Monday 27 March 2017

Benefit They're Real Big Sexy Lip Kit And On Being A Quirky Girl

I was fortunate enough to spend yesterday aka Mother's Day with two of my favourite people, my mam and my Godmother. Over the last 12 months or so I've realised just how important family time actually is, and unfortunately, in this day and age, I think it's something that we all take for granted. We spent a lot of yesterday reminiscing and talking about people and times gone by, and we spent a lot of time talking, strangely enough, about ourselves and how other people see us.

Over the years I've been described as a lot of things, someone once described me as the most scarily intelligent person that they'd ever met, whilst some else described me as funny, in a weird way, we came to the conclusion, that probably the best way to describe both myself and my mum was quirky, and to be honest I'm okay with that. I've never wanted to be a sheep, and I'm never going to be one of those people that everybody loves, or that fits in anywhere like a jigsaw, I'm an individual and I'm proud of that.

It goes with saying therefore, that my outlook on life is also pretty quirky, I love anything just that little bit out of the ordinary, and anything that's just that little bit different. I'm obsessed with David Lynch, one of my favourite TV programmes at the moment is Finding Bigfoot, I love daisies, and psychedelic prints, and eventually getting back on point, I love make up brands that stand out from the rest of the crowd

Although they've been widely copied, and imitated, with their quirky, vintage style, and their often tongue and cheek humour, if you want something just that little bit different make up wise then Benefit is a good place to start.

I'm a Bene Babe and I'm proud of that, take away the fun exterior, and your usually left with a quality product that does exactly what it promises. I've tried so many of their products over the years, and so many of them have become permanent additions in my make up bag. It's hard to believe that they've been around since the 1970's, and whilst so many products in their line have become real classics, they aren't one of those brands that rests on their laurels, and their constantly developing new products and trying to please a new generation of fans.

So far in 2017, we've seen several new additions to their popular boxed blusher range, with an entirely new shade Galifornia, and with some new incarnations of some old favourites, Hoola Lite and Dandelion Twinkle. All of these on now on my wishlist, but today I'm going to talk about another relatively new Benefit addition, their new They're Real lipsticks.

Late last year, Benefit released two new kits just in time for the Christmas rush, both under their ever popular They're Real banner.  These kits, an eye and a lip kit, were just taster of what was to come, when at the beginning of this year they released a whole new range of eyeshadows and lipsticks.
The whole point of every product in the They're Real line is to take the stress and the hassle out of make up, every product is an innovation and is designed to make us all into make up artists without the years of practise and training. Since I have the enthusiasm but not always the skill, this line is right up my street, so as a little Autumn and Winter treat I picked up both of the kits, the They're Real Big Sexy Eye Kit, which I'm going to talk about in a future post, and the They're Real Big Sexy Lip Kit.

This beautiful metal tin which make the perfect gift contains, 4 half size, 0.75g lipsticks from the new They're Real Double The Lip Beyond Sexy Lipstick & Liner In One range.

Packaged in metallic, plastic tubes, that resemble Benefit's famous They're Real Mascara, these products are probably one of most unique lip products that I've seen in a long time.

Lets face it, a lipstick in most cases is just that a lipstick, they can be short and chubby, or they can be long and slim, but however they're shaped, take away the packaging be it classy or simple, and in most cases, unless you're a real beauty junkie, you probably couldn't distinguish one pink lipstick from another one. Occasionally now you'll see the odd one that looks different say with a gel core or a coating but the majority of lipsticks on the market today look pretty similar. These ones though are just that little bit different and they're different for a very good reason.

Open these beauties up and your probably expecting to see just a thin, boring ish lipstick but these lipstick or should I say lipsticks and liners in one, have two things that make them unique. As you can see from the photograph above these lipsticks not only have a distinctive teardrop shaped tip, but each lipstick also contains two colours in one. The dual colour thing isn't that new really but the shape is, because what this product enables you to do is to both line and fill in your lips, in one swipe. All you do is apply the lipstick like you normally would only making sure that the pointed tip is positioned along your upper lip line, and that you turn the lipstick upside down to fill in your lower lip.

There are 8 shades to choose from in the full 1.5g size, but this kit gives you the opportunity to try 4 of the most popular shades in a handbag friendly, half size.

The shades are from left to right, Flame Game, a fiery orange, red, Pink Thrills, a classic, bright pink, Revved-Up Red, a cherry, pink red shade, and Lusty Rose, a lovely neutral rose pink.

Apologies that the swatches aren't that neat but what I was trying to show you, was the slight colour variations between the lipstick and the liner shades. In the bullet I think the differences look a lot more pronounced, and in some cases quite scary. I wish the obsession with darker or different coloured lip liners to lipsticks would crawl under a rock and die - I'm not a fan at all, and despite looking in some cases like they could give you that sort of look, the difference on the lips with these ones is actually quite subtle.

In every single one that I tried, the lip liner shade didn't look obvious, the colours just complimented each other perfectly and in my experience the slight colour variation actually gives the lips a slightly plumper, and fuller appearance. I think that's really the whole point of these lipsticks to actually make your lips look fuller, and as though you've spent ages applying lipstick and liner, and by and large Benefit's consumer testing appears to say exactly that, with 91% of participants saying that there lips looked visibly fuller and sexier. I definitely like how they look on my lips and since I personally received several compliments when I wore them, I think I have to agree with them - what do you think?

Flame Game 

Pink Thrills

Revved-Up Red

Lusty Rose

I've really enjoyed wearing these lipsticks, and this kit has even taken me out of my comfort zone with shades like Flame Game. As you can see the pigmentation is superb, and whilst the semi matte formula, isn't the most hydrating, it doesn't leave your lips dry and parched. I guess the formulation also helps with the illusion of fullness, and it also aids the wear time, I didn't quite get the 8 hours that Benefit claim but I easily managed a few hours out of each one which considering the amount of water I drink, is pretty amazing in my book.

Although 95% of testers that Benefit surveyed claim that these lipsticks are super easy to apply, I personally think that you need a little bit of practise just to get your technique on point. I found them pretty easy to apply on my top lip, but I struggled at first when I had to flip the bullet to do my bottom lip - I was all fingers and thumbs for some reason. The bullet itself is ergonomically designed so it's pretty easy to hold and practise as they say makes perfect.

So do I like these? In it's simplest terms yes I do, I have to say when I first swatched them I wasn't sure but once I started using them, I got it, I love the coverage, and the wear time, and my pout definitely looks a little bit fuller when I wear them. Any drawbacks? well if you love really moisturising, and really creamy lipsticks then these probably aren't for you, and they do have a slightly weird, almost TCP like smell, and taste, but that soon disappears, and the positives for me firmly outweigh any negatives. 

The Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Big Sexy Lip Kit, retails at around £25.50 and is currently available from various retailers including,  the official Benefit Cosmetics website, as well as Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis, House Of Fraser, and QVC UK. This kit is great for travel or for trying out some new colours, or for anyone who wants to try out this new concept but if you like what you see, you can also buy the individual lipstick in the full size, in these four shades, and in additional four shades, for around £16.50 each. My favourite colours in this kit are definitely the pinks, Pink Thrills and Lusty Rose, so even though I did get another mini in a recent Birchbox, I can definitely see myself picking up the full sizes in the near future, and I'm definitely going to add the shade Nude Scandal to my ever increasing beauty wishlist? What do you think about these lipsticks? Have you tried them yet? Let me know your thoughts below x

Thursday 23 March 2017

Illamsaqua Extinct Go Nude Lip Kit Winner Revealed

Just a quick post for you today and for one of you it's going to be a good one, because today I'm announcing the winner of my 10th blogging birthday, Illamasqua giveaway x

I've really enjoyed reading through your comments, and suggestions on what you would like to see on the blog and I'm definitely going to be taking some, if not all of your suggestions on board as I try to take the blog forward in 2017, so thanks again for all of your feedback xx

I had over 700 entries and as much as want to give you all a prize to thank you for your support over the last 10 years, there can only be one winner, and the winner, picked randomly via Rafflecopter is

Ashley Bree Perez

Congratulations Ashley x Can you please send an email with your postal address to as soon as possible and I'll get your prize sent out to you x 

You know what I'm going to say now I guess, but the same thing I always say still applies, don't worry if you weren't lucky enough to win this time, I have several more giveaways coming soon. There probably won't be another big one till around May time, but I do have a few smaller home, and beauty ones to come so make sure you're still following for a chance to win x Thanks for reading and of course thank you for following and for your continued support x 

Saturday 18 March 2017

"I'm At A Place Called Vertigo" And It Hasn't Been Fun!

Well this little ditty from U2, pretty much says it all. Although I've still been uploading fairly regularly to my You Tube channel (thanks to an en block recording day!), I've been AWOL from the blog for a couple of weeks now, thanks to, at least in part, you've guessed it vertigo!

No not the U2 song, or even the Hitchcock's film noir,  but a horrible illness that makes you feel sick and dizzy. My mum was poorly first but I didn't think too much of it, she has a history of vertigo, but then I started feeling dizzy and that was that, a trip to the doctors, the diagnosis of a possible virus, and a box of prescription pills later, I thought I was feeling better, so on Tuesday I went on a long planned shopping trip with my Godmother and her friend, and then it came back with a vengeance.

Couple that with a fibro and CFS flare, and I've spent the last three days in bed, in a slighty blurry, not quite there haze,  believe me feeling like you've got a hangover when you haven't even had a drink is not fun! At last though I'm starting to see the light at the end of yet another long, dark tunnel and I'm starting feel less drowsy, and less woozy.

So from Monday I will be back posting regularly again with plenty more hauls, beauty reviews and who knows what else, and I'll also be announcing the winner of my Illamasqua giveaway, so make sure you keep checking back to see if you're a winner.

Until then though thank you for reading and following and I hope that you all have a lovely weekend, and I will see you next week with some new posts x

Thursday 2 March 2017

Trimming my Stash - February 2017 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

I know February is the shortest month of the year, but I'm still finding it pretty hard to believe that we're into March already. This year is starting the same way that last year ended, at 100 miles an hour - stop the world I want to get off - argh!

February was another rubbishy month in LouLouLand with family illness and so on but I'm trying to focus on the positives for once, including my blogging birthday (don't forget to enter my giveaway here if you haven't already, you can find it here), and all of the plans that I have to move my blog and my You Tube channel forward. I know it can sometimes be hard to find the positives in life, but if you really look hard enough, in most areas you can usually find something to be positive about or something to be thankful for.

RESEED Gingko & Sabal Fortifying Shampoo For Women - 250ml
Soap & Glory Sit Tight Sit Activated Special Low Body Firming Formula - 200ml
Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream - 125ml
Total - 3 Items 

Take last month's Trimming My Stash for example, yes I only managed to finish 3 items, but I finished one more than I did in January, and I managed to finish one product that seemed to have made itself permanently at home in my bathroom.

1. REESEED Gingko & Sabal Fortifying Shampoo For Women - 250ml

This was a product that I was originally sent to review, I loved it so much that I ended up buying another bottle. I love this as a shampoo in it's own right but by just using the shampoo and the serum and botanical solution very sparingly, I haven't really seen the same results as I did in the initial review. I would thoroughly recommend it as a gentle, body building shampoo but it's £25 and in my opinion I think it works way better when you use alongside the other products in the RESEED range. You can read my full review here x

2. Soap & Glory Sit Tight Sit Activated Special Low Body Firming Formula - 200ml

I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I don't believe that any cream or lotion can firm up your skin, and get rid of your cellulite, but my dear readers I'm always willing to admit that I'm wrong, and I do tend to get suckered in to buying things that I pray will firm up my bottom and get rid of some of those perfectly normal, shallow craters on my thighs! Did this product do that? Well unfortunately it didn't, it had a nice cream, gel texture, and it had that reassuring, cool, hot thing going that made you feel it was doing something, and boosting your circulation, but my bits are still as wobbly as they ever were. Maybe if I'd used it twice a day it wouldn't have become a permanent fixture in my bathroom and I might have seen a difference but some how I'm not convinced . Yes lotions and potions might make your skin feel softer, and smoother, but sensible diets and exercise are the only real way to firm up your wobbly bits. If you know otherwise though, and you've used a product that you found made a difference then let me know in the comments x This product actually has been discontinued now and replaced by the new and reformulated Soap & Glory Sit Tight Super Intense Targeted 4D Firming And Soothing Lower Body Serum which has a nifty massage head, and despite my ranting I'm actually tempted to give it ago so let me know if you've tried it x 

3. Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream - 125ml

This is one of my favourite ever foot creams, It doesn't have the richest or the creamiest texture, but slap a bit of this beautifully fruity, floral scented, creamy lotion onto your feet, stick a pair of socks on, experience a tiny bit of a tingle thanks to the fruit acids, give it an hour on so and your feet will look and feel a lot smoother. Thanks to a few thyroid problems my feet are ridiculously dry, so this isn't a miracle worker but it certainly makes a little bit of a difference, and thanks to the Soap & Glory star gifts at Boots, I now have a nice little stash of this one, and it's something that I will continue to buy regardless.

So this wasn't the longest empties post again, but I'm staying positive that I'm going to have a good year, and that I'm going to finish lots and lots of beauty products in 2017. Are you doing something similar this year? Let me know below x