Benefit They’re Real Mascara Review

I am quite fickle with my mascaras, and don’t often like to buy the same one twice. However, I had actually tried Benefit They’re Real Mascara before just after it was released, and have only just decided to repurchase. It is claimed to be the ‘UK’s  no.1 best-selling mascara’ and I can definitely understand why. For the record, I have naturally quite long, full, blonde lashes.

The Claims:
They’re real! lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates. Our jet black, long-wearing formula won’t smudge or dry out. A specially designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!

The Verdict:
My favourite part about this mascara is the brush – it is a plastic wand with relatively short bristles, making it easy to get right into the roots of the lashes. The spikes at the end of the wand allows you to define inner lashes  and you can use it on the outer corner to extend the lashes to create a feline shape. It can be slightly spiky and uncomfortable to use, but when used properly this isn’t an issue.

I find that getting optimal results does require a bit of building up, but it is worth it. It gives everything that I look for in a mascara – length, volume and definition (check out the before and after pics below). I don’t think that it is the best I’ve ever tried, and it doesn’t look like I’m wearing false lashes, but it is definitely one of better ones I have tried. I do sometimes find that if I’m not wearing any eyeshadow or primer it can smudge a little on my upper lid, but this happens with most mascaras for me due to my oily lids. 

I would definitely recommend this mascara, as at £19.50 it sits at the cheaper end of the higher end mascaras, and it is popular for a reason. My favourite mascaras above this are probably the Yves Saint Laurent Babydoll Mascara and the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, but they are both £24.50, making the Benefit option seem a little more cost effective.


Manicure Monday #2 | Revlon Nail Enamel in Bewitching

Revlon Nail Enamel in Bewitching (£6.49 here)

Revlon is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands for the nail polish. They have a huge amount of shades and formulas, but the original nail enamels have continued to be my favourite. All of the shades I have are really easy to apply, go on with two or less coats and are one of my longer-lasting formulas that I own. 

Bewitching is a gorgeous rich burgundy shade with a cream finish. I wouldn’t say this is an overly original shade, as it can probably be duped in several other brands, but if you are in the market for a burgundy, this formula is definitely one I would recommend. This polish lasted about 4 days on my nails without any chipping which is a considerably long time for me. 

No doubt another Revlon nail polish will pop up in future Manicure Mondays, and one or two will probably end up in my basket when I am next browsing the aisles of boots. Have you tried any Revlon nail enamels?


Manicure Monday #1 | Kiko Nail Lacquer in 381 Purple Grey

I have a lot of nail polish – whenever I mention it or somebody sees my collection I am always faced with shocked reactions. I thought of starting Manicure Monday because I love talking about and showing off my polishes, but also as a motivation to wear all the ones I have.

Kiko Nail Laquer in 381 Purple Grey (£3.90 here)

Kiko is an Italian brand, slowly making its way into the UK. The first product I ever had was also a nail varnish which my mum bought me as a present from Italy. I have since ventured into the Westfield shop several times and have tried quite a few products from the brand. This nail varnish, was also a gift from my mum from Italy this summer. They ship to many countries across Europe, and I must admit, I am getting very excited about this brand.

Purple Grey is an apt name for what the polish looks like in the bottle, but on the nails it runs much more blue. It is a dark grey-toned blue, a nice colour for autumn/winter. It is an interesting shade and provides the look of black on the nails without being so harsh. I thought it seemed quite original, but looking through my collection I found that Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish Lycra in Punk Rock (£4.49 here) is very similar, but is slightly more purple. 

In terms of longevity, I found this average. It lasted about 2 or 3 days without any minor chipping, which is standard for my nails. The brush isn’t too wide or too thin, and the formula is easy to paint on the nails – 2 coats are required for opacity. For the price, I’d say this is a good polish, and I would recommend it if these stormy colours are up your street. 

Hourglass Opaque Liquid Rouge in Empress | Review

Hourglass is a brand that everyone in the blogging world seems to be talking about and my first venture into the brand was about a year ago when I got talked into buying this Opaque Liquid Rouge in Empress (£23 here) at the Liberty counter. Empress is a deep burgundy shade with a matte finish.

The Claims:
A richly pigmented, silky smooth and velvety matte lip color that delivers extended wear without flaking or dryness. 

The Verdict:
The gunmetal packaging is very luxurious and compact, and when closing the product you hear that satisfying *click* which makes it bag and travel friendly. The flattened doe-foot applicator makes it easy to spread the product over the lips – although you have to be careful and be quite precise.

On first application, I wasn’t too keen. It wasn’t until I properly learnt how to apply it that it actually started to become one of my favourite lip products. I found (and also later discovered that Hourglass recommends) that the lips must be completely clean with no remaining balm or product and very well exfoliated. Then you must only apply one layer onto both lips and do not touch them together until they are completely dry – about 30 seconds does the trick. The product sets completely to a matte finish. The texture is creamy and silky and it applies completely opaque onto the lips. It isn’t drying and doesn’t flake as long as the lips were not dry to begin with. 

It lasts well throughout the day and holds up well through eating and drinking. However, it isn’t possible to retouch this lipstick – if this is a must, you have to remove it all before reapplying or it will flake on the lips. For me, this is a perfect fuss-free night out lipstick, as it will look good all night long. 

I am now very happy that I was talked into buying this and if you’re in the market for a high-end matte lipstick, this may be one to consider. Personally, I have my eye on some other shades (riviera and ballet – I’m looking at you). Someone hold my purse…


Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation | Review

Having oily skin, I used to only ever use matte foundations and steered clear of any that promised anything along the lines of a ‘luminous’ or ‘dewy’ finish, especially when going out or being photographed. If it wasn’t for the hype of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£32 here) and everyone claiming it was THE best foundation for photography I would have never gone within a mile of it. 

The Claims:
Capture the glow of perfect looking skin with Luminous silk foundation, an oil-free hydrating fluid with exclusive Micro-fil™ technology. Its lightweight and silky texture glides on seamlessly for an all-day, buildable coverage. 

The Verdict:
What is so great about this foundation is the sheer versatility of it. With one pump and applied with fingers it has a sheer to medium coverage, perfect for daily wear. It definitely is buildable and for a night out or for a day I need a little extra help, I use a brush such as the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99 hereand apply thin layers until I reach my desired coverage. The finish is hard to describe – it is not entirely matte or dewy, it is somewhere in between. It looks very natural on the skin and it never looks cakey no matter how much you apply. It also feels very light on the skin – it isn’t like some full coverage foundations that feel like a mask on your face.

But does it live up to the expectations I had for it when I bought it? The answer is most definitely yes. It looks amazing in photographs (thanks to the absence of SPF), I have never had that dreaded white-cast, even with that horrific iPhone flash! The longevity is sensational for a non-matte foundation, I find that it holds up just as well as any matte formula I have tried, and best of all it stays looking fresh and natural for hours, even with my oily skin. The packaging is very sleek and luxurious (they have since updated it from the bottle that I have, with Giorgio Armani in black writing on the bottle and the fashion house logo in silver – even more glamorous!) and the pump doesn’t ever dispense too much product. 

So there is my ode to Luminous Silk. This is definitely holy grail status for me despite the price tag. I would definitely recommend this to everyone and with a whopping 21 shades, a colour match is definitely on the cards. The question is, would you splurge?