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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Book Review: Dirty Rocker Boys by Bobbie Brown

Dirty Rocker Boys – Bobbie Brown & Caroline Ryder, Gallery Books.
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Following on from this post, you might have correctly guessed that my music genre of choice is rock and that I have more than a passing interest in the bands and musicians of that era. The book has been out for quite a while but I only just discovered and read it recently.

Bobbie Jean Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her stunning natural beauty helped her to win beauty pageants and become a model. She ended up in LA during the height of the Glam Rock/Rock movement (think back to Motley Crue crusing the Sunset strip in a limo. With a pool in the back. Surrounded by women. And champagne and drugs….yeah, you’ve got the idea!). Bobbie did modelling and also found fame by starring in rock music videos (most famous for Warrant’s Cherry Pie). All of Hollywood was teeming with gorgeous, successful long haired rock gods during this time and Bobbie Brown was the woman who many of these rock stars wanted to get with. It’s really not difficult to see why.

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Front of that queue was Warrant’s lead singer, Jani Lane who was already head over heels with Bobbie after seeing her in another video. Jani Lane and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue were both after Bobbie and it was a contest to see who got there first. Jani did after getting Bobbie to star in one of Warrant’s videos, and he sealed the deal by marrying Bobbie and getting her pregnant with their daughter, Taylar Lane. However, Jani soon succumbed to drink and also cheated on his wife, so next in line was Tommy Lee. He and Bobbie seemed to genuinely have a good time together and were engaged to be married. But whenever they argued, Tommy Lee went running to Bobbie’s rival Pamela Anderson, to make Bobbie jealous. This worked several times until he was violent towards Bobbie in front of her daughter Taylar. Bobbie left him this time and meant it. He paid her back by marrying Pamela Anderson mere days later on a beach.

Pamela Anderson was on the scene at the same time as Bobbie. They had much in common and might even look inter-changeable to some people. BUT, that’s where the similarity ends. Bobbie was still open, friendly and warm at a time when Pamela was guarded, cunning and smart. Pamela made an open play for Tommy Lee, right in front of Bobbie when she was all too aware of Bobbie & Tommy Lee’s relationship status. There are 2 sides to every story, sure…..but the facts speak loud and clear. Pamela married a man she hadn’t had a relationship with and barely knew. The same man who 4 days earlier had just come out of a long term relationship. I know which lady comes off looking better in this scenario – and it isn’t Pamela.

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Pamela – already with painted on eyebrows and immaculate make up, Bobbie – natural and stunning.

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2013-2014: Bobbie, proving her natural beauty. Pamela? Not so much.

I don’t want to give too much of the book away but what I am trying to highlight is that yes, Bobbie has been around. Is it her fault? Yes, some of it. BUT whenever she has been with a guy, she has been a one guy woman and hasn’t slept around. She wanted her marriage to work, she wanted to have a secure, loving relationship with Tommy Lee. The men in her life always seemed to have other ideas.

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She was approached by so many rockers of the day – Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, Dave Navarro, Bret Michaels – they all wanted a piece of Cherry Pie. Most of them had girlfriends and wives at the time but seemed to think that they had a god given right to sleep around and treat women like Bobbie as trophies. What they didn’t bank on was her unbreakable spirit, strength and street smarts. Bobbie had to learn quickly what an unforgiving town Hollywood is. Sometimes she didn’t do so well when she found herself homeless and addicted to drugs, but she always managed to do what was best for herself and her daughter in the end and get herself back on her feet.

The book contains many tales about the sordid, dark side of Hollywood. There are chapters featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Costner. Bobbie doesn’t pull any punches. The book is written in a sincere voice though and is completely uncensored, making it highly entertaining. I did feel that the ending didn’t tell us where Bobbie is now, but I hear rumours of another book so maybe she was saving some of her story for that. I hope so. My only criticism of this book is that it was too short and I didn’t want it to end. I ended up really liking Bobbie and being glad that she’s still around in the entertainment industry now. I hope we hear a lot more from her.

Awesome links:

Bobbie Jean Brown on Twitter
Bobbie on Facebook
Bobbie’s online clothing store
Ex-wives of Rock official Fuse page

Bobbie Gallery:

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Rediscovering old favourites….

I have my all time favourite movies as I’m sure other fellow losers do; the ones where I’ve seen them at least 20+ times and will probably watch them another 20+ times, if not more before I shuffle off this mortal coil.  These days, less and less movies make it onto that elite list. However, joining the hallowed ranks of Dirty Dancing, Dead Poet’s Soceity, The Breakfast Club and Sense & Sensibility is little known film Catch & Release.

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Starring the very watchable Jennifer Garner, Juliette Lewis, delectable Timothy Olyphant and a genius speaking appearance from Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith along with a good solid performance from Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw), this movie really shouldn’t work at all.  But…somehow, it does.

It completely and unapolgetically manipulates the emotions, you can see the ‘twists’ coming a mile off,  Juliette Lewis is so typecast as the kooky but sexy ‘chakra-chi-aura’ therapist, the ending is delivered all tied up neatly in a predictable bow and yet for some reason….I love it!

Susannah Grant directs Garner as Gray, a woman burying her fiancé Grady on the day that she should have been marrying him.  Garner is absolutely heartbreaking in these early scenes, pulling those tears from you whether you want to give them up or not. She finds herself unable to afford the place she was going to share with her husband Grady and instead moves in with his best friends, who offer moral and emotional support as she discovers that her fiancé was not the man she thought he was at all and that was in fact harbouring big secrets – bad ones.

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She moves in with 2 of Grady’s best friends – who provide much needed care for Gray.  The 3rd friend on the scene is Fritz, visiting from LA.  Unreliable, irresponsible, seemingly thoughtless and selfish…….Gray can’t understand why Grady was ever friends with him.  But she misjudges him massively and of course….he ends up being the one person to bring her back to life.  The chemistry between Garner and Olyphant is tangible, evident and very real and a big part of why this film works so well.

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This film is sad, heatbreaking, funny, touching, poignant and sweet. I absolutely recommend it and yes……it’s one you can rewatch over and over…..and you’ll cry every time.

Even if when you do know what’s coming.

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Favourite quotes:

Fritz: I owe you an apology.
Gray: Just one?
Fritz: For ruining the funeral.
Gray: Yeah, if it hadn’t been for you, that would’ve been one great day.

Gray: What’s your favorite color?
Fritz: Grey.

Gray: (as voiceover, talking to Grady who has passed) :
I didn’t tell them everything, though. I left out the complicated stuff, like how it took losing you forever for me to truly find you.  They want to know I miss you. Not that while I’ve been missing you, I’ve fallen for someone else. It’s weird, though. I feel like the only one who would understand this is you. In a way, that makes sense. He was the one person you were yourself around. Of course he’d be that same person for me.

Favourite picture :

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Where have I seen you before?

Jennifer Garner – Daredevil, Elektra, Alias

Timothy Olyphant – Hitman, Deadwood, Diehard, Go

Kevin Smith – Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Juliette Lewis – Cape Fear, Natural born Killers, Kalifornia, From Dusk til dawn

Fiona Shaw – Harry Potter 1-8, True Blood, Jane Eyre