perfume dupes

Perfume Dupes


I have to say, I love a good designer perfume dupe, especially when I come across one accidentally and it smells just like one of my favourite perfumes. Marks and Spencer, Avon, Zara and Next all do pretty good smell-a-likes.

Here are some common dupes and their designer equivalents!

Marks and Spencer

Iris – Issey Miyake L’eau de issey

Sensual – Coco Mademoiselle

Perfection – Chanel Chance and Coco Mademoiselle

Autograph New York – Chanel Allure

True Red – Hugo Boss Deep Red

Azure Breeze- D&G Light Blue  (I wear this myself and it does smell a lot like D&G)

Inspire – Lacoste Pour Femme (a favourite of mine)

Butterfly – Marc Jacob Daisy


Flowers – Marc Jacob Daisy

Define – Armani She

Diamonds – Miss Dior Cherie

Just Pink – Ralph Lauren Romance

Rock Couture – Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Signature – Coco Mademoiselle

Gold – YSL Cinema


Bella – Marc Jacob Lola

Madonna Truth or Dare – a cheaper dupe of Carnal Flower by Frederick Malle, Nicole Scherzingers favourite perfume costing £200!

Zara Women – Chanel Chance

Zara textures water lily – Miss Dior

Zara Rose  and Zara Chypre Floral- Her by Narciso Rodriguez

Lidl Suddenly – Chanel Coco Mademoiselle  

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Elemis Facials

I have only been for a couple of facial treatments in all my life. To be honest, I have found that although facials offer a relaxing experience, there are no significant lasting affects on my skin. For facials to make a true difference to your skins health and radiance, they need to be done at least once every fortnight or couple of weeks. The problem with this is that the majority of us can’t take the time out, and a decent facial starts at £50 and upwards. Also, I find when doing a DIY facial, you can leave the products on for a longer time and therefore they will probably work better.

As i’m a one-off facial kind of person, it works out better for me to do my own DIY facials using premium products.

My facial products of choice come from Elemis.  I love Elemis because they are a British brand and they put years into researching ingredients for their products. Elemis masks contain key ingredients that are naturally found and are proven to improve skin.

I have used all of the elemis masks in the past and my favourites are ones that I would buy over any other mask. The masks and exfoliator are around £25-£28 each, which may seem pricey, however worth getting even if you only have a couple of facials a year as the products will last more than 6 months with regular use.

My elemis facial regime

Start with Elemis Papaya Enzyme mask.  Made from, you guessed it, papaya enzyme, which is proven to melt away dead skin cells. This is a cream exfoliator, I would always use exfoliator before applying a mask, as this is one way for the mask to get deeper into the skin.  I would leave the exfoliator on for 30 minutes as this is a gentle exfoliator that doesn’t irritate my skin. This costs around £28 for 50ml.

The masks which are my favourites are;

Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising mask  (for dry skin, or skin that can use some added moisture, this one can be left on overnight and I would recommend doing so. Costs around £28 for 50ml)

Elemis Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask (for dullness, great for Indian skin that tends to loose its glow and can look dull, I would leave this on for 30 minutes, costs around £25 for 75ml)

I would pick one of the two.

I tend never to go by the time suggested on the instructions and always double the time to get a better affect.

I buy my Elemis products from this website which does good discounts and has regular offers and free samples.

Of course there are always cheaper products that also deliver good DIY facial results, my recommendations are:

St Ives apricot exfoliator – this is my favourite non-cream grainy exfoliator and it really does get rid of even the driest dead skin.

No 7 Heavenly Hydration Moisture Mask (£12.50 for 100ml), and Origins Drink Up Mask (around £20 for 50ml), or Sanctuary Moisture Mask (£2.50 for 15ml sachet that lasts around 4 uses). All of these can be compared to the Elemis Moisture Mask as they can all be left of overnight.

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Say goodbye to winter skin…..

Botanics Super Balm

Botanics Super Balm

Hey everyone, its me again.. I thought today I would do a post on a product I came across about a year ago and is a bit of a winter skinsaver. 

I love applying Vaseline last thing at night to my face, mainly as I do get dry patches. Now I know very well how unatural it is to do this.. someone once said that it is like putting petrol on my face!!, therefore I wanted something with the same consistency but more natural. I also wanted a product that sunk in quicker and wasn’t as greasy as Vaseline.

Enter.. Boots Botanics Super Balm.   

This product used to be sold as ‘organic’, but someone somewhere discovered that It wasn’t actually 100% natural and therefore it was re-packaged as 93% organic. For me, this is fine as it is quite unreasonable to expect a product that costs under £5 to be 100% organic considering how much it costs to source naturally derived ingredients.

Anyways, onto the review.  This product is raved about and scored very highly on Makeup Alley skincare reviews. I would say after trying it for a year that it’s one that I always have in my draw.  It gets rid of parched dry skin instantaneously and the results can be seen when used as a night cream. I would not use this in the day as it is greasy, so be warned.

It smells very ‘natural’ and contains the following ingredients: shea butter, argan oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil canina seed oil. check out the makeup alley review here:


It costs around £3.99 and is only available from Boots.  The last few times I have tried to buy this it has not been in stock, which shows its popularity!.  Other balms I have used are Elizabeth Ardens 8 hour cream and Balm Balm organic skin balm. I must say I prefer Botanics to both of these. However it is only an 11ml pot which is tiny, but lasts a while as you only need the tiniest amount. Its also great for carrying around 🙂

Boots Time Delay Wrinkle Prevention Day Cream


Hey everyone, my post today features my favourite day moisturiser, the one that I have been using since it was announced ‘best steal’ day moisturiser in the 21st Beauty Bible in 2006. 

Now I’m not overly loyal when it comes to products, and do believe in switching products, but here is one that Ive yet to deviate from.

Some of the numerous reasons it was voted best moisturiser is because it is full of antioxidants, some of which are only found in quite high end moisturisers. Boots claim that it ‘boosts skin radiance’ which I have found to be true. The best thing about this moisturiser is that it does keep skin exfoliated and radiant probably due to its ingredient retinyl, a form of vitamin A.

It is SPF 15, it was SPF 8 in its original formula, which in my view was a downside however they seemed to have increased the SPF over the years.  The cream itself is not too thick and not too runny. Its a good consistency and sinks in quite quickly on my skin. It has a nice fragrance which reminds me of sweets. Its a fruity/sweet kind of smell almost sherbet.

Despite the cream being an oldie, it is still written about which shows its continuing popularity. The Daily mail newspaper listed it under its article on best affordable skincare, it came in best for sun protection. The sun newspaper also gave it a mention in its article on the 5 ingredients that will change your skin forever.

Its usual price is around £11, and I tend to stock up on this when Boots have a 3 for 2 offer on or when its discounted. As I use the eye cream as well, it works out better to do this.

All in all it is very easy to continue using this moisturiser as it contains the main things required in any good anti-aging cream. A good level of SPF and antioxidants. Its also very affordable which makes repeat purchasing easy. Especially when you go through as many jars as I do!


My must have products!!


Ok, so this is not so much a review but more of a list of products that I swear by….

I seem to have accumulated and tried my different cosmetics over the years,  so I felt now was the right time to pick some of my favourites. These are the ones I would always go back to.

So here are my favs and the reason why I love them so much…..

Favourite Radiance booster/Primer: so far, it has to be Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. A best selling, award winning radiance booster from Clarins. Retails for around £24 in UK cosmetic counters, Boots and Superdrug.  I must also mention here that I have managed to find a pretty good dupe for the beauty flash balm, in the form of Boots Time Delay Radiance Booster.. which is around £6-£7.  (More on Boots Time Delay in later reviews).

I use this as a primer and prefer it to Smashbox Photofinish, Mac Strobe Cream and Estee Lauder Spotlight.  In my view it delivers more noticeable results and has a nicer texture. I find Smashbox products a bit on the greasy side.

The reason I love this product is because it really is a multi-tasking product. It makes a brilliant primer base for make up, it is quite moisturising and has good glow factor.  It has a salmon colour, but will look clear once it has been applied. This is a great plus point as far as I’m concerned, because the salmon colour works on the skin as a colour corrector. The colour counteracts any dullishness you may have going on, it seems to also counteract yellow tones and redness, which is especially more noticeable in pictures!. I would recommend wearing this one on days when you will be photographed!.


Best Foundation:  Bare Minerals I.D.  The range is now on the shelves at Debenhams and some Boots, and is widely available at online retailers. Anyone who has used this will know why it is a favourite. It has good coverage and feels very light on the skin. Almost feels like you have nothing on!.

The colours range is fair, medium, medium beige or dark.  You do not have to be very precise with the colour, picking the one you think is the closest match will work as they are all highly blendable. The finish is good and very long lasting.


Best mascara for under £10:  My favourite in this category is Maybelline Great Lash and Maybelline Colossal Volume Express. Reasons why? not clumpy, lasts all day, never found bits of mascara on cheek!, comes off fairly easily with cleanser, not runny despite not being waterproof.

Favourite blush: I have many great blushers and find that most on the market are quite good. However, one that I thought especially note worthy, mainly because of the price and quality is Lacura Powder Blush. There are only a couple of colours in the range, I use sunset which is a peach tone and will work will with most skin tones. (I have asian skin and it works well). It is around £2 from Aldi stores. 

Favourite liquid liner:  For me, a black liquid liner must be highly pigmented and not budge of out of place. This favourite does both: Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. It retails for around £8 in most boots/superdrug stores. I have tried many, and found most are not dark enough, leave gaps in the line, do not go on well or just come off too quickly.

Best concealer under £10:  Now, concealers are tricky business. Most people tend to stick with the same concealer once they find the ideal colour match.  Colour is definitely the number one deciding factor when it comes to concealers.  But we all know texture and staying power can be equally as important. My current favourite is Maybelline Super Stay 24hr Concealer. I wear it in shade medium beige (I am NC40 skin tone). This one is good for wheatish indian skin tones. It is a yellow base concealer, which does not budge until you wash it off.  I am on my 5th tube of this after using Mac, My Face (discontinued at Boots) and Physicians Formula Double Ended Concealer (not available in UK).

Favourite Nude Lipliner: I have not found better than Marks and Spencer Autograph Nude Pink Lipliner and Rimmel Eastend Snob. Favourite nudes generally?  I would have to say Revlon and Mac especially Mac in shade Velvet Teddy. (Revlon do many nude Mac dupes!!)

So there you have it, my current favourites. 

I have found that all makeup brands have a line of product which they make particularly well, such as:

Maybelline: love their mascaras, eye liners, concealer. Good staying power, no clumps.

Bourjois: Best textures and colours for neutral coloured make up. Especially eye liners if you like golden/olive/khaki/metal/grey colours as an alternative to black. Powders in the range do not look chalky, have an expensive looking sheen, good texture and highly pigmented. 

Revlon: I wear a lot of nudes as mentioned earlier and I find Revlon do good nude lipsticks.

Mac: good for products such as skinfinish.Good lipsticks.

Marks and Spencer Per Una do good eye shadows, as do Autograph. Very good neutral colour palettes, as well as deeper shades.

Asda’s own brand mascara V’s one that used from Loreal:  The Asda mascara came out on top as less clumpy! So it goes to show, cheaper products do not mean lower quality some of the time!.

Rimmel: Really good nude lip liners colours. I also think they do well in concealers although one of the best concealers is now discontinued!

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my HD BROW treatment..


HD Brows have been around for a while, for those of you new to HD brows, this is what the treatment consists of… HD brows in a multiple step process of brow shaping and defining that is done by threading, tinting, plucking and waxing, in order to create the most ideal shaped brows to compliment ones face.


I had my first treatment today at a local skin clinic.  I found my local HD brow specialist by firstly checking the HD BROWS website.

So before my appointment, I was required to do a skin patch test to ensure that I was not allergic to the dye that will be used.  This was an over the counter test for which an appointment was nor required.

On the actual day of the treatment,  I was a bit anxious about the dye being too dark and the possibility of walking out looking as if I had a Caterpillar sitting on my eyebrows… however as my treatment began I felt more at ease.  My therapist briefly talked me through the process and began by dying my brows.  The dye does actually tint the skin too, ensuring that any gaps in the eyebrows appear ‘filled’.

The dye was on for 10 minutes, and once removed my brows were waxed from above and below, with any stray hairs plucked. 

All in all, the waxing took the longest amount of time (around 20 minutes), and the application was very precise. 

At the end of the treatment, I was quite happy with the result, but do decide for yourself by checking out my before and after pics (the pics on the left are the HD brows, the one on the right is my ‘before’ pic..  I liked the fact that my brows looked darker, more defined  and arched.  My brows now framed my face better than they used to, and gave my overall eye area more definition.  Overall, I would recommend the treatment if you are concerned with the shape of your eye brows, and like me,  cant seem to change the shape on your own by growing, filling etc..

The HD Brow treatment cost £25, but this is not a standard price, and prices for HD brows do tend to vary, many salons who are just starting out in HD brows will also offer introductory offers.




My luv for Lacura


So, a few years ago, whilst shopping in my local aldi store I discovered a skincare brand called LACURA.  A bit about the brand – the products are made in Germany (and we all know when something is made in Germany, it usually means its a good standard). Lacura do make up and skincare and all are ridiculously cheap!.

So my first Larura product that I ever tried was the Q10 night cream. It comes in a 50ml glass jar. The glass jar is a bit of a negative as the product wll not stay fresh and is not as hygienic as some may like. There are a range of Q10 products, the one I have used comes in the dark blue jar and only costs £1.98!.



I have to say I was blown away by the results of this product, not least because I had not seen results like this even when using very expensive products, ( and I have used all from Elemis (still a favourite), decleor, olay regenerist, alpha H… you get my drift.

My main skincare concern is dark circles and dull skin, therefore the products I use must bring a glow, radiance and make my eye area more vibrant, and this product did all 3!!. My guess is that its the Q10 in the cream that makes it work 

The comments that I received through the day was confirmation for me that this product was a keeper and shall remain in my draw as long as it remains on the aldi shelf. I am a Lacura convert and sincerely hope that they continue with this product.

I have since got on to incorporating other products from the brand into my regime. Reviews the follow.