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

 

 

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OOTD – Vintage Fun

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Playing dress up for my friend’s recent vintage themed hen weekend was the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on! I managed to create the look on a reasonable budget too. For full details read on…

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The dress was my starting point and as soon as I realised I would be visiting Brighton before the hen weekend, I knew it would be the perfect place to find what I was looking for. On a recommendation I headed straight for Collectif on Bond Street. Specialising in 1940’s and 1950’s vintage style clothing and accessories, I was in heaven! The staff not only looked the part but were incredibly helpful (and complimentary which always adds to the shopping experience!) With their expertise I decided to go with the Lori Gingham Swing Dress  for a very reasonabe £42.50 but even better value right now as it is in the sale for £21.25.

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I had these shoes in storage after buying them over a year ago in a ‘I don’t know when I’ll wear these but I love them and they are a bargain so I’ll get them anyway’ moment in TK Maxx. I knew I would get use out of them one day! I paid around £15 for them. They are from the brand Truffle which you can also buy at ASOS and on Amazon.

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I often think the finishing touches can make or break an outfit and I love how this look came together with the accessories and make up. I borrowed the head scarf from a friend who bought it from a local market. The square shape and 100% cotton fabric made it easy to style and it stayed in place all day. The earrings and false lashes are both from good old Primark at only £1 and £1.50 and for a red lip with staying power I used the Sephora cream lip stain in shade 01 – Always Red.

Finally, a big thank you to the bride to be for taking these photos and being my creative director! You can find her on Instagram https http://www.instagram.com/peapodcarddesign

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…

My Capsule Wardrobe: The Winter to Spring transition

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I am now on the third season of my capsule wardrobe and still loving the experience. I originally started using a specific template from the popular un-fancy.com and I’ve really enjoyed adapting the concept to suit my circumstances and continue developing a style. I will link all my previous musings on the subject at the end of this post, but today I am talking through my tips for the transition from Winter to Spring. The collage above depicts some of the items I’ve updated my wardrobe with (all linked at the end of the post) but if you want to see more pieces in action I’m forever posting outfits on my Instagram account! (thevictoriajay)

Prepare for a bigger switch up

If I’m honest, I found the Autumn to Winter transition a bit of a walk in the park. I had my base wardrobe and just needed to switch a handful of items out to prepare for colder weather, or to replace pieces that just had not worked for whatever reason. This time it was less of a ‘switch up’ and more of an ‘overhaul’. I think this was both due to the changing weather, and the fact I had developed more ideas about what I wanted my wardrobe and style to look like, the longer I had been committed to the process. Practically this meant I needed more time and more money for this changeover, which is definitely a lesson for the future.

Think layers

Talking of weather, being based in the UK doesn’t necessarily mean warm sunny weather throughout the season! With our April showers, unpredictable temperatures and random heatwaves I knew I needed to have variety in a Spring capsule wardrobe. My answer to this? Layers. All my tops can be layered up with each other, and my jackets and shoes have varying degrees of warmth and rain protection!

Consider your patterns

My Autumn and Winter capsule collections were all about block colours. It’s a look I was experimenting with, and I enjoyed it. However, I also love my patterns particularly in the warmer months, so knew I would need some florals in my life come Spring. Part of me wanted to run through the shops grabbing everything brightly coloured and patterned from the rails, but with a love of patterns comes a more complicated buying process for the capsule wardrobe convert! I decided the way forward was to have patterned items on the top half or bottom half only. That way, there was no risk of clashing and my wardrobe kept one of the original intentions of being compact but versatile with almost all pieces being suitable to be worn together. I decided to go with the bottom half meaning I was able to pick trousers, skirts and dresses in as many varied patterns as I wanted, and kept jackets and tops in block colours.

If I pluck up he courage, I’d love to finally get around to doing some outfit posts. If that is something you would like to see, let me know in the comments below…

 

Links to items…

Top Row (L-R)

Avery Floral Trousers – Boohoo.com (no longer available!) Similar here

White All Star Oxford Leather – Converse

Ella Basic Slogan Box Tee – Boohoo.com

Middle Row (L-R)

Grey Sleeveless Jacket – Miss Selfridge

Suedette Waterfall Jacket – Warehouse

Blush Duster Coat – Miss Selfridge

Bottom Row (L-R)

White Knitted Cross Back Jumper – River Island

Tan Pointed Flats – New Look

High Waist Ripped Jeans – New Look

 

Previous capsule wardrobe posts…

Trying out the capsule wardrobe – the ‘unfancy’ way

My Capsule Wardrobe: Lessons and Winter Updates

3 Spring Trends – for a capsule wardrobe

 

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

Boring Beauty Products – that are always on my shopping list!

There’s this group of products that are always on my shopping list and/or always in my beauty drawer. They may not be glamorous or contained in beautiful packaging, and they may not be the types of products that would ordinarily inspire people to blog about, but that doesn’t mean they are not worth recommending! So this post is dedicated to those products, explaining why I buy them again and again.

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P.S Love (Primark) Cosmetic Pads

Cotton wool pads are definitely a must have for any make up wearer, and these from Primark are my all time favourite. There are plenty of other good brands of cosmetic pads out there, but for me these are the best for overall quality and value for money. I’ve tried loads of others including Boots (great but more expensive), Superdrug (too scratchy) and Tesco (not strong enough) but now stick to the Primark ones as I don’t think I’m going to beat them! And only £1 for 160 pads – bargain!

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Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Like a lot of beauty fans, I use this to clean my make up brushes. Squirt a bit into a bowl, dip your brushes into it, swirl them around on your hand or a brush cleaning pad/glove, rinse and you’re done! I know there are plenty of ‘proper’ make up brush cleaning solutions out there, but when 500 ml of this lasts me about 6 months and only costs around £3 it’s a no brainer for me! I understand that baby shampoo may not have the anti-bacterial properties that a lot of the make up brush cleansers do, but as I clean my brushes regularly and don’t share them that doesn’t really bother me.

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Garnier Mineral Antiperspirant

This is the only deodorant I use! I discovered it over a year and loved it enough to feature it in a favourites video on my You Tube channel (linked here if you’re interesed!) According to Garnier’s website these antiperspirants contain the natural ingredient perlite; a volcanic mineral that absorbs moisture. In reality this means that the deodorant actually works in keeping you dry and fresh smelling! More recently I found the ‘Invisicalm’ version – perfect for sensitive skin after shaving. These seem to retail around the £2 mark but I often find them on offer for just £1.

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Elegant Touch Rapid Dry

I paint my nails a lot but I’m also really impatient when it comes to waiting for them to dry! This means I never paint my nails without a spray of this product afterwards. It claims to make your nails ‘touch dry’ in 60 seconds and I agree it does that. Granted, you still have to wait a little longer for the polish to be completely dry but nevertheless this cuts down my nail painting routine considerably. I go through it pretty quickly, but as it only costs around £3 it’s something I don’t mind throwing in my shopping basket on a regular basis!

I’m sure we all have our favourite ‘boring beauty products’ – let me know your recommendations below!

3 Healthier Breakfasts – for busy people

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I can’t pretend to be a nutrition expert. I just love my food – both the healthy stuff and the less nutritious, but I haven’t always paid much attention to ‘eating well’. However, as I mentioned in my recent post about You Tube workouts (linked here) I started to pay more attention to nutrition leading up to my 30th birthday. I still can’t claim to be an angel when it comes to eating healthily but I am definitely more knowledgeable about what I’m putting into my body and have some better habits. One of these habits is making sure I always eat breakfast. I like as much time in bed as possible in the morning, so on a work day I tend to leave myself only 30 minutes to get ready, hence my previous habit of skipping breakfast! If that sounds like a familiar story to you, here are three breakfasts that I regularly eat ‘on the go’ that in my opinion are a much healthier option than either skipping breakfast completely or resorting to a sugar packed cereal bar (which used to be what I ate if I did actually have breakfast).

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Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are probably not a new concept to a lot of people reading this, but if you haven’t jumped on this band-wagon I strongly encourage you to! Prepared the night before and ready to eat in the next day, there is no need to faff about in the morning with chopping, measuring and mixing – just eat! There are hundreds of recipes out there but I stick to one I found on the You Tube channel ‘Notes from the City‘ – the recipe is linked here and includes dried cranberries and flaked almonds. Admittedly, this doesn’t look hugely appetising when made (which is the reason it took me so long to jump on the bandwagon & why I haven’t included a photo of the finished product!) but trust me when I say it tastes a lot better than it looks! Packed with protein and with a decent amount of calories for a breakfast this keeps me full well into lunchtime.

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Soreen

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when my husband suggested trying this. Malt loaf just didn’t sound appealing to me. I expected it to be dry with a powdery aftertaste. I was wrong! This loaf is described as ‘squidgy’ and that’s exactly what it is. Moist and really tasty, this has become a real favourite for me. You can buy it pre-sliced which is even more convenient in terms of saving time and portion control. It’s very low fat and pretty low calorie. If you want a calorie and fibre boost, add in a banana and you’re set!

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Nakd Bars

I eat these on days I’ve hit the snooze bar too many times and I really do need to eat on the run! They may not be as filling as the other two options but in my opinion these are a healthier version of all the high sugar breakfast bars out there. Fruit and nuts packed together, gluten free with no added sugar these are definitely a guilt free breakfast. There are many flavours and you can read more on their website linked here, but to be honest the Cocoa Orange and Cocoa Mint are the only ones worth mentioning (in my opinion!)

I’m always looking for more quick and healthy breakfast ideas so let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions!