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30 June 2010

Winner Announced...


Well I stupidly closed the giveaway a day too early...which I am putting down to being tired and also being on a diet. However I did tweet about it enough and so yes! Oh well. 

Anyway, the winner is.....

Beauty Begins and you can find her lovely blog here.
If you are reading this I will have most likely already sent you an e-mail so check your inbox! So that I can send the prizes to you. 


Also going to be having quite a nice international giveaway next week. 
 The prizes will explain it but it will be mainly for international readers! There will also be more than one winner. 

Thanks to everyone that entered! 

29 June 2010

NOTD - Nude Chic Revlon + Nail Art


Thought I would show you a normal NOTD and abit of Nail Art in one today.
I decided to go for mannequin nails today which Nude Chic by Revlon is perfect for, as it's totally opaque with 2 coats.

I kept my nails like this till lunchtime then decided to put one little pearl at the bottom of each nail..but I then got abit carried away and ended up with a full thumb nail of rhinestones! 



My thumb did take awhile to do - about 15 minutes , but it was pretty easy to do. It also didn't take anything to specialist either. I just used a top coat to act as the glue and a wooden pick. I did plan to cover the whole of my thumb nail with clear rhinestones however I ran out. 

For the thumb nail I firstly painted it with WOW from the Hot Looks Collection by Collection 2000 to make the gaps in the rhinestones less obvious as it's a silver colour. 
I then used the top of the nail as a guide to do the first row of rhinestones.
Then continued in rows. Simple. 



I never really use to like nail art that much however I am really growing to like the creativity of it. It's also quite a relaxing process if you don't do anything too taxing!



Ofcourse like always I would love to know what you think.

Finding good Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-Free Products


...That foam up! Yes, if you are going to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (which is what creates the foam in shampoo, shower gel and facial washes) you may find that some products are lacking on the foaming front. Which I find makes me use more of the product to compensate for this. Not a good thing when you are spending that bit more on shampoo and shower gel to avoid SLS.

If you haven't got a clue what I am going on about and wondering why you would want to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS (which if you look, is found in nearly 99%  of all shampoos) it's because in the chemical world it's actually classed as a skin irritant and isn't good for your skin, hair or health.
If you want to know why I personal stopped using normal shampoo you can read the post on it here. 
 I have now been using only SLS free shampoo for over 5 months now and my hair is so much stronger and not frizzy or dry for once.

 Anyway I could ramble on all day but basically I have tried quite afew SLS-free shampoo and shower gels to find the right 'foam factor' so I thought I would share the ones I love and also compare them to normal products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.



So first here is a sample of the foam factor for the Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends shampoo which was actually WHY I started to use only SLS free products - The product above actually caused me to have a bad reaction to it on my scalp and I later realized (which is why I have decided to tell you all) it contains both Ammonuim Laureth Sulfate and Ammonuim Lauryl Sulfate. The strongest type of sulfate there is! Says alot...you will rarely see this ingredient in any shampoo and theres a reason for it. It ofcourse foams up due to the SLS.


As for SLS-free shampoos there aren't many on the market which if you use them I am sure you know already! The cheapest and most widely available brand has to be Naked which price all there SLS-free shampoos at £3.99 for 250ml. The first I tried was the Balance Recovered Deep Cleanse shampoo...which like it says deep cleans the hair so it was abit too stripping to use 4 times a week. It was also very runny and didn't foam up too well. So I moved onto the Naked Richness Revealed Colour Protection Shampoo which foams up slightly better and also smells alot nicer. I alternate this with my favourite SLS free shampoo which is the Tigi Bed Head Superstar Shampoo which you can see above. It foams up even more than a normal shampoo and smells so so good. You can find this at CheapSmells.com for £5.10 and most hairdresser's for about £9.00, however be careful as some of the shampoos in the Bed Head range do contain SLS.

Next I want to take about Shower gels...the reason why I started to only use SLS free shower products was because I started to see a dramatic improvement in the little lumps on the backs of my arms from using SLS free shampoo. Also my skin was just generally less spotty and bumpy. So I decided to continue to make my skin look better by switching to only SLS shower gels and bath products and face scrub/washs (but I will talk about that some other time). But using only SLS-free shower gels has made such a difference to the backs of my arms, I kid you not!

Much like shampoo you will find that most shower products that create a lather/foam will contain SLS. Lynx...Radox....L'Oreal...some Lush products....even Original Source. Basically everything.


The above Possibility Raspberry Pavlova product was something I bought from ASOS over a year ago it's a multi-use product so shower gel and shampoo in one and ofcourse it contains SLS. However it doesn't actually foam up that much! But anyways most SLS products do foam up... 

Naked Coco de Mer Body Wash it what I mainly use and love, it foams up so well. It really is creamy and smells so nice (and also expensive smelling in a way) and not at all 'eco' or 'organic' like. However I have tried other ones in the range most specifically the White Ginger Body Wash and it doesn't foam up as much. So I would highly recommend looking for creamy products that are more opaque than clear. The body wash range again is priced at £3.99 for 250ml. I again alternative this with another cheaper SLS-Free product so I don't use it up as fast. I use the Seba Med soap or cleansing bar which I have spoke about before it's around £2.00 for a 100g bar and you can find it in most chemists. I use it on my face but also in the shower on a shower puff thing...I am sure you know what I mean. 
It foams up well and leaves the skin feeling clean. A good cheap alternative to make your other SLS-free products last longer. 


I know this post won't be some people's cup of tea as it is more in-depth but it's something that I feel quite strongly about and really think it is worth a try even if it's just to achieve better hair and skin!

28 June 2010

Calypso Dry Oil SPF 30 - A Perfect Suncream


In a post last week I wrote about different suncreams and mentioned how I use to use Calypso Dry Oil SPF 30 and loved it so much however I hadn't found it anywhere for months and months. 
However I got lots of lovely comments telling me where I could find it on and offline. So on the lovely Primp and Preen's recommendation I headed down to Bodycare and there sat on the shelf next to the stupid Carrot Oil with an SPF of 2...I found it! 

Priced at a reasonable £3.99 I grabbed two bottles. 
As it was really hot that day I decided to apply some over my other tacky suncream while waiting for my Penne Alla Panna to arrive...yes I actually quickly applied some to my arm in a restaurant...it was only lunchtime though!
Even ontop of my original quite sticky suncream it soaked into my skin within seconds like I remembered.

Anyway here is the proof - ofcourse applied to naked skin. It literally sprays on clear and you only need to rub it for 5 seconds at the most!


Non-greasy, non-sticky, non-suncream like formula and it's even water resistant...this is basically not like any other suncream! It is so easy to apply and it doesn't make you look white! 

It also can be applied to the face as it is not greasy unlike some other oil slick suncreams I have tried in the past...Piz Buin does come to mind..ok for the body but awful once applied to the face. Applying makeup over the top was just a nightmare. 
I tend to just apply 3 to 5 sprays of the dry oil to my face then rub it in and then dust some translucent powder over my anywhere that looks abit shiny before I start to apply my foundation or tinted moisturizer.


It's also great for applying to the feet,ears and hair parting...basically everywhere that suncream it hard to apply! 

It really is the best sun protection I have ever used! I promise you won't be let down if you try it. Now that is abit of a bold claim, but I know it's that great. 

27 June 2010

The £2.50 Cellulite cure?


So continuing on my cellulite curing mission after my Soap & Glory Sit Tight review. I fished out this odd looking device that I picked up from Superdrug afew weeks ago. To be honest it was abit of a find as it is placed amongst the sponges and travel zip bags looking abit sad in it's cheap packaging. However I didn't let this put me off as for £2.50 it was pretty much a bargain. 

I had previously seen other Cellulite Massager's on the market that looked VERY similar (same knobbly bits that look like mini tables & chairs) In particular the Sanctuary Spa Cellulite Massager - same knobbly bits just with a more "up market" handle which is priced at £7.99.

Anyway after reading the basic instructions which basically said your meant to use the device in the shower with shower gel - Which I tried and it wasn't that affective at all as it was quite slippery when trying to rub the upper thighs with it. It also made this odd noise against the skin.


So I tried using it as you would a dry body brush - using it in circular motions towards the heart to increase blood flow/circulation and I must admit it does hurt slightly..but no pain no gain hey! When I say it hurt slightly it is after afew minutes of doing it and applying abit of pressure. 

Afterwards compared to my other thigh my skin felt ALOT softer, granted it was red and sunburnt looking but it felt so much smoother. I was really surprised as even using a body brush had never given me these results. 
After using it for afew days though I did notice my skin looking abit dry from rubbing at it so much..so I would highly suggest applying a moisturizer every day that you use it. 
 

After using this for just over a week or so I can't say it has removed any cellulite (it still dimples when I squidge my skin together). However like the Sit Tight cream it has reduced that appearance of bumpy skin from smoothing out the top layer of skin

So would I recommend this? Yes and No... for the price it is pretty good and will help maybe 30% with the appearance cellulite unless you have quite deep dimply cellulite
Also it's good if you don't want to be applying a cream or gel everyday and waiting for it to dry and also the product will never run out! 
As to why I wouldn't recommend it - The mild pain does get abit tedious.. and I did start to think "so what if I have abit of cellulite" as I knew I couldn't keep this up day in day out. 
However for holidays this would be great, if you can be bothered doing it that is! It would also be great if you have a fake tan as unlike scrubs or body brushing it won't cause your tan to become patchy! 

All in all for £2.5o it is pretty good..but it is no miracle cure. 

But I'm really starting to think there isn't anything out there that can cure cellulite other than a very healthy diet...which means no coffee, alcohol, cheese or red meat and I don't think I could ever do that! 

25 June 2010

Public Relations & Beauty Blogging


I have been debating whether or not to write a post like this for afew weeks now and I have finally decided to bite the bullet and really hope it doesn't offend anyone as this definitely isn't my intention.

I really wanted to talk about how PR companies are really acknowledging that blogging is a form of media and actually maybe over doing it slightly or getting it wrong sometimes.
Also I want to touch upon the negativity surrounding some bloggers being sent free products to try out/review.

First of all I must say that I think it's great that Brands & PR companies are now working with Beauty Blogger and realize that one person can influence the opinion of others simply by giving a good or bad review of a product or even showing the products in action.
So it makes sense that brands are  finally sitting up and taking notice and it is a learning curve for them just as much for bloggers as it is quite a new thing even though blogging has been happening for years and years.

So what do PR firms do for bloggers 
  • They send out press releases of new products to make blogger aware of the new products and hopefully so they will blog about the new products. 
  • They also send out free products to bloggers - this can be a select few or a high volume of blogger over several months. 
  • They also arrange 'blogger events' which I would say is quite new compared to the rest.  Blogger events are designed to make the blogger more aware of the specific company as a brand and also to introduce them to a new range of products which they will get to try out at the event and may take home a range of the products.

Now to be fair sending out press releases to bloggers is a good idea - it keeps bloggers upto date with brands and in the loop and I know from previous experience it can sometimes inspire blogposts (however I don't rely on receiving press releases as they can sometimes be irrelevant and a bit boring at times) It's also totally free for PR companies to send out the press release as they would be sending it to other publications and forms of media, so it won't be taking up to much of there time. So on the whole it's a simple thing that PR companies can do.

The next thing is free products which I know alot of people have a problem with as they think this sways a bloggers opinion and it really is a tough one as I can't honestly speak for all bloggers out there. However I can talk about my own experiences of receiving free products which may or may not lose me readers.

I do receive free products and actually decided to not disclaim this in my posts like a lot of other bloggers do (unlike the laws in the US where you have to put a disclaimer). The reason for this is I felt I would be literally saying 'I received this product for free so be unsure whether to trust this review' I also I felt I would come across as to say please believe that I write honest reviews. I also didn't want people to only value products review on products that I had purchased with my own money. As to be fair I can afford all the products myself and simply value readers over free products any day of the week! There is nothing for me to gain over lying about a product. However on the whole I am a positive person so you will rarely write a negative review on my blog unless I am 100% sure that the reason to why I think the product is bad will be shared by others. I therefore do not think warning reader away for a product that say maybe gives me an allergic reaction is a good idea as the reaction maybe was unfortunate and only specific to me. As I am sure if a company sold products that gave certain reactions the company would definitely not be popular and may even be in the media over the claims. 
Going back to when I would highlight a negative aspect of a product a good example of this is when I was sent some products from the PR company for Model's Own. The consistency of the eyeshadow wasn't good it was very chalky and therefore I thought it was worth mentioning as I am sure most people would think the same if they tried it out. 
However onto a shampoo I purchased with my own money I had a terrible effect to it - which left me with a terribly dry inflamed scalp for afew weeks. I decided not to write a post on how bad it was and convince people not to buy it for the fear of the same reaction. I just put it down to being allergic to a certain ingredient or that the product was simply to strong for me. 


Anyways onto the PR side of things - I only actually review 50% of what I receive ( To be honest I don't receive that much) due to companies sending me products that simply don't apply to me or my blog. It would only take a PR company two seconds to find my age on my blog to realize that I most likely don't need any kind of product to do with stretch marks or anti-ageing. So instead of trying out these products that are wasted on me and write a half hearted review on them most likely claiming it doesn't really work. I simply don't review them.
I really think this is where PR companies could improve by spending more time looking at the bloggers website and also communicating with the blogger to know what she prefers. Having said that I have spoke with a few companies that understand that some products won't apply to some people so they ask or say what the products are before sending them.



Now onto a subject that may be abit controversial. I personally think the way that some PR companies go about finding bloggers is totally wrong. Lets face it they don't look at how many comments you are receiving on each post or ask for your blog statistics so they know exactly how many readers to actually have. They look at the google connect widget and see how many 'followers' that specific blog has.
For me google connect is there for readers so that they can read new posts in google reader and keep upto date and the same when I read a good blog, I click 'follow' and know I won't miss a post by that blogger. It isn't there though as a measure of your blogs success, as a person can have over a 1000 followers and very little in the way of daily activity from the supposed one thousand readers. To me this is quite stupid way of deciding on which bloggers to contact or not. Also I think taking maybe 5 minutes or so to read a post or too to see if the blogger reviews things well is a good idea.

I must admit I sometimes wonder why companies do send me products when I see my blog as very small compared to some. I really doubt I influence that many readers to go out and buy certain products.

Also increasingly I think quite alot of us have seen the same things being reviewed over and over again on blogs and I don't think 30 good reviews on a certain product makes most people get out there bank card and buy one. I think it just highlights that the product was given free and it gets abit old seeing the same reviews! If a brand has a new product out I think it would be wiser to select afew bloggers to review the item.
Also I think it is just abit too corporate when a company sends out the full range of a new product to a blogger, say a full range of nail polishes or lipsticks, it just isn't a realistic situation to see a blogger reviewing the 12 new shades of x brand all in one go.


The next topic I want to talk about is Blogger Press Events - Now I am well aware that I may come across as a jealous as I haven't attended a blogger event but hand on my heart I am not jealous in the slightest and my gripe isn't even with bloggers.
So these types of events are pretty new really to the blogging world however press days have always be organised where writers from newspaper's or magazines go along to an event to look at a new range of products and listen to some person ramble on about the 'ethos' of the brand! However for some reason the blogger events seem to be bolder and better..almost like the brand is bending over backwards for them and lets be honest I am sure brands don't favour bloggers over magazine writers. However they know that magazine writers are professional and do it as a career. Where as bloggers do not need to blog about products and definitely don't financially gain from it. 
Also press days/events are kind of meant to be the behind the scenes part of the whole thing, where a writer/blogger can go to be educated in the brand and there products, which is why we don't read about them in magazines. However increasingly we are seeing bloggers writing posts about the blog event they went along to and rightly so! 

I am sure if I was fed cupcakes, played with makeup while drinking a cocktail then sent on home with a bag of goodies I would be blogging about how amazing it was. Wouldn't you?

Which makes me believe that the blogger events are planned out to be like this so that bloggers blog about the event and how great it was - which is free positive advertising for the brand straight away and it may even make the blogger feel positively towards all the products they received on the day. So it nearly guarantee good future reviews of the brands products.
What would be nice to see is bloggers being treated similar to magazine writers, yes the odd cupcake and cup of tea. But basically to educate the blogger about the brand in maybe a less formal way but with no fancy dress themes or free cocktails in a swanky bar! So that they can take away that knowledge and use it when talking about the brand in the future.
We are after all intelligent people that have a passion for makeup/beauty and don't need all the frills! 

So there you have it, my thoughts on how PR companies interact with bloggers and what things maybe need to change! I really hope you don't dislike me too much after reading this and if you have read the whole thing, well done! I know it did turn out to be a bit of an essay. 

At the end of the day we all need to remember, free products or not, that we do this because we want to and we shouldn't blame or look down on other blogs or get annoyed when we see a disclaimer. I think we can all learn from each other and that is including brands and PR companies!

24 June 2010

Updated prizes for Giveaway!


As I mentioned in my Giveaway post (ending 30th June) the prizes would be a copy of The Goddess Experience and also two other mystery prizes. Which I planned to reveal when I announced the winner. However I am the world's worse for keeping secrets, so I caved in and thought I would show you them all now! 


I also have includes an extra 3rd prize as I had some really good news about my blog this week and therefore was feeling extra generous!


The extra prizes include :-

  • Paul & Joe Blotting Papers from there current collection
  • A Marian Newman Inkredible Nail Kit in Midnight 
  • A bottle of Urban Decay 'Twisted' nail polish which is actually discontinued
 Along with the lovely Goddess Experience book by Gisele Scanlon. 
To read a review of the book on my blog just click here and a review of Marian Newman's lovely Inkredible Pen Kit here

Ofcourse all the people that have already entered have the chance of winning all the new prizes, so there is no need to re-enter! 

If you haven't entered already please only click the link here which will take you to the giveaway post where you can leave a comment and enter! 

The giveaway will close on 30th June so you have exactly a week to enter!

23 June 2010

Sun Savvy - High and Low-End Suncreams


I would like to think I have a healthy range of suncreams however truth be told I have far too many. There is a reason for this though! I have a thing about the formula of suncreams. Too runny and it goes everywhere which includes your clothes, too thick and my own hair gets stuck to the backs of my arms!
So every summer I end up buying quite alot of suncream and hating most of them. So here are my best & worst tested suncreams! 

Avene Moderate Protection Emulsion SPF 20 (£9.50 from Boots -but you can find it for under £6 online) This really ticks all boxes for me as a facial suncream - It is aimed at normal to combination skintypes, it is very water/sweat resistant, it contains Cucurbita pepo which reduces oil secretion and removes any shine and it's also non-comedogenic so it won't block the pores and leave your skin feeling nasty!
As for the formula it's quite a light consistency that soaks in well, but you do have to leave it awhile before applying any makeup or your left feeling slightly tacky all day long. 
The downside to the product is that it's only SPF 20 - however I have found if you go much higher the cream tends to be thicker and not as easy to work with on the face. Having said that I can wear this for upto 4 hours without burning at all and I am really fair skinned and don't tan at all. 
All in all one of the better suncreams for the face - it's doesn't state that it is aimed at just the face but it's only 50ml so you wouldn't want to use it all up on the body.


Soliel Beauty Hydrating Light Milk SPF 30 (Tesco's own brand) £4.00- I had previously used afew other suncreams from Tesco and liked them however this does fall into the 'stickiest sunscreen cream' category. Which was quite surprising as the formula comes out quite light looking which you would expect for a milk formula. But for me this was just so so sticky! It leaves the skin with this greasy film that picks up every bit of fluff. However Beauty Scribbler reviewed the SPF 15 of this suncream and loves it! She even compares it to using body lotion as it absorbs so easily.  Which makes me wonder if the product I bought was either 'out of date' or that the formula changes the higher the SPF you go. I am really not sure, so I may have to compare it to the SPF 15 version. 
On a lighter note Tesco do another range which I love which comes in a bright orange bottle with a white top. There Tesco Sun Spray SPF 30 is a must at £3.00 for 200ml! The formulation of it is quite runny so that is why I prefer the spray bottle. Also a slight warning, if you don't like a coconut smell to your suncream stay well away!


Calypso Sun Lotion SPF 30 Water Resistant £3.00 -£5.00 - Calypso is one of them hard to find brands but if you are lucky enough to find it, it will be in a discount type shop like Home Bargains and it has been none to grace the shelves of Matalan. It does leave you slightly white looking if you don't rub it in properly but overall this is a really great suncream. Also I quite the smell its like a sugary scent that isn't your typical suncream smell.
Calypso also do a Dry Oil that goes upto SPF 30 which is seriously like golddust (if you ever see it email me at makeupsavvy@live.co.uk I am not even joking) I have only ever have one bottle of this in my 22 years and I loved it beyond belief. 

Obviously when the word 'oil' comes into the conversation of suncream you imagine a deeply tanned handbag ops I mean woman, laying on a beach somewhere dripping in oil to get that 'golden glow'. However this is definitely NOT one of them oils. It's clear, non-greasy, water-resistant, long lasting and did I mention that it's perfect. It's also great for spraying onto your hair parting and ears! Really if you see it -BUY IT! 
 

Piz Buin Allergy Lotion SPF 50 £15.00 from Boots - I only ever buy Piz Buin when it's on offer and I normally go for SPF 30 but thought I would try a higher SPF. Like with most high SPF's it is abit tacky/sticky but for that high coverage it is really worth it especially when your on holiday or if it's just very hot. As our British weather is so temperamental and can go from rain to sunshine in a matter of a few hours I tend to put on the Calypso SPF 30 before I leave the house and then if it does get really hot or I am showing the tops of my shoulders or my chest I will apply this just to them areas. So I always carry this in my handbag.
A great brand that you can rely on to give good high coverage, I am just not to sure about the Allergy malarkey or really the price tag. But you do have to pay more for SPF 50 if you want anything bigger than 50ml's these days.

22 June 2010

Naked - Extra Shiny Finishing Serum


If I am honest I thought that my hair + serum just didn't work. Well I didn't see the point and I also thought it would just weigh down my hair. So I first took the plunge afew years ago and purchased John Freda Frizz Weather Works Style Creme and to be honest it didn't keep my hair weather resistant, just abit more bouncy for 20 minutes. 


What I was really looking for was something to make my hair shinier & less frizzy, especially in the heat. Which I think I may have found in Naked's Finishing Serum.
Putting all it's qualities aside for a minute, this smells seriously good - and when I say good I mean in the way that Aussie's 3 minute miracle smells! If you don't believe me or haven't got a clue what I am going on about, have a quick sniff of the serum next time your in Boots. Just make sure no one is looking!
It has a very addictive bubblegum smell, which is so refreshing to see when you compare it too a brand like Tresemme.


 Anyway onto what it actually does...



Well first of all it looks good - this was so hard to capture but it has this pearl sheen too it which I haven't seen before in any other hair products.
So as for the product itself it's kind of a gel like formula that quickly absorbs once you run it through your hair, which means you are aren't left with that 'product' feeling that can weigh down the hair or even make it look greasy if you apply too much, which is what I tend to do.
As for application you just run it through dry hair once you have 'styled' it, but I actually prefer to use it when I am having a lazy hair day as it really cuts down on the fizz and makes my hair more reflective. Or I use it after using the Babyliss Conical Wand as it separates the curls and really gives some definition to the hair and smooths down them nasty frizzy bits on top! 


I thought I would include a photo I have used previously even though in the picture I had slept on my hair. But the day before I had used the conical wand then ran two pumps of the Extra Shiny Finishing Serum through it to give that definition. 
I feel like I am rambling now but if you are new to using serums or even just product in your hair than this is the one to go for. Even if it's just for the smell! It's also great for long or short hair.
Also as it's by Naked you don't get that scunky product build-up that you can get from other products *cough*Toni & Guy*.

You can buy it from Boots on and offline for £4.99 but at the moment it's on buy 1 get 1 free if I am right in thinking. 

On a side note - what are we thinking about hair related posts? I know I have alot of hair, but is it a Yay or Nay? 

21 June 2010

NOTD - Mint Choc Chip 17


I received this in a giveaway that I won about a week or so ago and really did like the look of the polish in the bottle...however applying it on my nails was a different story. It just isn't 'me' it just looks abit tacky and worth the £2.99 price tag. I think this would of been perfect for me maybe 5 years ago. 

As it is from the 17 Candy Collection I thought I would have a look at the other colours and must say I am tempted by Parma Voilet..but I am not holding my breath as the swatches on the Boots website aren't very accurate if the swatch of Mint Choc Chip is anything to go by.



As for application, I always tend to fine pastel coloured nail polish harder to apply whether its O.P.I or Collection 2000! and as you can see from the above picture, the first coat is quite streaky! 17 suggest that two coats are only needed however it still looks a tad streaky in the first picture, don't you agree? 
 

All in all for £3 I do expect abit better quality and abit less of a tacky colour however I think I may try Parma Voilet and then give my final verdict! 

Has anyone else tried anything from the 17 Candy Collection? 

19 June 2010

Benefit Fakery - How to Spot a Fake


Afew days ago I asked if you could spot the fake from the two products above and most of you got it right, however over a quarter of the people that left a comment either didn't know or thought the fake was the product on the right hand side. 
So even though there was the genuine product to compare it against alot of people still struggled to see the differences in the two product. Which just shows how hard it can be to tell a fake from a genuine item. 

I am hopefully going to show you the flaws of the fake Benefit Justine Case kit but if you want to know how to spot a fake Benefit product in general then just scroll to the bottom of the post where there are simplified bullet points that cover all Benefit products. 

Front Cover - Obviously this is where most of the attention to detail has been spent as the cover is nearly spot on. The slight difference is the fake product has more shading to the bag on the right hand side and the font to the "just in case" is more squashed and also darker.  If you didn't have the genuine item to compare it against these things would be virtually impossible to notice. 


(All the red dotted products are the fake ones) 
Click images to enlarge

The Products - As you can see the the genuine products are bigger and also have flat lids. The product inside the bottles is also much stronger in colour in the real item. Also something that is harder to spot is one the Benefit logo (you may need to click on the image to see). The real benefit logo has no dot over the 'i' as the 'f' hangs over it, however if you look closely all the fake bottles have a dotted 'i'. 
Other small mistakes are the font to the 'eye'con and that the 'benetint' font shouldn't be pink. They do sneakily match the real product with the writing on the side word for word and also there is numbering on the bottom which is the same as the real product. Which I am sure would convince someone it wasn't a fake when it infact is.



Formula -  Again when you compare the two items side by side you can spot the difference a mile off, however take the real one out of the equation and you are left with fake products that actually smells the same as the real thing. Even though the Benetint is different in colour it does smell very similar as does the California Kissin' they just aren't as strong. Consistency wise they are almost spot on. 
As for Some Kind-A Gorgeous which normally has a cream to powder finish, it is quite abit more thicker and sticky as for colour they are quite similar. 


On a side note other than swatching the fake products on the back of my hand I will not be using any of them mainly for the fact that which ever company manufacturers these isn't bound by any laws or standards and therefore the ingredients in the products are unknown. So as I know that the item is a fake I will definitely not be using it. 



Packaging - Now this is where it is more obvious, there are just too many flaws. Which is one thing to always look out for, as the packaging will be more cheaply made than the real item and most of the time rushed. The mirror is slightly off at the bottom and there is glue residue at the top of the packaging as you can see above - however the imperfection isn't as noticeable as the image I took makes out. Also the casing for Some Kind-A Gorgeous is poorly fitted but if you were to compare this, there isn't much between them. 



This is also quite an obvious one if you have ever had Benefit kits before the ribbon to lift the miniature products out is always cut at an angle and is red. This applies to all Benefit products with silk ribbons. Simple.

Another mistake below is the missing code that should be on the back of the product, everything else is word perfect even the correct company address. But it is missing the product code.


Anyway enough about this specific product as I am sure most of you aren't planning on just buying Justine Case in the future.

So there are afew things to look out for before purchasing Benefit products from Ebay or discounted websites. (As I am not going to warn you away from Ebay or discounted site as they do have there place on the internet and I shall personally continue to use them).
  
  • If you are wanting to purchase a Benefit item from Ebay have a look to see if the seller is selling alot of Benefit products. As most sellers that sell fake items sell multiples weekly.
  • Avoid stock images like the plague...if it isn't the actual image of the product be wary as most people do own a digital camera these days. 
  • Make sure they have a returns policy!
  • I would say to look at feedback, however alot of the sellers have 100% positive feedback as no one has noticed they have been sold fake goods. It is still worth looking at though. 
  • If they is an actual image of the product or when the item arrives make sure to have a look at the Benefit products on Asos.com as you can really zoom into the products to compare the real product against your own. 
  • If you are still unsure about the authenticity of the item take it too a Benefit counter to compare it to the actual product - But be aware you may receive dirt looks from the Benefit MUA's by doing this! 
  • Usually if the item is being shipped from another country other than where live, it is likely to be a mass produced fake item. However there are quite alot of UK sellers that list fake items.
  • If you receive the item and find that is it infact not genuine, make sure to email the seller or company ASAP outlining that it is fake and that you want a full refund.
Finally common sense is key - the main thing to look for is the quality. The quality of most higher end products is always good and this is where alot of fake goods slip up as the materials that make up the fake products are the cheapest of the cheap and also tend to be poorly made.

I hope you have found this slightly informative and if you have purchased anything at a discounted rate whether is be Benefit or not make sure to have a detailed look over it as you wouldn't want to be using fake untested products on your face. 

If you are still unsure about any Benefit products you own feel free to send me images of the specific product at makeupsavvy@live.co.uk I am by no means an expert but I am more than willing to help if I can. 

18 June 2010

NOTD - Rumple's Wiggin' Shrek mini O.P.I


I must admit this picture of my fingers is making me cringe slightly, just look at how dry and wrinkly my little finger looks! and to be honest my nails don't look that great either. I painted my nails at 2am this morning then went to bed, so I am far from selling this nail polish to you all! 

Nasty nails aside, this has to be my new favourite lilac nail polish - yes,really. It's almost a creamy soft lilac but if I am honest isn't the easiest to apply, as it is abit streaky. Naughty O.P.I
But other than that it is a lovely colour especially for summer. 


Actually there is one other thing that I don't truly love about my new favourite lilac nail polish..and I am sure it is pretty obvious. When OPI say mini they mean mini, it is a tiny 3.75ml! But as I never finish full sized nail polishes I am hoping it will last awhile.

Anyway here are the rest of the Shrek-Tacular Minis...


From L-R 
What's with the Cattitude?, Fiercely Fiona, Rumple's Wiggin', Who the Shrek Are You? 

I think I may try Fiercely Fiona next as it is my name...Fiona that is. Also on abit of a side note, does anyone know what Rumple's Wiggin' means? 

17 June 2010

Spot the Fake


I have been MIA for afew days due to having ISP issues and probably will continue to be away for afew days
as my ISP have blocked my IP address ie my website. So while you can see my blog/website, I can see nothing just an error page.
Therefore I am posting this without seeing any previews to if it looks about rubbish this is why!

Anyways onto the image above...Recently I fell into the trap of purchasing a fake. However luckily for me I already owned the Benefit product in question and was repurchasing it as I needed a new one, which meant I had something to compare it against!
If I didn't have the genuine product to compare it against, I don't think I would of had a clue it was a fake.

I have noticed that there are quite alot of fake Benefit products on the Internet so when my blog is working fine again I plan to do a post on the matter and how to spot a fake in general.

My question to you though is...



Can you spot the fake?
Is it the one on the left or the right?

14 June 2010

NOTD - Gradient Nails +Tutorial


I feel abit bad for posting this as a tutorial as it really is so simple, you just need abit of a steady hand, but even if you haven't it can still look good! 

First of all you need to pick the nail polishes that you will be using. Basically you need to pick one colour in three different shades - simple. I chose Raincloud by George, Wham by Collection 2000 and the creatively named Grey by Barry M
However using nude polishes would look great below is Coney Island by OPI, Nude polish by Eyeko and London by Nails Inc/Diet Coke (which looks very much like Jermyn Street).


Anyways onto the tutorial.... 

Step 1 - First using the lightest polish, paint your nails making sure you apply each coat quite thinly or else it will take forever to dry or the tips will smudge when you have applied 4 coats of polish to the tips of the nails. Depending on the polish you should only need 2 coats. 

Now literally wait till it has dried totally, if you have applied the coats thinly and let them dry inbetween coats it will take no time at all. 
Just make sure they are dry.


Step 2 - Using your medium shade you need to paint the tips of the nails, this is probably the hardest part. First of all you need to make sure you have very little polish on the brush, by wiping it on the edge of the bottle. Then from the right hand side of each nail slowly brush the polish in a curved line, the slower you go the easier it will be. You will probably get polish down the side of the nails but just remove this with your index fingernail on the opposite hand. 

Depending on the polish the medium shade may need another coat. If so, by the time you have done all your nails you can do back and follow the line you have made so that each nail is opaque. 


Step 3 - Next using the darkest shade of nail polish you need to use the same method in step two, just making sure the line is central so that you haven't got more of one colour. 
More than likely you will only need one coat of the darkest nail polish. Again it is really important that there isn't very much polish on your brush. 
While you are waiting for your nails to dry, pour some nail polish remover into the top of the bottle and drop a cotton bud into it. 

Step 4 - After afew minutes your nails should be totally dry, so using the cotton bud clean up all the nail polish on the skin, slightly twisting the cotton bud as you go will remove it all.


Apply a top coat and your done. It really is simple and looks great in so many different colours.

Hopefully I will be posting a more interesting nail tutorial by the end of the week. 
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