Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dupe Tuesday #1: Nars Orgasm Dupes (Except it's Wednesday... Awkward)

I've decided I'll start to run this little series called Dupe Tuesday (and yes, I know I'm publishing this post on a Wednesday!) Every Tuesday, as you might have guessed, I'll do a post about dupes for a high end product. This week, I figured I'd do the legendary Nars Orgasm blush as I know there are many dupes for it and it's a much lusted after product - apart from the bit where it costs £21, that is.

1. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso | Amazon / Milani | £6.19
Milani is a brand which can be found in drugstores in the US, and sadly not in the UK. However, this pretty little Italian-terracotta-baked blush can be bought on Amazon for the fabulously low price of £6.19! This has been toted by many as Nars Orgasm without the glitter - I didn't know glittery cheeks was a side effect of getting laid? If you're after a more natural flush, I'd give this one a go.

2. Sleek Blush in Rose Gold | Superdrug / Sleek | £4.49
I think everyone has heard of this one by now! This pretty little thing is a total bargain and Sleek are well known for having the most pigmented yet affordable blushes on the high street. While thankfully not a glittery mess, this blush has a very golden undertone which can look strange if applied heavily - approach this one with a light hand (I'm speaking from experience of looking like a goldfish)

3. ELF Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink | ELF | £3.95
Another bargain with this one! I'd say this is the least like Orgasm out of the four, but for the tiny price tag, you can hardly complain! While Sleek's Rose Gold had very gold undertones, (no surprises there considering the name..) Twinkle Pink is a lot more pink than Orgasm. If you're after the cheapest alternative just to give the colour a try, this one is your safest bet.

4. theBalm Hot Mama Blush | Feel Unique / theBalm | £13.50
Ah, the most expensive one out of the lot - but it looks exactly like Orgasm when swatched! Plus, as mentioned in my last post, theBalm's products are free from talc, parabens and cruelty! If you want to save £7.50 and get a healthier peachy glow, then I'd say Hot Mama is the one for you.

Are there any products you'd like to see in the next Dupe Tuesday? Have you tried any of these?

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

theBalm Wishlist

After noticing theBalm's products being featured on an increasing amount of beauty blogs, I just had to check them out. I'm planning a little haul and this is what I plan to get - if I had unlimited money! I'll probably just go with two of these. But think of this as my shortlist.

FratBoy Blush | theBalm / Feel Unique | £14.50
This peachy blush reminds me a lot of Benefit Coralista! Reviews from Makeup Alley tote FratBoy as Nars Orgasm's non-glittery sister (say that three times fast!) which is a must for me as the glitteriness of Orgasm is really putting me off the £21 price tag!

Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder | theBalm / Feel Unique | £13.50
Ok, so this is a little pricey for a translucent powder - but no talc! (read below about the dangers of talc) I've heard many things about this being good, so I'm tempted. The only thing putting me off is how cheap the alternatives are in comparison - £3.99 for Rimmel Stay Matte vs. £13.50 for this? I'll wait and see how skint I am when I'm doing my haul for this to be properly considered!

INSTAIN Blush in Toile (Strawberry) and Argyle (Petal pink) | theBalm / Feel Unique | £18.50 
These are pretty expensive, to me at least. Again, it's talc free, yay, woo, etc. I'll do some more research on these before I get one, but the colours and packaging are gorgeous - I just hope the formula isn't a let down!

Cindy-Lou Manizer AKA the Con-Tour Artist | theBalm / Feel Unique | £16.00
I'm fairly sure most of the beauty blogosphere has noticed the hype of Cindy's sister, the Mary-Lou Manizer. I was tempted by Cindy as she's a three in one - blush, highlighter, and eyeshadow! The swatch featured on theBalm's website seemed a lot lighter than the one for Mary, so I assumed it would be better for me as I'm very pale. However, swatches I've seen on beauty blogs seem to betray this and Mary is a lot lighter than her peachy sister!

Mary-Lou Manizer AKA the Luminizer | theBalm / Feel Unique | £16.00 
As aforementioned, here's the Mary-Lou Manizer. A more purse-friendly alternative to the seriously glitter heavy Mac Soft & Gentle MSF! A winner to everyone, I'm definitely going to be getting this in the near future.

Being an American brand, I had never heard of theBalm before - but when I did, boy, was I intrigued. Sold to the UK via Feel Unique, theBalm is rare in that their products are paraben and cruelty free, and their powder products are talc free - a massive rarity!

In case you didn't know, parabens are dangerous chemicals which are often found in cosmetics and beauty products as a preservative. They can have very harmful side-effects but, despite this, they are a common ingredient in things such as shampoos and conditioners. Click here for more information.

Talc can also have adverse effects. While it is deemed generally safe in cosmetic use, it can clog pores and cause break outs. Non-cosmetic grade talc also contains dangerous fibres which can cause problems if inhaled in great amounts - this is why it's important not to purchase counterfeit cosmetic products from eBay! Again, more information here.

We all know about animal cruelty in cosmetics. There are cruelty free cosmetic companies, but they are often only available in health shops or may not carry a decent range of products/colours - or, like Lush's line of cosmetics, they're very expensive. It's very pleasing to me that theBalm is a brand which is not extortionately expensive, but is also cruelty free!

I'm a massive advocate of cosmetics without harmful ingredients so I'm so happy that theBalm is making products that won't have any negative side-effects!

Have you tried anything from theBalm?

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Firstly, I've been and still am on holiday at the mo, so that explains my unexpected hiatus! Apologies for that as I haven't been in the mood for blogging when there's sunshine to enjoy!

Secondly, I've been nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger award by Lou from Lou Does Beauty, Lisa from the China Doll Diaries and Eilidh from Ellsdoug! Thanks to all three of you lovely ladies!

As mentioned in step number two, here are the rules:
1. Thank and link the person/s who nominated you
2. List the rules and display the award
3. Share 7 facts about yourself
4. Nominate 5 other blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you have nominated them. Also provide a link to your post.

Have some facts:

1. I was really obsessed with Grey's Anatomy about a month ago. I got through five seasons in two months ish and I mainly just enjoyed the second and third ones. I stopped after season six as most of my favourite characters had left. (For anyone reading this who's seen it, I still can't get over the fact that George died!) 

2. Eyeliner is my makeup staple and I'm constantly looking to try new and better ones. The longer the staying power the better! Unfortunately I can't seem to find a brown one which stays for very long so I'm stuck with the semi-permanent L'Oreal Superliner Black Lacquer.

3. I have really brittle and flakey nails, and I have a suspicion that it's probably because I barely eat any dairy! I hate milk and I don't eat cheese, yoghurt, or ice cream that regularly either even though I like them. 

4. I used to be such a tomboy when I was about 12/13, I always swore I'd never wear dresses and now they're all I wear!

5. I want to be a journalist when I'm older, although I've wanted to be an author ever since I learnt to write! My dream is to publish a book one day.

6. I'm a massive hoarder of bath products. I love bubble baths and I end up buying loads just so I have a nice selection to choose from when I want to relax. If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them!

7. Speaking of bath time, I used to work at Lush! I actually really didn't like the way they managed things there - but the employee discount was great! My favourite of their products would have to be the Phoenix Rising bath bomb. 

Now for the tags, I tag:

Kathryn from Bit of a Freak
Natasa from Simply Me
Aerin from Berrie Blogs
Bella Rae from Bella Rae Beauty Blabber
Erin from Beauty Loon

I'll be uploading more blog posts this week as I'll be back from my holiday! Thanks again for the nominations!

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Butter London Nail Polish in Tea With the Queen Review

On a recent trip to Bristol, as I often am, I was tempted into Harvey Nichols and I promised myself I wouldn't spend any money. Upon entrance, the first thing you will see is a little stand of nail polishes -more high-end brands such as OPI, Deborah Lippman, Burberry, Seche, etc. After lusting over the gorgeous Michael Kors and Mulberry handbags and being amazed at how Creme de La Mer managed to make the generic department store fish tank look classy, I gravitated back to the stand of nail polishes.

I'd been admiring Butter London for their classy packaging for ages thanks to the many gorgeous photos of these on Instagram and the like - but I never dared buy one as:

  • I don't paint my nails very often as I'm generally very impatient with letting them dry and the smudging really annoys me. 
  • My nails are very brittle and the harsh chemicals of nail polishes do them no favours!
  • They're £12 a pop! If I didn't like the formula then I'd feel very cheated as I could get 3 Rimmel 60 Second nail polishes for the same amount. 
But I was feeling adventurous and I went for it. I picked up the shade Tea With the Queen. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Firstly, I'll just mention that Butter London has the most amazing selection of colours! I always struggle to find nice, subtle colours - especially during spring and summer when I don't feel like rocking vampy red or purple nails. 
They have an absolutely darling range and I really struggled to choose just one colour. In the end, I settled for Tea With the Queen, as I said.

Butter London says...
"On the pink side of tan, very neutral, but never boring. Understated and exceptional for work, or, obviously, tea with the Queen." 

As with lipsticks, I'm constantly on the prowl for a dark nude as nearly all nudes give me that washed out corpse look - not cute. Most nudes match my skin tone and I think it has a strange effect; one that I'm not especially keen on. Hence I was seriously excited about the Butter London line as they have so many beautiful nudes that don't wash me out!  

Anyway, on to the formula.

As with most higher end nail polishes, the Butter London polishes are very runny and watery instead of being goopy and thick. This means they require more coats to achieve maximum opacity - a bit of a drag but it's definitely worth it for the colour range. I would definitely compare the formula of this to that of Chanel nail polishes but £6 cheaper!

Butter London also says...

"Butter LONDON is a three free company; products contain no formaldehyde, no toluene and no DBP."

This is great news for me as I'm very interested in seeing dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde out of cosmetics! This is the primary reason I now love this brand. While I'll be loyal to L'Oreal for their right balance of the Holy Trio of Nail Polish(price, good formula, decent colours), I think Butter London is definitely worth an investment if you want a healthier way to get fabulous claws.

Have you tried the Butter London nail polishes? What's your favourite brand?

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation REVIEW and SWATCH (in the shade Nude)

I received a sachet of the Maybelline Superstay Better Skin foundation in the shade Nude a few copies of Glamour ago. I never got around to using it as I am not a big fan of foundation - especially not heavy coverage ones! 
However, I finally gave it a chance today and I am still not sure about how I feel. 

Maybelline says...

"Our foundation improves the look of your skin every time you wear it. Skin looks better today, tomorrow and beyond. 
Better Skin reduces the appearance of dull, blotchy and uneven skin, leaving you with flawless, hydrated, even and glowing skin. 
It evens out discolouration and brightens dull areas, providing a healthy looking glow from day to night. 
The formula is suitable for sensitive skin, contains no perfume, and is non-comedogenic. It is tested under dermatological control."

A natural skeptic, I'm quite dubious of products which claim to have double effects that are completely different to each other - e.g covering blemishes but also improving the condition of skin. 
The product claims it requires repeat use for the user to be able to see any of the effects they promise, but as I only have one sachet and not a full bottle, I can't comment on that. 

As you can see, it just looks like your standard foundation before blended out. Basic skin coloured liquid, you all know the drill. The Nude colour looks very different to my natural skin tone (quite a bit more orange) before it's blended out. 

I thought that it was relatively difficult to blend out - as are most heavy and if you have blemishes, spot scarring, or dry patches, then this foundation might take quite a while to blend in. I would recommend using a brush or beauty blender with this product as I used my fingers and it took ages!

As you can see, my hands have a lot of fine wrinkles. The foundation was good for a few hours but then it began to sink into the wrinkles whilst disappearing on the rest of my skin. 
Also, my hands don't have any dry patches but my face does. Due to the clingy nature of this foundation, I would suggest that girls with drier skin stay clear of this as I can see it lingering around and highlighting any dry patchers you may have. 

Overall, as a girl who prefers the lightest foundation possible, I'll be giving this one a miss. However, I'd love to know if the apparent blemish reducing effects are actually as good as Maybelline claims - have you tried this before? What did you think?

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, 3 April 2014

That '90s Look: Mac By Request range for Spring 2014

Thousands of Mac Cosmetic fans across the country have been voting in anticipation of the new Mac By Request range for spring 2014.
The official Mac Facebook page gave lovers of the cult beauty brand a chance to vote for some of their favourite products of the past to be sold again.

Frustrated with the lack of colours that could be captured well in photographs, makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan and beauty salon owner Frank Angelo set about creating a line of cosmetics which would fulfil their professional needs. Originally a cottage industry, Mac launched officially in March of 1984, their debut products lined up neatly on a single counter in a department store in Toronto.

Years later, their products are craved by beauty addicts globally. Anyone who has ever visited a Mac counter will tell you that they bear a mind-boggling spectrum of products in a vast array of different finishes and colours. But there are many products and colours which the company discontinued in the past - and they're bringing some of them back for a limited time only.

Based on votes on a selection of discontinued products from the 1990s and the early 2000s, fans eagerly clicked away to bring back their favourite shades of yesteryear.

Three lipsticks, three Lip Glass lip glosses and three eye shadows are travelling back in time from nearly two decades ago to delight Mac lovers old and new.

Image from, not owned nor taken by me. 

From left to right:
Pink Poodle - a vivid, bright fuchsia pink in Frost finish
Hoop - a mid-tonal peachy rose in Matte finish
Glam - bright pink scarlet in Matte finish
(Matching Lip Glass lip glosses available in the same shades)

Fiction - a muted green with shimmer in Frost finish
Diesel - an icy, grey denim in Frost finish
Butterscotch - a warm, toasty beige in Matte finish

This gorgeous online-exclusive collection is available for a limited time only at

Do any of these take your fancy? Are there any discontinued Mac shades you'd like to see made available again?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Worth it? Mac Kohl Power Pencil and Pro Longwear Eyeliners [ Swatches of Feline, Devotion, and Raven eyeliner ]

The Mac Kohl Power Pencil eyeliner in Feline was my first eyeliner. Well, I say my first but what I actually mean is that it was my mother's eyeliner of choice at the time and I just happened to pinch it now and again. I had grown out of lime green and lilac Barry M dazzle dusts and wanted to wear actual proper makeup. I didn't know anything about makeup at that point, being a clueless 12 year old and all, so I assumed Mac was the Holy Grail of All Things Makeup. And, when it comes to some products, it is. But years of wearing these eyeliners have taught me that I was wrong.

As you can see above, I only own three Mac eyeliners. (I'm on my third Feline pencil though)
I'll be giving a little review of each as I feel they perform differently.

Let me get Devotion out of the way first. This isn't a Kohl Power one like the other two, this is from the Pro Longwear range. Obviously, the staying power is far better than the standard kohl pencils. 

As for the shade, Devotion is a described by Mac as a "deep army green". It's very metallic, as you will see in my swatch. I'd probably pair this colour with hazel or brown eyes as I think deep greens go better with those than blue or grey eyes. However, the colour is very very dark - it looks almost black until you see it in the light and it's the most beautiful emerald green. 

I don't mind the Pro Longwear range of eye pencils, they stay for ages in comparison to the normal ones and they can withstand a lot of rubbing!

Here's Feline. And here's where my complaints begin. 
These pencils drag along your eyelid rendering it impossible for you to be able to achieve a perfect line. Be it cat flicks or the perfect slimline, this product will hinder you! 
Personally, I can't deal with this in a product. But wait, it gets worse!
No matter how much primer or concealer you apply under your eyes, it slips down your face! 
Not at all worth the money. Try anything else - I guarantee it'll be better than this! I'm really not a fan. 

The formula is just the same with Raven from the 2013 Winter Divine Night collection. However, I am willing to forgive this one because of it's gorgeous colour! As it is not pitch black like Feline, it is more subtle so the jaggedness of application won't be as visible - if at all! The colour is a taupe-y red-purple-bronze, if that makes sense. In case it doesn't, here are the swatches. 

I hope my description of Raven makes a bit more sense now! Feline looks a little blue-toned here, but it's really black in reality.

In conclusion, Mac do some gorgeous shades of eyeliner, but I certainly wouldn't invest in Feline! There are plenty of other great black eyeliners on the market that are much better.
However, they have many beautiful metallic shades that might be harder to find dupes for. If you think you can handle the downwards slip of eyeliner down your face then go for it! But otherwise, I'd give these a miss.

Have you tried Mac eyeliner pencils? What did you think?

If you liked this post, follow me on GFC and Bloglovin for more! Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so that I can follow you back! :)
Follow on Bloglovin