High End V’s High Street 

Ok so the word “Dupe” is one you’ll hear bandied around the place constantly at the moment and although it’s great to think of yourself practically getting the same product for a mere fraction of the price, often times this really isn’t the case. What I aim to do here is point out some of my favourite products from the high-end bracket and tell you about their high street counterparts. Personally I love to splash out sometimes on a “high end” treat but at the same time I’m a sucker for a bargain, I’m an equal opportunities consumer especially when it comes to beauty products. So let’s take a look at what I’ve found!!

Primers

High End- My favourite primer of all time is Prime Time by Bare Minerals. I love it so much, it makes your skin feel so smooth and soft when you use it and I think it’s phenomenal at keeping makeup on. It’s suitable for all skin types and what I love about it is how little of it you have to use so I think that helps to justify the €26 price tag. Just pop a little on over your moisturiser and under your foundation and watch how quickly the longevity of your make up changes!!

High Street- Very recently I discovered Coverall Primer from Wet n Wild and I must say I’m very impressed with this one too. Although I do feel it’s probably less suitable for anyone who has very dry skin but for those with a more combination/oily skin type it’s impressive. Now Wet n Wild is a brand that I’ve built a little love affair with over the past while ever since I discovered their Coverall Foundation (more about that in a minute), it’s an incredibly well priced brand and the quality of any of the products I’ve tried has been incredibly good. Now I bought the primer in a set including a colour correcting concealer palette in Penneys for €6.50 which was a complete bargain but I don’t think the primer is going to set you back any more than that on its own and that’s for a 25ml tube.

Eyeshadow Primers

While we’re on the subject of primers I’m going to tell you about my two favourite eyeshadow primers. Why do you need an eyeshadow primer I hear you ask..well imagine spending all that time creating a gorgeous masterpiece on your eyelids only for it to melt off two hours later, all because you didn’t take that extra second to add this step to your regime…Criminal!!

High End- My high-end choice here is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Now I’m going to specify that it is the original one that I’m talking about as I have used the anti-aging version and I don’t find it as good at all. For me this is a must have product because I do a lot of strong smokey eye looks so I wouldn’t be without it in my make up bag. It’s simple to apply and leaves the eyelids so smooth and ready for the application of your eyeshadow. I find my eyeshadow always blends so much easier when I use it and it doesn’t budge. I have had eye makeup looks last for 16 hours + without having to touch it up after using this product, it is truly incredible. It comes in two different sizes, the 5ml travel size which is €11 and a great way to try the product to see what you think and the 10ml size which is €21. Again a little of this product goes a long way so well worth the money in my opinion.

High Street- My high street option here is I 💙 Stage from Essence. What a find, I would never have known about this little gem if it hadn’t been for Jen from Too Dolly Makeup. I saw her use it and rave about it so I thought I’d give it a go myself. It’s just a brilliant product considering the price of it which is €3.09 for 4ml. Now I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s an exact dupe for the Urban Decay one because it isn’t but what a great alternative to use during the week at work so you can hold on to your more expensive product for nights out or days when you want your eyes to be beyond flawless. Another must have in my opinion , I picked mine up in Penneys but it will be available nationwide on any Essence stand.

Concealer

High End- Now I’m a massive Urban Decay fan, anybody who knows me or reads my blog will know this about me so generally speaking if I’m looking for a new high-end beauty product then the Urban Decay counter is usually my first port of call. That’s exactly how I ended up using Naked Skin Concealer for the first time. Unsurprisingly I love it, I wanted to use it specifically for highlighting under my eyes, just to lighten up the area and add a contrast to my contouring. I love the texture of it, it covers exceptionally well without being thick, it adds a lovely brightness to my undereye and most importantly it doesn’t sit in your under eye wrinkles which to be fair is the Holy Grail of under eye concealing!!

Priced at €22 for 5mls, it comes in 11 different shades so there’s bound to be one to suit everybody.

High Street- My pick for best high street brand is Seventeen Wow Skin Concealer. You need to buy this product, honestly it is ridiculously good considering the price point!! To be honest Seventeen aren’t a brand I’d gravitate towards normally but I had started to hear great things about this concealer a number of weeks ago online and in magazines so I thought I’d chance it myself,  I’m so glad I did. It comes in a pen style so application couldn’t be simpler and it’s so illuminating I couldn’t have imagined how much brighter it made my skin look. In fact since I’ve discovered this product I’ve used it instead of my Naked Skin concealer every day which trust me is high praise coming from me. The only issue might be the lack of colour options as it only comes in two shades, Light and Medium. Hopefully if it turns out to be as big of a success as it deserves to be then more colours might be introduced.  Currently retailing in Boots for €6.99 for 2.5mls but keep your eyes peeled for special offers.

Foundation

And finally the most difficult product everybody finds to get right…Foundation. I shudder to think about how much I’ve spent over the years trying to find “the perfect” foundation and I suppose what I deem to be perfect for me may not be the same for others but I judge “perfect” to be , the foundation with the best coverage.

High End- With this is mind, the best high-end foundation I’ve used thus far is Inglot HD Perfect Coverup Foundation. This is a product I’ve only started using recently and I have to admit I’ve been blown away by it. The coverage is incredible, I mean incredible but without making you look like you’re wearing a mask. It doesn’t feel heavy in the slightest, it just makes your skin look flawless. I always get compliments about my skin when I wear this foundation and even in photographs your complexion looks brighter and honestly what’s not to love about that? Don’t laugh but I keep it as my “good foundation”, so I only take it out for special occasions, nights out etc because it’s a little bit pricey at €35 for 35mls but boy is it worth it!!

High Street- For my high street choice I give you the aforementioned Coverall Foundation from Wet n Wild. It was a complete stroke of luck that I found this foundation to be honest, to be blunt it was the name attracted me to it, I’m all about coverage when it comes to foundation so when I saw the name Coverall I felt it was worth a shot! Although it’s not a complete coverage foundation it is totally buildable and is absolutely perfect as a day-to-day foundation for work if you don’t want to be forking out loads of money. It claims to be suitable for all skin types but because it has a satin finish I would advise those with a oilier skin type to avoid it because I really don’t think the finish wouldn’t suit. An absolute bargain at €4.69 for 29.6mls, so for that price I really can’t see you regretting trying it.

So those are some of my favourite High End and High Street products. I hope you’ve seen something in there that you haven’t tried before but interests you now. I think it’s important to never rule any brand out based on price, especially if you think something is “too cheap”, you never know you might just find one of your new favourites. Same for the high-end products, if you’re investing a big sum of money in a product then do your research, ask for samples or ask to try the product on on counter before you go straight into buying.

We all deserve a treat every now and then xx

 

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Benefit Brow Range

Back at the end of June all of us beauty buffs waited with baited breath for the launch of the new Benefit brow range. Never in my life do I remember a brand launching so many individual products within a range all at once. It was amazing but it was confusing, so many products to choose from, how were we to know which one was going to work best for our particular brow issues?. To give us a sneak peek of what was to come Benefit put gorgeous little miniature sizes of some of their products in various glossy magazines in the lead up to and just after the launch and I for one was hooked. 
But having tried out the miniatures and honestly loving all of them (apart from the Goof Proof pencil being in the wrong shade) I wanted to know more. I wanted the inside scoop on what products were designed for what brow type and for that I headed into Boots in Half Moon Street (my spiritual home) and got to chat with the gorgeous Emma the Benefit counter manager about the range. She very kindly walked me through each of the products and their purpose and now I’m going to share what she told me with you!

Browvo Conditioning Primer €30.50

So Emma explined this product as being the first step product . Its a conditioning treatment so like a face primer or an eye primer gets your brows ready for the product you’re about to put on them. It softens and conditions the brows and helps to extend the wear of other brow products used over it. Its a completely clear gel so its suitable for all shades of brows and it has an easy to use applicator on top making it super handy. This is the first step simply because it can be used ahead of any of the other brow products you chose to use.

High Brow & High Brow Glow €24.00

Ok so I’m going to put these here, again because they are products that are used at the start of your brow prepping. Now High Brow is not a new product but it did get a little make over so it could match the glamour of it’s new counterparts!! This product is designed to highlight and brighten under the brow bone. The High Brow has a Matte baby pink finish and the High Brow Glow has a champagne pink shimmer finish, this is essentially the difference between them both, otherwise they both do the same job. They both increase the height of the brow arch giving a instantly “lifted” look, Benefit claim that “It’s like a brow lift in a pencil” so what’s not to like about that!! You apply these products along the browbone following the arch and gently blend. Emma also suggested popping them in the tearduct to open up the eye which is a fantastic idea! 

Ready Set Brow €26.00

I’m going to put this next in the list as its the finishing product so it can be used with all of the other brow products to finish your look or on it’s own if you’re looking for a more natural brow. Now this is a shaping and setting product, it’s a clear gel so it doesnt affect the colour of any other product you use with it. If used on it’s own it helps to maintain the natural shape of the brows and set them in place for the day. If used over another brow product it seals that product into place and helps to increase the longevity of your look. It has a dual-sided wand, you apply the product using the long bristle side and shape the brows using the short one. This was one of the products that I got free in a magazine and I have to say I loved it for days when I was going for a really natural look, especially during the hot weather when you don’t want to wear too much makeup.

3D Brow Tones €26.00

Now bear with me with this one because at first this sounds like a bit of a mickey take but I promise you it’s not. I would have never entertained it for one minute unless I had actually tried it and saw the difference it made to my overall brow look. Essentially it’s highlights for eyebrows and it makes sense, you highlight your hair so it adds dimension to the colour why not do the same for your brows? So 3D Brow Tones is a shimmering brow gel and what it’s really good at is adding texture to overly full brows and making thin brows appear fuller. I would urge you to go to your local Benefit counter and ask them to try this on for you so you can see how natural and different this product is. You may laugh now but I think this will be a “normal” part of all of our beauty routines in the not so distant future.

Gimme Brow  €26.00

Now this was one of the products that I got free in a magazine and I have to say I absolutely love it.  In fact when I was heading in to go through the brow products with Emma I thought there was no way whatsoever that she was going to show me anything that I liked more than this!! Again this is another product that Benefit previously had that got a makeover and a new shade added too for good measure. This is honestly the easiest brow product you’ll ever use, it’s a volumising gel that has tiny little microfibres that adhere to the hairs creating a defined, natural look. It’s perfect for gappy brows making them look fuller without being too over the top. It’s also water resistant and long wearing and in my experience of it it lasted all day without anything over it to set it. It comes in three shades, 1-Light/Medium,  2-Medium and 3- Medium/Dark I used number 5 on my brows.

Ka-Brow €26.00

So as I’ve said previously going into Boots I didn’t think I was going to like any of the other brow products anywhere near as much as I liked Gimme Brow but then I tried this!!! This is just the most beautiful product firstly from an aesthetic point of view, it’s a gorgeous little pot with an in-built angled brush in the lid which you can flip around and attach to the lid to make the brush longer, so handy for brows on the go!!! Secondly the product itself is beautiful, it’s a cream gel which makes application a breeze, it glides onto the brows effortlessly and is waterproof too so extremely long lasting. Because it’s a buildable product you can create whatever shape brows you want, from a more defined look to a softer one and anything in between. By using the angled brush you can define and shape the brows if they are more sparse or for those like myself with fuller brows you can use it to fill in gaps and make a more defined brow. It’s so close but I think this is my favourite of the range and judging by how much you actually need to use doing your brows you’ll have this product a really long time so it makes it great value indeed!! It comes in six different shades.

Brow-Zings €35.00

Probably the most iconic of all of Benefit’s brow products, Brow Zings is an oldie but a goodie and is back better than ever in gorgeous new packaging with a very cool fold up brush and tweezers still included!! I have previously used this product but my experience of it was sullied by the fact that about two months after I got it I dropped it and a little piece cracked off and that was the beginning of the end for it. I’ve never seen anything (so expensive) disintegrate so fast, not cool Benefit but apparently I wasn’t alone with this issue. The packaging seems a lot more secure than before thankfully and the colour choice has been extended from three shades to six which is no harm although some of the colours in the medium bracket still seem a bit on the reddish side.  

Brow Zings is a wax and powder duo compact and how you use it is a bit of a personal preference to be honest, some like to use the wax first followed by the powder, others do powder followed by wax. Me personally when I was using it dipped a bit in both first and then applied it and I found that way really worked for me. If I’m to be brutally honest here I don’t think this product is worth the extra money, I understand it’s more expensive because you get the brush and the tweezers included in the set but Ka-Brow is a far more superior product in my opinion and it’s €9 cheaper. You also get a brush with Ka-Brow though and even though it’s a smaller product I’d still pick it over Brow Zings every single time. 

Goof Proof Pencil €26.00

This is the first product I used from the new brow range having got it free in Elle Magazine back in June and although it wasn’t the right shade for me it gave me the opportunity to see it in action. The most perfect product for quick, everyday brows. Perfect for uneven or patchy brows to even them out and the “Goof Proof” tip doesn’t need to be sharpened so a handy one for the handbag. It’s really soft and glides on easily. It’s waterproof and according to Benefit lasts up to 12 hours which I’d be inclined to agree with having used it. The full size product also has a spoolie included so you can brush through the brows to give a softer look. This product is available in six different shades. 

Precisely My Brow €26.00

What an absolute dark horse of a product this is!! When we went through the full range briefly to begin with I immediately dismissed this one thinking it would do nothing for me, in fact I didn’t understand the point of it at all if I’m honest. Why would you choose a brow pencil with a rounded tip? I’ll tell you why…. because it’s awesome!!! This pencil has an extremely fine tip so it’s incredibly precise. This is obviously brilliant for those who have very fine or sparse brows because it allows you to create precise hair strokes allowing you to keep the brows very natural. Even though I have fairly full brows myself I’m so in love with this product, I love the idea of adding fine hair strokes to my own brows too to add more texture to my finished brow look. A must have product in my opinion!! 

Overall I’m so impressed with this range, I wasn’t expecting to REALLY like so many of the products if I’m honest. Having tried them all now I’ve added Ka-Brow and the Precisely My Brow Pencil to my ever expanding “Want List” they were definitely my favourites on the day. 

My favourite on the day

The one thing I would suggest you do if you want to know for sure which one is best for you would be to head into Benefit in Boots Half Moon Street to the really lovely girls who’ll only be too happy to help you. They offer a brow mapping service in store too which goes through the best products to use for your brow needs and how to use them correctly. I know they’ll only be too happy to try on any of the products you’d like to try too!! You can tell them I sent you!! 

Benefit Miniatures 

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page here I told you about a fantastic offer I had seen on Benefit Miniatures. They had a fab stand in Boots Half Moon Street, Cork with a selection of some of their most popular products in miniature form. I think this is such a fantastic idea, especially if there’s a particular Benefit product you’ve been dying to try but don’t want to commit to the full size!!

Incredibly the offer is 4 for €20 and when you avail of this offer you also get a free Benefit washbag which is super cute.

Me being me I couldn’t leave an offer like that pass me by so off I went back into Half Moon Street last week to choose my goodies, this is what I got;

That Gal Brightening Face Primer

This is a bit of a “it does exactly what it says on the tin” kind of product,  it’s a primer that can be used on its own over moisturiser or under makeup. It has a lovely light pink colour to it and when you swatch it on your hand you can see the brightening effect it brings to the skin. The instructions suggest gently patting it on to the skin to help brighten up your complexion.

It’s Potent eye cream 

I decided to pick this one because it was used on me as part of a mini facial I had done in Ch Chemists Tralee see how I got on here Pamper Day in The Kingdom and I really loved it and Aoife who did my facial showed me one eye with and without the cream on a daily I genuinely noticed the difference!!

It’s essentially a brightening eye cream so it’s perfect for dark circles and I find it incredibly refreshing when I apply it. I’d highly recommend choosing this as one of your four!!

Posie Tint

This is the pink version of the very popular Benetint lip and cheek stain. A beautiful delicate baby pink/coral colour which in my opinion is a lot more wearable than the original. Gorgeous for summer, it’s best to put two or three strokes on the apples of each cheek and blend in with your fingertips. Use a patting motion rather than strokes because all you’ll do is wipe off the product if you wipe.

I’ve also seen suggestions of putting a few drops on a foundation brush and patting into the skin this way. Sounds like a good idea but I haven’t tried it that way yet.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion 

This was another product I wanted to try because of my mini facial in Tralee. I think when you think about Benefit as a brand, skincare isn’t the first thing that springs to mind abut them. I was genuinely surprised how nice I found it and I was really interested in trying it again. I’m not going to lie and say that the cuteness of the packaging didn’t factor into my decision because seriously how cute is this bottle!!!

A perfect lightweight oil free moisturiser for combination skin with an SPF15. I really like the smell and texture of it and excited to use this size and see how I find it.


As I’ve mentioned these four cost me €20 but I did see a separate offer running on www.boots.ie too of 3 for €30 and that offer included They’re Real mascara and eyeliner, POREfessional primer and Hoola mini bronzer amongst others.