as new! A tiny bit of staining on the black one but that’s probably down to the colour and potentially how dense it is. A month down the line, all sponges are in good ‘nick’ without signs of tearing. Overall, I’m very impressed and will definitely repurchase. I’d be interested to see how the Beauty Blender soap compares, do let me know in the comments if you have tried it.

 

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!