I received maybelline the colossal volume express mascara in the cat eyes formula in my fashion weekend goodie bag. I have tried a lot of the other colossal volume mascaras and loved both the original, waterproof and the leather effect versions so was intrigued by the cat eyes one. 

On first look, the cat eyes mascara has a curved wand made of natural bristles, making it ideal for feline inspired curled lashes. The mascara offers length and curl and with enough of it a fair amount of volume. You can’t expect volume from a mascara if you don’t wear enough of it. 

What struck me almost immediately after applying this mascara is how similar the end result is to that achieved by my current favourite benefits roller lash mascara. They have different packaging and different marketing techniques but the similarity between formula and the wand is uncanny.

I’d definitely recommend trying out this mascara at less than half the price of it’s benefit twin. I’ll be using this up now my roller lash mini has gone but I’m yet to decide which I’ll purchase again. 

What do you think? Have you found a dupe for roller lash? 



So I’m currently on what can only be described as a budget, my unfortunate habits of spending without really checking what’s going on in the old bank account have left me with little pocket money. While I’m low on income I still want to bring new and exciting material to this slice of the web and so although I won’t ever stop shopping (sorry parents) I am trying to do it on the cheap. 

On a recent trip to wilko to pick up some essentials; loo roll, cotton buds, household bleach, batteries yawn yawn yawn I skipped over to the cosmetics aisle and was pleased by what I saw. I was tame and only picked up two products (and a makeup brush) but they were really low priced and excited me greatly. 

I think here in the uk we can only get essence cosmetics at wilko, whereas accross the pond it’s fairly widely available and I’ve seen many a lip liner swatch next to Mac ones that have made my jaw drop. With budget brands there’s often the question of how it’s so cheap, do they use cheap ingredients? Am I sacrificing high quality? And it’s different with everything I try, but with essence down for many dupes, I decided to test the ropes and give you an insight into real budget beauty. 

First into my basket dropped the ‘make me brow’ brow setting mascara a commonly known dupe for benefits gimme brow (copying? Never, the names are completely dissimilar). Now I’m new to the world of setting my brows, the closest I’ve ever got was putting glitter mascara in them to a disco as well as on my eyelashes and at the front of my hair, glam. This product is essentially a brown mascara, packaged in a small tube with a smaller want for more precise combing and application. This coats each hair with colour, however the distribution is a little in even and it does dry slightly crispy. The hairs do stay in place though so for £2.50 I’m not complaining although I will be looking into better ones.

Next up came the kajal pencil in teddy, mainly because Mac do a beautiful eyeliner with the same name. This is a creamy formula in a shimmery(ish) dark brown shade, perfect for lining the upper lash line and smudging out or for the right and water lines. Coming in at only £1 I would definitely repurchase this pencil, and I have worn it most days since purchasing it around a week ago. I’m pleased to have found this bargain, now the mac offering can move wayyy down my shopping list.

Have you tried anything from essence? What else do I need to try?







Following the success of the ByTerry Ombré Blackstar eye shadow sticks, drugstore brand Bourjois have taken the trend into their own hands and released what can only be described as a dupe of the high selling, high price product.

The Colour Band crayons come in six shades and retail for £5.99, just one fifth of the price of their high end counterpart. I have tried other eye crayons in the past but these are my favourites. I have the shades Brun Dadaiste and Mauve Baroque, the latter of which was immediately dubbed a dupe for ByTerrys misty rock; a shade loved by the likes of Tanya Burr and other well established beauty persons.

The crayons themselves are, for want of a better description, a chunky eyeliner, which contrary to the more expensive alternatives will need sharpening once they get a bit mucky/ you blunt them down. The crayons boast high pigmentation and hold shimmer particles, making them perfect for a daytime smokey eye and what I like to call a one wash wonder. Either shade can be worn alone or with other shades from the range and both are a long lasting, hard wearing formula meaning if you want to blend, you have to do it quickly because after a few seconds these crayons are waterproof and budge proof making them and ideal pick for makeup which needs to work day and night.

The Bourjois Colour Band crayons are a high quality drugstore product, something I wouldn’t question paying slightly more for. ByTerry watch out…

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If I could, I would have my entire make-up collection made up of Burberry Make Up. The Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Pale Barley may be my only Burberry piece to date, but I will never be without it again and I can’t wait to pick up more from the range and create a teeny little luxuriously packaged family living in my drawers.

Even if I didn’t like the product (which I really do) I would keep this little treasure for its packaging alone. Everyday when I take it out of its velvet pouch I feel like a woman, there’s something satisfying about it’s magnetic fastening and sleek mirror packaging which makes me feel like I’ve got my sh*t together, you know?

The product itself is a stunning shimmery velvety eyeshadow in a beautiful cool bronze shade, quite similar to crushed clove by MAC but a little deeper. The formula is irreplaceable and the shadow is butter, going on to the eyelid and blending with ease while producing no fall down whatsoever.

I’d describe Pale Barley as the perfect colour for everyone, for every day and for every night. A definite staple in your makeup collection.