Benefit Cosmetic Dupes – by Maybelline

We all love high end cosmetics with their sleek packaging, fabulous branding and innovative ideas. Normally the only thing we don’t like is the price tag. It would seem that budget high street cosmetic brands agree with us and so they seem to be focusing on bringing affordable versions of high end cosmetics to the market. Does it work? Sometimes – check out this post from Nina’s bargain beauty, which features a dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked palette that is priced at £4.00. Amazing!

So it seems that other beauty brands have realised that Benefit Cosmetics are the forerunner when it comes to amazing, ingenious, new and clever products that are different to the regular mascara, foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lipstick staples (not that they don’t sell these too). What Benefit does best is fix your face with targeted, specifically designed products. Maybelline now offer 2 items that are pretty much Benefit dupes. Let’s take a look.

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Baby Skin costs £7.99, whilst The Porefessional will set you back around £22-£25, depending where you shop. So you save around £13-15. Pretty impressive! Except…..I’m guessing you pay the bigger bucks for something. Is it superior ingredients? Is it the packaging or the brand? Let’s see how these two products measured up when I tried and tested them.

The Benefit formula is tinted and when applied, pores visibly reduce and in some cases, completely vanish. This stuff is so good it even reduces lines around the eyes and leaves the skin feeling silky, matte, and more than ready for make up. It’s a fantastic blackhead concealer but also an amazing base. This product is expensive, but it works.

The Maybelline formula is clear and upon application, I saw NO visible reduction in my pores. Still feeling hopeful though, I tried it in other areas and ended up with slightly greasy skin. I tried blending it and pretty much ended up with something resembling a mini oil slick on my face. It didn’t reduce pores, it didn’t give me baby soft skin. It was okay as a base, but by lunchtime my skin was so shiny and oily that it was difficult to tell I was wearing my normal make up because this stuff seeped through and took over everything.

Benefit : 9½/10
Maybelline : 3/10

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I’m afraid things don’t get much better. The Smoother is Maybelline’s answer to Benefit’s Cult Classic Dr Feelgood.

Benefit’s Dr Feelgood is a silky balm that smoothes lines, wrinkles, blemishes and generally mattifies your face, while packing on tons of vitamins and good stuff. Polyfilla for the face!! It works wonders, especially on slightly older skin. It carries a price tag of around £24.50 but unlike some of Benefits products, it lasts for ages. And it really works and you can also use it over make up for a top up that removes shine and makes you even prettier!

Maybelline’s The Smoother is like a pink version of the stuff in the Baby Skin tube, just a little thicker! It’s quite greasy, takes ages of patting and gentle rubbing to absorb in and then sits on the face until you look shiny and worn out. I really didn’t like it and even the £6.99 price tag doesn’t make things any better. At a push I would use the Maybelline stuff (sparingly), but if you want pore reduction, wrinkle coverage, lasting results and cosmetics that really work and are a pleasure to use, stick with Benefit.

Benefit :8/10
Maybelline : 3/10

Nice try Maybelline, but ultimately a fail for me.

What’s sad about it all, is that when Maybelline stick to producing their own ideas, the stuff they come up with is wonderful and works a treat! I LOVE their ‘Dream’ range – the foundation, dream mousse eyeshadow and blush – all amazing. Stick to what you know.

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September Birchbox

I’ve been a Birchbox member since July, but forgot to blog the first two boxes I received. So I’ll have to start with Septmeber’s box…which is pretty awesome, I have to say. First of all, let me explain what Birchbox is. You pay a monthly fee – in this case £12.95 (inc P+P) and you get your box of goodies delivered once a month. The contents of your box is 4-6 selected beauty samples. Don’t worry – you aren’t getting sachets of stuff that are worth peanuts – you’re getting decent sized trial samples of great quality products. What you receive in your box usually far outweighs the £12.95 you pay in value. I calculated the contents of one box and there was over £50 worth of products in there. This month is pretty good value too. Let’s take a look at the box and what’s inside!

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Lovely, re-useable, sturdy presentation box.

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Your goodies usually come in a drawstring bag, or a plastic zipper pouch.

 

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This is what I received this month and here’s the low down on the contents:

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One quibble this month. Birchbox emailed me to ask which ModelCo product I wanted – I had a choice of 2 lipglosses or a mascara. I chose the mascara. They sent a lip gloss. So I do wonder….why both giving us the choice and emailing back and forth to ask? Hmmph! I wasn’t too happy but C’est la vie!

First up – Agave healing Oil.
This stuff is GORGEOUS. It smells like coconuts and tropical fruits and is so easy to use. You pop a small amount of oil into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to warm the oil and then smooth it on your hair. The result? Shiny, smooth, gorgeous smelling locks. I really love this – it’s my favourite thing in the box. I may have to have the full size!
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Next is the Premae face & Body scrub.
A lovely product that I have so far just used on my face. I am going to get at least 10 face washes out of this little sample pot. This stuff is lovely. It smells great and although it is a scrub, it’s really soft and not abrasive at all. My face feels absolutely amazing once I have washed it all off – soft and moisturized and refreshed. Again, another one I might buy the full size of.

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Next product is the ModelCo lip gloss.
I like their glosses but I’m still sulking about the lack of mascara 😉 It’s non-sticky, looks nice on and is a lovely neutral colour. I already have a few full size ones so probably won’t bother getting one of these, although the sample makes a nice little gloss to pop into small going out clutch bags.photo 2 (2)b

It’s Potent eye cream by Benefit.
Love this stuff and loved opening my Birchbox to find it inside! Works wonderfully on bags, dark circles and sleep deprived mum’s wrinkles! 😉 At least a couple of week’s worth of applications inside. Winner!

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Caudalie Divine Oil.
It really is divine. I was getting low on night cream and so when this came, it was a godsend. I used it last night and it made my skin feel so soft and calm and I woke up with just a little bit of a glow. The face scrub, plus this, plus the eye cream means I have good skin right now! photo 5

Finally, there was a pack of dried strawberries – I ate them, they were nice, would have preferred another product but never mind! Then there was this cute photo holder…..going to pop a picture of my son in the clip and use it on my desk at work. Happy days indeed!
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This is my face after a good night’s sleep and using some of the lovely products from my Birchbox.
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I am quite pleased with the results….at 40 years old you either regret never looking after your skin or you keep mixing it up and trying new products. Luckily, I have moisturized since 16 years of age and always made time for my skin. I stay out of the sun and use SPF wherever possible. I love trying new products and Birchbox are very clever to set up this monthly scheme – I am sure lots of people try and then buy! But it’s ingenious too because for just £12.95 you can get enough high end beauty products to keep you going for a few weeks. If you can spare the monthly fee, I would highly recommend Birchbox.

Have you already tried Birchbox? Are you a subscriber and if so, what did you think of this month’s box?

 

 

Makeup Revolution for 40+ skin, Part 2

Warning: Features pictures of me without make up….and with, for that matter. I don’t claim to be a model, or remotely attractive and I’m not a make up expert. I’m just a 40 year old cosmetics fan buying, reviewing and sharing 🙂

So today I’ve used the majority of the Makeup Revolution products I bought and posted about. I have to say, I like what I see so far, and I can’t select a favourite as all the products are working so well for me. Here’s my before face. Be warned, I’d been awake 15 minutes, had showered and put my hair into a shower cap (it was washed the night before). So this is my all natural 40 year old face….after interrupted sleep (18 month old teething!). The only product I have used at this point was The Body Shop’s Vitamin E cleansing bar.

I haven’t even brushed my hair! 😉

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I think we can all agree that I have bags under my eyes, saggy upper eye lids and quite tired looking skin, as well as large open pores and wrinkles around the eye area.

I used my usual BB cream, which is pictured below….this is everything I used today.

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I followed the BB cream with the baked blush. This applied like a dream and gave a really lovely sheer glow. Below is the product swatched on the back of my hand in natural light.

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I was really pleased with the blush, as I thought it would give a pearly, fake, caked on look but in fact it was the complete opposite. Next I applied my under eye concealer, a little translucent powder and then I was ready for the eyeshadows. I chose Base and actually used it as a base, right up to the brows. Then I chose Frozen – a gorgeous silvery shade – for my eyelids. The effect was subtle, barely there and lovely for a daytime natural look when you want to highlight your eyes but don’t want an obvious made up look. I guess you can build it up if you want more of a statement look.

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Base (left) and Frozen.

I then did my usual routine….eye pencil in the corners to brighten my eyes…white pencil for the wet line to open my eyes….liner beneath that. I curled my lashes and used Benefit’s They’re Real, as this is the best mascara ever (it takes some getting off though!).

My usual routine was now finished. So I broke out the lovely highlighter which I was dying to try.

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My advice on this one – using sparingly. A little goes a long way and even using a fan tail brush I managed to cake it on and looked like I had slipped over and fell into a tub of glitter. Plus, I made the mistake of just generally cramming it everywhere without carefully selecting where I wanted to highlight. Next time, I will know better! Also, it clings to pores and makes them more obvious so focus more on cheeks rather than your nose…..also, avoid the forehead! It works well just below the brow bone too. Overall, I love this product – I just need to learn to use it correctly to full effect.

So this is me after my full routine, which usually takes me 5-10 minutes tops.

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I’ve included the photo below as I think you can really see the effect of the baked blush in this one. I really, really love this product and want to order more colours to try asap. My favourite ever blusher, hands down. I haven’t really used baked products before but I will now!

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It’s 12.30pm and by this time normally, poor quality eyeshadows have come off and slid into a mass lump in the creases of my skin. So far, these shadows are staying put and they look really nice!

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Would I recommend these products for people with mature (40+) skin? Absolutely!
The older I get the more I realise that budget brands just don’t have what my skin needs or the right staying power. Elf eyeshadows are the worst for creasing and coming off (sadly), and to be honest, I am astonished by the quality of Makeup Revolution considering these shadows were £1 each. I am itching to try lots more of their products now.

Browse the collection by clicking the logo below. Top tip for UK shoppers – Superdrug stock this brand and if you spend £10 you get free shipping, whereas Makeup revolution charge £2.95 for orders under £30.00.

Eyeshadows: 8/10
Baked Blush : 10/10
Highlighter : 7½/10

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Benefit – Boxes o’ powder

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Benefit started out their Box o’ powder collection with the now legendary Hoola (subtle bronzing powder with a cult following). It then expanded the collection to include Dallas and Dandelion and I thought they had every complexion covered and every need catered for, but they keep on releasing powders – and I want them all! I already own Hoola, which when used correctly offers my pale skin a non-obvious, non-fake looking sunkissed glow.  Dallas works just as well but with a little more use on the apple of the cheeks, works great as a blush too.  Dandelion is my all time favourite – this ballerina pink powder can be swept over the entire face to brighten, balance and enhance.  But I’ve been looking at the other powders and can’t make my mind up what the try next, I just know I need another one!

Should it be the UKs No. 1 bestselling blush? Sugarbomb
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“Swirl the 4 complimenting, shimmering shades of peach, soft plum, pink and rose powders together and sweep on cheeks for a natural radiance. It’s a sweet rush of gorgeous!”

Or perhaps the newest offering? Rockateur
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“Pick up the beat with a rush of heat! This rockin’ rose gold cheek powder gives a famously provocative flush that turns heads on-stage and off. The crowd will go wild for its sexy faceted design, accented in luxe gold. For an encore, the custom angled, dimensional brush gives rich, show-stopping payoff every time.”

Coral isn’t really my colour, but somehow I still want this one…. Coralista
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“Our warm coral-pink cheek powder is your “coral blush for a tropical flush”! This shade cheers up every skin tone in seconds.Complete with soft, natural-bristle blush brush.”

Or maybe I need this gorgeous rose & Berry powder? Hervava
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“Seeking a flush of enlightenment? Swirl on hervana… Our goodkarma face powder! Four complementary shades, lucky shell, divine peach, heavenly rose & berry delight – blend together perfectly for an orchid blossom blush. What goes around,,,comes around!”

In the end, I think a great way to try the powders before spending £23.50 on a box of powder is to try one of Benefit’s Mini Kits. They may be a little more expensive (£25.50), but you get 3 other mini products that you may use all the time anyway such as lip gloss, Benetint, High beam etc.  But you get the powder too, and if it works for you, then you have a mini kit that can go in your handbag and if you like the powder, you can buy the full size for your vanity or make up bag/drawer at home.

I think I need to go with Sugarbomb, and once I do, I’ll review it here.
Click the photo below to check out all of Benefits amazing powders.

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