Monday, 25 May 2015

My Makeup Alternatives


If you've followed me on Snapchat (pollyvdsz) for a while, you may have seen I had a big makeup clear out. This was long overdue, I'd accumulated a nauseating amount of products, many of which I hadn't touched in months. I recognised a pattern of purchasing a product, disliking it and then throwing it to the back of the draw once I'd found a better version. So in this post are a couple of examples which I hope are of interest to you. These aren't all perfect dupes, but they're my preferred alternatives. PS you might want to go make a cup of tea, it's a long'n.



The Body Shop's InstaBlur | Bourjois Happy Light Base Serum Matte | Benefit's Porefessional

First up: primers. A year or so ago I didn't know what a primer was. Forever shiny and grumbling about my foundation sliding off after 5 hours. But after watching a few months worth of YouTube beauty videos it came to my attention nearly all of them used primers. I'd heard a lot of positive comments about Benefit's Porefessional (bottom swatch) so purchased the full size (not pictured as it's grubby af) but hated it. Okay maybe hate is a strong word, but I put it on in bitterness every day. For me, when I rubbed it in, the powdery consistency turned into little bits and I had to sweep them off my face. It didn't seem to create a trust worthy layer over my skin, just an odd greasy feel that moved around when I applied foundation. After a while I let go of how much it cost and decided to look for a new primer.

I didn't pick up the Bourjois "Happy Light Base Serum Matte" *breathes* for any particular reason, I hadn't heard a thing about it but I owned and liked the Healthy Mix foundation, and you know, brand loyalty. Again, I didn't get on with it at all. The liquid formula created a layer which rubbed off into bits as I buffed in my foundation. Primers became a sour topic. I had almost resigned myself to a long life of shiny nose until Velvetgh0st passionately proclaimed her love for Insta Blur by The Body Shop (top swatch). I remember putting this off for a very long time as I'd never tried their makeup products, but my god was it worth it. This is what a primer should be. Easily blended, it creates a (non powdery or sticky) layer between your skin and foundation, leaving your skin smooth and soft. My T zone still gets slightly oily towards the 7 hour mark, but that's probably my issue. I would HIGHLY recommend this product if you're looking to get into primers, or need a new one!



Maybelline 24h Colour Tattoo in On and on Bronze | Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit

Onto cream eyeshadows. It's not news that the Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoos are good. This is more of a... "maybe don't bother spending loads on the Benefit version because if anything it wears off quicker and I can't discern any unique traits that justify the greater price." Personally I do prefer warmer tones to cool, so "On and on Bronze" suits me more than "Birthday Suit", but that's only one factor. Another is that the colour tattoo seems to go further. It's a darker colour so can blend out to a light gold and be packed on as a deeper brown. To me, Benefit's cream shadows come in a more wearable range of colours than the colour tattoos, and are still lovely as a product, but if you're going to go for a shimmery golden brown, be thrifty.



Mac Paint Pot in Painterly | Benefit Stay Don't Stray in light/medium

We had face primers, so onto eye primer! Mac's paint pots are well loved by many, and I've seen "Painterly" mentioned a couple of times, always positively. It's good to use a nude base under your eyeshadows so the colours pop, and this shade suits my complexion perfectly. I don't actually think it's designed to be a primer, but that's what I bought it as. With this in mind I found my eyeshadow didn't stay on perfectly all day, so picked up the Stay Don't Stray which you can tell from the name is actually a primer. I love the applicator, the fact the liquid quickly dries to a sturdy, nude matte base, but although it's better than not using one, my eyeshadow still wears off after a while.

So this one is tricky because to me they're both lovely and worth purchasing, but that it's not worth owning both. Personally I prefer putting on the Stay Don't Stray as it's a liquid so doesn't drag my eyelids (anyone else starting to get paranoid about causing prematurely baggy skin around the eyes?!) but does dry matte. It's very rare for me not to wear eyeshadow these days, but if I was opting for mascara only look, I would definitely use the paint pot.



Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown | Benefit Gimmie Brow in Medium/Deep

And finally, another Maybelline vs Benefit face off. Annoyingly enough I purchased my preferred of the two first; the Maybelline Brow Drama. I remember these eyebrow "mascaras" being a bit of a fad last summer, so when I saw one in person for the reasonable price of £4.99 I picked it up. The ball on the end makes it easy to comb through brow hairs and the colour isn't too pigmented so is mostly for taming them caterpillars. I don't know what possessed me to pick up the Gimmie Brow a year later but I did. This product adds more of a colour and again locks your hairs into place all day. The applicator makes it difficult for me to avoid adding on too much dark brown, but I can imagine it being great for brunettes! I agree with comments I had on Instagram a while ago that brow mascaras are best for those with thick eyebrows as they define the hairs and keep them in place. I would recommend the Maybelline version purely because it's an equally great product and MUCH cheaper!

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So there they are, my alternatives. Of course this is all based on my experience, face and makeup technique so do let me know if you actually prefer the ones I dismissed and why! Thank you for reading :)

Polly xo

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14 comments

  1. Lovely post! Quite funny how sometimes splurging on makeup/skincare doesn't pay off, and I love how drugstore products have upped their games recently. Thanks for sharing some dupes/alternative products :) xx

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    1. I know right! That's okay, I hope they were useful :) xo

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  2. This post is perfect, I've been looking for an alternative to Benefit's Porefessional for ages and I didn't quite know how TBS Instablur would add up, I'll definitely be purchasing it now!

    shewhoisshort.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Awh glad I could help! :) It's a brilliant alternative. xo

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  3. I was thinking of buying Gimme Brow because I personally didn't like Brow Drama. I like how descriptive you were about Brow Drama, because it was on point. So I just use it to tame my brows after filling them in. Another good TBS primer is the one from their tea tree line. It's soooo good for the t-zone and it removes the appearance of pores. you should do more makeup posts. :)

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    1. Ohhh I've heard a lot about their tea tree and Vitamin E lines so might give it a go! I'm running out of Insta Blur anyway. Thank you, glad you liked the post :) xo

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  4. I loved this post! I'm rarely a fan of long blog posts but I could easily sit and read yours all day; I absolutely love your writing style!

    Lauren x
    The Fashion Ramblings

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    1. Thank you, that's nice and reassuring to hear! :)

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  5. Love this post! Definitely going to try the body shop primer as I find it's so difficult to get a good primer! Post idea, I love the way you do your eyeshadow and would love to see your collection and what your favourite eyeshadow styles are! It's nice to read from someone who isn't an expert in make-up cause it's almost like talking to a friend x

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    1. Thanks for the idea but I have a lot of playing with my camera settings until I'd be able to do that! And again that's nice and reassuring to hear, it's weird to give my opinion as I don't know much, but at least it's taken well. x

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  6. Really helpful post, I loved it! I'm someone who likes makeup but is faaaar from being an expert of any sort, so this post is so useful as an indicator of whether you really need to splash out or (clearly in many cases) not when it comes to makeup! For a while I've been thinking of buying a primer and trying out something for my eyebrows, definitely going to look out for Instablur and Brow Drama x

    ohsnapanna.blogspot.com

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  7. I love Browdrama, it's perfect worn any way and I love that it is tinted so I can throw it on when I want a really minimal make up day.

    Lissy, lissyhayes.co.uk

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  8. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it,
    make-up

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