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I have used many different mascaras over the years, but one I have returned to many times is the great big lash mascara by Maybelline. I really rate this mascara, it's a great price and it's also easy to remember due to the distinctive packaging.
This mascara rarely costs more than a fiver and can be relied on to last for many months, in fact the tube tends to last me longer than six months and you are advised to change eye make up every six months to protect yourself from infections.
I like this mascara from day one of use, it's not too wet and it gives me the lash volume I am after without causing spider leg effect on my eyelashes. It only takes one coat to look good, I don't have to repeat use and the black is a great true black that doesn't dry grey at all.
The only thing I wonder about is why they kept the colourful packaging. It makes it look like something from the 1980s but it also makes it easy to remember I suppose.
I even got one of these mascaras fairly recently in a beauty box, which surprised me as it was full sized and also not a new product on the market but I didn't mind getting a spare mascara, especially this one as I will be happy to use it.
You can buy this mascara online and also it is widely available in stores, supermarkets, Superdrug and Boots, they all sell it. I think I used to buy something similar from Maybelline when I was a teen from a market stall so it's one of those products that sticks with you for life, wherever you shop!
This mascara stays on all day, it doesn't budge and only takes a normal eye make up remover to shift it. The formula is just right in every direction.
I was excited to get on a trial for Pearl Drops with the consumer testing site Bzz Agent and they sent me a tube of the Pearl Drops lasting flawless white toothpaste that promises to remove 100 percent more surface stains than a regular toothpaste within 14 days.
This is a very clean looking white tube with silver accents. It looks expensive
You are advised to use this twice a day which is no more than a normal tooth brushing routine. I use mine with an electric toothbrush and immediately noticed it had a pleasant but not overpowering minty taste. Built in to the toothpaste are tiny grains so it is lightly abrasive which obviously provides the stain removing ingredient.
I did not think it was as gritty as the paste the dentist uses. Whilst it is a little bit more expensive than the normal toothpaste I buy it was not break the bank time. I do sometimes get sensitive teeth though so I have a special toothpaste for tackling those areas and this does not help in that area. I do want whiter teeth though so I shall continue with this one. I always associated Pearl Drops as a smoker's toothpaste (which I am not) but this is not aimed at that audience.
I did notice an immediate white benefit with this so I am happy to continue using it.
A 75ml tube is £6.99 from Boots. This is the top end of what I am prepared to pay but if it works, it is well worth it.
This toothpaste tastes nice and does a good job. I just wish it could also help with sensitivity! But never mind, it's not a time consuming job in reality and it's worth a try if you want to improve the shade of your teeth.
You have the hope in a bottle range from Philosophy and through extensive sampling I discovered the time range too! This is a daily defending eye serum. I like serums as they are lighter and work with moisturiser too and can be applied easily and more importantly, quickly.
What does it do?
The Time in a Bottle Eye Cream from Philosophy brightens, tightens and smoothens the appearance of the delicate eye contour. This means that the eyes look more energized and awake. The DNA renewal complex helps to promote skin's natural renewal and protection processes.
When I squeezed this product out I was firstly quite offended (I know) by the murky brown tinged orange colour of the product. The consistency was good and the quantity most plentiful for an eye serum sample.
The product is very thin and goes a long way. I would not say it smells nice but it is not an offensive smell either. It sinks in so quickly that after five minutes you cannot feel this product on the skin at all but it is definitely smoother and softer.
It is definitely a great morning and night time product and works well underneath make up. It does not sting my eyes at all and improves the look of the skin a lot. I do think it is a bit expensive but a 15 ml tube would also last months even with regular use so it's not that badly priced.
At John Lewis a 15 ml tube is £36.
I think I'll look out for this. I will also probably get used to the murky brown colour and as it performs so well that would not really bother me. I am pleased to discover this product and it's one where sampling will almost certainly lead to purchase!
The Aloe version of vaseline lip therapy is absolutely my favourite out of the range. It is a great versatile product and although I use it on my lips mainly it can be also used on elbows when dry and even to tame down flyaway hair or unruly brows. My kids also sometimes get a bit on a scrape to help it heal and stop the germs getting in.
I am not totally sold on the packaging but I did get attached to my aloe tin of vaseline as it was in my jeans pockets permanently the lid began to wear and it got a real vintage look to it! They have since changed the packaging to a different colour green which is less appealing to me, I preferred the darker version.
To use this you first have to prise the lid off the tin which can be easier said than done and I have broken a nail or two doing this when it gets a bit too clamped shut. If you don't have dry hands you do not have a hope in this instance. Then once open take a tiny amount on your finger and rub it on to your lips. It creates an instant sheen and is an incredibly cheap lip balm and gloss in one.
I do have a slight issue with the hygiene of putting your finger in this every time and also don't like it when other people try to use it. My kids are included in this list. I prefer to keep it to me. I had to chuck a tin of this once when someone used it who had a cold sore. No thanks! Luckily it was not my 'vintage' tin!
These can be found at around a pound in stores like Boots and Superdrug and most supermarkets too.
It is not particularly glam but quite useful to keep one of these tins handy.
I was really pleased to receive a NARS lipstick chunky pencil in a recent beauty box. I knew the brand to be quality and was pleased with the shade I got - Walkyrie which is not lilac like the one pictured on this listing but more of a bronze shade.
I liked the idea of a matte lipstick. I'm not always in to glossy lip shades and certainly don't like a sticky lip gloss finish so this sounded like it had potential.
What does it do?
This Velvet Matte Lip Pencil from Nars will instantly coat lips with rich pigmented colour. The long lasting yet non-drying formula is enriched with special emollients for a creamy texture.
The colour lasts for hours, so no need to keep reapplying it. It comes in a jumbo size, this Lip Pencil is easy to apply and will last and last.
This lip pencil could not be easier to use. You just draw it on to your lips and you get a long lasting lip colour. The problem with matte lip products can be drying but this is definitely not a problem with the Nars crayon.
I like how handy this crayon is, it's really easy to use and portable and gives a modern lip look with the matte effect. The colour is buildable so you can go with a touch of colour or wear a few layers for a more dramatic effect.
This lip pencil costs £19 on the look fantastic website and is available in 10 different matte shades.
I bought the Mary Lou Manizer powder compact by the balm cosmetic company from the Birchbox shop using points I built up from buying their beauty boxes. Otherwise this is widely available online priced £17.50 which I do think is a good price considering the size of the compact.
What is it? (this is what they say!)
Meet Mary-Lou Manizer, is a flattering and innocent looking honey hued luminiser that catches everybody's eye. This highlighter, shadow and shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer and younger while adding a subtle glow.
How to use it
Layer theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer on your lids for luxe-looking lashes, sweep it on your cheeks for a sexy sheen, or use it as an all-over finishing touch before you head out for the night.
I like to use this with a kabuki brush for a dewy glowing look although I think this works better for a night out than for a full day at work! One wearable way I do regularly use this is as an eyeshadow. It will probably last me all my life at this rate as I only use a small dusting each time and it is the size of a regular compact.
It does not come with any kind of brushes, but I suppose this is practical in its multi purpose useage.
I think this item is good value for money as other items from the Balm are quite over priced I think. I would say that I would buy this again but I will probably never need to!
I have the Nars eyeliner in via veneto larger than life long wear and it is a lovely black shade. I got mine in a beauty box so it's not quite full sized but it does still come with the built in sharpener which I think is really handy.
The black eye liner look is my go to every day look so I always welcome a new eye liner in to my life via the beauty boxes and the Nars brand is more than welcome in to my collection.
What's special about this one?
Available in 17 shades. Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner takes liner to the next level. Rich, creamy color that glides on smoothly with a completely budgeproof finish. Incomparable 12-hour wear with no smearing and no caking. Deeply dramatic shades named for the most iconic streets in the world.
This eyeliner is quite soft so does not require a lot of pressure but due to the point and the inbuilt sharpener it is possible to draw quite a thin line if needed. This eye liner is still looking good by afternoon so it is long lasting.
This is a bit hard to find online in the UK although it is prolific in the States. Lavish Choices site sells it for £15 though.
I love this eyeliner, it is really good and long lasting and fast became a go to in my substantive collection of black kohl pencils. I enjoy using mine almost every day when I'm in the mood for a black eyeliner (which is most of the time).
I got the Lipstick Queen lipstick pencil in a super packed goodie bag from the Cult Beauty website. I knew the brand as I have seen it in TK Maxx and been a bit surprised at how expensive they are. My lipstick crayon is in the shade chase and is a sort of coral orange shade.
This style of crayon lipstick is called Chinatown by the range. Chase is described as sheer lush watermelon online.
John Lewis sell this lipstick for £22. For this you do get a full sized crayon and jumbo sharpener. My pencil is half the size of the retail one so it's a luxury sample.
What does it do?
This quirky new take on lip gloss offers your lips a light tint for daily on-the-go use. A lip gloss you actually draw on for the perfect shapely pout.
A fun 'did you know?'
Lipstick first gained popularity in 16th Century England, when Queen Elizabeth wore bright red lipstick made from a blend of beeswax and berries with a stark white face.
This is easy enough to use in it's twist up style. I am not sure I would have picked the colour Chase but it is OK and probably suits most people.
I do think these lip crayons are a bit expensive but I do like the idea of a more solid and less sticky lip gloss that you can use on the go. I think I will relocate mine to the car for quick touch ups on the go.
I have the duo compact for the Loreal Glam Bronse and it's a bronzer and highlighter in one convenient package. It has been updated a bit since the photo on this listing and now comes in a squoval (square with oveal) compact.
The compact feels a little deep but that's because it's hiding a great secret, a brush in the base. It's a wide brush and als a nice large mirror under the product too. This is a little clunky when trying to load up the brush but handy if you're out and about and needing a bit of a touch up.
I use this to brighten up my complexion and the bronzer is great for this. The highlighter is also handy in today's times of contouring so you can highlight areas to shape your face better. I use the highlighter as an emergency eye shadow too.
The compact is around 80 percent bronzer and 20 percent highlighter which I think is a bit odd and it makes it hard to pick up the lighter shade with the wide brush. I would prefer it if it was a 50 50 split like my bourjois chocolate highlighter and bronzer booklet. I do quite like both products though particularly as the bronzer is non shimmery and the highlighter has a fine shimmer to it but I am oK with that.
This is an affordable product priced £10.20 on the feelunique website. It's £5.99 on the Rakuten site so it pays to shop around.
My glam bronze is shade 101 which is blonde harmony so that's good for me - it is also described as a sun kissed duo which I think is rather nice.
My Mother in Law is an Avon lady and so I often get a few bits and bobs from her at Christmas time. One item she gifted was the Avon glimmersticks brow definer. This title is a bit misleading as there is no glimmer in them, no one wants glittery eyebrows after all!
Description and first impressions
I did think this was an eyeliner at first before I read the writing on the side of the pencil. It is an automatic pencil which means you twist the barrel to wind up the pencil. There seems to be plenty in there although I haven't wound it all the way up to see in case I break it or it doesn't go back down again.
This pencil is super easy to use. It is best held lightly and gentle strokes used to replicate a realistic if not darker brow.
This is a little darker in colour than I would usually use for a brow pencil but it's not really dark. It's not as precise as the powders I use (by Billion Dollar Brows) so I do have to say it is not my favourite brow product but it's not too bad in use. It is also simple to remove with an eye make up remover, it shifts it easily.
These pencils are £6 each on the Avon web page.
I notice there is a blonde option on the Avon page. I would be interested to try this one in the future. I must add that I only add a little colour and definition, no Sharpie brows here I promise!
I got a nice beauty freebie when I bought some foundation and powder from the Estee Lauder counter. Included was this lipstick in the shade Rose Tea and this is described as a creme shade.
Not a cheap lipstick
The Feel Unique website sells a tube of pure colour lipstick for £22 so this is not a cheap buy but I believe they are often in the kits with purchase so worth waiting for a good deal on these. There are 26 shades to choose from on the website.
This is a dusky pink shade and very nicely moisturising on the lips. It is a tiny bit shimmery but not overly so and it is easy enough to apply straight from the tube as it has a nice pointed slant to use.
This lipstick lasts a long time when applied and left to dry for a minute. It really doesn't budge so there is no need to keep reapplying it all the time. It is described as a long lasting lipstick though so I suppose it should live up to its name!
Why is it so special?
This is a Colour lipstick that looks and feels so incredible. It comes in 3 seductive finishes: Satin lasting creme, lustrous lasting shimmer & a vivid crystal finish.
What is in it?
The Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick is a hero product enriched with lip-loving ingredients that leave lips soft and creamy smooth. In a spectrum of shades, from sublime to vivid.
I'd buy this again as I am really impressed with the one I got free in my kit.
I managed to snag a beauty blender sponge in a beauty box from Birchbox and was pleased to try this out as they are so expensive to buy. I also got one as a spare in a swap which I have not used yet (but will). My egg shaped beauty sponge came with a solid soap for cleaning said sponge which you are supposed to do after every use (ahem, I maybe don't achieve this!)
Social Media Masters
I follow BeautyBlender on Instagram (yep, a whole account about a series of sponges lol) and it is amazing how famous they are in America particular. It's fascinating to see their promotions and how hard they work to market their product. All make up artists swear by this little magic sponge and it makes you wonder what they have that other sponges do not!
When you first get your egg it is quite small and you have to wet it to get it to the right consistency and it doubles in size. I think adding the water helps it to absorb less product too. It still feels tightly packed. I like the perfect finish from the sponge and the tip is good for getting around your nose.
This is a lot better than using a make up brush to apply foundation as you don't get any line with it. However it is not perfect. I don't know if I was unlucky but after a month mine got a tear in it probably during the washing process and I expected it to last longer than that. I have heard this happening to a few but you do have to be careful when washing the sponge.
I use the solid block to wash my BB and noticed the first few washes that the colour ran from the bright striking pink sponge and it became impossible to remove the grungy foundation after a few washes it lost its vibrancy no matter how many times I tried to get it back to pink.
I like these but would not pay the full asking price, it's too much and they go to town marketing the product which bumps up the price. I have to hide my BB as the kids love playing with it and I don't want them to bite it! I do like the versatility of the product and would swap for them in future. Recommended but comes with a warning that it will fade, stain and possibly tear after a while!
I am a terrible traveller and can get sick on long car, coach, plane or train journeys. I normally sit in misery, those pressure point bands do not work for me. This year though I knew I was going on a journey with responsibility for my two young children this year so could not be feeling sick with the two young charges.
Finding a solution
With this in mind I set off looking for a remedy and spotted the Nelson's travella for natural relief of travel sickness. It is a homeopathy medicine which means that it stimulates the body's own natural healing processes.
How to take it
You take two tablets every hour starting two before the journey then during the journey if necessary. You can suck or chew the tablets.
The tablets are quite small, you get 72 in a pack. They taste lightly minty but not unpleasant. I found them ok to suck and they lasted a couple of minutes in the mouth. It reminded me a bit of a chalky anti acid tablet in some respects with the texture and flavour.
What is in them?
I am sure you are interested in this bit as I was. It says on the box 6c homeopathic potency of apomorph, staphisagria, cocculus, theridion, petrolium, tabacum and nux vomica. Also contains lactose and sucrose. Me: still none the wiser.
Did it work?
I almost forgot I had these until I was digging around in my bag before take off. I took two just in case then another two on the plane as it's usually well in to the plane journey when I start to feel a bit ropey. I felt fine the whole time although it was only a short flight to spain it was followed by a long bus journey (the dreaded transfer!). I was fine the whole time.
These were well worth the five pounds or so I paid for them in Home Bargains. Perhaps it was all in my head but it seemed to work. I will take these with me travelling again in the future as they had no adverse effects.
The only negative comment I have on this product is the blurry photo on the packaging. It makes me feel sick just looking at it and I'd prefer something fresh and non sickly to look at when contemplating anti sickness. Bearing in mind that you may be reaching for this pack already feeling sicky the blurry photo is not a good aide memoir or promotion of feeling well in my opinion.
I got a mini molton brown bathing product included with my cohorted order recently and I was relieved to note that it was not the purple patchiouli scent that I really do not like but this lovely green seamoss bath and shower body gel.
I used my bottle a few ways. One time just to make bubbles in the bath as I had run out of bubble bath and it did a decent job to be honest. Other time in the shower as a cleansing product.
This is lovely in every respect. It smells great, acts kindly on the body cleansing gently and foaming nicely. The smell is also fabulous and very relaxing so a pre bedtime wash with this really would set you up for the evening.
At Molton Brown you'll pay £19 for a large 300 ml bottle of this but look out for the new name!
It was called sea moss which I did think matched the colour but sounded a bit unattractive for a luxury bath time soak. It has been changed now to Samphire. Which does sound nicer if I'm honest.
What's in the blend?
A revitalising bath and body wash blended with samphire extract, brimming with minerals and vitamins.
Top note:Marine aromas.
Middle note: Seaweed.
Base note:Deep oak moss.
You cannot go wrong with this product - I loved my mini freebie bottle and enjoyed using it and the colour looks fab in the bottle too.
I bought some make up from the website cohorted and one of the pallettes turned up with a smashed mirror. I emailed the company and they sent me a replacement within the week and also added this lovely brush in with the replacement which I was very happy about. I recognised the brush as I have had many kits from bare escentuals and I know their brushes are excellent quality.
The flawless application brush is designed to be used with the mineral powders and I like to use a separate brush for foundation, one for bronzer and one for blusher. I don't mind mixing the foundation brush with their fine finishing powder - the mineral veil as it is a similar colour but that is where I draw the line. As you can imagine I was delighted to have a spare as these brushes are expensive to buy and you can wash them but they don't last forever.
My brushes get a lot of use, daily, sometimes twice daily if I am off out so my brushes are important to me and I hate ones that shed on you. The Bare Minerals ones never shed, sometimes (rarely) you get a loose hair on them but that is about it.
This brush retails for £20 on the feel unique website.
When I use this brush I swirl it in the lid of the foundation and tap the excess on then buff it on to my face. It is really soft and gives even coverage so I'd say it has earned its flawless title.