The Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner is an eyeliner that should last for 24 hours. I’ve been using the brown one for my brows and I was happy with it right until I did the experiment in the shower to find out how well setting spray worked. Then I discovered the 24 hour Felt Tip Liner doesn’t have very much staying power. This disappointed me (I’m on my 2nd tube of the brown one) to say the least. It’s only £2.99 so I suppose I should just get over it, but if I did that, what sort of beauty blogger would I be?
So I decided to do an observation experiment to see how this eyeliner held up over the course of 24 hours, and I took photos to compare. I was very surprised by the results:
Hour 0: When I first applied it:
Hour 8: After a long day inside the house:
Hour 16: As I am about to go to bed:
Hour 24: The next morning:
The Collection Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner doesn’t smudge like a pencil would, but it doesn’t stay put any better than any normal liquid eyeliner. It starts to fade before 8 hours. After 16 hours, it’s really not looking so good. For someone who needs long lasting make-up (archaeologists, for example) this isn’t going to cut it. I don’t think the brown one is fit for purpose, neither as an eyeliner nor as a brow filler, as it only lasts a few hours then fades at an immense rate. The purple one performed a lot better which makes it ok for eyes, but who wants purple brows?? I am now on the lookout for something else to do my brows with.
One question keeps coming up over and over on forums, Youtube videos, on Quora and Reddit, and that’s ‘how do I choose the right colour of foundation?’ To help answer that (it’s a bigger question than it looks), I put this video together looking at basic and more advanced areas of this all-important skill. It’s not exhaustive and of course some makeup brands are notorious for not having shades that suit anyone who isn’t orange, but I thought it might be a helpful starting point for those people who are baffled by undertones, shades, whether to get a powder or a liquid, what a mineral foundation is, how to apply it etc, and how to tell if the foundation’s wrong for your face.
If you’re still not sure, it might be worth getting matched at a (good) makeup counter.
What I haven’t covered: Blending into the neck, BB creams, tinted moisturizers and setting powders. These sort of fall into place though once you know how to choose the right foundation shade.
One thing to add, is that in the debate over whether to go for the opposite undertone to your skin or one that matches your skin, I match my skin. I also use different shades of foundation for everyday makeup depending on the time of year.
I hope this helps someone, and any questions let me know in the comments here or on Youtube.
Have you ever fallen in love with a beautiful bright red lipstick that you had to stop wearing because it didn’t look right? When we get the wrong shade of red, we look washed out or sickly, regardless of skin tone. I decided to investigate exactly what you need to do, to find your perfect red lipstick to wear this season’s most daring lip color so you can look like a sparkling ruby, rather than a shrinking violet.
There are two schools of thought on finding the right shade of red lipstick: The traditional method says that it’s got to match your skintone, by which they don’t mean you should choose a lipstick that’s the same colour of red that your face goes when you accidentally inhale a cranberry.
Instead, you should look at red lipsticks closely and decide whether they are a yellow based red (are they slightly orange) or a blue based red (are they slightly pink). By matching up the base colour of the red with the amount of orange or blue in your skintone, you should apparently find your perfect red.
Problem: We aren’t orange and blue based. If you are warm toned, you have yellow base, and if you are cool toned, you have a red base. And most of us are neutral-toned anyway, and just veer more towards one or the other.
Second problem: If everything you wear (clothes, make-up, hair etc) matches your skintone, you start to look a bit invisible, a la Jennifer Aniston in 1999, fading into the sofa at Central Perk in Friends:
See how her hair, skin and clothing are all nearly the exact same shade, and so is the sofa behind her? If she was next to someone else, you’d be able to see that they popped out of the screen while she faded away, which I’ve noticed about Rachel in quite a few episodes of Friends. This is a real danger if you are almost 100% neutral toned (like me) because everyone tells you that you’ll look good in neutrals (which is true, but it’s also only part of the story; you’ll look good in most other colours as well, including red).
I decided to investigate whether this was a good way to choose the perfect red lipstick by buying the W7 “The Reds” collection from Amazon (which was £4.79 for six tubes of red lipstick: scarlet fever, racing red, red hot, bordeaux, very red and kir royale, which isn’t really red so got ditched at the start of the experiment) then I swatched them on my arm before trying them on my face. That (putting one on my face) was when I discovered I was allergic to one of the red lipsticks (apparently lipstick allergy is the most common make-up reaction but I’d never heard of it before my lips started getting bumpy swellings and a lovely couple of splits in them). When my lips swelled down 2 days later, I tried again with the protection of two layers of foundation and a layer of silicon primer. Turned out the one that caused a reaction was the only red lipstick didn’t remotely suit me anyway. Apparently orange-based red lipsticks look best on me but I can also wear neutral based ones (neither orange nor blue is predominant), which figures. I’m slightly on the warm side of neutral skin tone, so I expected the neutral red lipstick colors to look best, but the orange-based shade really surprised me, I think it was my best red colored lipstick.
Here’s the video of me showing how to find the perfect shade of red lipstick using this warm and cool method:
The second school of thought, invented (as far as I know) by Makeupgeek.com, is that the perfect shade of red lipstick isn’t anything to do with blue or yellow undertones, it’s to do with the vibrancy of the lipstick, and how that matches up to the vibrance of your skin colour.
For example, if you have a very pale or fair skin, you don’t need a PALE red, you need a MUTED red lipstick, one that can be as light or dark as you like, as long as it’s not super-vibrant, because vibrancy will overpower the color of your skin, your eyes, your hair and everything else. If you have dark skin, your red lipstick can go as vibrant as you like, the brighter the better.
You can read more about this theory here: https://www.makeupgeek.com/best-of/my-top-5-red-lipsticks/
And if you’re still stuck between all the shades on offer, according to most well-known glossy magazines, MAC’s lipstick in Ruby Woo is apparently somehow flattering to everybody. Whether you’re fair, dark, olive, neutral, warm or cool; this red lipstick will suit anyone. That sounds very mysterious (but I expected nothing less from MAC); I look forward to trying Ruby Woo out.
In this article I am reviewing Revitalash Advanced and Rapidlash, since month after month, my 2nd most popular article is this one: Lash Growth Serums Reviewed: RapidLash, Eveline and Rimmel. In it, I compared Rapid Lash, Rimmel Lash Accelerator, Eveline SOS Lash Conditioner. The winner was clearly RapidLash, but this was before I’d tried Revitalash Advanced. Today I am going to talk about Revitalash Advanced, and how it compares to RapidLash (assume I mean Revitalash Advanced where I say “revitalash” in the rest of this article).
What do they look like?
The tubes almost look identical. They’re both a slightly pearlescent silvery colour, although the Revitalash has a blue lid. But somehow the Revitalash Advanced one looks more high-class. And it should do, it’s twice the price on Amazon. It’s twin colour design also makes it easier to spot in the bathroom. Although the RapidLash one looks like a bigger tube, they’ve both got 2ml of product in them.
What did it cost?
At full price, RapidLash is about £40 ($55) for 2ml and Revitalash Advanced is about $80 for 2ml or $120 for 3.5ml. I paid £18.50 ($30) for my RapidLash 2ml before Christmas, and in continuous use that translated to 3 months supply. Revitalash was £44.50 ($65) for 2ml on Amazon (update 2020: this is now $55) and it said on the listing that it was also 3 months supply, although I haven’t finished the tube yet.
Was it genuine?
One concern I had with buying half price lash serums on Amazon was whether they were genuine products or not. I scoured the reviews (Amazon had several different listings for each) and found ones that people had said worked, and I looked for ones where people said “I’ve bought this before from my beauty salon, it’s genuine.” It’s not enough that it says it’s coming from the correct brand name because Amazon (and sellers) frequently get this wrong and lie about where it’s coming from, so I always read the reviews on Amazon. You have to. I am glad to say that both the RapidLash and the Revitalash I purchased were genuine. NOTE: Revitalash Advanced is the only Revitalash currently being made, so if it doesn’t say “Advanced” on the box you are buying old, discontinued product that could be out of date. My Revitalash tube was also sealed in plastic inside a box that was stuck down with a circular see-through sticker, so I knew it hadn’t been opened. Even though I’ve linked to the same one I’ve bought, please do check it’s still coming from a reputable source – if there are recent listings saying it’s a fake, listen to them, as suppliers change sometimes!
How do You Use Rapidlash?
Rapidlash goes over the very root of your eyelash, where it touches the eyelid, and you have to get the product on the eyelid for it to work. As I said in my previous review, because I have a double line of eyelashes, like Elizabeth Taylor, I have to work the stuff between the two layers because it doesn’t soak in or travel between lashes very well.
How do You Use Revitalash? Revitalash Advanced goes on your actual eyelashes, and should not touch your eyelid at all. I was concerned that it might spread to my under eye area and cause irritation, but it dries very quickly (much faster than RapidLash) and yet seems to reach all my upper lashes WITHOUT spreading to my lower lashes. See this video the manufacturers have made for an idea of how to use Revitalash:
What About the ingredients? The safety facts: Neither of these products have the “glaucoma” drug in it (that’s used in Latisse, which is only available in the US and is prescription only, and will make your lashes grow PAST your eyebrows. Latisse are VERY defensive with their patents and don’t currently let any other company use their patented lash ingredient bimatoprost) and while they both use a molecule that MIMICS the lash growth effect of the glaucoma molecule bimatoprost, they don’t have the same effect on eyes and there is literally not one single case of either Revitalash or RapidLash causing eye colour change either.
This criticism is all a VERY old story from 2005 and this was all aimed at Latisse, which has never caused eye colour change, but which is a licenced Prescription Only Product for a reason – it’s a more effective lash growth serum, but it’s also got more potential side effects!! The story behind the eye colour change is that the INGREDIENT (bimatoprost) used in Latisse has caused eye colour change in VERY high quantities when it’s used in a different formula to treat glaucoma (where it needs to be in a high enough concentration to cause significant eye pressure drop, y’know, to treat glaucoma, a serious eye disease). It got cross applied by those people who don’t understand science but love to talk beauty with pseudoscience. But the truth is, nobody’s eyes have changed colour using any of these lash serums, which I’m sure Allergan and Athena (the companies that make Latisse and Revitalash respectively) are sick of having to reiterate and confirm again and again.
Revitalash DOES contain a very similar active ingredient to Latisse (dechlorodihydroxydifluoroethycloprostenolamide is the active ingredient in Revitalash) which is why it is more effective than RapidLash but it is NOT the same or Allergan (who are famously rivals with Athena Cosmetics over their lash serums) would have slapped more patent infringements on Athena for it. RapidLash and Revitalash also DON’T contain snail secretion filtrate, unlike Marvelash (EWWWWW THAT’S GRODY TO THE MAXXX) which I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole because I have a phobia of slugs and snails.
Basically, you know Revitalash is good stuff because otherwise Allergan (who make Latisse) wouldn’t feel so threatened to keep constantly trying to get Revitalash relegated to “prescription only” (or withdrawn) because they’re scared of it being “unfair competition,” and you know Revitalash is safe because otherwise the FDA would have banned Revitalash permanently by now (and if you read the history you’ll see how many times Allergan/Latisse have tried to make this happen). The only time Revitalash was banned, it was because of a “fair competition” law that then got thrown out of court on appeal, it was nothing to do with safety. As a qualified chemistry teacher who knows a thing or two about science, I can wholeheartedly say that while ANYTHING can cause you an allergy (some people are allergic to water), these products are all safe.
Did they work?
They both made my eyelashes grow. They both took a few weeks to show results. However, I like Revitalash better than Rapidlash for two reasons:
1. It made my eyelashes grow LONGER.
2. Revitalash did not leave my eyes with a red rash, and didn’t leave my eyeballs feeling dry and tired. When I used Rapidlash I was more sensitive to eye strain and dry eyes. The first time I used it it went away after a while, but I stopped using it for 3 months and when I started again the redness and dryness never went away (but I didn’t get the under eye irritation this time). Revitalash didn’t affect my eyes at all.
What happens if you use RapidLash and Revitalash together?
You get stupidly long lashes very quickly but after 1 day your eyes feel really weird and achey and oversensitive to light and your eyelids go worse than in the picture above. So I am quite sure the two products cannot be used together and I stopped using the RapidLash completely on day three (I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a coincidental eye ache) before I went blind or my eyes turned into antennae or I got x-ray vision or something. I couldn’t find any information about this online so I may have been the first person to try this then write about it. Revitalash is more expensive, but if you want properly long lashes, Revitalash is the real deal and is the one to go for because RapidLash is good, but it’s not AS good as Revitalash, and for me, the redness and occular irritation were deal breakers once I’d found a product that didn’t upset my eyes but still did the job.
The bottom line:
I liked Revitalash best. It grew my lashes longer and didn’t damage my eyes at all (unless combined with RapidLash – that’s a big no no). I wish I hadn’t hesitated in buying it, but the price really put me off.
At the end of the day, if you’ve only got $35, buy RapidLash, it didn’t disappoint me at all, it’s certainly the best of the original three serums I reviewed. For a fantastic budget buy, Rapid Lash is great!
But if you can stretch your budget, I think Revitalash is worth the extra money. Once your lashes are long, people say you can use Revitalash once a week for maintenance, so that will be cheaper than using it every day as the tube will last longer. As long as you’re careful about who you buy from, I strongly recommend you buy from Amazon.com as it’s the best value for money, just make sure you buy one that says “sold from (manufacturer)” or “sold by Amazon” because that way it’s genuine. If you’re in the UK or Ireland, you can get Revitalash and Rapidlash on UK Amazon, too. Update 2020: Revitalash’s price has gone insane in the UK so I would now recommend Rapid Lash to UK buyers out of these two products, or read my review of Grande Lash MD for an even better choice.
Which serums have you tried? Would you ever try one? Let me know in the comments!
UPDATE 2020: The prices have changed! Of the two in this article, I recommend Revitalash if you’re in the US and I recommend Rapid Lash if you’re in the UK/Ireland, or check out the article above for a third option.
I struggled to write an introductory paragraph for this post on choosing wedding rings, buying them, etc, but I hope this post is helpful for anyone struggling with decisions such as: “Is it okay to buy a second hand vintage wedding ring?” Or: “Is tungsten carbide a good material for a wedding ring?” The answer is yes to both, by the way.
My ring was £249.99 from a Vintage/2nd hand shop in Bradford. It is platinum and 1/2 carat diamond (round cut) solitaire in size J, because I have tiny fingers. It took ages to find because a) A lot of jewellers don’t stock my size b) I was very indecisive.
I looked at a lot of things and I fell in love with an antique 1920s ruby ring that was sadly sold before we could afford to buy it (I’m glad, though, now) and later, I nearly bought an opal and 9 carat yellow gold dress ring (5 opals in a row). The reason I didn’t (I was literally on the payment screen) was because I realized I have to wear this ring every day. Every single day. So I needed it to be fit for purpose. Opals have a big drawback – their beautiful colours are caused by water trapped under the surface of the stone. If you get them wet over a period of time, that water comes out and you are left with something that looks like a white plastic bead (I should know, I have a lot of opals in my crystal and mineral collection). This means I would need to take my ring off like, all the time (I wash my hands a LOT and I do all the cleaning in my house). That wasn’t what I wanted to have to do with my wedding ring. Additionally, I wanted something that looked equally at home if I was wearing my ripped denim jacket or my beautiful wedding dress. I needed something neutral, that looked good all the time. So I chose a diamond, and I chose a silver metal for travel reasons – if I’m travelling, chances are, people will disregard it as a silver/cubic zirconia ring and not worth stealing. An advantage of it being second hand is that its recommended retail price is £1700, so someone else absorbed that depreciation, and another advantage is that there’s less pressure on me, as it’s not perfect or pristine, just like me (not that you can tell from glancing at it). Taking the pressure off the bride was the only way I was going to walk down that aisle, so YAY. Before this, I had an engagement ring made of white gold, diamond and tanzanite, I got it for about £39.99 from Argos on offer, it went up to over £79.99 and stayed there for years, and I don’t know if they’re still selling it. We got engaged in 2011.
My future husband chose a tungsten carbide alloy ring with the “One Ring” inscription from Lord Of The Rings. It’s durable, it was cheap (like, under £10), and he assures me that it is comfortable to wear. He doesn’t generally wear it; he seems to struggle with rings, and I think a lighter ring would have been easier for him to keep on his finger, but he wanted this one, so most of the time it lives on the mantelpiece in our living room. His engagement ring was £19.99 from Argos; it was stainless steel with a Greek key pattern on it.
Would you buy a second hand or vintage wedding ring? Let me know in the comments.
A brief note about measurement: I believe that people go a bit mad sometimes with measuring things to the very gram, and that it’s more important to get a feel for the amount of each ingredient and how they interact with one another, which is why I work in cups (the American measurement; you can buy a cup set in most homeware stores if you’re not in the US or do conversions if you need to) wherever possible. I like to use fresh ingredients to make nutritious and tasty food whose sole purpose is nourishment.
(OBT) means Optional But Tasty.
Except for the lasagne and canneloni recipes, you can substitute the pasta for broccoli or cauliflower in any of these, if you need to eat more veg, or if you’re totally off processed foods. With the exception of the actual pasta itself, none of my pasta recipes contain gluten, so if you’re gluten free, usually you can replace your pasta with gluten free pasta (or broccoli) and follow the rest of the recipe as normal. I’ve not seen gluten free canneloni but you can pre-cook gluten free lasagne sheets and roll them up if you would like to try out this canneloni recipe and you’re GF.
Kale, spinach and cream “cheese” canneloni
You will need (all food ingredients are per person, scale the dish to fit):
A glass oven proof dish: Choose the smallest dish that fits all the tubes in, otherwise you will end up with a LOT of sauce and not much canneloni.
Four canneloni tubes per person;
1/2 cup of spinach;
1/2 cup of kale;
2 tablespoons of vegan cream cheese per person;
1/2 carton of tomato passata;
Grated vegan hard cheese;
OBT: Basil and garlic (to taste);
1. Boil the spinach and kale until it’s very soft. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the cream cheese in a small non-stick pan (ideally) and stir in the spinach and kale. Add more cream cheese if needed.
3. Stuff the uncooked canneloni tubes full of the spinach and kale mixture, and put them in the glass oven-proof dish.
4. Mix the garlic and basil into the passata and pour the passata over the canneloni tubes.
5. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the food to cover the passata and the tubes.
6. Put in the centre of the oven at 150 degrees C or gas mark 5 for 35-45 minutes.
7. Remove and serve; don’t cut the canneloni to serve them if you can help it or the filling might come out.
I’ve done the work for you so you can just go out and get them.
These are the mainstream ones and Tesco own brand, since I did my checking in Tesco – and I’ve included any that are either vegan or are not vegan but look like they might be – with a picture of the ingredients list showing you why they aren’t vegan. The more you know. Enjoy the easter egg porn. xx
Those were all the vegan ones I found (with the exception of the Free From ones which I’m sure you already know about).
And the following eggs are DEFINITELY NOT VEGAN (but looked like they might be). To avoid irritation, don’t buy these next ones if you’re after dairy free.
These last ones are definitely not vegan and you’d never think for a minute that they were, but they’re just lovely to look at, complete Easter egg porn, so I thought I’d share them with you. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll make them so I can eat them.
UPDATE (SUNDAY EVENING): I CHECKED IN THORNTON’S (like, their actual full shop with the cafe and the full range) AND NOT ONE SINGLE ONE OF THEIR EGGS OR EASTER CHOCOLATE TREATS ARE VEGAN. NONE OF THEM.