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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Rimmel’s Wake Me Up instant shimmer radiance – A review

I can’t say that I buy many Rimmel products. I like their nail varnish colours, and now and again I’ll get a lip gloss or face powder, but that’s it. I’m more of a Benefit Gal! But now we’ve got the little one & he’s in nursery, funds are tight & much as I’d like to pretend I have spare money for make-up, I don’t.
I ran out of my Benefit “That Gal” recently 😦 I couldn’t afford to replace it. But when I was in the beauty shop at our outlet village, I came across this Rimmel product….seemed like it could do the same thing! It promised to brighten my skin, wake my skin wake up, offered a dewy finish and it was similar to that all important ballet pink base…..down from a fiver to £1.99. Well, sign me up for some of that!

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Did it work?

Yes and no. The colour was a bit stronger than I expected, so next time I’ll mix it with some BB cream and see if that works better.
It’s still a fairly good product. It doesn’t have the lovely Benefit “That gal” fragrance, and it is more of a highlighter than a base, but as a cheap replacement product, I can make it work for me and my face. I’m 40 years old and so the trick is less layering of thick products and to focus more on a natural looking, line filling, complexion enhancing base. Once you’ve got that right, you’re good to go!

Because this product is a multi tasker (works in it’s own right as a blusher and lippy), I’m going to give this 3.5/5 and am happy to recommend it. Definitely give this one a go! I see it working really well on younger, holiday skin.

Investing in your skin, Part 1

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I turned 40 years old this year and I can say that for the first time ever, I have started to notice changes in my skin. I’v always been kind of lucky – greasy skin as a teenager and in my early 20’s meant that my skin never dried out and I’ve managed to dodge acquiring a lined face. But all that’s kinda changed lately!

When it comes to your skin routine, you definitely need to start with the basics and that means you need a great cleanser for step 1. I’m constantly on the look out for lovely products that will remove my make up thoroughly, with minimum scrubbing.  Products that won’t dry out my face but will leave my skin soft and feeling properly clean and fresh. There are so many products on the market, but my advice is don’t go cheap, find something worth investing your money in but at the same time, look for something that will last and give you value for those pounds you have invested.

Can such a product exist? In a word, yes.  First, let’s talk about my other favourites and the pros and cons.

Benefit Foamingly Clean Facial Wash – £17.50

PROs: Smells lovely, removes make up and doesn’t leave a trace behind, leaves the skin really super soft and feeling great, the foam does all the hard work so you don’t have to scrub your face, lovely packaging.

CONs: As with lots of Benefit stuff, it runs out quickly. You don’t get much product for your money and it doesn’t last very long. I expect more for the price.

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Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish – From £8.50 for 50ml

PROs: Smells amazing due to the natural, herbal ingredients, has a measured pump dispenser so that you never pump more than you need, makes the skin feel thoroughly refreshed and beautifully clean and soft. With continued use, the skin glows and starts to really look different and more toned. This is my favourite cleanser ever. I just can’t afford it all the time!

CONs: Sometimes the measured pump amount isn’t enough to fully do away with stubborn mascara, and once this thing is empty, the pump stops working so you just have to trust that you got it all out. Once again, doesn’t last as long as I would like.

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Now onto my winner. £11.50 gets you a premium brand cleanser, complete with storage.  A cleanser that removes all traces of dirt, make up and gives you a fantastic clean. The bigger bar can last me a year, easily making it more than worth the £14.50 price tag.  Portable, nice to look at on the bathroom shelf, this is an icon in skin care and it’s no wonder. Over time, my skin always changes and looks brighter, smoother and firmer, especially when we used with steps 2 & 3.

Clinique Facial soap with Dish, from £11.50

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Are there any cons? Well, yes actually. This cleanser is being recommended as the best value for money brand name cleanser; it doesn’t mean it’s as nice as the others! Doesn’t smell of anything great particularly and heaven help you if you get a bit on your eye because I always seem to and it really stings. Plus, once you’ve rinsed off and you’re ready to splash cold water on your face (I always do….just to give it a last rinse), your hands don’t slide over your baby soft skin. They don’t hardly move. Does this mean it’s not as good as other products? Or that it cleans you so well, it just doesn’t leave any product behind sitting on your skin? I suspect the soap preps your skin for stage 2 of Clinique’s legendary 1-2-3 skin care system. All in all though, if I were to suggest any product, this is the one I’d advise anyone with a bit of money to go for.  So, throw away your Simple, Neutrogena and Garnier and start investing in your skin a little- you will be glad you did.

Coming in part 2 – toners/step 2 of your skin care routine.