Review: Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in Unreal

Hi everyone!

I’m back with a lip lacquer review. Yes, they’re still my jam. No, this doesn’t tick all my boxes, but it comes pretty close.

The Maybelline Vivid Hot Lip Lacquer retails for £6.99 in local beauty stores and is available in all sorts of shades from nudes to deep vamps. As I’ve been really into nudes as of late it was perfectly reasonable for me to pick Unreal.

The doe foot is fairly large and wide, with a dip in the middle to hold more product. It depends on how much you like the colour, and how much you want to apply. It picks up enough for a high gloss finish but for a swipe over lip liner which I do, it can be a little much as I like a bit of the liner colour to peep through underneath and so opt for a thinner layer.

This shade, Unreal, is slightly cool toned and when I first wore it, it was almost greyish.


As this is a little bland of a colour for my taste, I like to layer with a deeper lip liner for a lovely full nude lip. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a deeper nude shade, so I hope they expand the range because otherwise, I do like this. It wears well, not bleeding after three hours although this is helped along even further with a lip liner. Of course, it transfers onto everything, and it’s a little sticky. I tend not to pick bright colours in lacquers for this reason.

Overall, I would totally buy this if they had a deeper nude, but this particular shade I won’t repurchase again.

Until next time,


Battle of the Supposed Velvet Teddy Dupes: Wet n’ Wild Bare It All vs Maybelline Clay Crush

Do you remember when MAC’s Velvet Teddy was the craze? It sort of still is, but nowhere near as much as it was a few years ago. Since then, a number of dupes have emerged for it. I wasn’t sure whether the shade would suit me so it made more sense for me to find a dupe before I went for it. As you might be able to tell, I didn’t buy Velvet Teddy in the end. Today, I’ll be comparing two of its dupes for you to have a look.


Maybelline’s Creamy Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush is £6.99 for 3.3g, and comes in the standard bullet shape. Wet N Wild’s Megalast Lipstick in Bare it All costs £2.99 as an add-on item from Amazon and comes with a similar amount of product in a rounded flat shape. I prefer the pointed bullet of Clay Crush for applying lipstick, but Bare it All wins in terms of price.


However, I’ve mentioned this before but the packaging of Wet N Wild’s lipstick comes with quite a few flaws. The product sticks up out of the tube from new and can’t be wound down, which is mildly annoying as the lid sometimes catches the product if you don’t remove it properly. On top of the that, the lid is prone to cracking and once it does that, the lid easily falls off when travelling. Luckily, it’s cheap to replace and the formula is stiff enough not to make too much of a mess. I haven’t experienced the same problems with Clay Crush thus far although I haven’t had it as long.


Now, these two products have very similar shades. So similar, in fact, that when I had to go back over the swatches, I had trouble remembering which photos I had taken first and which swatches were which!!

Bare It All has a stiff finish and drags across the lips. However, I don’t mind this personally. It’s just what I noticed when using these two products side by side. I do tend to get a stronger pigmentation on first swipe compared to Clay Crush although again, that doesn’t matter too much because I always layer up with many swipes anyway.

On the other hand, Clay Crush is very soft and lightweight. However, I noticed that it doesn’t cling to the lips as well, instantly showing lip lines, and needs topping up after a few hours to retain the smooth finish and not make those lip lines too obvious. Neither lipstick bleeds very much, if at all.

Lastly, here are a couple of photos to demonstrate how similar they are to each other. If I really had to differentiate them, Bare It All has a slighter mauve tone while Clay Crush is slightly peachier, but this barely translates on the lips unless you have a very trained or familiar eye.


Overall, I wouldn’t repurchase either because by using these two I have concluded that this particular category of nude is not for me. They both layer well under a deeper lip liner for a slightly darker nude and that’s how I’ll be wearing them until they are used up.

Of course, I also concluded that Velvet Teddy was not my kind of shade and didn’t buy that either. The cost of both these lipsticks together still add up to less than that of the original Velvet Teddy.

Until next time,


Days since I last bought a lipstick: 66

Lipsticks in Rotation February 2018

Hi everyone!
Now that I’m in the second month of this no-buy challenge it feels much more exciting and doable. The idea was for these rotation posts to go out at the beginning of the month but in the end, they’re going out at the end of the month. It might be better that way as I get to add my new thoughts about my options as I go along. All my rotations for the year are already planned out although subject to change – it’s a lot of fun deciding on what to use for a certain month!
Starting this month I will also slowly make my way through the Box of Withheld Lipsticks, one a month. This box is full of the new lipsticks I bought on Boxing Day or received as presents that I decided not to open until an allotted time this year to keep me from feeling too deprived of new and shiny lip products. That too is already scheduled!
Sleek Metallic Matte Me Lip Cream in Roman Copper
This is a metallic lip cream in a light, super shimmery pale gold shade. This is a new item that was in my box of withheld treats. As expected, this is a really difficult colour to wear alone. It’s fun to experiment with but I can’t imagine myself repurchasing it or even using it at all so I also imagine I will destash it relatively quickly. A full review will be going up relatively soon so keep an eye out for that.
Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer in Cherry Pop (mini)| Review here
I got this free in a magazine a few years ago and wore it once or twice… and although I still love it, it needs use. I have two of these minis now, as well! It’s a luscious bright reddish pink with a fabulous shine that is not glossy and lasts really well.
I actually had to remove it from the rotation halfway into the month to prevent it becoming a month of wearing only this lipstick…

There were plenty of these sets of minis on sale throughout Boxing Day so I did buy one at the time and including the second Cherry Pop, I now have three new colours in my Box waiting to be opened later this year. Needless to say, I’m quite excited for those as I love the formula.

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush|Review here
Like Bare It All last month, this was an off shade I wasn’t sure about as well as an apparent dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy. This is a pale nude shade which pulls ever so slightly peachy on me. It’s a little light to my liking but just enough for most people’s everyday nude and just shy of washing me out. Again, I like to layer this with a darker liner to adjust the colour, but otherwise, this is a comfortable everyday option.
Colour Ultra Matte Lip in Speed Dial
I’m not sure the peachy nude tone in this lipstick suits me sometimes but at one point I was wearing this daily, so I was hoping I would fall in love with this lipstick again. For me, the formula isn’t an issue as I love the Ultra Matte Lips and can withstand them although many have found them to be drying.
This month I just haven’t been reaching for it, so it was going to go in the Potential Destash box. However I discovered that it looks great on top of a dark berry lip liner like Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses in Black Tulip, resulting in an interesting shade that I’ll be happy to wear another time. Speed Dial is safe… for now.

With Flash
Revlon Balm Stain in Crush
This hits the spot between being bright, yet a wintery berry, yet not being too bold for everyday wear. It’s pretty much the perfect purple. It’s not completely opaque, and I did experiment it with lip liners but this balm stain is a bit too stiff for layering and ends up moving the liner pigment around. This alone is for gloss and springtime. It lasts really well, and yes, it stains.
Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge 06 Rose Nu (mini)
I had this in last month’s rotation, too. It’s here again because I am very eager to finish it up in the first third of the year. I have no qualms about wearing it a lot, in fact I probably wore it for at least a third of January. When I am stuck for a casual colour, I reach for this.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Beau Brun| Review here
This is yet another colour that I use a lot and have a duplicate of, and I’m sure you all know how much I love this, seeing as the review is one of my most viewed. I have had my first bottle for a while now but it doesn’t show signs of running out so I am hoping to use this bottle up this year.

This month’s picks are a better spread of nudes and bright colours compared to last month. I have definitely been naturally reaching for more neutral tones recently
and wanted to enjoy more of my brighter options. Next month there are three lined up so I think the plan is to gradually bring back brights for the summer!

Until next time,


[Makeup and Chatter] Lunch at The Botanist

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this unintentional ‘Makeup and Chatter’ series. I get to talk about a good day with nice memories at a place I haven’t been to before, as well as share a makeup look. Oftentimes posts with only the former don’t do so well but I really do enjoy writing those so I’m glad I’m finding a way to keep them going. Also, I can’t keep these photos languishing in my computer folders forever.

The Botanist is a bar and restaurant which, in Birmingham, is tucked away on Temple Street, off New Street, just around the corner from Tesco Metro and a bit further up than Ryman’s. I didn’t even realise that it was a place you could eat – it’s one of those places easily overlooked, I think.

The bar has a glass ceiling part (I’m sure there’s another word for it…) which lights up that area quite well for photos, including this gorgeous coloured centrepiece I took a few snaps of, but otherwise, the restaurant is ambiently lit and very cosy. We went in just as it opened and it was still pretty busy for the lunch period as far as I could tell. As orders were taken and the restaurant leapt into action the smell coming out of the kitchen was divine. I stopped regretting skipping breakfast (by accident) right away.

I ordered the Berry Good Times Mocktail and the Butternut Squash, Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Pie. It was a really nice comfort meal and I totally stuffed myself. The hanging kebabs looked fascinating, though. Maybe next time! I can never make it through a two course meal unless the portions are really small or I am especially starved… Is it just me? Otherwise I would have totally gone for dessert.

I finally gave my friend her Christmas present, a handmade hat like this one but in a different colour scheme, dark green and grey. I might do another post on it. On the other hand, she gave me a few packets of instant miso soup which taste really good and can’t really be found here. We spoke about a lot of things over lunch, like makeup (okay, that part of the conversation was mostly me) and boys (also me, but not normally my conversation topic of choice) and general facts about each other.

The thing about making new friends now is that there’s a breadth of past and potential to talk about as we get to know one another. She’s already finished her year of study here and moves back home soon and I will miss her to bits, as she was actually one of the first few friends I made at university, too.

Her birthday was yesterday and I hadn’t figured out what lipstick to buy for her (I am living my lipstick-buying life vicariously) so we popped around Selfridges, got sucked in by the lady at the YSL counter for several minutes, and ended up popping around MAC and picking a satin nude shade. We also popped by a NYX stand and I spotted a Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm on sale for £4 (it’s on my wishlist for after I finish a certain other product) and I had to tear myself away from the counter, ASAP. In hindsight, that was pretty funny.

I had a lecture in the morning so I couldn’t go completely overboard with the makeup. I did end up a little late anyway (this isn’t usual of me! Don’t worry! I’m normally twenty minutes early!!) but this was because I made the over-excited last minute decision to add false lashes. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

I practised last night and it went okay, but that meant nothing this morning. It took me two attempts and then, not being used to using eyeliner with false lashes, the lashes got in the way and my eyeliner wasn’t so great. But I let that pass. Some makeup mistakes nobody else will really notice and this was one of them. The other was that my falsies were uneven.

The weather decided to turn bad just as I began to take photos but I persisted!
It got so dark in the space of two minutes, I was shook.

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer
Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette
Shades Ludwin, Succubus, and Saleos
CLIO Kill Black Brush Pen Liner
Shu Uemura Standard Eyelash Curler
(These are only on trial at the moment but so far, I love them.)
Eyelure Naturalites False Eyelashes
(I can feel them on my eyelids but they’re not uncomfortable, although I put that down to my inexperience. I’m sure these are an old pair, the packaging is different but this box has been lying around unopened for years, I tell you)
Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer in Light
Innisfree No Sebum Powder
(Note to self – base was already breaking down by the three-hour mark.)

Lancome 06 Rose Nu
(I am always surprised by how well this lasts and it almost never bleeds… at least in a bad way…)

I never really use eyebrow products these days… I’ve been wanting to try out some eyebrow mascara type products like Boy Brow and so on but my fringe covers my brows, and my brows themselves are thankfully nice if not needing a bit of tidying from time to time.

But anyway, that’s what I got up to today. My exams are over and I’m back in the full swing of uni and part-time work. I hope you’re all doing good!

Until next time,



Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Hi everyone!

In order to help me along with my goal of not buying any lipsticks this year, I, of course, have to shop my own stash a little. I wanted to wear more of the lipsticks down below and for some of them, also figure out if I like them enough against my other offerings before I decide to de-stash them. It’s also a fast chance to review ones I’ve never mentioned here before…

Without further ado, these are the lipsticks in rotation this month!

NARS Velvet Satin Lip Pencil – Rikugien (Mini)

This is sheer nude pink shimmer. I do like it, and it’s very pretty, but since I normally want noticeable colour, I just don’t reach for it a lot. I have a feeling this might be one of the first lipsticks to go but it might be worth experimenting with lip liners underneath. Maybe.

Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick – Bare It All

I actually quite like this for its rather long wear and cheap price (£2.99 on Amazon as an add-on item!). I bought this particular shade because it’s an apparent dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy and I wasn’t sure how that would suit me. The plastic packaging also quickly got shattered after that holiday to Vietnam in my travel bag. I didn’t even wear it there much after discovering how much they love reds over there!

I wouldn’t repurchase this colour as I think it’s just a smidgen too light for my personal taste (although it doesn’t wash me out), but I’d consider similar darker shade like In The Flesh another time. Or maybe I should look for similar shades in less breakable packaging… Or maybe I just shouldn’t travel with it!

My favourite way to wear this shade is actually with a layer of NYX’s Butter Gloss in Praline on top for a lovely glossy nude lip, which is why it has joined my rotation. It’s also great on top of a muted red liner like Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses in Spice or Kiko Smart lipliner 103.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate – 08

I like this but haven’t been reaching for it much recently. It’s a mauve nude with a satin finish. I don’t think I’ll repurchase it once it’s used up, though. Sometimes I also like to layer it with Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Spice which is clearly my go-to to warm up a lip colour.

Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin – 04 Rosewood (mini, discontinued)

I LOVE this but haven’t been reaching for it much, probably as it’s so precious. It’s a brown with a hint of pink, and it’s not too sheer on me (unlike Rikugien) and can also be built up, making it a fabulous nude MLBB shade. In true Burberry fashion, even their casing and bullet are plaid patterned. I think this particular line of satin shades was discontinued, but from what I’ve seen of the Lip Velvet bullets, they still seem vaguely similar (they also have a Rosewood shade!) So I might check them out in future.

Lancome L’absolu Rouge 06 Rose Nu (mini)

I got this as a mini from my mom. In fact, I think this is the oldest lipstick of the lot and it shows as it has the biggest dent out of my stash. I am hoping to finally finish it up this month or next… This is a classy, rosy pink that isn’t super opaque but can be built up well. It has a satin finish and is so comfortable to wear. I’ve had no problem reaching for this daily, and I’m not a girl who wears the same lipstick two days in a row! In fact, if it weren’t for the rapid expansion of my lipstick stash it would probably have been finished all those years ago…

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick – Brown Sugar

This is a cool brown shade and is true to its name in that it’s super creamy. This actually hasn’t had more than a couple of wears since its review last year, so it simply needs a bit more love. I particularly wanted to try it out with different coloured lip liners, and I really like it over MaxFactor’s lipliner in Red Rush for that extra red tone. It’s quite opaque so I couldn’t apply too much and lose that tone, though.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Wild Nothing (limited edition)

This is a medium mauve toned lipstick that I find best described as a lighter version of the infamous Tulle shade from the original line of Ultra Matte lipsticks. It’s not the most flattering on me, though. This is another one that I want to experiment mixing with a coloured lipliner but Colourpop’s colours are so opaque I wonder if it would work. Maybe a lip topper? I’m not sure if this is still available on their site as it was from their Christmas collection in 2015.

I realised as I took swatch photos that all of these picks are neutrals in one way or another! Although Rose Nu is stretching it a bit towards the pink side, it’s still a great choice that suits anything. I think it just goes to show what a wide range of shades neutrals can encompass. On top of that, only two of these shades have separate reviews because beyond what I’ve said here, as I’ve not had much to say about these shades!

Fingers crossed I make a dent in these or finally decide which ones have to go…

Until next time,


Brief Review: Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks

Hi everyone! My exams are hot on my heels and I feel as if the blog has been feeling a little stale recently, so despite all this stress on the horizon I have decided to take an hour or two just to finally put out some posts that just needed a finished write up and get into this properly and enjoy it.

Today I have a review of the Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks. As far as I know, these launched in the US first with an extensive range, then they launched here in the UK with a far more limited range. They’ve extended the UK Creamy Matte line two times if I have been paying attention properly.

These lipsticks were launched in response to the matte trend – instead of being extreme mattes, these are designed to fall under the comfortable matte category. I am still waiting for Maybelline to launch the shade Touch of Spice in the UK because it looks absolutely divine in the swatches I have seen, but for now I will settle for what I have got and am simply excited to finally try out some of the range.

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks cost £6.99 each. I picked these up as part of Superdrug’s 3 for 2 deal whilst Mom was repurchasing her favourite blush.

The lipsticks are housed in Maybelline’s classic squarish tubes. Not the most classy, but they do the job. They have a matte casing to match their category and the shade names are in stickers at the base. If you store you lipsticks upright, you might want to store them upside down to show the shade names. If you store them sideways or in a bag, you might find them a little bulky.
I must say I do wish they weren’t so bulky because they don’t fit into my lipstick stand and it makes me sad. Most of my collection consists of liquid lipsticks and pencil types so they fit fine. Rimmel’s Lasting Finish lipsticks and the deluxe minis I have also fit well – even Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, despite also being square and bulky, only just manage to fit without a problem. I knew it was too good to be true that I actually had space on the stand…

Clay Crush is from the first extension to the UK range and Brown Sugar is from the second – not that anyone cares about that, right? They’re both nude browns. If you had told me last year I would be wearing lots of nudes I’d have scoffed but here we are.

Clay Crush is a night nude colour in the MAC Velvet Teddy family if you get my drift. Not too peachy or too pink or brown, but just a touch too light for my personal liking (I prefer colours that are noticeable!!).

Brown Sugar is a cool brown tone that can be applied lightly for an effortlessly cool vibe or applied heavily for a more striking outfit.

As you might have noticed, I’ve completely forgotten about arm swatches and colour comparisons but I’ll be sure to update this post sometime after exams with those!

True to their name they are creamy and lovely to wear. They do sink a little into my lip lines but it’s not obvious, and they are more forgiving on flaky areas.

Overall, I really like these lipsticks for everyday wear but I’m not sure I’d buy from this range again – unless they release Touch of Spice.

Have you tried the Creamy Matte range before?

Until next time,


Lipstick Clearing!

Now that it’s the new year, I have been meaning to destash a few of my lip and eye products. I now own over forty and whilst I’d love to grow the collection a bit more, the fact is that I actually wear lipstick a lot less (now I’m at home revising this year instead of going to school every day).

Here is the result of my lipstick purge – just under a quarter of the lipsticks (not counting lip liners) I own.
(I’m less worried about the lip liners as they take up less space.)

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Colorstick in Bright Berry
Reason: It’s hella old.
This is an old favourite of mine, and it’s a lovely light pink-leaning berry, with a bit of a glossy and frosty sheen to it. It’s nicely semi-pigmented but now I tend to lean more towards full pigmentation so this hasn’t been touched in a while, especially now that the collection has grown. The texture seems to have changed and become less smooth over the years, which might help explain why.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart
Reason: It’s hella old.
Another old favourite, this also has not been touched in a while. It’s super bright so I don’t wear it by itself, and although it also does well with a brown lip liner to adjust the colour I just don’t. Maybe because I’m lazy. Maybe because I know in my heart of sweethearts it’s time for this one to go.

Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Honey
Reason: It’s hella old.
This is another fave I just have not been wearing. You could be forgiven for thinking I could keep this, and the previous two on the list, just a bit longer, but they’re all about five years old (!!!). This is another one that has changed in texture without me noticing.

MeNow Liquid Lip Glosses in 02, 03, and 26
Reason: I don’t really like these.
These were crazy cheap from Ebay at less than £1, but they’re also crazy tacky if you don’t powder a little on the lip, and powder also adjusts the shades. They last a long time, being waterproof, they’re not going to come off with water and will not budge or smudge at all. 02 and 03 are very mauve, almost pink shades (that aren’t to my taste). 26 is actually the colour I wore to my prom, and besides that, I probably won’t touch it again. I wouldn’t say that’s a big loss, like, I’m frugal… But not so much I’d keep these. I am keeping 36, however, because I love that shade, don’t have one like it, and intend to find a replica in a form I like.

Turns out, it’s really hard to keep a DSLR steady with just one hand while trying to take a focused picture of the other arm.

MUA Metallic Liquid Lipstick
Reason: Don’t really like it.
I was hoping this one would dry down. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the tube as a cool purple with shimmery metallic flecks, but upon application it’s more of a frosty lipgloss. It’s not even that pigmented. The frostiness outdoes the pigment. Whatever pigment there is, it’s patchy. Even if it was only £1, it was a disappointing spend. It would probably look better on top of a lip liner, but for some reason I don’t really want to bother.

Collection Work The Colour Lip Butter in Perfect Plum
Reason: I don’t reach for it anymore.
This is also beginning to look a bit gross. I’ve actually made good progress on the bullet because it’s so soft, but that’s also probably the reason it’s so gross. When I wind it down after using it, I find that the bullet has moved to one side and then it makes a mess. A shame because otherwise, I would have continued to use it more – I like the pigmentation and using it as a less drying option in my stash. I am also debating chucking out the matt version I have in an orangey red, but that one isn’t as soft and hasn’t been used up as much, so I will probably keep it a bit longer and see if it gets used a bit more, and if not, it’s also going out.

Lancome Lip Lover in 316
Reason: Baby pinks are no-no.
I actually like this gloss, it’s not too tacky. But the pigment seems to stick in dry lip flakes which is not what I want when it comes to a gloss, and I can’t just seem to get along with the colour itself, which leans too close to a bright baby pink for my liking.

No7 High Shine Lip Crayon
Reason: I still had this? Like, I thought I’d already thrown it out. Oh well, it’s going now.
Like the Neutrogena crayon, this is a shimmery shiny sheer wash of pink, which just goes against my current bias towards the matte and the pigmented. That said, this was also the Christmas gift that solidified my then-current love of lip crayons at the time, and that time has sadly passed. Mostly. (*Looks at Nars pencils which set the bar too high.*)

Maybelline ColourSensational Lipstick in Sultry Sand
Reason: Why did I even keep it this long?
A few years ago, I attempted a cosplay for Comic Con and I used this to achieve a pale, ghostly look. It enhanced anything horrible about my lips. In a darker colour I may have gotten away with it, but on a normal day this shade just washes me out completely.

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in Cheeky Coral
Reason: This is the lipstick that made me realise I do not suit corals.
Also, this lipstick swatches fantastically on my arm, but on my lips the pigment never turns out that great. I bought this on sale last year, tried it twice, and then learned my lesson. Occasionally I would try it on again, and decide against it. It had all year to grow on me and didn’t. So out it goes.

I have really short arms. I’m just really short, period. Sigh.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I am hoping to destash some eye products as well now that I have made the move from crayons and pencils to palettes, and done a lot of experimenting to find out what works for me.

Have you been decluttering?

Until next time,