Come summer oily skin can become an oil slick under makeup. Yep, there will be no sugar coating here. By the end of the day foundation and concealer, along with most other face makeup can literally have melted/slid off the face. And that's without adding SPF into the mix!

So with these warmer days fast approaching I thought it was time to talk primers. Actually not primers, but a specific primer, that although doesn't do much in the way of diffusing pores it does extend foundation and concealer wear time amazing well and even has the added benefit of SPF 20! 

It's not often I talk dupes and there's no real reason for that... other than I just haven't.. until now that is! I also guess the term "dupe" has become less specific in recent years with many brands releasing look-a-like products of more expensive ones that don't necessarily perform in the same way. For me this isn't what I'd know dupes to be so I simply stayed clear of reviewing such products. 

But today I thought I'd bring it back and share with you three products that are excellent dupes for some higher end products, which I also own meaning I can fully compare and show you the true similarities. I really hope you find some purse-friendly makeup products to pick up here! 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Dupe: Kiko Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara
£17.10 Debenhams HERE vs. £8.90 Kiko HERE
For the longest time I've loved this bargain Kiko mascara, while also loving Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and then it twigged...they are pretty damn similar! This would make total sense as comparing the brushes they are of a similar hourglass shape and both have a volumising formula that is neither too wet or too dry. Both mascaras do an excellent job of adding volume and fanning out the lashes to perfection. If you have been keen to try out the cult Too Faced mascara or you're already a dedicated fan, then I'd highly recommend trying out with budget alternative especially when it's on offer, which is often (costing around £3.90), and see what you think of it! Much like TF Better Than Sex there's a waterproof version that is a holiday/hot weather staple.

Benefit Majorette Cream Blush Dupe: Bourjois Cream Blush 01
£24.50 Feel Unique HERE vs. £6.78 Amazon HERE
This gorgeous cream-to-powder blush is one of my favourite dupes as it's a dupe for Benefit Majorette and perfect if £24.50 for a single blush is too little steep for you! Not only do these two products look very similar in the pan but the formula is pretty much identical, feeling soft and creamy to the touch, blending down to a flattering powder finish and feel. I would say Benefit Majorette is more orange-toned than Bourjois Cream Blush in 01, however I feel the dupe is more universally flattering due to it's slightly more peachy less orange tone. I do however still love Benefit Majorette as it's perfect in summer with a smokey peach/golden orange eye look and it does contain much more product (3.5g more) than the quite compact Bourjois cream blush. 

Benefit Gimme Brow Dupe: Zoeva Graphic Brow Fix 
£20.00 Look Fantastic HERE vs. £8.50 Beauty Bay HERE
Another Benefit dupe here, this time for Benefit Gimme Brow, a favourite brow gel of mine. This being pretty similar to Zoeva Graphic Brow Fix, which also consists of three shades to the range but at the fraction of the price at £8.50 compared to 20.00 and with 1.5ml more product! Other than Benefit Gimme Brow featuring a smaller wand and a slightly drier formula, both brow gels are incredibly similar, especially with making the brows appear thicker, how the brows still feel natural and not crispy once the brow gel has dried and even on shades. There are quite a few similar looking brow gels to Benefit Gimme Brow on the market but this Zoeva offering really is the best I've come across!

Even if these three products weren't dupes I'd still love them as they are all spot on, but as they are it makes them that extra bit more special and cherished in my makeup collection.

Have I tempted you with any cheaper alternatives here?

Fee xo.

With a monthly hair dying habit and a love of blow drying, you could say I've tried quite a few hair masks in the past 10 years! From £1 wonders that surprisingly give instant results due to a number of silicones that coat the hair giving an artificial softness to ones that break the bank and to be honest didn't work miracles. 

As a total highlight lover I've been using the incredible Shimma Shimma eyeshadow from Makeup Geek as a pigmented highlighter for quite some time now. This got me thinking what else the brand may have to offer and before I knew it I'd created a stunning custom face palette out of eyeshadows for around £15!

Free makeup samples

When it comes to asking for free samples it can be daunting, to say the least. From being afraid of approaching busy sales staff to worrying if you will get an outright no, it can be easy to miss out on lots of potential free samples. 

However, there is an art to it! Plus, it can be handy to know which brands are generous and which aren't when it comes to giving out free samples! Which is why I thought a blog post on the subject may come in handy to any fellow beauty lovers. 

For the longest time I've been meaning to sit down and write an updated post on fake makeup. The reason for this is since I last wrote about the topic (back in 2011) the problem of fake beauty products has only increased; both in scale and how convincing products now are.

I'm not gonna' lie, when I'm in a rush my makeup routine is about speed over being minimal... because I simply can't do minimal, I can only do less. Yes, I do drop a few products such as eyeshadow and liner but if I have any extra time you better believe I'm speeding bronzing and adding highlight!

But along with a speedier application, it's in the products I pick because if I have minimal time to get ready I always opt for the same products because I know they are quick to use and flawless. So here is my exact routine along with my favourite in-a-hurry makeup products.

When time is of the essence all makeup tools get ditched and foundation and concealer are applied with fingers only. This means I pick products that work well in this way and blend with ease. My current favourite foundation that looks flawless without a primer base and applied with just the fingers is Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation (Look Fantastic is the cheapest online to buy it!). Although a full coverage foundation it applies with easy and I find actually works best without a primer or setting powder over the top. A few dots of this down my T-zone and two dots on either cheek, then quickly blended out takes no time at all!

Brow Powder
Having fair brows my face lacks definition without adding some colour and structure, especially when I'm wearing mascara, making brows a must! For a foolproof quick application, I always opt for matte eyeshadows in a similar shade to my hair colour, applied with an angled brush. From the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, I use Naked 2 for the inner part of my brows and Faint to give definition over the rest of my brows. Powder products definitely stay on the brows and don't require setting with a brow gel I've found, making them ideal when in a hurry.

If I'm in a total rush I resist the urge to curl my lashes, instead opting for a curling/volumising mascara. I have many favourite mascaras but the one that adds a curl to my lashes is Kiko Extra Sculpt Volumise Mascara. I find this very similar to Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, but at a fraction of the price and it lasts all day without flaking.

Just in case of any mascara mistakes I always leave concealer until the end. I currently don't have a favourite concealer so I will pick up any I have to hand, applying it under my eyes, around my nose and on any blemishes. Mascara and concealer really as my essential makeup products; however much of a rush I'm in I can't be without these two items!

Leaving my lips bare feels total unnatural with the rest of my face done so as it takes seconds it's always my final step before I head out the door. Depending on what I'm wearing, the weather and my mood, I either go for a staple nude or a bright lip colour. If the sun is shining and I want to look more put together I will opt for a bright pink lip, generally in a liquid lipstick formula to ensure that it lasts. But for the most part, will go for a trust nude lipstick, my current handbag staple being Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink which is definitely more of a peachy nude than a pink.

Without a doubt less is more when in a rush. Piling on makeup in a hurry never ends well! So sticking to a few key products you are use to using and also love really is key.

What are your absolute makeup staples that you can't be without even in a rush?

Fee xo.

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