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Review | L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner

I never write reviews on hair products as I am not really much of a 'hair person'. Don't get me wrong, I like hair as much as the next person but if I could only do my hair or my make-up in the morning, I would choose make-up every time. At the moment I am going through a massive love/hate relationship with my hair. I find that it gets very greasy very quickly as well as being very dull and flat so I feel like I am constantly fighting a losing battle. I usually just use the shampoo and conditioner which my mum buys each week which is more often than not Tresemme but I recently decided to branch out and try a different shampoo and conditioner for a change to see if it would improve my hair at all.

My hairdresser once told me to use products for the hair you have and not the hair you wish you had. For example, I know my hair is really greasy on top, dry on the ends with general flatness all over, which is why I bought the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. Promising to be help nourish dry and dull hair I thought I had finally found a hair product which would work wonders for my hair and I.

About the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner:
"Rich formula that delivers intensive conditioning from the root to the tip. Smooth the look of even the most rebellious hair. Hair feels more nourished and disciplined."

I think the fact that this is an oil-based shampoo and conditioner I should have really thought twice about purchasing this particular range as I think we all know that if you are suffering from greasy hair, the last thing you do is put more oil on your head. I bought this because of the benefits for dry hair which, yes, it does help the dryness but at the cost of making your hair looking greasy as hell. 

The first day I tried the L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner I felt like it was the best hair products I had tried in a while. Both products smell beautiful and the shampoo and conditioner themselves are golden yellow in colour which has a lovely shimmery almost iridescent finish to them. The first day I tried this combo my hair was lovely and soft - not particularly more nourished but it did make my hair feel softer than usual. The next day I woke up and my hair looked so, so greasy. So greasy. It looked awful. It looked as if I hadn't washed my hair in a few days and had constantly touched it. Don't get me wrong, my hair now looks shiny and nourished, only in a really greasy way!

I had to wash my hair to get rid of it so again, I used the same two products and this time it was even worse. As soon as it had dried my hair felt and looked greasy. It felt as if I had product in my hair which had weighed it down, making it flat, greasy and dull. The main problems I had to start with. I am very unimpressed with these products as they really have not helped at all. I would actually go as far to say they had made it worse.

I think it is safe to say that if you suffer from greasy hair then stay clear of this Extraordinary Oil range from L'oreal. The shampoo and conditioner may help those of you who just suffer from dry and dull hair and I can manage it will work wonders for you but for me, I wouldn't try it again. I would use the conditoner for the ends of my hair as it does make it softer but I would definitely avoid the shampoo. 


Review | NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague

I am pretty sure everyone has tried the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams by now. They are really affordable, easy to get hold of and best of all - they come in 34 different shades so you are bound to find at least three that you like! I know the hype surrounding the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, the Kylie Lip Kits and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks is still around but you can't get those products in a UK drugstore like you can with NYX - nor are they as cheap!

About the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams:
"Neither lipstick nor lip gloss, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a new kind of lip colour that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is surprisingly durable and unlike some matte lipstick formulas also moisturising."

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream I tried previously was in the shade Stockholm which is a pretty dark nude colour. I really like this lip cream although I haven't worn it quite as much as I thought I would do as my preferred matte lipstick of choice is still the Kylie Lip Kits. Well, you've got to get that cost per-wear down somehow, haven't you?! This time I have gone for a more summery, pretty shade in Prague, which is a really wearable mid-tone mauve. I actually bought this shade intending to give it to my sister but I decided I liked it a little too much to give away!

Each NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream comes housed in a little 8ml tube with the colour of the outer-packaging indicating the shade inside. The applicator is that of a doe-foot which I am coming more accustomed to the more I use liquid lipsticks. I would say it does take some getting use to when it comes to applying as it can get a bit messy when you are in a rush; I find that I have to make sure I double check it isn't all over my mouth before I leave the house as I find the doe-foot applicator quite hard to get into the inner corners of the lips.

Prague is a really beautiful shade, one of which I have been wearing a lot recently. The colour pay-off is wonderful with the lip cream being really rich in pigmentation without making the lips dry and uncomfortable. That said, it does show up a few of the dry patches on the lips so a little exfoliation beforehand wouldn't go a miss! If I were to compare it to the other matte liquid lipsticks I own, I wouldn't say it were the most comfortable to wear - as it is really creamy in formula it is fairly heavy on the lips but not so much that it were unbearable, it is just noticeable, that's all. As I have now become quite the liquid lipstick connoisseur I can tell you that this has a rather synthetic, sickly sweet scent to it, just like all of the other matte liquid lipsticks brands out there. If you like that smell then it won't bother you too much but if you are like me and really dislike sweet smells then luckily it doesn't linger on the lips for too long after application.

I find the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams to last around 4 hours on the lips which isn't the longest wearing but for the price you don't mind having to reapply it once or twice throughout the day. I would liken these lip creams to the Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks as they are both really creamy in formula and have wonderful pigmentation as well as an incredible shade selection. 

Overall, I am still really into the matte liquid lipstick hype and if you wanted an affordable brand to turn to which you can find really easily in drugstores and online, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are definitely the brand to turn to. With an incredible selection of lip colours to choose from which are creamy in consistency and are rich in pigmentation, at £5.50 each you need to try at least two!


Review | The 99p Fan Brush

The fan brush. The perfect accompaniment to a gorgeous, shimmery highlighter.
Apparently the only way to apply a powder highlighter is with a fan brush but what if you haven't got one of them? Have I been doing it wrong all this time? Until recently I have been applying my highlighter with an angled powder brush and as fine as it is, I feel like I have been missing out with the whole fan brush thing. So I bought one. From eBay. For 99p.

This fan brush, which has flown the lengths of the Earth from China, is made of the, er, finest synthetic nylon wool. Available with three different coloured handles, I went for the silver option although blue and purple is also an offering. As far away as China is from the UK, this little brush took nearly a whole month to get to me which is a rather long time but hey, it costs 99p. If it got lost along the way I wouldn't have been heartbroken but it did get here eventually!

My brush must have got a little bit messed up en route as it permanently sticks out at a funny angle but it is still usable and if I were that bothered I could probably iron it out or something (I joke, I joke). Okay. This is all very well but does it actually apply my highlighter any better than that angled powder brush I have been using??

Kind of. When I first came to use this fan brush I tentatively dipped it into my highlighter then swiped it across my cheek in what one would describe as a 'swooping' motion and it didn't really do much. I couldn't even tell that the brush had picked any product up as nothing much happened. I then ladened my brush with my highlighter of choice (Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights if you were wondering) and swept it across the top of my cheekbones and I finally saw results. The brush gave a lovely, soft and light highlight along the cheekbones, giving a much more subtle result than compared to what I usually achieve with my angled brush. The only way I can describe it is like this - this fan brush gives me highlighter whereas my angled brush gives me HIGHLIGHTER. This brush doesn't pick up as much product as the brushes I have used previously, giving more subtle and softer results.

For 99p, this is a good brush. It isn't, however, good quality and if you were to ask me how much I thought it were worth I would probably say around the £2 mark. It reminds me slightly of the little brushes you got in a set for Christmas by some family member you only see once a year but ever so slightly better. This isn't a miracle product, nor was I expecting it to be. I firmly believe in "you get what you pay for" although my last eBay purchase of a set of Real Techniques Bold Metals dupes for less than £5 was a really good find! I will continue to use this brush for when I want a really subtle highlight but when I want a really harsh, 'in-your-face' highlight, I will continue to use my other brushes.


Other | Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Candy K vs Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Bianca

Two different brands, one very similar formula. The Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kits are so popular but let's face it - they are hard to get hold of because they are so sought after and once you finally get hold of one and take the cost of the product, the P&P and the customs charges into consideration, they may turn out to be the most expensive lip product you own.

The Coloupop Ultra Matte Lipsticks are also really popular - and also a hell of a lot cheaper. There has been a lot of talk about the Kylie Lip Kits having exactly the same formula as the Colourpop version, as well as there being a good few dupes for the Kylie Lip Kits within the Colourpop range. I recently placed a Colourpop order and I may have found a dupe or two.. For now though, I want to talk about my two favourite shades, the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Candy K and the Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Bianca.

The Packaging
Both products come housed within cardboard packaging with the Kylie Lip Kit in Candy K coming in the pretty dripping lips box with the colour on the outside indicating the product shade on the inside, whereas the Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Bianca comes within a stereotypical white cardboard tube which has red tabs on either end of the box which does not indicate the shade inside. Instead, you have to rely on the small colour shade name written on the top of the box to see which shade is within. I think Colourpop have missed a trick by not having coloured tabs indicating the shades within the boxes as one would presume that you have been sent 8 of the same red lipstick when you only ordered nude shades in the first place! 

Both liquid lipsticks come within 3.25 ml clear tubes - both of which have their doe-foot applicator within their twist-up lids. I've come to realise that most, if not all, liquid lipsticks have a strange, noticeable scent to them with the Candy K having a particularly strong smell to it. Think strong, synthetic strawberries and cream. I really don't like the smell to the Kylie Lip Kits but fortunately the scent doesn't linger on the lips for too long, however Bianca has no smell whatsoever which is a real bonus to someone who is so sensitive to smells! Applicator wise, I much prefer the applicator that comes with Candy K than the applicator that comes with Bianca. Whilst both may look similar, I find Candy K to apply easier as the applicator is flatter and smoother whereas Bianca's applicator is slightly fluffier which makes getting into the inner-corners of the mouth slightly trickier in comparison to Candy K.

The Formula
Candy K is fairly thin in consistency but not so thin that it's like water. It is thin enough to be able to apply thin layers to the lips in order to layer it up (not that you need to!) without the lips feeling heavy or weighed down by product. Bianca is much thicker and creamier in consistency than Candy K is - because of this I think you would struggle to apply two layers without the lipstick cracking. That said, both Candy K and Bianca are incredibly rich in pigmentation so layering up both shades is not needed at all. One swipe of colour is perfect to achieve a bold shade on the lips so re-application or touch-ups aren't needed. Both lipsticks are really comfortable on the lips, although I would say Candy K was ever so slightly more comfortable than Bianca is, purely because it is so lightweight and thin on the lips you really do forget you are wearing anything at all. Neither shades show up dry areas on the lips although I still do prep the lips beforehand, just in case.

The Colour
Candy K is described as a matte warmy pinky nude and Bianca is described as a soft matte mauve pink. If you put both shades side by side, it is hard to tell the difference between the two. Both shades translate slightly more orange toned in the photos above but this is purely down to the lighting - they are both definitely more mauve toned in real life. I would deem Bianca to be 100% a dupe for Candy K. If you swatched both on your arm and asked me which shade was which, I highly doubt I would be able to tell you which was which! Either way, both shades are very pretty, very wearable and can be easily worn everyday. (If you were wondering, Candy K is on the right, Bianca on the left in the photo above.)

The Longevity
I firmly believe Candy K could withstand a major disaster. Whatever the weather, the conditions or your environment, that lipstick would stay on your face until you decided it needed to come off. It is by far the longest-wearing lipstick I have ever encountered and for that, I really could not fault it. Bianca is also really long-wearing and it too can last all day long, although it does fade ever so slightly towards the end of the day but not so much that it is too noticeable and needs reapplying. Both liquid lipsticks are incredibly long-wearing and I am yet to have to re-apply either throughout the day (and I wear these a lot!)

The Shipping and Customs Process
If I had to add up how much money I have spent on shipping and customs for the Kylie Lip Kits then I would probably feel a little bit sick. For the shipping of the Kylie Cosmetics products you can expect to pay $14.95 (which is around £10) and then a customs charge on top which is around £4 per product as well as a Royal Mail handling fee of £8. Meaning the cost of shipping one Kylie Cosmetics product is around £22. Colourpop, meanwhile, have only just started offering international shipping and goodness me, is it expensive. If you place an international order with Colourpop, you can expect to pay $25 to get your order shipped, which is around £19. That is excluding customs charges, although I have heard that if your order is below $18 then you can avoid the extra customs fees. Having to pay £19 for shipping is incredibly expensive - so much so that I use a 'mail on' service called MyMallBox which is essentially the middle man. You place your order like normal but rather than get your order sent to you at your house, you get it sent to your personal address within the MyMallBox warehouse in America where the lovely people there send it on to you at your house. It really is so much cheaper but if you want to find out more just read my more in-depth post on it here.

The Verdict
It is so, so hard to choose a favourite between these two very similar products. Both products have the same ingredients in but I do think there are some differences between the two - the smell being a main one. I firmly believe Candy K and Bianca are the same shade, so much so that I find it hard to differentiate between the pair of them. Both products are easy to apply, are comfortable to wear and last all day long.. Candy K Lip Kit costs $29 or $18 as a single product whereas Colourpop's Bianca costs just $6. I do find myself wearing Candy K more than Bianca, although price-wise, I would probably be more eager to repurchase Bianca than I would Candy K but if you forced me to say which I preferred, I would have to say Candy K. But only ever so slightly. Either way, I really advice you to try at least one product from each brand as I really don't think you will be disappointed.


Review | Benefit Gimme Brow in Shade 01, Light

Did you know Benefit have a new range of eyebrow products out? And wow, what a range it is. With 6 new Benefit Eyebrow products being added to the already 'eyebrow strong' collection, there is bound to be a product to suit your eyebrow dilemma. Whilst this product isn't a part of the new range, there is a whole new look to each eyebrow product as well as a whole array of new shades to suit more hair colours across each product in the range. 

I've never been much of an 'eyebrow person'. Whilst I admire a strong brow as much as the next person, I have never felt the need to touch mine. I'm quite fortunate in that I have never been much of a plucker so never hit that 'over-plucked' thin eyebrow stage as a teen - instead I left them to it so I have a naturally strong brow. Not Cara Delevingne strong, just strong enough to get the occassional 'who does your eyebrows?' comment now and again. 

Products wise I fill them in very lightly with my Collection Eyebrow Kit which has lasted me well over two years and considering it only cost me £3.99, I would say I got my moneys worth out of it! Fast forward two years where I have finally got to the stage where I am willing to give another product a try. Whilst I probably didn't set out to purchase this product itself, it came with my Glamour Magazine which is probably the best magazine gift you could get. My magazine-purchasing-because-of-the-free-gift days are over but if you were going to buy the magazine anyway, it's alright, right? The product I am reviewing today is the Benefit Gimme Brow in Shade 01, Light.

About the Benefit Gimme Brow:
"Our cult-favorite gimme brow tinted eyebrow gel contains tiny microfibers that adhere to skin & hairs, creating natural-looking fullness and definition. The custom, tiny tapered brush blends easily while the precision tip shapes hairs into place. Now available in 3 shades, including a NEW MEDIUM SHADE, so every gal can brush on fuller-looking brows."

Before I start I will say that this is a mini sample size at 1 g whereas the full-price full-sized version has a weight of 3 g. I have dark blonde hair so shade 01 in Light is probably perfect for me, although there are only two other shades in the range - 03 Medium and 05 Deep so there aren't as many shades for this product in comparison to the Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil which has 6 shades. 

Whilst my eyebrows are quite strong, they still need a little filling in here and there so as this product claims to make your eyebrows appear thicker and fuller, I was already sold on Gimme Brow, which must be popular as it is considered an award-winner on the Benefit website! I know the packaging to Benefit products isn't to everyone's tastes but I really like it. It really stands out and it looks nothing like any other make-up packaging from any other brands. Gimme Brow comes housed in a little silver tube which has the applicator within it's lid. The applicator is teeny-tiny. So, so teeny-tiny. To begin with you wonder why it's so small but actually, the size is perfect.

Okay, so maybe the small brush can make it slightly harder to apply the product to the thinner ends of the eyebrows as the brush isn't tipped so I find the product to get on the skin around my eyebrow and I end up having to cover it with concealer to hide but it is no big deal. Gimme Brow works wonders for the first 2/3 of the eyebrow where it is thicker in width - you simply brush the product through your eyebrows and it fills them in perfectly. I find the shade Light to suit me perfectly so it makes the eyebrows look really natural - so natural you forget it is even there. 

Whilst I may not have gone to the shop in search of this product to begin with, I've enjoyed using this product so much that once I have used this little 1 g tube up, I will probably buy the full-sized version, as well as taking a look at the other eyebrow products in Benefits range. This Gimme Brow may only be sample size but it works wonders and shows what the product can do perfectly. Well done, Benefit!


Review // Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Bianca

..Yep, I am still going on about those matte liquid lipsticks! Todays offering is from Colourpop, a brand of which is bloody hard to get hold of if you are in the UK. The American brand recently revealed that they would finally offer international shopping which queued a lot of excitement and a joyful squeal from my household! ...Until I saw it would be $25, which is over £19. So if I wanted to buy just one of their Ultra Matte Lipsticks which are $6, I would then pay over 4x the amount for postage.. No thanks. Instead, it is still much more cost effective to get your Colourpop order sent to you via a third party and luckily I wrote a post all about it!

During my recent Colourpop haul, I bought a fair few of the Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipsticks as they are supposed to be incredibly similar to those from the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kits. So similar in fact that they come from the same makers and have pretty much the same ingredients within. I will be doing a comparison post soon so I will try hard to not compare this matte liquid lipstick to Kylie's which we all know is my favourite. That said, one costs $29, the other just $6 so you be the judge!

About the Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipsticks:
"This thin and lightweight formula glides onto the lips smoothly and leaves SUPER intense pigment-rich colour with a bold, ultra matte look. It's very long wearing and completely kiss proof! We suggest storing these babies upright and shaking before application!"

The first Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick I want to share with you is in the shade Bianca which is a soft mauve pink, although I would say it looks more like a warm nude. Bianca is Zoella's favourite and it is also a dupe for one of the Kylie Lip Kits but again, I will compare the two soon! Bianca is an incredibly easy to wear and pretty shade, one which I believe will suit all skintones.

Like all other liquid lipsticks out there, the product comes housed in a clear tube with a doe-foot applicator within its twist-up lid. Unlike other liquid lipsticks, the Colourpop versions have no noticeable smell to them which is wonderful as some of them can really smell rather horrendous!

Bianca is really thick and creamy in formula which lives up to its claims of being pigmentation-rich. It is really easy to apply with its applicator where one coating was more than enough to cover the lips. I didn't find it to be too drying, nor did it show up any horrible dry areas either. Longevity wise it lasted all day long on the lips without wearing or fading, nor did it transfer either. Yay! What more could you want?!

Whilst it is a massive pain to get the Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipsticks shipped from America, they are so, so worth it. They come in literally so many colours and are as cheap as chips at $6 each which is around £4.50 and if it wasn't such a pain to get them shipped, I would probably buy one in every colour. They are easy to apply, have no noticeable scent, are rich in pigmentation and stay put all day long. The only complaint I have is that I think they should change the outter packaging with the red top and bottom tabs to a colour indicating the shade within as when you first open your parcel it does seem as if you have been sent 6 red shades when you only ordered nudes and soft pinks. I really recommend these Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipsticks and if you want to find an easier way of getting them sent to you then read my post all about it here!

(p.s, if you live in the UK and fancy a chance of winning one of these then enter my giveaway here!)


Review // NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Sin

We all love NYX cosmetics and I am sure by now that we have all tried a Soft Matte Lip Cream or two, but did you know they did products other than the Lingerie, Suede or Soft Matte Lip Cream variety? Whilst NYX is very popular, I haven't seen many people raving about their eyeshadows which is a shame as they are actually pretty damn good.

Always on the hunt for a neutral base eyeshadow, I decided to walk past the famous NYX lipsticks and take a look at their eyeshadow range instead. Available in two different types, the NYX Prismatic Eye Shadows which is made up of 12 brilliant, metallic shades and the NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadows which is made up of a whopping 85 intense shades, I was utterly torn at all of the choice on offer. I very rarely buy single eyeshadows on their own unless they are from MAC but because they are so cheap at £3.50, I bought a wonderfully pretty neutral eyeshadow from the NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow range in Sin.

About the NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow:
"NYX's Hot Singles are intense! Powerfully loaded with pigments this versatile formula lets you make a statement for any occasion. Whether your looks is edgy or natural NYX's unique formulation is easy to blend and build on."

Housed in a little 1.5 g plastic pot with a clear lid, Sin is a beautiful light, neutral pink which has tiny specs of glitter running throughout. It's pretty enough to wear either on its own or as a base for other eyeshadows and it does both jobs very well indeed. I can't tell you how hard this shade is to photograph on my skin, which is why I have been unable to capture it in all it's glory but if you did want to see swatches then click here as someone else has managed it better than I!

Sin is rich in pigmentation although it does have a fairly gritty texture to it. Whilst it isn't as silky soft as MAC eyeshadows, it still performs well regardless of texture. Because of the glitter running throughout I did expect some fallout when it came to application but no! Everything stays in place just as it should without any fallout whatsoever which is very good considering I always seem to get eyeshadow half-way down my face when it comes to the application of shimmery shades!

I apply Sin with a fluffy blending brush which isn't perhaps the best brush to apply it with as I find it just seems to pick the product up within the brush but not much seems to come out of it and as I hate wasting things, I really dislike the thought of all of that product being trapped within the brush. Is that strange? I hope not. I feel like maybe a flat brush will be better to just press the eyeshadow onto the eyelid and then blend it out with a fluffy brush.

I really love the NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Sin, so much so that I already have a few more shades on my shopping list for the next time I go into Boots. For £3.50 you get a lot of product for your money but the price definitely doesn't mean you scrimp on quality. Sin is rich in pigmentation and whilst the texture is more on the gritty side, it doesn't fall out during application and when paired with a MAC Paint Pot as a primer, it stays put all day long too.


Review // Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks in Nude Flush & Electric Pink

When I first saw the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks in America back in Feb, I was really excited about them. At that time I hadn't bought any Kylie Lip Kits, so was subsequently a hell of a lot richer. I was ready and prepared to buy one in every shade as I was just getting into the matte liquid lipstick trend but after swatching each shade on my hand, I was a bit underwhelmed by them. None of the shades stood out to me so I decided not to waste my money and to buy some NYX Matte Lip Creams instead.

Fast forward a few months later when the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks are made available to buy in the UK so I decided to buy a couple to see what they were actually like. I bought two in the shades Nude Flush and Electric Pink, although there are 8 shades in the range.

About the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks:
"Vivid matte pigments give high-impact colour for a velvety matte finish, in a comfortable, creamy formula. Our flexible, slanted tip applicator with ultra-soft bristles makes it easy to contour and shape your lips. Subtle doesn't cut it. Drench your lips in Vivid Matte. Our sensuous, creamy formula glides on smoothly for a velvety matte finish. With full colour coverage, the result is a rich, intense lip look in a range of colours from Nude Flush to Electric Pink."

The Maybelline Matte Liquid Lipsticks come housed in little clear tubes which contain 8 ml of product and like every other liquid lipsticks out there, the doe-foot applicator is within the twist-up lid. The applicator is really long and thin which makes application fairly easy, although I still find filling in the inner corners of the mouth a fairly messy process. Also like other liquid lipsticks, these too have a noticeable scent to them, although I don't find it unpleasant. They smell a bit like rhubarb & custard sweets but in a nice and non-artificial way, although it doesn't linger around too long.

Nude Flush is a pretty and easy-to-wear pinky nude and Electric Pink is just that - electric pink. I will start off by saying that these lipsticks are in no way matte. In fact, I would say they were just a really thick and creamy lip gloss. A lip gloss which doesn't attract your hair like a moth to a flame. Whilst each shade is very pigmented and you only need one swipe of colour on the lips, they aren't what they claim to be. The texture is creamy and the consistency thick, but they do not dry matte which is what I expected a matte liquid lipstick to offer me. Because the formula of them is so thick and creamy, I find them to be quite heavy on the lips and really noticeable. They are also quite wet on the lips and never seem to dry so because of this, they transfer like crazy. I tried eating a sandwich and by the time I had finished, I think I consumed more of my lipstick than anything else!

As pretty as both shades of these Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks are, I don't think I like them. They don't dry matte, they are too thick and heavy on the lips and they don't last long at all as they just seem to transfer onto everything they touch. I know it is hard to find drugstore matte liquid lipsticks which could rival the Kylie Lip Kits but these aren't even in the same league.


Review // Real Techniques Bold Metals Dupes For Under £5

We all love Real Techniques make-up brushes, don't we? They are affordable, easy to get hold of and best of all, they are of a great quality. Before Real Techniques came about, I am pretty sure I applied all of my make-up with those crappy brushes you receive within a set that you got gifted from your Great Aunt Phyllis as a child for Christmas. They did the job - just not very well.

I love Real Techniques brushes so much so that I decided to treat myself to one of the brushes from the Bold Metals Collection. It was the Triangle Foundation brush and it was £22 so I was expecting marvelous, wonderful results but in reality, I hated it. For that amount of money, I want something wonderful. I found that my make-up applied no better than if I were to apply my make-up with a cheaper brush and as much as I loved the look of it, I didn't like the overly synthetic bristles which weren't particularly soft on the face. So all in all, a waste of money really. I can count on one hand how many times I have used it which is a real shame as it has also really put me off the other brushes within the Bold Metals Range.

I've recently realised that I could really do with a few more eyeshadow brushes as well as a contour brush and whilst I wasn't setting out to buy them from eBay, when I saw a collection of 7 brushes which looked just like the Real Techniques Bold Metals range for less than £5, I decided to give them a try in hope that it would make me realise that the real Bold Metals brush I own isn't so bad after all. 

I will start off by saying that if you type 'bold metals make-up brushes' into eBay, hundreds of results will come up - all of which come from China. They can vary in price but I bought mine from this seller for £4.89 which works out at 69p a brush which is pretty damn good considering I paid £22 for an original, which is 32x more expensive than the eBay version. You can buy them in a mixture of bold metals shades, rose, silver or gold or choose a mixture of all three which is what I went for. But what do you get and more importantly, are they any good?

Within the 7 brush collection you get... a powder brush, a triangular foundation brush, a tapered blusher brush, a flat contour brush, an oval eyeshadow brush, an angled liner brush and a tapered eyeshadow brush. What more could you need? If you were starting off a make-up brush collection then you will have everything you require within this little 7 piece set. The best bit of all? They are actually pretty damn good.

Considering they came all the way from China, they only took 9 days to arrive which is pretty good going. I wasn't expecting much from this brush set considering the price and the fact they are unbranded, but I was so surprised at how soft they are. They aren't as weighty as the real Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes but the bristles are so lovely and soft - in fact, much softer than the originals.

Not only do they feel wonderful but they work wonderfully too. I love the flat contour brush for contouring and the eyeshadow brushes blend everything out like a dream. I really did not expect much from this Real Techniques Bold Metals dupe set but I'm so happy with them. They may be cheap but they hold their own against the original Real Techniques brushes and for £4.89 for 7 brushes, stay clear of the real Bold Metals collection and buy these instead!

Review // Dior So Real Sunglasses Dupe With Firmoo

Let's talk sunglasses. How many pairs do you own? I have three. A pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers which I bought on an impulse a few years ago at Duty Free in Heathrow Airport in a moment of madness (you can count on one hand how many times I have worn them - and still have fingers left over), a pair of cheapy sunnies from New Look which I bought last year and a pair of Ray-Bens which I bought for all of about €3 off of a dodgy man and his little stall in Spain many, many years ago. So you could say that I'm not much of a sunglasses kinda girl.

That was until I saw the Dior So Real Sunglasses. I'm sure you have all seen them splashed all over Instagram but if not, this is what I am talking about.. How beautiful, with the rose gold pink mirrored lenses and the pink hardwear.. So beautiful. So pretty. So.. £295. 

I was recently contacted by a glasses brand called Firmoo asking if I would like to try out either a pair of glasses which I could have made to fit my prescription or a pair of sunglasses. I do actually wear glasses as sadly, if Harry Styles were to be wondering ahead of me with a placard declaring his love for me I would be none the wiser as my eyesight doesn't extend too far ahead so the idea of getting some beautiful new glasses was rather tempting. Having said that, as soon as I saw these sunglasses on the website, the thought of sight had completely left my mind. Don't they look a little bit familiar to you?

Whilst they are obviously not identical, the Firmoo Women's Full Frame Sunglasses in Clear* do look fairly similar. You can get this exact pair in 5 different colour-ways with different coloured lenses but as they reminded me of the Dior So Real sunglasses so much, I went for the clear frames with pink mirrored lenses to try and recreate my current most lusted after pair. The best bit? They are $19!

I found the ordering process to be really easy and straight-forward, although what I will say is that if you are ordering a pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses, you will need to have your prescription on hand to input in at the ordering stage. When you do this they will ask for your pupillary distance which was no-where to be seen on my prescription so I guess you would need to whack out your pencil case and find that ruler of yours! 

When I placed my order I only had the option to chose the Express Courier Service which costs $18.75 although it does vary from country to country. I found the shipping times to be really fast, so fast in fact that they arrived in 4 days all the way from China.. Which really surprised me as Firmoo are based in New York. Make of that what you will but I do think this should be disclosed when you purchase an item from their website, although I am aware that nearly everything we buy comes from China these days.

When my sunglasses arrived I was a little apprehensive as I thought there was no way that they would look like the photo online but I was completely wrong, they look better! I was so happy when I opened up the packaging to find a sunglasses case and a pouch with the sunglasses tucked safely away inside. Whilst the design of the sunglasses case isn't to my taste, it does the job and was an unexpected little extra, as well as a couple of little tools to tighten the frames with.

I really, really love the look of these sunglasses and they will 100% be coming on holiday with me in a couple of months time. For fashion sunglasses they are great and look wonderful but I do think the quality of them is fairly average. Obviously they are fairly cheap so I can't expect Dior quality but I would liken them to what you get on the high street, if not just ever so slightly better.

Overall, I do really love my little Dior So Real Sunglasses dupe from Firmoo. They look so lovely and whilst the quality is pretty standard, I am quite confident that I will get a lot of wear out of them without any faults occurring. I love that they send you a sunglasses case, pouch and little adjustment tools with them and I found the ordering stage to be really easy and painless and the shipping to be very thorough and quick in reaching my doorstep. 

Firmoo offer so many sunglasses that I loved, some of which look a lot like Quay Australia sunnies so if you like those then I am sure you will find a pair to suit you. Firmoo have kindly created a couple of discount codes for you to use to put towards your own pair, although they expire on the 6th of August, 2016.

Use the code 'HELLOTEDDY' at checkout to purchase any of the glasses on this page for free - you just have to pay for the P&P.

Use the code 'RUDKINT' at checkout to get $10 off any of the sunglasses on this page. Meaning if you used the code on the sunglasses I chose, they would only be $9 which is around £7.

Happy sunglasses shopping!

(*Sunglasses sent for review purposes)


Review // Elegant Touch Totally Bare Stiletto 003 False Nails

I don't compliment myself much or think too highly of myself but I do have nice nails. They are strong, long and grow quickly - no bitten nails around here. I think having nice nails is really important and it's one of the first things I notice about people. We have all seen those 'if a person with nails like this touches me...' memes (see here) and if I thought I was fussy about nails then then boy, I am even worse now!

I have never been a nail biter or picker although my nails do have a tendancy to split halfway down which can be so, so painful! I think this happens because my nails get so long that a bit of a knock can really damage them. This happened recently to both thumb nails so I had to file all of my nails down which was a real blow to the gut I tells ya. There is nothing I dislike more than short nails, probably because I spend a lot of time staring at them everyday, so I decided to try false nails for the first time ever. I have always loved the whole pointy, stiletto nails so I decided to try the Elegant Touch Totally Bare Stiletto False Nails.

About the Elegant Touch Totally Bare Stiletto False Nails:
"Totally Bare nails are a blank canvas so you can create your own look. Whether you want to polish them or get inspired with nail art, they are simple to use as you can decorate the nails before applying them to your hands. Polish lasts much longer when applied to a press-on nail as it adheres firmly and the lack of moisture, found on your natural nails will ensure the colour will not lift. Glue is included for application and will give fantastic results for up to 10 days when applied according to the instructions."

I have never used false nails before so I wasn't too sure what to expect from the box but included within the Elegant Touch Totally Bare Stiletto pack is 48 nails in 10 different sizes. The instructions say it takes just 10 minutes to apply a set of nails and all I can say to that is HA HA, have you met me? An hour and a half I was still sat there fiddling around with strange shaped pieces of plastic. 

The Application:
I made sure my nails were clean and free of any nail polish then I tipped the entire packet of false nails onto a table and tried my hardest to size them up against my real nails. I actually found this really hard as the nails weren't numbered in any way and I started to find it tricky in trying to find two of the same size as, towards the end, none of them seemed to fit! It took me forever. In fact, it was the hardest bit. Once I had finally found the correct sizes and managed to work out how the glue included came out of it's bottle, it was a breeze. All you have to do is spread a small dot of glue onto your nails, being careful you don't get it on your skin, clothes or in your eyes, then carefully place the nail just above your cuticle. Once it's on, you just need to press the nail down for a few seconds just so it's secure and that's it. Pretty hassle free and easy. I can see why they say it would take 10 minutes as it really is very straight-forward.

I really loved the look of these false nails bare but as I was going to a wedding I decided to paint them to match my outfit. I found that the nail varnish dried a lot faster on these Elegant Touch false nails, as opposed to my real nails. I also didn't manage to smudge them like usual either which is pretty remarkable. Elegant Touch claim that nail polish lasts a lot longer on false nails as opposed to real nails and I totally agree. The nail polish has not chipped at all when it usually starts to wear away after a day or so, although I have only been wearing them for 4 days.

Those are all of the pros, let's talk about the cons! Within less than 24 hours, one nail fell off. Typically it was mid-wedding and I didn't bring any glue with me to stick it back on with which is a real pain. Since then three other nails have fallen off and I have had to stick them back on again and I have to say, I wasn't doing anything too strenuous when this happened. For example, opening a door, wrestling with a pair of tights, that kinda thing. I haven't minded too much as it hasn't happened when I have been at work but if I go to work tomorrow and accidentally give my customer their purchase and a little somethin' extra that they didn't ask for, I won't be too happy I tells ya.

I do really love these false Elegant Touch Stiletto Nails as I just adore the shape of them - they make me feel like Adele. They are really easy to apply, once you have successfully managed to match the false nails up to your real nails in size, and I find it much easier to paint these false nails than my real ones as they dry so much quicker and don't chip as easily. The only downfall to these nails I find is that they are so temperamental. One nail fell off within less than 24 hours which I found a little disappointing considering they claim to last up to 10 days. I find that I am constantly looking down at my nails just to check that they are all still there! I think these nails are great for an occasion and for just a short wear but I couldn't trust them enough to wear them for long periods of time.

If you wanted these false nails on for longer than a couple of days then I would just go and get them done professionally as the constant worry of them falling off at inappropriate times would just drive me mad. That said, I do really like them, although maybe I won't wear them to work, just in case!


Review // Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo in Light

Everyone seems to be all about that contour and highlight at the moment and guess what? So am I! Although I do find contouring rather intimidating. You can go from subtly chiseled to having two dark stripes across your face real quickly. Blending is key, there is no denying that, but wouldn't it be great if there was something out there which made the job slightly easier?

My usual contour product of choice is the MAC Powder Blush in Harmony. It is a matte rosy-beige brown which in my opinion, makes for the perfect neutral contouring shade. I firmly believe MAC Powder Blushers are really worth the money. At £18.50 they are definitely not the cheapest but I have worn Harmony pretty much everyday for about 4 years now and it still looks as if it is brand new. However recently I have been using a product I love just as much, with the sole purpose of contouring and the whole reason of its existence. It promises to make contouring easy and the best bit is it's only £6.99. Give a warm welcome to your new best friend, the Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo.

About the Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo:
"Looking to enhance or refine your natural features? Our 1st 2-in-1 contouring stick is what you have been raving about. It features a highlighter and a contour and comes in a creamy matte texture for a perfect sculpted look that last all day. Draw on the areas you wish to focus on. Define with the contour cream, illuminate with the highlighter, then blend with your fingers."

Available in two shades, Light and Medium, both Maybelline Master Contour V-Shape Duo consists of a light beige shade as a highlight and a milk/dark chocolate brown for the contour side, depending on which variation of the product you purchase. The whole duo stick is cream based and it does look a little intimidating in the stick. It took up a little courage to swipe this product on my face but once I did, oh boy, was I happy.

I apply this product after I have applied my foundation and I start with the brown side, although if you were to angle the stick correctly you could probably quite easily swipe both sides at once in a stripe across the cheekbones but I find it easier to apply the contour and the highlight separately. The Contour Duo is very creamy in formula and high in pigmentation so it applies effortlessly. The cream formula makes it blend easily but it's not soft like butter - it still has some substance to it which makes it almost crayon-like.

I apply the contour side first just ever so slightly under my cheekbones to give them some definition then I blend it out with a damp beauty blender. You can blend it in with your fingers if you wanted but I prefer to use a beauty sponge to blend using a dabbing motion. I then apply the milky highlight side along the cheekbones and blend in again, with the beauty blender. To be honest, I don't personally find the highlight side to be very beneficial to me as I find it blends in with my skintone and foundation far too easily so it just dissolves into the background without highlighting up my life but the contour side is spot on.

I have had this contour stick for a while now and I haven't stopped using it. The whole product is creamy, pigmented and easily blendable with a matte finish. It makes contouring and highlighting incredibly easy and whilst I don't think the highlight shade shows up on my skin too much, the contour shade is the star of the show. It is everything you want from a contour and I firmly believe that Maybelline should ditch the highlight side and make a whole new product just with the milky brown chocolate contour. For £6.99 I am incredibly impressed and it has now made its way into my everyday make-up routine!