Saturday, 12 August 2017

Review: MAC Plumful Lipstick

MAC Plumful Lipstick

Simply looking at my very low tube of Plumful by MAC can tell you that I'm a pretty big fan of this lipstick, but read on to find out more...

So back in 2015, I wrote a blog post about my MAC lipstick collection as it was looking at the time, and explained that I hadn't really reached for Plumful, despite thinking it was a pretty colour. But over the past year I've found myself using it more and more. It's a fail safe, especially for every day wear. I think it might be my all-time favourite MAC lipstick, even beating some of my other favourites like Show Orchid or Ever Hip.

MAC Plumful Lipstick
Plumful swatched

It applies well, has a glossy sheen, and the colour itself is a beautiful plummy-pink (as the name would suggest). It looks much darker in the tube than it does when on the lips, and it lasts pretty well. It doesn't survive food and drink but if you went four hours without eating or drinking anything messy I think it would last.

I think the colour is really nice with my pale skin, but it's quite neutral so it would also look very pretty on darker skin tones. Plumful is a lustre finish, which are normally not that pigmented, but actually it's semi-opaque.

MAC Plumful Lipstick
MAC Plumful Lipstick on my lips

All in all I'm extremely happy with this lipstick and think it's worth every penny, however if you're on a budget I do think this is quite a dupeable shade, so it's probably quite easy to find a similar colour on the high street (Glossypolish found some dupes here). I'm definitely going to repurchase it though, when my tube inevitably runs out - and I've never used up a lipstick to the end of a tube before.

MAC Plumful lipstick is £16.50, available on maccosmetics.co.uk.

Have you tried this lipstick? What's your favourite MAC lipstick, or lipstick from any brand?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Perfect Summer Blush: Benefit GALifornia

Benefit GALifornia


Benefit's boxed blushes are pretty much cult products and I was very excited to try my second one - GALifornia, the newest blush in the lineup. I bought it back in February and have applied it almost every day since I started using it (for a while I couldn't bring myself to use it, because it's so beautiful!)

Benefit GALifornia is a beautiful shade of peachy pink (a 'sunny golden pink' as Benefit call it) which really flatters and brightens up my pale skin, and I think it would look gorgeous on a a wide range of skintones. It's bright without being unwearable and is really easy to apply and blend. It's also just the right amount of pigmented, allowing you to easily control how much you want it to show up on your face.

Benefit GALifornia

The packaging is also bright and eye-catching, with 'artwork inspired by vintage California surfer girls', while the actual product is beautifully presented in an Aztec sun design, alongside a gold overspray which fades after a few uses (which is great if you're worried about the product being too shimmery). Benefit has been criticised for always using cardboard packaging, and while it does make it more vulnerable to damage, I personally find the packaging sturdy enough. Included within the box is a built-in mirror and a small, soft brush. Again, most people aren't a fan of these brushes but I actually think it's quite decent, especially for travel (and if you've misplaced/been too lazy to wash your normal blush brush).

Something else I love about this blush is the smell - Benefit describe it as having 'notes of pink grapefruit & vanilla' but to me it smells quite tropical. Either way, it smells amazing, and is another factor that makes a joy to use.

Benefit GALifornia swatch
Benefit GALifornia swatched

I'd also say that GALifornia has good staying power, lasting probably up to eight hours on my skin (so I'd probably need to top it up after a full day at work).

Any downsides?
I think it's quite cheeky of Benefit to shrink the size of their blushes but the keep the price the same* - and at £24.50, it's not exactly cheap. GALifornia is the same price as Benefit's CORALista blush, but you get 3g less product, so that's not great. However, while this blush is expensive, I've already got a lot of use out of it (and it's not showing the slightest dent, as far as I can tell). I think this will be a staple in my makeup bag and I could potentially see myself using it all up. If this happens, I'll definitely feel like I got my money's worth!

To sum up, this is an absolutely stunning blush, especially for summer, so if you feel like treating yourself to a new blush, I'd highly recommend getting this. It looks beautiful and brightening on the skin, lasts well, applies well and smells great. I'm going to be wearing it on my cheeks all summer, and beyond.

Benefit Galifornia is available at FeelUnique, normally £24.50 (but look out for occasional offers to get it cheaper!)

Have you tried this blush? What do you think of Benefit's boxed blushes?

 *It's happening with chocolate too :'( 

Monday, 10 July 2017

My Number One Foundation?



Sorry for the clickbaity title, although it may not be too far from the truth!*

Although I haven't tried that many foundations, out of every single one I have tried I think I've found my favourite, and one that I'm happy to keep using until I feel like trying something new. It trumps even Bourjois' Healthy Mix Foundation and 123 Perfect Colour Correcting cream (reviewed here), as well as YSL's Touche Eclat Foundation (all three of these I still really like and would use). I've also recently repurchased it - something I never usually do with foundations.

Revlon's ColorStay Foundation is one that I'd heard great things about for years from various YouTubers and bloggers, but decided to put to the back of mind to try sometime. I ended up deciding to buy it in December last year, as my No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation (reviewed here) was running out and I needed a new foundation to suit my oily skin (as the aforementioned Bourjois and YSL ones are very good, but don't give me enough coverage or oil control when my skin is breaking out). I think it was also on offer at the time for £3 less than the usual £12.99 in Superdrug, which was a nice extra. 

Something I really like about this foundation is that it comes in two different forms depending on your skin type - normal to dry and combination to oily. When I was swatching the foundation in store back in December, I was trying to decide between the palest shade (which is what I usually am) and the second-palest. The swatch for the lightest shade, Ivory, came up very light - so I took a slight risk and got the next one, Buff. It's perfect for my skintone and it's great to see a foundation offer a good range of shades (13 in all) including one for truly porcelain skin.

But what I find unbeatable about Revlon ColorStay Foundation, compared to other foundations I've tried, is its staying power. Once it's on, it stays put all day - even though:

1. I might be sweating profusely due to a heatwave (sorry, TMI)
2. I have a bad habit of touching my face during the day (especially at work)
3. I rarely use primer or setting powder.

Of course, it does wear off a bit due to these things, as would any foundation, but it still stands to reason that with most foundations, there would be little to no product left on my face at the end of a long, hot day, whereas with this one, it lasts extremely well.

Shade 150 (Buff) swatched
It's also worth noting that it's not a good idea to apply several blobs of this foundation on your face and then blend in - it sets very quickly, so it's better to do a section at a time. Also, it has SPF 15, which means it's ideal for daytime wear - but not so much for nights out if flash photography is involved.

Aside from its great shade match, finish and staying power, this foundation honestly makes me feel a lot better about my face on those really bad skin days. It gives me fantastic coverage and a natural, 'velvet-matte finish' (as Revlon describe). Its packaging isn't anything too fancy, but has a pump dispenser and allows me to see how much product I have left, which I like.

Are there any negatives? Well, I do think it is a bit pricey for a drugstore foundation, at £12.99. However for me it's worth every penny because I'm extremely happy with it overall. I also think that every now and then if I have a dry area on my face (which isn't often) it can look a little bit cakey in that area. So obviously it's a good idea to stick to the normal/dry version if you get dry patches. It also has a relatively strong foundation-y smell, although this doesn't put me off using it at all.

Final thoughts - if you're looking for a new foundation for oily/combination skin that lasts all day, gives you great coverage and looks natural, I'd really recommend Revlon ColorStay. If the £12.99 price tag is a bit steep for you, there are plenty of offers to look out for at Boots/Superdrug throughout the year - for example 3 for 2 offers or a £3 off offer. 

Have you tried this foundation? What's your number one foundation right now? 

*I didn't want to say 'Holy Grail' because idk, it seems a bit cheesy haha

Monday, 16 January 2017

My Contraceptive Implant Experience

Hi everyone and happy 2017!

I know it's been a long time since I last blogged, but I'm back yet again and with something a little different for my first post of 2017...moving aside from beauty/fashion to talk about contraception - because I know from experience, choosing the right type for you can be confusing. So I really hope this is helpful in some way!

I did a post on my contraceptive implant experience over on my other blog, but frankly that post is super long and probably a bit of a slog to read, so I'm going to try and keep it more condensed over here.

Also - like my other post - this may get a little TMI, so sorry about that!

Background info
So in case you didn't know, the implant is a 40mm tube that's inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It works by stopping ovulation and lasts for three years. It's an extremely effective method of contraception (more than 99%) but doesn't protect you from STIs.

So why did I get the implant? The main reasons are:
  • I'm in a long term relationship with my boyfriend (I will say no more...)
  • I don't want to have a baby just yet 
  • I am forgetful and would probably forget to take the pill and freak out about getting pregnant!
Insertion
I had mine inserted on 30th April 2015, so I've had it a while now! I was *really* nervous about the insertion - I am very squeamish, and not good with needles. However I can honestly say that the insertion really isn't much to worry about. It's over very quickly. I looked away and endured the pain of the needle (this is really the worst part, but no worse than any other injection) which numbed my upper arm. I could still feel a little bit of twinging as they actually inserted the implant but then it was over and they bandaged the wound up.

This is what my bruise and wound looked like four days after insertion.
You need to keep the bandage on a few days to keep the wound clean, and in this time my arm did start to feel a bit sore. I also had some bruising around the insertion area (as seen in the picture above) but it wore off quite quickly and I would say the post-insertion pain/bruising I had was very manageable.

My experience from there
I started getting light bleeding around a month after insertion which lasted two weeks - pretty long for a period but it isn't technically a period as I no longer ovulate. This was pretty annoying, and over the next months I had on and off periods that could be around 10-14 days long. These were neither painful nor heavy but it did get on my nerves so I went to my G.P who prescribed Norethisterone (a drug that can be used to delay your period). I took it every day for three weeks then had a week off where I'd bleed - essentially like having a normal period again. I stopped taking it in September 2015 because I was no longer having a period in the week off, and I didn't get any bleeding again for several months. Norethisterone also tends to make my skin break out (and I already get the occasional hormonal breakout on Nexplanon). I went back on it briefly just before my May 2016 holiday to Rhodes as I wanted to be 100% sure I wouldn't bleed.

Now it's kind of the same story - I can go for months without having a period and then bam, I bleed for two weeks - however it's mostly very light. It is quite inconvenient though, and especially so in December when I bled twice with only a week in between, which hadn't happened before. I was hoping I wouldn't be bleeding during my New Year's Eve plans but thankfully it had stopped by then! Depending on how this carries on, I'm hoping I won't need to go back on Norethisterone to control these infrequent periods.

Basically every woman is unique and reacts differently to the implant - some women will be lucky and have no bleeding at all (jealous) while others may be constantly bleeding on/off. There's no way to predict how your body will react to it and no way for me to know when I might next have a bleed so I must carry pads/tampons with me everywhere! (You just know that the one time I forget, I'll bleed).

Overall thoughts
Aside from the infrequent, annoying periods, I'm really pleased with my experience. The implant is extremely convenient - I won't need to think about contraception until April 2018 when my implant is due for removal and I may or may not get another one there and then. I'm not anxious about becoming pregnant, which is great as I'm anxious about a lot of things, but I know the implant is working and its side effects for me are pretty mild. Like I said, you don't know how your body will react to it, so it's not going to be for everyone, but you never know until you try, and you can easily ask for Norethisterone to control crazy bleeding, or ask for the implant to be removed at any time.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful and not too long! For professional advice on the implant, please take a look at the NHS website.

If you have the implant I'd love to read your thoughts, and feel free to ask me any questions below in the comments as well :)

Sabrina xxx 
 

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