Covergirl Lash Blast Length Mascara Review

This week I am going on a trip that I’ve been waiting for and planning for months; I’m going to New York.

I CANNOT tell you how excited I am.

I’ve wanted to go to America my whole life, and New York in particular. Anytime that friends go I pester them for information, every last detail. I want to know every tiny thing. And I’m just as interested in the big stuff as the little stuff; to me, going up the Empire State Building is just as exciting as buying a coffee from a real American starbucks and drinking it while reading the New York Times. That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

So I’m going, finally. Next week, for 10 whole days. I’ve planned in meticulous detail where to go, what to see, and what we’re doing to be doing on each day, even at what time. I’m a bit of an overplanner, if I’m honest; I’ve got the whole holiday on a schedule. This may conflict with my boyfriend’s Laissez-faire attitude to holidays, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Potentially whilst crossing THIS bridge!

Potentially whilst crossing THIS bridge!

Anyway, in the midst of all my planning, there’s one thing that totally didn’t occur to me, and weirdly enough that was the beauty products.

I don’t know how this is possible! A whole untapped group of beauty that I’ve never been able to see, and it never even crossed my mind. Until last week, that is, when I was in TK Maxx and spotted this.

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This is a covergirl mascara, a US brand, and one I’ve heard loads about; Taylor Swift is one of their spokespeople, which is enough reason to get excited.

Buy Covergirl and you too can look like this!!

Buy Covergirl and you too can look like this!!

I spotted it and got very excited at the prospect of trying out an American cosmetic brand. Only then did it occur to me that I was GOING to America in just a few weeks. Suddenly images of Sephora were dancing in front of my eyes; I nearly had a mini breakdown in the middle of the shop.

Once I managed to calm myself down I spirited the mascara home with me and unwrapped it straight away. I was a huge fan of the way that they package it with a separate lid so that you can see the brush; why don’t we do that here?

Anyway, I took the mascara out, and that’s when I first noticed it; how much this mascara looks like another of my favourites, Max Factor Lash Extension effect.

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They both have the same conical tube, and the same slim, rubber bristled brush.

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I tried the mascara out and that sealed the deal for me; they were identical. Same subtle lifting and lengthening effect without clumping; the only difference was that the covergirl is waterproof.

You may also notice I sorted my eyebrows out in between pictures. Lily Collins I am not.

You may also notice I sorted my eyebrows out in between pictures. Lily Collins I am not.

I will admit to being a tad let down. I was so excited about buying an American brand, and then it turned out to be a total dupe of my most regularly used mascara. A quick google confirmed it; Max Factor bought the brand, and evidently there are multiple dupes. I’ll make sure to take a few snaps of any I spot in Wallgreens!

So there’s not really a lot to say. I’m reviewing something I’ve reviewed before, multiple times. I still love it. Let’s just hope that the US of A holds a few more exciting products for me! To be continued…

Magazine Freebies Roundup: July 2014

After a disappointing few months for the magazines, they’re back in force with a ton of free stuff for Summer. Huzzah!! Let’s start, as ever, with the ones I didn’t buy.

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Harpers Bazar has a free L’Occitane fragrance which seems like a rather adorable freebie. It wasn’t enough to tempt me, but if you are already a user of their fragrances, what a great way to get a travel size!

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In Style have a free Neals Yard handcream. As of this moment I have 7 tubes of handcream to use up, so this was really easy to resist.

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Elle have a Malin and Goetz travel set containing cleanser, face cream and lip balm. This is exactly the kind of thing I’d usually jump at, but I hadn’t heard of the brand, so it wasn’t a must have. Add that to the fact that Cheryl Cole was on the cover (can’t stand her) and it made it even easier to turn down.

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Red had a Rodial lip balm free, which sounded rather nice, but I have approximately 20 lipbalms already, and since I’ve recently picked a favourite I’m trying to cut down. (More on that later!) As a result, I didn’t get this.

Ok, so moving swiftly on to the magazines I did buy!

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Marie Claire had Katherine Heigl on the cover this month, which was really rather offputting. There’s something about her I just can’t bear; she’s so smug, and nowhere near as talented as she thinks she is. Anyway, I put that aside for the cool freebie; a Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm. Its a thick, sticky scrub which you slather onto your face, then the instructions say to remove with a cloth. I didn’t actually use a cloth the first time, trying to wash it off with just water, and it did not go well. Thick, sticky and immovable this stuff is! I eventually got it off, and my face was nice and smooth, but I’ll defo be using a cloth in future!

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Cosmopolitan had dear old Nicole on the cover, who I do like. Only worth mentioning cos I’ve been so negative about everyone else! Haha! Anyway, they were giving away some New CID cosmetics, a choice of a lip or cheek tint or a mascara. I went with the mascara, and was rather underwhelmed. I’ll update this later when I have pics, but for now safe to say it was rather generic.

photo 4Finally we have Glamour, my fave magazine, who brought me the best gift and the worst cover. Yep, hate Ellie too. Was the month for me to hate on cover stars! Anyway, it was a choice of Clinique products, which is rather cool. I already had the moisturiser and mascara full size, so I went with the lipstick instead. Again, will update later with pics, but it’s pretty decent!

So that was July. More quantity over quality maybe?? Hey, I’m just happy to have some freebies!!

 

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

If there’s one beauty product I really can’t do without, it’s oil. I use coconut and olive oil as a hair mask, argan oil for my hair, I’m OBSESSED with oil cleanser and I think body oil trumps body cream every time. As a result, I’m always immediately intrigued anytime there’s oil added to a product. Recently I started wondering why nobody had added oils to a mascara, and low and behold, as if they had read my mind, the very next day I got an email from Eye of Horus, a new make-up range, in which they described their new mascara- infused with Moringa oil.

I literally had a little chuckle out loud when I read that, as it was exactly what I had been considering. They were nice enough to send me one, and that’s what I’m reviewing today; the Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara.

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I’ve actually had this one for a little while, as I’ve been following my new year’s resolution of using up my growth mascara’s first (eugh). I was so excited to finally get around to trying it, though. Can I first say how cute the bottle is? The shape is very Egyptian, and I love the little golden eye logo on the lid. So sweet.

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The brush is fab too; I’m always a sucker for a cool brush, and this one is awesome. Fine rubber bristles (the best kind) and shaped like an hourglass, which I don’t think I’ve seen before!

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It can look as pretty as it likes, of course, but the important thing is how it looks on your eye. Here’s me without mascara, and then one coat…..

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…and then 1 coat one the left, 2 on the right!

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As you can see, this does a really great job of picking up all the individual lashes and really defining them. That’s exactly what I want from a mascara; I’m not at all a fan of the spidery/clumpy ones, I like the ones that simply elongate and darken each strand. This one does exactly that, and really reminded  me of one of my favourite mascaras, Max Factor Lash Extension. Which can only be a good thing! It also made them look glossier and more ‘hollywood’ than some other mascaras, probably a result of the oil and the uber black pigment.

I was really pleased with this mascara. It does a great job of really opening up your eye and making your lashes fab and fluttery, which is perfect for the day, and also it layers up brilliantly for the evening. Fabulous stuff! If you’re interested you can find it here, or the whole range is available here. Well worth a look!

 

Products sent by PR for review purposes. I was not paid to review, and all opinions are my own.

Magazine Freebies Roundup- July 2013

 It’s that time again! And just like last month, the magazines of England have taken it upon themselves to be ever so generous indeed. I’ll quickly mention the one I didn’t get, which this month was hard to resist- a L’Occitane face cream free with Harper’s Bazaar.

IMG_5476The only reason I didn’t get this in the end was that I’m not quite at the anti ageing moisturizer point yet. It was close, though- a great freebie!

 So onto my haul, a lovely stash of 5 magazines.

IMG_5532I’lll start with the one that caused me the most aggro- the troublesome Cosmo! And when I say troublesome, all I really mean is that the product I wanted wasn’t in the first 4 shops I looked in. It was in the 5th though! Win! 

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 You could choose from a fake tan, a dry leg cream and a bust gel. As I’ve mentioned before, I do NOT wear fake tan, and I’ve never had a problem with dry legs. (Is that even a thing??) As a result, I was totally set on getting the bust gel, and as I said it took me a few goes to get it. I managed it, though, and even though I don’t really know what it is I’m happy. Can’t go wrong with Nip + Fab! 

Next up is In Style, who were offering something that would usually make me convulse with delight- mascara. 

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 I say usually, but in this case I was approaching with caution as I’ve tried a Rituals mascara before and not liked it. I had high hopes after seeing the brush- chunky, wide and thick with bristles. IMG_5526

 

Turns out, however, that the brush was a lying whore. This mascara was not nice. Not. Nice. It gave me that most awful of all looks- spider eyes. untitled 

EUGH. It actually looks better in picture form, believe it or not. Since my lashes are so fair, anything looks like an improvement, but trust me- in reality this was awful. It halved the amount of lashes I had and left them looking sodden and clumpy. Fail.

 So onto happier things, namely my old favourite magazine, Glamour. They never fail to impress, and true to form they delivered with a choice of 4 items from Balance Me. You can have a lipbalm, a face cream, a body wash or a face wash, and since I’m currently trying to compile an overnight set to keep at my boyfriend’s house I went with the face wash. 

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As usual, can’t complain- Balance Me always deliver, and this wash was lovely, leaving my skin squeaky clean. Good work Glamour!

 Speaking of overnight bags, Red magazine were totally spoiling me this month with this adorable little travel set by REN skincare. IMG_5530

 It contains a day cream, a night cream and a cleanser, all in a sweet little ziplock. Perfect for overnights, and also for planes- it’s even ready packed in a clear bag! So much win! I’ve never heard of the brand, but I can’t wait to give it a go.

 The final item caused me a lot of excitement- it’s an adorable liquid eyeliner by Eyeko called Skinny Minny. IMG_5528

 I’m a bit hit and miss with liquid eyeliner, but this one was fabulous as it has a felt tip applicator, which I have always loved.

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 This one was even lovelier than others I’ve tried- a dark, thick liquid and a smooth finish. Apologies for the cackhanded application, but I did this in the car. Despite this it still came out looking semi decent, which I think is a testament to the quality of the eyeliner! (On a side note, this picture also demonstrates the awful spideriness of the mascara. I had to go to work like this people. I had to spend the whole day looking like my eyes were aliens. Not cool.) 

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So I was super happy with my eyeliner, and generally with everything I got free this month. Just not the mascara. I didn’t like the mascara. Have I mentioned that yet???

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara

2000 calories is the kind of label that would normally leave me running scared. I’m also a huge fan of gimmicks, however, and as such just the name was enough to sucker me into this mascara. I just love the idea that my lashes will end up massively fat and obese. Indulge yourselves, guys!!

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I love Max Factor Mascara in general, so it’s a bit of a shock that I’d never tried this one in particular. I hadn’t, though, and a recent repackage convinced me to take the plunge (shallow, easily pleased, swayed by packaging etc). I’m guessing the interior contents are the same, though, including the brush, which lives up to its name by being rather chunky.

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It’s your classic brush with bristles instead of the more common ‘rubber’ brush, but it’s a lot chunkier than most of the anaemic looking ones that seem to still be out there. The bristles are also really tightly packed and close together, giving the impression that they would really load up the lashes. Always good! Like I said, I was carried away on the notion that my lashes would end up looking morbidly obese, and whilst they weren’t amazingly fat they did look pretty darn volumised.

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I liked the fact that you could layer this mascara up, too- it was great for adding extra thickness to the outer lashes, and it didn’t clump like some can when you add more than one layer.

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It didn’t really have the level of ‘drama’ I would have expected from a mascara with such a promising name, but for a day mascara it’s definitely more volumising than most. It’s not made the top of my favourite lists, but I don’t regret buying it. A happy medium from me I’ll say, but it’s not a patch on Volume Million or False Lash Effect– love those guys!

Lancôme Hypnose Star Mascara

Today’s review started out as a much different beast, as when I first tried this mascara I hated it. Seriously. I had always been meaning to get it, but the hefty price tag put me off, and it wasn’t until I saw it in this rather cute gift set around Christmas that I decided to take the plunge.

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For the same price it came with a bottle of eye-makeup remover and an eyeliner, so I figured what the hell, and lugged it home with more excitement than I’ve felt in a long time. I’d heard good things, and the mascara just looked adorable- a curvy bottle with glitter on the bottom.

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The brush is very distinctive, and (spoilers!) the reason that I ended up originally hating it. You can’t see it too well in this picture I’m afraid, but instead of being the traditional round brush it’s a triangle shape that’s flat on 2 sides, like someone has stood on it. According to Lancôme, you use the flat side of the brush to ‘press onto the roots of the upper lashes, to release some product and define the eyes’ and you then turn the brush around to use the side with longer bristles to finish off in the traditional way.  Huh.

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‘Maybe that’s part of the charm’, I thought, happily layering on my mascara in an attempt to emulate this bizarre description. I was NOT impressed. The first attempt made me look like a child who had gone bezerk in her mums makeup draw. The second made me look like a cross dressing panda. I tried a few more goes, and each time the stupid flat brush clogged up my lashes and made them look ridiculous- one attempt stuck them together so much I literally looked like I had five hugely fat eyelashes. Horrifying. I eventually managed a half decent look, and to me it still looked insane- waaaaay spidery, the biggest mascara crime in my book, and with little clumps on the ends.

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Eugh. Not a fan. I sulkily flung it to the back of my mascara drawer and got on with my life, only to dig it out the other day. Since it had cost me £22, I decided to have another bash, only this time I completely ignored the flat side, choosing to use just the ‘normal’ side instead. WHAT  a difference. This was my first go, and only one coat- defined, separated and not a clump or spider in sight.

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I was so convinced it was a fluke I actually took it off and put it back on. But my eyes did not deceive me- this mascara had turned from a fail to a win faster than Anne Hathaway after Les Miserables. I merrily went about my day, and at one point in the bathroom caught sight of my lashes and was so pleased I had to snap off another shot. The volume! (Sorry it’s a tad blurry!)

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The improvement in comparison to my early attempts was so vast it even had me wondering if leaving the mascara to sit for a while was what made it change, but really I think it’s just a change in technique. Bewarreeeee the flat side of the brush!!!

Quick mention of the other items in the gift set, just because. The first was an eyeliner, ‘Le Crayon Kohl’ in Noir.

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Nothing much to say about this- it’s an eyeliner. Its fine, but shockingly not as good as some of my other favourites (Rimmel….). I was expecting great things, but really it just draws black lines with reasonable staying power. Which I guess is all you need from an eyeliner, but in my opinion it does it no better than something a tenth of the price.

The second item was a small bottle of Bi Facil eyemakeup remover.

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What intrigued me about this was the claim ‘non oily’ when the mixture is clearly separated. How could that be possible? But it was! You shake it to mix it up, apply it to cotton and remove makeup in the usual way, and it just feels like ever so slightly greasy water. Doesn’t leave a residue and took all my makeup off nice and fast- again, all you need from a remover!

So that was the incidentals, but really the star here was the mascara. When I first bought this I had no inkling I would end up writing such a positive review, but there we have it- I love this mascara. It’s quickly made its way to the top of my daily usage pile- as long as I don’t use that awful flat bit! Seriously Lancôme, what were you thinking? I might one day attempt to master that again, but in the meantime I’m just glad to have figured out a way to turn this from an expensive mistake to a favourite. Definitely worth the investment! Do you agree? Have you mastered the crazy brush where I failed? Let me know!

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara Plus Free Christmas Gift!

Today’s Christmas freebie gift comes courtesy of Max Factor, and it’s undoubtedly the most gorgeous of all.

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I was drawn to the sparkly gold box with the bow like a moth to a flame- I didn’t even care what was in it, it was mine. Sucker for packaging! Fortunately I didn’t have to think too hard on what I wanted, since I had already run out of one of my staple Max Factor mascara’s- False Lash Effect.

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I’ve used this mascara ever since it was first released- this is about my 5th tube, and it’s an absolute staple of my evening look. I think part of the magic is the fat, chunky, rubber brush- surely one of the best mascara brushes out there.

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A lot of big brushes have long bristles and slender cores, which I think can lead to clumping. This one avoids that by having short bristles but a very chunky core, making it easier to coat and layer your lashes and make them extra volumous.

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This is only one coat- in the evening I really build it up to 2 or 3, and it never clumps or spiders. Absolutely love this mascara! It really does make them as fat and chunky as any mascara I’ve tried, and this one has a pretty gold tube! Don’t think the contents are any different to the black tube, but when the contents are this awesome who cares! A win, as ever, from the Max Factor mascara range.

The mascara was £10.99, and I needed to spend £14.99 to get my freebie. I eventually landed on a lipstick from the Xperience range, called Sheer Gloss Balm.

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I’m enjoying all the lipstick/balm hybrids, and I’m always fond of pale, neutral nudes for lips, so this looked like a winner, and only £6.99. The texture was gorgeous, very light and soft, and I adored the colour. I actually like this more than the Revlon Lip butters!

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IMG_3218So I was super pleased with both my purchases- now for my freebie. The beautiful box contained 4 products, 3 of which were full size. I’ll start with the varnish, a sparkly champagne colour from the Glossfinity mini range. As ever, the second picture is blurry to best capture the true shade.

DSCN0403DSCN0406It’s a very pretty pale gold, very Christmassy and shimmery. The colour is solid in bottle but quite pale on the nails, so I think it would best as a topcoat for a dark shade. Maybe over a mulled wine red? It is buildable, but it takes time: this is 2 coats.

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If you kept going you would get a lovely, champagne gold, but I do think it would work best as a top coat- it would sparklify a French mani wonderfully! It’s a nice shade, but a bit subtle for me.

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Next up is an eye shadow from their Earth Spirits range. I’ve never tried one of these before, but the shade is lovely- a warm, chocolate brown.

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I’m obsessed with brown shadow, and I love that this is slightly matte. I can see it looking lovely along the rim of the eye with a matte cream over the lid. Another brown for my collection! Fabulous!

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IMG_3072The next item is the mini- a small bottle of Masterpiece Max mascara. This mascara has been around forever, and it’s an undying classic. I have the full size, but I’ll never turn down a mini for handbag reasons!

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As far as I can recall, masterpiece were the first mascara’s to have a rubber brush. I remember being blown away at the time, and though they are old hat now they still do it best.

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This really is a great multi functional mascara- it’s light enough for day but can be built up for the evening, all whilst adding length and volume without clumping. Perfection!

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My favourite item in this box was the lipstick. I’m always a sucker for a good lippie, and this was was extra gorgeous. It’s a warm, berry pink with undertones of sparkling gold.

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I wasn’t sure about this in the stick, but on the lips its STUNNING. The pink is perfect, and the gold caches the light wonderfully.

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I’m just nuts about this lipstick, I think it’s my favourite one in the box. It’s perfect for a date or a dinner party, although to be honest I’ll probably end up wearing it to the office all Christmas! The texture is gorgeous too, very smooth but not too glossy or sticky. Perfect.

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I’m in love with my Max Factor gift set, and I’ll definitely be keeping the box. Once again it’s a freebie in which I like everything, which seems to be the theme this year- all the gifts are fabulous!  It’s available now at Boots: let me know if you get it, and if you love it!

 

 

L’oreal Primer and Free Christmas Gift review INCLUDING Color Riche Nail Polish, Lipstick and Volume Million Lashes Mascara

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had gone overboard in beauty buying this weekend in order to get all the free gifts available for Christmas. I’ll be putting them up one by one, and today I’ve chosen L’oreal.

In order to get your hands on the L’oreal freebie you have to spend over £15. As with my Models Own purchase, I didn’t have to think too hard with what I chose as I had run out of my L’Oreal primer, and since that is £14.29 that made up the bulk by itself.

This primer, the Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer, has been around for a while now, and I really can’t recommend it highly enough. This is the very first one I used when everybody was first talking about them, and I still think it has the nicest texture of any I’ve ever used. It’s a very thick, nearly solid cream consistency, and you really have to rub it in to get it to sit right. I think this is a good thing, though, as it makes me think it is really sinking into my pores and doing it’s job properly, almost like a filler!

Despite the fact that I now have about 4 primers that I use in rotation, I will still always purchase this one simply because it works- it leaves my skin looking great and feeling DIVINE, really silky and smooth- the perfect canvas for foundation. Highly recommended!

So since the primer was nearly £15 on it’s own, I didn’t have to spend that much more to get my gift. I landed on a Color Riche nail polish- always reliable, and only £4.99. The shade I chose is 501, Mauve Rendez Vous.

Apologies for the second picture being a bit blurry, but I took a few shots and that was the one that best showed the shade- that lovely, shimmery purple with hints of pink and silver in the light. So pretty. Here’s two coats:

I’ve made no secret of my love of purple, and this shade was a real winner. Slightly velvety and quite subtle for a reasonably dark shade, but with those gorgeous light catching sparkles.

I own a few colour riche shades, and they never let me down- always reliable, reasonably long lasting, and they all seem to have great coverage. Fabulous.

So onto my freebie. L’oreal always impress with their gift boxes, and this year was no exception. You get a rather impressive haul in that little box, including 3 full-size products! Win!

I’ll start with the obligatory sachets, of which there were 2. Normally I’m not too interested in sachets, but both of these held some mild intrigue this year.

You get True Match foundation in shade W3- Golden Beige, and Nude Magique BB cream in medium. I’m a big fan of true match pressed powder, but I’ve never tried the foundation, which meant I was pleased to get this. I will have to test its effectiveness on my sister, however, since this shade will be waaaaay too dark for me!

The BB cream also holds some interest, as I’m yet to find one I like. Everyone has been raving about them and I’m so far unimpressed! This one I’ve seen in action, though, and quite liked- it’s white with some beads that burst and dissolve to mimic your skin tone. Sounds pretty awesome, and who knows- medium may be pale enough for me!

Next up was a pot of face cream, namely Revitalift 10 total repair.

Whilst I’m not quite at the revitalift stage yet, I’ll try it quite happily, and this is SPF20 which is all I really look for in a day cream. It’s got a nice consistency to it, very thick and creamy, but absorbed fast which is another plus from me. If it turns out to make my skin nice then who knows, maybe I’ll be converted!

The next item is a nail polish, another in the Color Riche range. It’s shade 820- Crystalissime.

All of the next three items have ‘issime’ at the end of their names, suggesting they are part of some limited set. I’m not sure if they are available outside of the free gift, but they are all gorgeous so I really hope so! anyway, this polish is lovely, a very light, pearlescent white with a lilac shimmer

On it’s own its highly unnoticeable, so I ended up layering it over the nail polish I bought to get it, the mauve I reviewed above. It gave it a lovely shimmery sheen- I’ve put them side by side below so you can see the difference it makes. The one on the left is the original, the right has the shimmery topcoat.

I’m normally a fan of dark shades, but this one makes a lovely pale top coat. It makes it look wintery, like its been covered in a light sheen of frost- very chritmassy! I’ll definitely use it over a French manicure or pale pastel shades to make them extra magical!

The next item is a lipstick, from a line called Colour Riche Diamantissime, shade 325- Feeric Fuschia

It’s a dark, bright red with a deep pink undertone, and it’s full of little sparkles and shimmers. I’m a recent convert to red lippie, so this came right at the perfect time. The shade is gorgeous, very bright and fun, and you can see the sparkles are lovely- subtle but glam.

 

I own a few colour riche lipsticks and I really love them for their staying power and smooth application. I really loved this shade, and will definitely be wearing it to my Christmas party this year!

The final item is my favourite- a Volume Million Lashes mascara. I ADORE this line of mascaras, and this one is subtitled ‘Diamantissime’, like the rest of the items in the box.

This caused me a great deal of excitement, as I had pictured little sparkles mixed in, but none were visible when I looked on the brush. Turns out that’s because they are so subtle you can only see them in certain lights! Anyway, the shade is called Black Diamantissime, and like I said I’m not sure if this is a permanent line or just for these freebies. I hope it’s the former!

The brush is the same brush as with all of the volume million mascaras, a chunky rubber brush with very short, fine bristles. Perfect, basically! And no surprise, so was the mascara!

I took about 20 pictures trying to catch the shimmers, but none of them worked, so you will have to take my word for it that they are there. They are very subtle and fine, but there are definite glitter particles that catch the light every now and again, making this mascara ultra magical. Besides that, it delivers like all the volume million mascaras do, and made my lashes longer, darker, thicker, and basically volumised! J’adore!

I was so happy with the L’oreal gift set this year. The magic touch of the Diamantissime special editions made it feel extra sparkly and Christmassy- the box had ‘Dress up in Diamonds’ written on it, and thats exactly how I felt. I also loved that there were 3 full size products in there, making it a total bargain: L’oreal have definitely delivered, and this freebie is highly recommended. And when I say highly recommended, I mean drop everything and go and get it. Like, now. Go. NOW.

 

 

Magazine Freebies Roundup: December 2012

It’s funny to think that last month I was rejoicing over the seemingly huge amount of magazine freebies, because this month me has been so spoiled that she feels sorry for last month me. Seriously. I don’t know if it’s because it’s Christmas and they’re being generous, but the quality of freebies you can get with the December issues of our favourite magazines is insane.

For the first time in, oh, EVER, I found myself buying more than one issue of a magazine in order to get extra options. That’s how good this month’s haul was!

I’ll start with Glamour. This month they were offering one of four polishes from Nails Inc. Full size, no less! And a premium brand! Be still my beating heart!

The shades available were Motcomb Street, an almost black navy blue, St James, a pinkish red, Glamour Glitter, clear with gold glitter, and Elizabeth Street, a very pale pink. Nail polish is one area that I really can’t control myself, so it was here I made my double magazine purchase. Since the magazine is £2 and the varnish normally £11 I figured it was justifiable! Anyway, I ended up with Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street.

My favourite is the dark blue, but I really wanted a pale pink which is why I went with both of them, and as always with Nails Inc they are both great quality! Really happy with Glamour’s freebie, it’s so great to have a really fab product free! (Apologies for the terrible application- it was late and I was very tired!)

 

 

 

Last month it was Cosmo’s gift I was most disappointed with, and this month’s is again the least inspiring. The product is a heat protecting blow dry serum, V05’s Smoothly Does it Frizz Free Crème. I used it last night after my shower at the gym and I really can’t report much. Made my hair sleeker than not using a cream would have, but hasn’t done anything special. Still, at least it protected it from the heat!

Company have really pulled it out the bag this month, as they normally don’t seem to have freebies. (And in some stores they still don’t! Take note: I got my nail polish by buying it in WHSmiths, AFTER I had picked up a varnish-free copy from Sainsbury’s. Gutted! Don’t make the same mistake; go to Smiths for yours!)

Anyway, this month Company were offering a free mini Jessica nail varnish, an expensive brand I’ve loved forever. A mini Jessica is normally around £8, so quite a bargain. There were two shades: Company Crimson, a deep maroon red, and Company Vamp, exactly the same shade but with a metallic shimmer. Being a magpie at heart I went for the sparkly one, and I just adore it.

The colour is very rich and warm, and though it was pretty decent after one coat 2 coats really made it look fabulous, very Christmassy. I think Jessica varnishes are even nicer than Nails Inc, so I was very pleased with this one

Marie Claire caused me the most consideration this month, as I couldn’t decide which product I wanted. They were offering two items by Jemma Kidd: a Skin Perfecting Primer and i-define Volumising Mascara. I have loads of mascara, but I’ve been disappointed by most of my new ones to date so I was tempted by that. I also have a great primer, but one can never have enough, right? In the end, a bad review of the primer led me to the mascara. I am SO GLAD.

This may in fact be the best new mascara I’ve tried all year- and I got it free! I am seriously considering getting another copy of the magazine for when I use this up, as it’s just jumped to the top of my favourite mascara’s list.

It makes them longer, thicker and more defined without clumping, and really made them dark and volumous. The picture below was one coat, but I later built up to three and it really layered well too, making my eyes very smoky and Hollywoodesque! Seriously brilliant mascara.

Whichever of the nail varnishes you use this month you can’t fail, but I would HIGHLY recommend you get the mascara instead of the primer- it’s so brilliant, you won’t regret it.

 

Benefit: ‘They’re Real’ Mascara Review

I’m a total mascara junkie, and in the back of my mind have always had a list of mascaras I need to try. Not surprisingly, this total cult product from Benefit has always been number one. Ever since this mascara and it’s very convincing advertising campaign were launched, I’ve been wanting to try it- it’s been on my Lust List since I started it- but I haven’t for two reasons; the fact that I have a thousand other mascaras to use up and the £18.50 price tag. My resolve was lost, however, when by chance I spotted a miniature version in Boots yesterday. My lust for this product combined with a love for mini’s in general AND the lower price tag meant there was no way I was leaving without it.

 

The first thing that surprised me about this mascara was the brush. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a typical rubber bristle brush, only with the added weirdness of a ball on the end to catch little lashes. I don’t know if someone has told the cosmetic industry that everyone loves these circular brushes, and maybe they do, but I really don’t, so that threw me a little.

The second thing that surprised me was how much of an anti climax it was. I’d been expecting great things, amazing things, and I got….. normal things. It’s a perfectly fine mascara. Good, even. But in my opinion it is not worth the hefty price tag, no siree.

I’m struggling to grasp what everyone loves about this mascara, since I can name at least ten off the top of my head that are far superior. I want my mascara to volumise and lengthen whilst still looking subtle, and whilst this did make them darker and thicker it did not lengthen them excessively, and there was definite ‘spider’ action here and there. Sigh.

As it turned out, the thing I liked best about this was the teeny tiny sweetness of it, which wouldn’t even be the case if I had bought the full size! Since it was only £9.50 for this size I’m glad I tried it and satisfied my curiosity, but I won’t be repurchasing. I’ve tried another Benefit mascara, Bad Gal Lash, and I totally prefer it, so if you’re looking to invest in a Benefit mascara that’s the one to go for- I really didn’t feel the love for this one. Nothing for than a lukewarm ‘like’ from me, I’m afraid.