The £5 Clinique Highlighter Dupe

I never have and never will claim to be a real beauty blogger. When I do write about makeup, I write as a girl who just likes wearing it (and buying way too much of it), so while I might not have the expertise of most, I still like to give it a good go every now and then. The discovery of today’s dupe was purely accidental, and I actually owned and used the dupe before I came across the high-end equivalent.

I’m the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to highlighters. I’d say they’re my weakness when it comes to makeup but I have many other weaknesses too so I’m not sure if it counts, but it was due to this weakness that I made this discovery. You see, when I wracked up enough points on my Sephora card back in February to claim some free gifts, when I was offered a free Clinique chubby stick highlighter, I snapped that badboy up without a second thought, but with so many highlighters in my collection, it was only recently that I actually thought I’d give it a go.

So there I am, sat in front of my mirror with that new product buzz going on, when I was struck with deja vu – have I used this before? I was questioning my sanity when I realised where I’d seen the same results before: from my Barry M Strobe Cream, shade Frosty Pink, which I’d bought months before for a mere £4.49. Now I know my chubby stick was a free gift, but it retails for £19.50 so that’s quite a difference..

Wanna see?

Left: Barry M, Right: Clinique

Top: Clinique, Bottom: Barry M

As you can see from the swatches, there’s hardly any difference in shade between the two. The Clinique does have a creamier formula, and possibly gives a little more shine than Barry’s, but I actually prefer the lightweight feel of the BM strobe cream, and its just as long-lasting.

If a £15 difference in price isn’t enough of a selling point, let’s not forget that Barry M is cruelty free and vegan friendly, and if Frosty Pink isn’t your jam, this is just one of four shades that its available in!

I know which one I use more often..

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Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette

I’m gonna say something controversial: the Sweet Peach eye palette did not excite me. Aside from the peach scent, I couldn’t find any reason to justify the money for shades that I probably wouldn’t wear very often.

Now when they released the Glow palette on the other hand, it hit all the spots for me, and when I finally got to see it in person I knew that I’d be taking it home with me. Not a drop of regret.

The palette consists of a highligher, a blusher and a bronzer, and that peach smell every time I open the lid is just too perfect. The packaging is, of course, adorable, from the tin to the peachy pattern on the product itself. And speaking of the product..

Top – highlighter, Middle – blush, Bottom – bronzer

Oh. So. Creamy. All three are so buttery and soft, and blend so nicely – honestly I feel like its a pleasure to apply them, not to mention how nice my face smells with them on. The shades are subtle but buildable, and all compliment each other so well! Considering its a ‘highlight’ palette, my favourite product is actually the blusher; peachy shades are my faves so this ticked every box for me, and I prefer this one to the stand-alone blush from the collection. I also love the fact that the bronzer isn’t too dark, because nothing annoys me more as a pale girl than bronzers that look like war paint, but it does come out a little orange if over-applied. As for the highligher, its pretty, subtle and perfect for a more natural look, but also the golden undertones make it versatile for an evening look too.

I’m not a big eyeshadow person, so I’m really glad that Too Faced released more face products to the Sweet Peach range, and considering the individual blushers are £25, and this retails at £34 and includes two more products, so its more cost effective, right?

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Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

If you caught my Sephora haul post a few weeks back, you’ll have seen that my favourite purchase was this beauty of a glow kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I knew I wanted one before I set off for my trip, having lusted over all of the glow kits for a long time, but holding off for a slightly better exchange rate!This is actually my first ABH purchase ever, so I was praying that they would live up to the hype, but after swatching the hell out of the sample palette, I knew I was gonna be happy as a clam.

So this is the Nicole Guerriero collab glow kit – a palette of six beautiful highlighters in gorgeous pinks, peaches, and copper/golden tones. It was, in fact, the only glow kit that Sephora had in stock, but it didn’t bother me because it seemed absolutely perfect. I fell in love with the packaging, the shades and the product instantly.

What sets these highlighters above any other powder highlighter I’ve ever tried before is how gloriously smooth and buttery they feel; it’s almost creamy to touch. The pigmentation is, as I’d expected, amazing, with all of these swatches done with a single stroke.

The shades are super diverse, with Forever Lit being the brightest and whitest highlight I’ve ever seen and 143 being ideal for a summer bronzed look. My absolute favourite is Daydream as I’m a real sucker for peach tones! Generally, I use my fan brush for application, but if I want a more strobed feel then I actually use my fingers to draw down my cheekbones and blend it out!

Needless to say, I 100% recommend this for anyone who’s thinking about it – I really can’t find fault, and as a self-confessed highlighter addict, I know I’m going to reaching for this so often that it justifies the price tag for me.

If you’ve got the palette I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, drop me a comment!

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Sony A5000 Review

Sony A5000 review

I’ve had my new little Sony A5000 for a little while now, and I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on how its working for me! I’ve always been a Sony person, so when I decided that I wanted a smaller camera for the days I don’t want to lug around my big SLR, I didn’t really want to change brands, and after comparing all the options, this little one came out top so I was pretty happy!

Its 20.1 megapixels, and the standard lens is 16-50mm, which for me is ideal for everyday use – blog photos, holiday snaps etc, and the flippable LCD screen is nice and big so you can see exactly what you’re doing, although I do prefer to have a proper viewfinder, so this bugs me a little sometimes! What I do like, however, is the pop up flash, because I very rarely use a flash and I like the fact its hidden away so it doesn’t ruin the aethestic of the camera, and you almost forget you have one, plus it doesn’t do the annoying ‘auto-flash’ thing that my SLR sometimes does!

But how is it as a camera?

I definitely think it takes its best photos when you know how to use it properly, and by that I guess I mean I’m not blown away by the Auto+ setting. Yes its ok for taking a quick shot without having to worry too much, but it definitely doesn’t give you the best shot you could get if you used a manual setting. I do LOVE some of the special features it has though, like the ability to pick out a single colour, apply a filter, or adjust brightness and vividness while in Auto mode.

Sony A5000 features

It does come into its own when I use manual settings. When I’m taking blog photos, I like to be able to fiddle with manual exposure and aperture, and while my SLR can take FOREVER to process those shots, this little beastie snaps them in seconds with no issue. The settings are also really easy to adjust using the dial on the back, and just generally, its really user friendly.

Blog Birthday

Other features that I love are that the screen flips up into ‘selfie mode’, and that as well as manually zooming using the lens, you can also use the toggle on the shoot button, and there’s also an extra zoom control on the lens. It’s also got built in wifi, which is brilliant although I often forget about it! I’ve also bought a second lens recently, the 55-210mm telescopic lens, which is AMAZING and can’t wait to get more of a chance to play with!

I’m still getting used to having a small camera, but this little guy is growing on me massively, and while I’ll never completely disregard my SLR, the more I use this, the more I love it and its taken some amazing photos for me.

boomf cake

Mainly of food. Not gonna lie.

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Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

When I did my huge Lush order a little while back, I finally bought a product that’s intrigued me for a while now, and that’s Toothy Tabs.

I mean, we’re all brought up being taught how important it is to brush our teeth, and even as adults, tv adverts are full of toothpaste and electric toothbrushes, and dentists telling us what’s best for our teeth, so the thought of ditching the Colgate and Oral B, but still cleaning my teeth was a little weird.

I figured if I was gonna try something different, I might as well go all out, so I chose Sparkle, which is lemon, grapefruit and black pepper – no more mint!

So how do they work?

Basically, you take a little tab, and crunch it up between your teeth. It starts to froth, and you start to brush! First impressions: TOTALLY STRANGE. For starters, not having that instant minty taste was really odd, and the pepper flavour took some getting used to, but once I got past that, I really started enjoying the tabs!

Being a dry tablet, you don’t get as much froth as your regular toothpaste, but personally that didn’t bother me as I always find with toothpaste, I’ve spat most of it out within the first minute. The flavour is strange, especially with the pepper, and I like to rinse my mouth with water after I’m done brushing, but it is a fresh taste, and there’s no real aftertaste, so you don’t have to worry about your breakfast tasting weirdly minty.

Despite being a total change from my regular toothpaste, I actually really like the tabs, and I actually think my teeth look cleaner directly after using them, which I don’t get with toothpaste. Other benefits, of course, are that they’re natural and cruelty free, but while I’d love to use them as a complete replacement to my regular toothpaste, my mum pointed out that they do lack in fluoride, which is important to prevent tooth decay, so while I probably use them 2-3 days a week, I’m not giving up normal tooth brushing.

Would you give your toothpaste a break for these natural nibs?

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Elete Holistic Hydrate Review*

Elete Holistic Hydrate

One huge aspect of healthy living that is overlooked by so many people is hydration. It takes little to no effort, but the benefits range from better skin to reducing bloat and helping with weight loss.

Keeping hydrated is something I feel strongly about, so when the guys at elete Holistic Hydrate got in touch and asked me to try their Electrolyte Hydration drops, I was really interested in how I could potentially up my hydration game.

In recent months, I’ve almost entirely cut out fizzy drinks and made a concise effort to reduce my squash intake, so I primarily just drink water or fruit tea, so it was really important for me that the eHH add-in drops were as tasteless as they claimed to be. At first, I was super careful in measuring out the correct amount needed to add to each drink I made, but it soon became clear to me that I really couldn’t taste any difference, so I became a little more relaxed with my measurements – a short squeeze into my water bottle before workouts did the trick just nicely!

So what are the advantages of eHH over branded sports drinks?

Well, your average bottle of Lucozade Sport contains around 30g sugar, which yes, is great for energy, but they also tend to be loaded with artificial sweeteners (especially the low-cal versions), which quite frankly go straight through you, so yes you’ll be running faster, but only really in the direction of the toilet.. Hydrated? I think not. eHH is 100% sugar and calorie free; its completely natural. It also helps you hydrate faster, reducing the amount of fluid needed to get rid of that thirsty feeling, which your body often confuses as hunger.

Considering I’m a person who doesn’t believe in ‘artificial’ fitness supplements, eHH has got me pretty excited to be adding a natural product to my regime!

PS: You can get 10% off online using BLOGGER DISCOUNT!

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TheBalm Nude Dude Palette Review

When it comes to makeup, I’ve gone from being very much a rookie to slightly less rookie-like fairly quickly in recent months. I’ve always liked makeup, but my old job didn’t really give me any reason to wear it (in fact, I’d probably be taken less seriously if I did wear it), but even when I did go to the effort of sprucing up my face a little, it would generally just be a bit of mascara, brows and face as, as a glasses wearer, eyeshadow has always felt a little pointless.

This palette can only really be described as a gamechanger for me.

It all came about when I chose a sample in my Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix; I received an adorable tiny version of the palette containing just the shade Flirty, and I fell in love. It was creamy and easy to apply, and even now I have the whole palette its still my favourite shade of the bunch, bright enough to stand out as a colour, rather than just a neutral shade, but also subtle enough to be used for an everyday look.

So I bought the whole palette..

TheBalm Nude Dude review

TheBalm Nude Dude review

The packaging is, of course, part of the fun of this palette. Its the sequel to Nude ‘Tude, which I’ve not tried but from looking at the shades I definitely prefer this one – its a fab combination of nudes with a few pops of colour, matte and shimmery shades, and I find myself reaching for this on an almost daily basis.

Depending on the brush you use, the shadows can go a little powdery; I find that the brush included in the palette causes quite a lot of flaking on the palette, but my soft Spectrum brushes don’t produce much mess at all. Pigmentation wise, let’s look at the swatches shall we?

Top to bottom: Fearless, Fabulous, Faithful, Flawless, Firm, Fit, Fiesty, Flirty, Funny, Friendly, Fine, Fierce

While I’ve read some reviews that slate the lighter shades of this palette, I was fairly impressed by them as I often find lighter colours barely show up on my skin. I’m not one for darker shades on my eyes (glasses problems), but they apply smoothly and are nicely pigmented.

I prefer the shimmery shades to the matte – Flawless and Fiesty are a little blah for me – but all the shades blend really easily and there are some fab combinations; Fabulous, Faithful and Flirty is my absolute favourite and possibly the best makeup look I’ve created in my lifetime.

I know I’m a little late to the party with this palette, as its been available for some time now, but I have absolutely no regrets and I might go as far as saying its the best beauty purchase I’ve made this year.

Have you tried this palette? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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