Beauty is power, and makeup is something that really enhances that – it’s a woman’s secret.

Charlotte Tilbury (makeup artist)
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Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

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REVLON COLORBURST LIP BUTTER in 040 RED VELVET: £7.99

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REVLON COLORBURST LIP BUTTER in 001 PINK TRUFFLE: £7.99

love lipstick. In fact anything to do with lips. Glosses, tints, balms, tars, jellies, gels, creams… and, of course, butters. 

Luckily, the Revlon ColorBurst ones are no different. Soft and with a slight shimmer they go on like a (very) well pigmented lip balm and last for two to three hours. They have the same sheen most butters do but it’s not too shiny to look like a gloss. 

Being more of a balm they don’t bleed but also don’t leave a tint behind after wear. I do really like the formula though – it’s soft enough for day time wear but adding another coat easily takes you from day to night. 

How I use it:

– Simply slick and go! I don’t use a lip liner or pre-balm with this, though of course you could if you wanted to.

Overall, would I repurchase?

This is a tricky one actually. While I think I would repurchase Red Velvet when it runs out, I wouldn’t repurchase Pink Truffle. All in all however I would try more shades from the range on a 3 for 2 and they are a good product.

Seventeen Make Your Mark Soft Eyeliner Pen

SEVENTEEN MAKE YOUR MARK SOFT EYELINER PEN: £3.99

I’m a big fan of Seventeen, so when I bought this I did so with the same trust and expectations I have in their other products. Unfortunately the Make Your Mark eyeliner pen really didn’t cut it for me. 

The first thing I noticed was how stiff the ‘soft’ eyeliner pen was! It really was like trying to do your makeup with a felt tip marker, and a slightly dried up one at that! Trying to get a smooth, fluid line in one stroke is near impossible, as it’s not soft to glide and keeps catching on your eyelid. I naively thought that at least this would make precision flicks easier – wrong! It just doesn’t have that fluid glide that you need in a liquid eyeliner.

Another thing I found was that although the staying power was quite good, the second you even slightly rub it in the day it smudges, leaving great black marks all over your eyelid. This is especially annoying as you then have to get rid of those before you can reapply.

If you can cope with the hard pen tip, the actual eyeliner in it is very good for the money. 

How I use it:

– For winged liner, I first draw a line inwards towards my outer eye for the flick, and again for the other eye. I do mine about 0.6/0.7cm long but it’s completely personal preference. I always do my wings first as if I have to correct them that doesn’t mean me wiping off the rest of my liner.

– From the tip of the line downwards, I draw a slim triangle that gradually gets wider as I reach my eye. Fill in with the liner. Et voila! 

– Starting from my inner eye, I then draw a smooth fluid line towards my wing. Sometimes I can do this in one swipe, sometimes not. I wear my liner quite thick so my first line is usually a few millimetres away from my lash line and then I fill in the space between. 

Overall, would I repurchase?

No I’m afraid not. The applicator is just far too hard for the delicate eye area and this seriously affects the look you can achieve with this. 

Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash

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SIMPLE SPOTLESS SKIN TRIPLE ACTION FACE WASH: £3.75

Some products just work.

This is one of them.

Simple Spotless Skin face wash is as integral to my life as toast and online shopping. I could live without it, but I definitely wouldn’t want to. I started using this in my early teens and am convinced it’s the reason I only have the odd spot. I have super combination skin – ultra oily nose, bone dry forehead and mild rosacea on my cheeks – and this keeps it in check. 

The texture is a clear gel with little beads that disappear as you work it in to your skin which I’m a big fan of. Not only do they exfoliate your skin I know when I’ve massaged it in enough when I can’t feel any. 

Over the years I’ve tried other face washes, including ones from Lancôme, La Roche Posay and Clarins and Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. All have been good, but none have kept spots at bay and my skin balanced as much as Simple Triple Action. Of course, every face is different, and what works for me might send your skin in to meltdown. However, at £3.75 it’s well worth a shot and you never know – you might love it as much as me!

How I use it:

– When I’m in the shower I dampen my face with warm water and squeeze a one pence size amount on to the back of my hand.

– Using my fingers, I apply it to one section of my face at a time, working it in to my skin with circular motions. 

– Wash off with cool water. I just put my face under the jet but if I was doing this at a sink I’d splash water on to my face as opposed to using a flannel. 

Overall, would I repurchase?

Again and again and again. I already have! Maybe as my skin changes my face wash will have to too, but for now I’m more than happy!

Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer

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BENEFIT BOI-ING INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH CONCEALER: FULL SIZE (ONE SHADE) £17.50

I very rarely use concealer. My foundation and powder usually cover up my mild rosacea and I’m extremely lucky to only have the odd rare spot! When disaster does strike however and I wake up to see the world’s largest spot, I no longer freak out.

Because I know, tucked away in my make up bag, is Beneft Boi-ing.

A little goes a long way with this creamy concealer and it really is ‘industrial strength’! Not the easiest to blend I’ll admit and it can look a little cakey, although personally I think that’s to be expected with a heavy coverage concealer. It really can cover anything though and lasts for hours once set with a powder.

My main gripe with this concealer is actually the stark difference between ’01’ (the lightest shade) and ’02’ (the second lightest). As you can see from the swatches ’02’ is much darker than ’01’ and I really feel there needs to be a shade in between the two. I’d say I have the typical sun-deprived English complexion and 02 is far far too orange for me. I think I’d struggle to wear this even with a tan! I can just about get away with 01 as a spot and under-eye concealer but for anything else it would be a tad too pale for me. 

The set shown in the top photo is of course very useful as you can combine the two for your perfect shade, however this isn’t available to buy outside of Benefit’s gift sets (I got in ‘How To Look The Best At Everything’ in ‘Light’) and when buying full size you have to pick between the two shades.

How I use it:

– After applying foundation, I warm this up in my hands (or if I know beforehand I’ve got some serious eye bags to cover I’ll actually sit on it while I put my foundation on! Not very elegant but it really does work!) as it goes on that much easier. 

– Swipe your finger across it 2-3 times and apply in downward sweeping motions to the area you want to conceal.

– Set with a powder.

Overall, would I repurchase?

This is a tough one. While this is a really good concealer, I have to question whether I can warrant spending £17.50 on a concealer that’s not the right shade for my skin tone. Hopefully by the time my mini 01 & 02 duo runs out (not any time soon and I’ve been using it for six months! The full size ones must last ages…) I’ll have purchased another set with one in! Overall, I would repurchase.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

BENEFIT THEY’RE REAL MASCARA: £19.50

Like most girls, I have gone through a lot of mascara. Like a lot. When I first heard about They’re Real I wasn’t particularly that bothered – it was just another hyped up and probably overpriced mascara.

How wrong I was.

The first time I tried it I just knew. I think I actually said ‘oh my god’ out-loud. While I’m lucky to be blessed with quite long lashes they’re mostly blonde and clump together easily, however with They’re Real I have no problems at all. It makes my lashes look insanely long and I’ve made friends with short lashes try this and they can’t believe how good it is.

I’d definitely say it was a length and lift mascara as opposed to a volumising one, though it’s by no means bad and it does coat every lash down to the root which helps them look thicker.

Of course the perfect mascara doesn’t exist in my opinion and They’re Real does have its downsides. It’s a bit of a pain to get off and you’ll need make up remover if some gets on your eyelid or brow bone when applying.

Still, these sacrifices are so worth it for the effects! Truly the best mascara I’ve ever used.

How I use it:

– After applying eyeliner and any shadow, I hold my mirror lower than I normally would so I am looking down at it.

– After wiping the excess mascara off the pointy bit at the end of the wand (used for coating smaller lashes and fanning out outer ones) I raise my eyebrows, and, getting as close to the root as I can, begin applying. I swipe the wand straight up at first to give length and then to the side to fan my outer lashes.

– To coat the tips of my lashes I also swipe the wand behind them.

– Finally using the pointy bit (sorry I can’t think of a technical term for it!) at the tip of the wand, I hold it so it points straight at my head and coat the little lashes at the inner corner of my eye.

– Usually my eyeliner covers any smudges on my eyelid and then I just brush a make up remover wipe over any on my brow bone.

Overall, would I repurchase?

I actually first tried this mascara in a Benefit set I got for Christmas which had a mini version. It lasted a good three months and I think Boots sell it on its own for £9.50 if you want to try it before spending almost £20! Once that dried up I did bite the bullet and pay for this full size version and I don’t regret it, so yes I think I will be repurchasing again!