Thursday, 14 November 2013

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Monday, 11 November 2013

My Favourite Topcoat...Isn't Actually a Topcoat...

Honestly, I've never been much of a "nail" person, mostly because if I ever paint my nails it is guaranteed to have chipped within a few hours of wear. This annoys the perfectionist in me to no end and I either end up taking all the nail varnish and re-painting (which will invariably chip in another few hours) or painting layer upon layer over the chipped polish. I have tried a few different (mostly budget) topcoats, including the famed Seche Vite (which I hated by the way) but for the past few weeks I've been using something new to make my polish last. It all happened as a happy accident of my sloth. I had brought some polish from my bathroom to my bedroom so I could paint my nails in bed while watching The Office on Netflix. I did my base coat and two coats of polish when I realised I had forgotten to bring in my top coat. I don't let much things get in between me and Jim Halpert and a top coat is definitely not one of them, so I used my base coat as a top coat.
How could you refuse that face??!


Later on that day (and the next), much to my surprise there wasn't a sliver of my natural nail in sight! My nail polish had lasted without chipping. I have used my base coat as a top coat on a number of different polishes with the same result. The base/top coat I use is Essence Base Coat which is under €3.00 (I don't remember the price but it's much more pocket friendly than Seche Vite's €15! I don't know if it is the specific Essence Base Coat or if it applies to all Base Coats but with Essence offering the cheapest bottle I don't care to find out (if it's not broke and all that!)




So any other tips to help make nail polish last or any ideas why the base coat works so well as a top coat anyone?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Benefit Countdown to Love Calender...is it worth it?

Benefit in my opinion has always been way overpriced. Some of their products are good (I love my Coralista blusher!) but I have always felt that they spend far too much money on packaging thus increasing the price of their products. For example if you have a simple product that costs €12 to make - fair enough you want a profit, let's say 50% which would bring it up to €18 for the consumer. Obviously you need some packaging which at an estimation will be about €2 thus bringing the cost up to €20. Now you could charge the customer €20 for the product in plain packaging OR you could spend lots of extra money paying people to come up with fancy names and tag lines as well as designing super cute packaging for the product this raising the price substantially. I always think of Benefit as being drugstore quality products hiding in the trappings of high end brands, hoping no one will notice as they sit side by side with Estee Lauder or YSL... Now if you are happy to pay extortionate amount for cute packaging then more power too you, it may make you feel good about the product you are using or make you feel more confident - that's fine! For me I don't care what the product looks like as it sits in my drawer at home, I care how it looks on my face when I'm out and how much money I have to spend when I am out! Therefore I do try to avoid benefit products even though I will concede that some of the products are great I cannot justify spending my money on packaging. I would much prefer and be much more likely to purchase  if benefit sold refils of their products (therefore sans packaging) at a lower price point. Benefit are also known for jacking the prices of their products up for Irish consumers compared to customers in the UK. Beaut.ie did a whole series of articles on this practice here (Benefit are not the only offenders mind!)
Benefit have recently launched their Countdown to Love Christmas Advent Calender which has 24 samples (although 3 of these are (allegedly cheap) jewellery which has caused a lot of complaints). The calender retails at €75 in the Republic of Ireland. As someone who is normally very skeptical of Benefit practices (the Rockateur issue anyone?!) I wanted to see if the advent calender from Benefit offered good value for money. Using all prices from Debenhams.ie (except for one from lookfantastic.com as the product was not listed on the debenhams site) I worked out the following:


Product
Full size price
Price per 1 ml/1g
Sample size
Price of sample
That Gal

31 (11ml)
2.81
7.5ml
21.08
The POREfessional

34 (22ml)
1.54
7.5ml
11.55
High Beam
27.5 (13ml)
2.12
2.5ml
5.3
Sun Beam
27.5 (13ml)
2.12
2.5ml
5.3
Benetint
34.5 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Chachatint
34.50 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Posietint
34.5 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Ultra Plush in Coralista
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Ultra Plush in Sugarbomb
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Ultra Plush in Dandelion
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Hoola

34 (8g)
4.25
3g
12.84
Dandelion
34 (7g)
4.86
3g
14.58
Coralista

34 (8g)
4.25
3g
12.84
Ultra Lip Gloss in A-Lister
(price form lookfantastic)
17.7 (15ml)
1.18
6.5ml
7.67
BADgal Lash
23 (8,5g)
2.7
4g
10.8
Stay Don't Stray in Light/Medium
28.50 (10ml)
2.85
2.5ml
7.13
BADgal Liner Waterproof in Black
21.50 (1.2g)
17.9
.5g
8.95
It's Potent Eye Cream
35.00 (14.2g)
2.46
3g
7.38
Total Moisture Facial Cream

40.5 (48.2g)
.84
8.9g
7.48
Ooh La Lift
24.5 (7g)
3.5
2.5ml
8.75
Girl Meets Pearl
35 (12ml)
2.91
7.5ml
21.83




211.48

Altogether this gives the advent calender a value of €211.48, which is pretty incredible when it retails for €75. Credit where credit is due this calender does seem to offer great value for money and a good way to let customers try their products. However I will say that the calender costs £50 in the UK so using current conversion rates it should cost €58.39 (not including tax @ 23% which would be €71.82 but technically we should subtract the amount of tax on cosmetics in Britain from the £50 first before adding on the Irish tax).

The calender does appear to offer good value for money so I actually would recommend it if you had €75 lying around and were interested in trying some Benefit products, however according to the lovely Aisling of TotalMakeupAddict only 18 calenders arrived in Ireland so it may be too late unless you can order them online from a UK site...

Do you think advent calenders like this are a good idea? Do you think they offer value for money and would you ever buy one for yourself?