Review: Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

I thought I’d start the year as I mean to go on…focusing on beauty! Obviously I’ve been aware of the Clinique Chubby Sticks for quite some time as they’re not really a new product but I’ve not used them before as I’m not that big into lip colour. However, my sister gave me a set of 3 as one of my Christmas presents and I know that she’s used them before so I thought I should give it a go in case I was missing a trick. I was!

Chubby FaceThe first colour I’ve tried is this Pudgy Peony shade which is a purple-pink colour. Normally I’d go for a more orange-based shade but this is fantastic; the bluey tone makes my teeth look whiter and the colour is striking without being over the top. It doesn’t even clash with the red bits in my hair! I’ve inserted a small picture of me with it on so you can see it in action but please forgive my podgy face and lazy, work hair.

It’s really easy to apply, just like a big crayon and because it’s a balm, it slides on and doesn’t have any of that sticky or dry feeling that some lip colours have. I’ve found that the first layer comes off easily when drinking, etc. but after a couple of coats it has really good staying power for something that you can’t even feel on your lips. It’s also super easy to re-apply because it’s so glossy; you can glide it on to the middle of your lips and then smudge it around properly using what I call the “gurning” technique – rubbing your lips together.

I’ve just Googled the price and it seems these are £17.00 each which is not cheap but if you love your balms and you love colour, they’re a great hybrid. Also look out for them at Bonus Time as I’ve seen them in the free gift packs before. If you’ve got one and you haven’t used it yet, crack it open and start loving your pout! Have a fab weekend everyone 🙂 x

Review: No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, Black

Yo!

Way, way back in October, I reviewed a No.7 Stay Perfect foundation I had tried on my hunt for a decent foundation and mentioned that I had also tried a No.7 mascara at the same time. Well finally, I am going to give you some proper feedback on what I thought of it; it being No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara.

I believe I mentioned in the foundation review that I wasn’t a huge fan of the mascara and nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that I couldn’t really show you before and after pictures because they look so similar you can barely tell I’ve put anything on my lashes! The reason I went for this mascara was two-fold. One part was cost-based as I was pretty broke and needed both a mascara and a foundation so No.7’s offer to buy one and get one half price made perfect sense. The other is that this mascara works in a similar way to Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara which is a previous favourite of mine. (You can find out more about that here.)

No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, £12.95

No.7 Stay Perfect Long-Lasting Volume Mascara, £12.95

As you can see in the picture, this little bad boy has one of the small, precision brushes which can be great at catching the smaller lashes. I’m used to a bigger brush but actually I don’t have any problem with this one, it does it’s job well.

Where this mascara starts to get tricky is layering. I personally think you may as well not bother with one coat of this mascara so you need to layer it on. However, the mascara gets tacky and dries really quickly so you need to be instantly layering more on otherwise the brush drags on the lashes and you end up with a horribly clumpy and uneven look.

Once on, the mascara does stay put well but I found that by the end of the day, some specs had started to melt off onto my face; this never happened with the Clinique. Removal of this mascara is a warm water based affair and you massage the mascara off in tubes. Except because this is so sticky you kind of have to pull it off and they didn’t advise me of this at the counter, I only knew because I’d done my research beforehand.

It’s a great concept but Clinique have done it much better so I’d say spend an extra £4 and get the Clinique version, your lashes will most definitely thank you for it!

Review – Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned once or twice that eye make-up is especially important to me as my eyes are my favourite feature so any time I manage to get my hands on a new product to try, I’m all over it!

I’m not sure how I came to have a travel / sample size of Lancome’s Hypnose Drama mascara but I did and my usual Clinique had run out so I decided to give it a go.

Now when I say give it a go, I have put this bad boy through it’s paces! Firstly and most crucially is the brush, it’s one of those plasticy hedgehog type brushes except it’s also wavy. When it first popped out of the tube I thought it looked ridiculous and I couldn’t imagine how that would work. When I came to use it the first time I also found it a little cumbersome but the results were phenomenal. After just 1 coat my lashes were looking crazy long and were really nicely separated. Check out the result: (nose looked massive from this angle so I have chopped it off & I could not get a decent eyes open pic, the flash was killing me!)

My very close up eyes!

I loved the look so much that I have worn this mascara to work, to a spa and on holiday in 30 degree heat and it’s just brilliant. It doesn’t budge throughout the day and my lashes look really natural and long. My only criticisms are that I would like to be able to layer it up more easily to make it look thicker and it does budge in a spa. The bonus of my Clinique mascara is that it is so hard to get off, it stays put even in water.

Honestly though, for £21, which is cheaper than I though a Lancome mascara would be, this is a bargain. I LOVE IT and am in fact going to replace my sample size with a larger version – something has finally knocked Clinique off the top spot! Now all I’m hoping for is a waterproof version 🙂 x

Review – Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara

Benefit products have been circling in my peripheral vision for years but I’ve never spotted anything that’s grabbed me enough to give it a go, despite many of my friends raving about the range. Then, last month Glamour magazine was offering free Benefit cosmetics so I thought that would be a great time to give something a try. Mascara is one of the items of my make up bag I feel most passionate about so I went for the BADgal Lash option. Here’s what I thought about it:

Upon unscrewing the brush from the bottle, I was quite excited as the brush is thick and full so I was expecting some serious volume, not least because this mascara is meant to give a true false lash look. Oh boy was I disappointed! The brush was so fat that actually it came out of the bottle with barely any product on it. After coat number 1, my lashes looked exactly the same as they did before I’d put any mascara on. Literally nothing! Maybe it’s just because I’ve just opened it, I thought. In I went again…yes, I double dipped! Sadly the same result. I’ve never been this disappointed by a mascara and for something that costs £16.50 normally, it’s an exceptionally poor show!

I appreciate that it was always going to have a tough time filling the shoes of my Clinique mascara but it was truly terrible. To get some perspective, I asked around at work to see if anyone else had any luck. One colleague who has stunning, long lashes said that she had also tried it a while ago and thought exactly the same as me. Point proven, it’s not just my high standards getting in the way, this mascara just does not live up to its claims.

Sorry folks but this is one to miss and it’s not exactly warmed to Benefit as a product range! x

Review – Clinique All About Eyes Serum

Recently I have been doing that super naughty thing of burning the candle at both ends and eating LOADS of junk food at the same time. This has not only been a disaster in terms of my waistline but also in terms of my skin; I’ve never looked so old and tired! It’s all been for a good cause and now I finally have time to write this post, things have calmed down a bit.

Anyhow, as I was looking so hideous and my usual Clinique Airbrush Concealer just wasn’t shifting those dark circles under my eyes, I decided I needed more. I already use a daily eye cream so that wasn’t what was lacking, what I needed was something to make me look more awake and I found it at the Clinique counter (my favourite counter. It came in the form of the Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (£20).

My Saviour!

I’m not going to lie, I thought the woman at the counter who suggested I use a serum was completely mad. I was looking for stronger, thicker make-up, not a bloomin’ serum! Well, well, well…I was wrong!

I first used this last week when I was mid-show time and had only had 3 hours sleep as a result of panicking about said show and remembering my lines! It was like a little miracle!

The roller ball is metal and the serum is cooling so when you roll it on, you feel an awesome soothing, cooling feeling which not only helps to de-puff the area but also helps you feel more awake. That instantly had me loving the product and then, once I applied my make-up, I loved it even more! My concealer hadn’t got stuck in the folds under my eyes, it was smooth and dewy looking which made me look far more awake than I was. In fact it made me look far more awake than I have for a good 6 months or so, I swear it took a few years off my overall appearance! I LOVE IT!

I’ve been using it daily since and I can’t believe I ever lived without it, it is a fantastic product and £20 is a bargain price-tag as it’s going to last me ages. If you have tired looking eyes and have been wondering who that ghoul in the mirror is recently, I highly recommend you give this product a try. I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s used it to see if you love it as much as me! x

Review – Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Ok, here is the next instalment of my hunt for a good foundation that’s just slightly lighter than what I currently use in terms of coverage. This time I was back to Maybelline to try out their Dream Fresh BB Cream; if you live in the UK you will most likely have seen this advertised on a TV near you recently.

First thing’s first, this little baby set me back £7.99 in Boots so whilst it’s not super pricey, it is a fair bit more than the MUA BB I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I picked the “light” shade which I did worry might not be light enough as when I tried it on my hand in the shop, it came out quite orange but it did blend pretty well.

When it came to application, the first thing to notice is that this is quite runny so be careful when squirting it out of the bottle. It’s completely the opposite in consistency to the MUA BB. However I don’t know what consistency I was expecting as this is meant to be an 8-in-1 product!

  • Creates a natural glow
  • SPF 30 UV protection
  • Compliments skin tone
  • Hydrates all day
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Oil free, non greasy
  • Looks visibly smooth
  • Feels fresh

So how did it live up to its 8 claims? Well, after 2 applications I still couldn’t really see it on my skin, it hadn’t blurred my imperfections at all. However, after applying my usual Clinique over the top, it did give me dewy, glowing skin and felt very fresh. I can only take their word on the SPF, I haven’t been able to test that and as for the others, well they’re pretty rubbish claims to be honest. I’ve never used a foundation that didn’t look smooth or that didn’t compliment my skin tone. Pretty much all foundations claim to hydrate and be non greasy but I have other products to manage that so the effect I get isn’t really due to the foundation I am using.

Overall, I’d say give this a miss. I haven’t seen any other glowing reviews of it, most seem to be negative. It provides zero coverage to the point where it doesn’t even change the colour of your skin in any way. The MUA one, although not amazing was much better and was half the price so that’s my current leader. Has anyone else used this Maybelline product? Does anyone like it? x

Review – Makeup Academy (MUA) BB Foundation

As regular readers who have read my review of Maybelline’s Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation will know, I have begun a quest looking for a lighter feeling foundation to replace my Clinique Repairwear Anti-Ageing Foundation which I’ve been using for the past few years. I love my Clinique foundation but my skin has been rather rubbish recently so I’ve been hoping to find a lighter foundation for days when it’s not too covered in blemishes in the hope that it will improve a bit.

However, my start with the Maybelline  foundation didn’t go too well and I was still on my quest. BB creams and foundations are massive at the moment so I thought I’d try one of those and after some quick Googling to see what was out there, I thought I’d try the Makeup Academy (MUA) BB Foundation. At just £4 for a tube, I figured that no matter what I thought, it would definitely be worth a try. You can buy most MUA makeup in Superdrug stores but my local store didn’t seem to have any of this so I used their online shop and the delivery was really quick.

MUA BB Foundation

The first downside which I’ve noticed other people commenting on as well is that the foundation only comes in 3 colours; Light, Medium and Dark. Given my rather porcelain complexion, I figured Light would be the best shade for me. Shockingly, although I usually have the lightest shade of all foundations, the Light colour was a bit too light for me. The foundation was the same colour as the lightest parts of my skin which meant that I just looked that little bit too pale and slightly less healthy than the glow my Clinique gives me.

Applying the foundation isn’t great, it’s really quite thick and despite it being a BB foundation, I really felt like I still needed a primer underneath to help it smooth over my skin. Coverage-wise however, it really came into its own; I would never have expected such good coverage from a bargain foundation. It evened out my skin tone well and covered my enlarged T-zone pores as well. It didn’t look like that by the end of the day, I’d say you’d  need a lunchtime top-up if you wanted to look flawless for a whole day but not bad for the price.

However, when I got home that evening, I did have a few blemishes that I hadn’t started the day with. I wasn’t sure if that was just coincidence or not so I waited a few days and then gave it another go and it wasn’t as bad but I did end the day with a blemish that wasn’t there at the beginning. So, if you have blemish-prone skin, you should just keep a watch on this in case you experience the same.

The final thing that makes me question this foundation as a good choice for me is that unlike a lot of BB products, it’s not got any SPF. My current foundation is SPF 15 and for somebody as pale as me, that’s an absolute lifesaver in the summer months as I tend to burn if I so much as look at the sun.

Overall, for £4 a pop, I’d say this is a great product. However, if you’re used to the staying power of something higher quality, I’d say give it a miss. It would be excellent for someone who has good skin and only wears makeup for nights out and therefore only needs a base for other makeup and for it to last a few hours at a time.

Unfortunately for me, after trying this, I decided that sticking with my current foundation would probably be the way forward for now. However, when I went to buy some more last week, I was informed that it has been discontinued; the one I bought was pretty much the last one in Reading in my colour. Therefore, my hunt will continue so watch this space for more foundation reviews and please do let me know if you have any ideas! x

Review Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation

Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people blessed with flawless skin, (unlike my sister…argh!) and so I’m always on the lookout for a foundation with great coverage which feels nice and light on my skin.

I usually use Clinique’s Repairwear Anti-Ageing Makeup on the majority of my face and then Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup on my forehead. My forehead can sometimes get quite dry so I have to wear a lighter foundation; I also find that thick foundations can cling around my eyebrows and hairline which is never a good look! This combination works well and covers me nicely from morning until evening and reflects light well in photos so I look like a porcelain doll 🙂

However, the foundation is pretty thick and I would like something budget friendly that’s a bit lighter, especially for the Summer. So, when I was in Boots on Saturday and I spotted the new Maybelline Dream Airfoam range on offer for just under £7 each, I thought I’d give it a bash. Being the English rose that I am, I went for the lightest shade, Ivory which actually isn’t that pale…I can only just get away with it!

I have to say this is not like any foundation I have ever used before. First lesson is that you MUST shake it lots before you depress the pump. If you don’t, you get unpigmented foam which is no good to man nor beast. Secondly, pressing the pump with the right pressure is an art, one that I have yet to master! It’s just like hair mousse so it grows in your hand and then starts fizzing away to nothing so if you take too much, it will just be wasted. Thirdly, application is messy. You have to pump it into your hand and then use the fingers of your other hand to apply. This is a whole extra hand’s worth of mess than I would normally have when applying foundation.

Yesterday was the first day that I wore the foundation and I have to say I wasn’t hugely impressed. Where my skin really needs coverage is my nose and chin and I had to use two layers of foundation on those areas to feel confident enough to leave the house. It also did nothing for the dark circles under my eyes, that job was left entirely to my concealer. Then to top it off, I looked dirty. I don’t think the colour was too dark, (not that there is a lighter shade) I just don’t think it reflects the light in the way that my Clinique foundations do. However, I was determined to give it a proper test so off I went to work with it…

Around 5pm when I popped to the ladies’, I noticed in the mirror that suddenly I was looking pretty minging. The foundation had clumped onto areas of slightly dry skin which meant I had a patch on my forehead and lines down the sides of my nose. Where it hadn’t clumped, it had pretty much slid off in the heat of the office. Not impressed! Sorry I have no pictures of any of this, none of my photo-taking devices are good enough to pick up this level of detail!

Essentially, if you have perfect skin and don’t need a foundation, this might work for you. Though in that instance, I would recommend a tinted moisturiser instead. If your skin is uneven in tone, has large pores, is dry or oily in any way, shape or form, I would avoid this. It’s messy to apply and the results just aren’t worth effort; spend a bit more and hop on over to the Clinique counter, they’ll be able to help you there. x

Mascara Review – L’Oreal vs. Clinique

My eyes are my favourite part of me – for all the things I hate, they are the one thing I am pleased turned out just the way they are. As such, I like to be able to show my eyes off to their best advantage at all times and an important part of that is getting my mascara right.

A few years ago my step-mum turned me into a big Clinique fan and since then I have refused to use any foundation that is not made by them and until recently I had been the same with mascara. However, I have gone a bit mad with my spending so I thought that I would try an alternative in the interests of frugality!

My usual mascara of choice is Clinique’s High Impact Curling mascara in black (£15.00) – check it out here. It is brilliant! I find the wand really easy to use, I can put on a couple of coats for great oomph and it stays put forever! None melts onto my face and when I take it off I have to use warm water and it comes off in clumps rather than a black mess all over my fingers.

As you can imagine, it was scary moving away from that but I decided I would check out the L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara in Extra Black as it was on offer in Tesco so I got it for £9.22. (Here is the product)

The verdict is mixed – the brush is great at separating my lashes and it really does add volume but I find the brush way too cumbersome for the lower lashes. However once on, my lashes look amazing – better than with my Clinique! BUT…by the end of a day at work, I look a bit like a raccoon with very dark circles under my eyes as my mascara has started to melt. Also, the sheer volume of mascara I have to apply means that getting it off is a messy is business and I tend to have black streaks all over my fingers and face!

So for me, my Clinique is the way forward as it works – day in, day out and I know I can guarantee it will always be on my lashes, rather than under my eyes. However, if you want a fairly cheap mascara to use for occasions only and also want the fake lash effect, you should give the L’Oreal a go.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has any winning tips on how to achieve lasting “wow” eyes 🙂 x