Freedom Eyebrow Pomade – The Anastasia DipBrow Pomade Dupe?

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Going into the new year my resolution is to seriously cut down on my spending. Gone are the days where I turn my nose up at drug store products, I mean, if it does the same job at a fraction of the price, I’m game!

If there is one thing I rarely leave the house without doing, it’s my eyebrows. Groomed, clean brows make such a difference in framing your face and I believe good brows are the cornerstone of mastering make-up. So when I was finally coming towards the end of my beloved, holy-grail, never-leave-the-house-without, DipBrow Pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills, I wanted to try something new. I’d read about the Pro-Brow Pomade from Freedom Cosmetics on a few blogs and heard that it was a really good dupe for the original. Off to Superdrug I went and picked up this pot for just £5, a whole £10 cheaper than the ABH pomade. I believe there are 11 different colours to choose from which are exact dupes for the ABH range. I chose the colour Ash Brown as that is what I buy in the ABH DipBrow and I’m glad to say they are an exact dupe in terms of colour.

What I love about the ABH DipBrow is the ease of applicability, pigmentation and longevity so I tested the Freedom Pomade based on these criteria. After many weeks of using this product I am very, very happy (and so is my bank account) to say that this product has completely replaced my ABH DipBrow. It applies EXACTLY the same, looks EXACTLY the same when it’s on and lasts EXACTLY the same amount of time. Really, honestly, there is no difference.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade “Ash Brown” vs. Freedom Eyebrow Pomade “Ash Brown”

Next time you’re in Superdrug I’d really recommend picking up one of these pots. Anyone who uses brow pomades knows they last for ages, in fact I used my ABH pomade for 18 months, every single day. I honestly don’t believe you need any other brow product for everyday use and spending just £5 for a product that guarantees a more “polished” version of yourself is awesome!

Jay x

 

Ride or Die Make-Up

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If you’re into the whole beauty scene you’ve probably already seen this tag done by everyone and their mother. However, for those of you that don’t know about it, Jaclyn Hill on Youtube started a tag on her ride-or-die products aka, her all time favourite product in each category.

Nobody actually tagged me BUT I thought it would be a great post to do, I’ve also linked any individual reviews I’ve done in the past if you want more in depth info. It’s going to be a long one, so get comfy and grab a notepad. Here we go!

Primer

I’ll be honest with you guys 99% of the time I don’t wear primer. I am yet to find a primer that I LOVE and does exactly what I want it to do, that is control oil, smooth out texture and improve wear of foundation. For that reason I haven’t chosen anything in this category.

Corrector- MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter Peach Lustre

This was an easy one for me. This product is lightweight, blends in easily and corrects dark undertones in the skin. Once it sets it doesn’t change the appearance of anything that is applied on top.

Foundation- MAC Studio Sculpt

I’m not a huge foundation person but there are two products which are holy grails for me. That is MAC Studio Sculpt and Estee Lauder Double Wear. However, when I think about which product I reach for when I want to look my BEST on a night out, it is this one. It doesn’t provide as much oil control but it does give amazing coverage and a real glow to the skin.

Tinted moisturiser- Estée Lauder Double Wear Light

This product is a recent discovery for me but I’ve formed a lifelong bond with it. I wear it every day to work. It takes a few seconds to blend in, gives sheer to medium coverage, gives good oil control and improves the texture of my skin too.

Concealer- Urban Decay Naked Skin

If there is one product that is my desert island product, it is this one. This concealer is at the top of many peoples lists and I can totally understand why. It provides great coverage for everyday use and when layered on top of a corrector it looks flawless. Also the formula is lightweight, hydrating and doesn’t crease that much at all.

Setting Powder- Ben Nye Banana

When I want to set my concealer and I don’t want it to budge or crease, this powder is the absolute best. I buy the compact version as I find loose powders to faffy but that’s just my personal preference.

Face Powder- Nars Pressed Setting Powder

This face powder is the most finely milled pressed powder I’ve tried to date. A little dusting of this goes a long way in setting my skin, blending out harsh lines, airbrushing my skin and giving great oil control.

Bronzer ELF Baked Bronzer Los Cabos

My ride or die bronzer was a bit of a surprise to be honest. I own a number of bronzers and they are all high end, apart from this one. When I sat down to think about what product makes me say “wow” to myself every single time I use it, it’s this product. The colour of this product gives me the most beautiful sun-kissed skin and the pearl finish makes my skin look smooth and absolutely the best it has ever looked. If there was one criticism for this product it is that it doesn’t last as long as my high end products, but I still LOVE it and will continue to re-purchase it.

Contour powder –theBalm Bahama Mama

When I want chiseled cheekbones or a jawline that can cut glass (lol) I reach for this product. It is very cool toned which perfectly mimics shadows on the skin. It also blends into make-up really easily so you can control how strong you want your contour to look.

Blush- MAC Peaches

This is a long time favourite blush of mine. Admittedly I haven’t used it in a while but it is one I will keep going back to. The colour is the perfect warm peach for my skin tone, the formula is blendable and long lasting.

Highlighter- Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder Candlelight

This was a really difficult choice for me. I love highlighters just like everyone else but this product is what I reach to come day or night. It is really finely milled, doesn’t have any tacky glitter in it and looks amazing in natural light, artificial light and especially under candlelight 😉

Eyebrows- Anastasia DipBrow Pomade

Again a  very easy category for me. Ever since this product came into my life I’ve been able to walk out the door confidently knowing my brows look great and will stay that way till I decide to take it off. It is incredibly easy to apply too which makes my mornings that much better.

Liquid Eyeliner- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

I think I’m in denial, ever since I heard the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner has been discontinued. It was the best eyeliner I’d ever used. It applied easily, was jet black, stayed on all day, no matter what. I know UD have come out with a new formula which I’m hoping is as good as that one.

However for the time being, the Kat Von D liner which I recently reviewed has quickly become a ride-or-die eyeliner. I much prefer brush liners over marker liners but this is probably the best one of the market. It is pigmented, applies smoothly and gives a clean line, also it lasts all day without fading, smudging or flaking.

Pencil Eyeliner

Again, I’m not going to put anything in this category as I rarely use pencil liners. Generally they close up my already small eyes. Having said that the only liners I own and I think I own 3 colours, are from Urban Decay and I am reluctant to try anything else.

Mascara Maybelline Lash Sensational

Mascara is a very difficult category for me, I rarely repurchase mascaras as I always like to try new ones out but there’s one that I’ve repurchased a number of times and it is the Lash Sensational. It gives tremendous length, volume, curl and does not flake or smudge at all, even with my oily eyelids.

Eyeshadow primer– MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base

When I say this product primes, it primes. It is perfect under any eyeshadow, pigment, eyeliner. Doesn’t crease, doesn’t budge. Bulletproof.

Eyeshadow paletteCharlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita

I absolutely adore this palette. It contains the four most gorgeous warm shades which can be worn a number of ways. My favourite colours are the warm orange and that shimmery gold, omfg. The formula is blendable and lasts all day on the lids.

Lipstick Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick 1993

Lipstick is one of my favourite make-up products, so to whittle it down to just one was really, really difficult. I thought about what colours I wear year-round, which are mostly neutrals, and also I thought about the formula which feels most comfortable to me. This lipstick from Urban Decay goes with most make-up looks whether cool toned or warm but the best part is absolutely the formula. Apart from the Nars Audacious lipsticks, I’m yet to try another formula that feels as creamy as this one does and one that lasts long, whilst not drying out my lips.

Setting Spray– Mac Fix +

Before I started using Fix + I really didn’t believe a product would make such a difference to your skin. After I’ve finished a full face of make-up I spritz this on and it gives my skin such an incredible glow, it really “fuses” the make-up into my skin. It doesn’t give oil control but the finish is so perfect I don’t actually mind.

That’s all for this post. What do you guys think of my ride or die products? Do we share any of the same favourites? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

Battle of the eyeliners: Stila Vs Kat Von D

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Before I get onto this review, let me rewind to a few months ago when I discovered that my holy grail Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner had been discontinued. After genuinely throwing a little tantrum over it I decided I needed to find an alternative and I needed it quick as my eyeliner was fast running out. Mind you, this was before Urban Decay released the Razor Sharp Liquid Eye Liner (which I still need to try), I opted for two liners that have been on my wishlist for a while. The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, which has just recently been release in the UK!

Both of these products are very well reviewed, Stila boasts a 4.3 rating on MakeUpAlley and Kat Von D a 4.1, so I was really looking forward to trying them out. I bought the Stila liner (0.5ml) from FeelUnique for £13 and Kat Von D (0.55ml) from Debenhams for £16.

Both products are liquid eyeliners with a felt tip pen, thus being perfect for those who are beginners and perfect for the purpose of this review! I’ll be comparing the products on a number of points.

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Brush end: Both liners have a brush end like a felt-tip pen. When you compare both side by side you can see that the Stila liner isn’t as smooth as the Kat Von D marker. The Kat Von D brush end is very flexible making it easier to use. I found that over time the Stila liner became frayed which made application jagged.

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Application: Both products require you to shake them before application, I feel like the Kat Von D liner dispenses product more evenly and with more pigmentation that the Stila liner. I had to go over the Stila line numerous times to get the correct pigmentation and also the marker end became frayed after a few uses. This fraying led to the liner appear jagged when I applied it. The Kat Von D liner didn’t change over time and personally I find application of the Kav Von D liner much easier.

Pigmentation and finish: Both of these eyeliners are very pigmented, in fact I’d say they’re both equally black. However, when it dries down the Stila eyeliner has a matte finish and the Kav Von D liner has a shinier finish. Personally I prefer the shiny finish. The Kat Von D liner appears cleaner and sharper to me compared to the Stila liner which bleeds and spreads into the lines on the back of my hand/ eyelids.

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Longevity: I tested both eyeliners with the Urban Decay primer potion underneath and checked in on my eyes over the course of a working day. Both eyeliners looked pretty good by the end of the day (14+ hours wear). The Kat Von D liner looked almost exactly the same but I found that there was a bit of fading/smudging with the Stila liner. Overall, I found that the colour on both eyeliners remained vivid and black whilst there was no flaking at all.

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Top: After application. Bottom: 14+ hours later

Waterproof-ness and removal: Both eyeliners come off easily with an oil based cleanser. I much prefer the removal of the Stila liner, the Kat Von D liner left a bit of residue and requires a bit more work.

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After testing both of these liners for a couple of days I have to say my decision on which product won this battle was pretty easy. I much preferred the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. It may be the more expensive of the two but it has a better brush end, applies easier, gives a clean pigmented line and has my preferred finish, despite being a little bit more difficult to take off. I’ve also noticed that the Stila liner has started drying out very quickly, so overall it probably isn’t that great value for money anyway!

If you have any other eyeliner suggestions that you think I will like or want me to test, let me know. Also I’d like to know, have you tried any of these products yourself? What did you think of them? Comment below 🙂

Jay x

MAC False Lashes Extreme Black – Review

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Having recently received a sample of the MAC False Lashes Extreme Black mascara I was really excited to try it out straight away. I usually test mascaras for a week or so when deciding whether I like it or not. Now, I’m no high-end mascara aficionado. Mascara is one of those products that I believe the drug store has nailed, so any chance I get to try a high end product I have really high expectations for it.

Taken from the MAC website, this mascara claims to be:

  • Flake-proof and smudge-proof
  • Volumizing, 75% increase
  • Curling, over 100% increase
  • Long-wearing
  • Separates lashes
  • Lengthening
  • Features a carbon black formula

I liked the formula for this mascara, it applies really smoothly, isn’t clumpy after two coats and is very black. The formula definitely didn’t flake throughout the day but towards the very end of the day, by this I mean 14 hours later, there was some smudging on the outer corner of my eyes. It didn’t cause any irritation when I rubbed my eyes and is ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers. It’s a great long wearing option for work/ school days.

The brush for this mascara is your classic bristle wand. It is very thick, fluffy and tapers to a pointed edge for more detailed work. I found that this brush managed to tightline my lashes as well as coat all my lashes individually without clumping. This gives the appearance of thicker lashes at the root of the hair. Unfortunately, no matter how careful I was, this mascara always transferred to the upper lid very near the root of the hair and I’d have to spend an extra few minutes cleaning it up every time.

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Overall I found this mascara gave my lashes volume at the root, length, separation and it gives a good amount of curl that holds all day. It gives a fluttery look to my lashes which I find is more suitable for the daytime. The formula was very comfortable to wear, but the brush created transfer on my upper lid. Not something I’d expect from a high end product. With all that being said I don’t think I’m going to go out of my way to spend £19 on a tube of this mascara because I’ve had similar successes with high-street/ drug-store products.

Have you tried this product before? Comment below and let me know what you thoughts are. Also I’d really like to know, what are your favourite high end mascaras?

Until next time,

Jay x

 

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 (Shade 4.5) – Review

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For my oily skin folks the task of finding good base products is forever a struggle. I feel that most foundations on the market are aimed at normal to dry skin. Products for oily skin are just not up to scratch with the oil control and the only products that successfully mattify the skin are very thick and feel heavy on the skin. Now, in terms of full coverage I love my Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation which I’ve reviewed previously on the blog but day-to-day I prefer to look more natural. Recently this has meant settling for the fact that I’ll look like a grease ball by 12pm.

For the past year I’ve been using the Jouer Matte  Moisture Tint which is nice to use during the colder months and when I don’t have a tan, it’s even leaning towards being slightly too light for me. However, as soon as I get a bit of sun this product (the darkest one in the range) doesn’t match me. Nor does it control oil like I need it to unless paired with a primer, powder and setting spray. Far too much effort in my opinion.

I did a lot of research on foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturisers for oily skin. As  I said before many reviewers find that a lot of them fall short in terms of oil control. So, after a lots of investigating I chose the Double Wear Light (DWL) from Estée Lauder. After all, the foundation is my holy grail so theoretically the light version should work well for me.

This product retails between £27-£31. Unlike the Double Wear foundation which has an impressive shade range of 8 colour intensities from very fair to dark and warm to cool undertones, there is less of a colour range (6 intensities) in the DWL which I think is unacceptable, what’s going on Estée Lauder?! Anyway as I am shade 4N2 in the foundation I chose 4.5 in the DWL. This colour is absolutely perfect for me right now (NC44), it has a perfect blend of warm and cool tones and is quite forgiving as the coverage is light.

Packaging: This 30ml product comes in a sleek, opaque squeezy tube that you can control the right amount to dispense from. I LOVE this packaging, it feels perfect for travelling with. Also it is opaque so any light sensitive ingredients are kept stable.

Formula: This product, like the original version is based on water. It contains silica and silicones to help control oil and sodium hyaluronate making it more hydrating than the original version. It does contain SPF 10 (mineral sunscreen) but I would still wear an SPF underneath this product. This foundation is much more lightweight, gives lighter coverage (I’d say sheer to medium) and is not as drying as the original. For that reason anyone from normal to oily skin can wear this product. If you have sensitive skin I’d avoid as it contains alcohols and chamomile oil (potential allergen/ irritant).

Application and longevity: Personally I like applying this product straight onto my face with my fingers working on small sections at a time, I focus on my chin and nose areas as these require the most coverage. The product blends really easily and dries to a semi-matte finish. I really like the fact that it is extremely weightless on the skin, unlike the foundation, and it doesn’t settle into lines or highlight pores over the course of the day. I found that around the sixth hour my nose area became oily but nowhere as much as I’m use to. The oil control from this foundation is nearly as good as the actual foundation but if you have any dry patches it may catch on these.

As you can see from the images below this foundation does a good job of evening out my skin tone, especially the darkness around my chin. The second set of images was taken after I did my basic day-to-day make-up, as you can see there isn’t a lot of flashback from the foundation either.

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Left: No foundation (concealer on under-eyes). Right: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light 4.5
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Left: Natural light, no flash. Right: Artificial light, flash photography.

Overall I’m VERY pleased I’ve found a lightweight foundation that I can wear all year round which doesn’t exacerbate my oiliness, gives good coverage and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin. I really feel as though this is going to become a holy grail product for me!

Have you tried this foundation before? Comment below and let me know what your favourite day time foundations are.

Jay x

NYX Lip Lingerie – Swatches and reviews

DSC02513.JPGAlright, okay, I know I’m super late on this bandwagon but I finally decided to get my little paws on some of the NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks.

I did a bit of research and chose three colours that I believe would suit my skin tone best, I ended up choosing Exotic (warm orange with brown undertone), Teddy (brown with grey undertone) and Ruffle Trim (nude with brown undertone).

Price: At £6.50 per lipstick and being available at the drug store (Boots) these lipsticks are amazingly well priced. Admittedly I’m a make-up snob so I wasn’t sure how these lipsticks were going to fare.

Application: This lipstick comes with the classic doe-foot applicator. I find it really easy and comfortable to apply and it picks up the perfect amount of product for a full application. The shape of the applicator makes it easy to get clean lines too.

Formula: Oh my gosh guys, this formula feels soooo good on the lips I’m actually amazed. It feels creamy, moussey and non-drying, even better than most of the high end liquid lipsticks I’ve tried. The colour is well pigmented, it may be built up from a light slick of colour to full intensity.

Longevity: This lipstick lasts a full eight hours on the lips even after eating and drinking. It doesn’t settle into lines in the lip and after it has dried the lipstick does not smudge, bleed or transfer. After the eight hour mark there is a bit of drying which can be remedied with some lip balm on top.

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Overall verdict: I am in LOVE with this product, especially the colour Exotic which has become a holy grail lipstick for me. Teddy is an amazing 90’s brown shade which can be built up from a my-lips-but-better brown to a deep dark brown and I’m so glad I bought Ruffle Trim as I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect nude and I’ve finally found it! I’m SO happy with these liquid lipsticks and really recommend you run to your nearest NYX counter and pick some of these up!

Have any of you tried this product before? Comment below and let me know!

Jay

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara – Review

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Having recently run out of mascara, I picked up the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara from Boots which has a bit of a cult following. I’ve been testing the mascara for a few weeks now I decided it was time to sit down and review for you guys.

The price point for this mascara is a little higher than I’d usually spend for a drugstore mascara at £10.99, so already my expectations were high.

When I took the plastic wand out of the packaging I noticed that it’s extremely long, thin and weak. I did like the fact that I didn’t need to wipe of excess product with this mascara but it was quite difficult to apply onto the lashes. I like that the spikes of this brush don’t poke me in the eye which I do get with a number of other products when I’m in a rush and also I don’t get any mascara on my top lid when applying it.

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Upon application the formula makes my lashes look long but what’s most impressive is the amount of curl I get with this formula and the curl doesn’t drop all day, even after a sweaty work out! Unfortunately what I didn’t like is that the formula is not very buildable and I got some clumping with the second coat. Also  I prefer a feathery, fanned out look to my lashes and this product gives them a very spiky look. Since using this product I haven’t gotten any irritation, flaking or smudging.

I do find that it is quite difficult to remove this mascara due to the formula, I prefer when mascaras sort of peel off as opposed to them melting and smudging everywhere (if that makes sense?!)

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L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, from top of bottom- No mascara, 1 coat, 2 coats

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Pros:

Lots of curl and hold

Non-irritating

No smudging/ flaking

Cons:

Not buildable

Gives spiky appearance to lashes

Weak wand

Difficult to apply and take off

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Overall I wouldn’t say this is a terrible mascara by any means but there isn’t anything about it that makes me want to repurchase it and I’m not a huge fan of the spiky lash look. It probably has the best curl and hold I’ve ever had from a mascara so if you have issues with your lashes dropping, maybe this is one for you.

Have you tried this mascara before? Let me know what your thoughts were! Also please recommend any new mascaras I should test.

Jay x

L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture – Review

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Volume Million Lashes So Couture from L’Oreal is such a well rated mascara that I knew I needed to try it. I picked this up from Boots for £9.99 and have been testing it for around a month now.

The brush on this wand is a plastic wand with soft, flexible bristles. I’m pretty aggressive with my mascara application and occasionally have the odd brush in eye situation, but I still haven’t had that with this product. The formula is jet black, creamy and buildable.

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After a full days wear there is still a lot of curl and absolutely NO smudging which is really important for me. Furthermore it doesn’t sting my eyes which I’ve had with a number of other mascaras.

Positives

  • Buildable volume
  • Comfortable wand that doesn’t poke the eye
  • No need to wipe of excess
  • Does not run, smudge or flake
  • Lashes feel soft to the touch
  • Does not sting when you rub your eyes

Negatives

  • Can transfer onto the lid during application. Tip: tilt head backwards during application
  • Not the most amount of lengthening, volume or curl I’ve had from a mascara

Overall, this is a great mascaras you can pick up for under a tenner in terms of ease of application and results. However, I’m not sure I would buy it again as it isn’t as volumising as say the Maybelline Lash Sensational or as lengthening as Max Factor Masterpiece. This is a mascara I’d leave for work days as you get a good amount of volume and separation, no smudging and it’s comfortable to wear all day.

Have you tried this product before? Comment below and let me know!

Jay

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Deborah – Review

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Hey folks just a quick post here. I apologise in advance because this post may make you want to part with your money. Everything you’ve heard about the Audacious lipsticks from Nars is true.

I’ve been looking for the perfect dark brown lipstick for ages, one that is not too dark and not too red. I’ve also been meaning to try out the Audacious lipsticks from Nars for a while, so when I saw tried “Deborah” by Nars in store it was love at first swatch.

At £24 a bullet these lipstick are not cheap, but to me a brown lipstick is a staple in my lipstick wardrobe so I really thought of this as more of an investment.

The packaging is Nars’ signature sleek, matte, black packaging and the lid magnetises close. So satisfying.

When I first tried this lipstick on I applied it with the gentlest hand and I was AMAZED at the pigmentation. Like seriously AMAZED. I didn’t have to apply any pressure and in one swipe there it was, the colour fully deposited on my lips with full opacity.

The formula is very creamy and hydrating, very similar to the Urban Decay Matte Revolution lipsticks and dare I say maybe even creamier. The finish is satin and lasts a full 8 hours without budging. There is no bleeding of the colour around the lip line and it is so, so comfortable to wear.

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Swatches from L-R: MAC Film Noir, Nars Deborah, MAC Diva

I would seriously recommend this lipstick if you’re looking for comfortable, PIGMENTED, long wearing, satin finish lipstick. By far one of the best formulas around.

Jay x