With my first use of this mascara I noticed immediately that the wand itself looks kinda strange, the bristles look like an ancient mascara brush that has clumpy dry mascara stuck to it, but on closer inspection are more of an odd pattern, also known as the criss-crossed bristles that promise to firmly grasp and coat each lash. I was aware of the different bristles working as I tugged it through my lashes, and was pleasantly surprised at the glossy look it gave my lashes. This died down of course as they dried, but it still was a strong black colour that had more shine to it than any other mascara I've tried out. What a clever brush it has! I did apply two coats, although to be honest one coat would be sufficient for a daytime look, and the mascara left me with thicker lashes that weren't spidery at all although very slightly clumpy (due to the two coats), but impressive looking indeed, I can dig the very slight, and I do mean very slight, clumpy look. The dark black gives the illusion that my lashes are longer and it doesn't pull the curl I give them out. Hours later I was still walking past the mirror to glance at my lashes and admire the fact that they are the closest they have ever come to looking like false lashes. Let me just emphasize that again, I have sex kitten lashes! I can't tell you how pleased I am that I didn't just ignore this mascara because it's a Maybelline one. My lashes don't even have that very stiff feel to them that you get most of the time with a couple of good coats. This is one mascara that I will cling onto with every ounce of breath in me. The only negative point I would give it is that it did flake when I purposely rubbed my eyes roughly to test it out, it didn't smudge, and I think it's an all round winner, very glam indeed, and even those who like the spider effect will adore it!
I really do like a lot of the Boots No 7 range of make up, the packaging is always pretty smart and looks good, and the products themselves don't let me down that often. I got this lipstick in a free make up bag with various other products that were mainly trial sized when I bought some foundation and a kohl pencil for spending over £18. The make up bag is gorgeous, pink and flowery it opens like a case with a metal clasp and contains a mirror on the inside, and I liked trying out the samples inside. I find No 7 is great for their offers like this. To be honest I don't buy lipstick often at all, in fact I think this is the first one I've owned in years! I have quite small, thin lips so prefer a gloss as it draws attention to them that bit more, plus I am useless with a lip pencil so find going to all that effort for a lipstick pointless. I was rather shocked to find that the price for this lipstick on the website is £9.30 - I'd never normally spend this one a lipstick, which is probably why they always disapoint me but I know I wouldn't use it very often so feel there's no point. However what a great freebie! The colour I have it in is Plum Beautiful, it looks like the picture they've used for these reviews actually. I don't recommend their website colours though as it doesn't look a thing like it! It comes in the current black and gold tube as seen in this picture, the black is sleek and shiny and looks very classy as I generally find No 7 products do. It's called 'Moisture Drench' so part of the point is to keep your lips moisturised and not dried out like some lip products do (my usual complaint about lipstick admittedly). So I figured I'd give it a fair go, the colour is not quite what I'd chose for myself, it's a bit dark for me to use with daytime make up, and not as glam as I'd normally go for evening make up. Major good points is that it doesn't bleed, so no need for me to clumsily draw my lips and get frustrated with it, it does last quite a while, your lips feel softer with it on and you can forget all about it as it doesn't dry out and leave you feel all cracked and dry when you open your mouth to talk. So yes, I am impressed, but still feeling a little bit 'eeek' over the pricetag! I've used it a fair few times now, although still not as often as I use lipglosses which I think is mainly down to the colour not being something I'd go for. I am very tempted to buy one in another colour but I am going to wait until I get a £5 off voucher off No 7 products before I do as although it works well and is good quality I just can't justify almost a tenner on a lipstick I won't use very often.
It'd been a long time since I last bought a foundation and with a meal out coming up I wanted to treat myself to something nicer than the foundation I already owned. I knew straight away that I was going to look in Boots for something suitable. Unfortunately our Boots isn't one of the larger stores and doesn't sell the higher end brands, and I rarely go to either of our nearest cities to test out and invest in something like MAC or Benefit. The lady at the No7 counter was friendly and helpful when I told her that I needed a foundation with good coverage that wouldn't dry out my skin as I have combination skin with dry patches. Immediately she pointed me to the Stay Perfect Foundation that she herself used (of course she looked perfectly made up!) and kindly helped me test out a couple of colours before she said that she thought the lightest colour would be best with my skintone, after grabbing an eyeliner so I'd qualify for the free gift at the time (make up bag full of goodies) I wandered off to pay for the foundation thinking I was slightly mad paying almost £15 for it. That was in Febuary, and I realised almost as soon as I got home and applied it all over that it was still slightly too dark for me despite being the lightest one they stocked, 'Cream'. I didn't look like I had been tangoed but could just about notice the faint line around my jawline which meant I spent the rest of the winter blending like crazy down towards my neck. I am not the palest person I know, and so the lack of a paler foundation is the main disadvantage to this foundation, in fact there are only 8 colours listed on the website. The packaging was in the form of a smart black box with the easily recognisable No7 logo on it. I can't tell you what it said on it as it long since been recycled but it was sleek and made me feel like I had bought a luxury item. The bottle itself is pretty simple, glass in the colour of the foundation with 'Stay Perfect Foundation, SPF 15, Hypo-allergenic' written on the front. A sleek black lid bearing the No7 logo which protects the gold and white pump action dispenser. As I've gotten older I have become more careful with the effects of the sun on my skin, not least the ageing it can cause but the risk of skin cancer as I do have a fair complexion with freckles and a hell of a lot of moles. So the SPF was a must-have when buying the foundation and I like that a lot of foundations currently on the market has some kind of sun protection in them. On the back, underneath the shade name and number, it has a short blurb about the foundation and what it 'does' along with some short instructions. It gives you the Boots address in Nottingham and the fact that the bottle contains 30ml of product with a recycling sign. It's also good for 24months once it's been open, which is probably thanks to the pump dispenser which means you aren't dipping your fingers, sponge or brush into a pot or something and introducing bacteria everytime you use it. As I don't wear make up daily this is good because I hate throwing half used make up that I've shelled out for when the use by date runs out. Other than immediately noticing that it wasn't really the right shade for me once I was home, I really admired the easy way in which it did blend that meant I was able to get away with it for a couple of months before my face took on a bit of warmth from the sun again. It actually is light and silky, I apply it with either a brush or sponge as I prefer the result to that of using my fingertips. I find I use around two full pumps of the bottle each application, simply because I have something called milia on my cheeks (raised white bumps underneath the skin, not spots but rather clogged pores) and need extra coverage there. If I use a sponge I dampen it lightly under the tap before putting the foundation on it and dotting it over my cheeks, and nose and blend outwards. Once it's on you hardly know it's there which is amazing for a good medium coverage, I am always touching my face and it never comes off on my hand like I've known other foundations to do in the past. As long as I moisturise before applying it then it doesn't cake on my dry patches of skin, and it also doesn't make the more oily parts shiny either. I'd say I wear make up around half the week, the days that the children manage to behave for me in the mornings before doing the schoolrun that is! I don't go out in the evening all that often so I don't neccesarily need it to last for 16hours like it's supposed to, and to be honest I'd cleanse and re-apply if I go out in the evening as I like to match my make up to whatever I'm wearing and tend to shower before going out any way. It does start wearing off after about 12hours I've found, especially now with the warmer weather, it doesn't look bad or start to slip, or dry me out, it just fades and you can start to see blemishes becoming more obvious through it. As far as I am concerned it is worth the money, especially if it lasts around the 18months mark, but I can't even make a guess at how long it will last seeing as you can't see how much is left which is a slight annoyance with the bottle. I have noticed that my forehead and chin are getting a bit shiny with the current warmer weather, it's not the foundation but just me sweating because I never had this until now, so I do need to invest in a powder to go over the top of it in those places. I don't recommend it if you have very oily skin, purely due to the fact that it's moisturising, which is one of the best points for me - I've always had to be extra vigilant when applying foundation on my dry patches, but with this I just slap it on the same as I do everywhere else and it looks great. I'd definitely pay the pricetag all over again, although I'd be happier if they had a lighter shade for winter use. Maybe I will just buy some fake tan next winter ;) It's as close to perfection I've found in a foundation.