May Favourites: Long Lasting Gems

May Favourites

I've been very busy at work this month so I haven't had much time to play around with different looks in the morning and have been sticking with a few firm favourites to get the job done.  I'm ashamed to say that last week I put my make up on during the bus ride to work, twice.  The downside has been low-key eye-liner application (pencil only) but one upside is that both times my bus literally flew to work and only got held up at one of the 4,536 traffic lights on my journey.  The universe always give you the opposite of what you want!  Anyway, I digress.

1. Miss Dior Cherie: I have too many perfumes, they're going off quicker than I can use them up before they go bad, so I get a lot of satisfaction from finishing a bottle.  My friend Rachel got me this for my birthday a couple of years back and most girls will be familiar with this scent by now.  The bottle is adorable and one I'll keep on my dressing table.  Before I got this perfume I used the copy of it - Katie Price's Stunning and no one could tell the difference.  More recently Next has released a dupe of it called 'Diamonds' and the packaging of it is more KP than Dior.  I'll do a comparison of them soon.

2. Escada EDP: It's been a bumper month for finishing up perfumes, but I'm very sad about the end of my lovely little Escada.  I carry this around in my bag to reapply during the day and lingers much longer than Miss Dior Cherie.  I have weird Teflon skin to which no perfume will stick! Escada perfumes are limited edition so I wish I'd bought the larger version of this when I saw it in the airport two years ago. It's quite a mature scent one of those late 1980s/90s feminine but strong numbers in the same vein as Givenchy's Amaridge.

3. Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25: This is my second tube and is one of those products I will always have around.  The sun came out to play a good bit during May so I dug this tube out.  It's essentially a tinted moisturiser with sun block.  I like the idea of a tinted moisturiser as sometimes I don't want to wear thick, heavy foundation, but most that I've tried, like Benefit's You Rebel in Light make me a comic orange colour.  The Clinique one is just light enough for me and I can get away with wearing powder over the top as it evens out my skin tone and disguises mild redness.  It sinks into the skin quickly which is excellent as it is SPF 25.  I need to wear sun block everyday, but some products are so greasy any make up you apply over them slides down your face by elevensies.  I'll give a more in depth review of this product in my sun block overview.

4. Revlon ColourStay Ultimate Lipcolour in Prized Peach: Until I discovered the joys of long lasting lip colour I neglected my lips.  I would spend ages making up my eyes and applying loads of gossamer thin layers of face products, but my lips would be lucky if they got a swipe of lip balm.  This is despite having a drawer full of every type of lip product you can imagine! I don't have the patience to reapply lip gloss ten times a day, so this Revlon lipstick, which has the consistency of a gloss is great, it last a good couple of hours at least.  It is supposed to last longer than that, but of course the advertising spiel is never realistic.  I like that even though it's a bolder colour than I normally wear it doesn't make my lips look smaller than they are, which I find happens with darker lipsticks.  It is quite drying on the lips, but my lips tend to get dry anyway as I'm not an obsessive lip glosser.  I just put a moisturising lip balm on first, pat off any residue which would interfere with the ColourStay's adhesive properties and my lips are done.

5. Lacura Foundation in 10 Transparent: This featured in my last FOTD and really deserves it's own review.  It costs around £3 and is my favourite foundation.  The colour, scent, consistency, coverage and staying power are leagues better than other pricier foundations.  I wish I lived closer to an Aldi!

6. MUA eye shadows in Shades 1, 11 and 12: These too featured in my last FOTD and since I've been keeping my make up simple this month, they create the perfect 'work' eye.  They are very durable, especially if I use a concealer or eye shadow primer on my lid first.  They're only £1 each and far more pigmented than most MAC eyeshadows.  They're more comparible to Urban Decay shadows and these three are all pearlised.  However, I swatched a few matte ones in Superdrug and the quality was not as good.  

7. MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack: Despite owning enough eye liner to draw around the world twice I added this to my collection at Christmas after hearing tales of it's amazing staying power, especially on the waterline.  I'm all about durable products and so far this hasn't disappointed.  It's a true black and lasts longer than most eye liners, although my Revlon ColourStay is very good as well and is in identical packaging.  However, eye liners last for ages so I didn't mind forking out more for the MAC one.

8.  i.d Bare Minerals SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light: This also popped up in my last FOTD.  I keep resolving to finish up all my liquid foundations and then only use mineral for everyday and keep one liquid product for special occasions.  Somehow I think I'll always have a box of foundations! I'm just too curious when a new shiny products gets realised with promises of giving you perfect skin!  I do like using mineral powder foundation on it's own as I have oily skin and it's easier to match to my skin and avoid the dreaded orange tide mark, but if I don't use it with a pollyfila-type primer, like L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer it emphasises my pores too much.  This month however I just put a light dusting over it over liquid foundation to set and stay put in the warmer weather.

9. Nails Inc. polish in Picadilly Circus: I got this nail polish ages ago with Glamour magazine and it's one of my favourites.  It's an unusual deep mauve-y dark pink which finishes shiny.  Plus you only need one coat and it doesn't chip as quickly as drugstore polishes.  I tend to wear this on my toes as I hate the look of dark chipped colour on my fingernails. 

10. Nails Inc. polish in London: I got this nail polish with the Diet Coke offer (click link to go to review) earlier this month and have been wearing it on my fingernails most of the time since.  It needs two coats to look it's best and finish off with a coat of clear to gloss it up and prevent chipping.

Don't forget to comment below and tell me what long lasting gems you've discovered!


FOTD: My Stupid O'Clock Look

Forgive my slightly tired/fed up expression...I had to get up much earlier than normal today...TFI Friday!  I didn't have much time to get ready so only used the basics - a mix of high and budget products, I'm not a make up snob!

I'd just blow dried my hair - damn errant flyaway hairs!
What I used

Moisturiser: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel.  It's an okay moisturiser but not worth over £20.

1. Lacura Beauty Foundation in Shade 10 - Transparent.  It's from Aldi, it's the cheapest foundation I own.  I love it the most! Upcoming review.
2. Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in Fair 1.  This is also the cheapest concealer I own - and I love it the most! It covers dark circles fabulously and is very creamy.  My Mac Studio Fix can be very drying.
3. i.d Bare Minerals SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light.  I sometimes use this as my foundation alone and layer it on thick and buff in with a kabuki.  But I used it as a finishing powder today.  Unusually for a powder, it makes you glowy.
4. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Flush.  I got this as part of the PinkzaPoppin set over Christmas.  It's a good bronzer for my pale skin, not too pigmented or orange.  I gently contoured my cheekbones with it.
5. MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty.  Again it was part of the PinkzaPoppin set.  It's such a pretty colour but sometimes I feel it's a bit too coral and iridescent for me.  I could have applied it with a heavier hand today as you can't really see it in the photo.
6. ELF Eyebrow Kit in Light.  ELF is one of my favourite budget lines.  I use this with a small eyeshadow brush rather than the one supplied and shape my brows with a clean mascara wand.  I used to use a pencil but this kit is a lot better and reminds me of Benefit's Brow Zings.
7. MUA eyeshadows from Superdrug's new £1 range.  Review to come!
All over lid - Shade 1 - a wonderful pale gold highlight colour - FAVOURITE PRODUCT USED.
Crease: Shade 11 - pretty pretty mid brown, a bit like MAC's Sable.
To darken crease further: Shade 12 - a very multifaceted colour - browny/charcoal with a slight teal sheen.  Beautiful. 
8. Revlon ColourStay Eyeliner in Brown.  I used this on my waterline.  It doesn't irritate and lasts well.
9. Revlon ColourStay Liquid Liner in Black Brown.  Very easy to do a cat's eye with this.  The colour stays!
10. Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.  I don't rate these at all but use them given how expensive they were.  It's all hype. My H and M £2 pair are leagues better.  
11. L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagene Mascara.  This one's a bit sloppy and doesn't help curled lashes.  Thickens and lengthens decently.  No clumps!
12. No7 High Shine Lipgloss in Shine.  This was one of those freebies you get when you spend a certain amount with No7.  It's the first lipgloss I've seen with an SPF (15).  Pretty, pigmented colour and quite thick, which I like.  Not keen on the tiny brush though. 

Perfume: Dior Hypnotic Posion - my all time favourite.  More of a 'night' perfume, but I wear it anytime. 7am? Bring it on!

What's your favourite go-to everyday product?


Review: Sleek MakeUP Kajal Eyeliners

I should have bought a lottery ticket! I won another Sleek MakeUP Facebook competition and these lovelies arrived last week.  I've been interested in trying a Kajal since Guerlain launched one last year, but I don't have £26+ to spend on an eyeliner.  

Sleek's packaging is similar to Guerlain's but I can't say how alike the product's effects are.  

Good stuff:
  • So much fun to apply - you'll feel like an Indian princess!
  • Very cute packaging, similar to Guerlain's.  The 'crayon' twists up.
  • I have sensitive eyes and wear contacts and even after lining my waterline and tightlining I didn't experience any irritation and it didn't tickle my upper waterline like a sharp pencil can.
  • It is very soft and smooth to apply so I didn't have to pull on the delicate skin around my eyes.
  • Great for creating a smoky eye look, the purple one is especially pretty to smoke out. 
  • Very easy to create a sexy cat-eye look.
  • I haven't tried applying it the traditional way, i.e. holding the Kajal horizontally and pulling it across your eye (while squinting) so you line both waterlines at the same time.  This would prevent the tip from getting blunt.
  • Staying power - it's no MAC Tecknakohl: I wore it out and about on Sunday for about 7 hours and my eyes were a hot smoky mess by the time I got home.  But it was roasting out.  You'd need to bring it out with you for retouching.
  • It could be a little more pigmented, but then it probably wouldn't be as silky to apply.
  • You aren't supposed to sharpen a Kajal as it's supposed to stay pointed as it wears down, but I've already blunted mine a bit by using it vertically like a normal pencil eyeliner.
My Kajal 'Kat' eye look (I'm wearing Superdrug's MUA eyeshadow - review coming soon!)

They only cost £4 and you can get them at Superdrug or from Sleek's website.

What do you think of Kajal eyeliners?


Primark Makeup: Benefit in Disguise?

Primark Lip & Cheek Tint
Primark doesn't just rip off designer fashions, it also does a little line in makeup - many of which are bargain dupes for high-end products - Benefit especially.
<---- This 'Lip & Cheek Tint' was the first bit of Primark makeup I picked up over a year ago.  For me, the product is identical to Benetint, even down to the lightly rose tinted scent.  The 'nail varnish bottle' packaging is extremely similar - minus the white lid, Benefit branding and £23.50 price tag.  The staying power is amazing - I've put this on my cheeks in the morning and it's still there in the evening.  The best bit is that it only cost £1!  The first one I bought does leak a bit if I carry it around in my bag, but I bought another and the seal on it is fine.

Another Benefit dupe I love is Primark's face highlighter - again, only £1.  Far more credit crunch friendly than £17.50 for High Beam.

While it's a lot pinker than High Beam it's actually more iridescent, which for some can be a bad thing, but if you are looking to brighten your face, the shinier the better!
It doesn't have a scent and the consistency is thicker than High Beam, but the applicator is identical.  It's great for mixing into your moisturiser or foundation to give your skin a healthy glow, especially during the winter months.

The Prime of Your Life
My final Primark - Benefit dupe is one of their newer products - 'The Prime of Your Life'.  It's a lightweight face primer that packaging and effect-wise is an amazing budget version of Benefit's 'That Gal' primer.  It's in a similar tube that twists up for the product to squeeze out holes in the top.  It's far more hygienic than dipping your fingers into a pot all the time.  Again, the best bit is it only costs £3.50 compared to £20.50 for 'That Gal'.  

Get in before there's a lawsuit!
I went through a primer phase but am getting out of wearing it now as I need to get a layer of sunblock in between my moisturiser and foundation.  This primer won't necessarily make your make up last longer, but it does feel creamy going on and gives you an even canvas.  Benefit's version is pink while Primark's is more of a peach which gives a lovely glow.

A Selection of Primark Makeup: some good, some £1 for a reason

1. Ta Ta For Now: this is a copy of YSL's Touche Eclat, but not as good.  It's a highlighter with a pinkish tinge to combat dark blue circles under the eyes.  There are a lot of copies on the market, but this one is great to just have in your purse and retouch on the go.
2. This is a brick of colours intended to act as a bronzer, but you could also use it as eyeshadow.  It's in a nicely made compact with a good mirror.  It's quite loose and to use as a bronzer you need to use a light touch.  It's a bit dark for fair skins.
3. I think the idea behind this one is Benefit's '10' box powder which is one half highlighter and one half bronzer.  You sweep the brush over both and apply to your cheeks to create a sculpted effect.  This one does not work well at all, the bronze is very orange and the highlighter is too pink.  It gives you a very unnatural look!
4. This is the aforementioned copy of Benetint. Love it.
5. Again, this highlighter is a great alternative to Benefit's High Beam.
6. This is a purple glitter eyeshadow. Awful, hardly any pigmentation, only for tweens for play with.
7. Whatever possessed me to but a bright green glitter eyeliner at 25 I'll never know.  Again, the glitter particles are few and far between, leave it to the kids.
8. I hoped these would be like Barry M's Dazzle Dusts.  The consistency isn't as fine, the pigmentation is poor and the colours are a bit wild, but they may work better over a eyeshadow primer or mixed with some MAC mixing medium.

All of the above cost between £1-3.  There are a few duds, but enough money saving gems to make the trip down to your local 'Primani' well worth it.

My last honourable mention is the Primark purple 'Kabuki' brush.  It's synthetic but extremely soft and although it's not dense enough to apply mineral make-up effectively, it's great for blending out bronzer or blusher if you've been too heavy handed or giving yourself a dusting of finishing powder.  And it's PURPLE (and only a couple of quid)!
Primark Synthetic Kabuki Brush

Have you found any make up gems at Primark?


NOTD: Diet Coke Break Bonus!

Diet Coke is for wimps.  I choose real 'full fat' *gasp* Coke over diet any day but that all changed when I saw what I'd get for loading up on aspartame...

'London' with flash

I picked up two 500ml bottles (£1.18 each and happily the cherry flavour of DC is also an option) in Boots last week and got this nude-greige-taupe-y shade of Nails Inc. polish entitled 'London' for free, or £2.36 if you intend to pour the liquid (read: anti-freeze*) down the loo.  Nails Inc. polishes normally cost around £10 a go.

The colour photographs better than its reality and in certain lights - especially artificial - it looks like a muddy Thames (very London!) brown (you get the idea below, although this was taken in daylight). While hetero males may be left scratching their heads as to why a woman would want to paint her nails this colour, what they know about fashion trends could probably be written on my pinky finger nail.  Your lady friends will get it.

Without flash

There are three other colours to collect: a classic pillar box red (Milan), a bright, almost neon pink (New York) and a mauve-y purple (Paris).  I almost went for New York as I'm like a magpie when it comes to bright colours, but realised that I never actually wear crazy colours as they look awful and very cheap when they chip (normally within 24 hours).  So I talked myself out of adding the 58th bottle of non-corporate-friendly blinding pink polish to my collection.  Such is the wisdom of old age.

I have a few Nails Inc. polishes, some even came free with magazines (Yay for Glamour and InStyle!) and they're one of the best mid-price ranges around, one coat does the trick most times, minimal chipping and nice glossy finish.

I've been into Boots a few times since and every time there were a few crazed women at the tills buying armfuls of diet cokes.  The London shade is getting thin on the ground, so if you really want it, move fast!

*Word to the wise: do not drink both bottles of diet coke in the space of a few hours.  Bad things can happen to good people.  Your best bet is to use it to remove rust from various metal tools, car engines, etc.)

Which colours did you manage to collect?


Won! Sleek MakeUP Pout Polishes

I never win anything, but a few weeks ago I got lucky (but not lucky enough to win the LE Swarovski eyeshadow palette!) on a Facebook competition and won a couple of their pout polishes.  Good times...

I'd already bought a pot of the 'Pink Cadillac' shade before Christmas and the first thing I noticed is that the latest batch is twice as pigmented, for me this is a good thing.  Other than that the scent and texture are the same.  Although the colours are stunningly vibrant the effect on the lips is more wearable, I was especially surprised by the Electro Peach:

Electro Peach

Pink Cadillac
The good stuff:
  • SPF 15:  lips need protection too!
  • Good value alternative (£3.99) to a MAC tendertone, if perhaps not as conditioning.
  • Quite long lasting and buildable for a more opaque effect.
  • Some nice ingredients: shea butter, almond oil and avocado oil (but a long list of unpronouncables too).
  • Can make a drying lipstick nicer to wear - I like to pair Electro Peach with my Revlon Colourstay liquid lipstick in 'Prized Peach'.

Things to consider:
  • The flavour may not be for everyone.
  • Currently sold out on Sleek's website (at least it's popular!) but can be tracked down in Superdrug.

I'm loving Sleek right now, especially the eyeshadow palettes and liquid eyeliner...more review to come!  The faster they can roll out their line in more stores the better!

What's your favourite Sleek product?
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