I perused the aisles of my local pharmacy last week with a friend, stopping at the Barry M stand, as per usual. This range of polishes caught my eye. Their website describes them as: “Hi shine Gel effect Nail Paint [that] provides an extra glossy finish”. I mean, who can turn that down?
Except. Except, well, it’s awful. I invested in the colour above, Key Lime, as I can’t turn down a bright varnish. My friend told me, she told me that they were awful but would I listen? Hardly.
The varnish goes on lumpy, with bubbles forming in the varnish. It takes about eighteen hours to dry (that’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean) and when it does finally manage to dry, it’s too thick and scrapes off easily.
Yeah, it’s cheap enough, so you shouldn’t expect much. But, for me, it’s a pity since I have other varnishes in this brand and they’re pretty good, in fairness. Really disappointed this time around.
Verdict: Please, for the love of god, don’t buy this.
I have been using this mascara for a while now, so I thought it would only be right to share the greatness of this inexpensive gem of a mascara with the world. The name is quite a mouthful, I know. But perhaps it’s to make up for the fact that this mascara is cheap as chips and ridiculously good quality for such a low-low price (€3.49!)
So here is what Essence says about this particular mascara on their website:
the i love extreme mascara’s “crazy” sister – for even more volume! the deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. opthalmologically tested.
Now I can’t really say anything about this mascara’s less than crazy “sister”, but on its own merit it’s pretty gosh darn good. Just as Essence claims on its website, every lash is easily covered, the colour is super inky black and it does provide a fair amount of volume. I tend to prefer a lengthening mascara rather than a volumising one, so I’m please to say that this mascara provides the best of both worlds with regards to that.
As for negatives, there isn’t many. However, I found that this mascara did dry out somewhat quickly, maybe faster than other, more expensive mascaras that I have owned in the past. I didn’t mind much, but it could be a point of contention for someone else, so bear that in mind.
This isn’t the best mascara I have ever used, but considering the price, you really can’t go wrong. It’s a testament to how much budget brand make-up has improved since my teenage days, when similarly priced mascara would basically do nothing when applied. While it’s no Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara (sure, what is, really?!), this mascara could still be a worthy addition to your make-up bag if you’re in need of a decent volumising mascara without a hefty price-tag attached.
Last night I went on a little trip to Eddie Rockets for some delicious burgers with a friend, so i thought why not share what the heck I put on my face since that is the nature of this blog! Sorry for the quality of my phone camera, it isn’t the best. Sorry also for the somewhat weird angles, I could not resist the urge to give myself a fringe and I’m not sure if I’m quite loving it right now.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation for combination/oily skin in Ivory mixed with NYC All Day Long Foundation in Classic Ivory
Essence Fix and Matte Translucent Loose Powder
Bourjois Blush in 54 Rose Frisson
Soap and Glory Eyeshadow Pallette – Mudhoney and Smokin’
Rimmel Glam Eyes Black Liquid Eyeliner
Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Black
Rimmel White Eyeliner Pencil
Gosh Eyebrow Pencil in 01 Brown
17 Lasting Fix Lipstick in Hawaii Pink
Perhaps unlike a lot of the other products that I’m likely to talk about in the old favourites section of this blog, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I was eighteen. That’s just over six years now, which is like, a billion years in make-up land. It was the first high-end item of make-up that I ever purchased. The price frightened me at the time, but eventually it seemed worth it for a powder that didn’t melt off my nose about half an hour after first applying it (I don’t know why it did this, my skin was far drier back then – damn you, crazy face!)
What’s great about this powder is how versatile it is. It’s buildable and is suitable for most skins types. If you have dry skin, just apply a tonne of moisturiser to your face before application and you’re set. If you’re a bit of an oily baby like me, this won’t be necessary. It can be worn on its own, over a bit of concealer, or over a light layer of liquid or cream foundation for extra coverage. If you’re in a hurry and your skin’s looking a bit peaky, grab a kabuki brush, slap it on your face and BAM – you’re good to go in about a minute.
The way I wear it has changed somewhat over the years. I really can’t believe the speed that that I used to go through this stuff back in the day; I had to buy one every month or so. I must have been caking it on SOMETHING FIERCE. I wince at the expense too, how on earth did a part-time job in the local cinema keep my MAC powder addiction going? Nowadays I mainly either use it on its own when I don’t have time for liquid foundation, or just mainly for touching up my face throughout the day or night out (mainly my nose, make-up still likes to melt off around there like there’s no tomorrow). Now it lasts me up to five months, making the 32 euro price tag a little bit less daunting.
Did I mention that it’s available in a about a billion shades (note: slight exaggeration). That’s also what appealed to me about it as my skin tone is basically a shade paler than Casper. My local Boots just did not cater for my kind and MAC essentially saved me from several more years of enduring the dreaded foundation neckline. Thank the gods for NW15!
So, whether you are paper-pale or a more dark skinned individual, oily skinned, dry skinned, or somewhere in between; this powder has more than likely got you covered.