An Accidental Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheats

7.31.2015

Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner

For a moment ignore the shade difference of the two products in the above photo, as the title suggests this was very much an accidental dupe find. While looking for a great but budget nude lip liner for everyday use, I stumbled across Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liners and bought a few without as much as a second thought. It wasn't until I got home later that evening that I realised the packaging, texture and formula seemed familiar, I had unintentionally found a £5 dupe for one of the most sought after lip products around - Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat.

Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner

Typically when it comes to a dupe product, we don't pay all that much attention to the packaging but I can say that the Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liners and Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheats are pretty similar ascetically. Both are slim yet weighted golden pencils that are a dream to sharpen (no mess or breakage) and use for that matter.

Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner

I don't own enough of either pencil to offer up dupe shades at the moment (my local Boots was pretty skimpy in terms of Max Factor) but I can compare formulas. As a quick side note the shade I have Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liner in Pink Petal does look to be rather similar to Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk - perhaps the latter is a little more blue based and deeper in tone. Both are creamy, matte yet not at all drying - if anything I'd go as far as describing bot textures as gel based, they glide on to the lips with ease allowing you to not only shape but fill in one quick step. Again the colour pigment levels are comparable - beautifully pigmented, long wearing and not prone to bleeding or feathering, assuming you are using the lip pencil as an all over lip colour rather than in the traditional sense.

Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner
Dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner

At £5 the Max Factor Elixir Lip Liners are faultless, they truly do feel like a luxury product and wear just like one too! With six shades you may or may not find an identical shade dupe for a  Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Pencil, I'm more than sure you will find a shade suitable for your needs and dupe shades or not they are worth owning and trying full stop.

Max Factor Elixir Lip Liner £4.99 via Boots - link.




Beauty Q&A - Should You Use a Separate SPF

Is SPF Found in Make Up Effective

Foundations, primers and even setting powders now contain SPF - so frequently so, that I am often shocked when I stumble across a base product without sunscreen. It may be the norm but is the sunscreen within make-up beneficial and does it offer enough protection to skip a separate SPF?

The short answer is no! We don't apply enough foundation (liquid, powder or even primer) in terms of volume of product, or regularly enough to gain adequate protection. For instance did you know that to fully protect a small area such as the face you need 2ml of SPF? No me neither but that is around the size of a lid from a water bottle. I don't know about you but I seldom if ever apply that quantity of foundation to my face. If you do skimp, for instance say you apply closer to 1ml daily then you half your sun protection - i.e an SPF of 30 will reduce to a 15 and so forth, something no cosmetic product label highlights.

It is also recommended that when outdoors on a sunny day you should reapply SPF every two hours, again not something the average person will ever do in regards to make up. Can you imagine how horrid the skin would feel with endless layers of foundation in a warm climate, let alone the cost of such foundation habit.

Now I know what you are thinking, yes a standalone facial SPF (factor 30 and above is what is recommend) will offer more protection but what good is it, if it needs to be applied every two hours? Well as stand alone SPF has been designed to protect the skin from UV rays, it will protect the skin for longer and more effectively when applied liberally and is more likely to be a broad spectrum SPF (protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays). To top up protection throughout the day (more important in warm/sunny weather than the Autumn/Winter) my dermatologist recommends using a powder SPF (Bare Minerals SPF25 Mineral Veil is great) or at the very least a pressed powder containing SPF. Powder is more dense than liquid, and therefore more likely to stay in place as far as cosmetics are concerned thus will be more protective.

Personally on a really warm day and when not sun seeking (I don't wear foundation to the beach or around the pool), I have been known to mist SPF on top of my make up. I know that is not for everyone but I do find it is more comfortable than copious layers of zinc based powder. The trick is to find a light weight facial SPF spray that won't irritate the skin nor clog pores. I recommend and use La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Spray SPF 50+, on the go. Yes it leaves my skin with a light sheen but it is far from greasy and doesn't tend to remove my make up, not to mention it is quick and easy to use.

Although experts state that sun screen found within beauty products is often more for vanity purposes rather than truly protective, I do think it is better than nothing. Yes stand alone SPF for the face is a great idea and routine to get into to shield the skin and prevent premature ageing; I do think the low SPF found in foundation et al serves some purpose and shouldn't be overlooked completely. Surely it is better to have a low SPF than none at all?

What are your thoughts?
Do you find you get enough SPF from your make-up products?




Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

7.30.2015

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

Today is the day, the day in which the eagerly awaited Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette goes online for sale within the UK. A beautiful array of deep yet neutral eyeshadows that will easily take you from day to night with ease, all encased within a visually stunning case. No other palette out there in my opinion quite makes creating a smoky eye as easy as this does. If you are on the fence (and I don't blame you, the Naked launches have been thick and fast) about the newest Urban Decay launch, or simply need a little more persuasion let me share a few thoughts on Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette and of course swatches too.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

So yes Urban Decay Naked Smoky is now on sale via Urban Decay, it will then go on counter the 1st of August within the UK should you want to see it in person before coming to a decision. As you can see Naked Smoky comes presented within a plastic case that features a rather visually striking "floating smoke" print, I find it embodies both the theme and shades of this palette wonderfully. In my opinion this is the best Urban Decay Naked packaging to date; the case is durable yet lightweight (ideal for travel as is the brush), as an added bonus it contains not only a large full sized mirror but also a duo ended blending brush. The concept of the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette is of course to allow the creation of smoky, vampy eye make up not only achievable from one kit but easy. Unlike past Naked launches, Smoky contains a step by step guide for various looks, which is easy to follow and a great source of inspiration.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

In my opinion one of the major selling points of Urban Decay Smoky is that it features an equal proportion of warm and cool shades, as well as matte, shimmer and glitter finishes. Initially this does appear to be a deep, evening ready kit but if you look closer a good few of the shades are light and not all that far removed from either of the Naked Basics Palettes nor Naked 1 or 2. In terms of value I would say that Smoky offers the most bang for your buck; day, night, sculpted and barely there eye looks are more than achievable with this palette - I consider it to be a do all, suit all array of eyeshadows and the one I would see as the safe investment.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

As to be expected the formulation of all twelve shades within Urban Decay Smoky are good to great - the shadows are well pigmented on the whole (a few mattes are a little chalky), easy to apply and blend, soft (there is a little fall out, especially with the matte shades but I find that is the norm with all brands) and long wearing, more so if teamed with a primer. Surprisingly the brush included within the palette is a surprise hit, a duo ended soft, synthetic brush that has been especially designed to help with blending and of course smoking out the eyeshadows. I would happily purchase the brush as a standalone product - it is the good!

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

The twelve shades within Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette are:

- High (champagne shimmer w/micro-glitter)
- Dirtysweet (medium bronze)
- Radar (metallic taupe w/iridescent micro-glitter)
- Armor (metallic silver-taupe w/tonal sparkle)
- Slanted (light metallic grey)
- Dagger (medium charcoal w/micro-shimmer)
- Black Market (jet-black satin)
- Smolder (deep plum-taupe)
- Password (cool taupe matte)
- Whiskey (rich brown matte)
- Combust (soft pink-taupe)
- Thirteen (light beige satin)

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

As you may have noticed most of the shades are not re-promotes from previous Urban Decay Naked Palettes; rather Smoky contains nine never seen before eyeshadow shades and three palette exclusives too! The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette will undoubtedly be a sell out but in this instance I do feel it merits the success - as said above the broad range of shades and undertones allow this to cater to just about every complexion, age and eye make-up needs for that matter.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review

Now over to you; will you be purchasing this in the coming days or have you grown tired of the Naked franchise? Do you think there is room for a Naked 5 palette, if so what route would you like it to take? I'd love a jumbo, all matte palette but then again I am fairly boring when it comes to eyeshadow.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette £38 via Urban Decay - link.

This post contains a press sample.



Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum

As many will know Kendall Jenner is now the face of Estee Lauder cosmetics and her first (perhaps ever?) fragrance campaign for the brand is Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum. If you enjoy the original Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau de Parfum but want something a little warmer, spicier and edgier then this is the launch you have been waiting for.

"Modern Muse Le Rouge was inspired by the complexity of a modern woman. Who is Modern Muse Le Rouge? She’s the captivating woman who makes a bold, colourful statement without saying a word. Her mantra is never go unnoticed. Daring, fearless, and seductive. When she wants to make a show-stopping impression, she wears the ultimate red - Le Rouge."

As you may know the Modern Muse family of scents are composed from two distinctly different accords, the idea is that it reflects different facets of a personality. In the instance of Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum, the two accords are rich roses (bulgarian rose, may rose, jasmine and magnolia petals) coupled with red, ripe fruits (red currant, raspberry, pink pepper and saffron), with a seductive velvet crème accord (patchouli, vetiver, madagascar vanilla and ambrette). They blend seamlessly to create a rich bodied, floral come oriental scent that is ideal for transition from Summer into Autumn.

The beauty of both of the Modern Muse fragrances is that they smell different on just about everyone; on me Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum is quite warm and almost vanilla based, yet on my sister this leans spicier and dare I say it almost fruity.  I would deem Modern Muse Le Rouge to be a fairly strong, long wearing fragrance however it is ageless - not too mature nor young. Not too sweet yet not overwhelming. I can imagine this will appeal to many, especially those in the market for a new signature scent, Modern Muse Le Rouge demands attention. 

I find fragrance reviews to be most helpful when there is some semblance of a comparison. In my opinion Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum is a dead ringer for Jimmy Choo Exotica Eau de Parfum - both share similar red fruit notes, spice composure and of course a creamy base. Others have compared this to Giorgio Armani Sì Eau de Parfum, noting that the latest Modern Muse addition has a stronger rose note shining through. Comparison fragrances aside this is one to check out if you are a fan of lightly spiced, warm rose and red fruit scents - I can't think of a more ideal fragrance companion for crisp, Autumn days.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum £45-£90 via John Lewis - link.

This post contains a press sample.

Six Ingredients, One Heck of a Cleanser

7.29.2015

Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean

It's not often in which I get to write about a skin care product in which it is effective and only contains six ingredients - all of which are organic and sustainable. Intrigued? Well let me share a few thoughts and experiences on a new cleansing balm - Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean, a product that is sure to set the beauty world alight.

Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean

Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean is a solid cleansing balm that has of course been designed to thoroughly cleanse the skin but also doubles up as a nourishing moisturiser for dry skin and chapped lips (it soothes and heals effectively). As mentioned above it contains a mere six ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed Oil), Carthamus Tinctorius (Thistle Oil), Borago Officinalis (Borage Oil), Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus Essential Oil) and Mentha Spicata (Spearmint Essential Oil), all of which are certified organic. There are no nasty surprises, what you see is what you get - if only all skincare ingredient lists were as easy to navigate. As a side note all of Skin & Tonic products are made in the UK and by hand no less.

Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean

Due to the abundance of Mint and Eucalyptus oil this of course smells incredible: fresh, minty and very familiar. The added bonus of the Eucalyptus oil is that a little Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean, can be melted into water to create a steam treatment to help de-congest - something to keep in mind for the upcoming cold season. I however can not recommend using this as a cleanser enough; simply scrape out a small coin sized piece, melt between the hands and gently massage on to dry skin. I personally like to let the cleanser sit on the skin for around two minutes before washing off using warm water and a face cloth, I find by doing so it melts off even the heaviest of foundation with ease. If in a rush you can of course remove immediately and it will work just as well.

On the skin Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean becomes a light, silky and indulgent cleansing oil that is easy to use and remove. It does not leave behind any residue, nor does it irritate my easily aggravated complexion nor is it in anyway drying. Rather it gently moisturises and cleanses in one quick step without overwhelming even the oiliest of skin types, and no it won't clog the pores either. Rather it deeply cleanses without stripping the skin and is a complete joy to use. If you try one new cleanser (albeit multi-purpose product) in the coming weeks let it be this.

Skin & Tonic London Steam Clean £11-£27 via Skin & Tonic London - link.

This post contains a press sample.

When Showering Isn't an Option

When Showering Isn't an Option

Summer - the season to go camping; be it in a beautiful countryside setting or in a muddy field at a festival. I'm by no means a seasoned camper but I do know that not every site offers showering facilities which may leave you feeling less than fresh, the good news is that the beauty world is full of waterless cleansing options and not just for your face. I've said it before and I'll say it again, what a time to be alive ha!

When Showering Isn't an Option

Zerreau Towel Off Apple Shampoo £5.99 via Superdrug - link.

Dry Shampoo is a complete life saver when travelling but the hair can reach a point, in which you really just need to admit defeat and wash it. If a shower is off the cards then Zerreau Towel Off Apple Shampoo is your new best friend. This freshly scented foaming shampoo is applied to dry hair (the roots), thoroughly massaged into the scalp and then towelled off. No rinsing or water is required and it surprisingly not only refreshes the hair but removes both product build up and dirt effectively. Would I use this frequently? No as it is a little drying but for the odd trip away from home it is rather genius, the hair feels and looks fresh (much like it would after washing with water) not to mention the mild apple scent is rather pleasant too.

When Showering Isn't an Option

Pump It Up Dry Shower Body Wash £3 via Boots - link

Pump It Up Dry Shower Body Washes are the body version of the above shampoo, a quick and easy way to "wash" the body when bathing is not on the cards. Initially the Pump It Up Dry Shower Body Washes created to eliminate the stench of body odour all the while being pH friendly, to use you simply applyto dry skin and allowed to dry (it does so quickly as it is a foam). There is no need to towel or wash off, simply rub on and go - this in turn eliminates any dirt and bacteria, leaving skin feeling and smelling great. Forget camping, I wish this was around when I was younger for after gym class!

When Showering Isn't an Option

Boots Botanics Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution £3 via Boots - link

Sure pricey, fancy skin care is great but it is the last thing you need for travel, camping or otherwise. Stock up on budget friendly yet effective options, in my opinion Boots Botanics is hard to beat: kind on the skin and wallet, with a broad range of products to choose from. I may not be a huge fan of micellar waters for day to day use but for travel it is pretty much an essential - it can be used to cleanse and tone the skin in one quick step, and I guess the same applies for the hands and body too (maybe apply to a cloth and use as a make shift shower)? Boots Botanics Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution removes make up, dirt and grime without irritating the skin and costs a mere £3 for 250ml. Your travel bag needs this.

I'd also recommend packaging a can of dry shampoo, hand sanitizer and facial wipes over baby wipes. Facial wipes can be used all over the body to cleanse and re-freshen but unlike the majority of baby wipes they won't sting or irritate the face area. 

Now if only I could get over my dislike of the great outdoors camping would be a breeze ha! If you have other products that help to cleanse without the need for water or a shower facility, do let me know.


I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

I am a Juicy Couture girl - from my pre-teen days of wishing I owned a velour tracksuit, right up until present day in which I enjoy the brands fragrances. I somewhat collect Juicy Couture scents and always look forward to any new launch. The good news is that a new fragrance has just launched, an Eau de Parfum no less in the form of Juicy Couture I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum.

"I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum combines ripe, juicy fruits to open this bold and alluring scent before blending a seductive mixture of Gardenia and Cashmere Woods. The fragrance opens with the biting succulence of bursting Raspberry, freshly tart Pomelo and lush Passion Fruit. In the heart, a narcotic temptation of Gardenia, Heliotrope, dreamy Rose de Mai and sensual Sweet Pea combine. It finishes with an addictive luxuriousness of soft Musks, warm Cashmere Woods and Candied Amber."

If you are familiar with the Juicy Couture past fragrances this will have a certain familiarity, in my opinion it reminds me a lot of Viva La Juicy only I find this to be a little more floral, less sweet and overall a stronger scent. I'd also somewhat draw comparison to the limited edition Marc Jacobs Daisy fragrances that are launched each Spring/Summer. Oddly the Raspberry note is one that I find shines through the most - it is soft, creamy and almost reminiscent of Raspberry Ripple ice cream. As the scent dries down it takes on a more floral and slightly dusky form and gives way to the rose note. Despite the uber glam and altogether chic bottle this is a very young and fresh scent, if you enjoy light, carefree, long wearing sweet floral based scents this is for you.

I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum is one of the few fragrances that I find perfect for both day and night wear, the soft blend of fruity come floral notes aren't overwhelming yet long wearing and lend themselves well to just about every occasion. As silly as this may sound I find I am Juicy Couture to be have a nostalgic twist, something about it reminds me of being a child.

I am Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum is currently exclusive to Selfridges and ranges in price from £9.99 - £69.99 -link. 

This post contains a press sample.
Blog Design by The Blog Store