Dupes: How The Mighty Have Fallen!

 

I devour YouTube for all things Beauty & Skincare. zoorkitty-001

These ladies are amongst my fav on Youtube and whenever they recommended a High End product I went out and bought it. High End, even if they did mention cheaper options.

I was just not interested in the cheap(er) dupes. Caressing my Louboutin, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and Dior just made me feel better.

Fast forward 8 months to Jan 2017.

I now live in the US and my visa currently doesn’t allow me to work. Which means no income. And I am no fool to delve into my savings for makeup. A dream home, a BMW Mini, yes, but not on some baked eye shadow.

Seriously who does that ? If you do, then stop it, now!

It’s probably this practical attitude to cash that made my transition from Department store to Drugstore so easy. It surprised me that I didn’t struggle, I wasn’t sad. I had moved one.

From Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford, Hong Kong I moved onto Walgreens, Target, Walmart….. and all things DUPES !

Rimmel, Wet and Wild, Maybelline & Loreal are my new friends.

I scour the internet for reviews on ELF, NYX , Hard Candy and the like. My fav YouTuber for this is EmilyNoel. She is an amazing lady and her recommendations work for me and my skin type!

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Skincare….well that is a slightly different matter. While I am still NOT willing to give up on my favourite items from Kate Sommerville (thanks Hirons!) I have started to follow  Angie from  Hot & Flashy.ANGIE.png

She is  great on skincare, matured skin or not, and has some kick-ass suggestions for good quality anti-aging skincare (retinol, peptides, vitamin C  etc) which are  more affordable than Kate Sommerville or Skinceuticals!  She has some great recommendations on CeraVe and Olay Regenerist too!

Bye Bye Nordstrom, I do love you…….but now is the time to spend in Walgreens.

 

 

 

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Boots Mini Brush Set: Angled Brush

Are you like me ? Forever on a mission to find the perfect eye brush – for small hooded, crepey eye-lids like mine ? (not creepy, oh you bad person you!)

Well the  Angled Brush  from the Boots Mini Brush Set wins it for me

Why ? Its skinny and stiff and nestles nicely between my lashes and the eye-lid. It’s the skinniest of all the liner brushes I have. And to mis-quote Ms Kate Moss “nothing (not:tastes) is as good as skinny”brush smackdown

I use it to line (or push-line) my liquid liners and powder eye-shadow in my top lash-line.angledbrush

The other brushes in this set are a miss for me.

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The Powder/Face brush is stiff and hard and I gave that to hubby to clean his laptop key-board 🙂

Alas the size was perfect !!  In HK it’s difficult to find travel minis and the only one I see around is the Bobbi Brown travel brush set. However the BB face brush is HUGE. But this Boots one was perfect. For my face, for blush and even under my eyes.

I can’t work with eye shadow sponges, even in desperate times so that’s a miss .

I think the Concealer brush is terrible, but then again I don’t use a concealer brush, ever. I use fingers or a beauty sponge so I can’t really do a fair review.

However what I do use it for is to apply liquid liner on my bottom lash line.

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NB: Liquid Liner on the lower lids is too harsh and pencil or powder is the way to go. However I have super oily lids and my pencils and powder runs down my face. And for that the Concealer brush serves to give a thick-ish smudged line on the lower lash line.

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The Lip brush is also stiff and a bit too small for my lips, so I use it for clean ups.

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This is not a brush set to end all brush sets and I wouldn’t recommend it. However I am happy I bought it because of this little angled gem!

 

Brands that make me kiss myself.


I have days when a certain product or application really makes me love my face. Modest I know !

I keep looking at myself on every shiny surface and will often say, out loud, “Oh <name of product> I love you”

We all have skincare that we are brand loyal to. Skincare is personal and one should ideally stick to the brand that works for your skin.

But in beauty we tend to be fickle. We pick up lip plumping formulas, hoping from brand to brand. We dabble in numerous mascaras. Lipsticks and nail polish brands ? dont even get me started !

2013-08-17 16.34.25 Makeup stores stocked like a confectionery’s,  force us to sample and graze through brands.

All lit up, with nail polishes and mini perfumes gift wrapped like individual petit fours. Hubby calls it candy shop for grown women. Atleast for me. I gravitate towards this lovely Pink Shiny Twinkling store where I can spend hours browsing, even if I don’t buy a thing.

I have seen men in here, lost for what looks like days, with glazed eyes, silently crying for help.

Inspite of their hypnotic effect I manage to stay brand loving ( I wouldn’t use the word Loyal because I in all fairness I probably am not ).

Basically If I want to buy something these are the brands I go to first. I am more willing to take product risks with them than with anyone else. I am more willing to make excuses for their duds and think its me rather than its them.

My beauty booty call cheat sheet :

  1. MAC
  2. Bobbi Brown
  3. Benefit
  4. Chanel
  5. Dior

MAC:  The James Dean of makeup.  The rockstar with its groupies. The one you excuse even when they come out with Duds. As an Indian woman MAC gets my respect right off the bat. Just for the simple fact that amongst  the  mainstream brands they catered to our skintones and darker. There are shades, and then some.

The Mac products that make me want to kiss myself: STROBE CREAM (Angels playing harps), the (discontinued?) tinted lip balm, Pro Conceal and Corrector Palette, Face and Body foundation.

Bobbi Brown: aaah Bobbi. The Grande dame of makeup. Her persona makes me feel like I can trust her. She is my friend, philosopher and guide in the makeup world. She stands for all things woman. Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)

I don’t know own many Bobbis and have on occasion wanted to fling a BB product out the window but her BB cream is really good and her under Eye brightener makes me feel happy. Once I am out of concealer I will buy Bobbi’s concealer-corrector set, ofcourse ! I am more open to taking a risk with her than say Giorgio Armani

Benefit: often more hype than substance. They want to be too cool for school but sometimes fail to deliver. But they are on my on my booty call beauty cheat sheet for some of their hits: Benetint Cheek Stain, PoreFessional, Hello Flawless in Beige ( this really makes me want to kiss myself ).

Cha Cha tint would honestly be a contender for Angels playing Harps but the application is soooo damned hard !

Chanel & Dior: I tend to ignore French brands because they are SO damned late into the ‘women of colour’ makeup trend. Their pinkish/beige undertones make me stay clear off them. But in some departments these two rock my world

Chanel  Mascaras- that’s it. My last word, nothing more to be said.

People love their Chanel lipsticks but frankly I cant be bothered with lipsticks that dont last.The Chanel lipstick I received as a gift I use as a cream blush. lovely out-of-focus glow

Dior: I love their glosses. The best shiny non sticky gloss. Better than Bobbi. But something that has really made me stare at myself incessantly in the mirror is their surprise concealer !

I am NC 40 I am medium-deep in most makeup categories I am NOT by any stretch a Dior 01 Beige Clair ( Light beige  !). In my Dior Colour Design travel palette is the Anticerne Beige Clair concealer.

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I used it for a lark thjis weekend. And my o my. It adds a luminosity under the eye that works beautifully. I HAVE to say it does apply Ashy/white initially but blend it well with your correct concealer and your under eye glows.

Don’t run out and buy it already it could just be me and my undertone. This morning I mixed it with my Benefit Boing concealer (ugh I really dont like this Boing atall) and it added a luminosity that makes my look awake. I even recd compliments.

Dab the Anticerne down a bit on your cheek bone and its works adds ‘lightness’ there too.

I am lovin’ it !

Worthy mentions before I end -Old faithful Maybelline and Estee Lauder

PS: I love you

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Dear Chanel mascara,

You are simply the best. Natural and voluminous. You are better than Maybelline ….and better than all the rest.

You are better than Benefit’s They’re Real and Bad Gal, better than Burjois’ comb applicator masacara. you are even, dare I say it, better than Dior.

And your new Prune colour for De Volume is to DIE for. But my only problem is the wand. Your Inimitable wand ROCKED. It was clumpfree and really added volume to the lashes. De Volume wand, I have to wipe off diligently before using.

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yours truly

PS: I love you.

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Dear Clinique Even Better,

I have tried some of your duds. Your All About eyes depuffing serum was ho hum. Not worthy of a repurchase. But you on the other hand with your brightening, tinted emollient cream make my under eye circles and tiredness vanish. I even suspect you have reduced my dark circles. Your tint is universal and suits my NC40-42 skintone so well !

You I will buy again,

yours truly.

PS: I love you

Cream on Left, Lotion on Right
Cream on Left, Lotion on Right

Dear Mac Strobe Cream and Lotion

I f**ing love you both. You both serve a slightly different purpose as highlighted (see what I did there?) by Dusty Hunter my fav makeup guru and I am glad I spent the cash on both of you. Even Paula Begoun has given you her nod, Strobe Cream. Need I say more ? You could frighten new users, especially Indian skin tones with your initial ‘white pearl’ glow but I would tell them to test you out before ditching you.

yours truly.

PS: I love you

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Dear Girl Meets Pearl,

I love your Champagne finish and your opalescent glow. You might be a bit too “gold” but on a tanned Indian skin you give a gorg glow.

your truly.

PS: I love you

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Dear Bobbi Brown Eye brightening,

You were such a pleasant surprise. You smell a bit funky , but you apply and brighten up my eyes like a dream. I would repurchase you if you weren’t so expensive. But you are definitely recommended.

yours truly,

PS: I love you

Dear Touche Eclat,

I am undecided about you. I sit on the fence. I can see what you are doing, but is it worth it ? You are lovely. You blend well and brighten up my brow bone and under eye but the rest of my face…hmmm

I am a shimmer, luminous kind of girl.  I prefer the Mac Strobe or Benefits Girl meets Pearl kind of effect so your subtlety bypasses me.

I love the fact I bought you but will not repurchase.

yours truly.

PS: however I do love you

Dear Dear Dear PoreFessional,

You are NOT a Benefit hype. You do hide the pores. We must not ‘wipe’ you on our face rather just dab dab dab. One day I can prove to the world on how FAB when I see your effect on hubby’s, umm, larger pores.  But currently he is afraid of makeup- silly boy and wont let me come anywhere near his face.

Anyway I am happy with you

yours truly.

PS: I love you

Dear Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre

There you are sitting in the midst of my adorable lovelies. I will mention you someday but not today. I am yet to see your full potential

yours truly.