Category Archives:Tried Tuesday

primer-bottle
Sep. 15.

Tried Tuesday: Flormar Illuminating Primer Base

tt-primer-thPrimer is a love or leave product. Some love it. Some wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. I happen to be in the former camp here. I love a good primer, and for a long time my go to primer was the GOSH Velvet Touch primer. I ran out of it though, and have been looking at different ones for a while now. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post. Today’s post is my trying another primer. In this case the primer I am trying is Flormar’s Illuminating Primer Base.

primer-bottle

First things first. I am used to seeing compacts in tubes, in tubs, and occasionally in compacts. Not so in this case. In here we have a bottle. A bottle with a pump top. Curious. I am used to seeing primers as being quite a bit thicker, and not being able to be passed through a pump. This isn’t right… Or is it? Have I been using a thick primer by mistake all along?

primer-pump

Rooting through my makeup drawers led to three other primers being pulled out:

  • Makeup Revolution Ultra All Day Prime & Anti Shine Balm (middle left)
  • Benefit The Porefessional (middle right)
  • Wet n Wild Coverall Primer (far right)

primer-samples

Here we have four different primers, and all four are different. Two, the Makeup Revolution & Benefit are thick, gloopy, and quite siliconey in texture. The Wet n Wild & Flormar are lighter, and more liquid.

primer-spread

As you start to spread them out, you see exactly what I mean. The two exceptionally thick ones are very slow to move about. They are better off being used for particular spots that need help. The Wet n Wild is something in between. It is able to move around more. The Flormar one is something of a wonder. As you start moving it, it melts and flows across the skin really beautifully. A little goes a long way with it. A single pump will happily do your whole face. But, when you add a foundation on top of it, how does it do? I’ll show you how it does.

primer-skin

It made for a really beautiful application of foundation (this is Max Factor Skin Luminizer). It couldn’t be faulted in any way. I loved how it looks, and well, I think I am converted to a new way of looking at primers.

What is your favourite primer? Do you prefer thick, or thin primers? Please do let me know.

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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applepear
Sep. 01.

Tried Tuesday: Twinings Fruit Tea

tt-twining-thI’m typically a builders and milk kind of girl. In other words I have very simple tastes in tea. It also helps, as that is usually what you get when anyone asks you “Do you want tea? Ah go on go on go on!” Recently though, I saw good things about fruit teas (I’m not sure who, or where from, such is the way information flies past on my social media accounts) For that reason, while I was at Tesco over the weekend, I picked up two boxes of fruit tea from Twinings. Their Apple & Pear, and Cherry & Cinnamon.

applepear

The first one I went for was the Apple & Pear, as they are two of my favourite fruits. It is delightfully simple to prepare, as you put a bag into a mug, and add boiling water. Leave it to infuse, and you’re done. My first impressions of it were not great. Being so used to regular tea meant it was a little difficult to adjust to something different. That said though, by the end of the mug I was enjoying it. Really liking it. It was something I could get used to, and I already have.

cherrycinnamon

The second one is the Cherry & Cinnamon. Having already become used to fruit tea from the Apple & Pear, it was immediately possible to get stuck in to this. It is a lot more warming than the first, thanks to the cinnamon, and I am really enjoying drinking it in evenings, while the Apple & Pear is better during the day. Both are delightfully fruity, and exceptionally easy to drink.

A couple of things I have learned though, and deserve to be mentioned. While the infusing time is listed as 2-3 minutes, they really benefit from longer, up to 5 minutes to really build up the flavour (I really dislike things that purport to be a particular flavour, which you then can’t taste). Also, the longer infusing time allows it to cool off just enough to allow you to get the flavour, and not the “Ouch, I just boiled my tongue” sensation. Finally, if you were drinking a lot of normal tea, and then go to something like this, which is caffeine free, you may want to not cut caffeine fully. I actually got a really bad headache, which was cured by regular tea. Wean yourself down first.

At €2.25 ish for 20, they are not the cheapest teas ever, but they are on offer at the moment (2 for €3.50 in Tesco). So, what kind of tea drinker are you. Are there any flavours you would recommend. Please talk to me in the comments.

Robyn

 

*Image credit: www.twinings.co.uk

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mascara-name
Aug. 25.

Tried Tuesday: Wet n Wild Max Volume Plus Mascara

mascara-thI’ve talked about Wet n Wild mascaras before on Robyn Rants and Raves, and they haven’t necessarily been top of my list. I remember one I tried started off very wet, before eventually becoming usable. I’m always willing to try out another product though, so today for Tried Tuesday, I have their Wet n Wild Max Volume Plus mascara.

mascara-tube

This bills itself, as the name suggests, as a volumising mascara, but there is something more to it. It took me a while to figure out what exactly that was, but then I paid more attention to the brush…

Here is the brush in all its spindly rubbery bristleyness (I did just make that word up, but it may yet catch on), and I realised it. It is quite reminiscent of the brush from my beloved They’re Real, minus the end bristles. Okay, it is a bit more sculpted than the Benefit brush, but as I love what They’re Real does for my eyes, I was interested to see what this does for me. There is of course only one way around that, and that is to wear it.

For these product photos there is nothing else on my eyes. I wanted all the focus to be on the lashes. To start with, here is a bare eye.

mascara-eyenone

It’s plain, dull, uninteresting. Now, lets get some mascara on there. One coat first.

mascara-eyeone

Hmmm… We may be getting somewhere. After one coat there is already so much going on. My lashes appear fuller, blacker, lengthened and curled. So far so good. One more coat should do it.

mascara-eyetwo

And with the second coat, there is no huge clumping that you can get with some mascaras, there is yet more volume, and the length and curl are still there, not dragged down by the weight of product.

This is a great result from Max Volume Plus. I’ve worn it for a full day on a couple of occasions, and it performs admirably. It doesn’t flake and scatter over your face, and it doesn’t transfer, unless you are really rubbing at it.

For a reasonably cheap mascara (Max Volume Plus is €5.49, above some others in the cheap ranges, but still a fantastic price) it punches far above its weight. I do see myself happily reaching for it time and time again that I want a nice everyday mascara, and I thoroughly believe you should too.

If you haven’t yet found your nearest Wet n Wild stand, you can find your nearest stockist here, but if you have, what do you think of their mascaras. Am I missing anything? Let me know in a comment.

Robyn

 

* Product was provided for review

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matte me swatch
Jun. 02.

Tried Tuesday: Sleek MakeUP Matte Me Lipstick – Rioja Red

tt-sleek-thYou may have heard of Sleek MakeUP. For such a long time it has been a brand often heard of, but not often seen. That was a pity, as their products have always been great quality at a great price. Here on Robyn Rants and Raves, we are fans of the well known i-Divine Palettes, and the overly tinted, super powerful Pout Polishes. Well today I have another product to try out. It is one of their Matte Me Lipsticks, and is in the shade Rioja Red.

matte me tube

Rioja Red is one of six in the range, and has the usual suspects of nudes, pinks and a very interesting looking purple in addition to this red. The tube, in line with most Sleek products is very understated. The only way you know who makes it, aside from picking it up from a Sleek stand is to look closely at the contrasting black on black of the lid. I am a big fan of products that aren’t overly showy, especially if they are able to back it up with something to make you go wow. Does this do so, or does it fall flat?

matte me wand

As you can see from the wand, the product is amazingly pigmented, and well, a little shiny. It also looks smooth and silky, which is a good sign. Mattes tend to be very dry, and some can look dry even directly from the tube. This doesn’t. It invites use. The flat sided wand makes it a doddle to apply, and carries a lot of product. I somehow don’t think you will need to go applying multiple coats of this.

matte me swatch

Here is a simple swatch of colour on the back of my hand, so it has been spread a bit, and you can clearly see just how vibrant the colour is. While some products can look highly pigmented until you spread it out, this one delivers in a very impressive way. It also looks shiny here, but that is my fault. I took the photo of this swatch too soon after applying it to my hand, which didn’t allow it any drying time. But, to make up for it, let me show you the finished look.

matte me lips

Now in all of its matte gloriousness! This is it after it has set, and with a couple of stray marks from where I tried to tidy up a little (pro tip: clean it up before it has a chance to dry!). If you are thinking it looks a little orange, you are right. It is an orange toned red. I wouldn’t let that put you off though. While it is not my perfect red, I would wear this! You do need to give it a little respect, as it is a matte, and mattes are drying, but this is not overly so. If you take good care of your lips (and you should) you will not have much of an issue with this.

These are available online and through selected pharmacies (but to make life easier an interactive stockist finder is here) for a pocket friendly price of just €6.49! Now, bring me Fandango Purple, next on my list!

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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lashes-tube
Apr. 21.

Tried Tuesday: Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara

tt-lashes-thThe search for a holy-grail mascara is never ending. I find different ones do best for different tasks, and my choice is influenced by how I want my lashes to look on any particular day. So, today I am looking at a mascara that offers three things – volume, length & darkness. It comes from Max Factor, and is their recently launched Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara.

Instant Impact Wand

Instant Impact Wand

The wand included here is what Max Factor call their “instant Impact Wand” saying that it is counter intuitive to think that a bigger wand means more volume, and that a smaller, more slender wand allows for greater precision in use. It certainly lives up to its slender billing, as you can see. There is really very little to it. It’s in no way dense, and has quite few rubber bristles.

The formula the wand delivers contains many fantastical, wonderful bits and pieces to deliver on all the promises it makes, including “volumising prills” which form spherical wax particles, that act as spacers between lashes to make them appear fuller, and in tandem, each tube contains over 30,000 (I pity the person who has to count all these) carbon black fibres in each tube, which blend into the formula providing the lash extension effect and the intense darkness. Now that we have the marketing blurb telling us what it does (if it makes sense to anyone), let us see if it actually does it.

1 coat

1 coat

lashes-2coats

2 coats

It does! Well, mostly it does. I don’t think these are the most voluminous my lashes ever were, but it works out quite well, especially for daytime wear. For night, I think I would want it to offer some more volume, but it does deliver the length and darkness. For a day to day look, I love it. For a night time mascara, I guess the search continues.

Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara is €13.99 and is available now.

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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loreal-ft
Apr. 07.

Tried Tuesday: L’oreal Color Riche Blake’s Red

tt-loreal-thEvery woman should have a go to red lipstick. It’s that simple. It looks classic and elegant, and you don’t really need much else to go with it. So, after their Color Riche Collection Priveé nudes collection, each named after a celebrity and to flatter a particular skintone, they gave the same treatment to reds, this time called Collection Exclusive. So, I picked one up, and today I am sharing Blake’s Red with you.

loreal-tube

There are four in the Collection Exclusive range, two for warm tones, and two for cool tones, and are inspired by Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore & Liya Kebede. All ate described as matte but hydrating. I’m a cool toned person, but I am not one to stick to the rules, so I went for the one that called to me the most, and that was Blake’s Red.

loreal-colour

Blake’ Red is described as a pure ruby red that is designed to suit warm skintones, with a matte finish and hydrating texture. Looking at it in the tube you can see why it was drawing me to it. It is such an intense colour, that acts effectively as a siren song, dragging beauty lovers to it. I saw it, and couldn’t wait for it to be mine! And so it came to be mine, so I can show you how it looks on the lips.

loreal-lipsHere I have it on over a Revlon red lipliner, and I am very impressed with it. It is super super pigmented, applies beautifully with a brush and lasts! The claims about hydrating texture are a bit off though. It is a matte. It will dry your lips somewhat, and you should make sure your lips are in good shape first. I do love it though.

I’m now tempted to hunt down Liya’s red though. It is the cool toned sister of this, and I would be interested to put them to the test to see just how it compares. Coupled with the fact that as a beauty blogger, I can never have enough red llipsticks!

Robyn

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sleek-product
Mar. 24.

Tried Tuesday: Sleek Pout Polish

tt-sleek-thI seem to be gathering a collection of lip balms (not that I am complaining, they’re handy to have). Most are clear. Some are scented various ways, but the one I am looking at today is tinted. A tinted lip conditioner it calls itself, but that’s just the same as tinted lip balm. It comes from Sleek MakeUP, and is their Pout Polish, in the shade Pink Cadillac.

Now, normally, when I think of a tinted lip balm, I think of something that may be vaguely a particular colour in the pot or tube, but which makes no difference to your lips when you apply it. And that’s a pity, because one that is actually TINTED could get a lot of love. Hopefully this pout polish lives up to expectations.

sleek-container

The first thing you see is that it is a pot. I am not really a fan of pots, but I can live with it. It’s understated, tells you exactly what it is, and that’s it. It’s also surprisingly large, with a hefty 10g of product, for just €5.50. I like that. Bang for your (euro)buck is always good, if the product inside is good too.

sleek-product

And here is the shiny goo that awaits. I say goo in that it is soft, but don’t worry, you’re not going to jab your finger right through it, unless you’re really trying to. It’s also pink. Not just pink, but screaming bright “you’re never going to have to guess what colour I am” PINK. Yes, it is safe to say this is tinted. Very tinted.

sleek-lips

This Pout Polish is so tinted that you can certainly see it on your lips, while it has another plus to it. It is sheer enough, that you can apply it with your finger without worrying too much about the tint being visible around your lips too. It is cushioning, and soft, and makes my lips feel wonderful while wearing it.

In the couple of times I’ve worn this, I’ve become quite a fan. It is becoming one of the three things I reach for when I want a put together face without having to really put together a face, along with mascara and BB cream. It requires no effort to apply and instantly makes your lips look happier. I may be adding a couple more of the 13 available shades to my collection soon.

What do you think of tinted lip balms? Are there any shades of Pout Polish you recommend? Let me know in a comment!

Robyn

*product was provided for review

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saphir-all
Mar. 17.

Tried Tuesday: Fragrance by Saphir Perfume

tt-saphir-thI do love a good sniff around perfumes. There are so many different combinations that can be created, and they can evoke so many different feelings and emotions. One thing that always gets to me though is the price. You see a lovely looking bottle of something that smells good, only to then see the price tag. It becomes a case of putting the bottle down carefully and backing away. It doesn’t have to be like that though. What if you could have the designer scent, without the designer price tag that goes with it? That’s where Spanish company Saphir Perfume comes in.

saphir-all

New to Ireland, Saphir have been recreating designer perfumes in Spain for over 50 years. Using almost the exact ingredients of the designer perfumes, they pare back the bells and whistles, and therefore you save. The range is quite extensive too, with 48 scents for ladies, and a further 28 for gents. I was lucky enough to be sent four, three perfumes and an aftershave to try out, and my nose has been working overtime since then.

Ladies:

saphir-ladies

The 48 ladies scents cover a huge range of designers and fragrances, including Chanel, Armani, DKNY, Dior & Calvin Klein (to name a few). You are sure to find something lovely to wear out of the range, if you take the time to work through them all. The three perfumes I have are:

  • Black Femme, based on Armani Code
  • Rich Woman, based on Lady Million by Paco Rabanne
  • Vida de Saphir, based on La Vie Est Belle by Lancome

As you can see, all three have something in common – the bottle. The bottles are all the same. Same shape, size, design, lid and so on. There are no huge stocks of different bottles to buy in. It’s all the same, and it reduces the price. It helps too, that I actually like the design of the bottles. They are small, decorative without being overly so, and ideal for putting into a handbag. I’m not entirely convinced by the design of the lid, which looks a little tacky to me, but it fits well with the design.

The important thing though, as always with perfume, is what is inside the bottle. If it isn’t right, the rest is irrelevant. So, let’s get sniffing.

Black Femme:

saphir-blackfemme

Based on Armani Code, I am impressed with the depth of this perfume. It is rich, mysterious, and I think is a good choice for a night out. Being based on orange blossom, ginger and honey-sandalwood, I love the pleasant sweetness, mixed with the deeper spicy notes.

Rich Woman:

saphir-richwoman

Based on Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million, I am not at all sure about this one. The notes I am reading online say that this is a blend of citrus, floral, and deepening with amber. I love citrus fragrances for day time, but, I find this to be sweet. A little too sweet. Nearly tropical. I likened it more to pineapple, which starts off with a burst of freshness, but sweetens very quickly. I haven’t actually worn this one yet, only done the cotton ball test on it, so I will reserve judgement for now. It does show the personal connection to perfumes though. What I don’t like could be someone’s favourite.

Vida de Saphir:

saphir-vida

Based on La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, this could quickly become a challenger for the spot of my go to daytime perfume. The notes describe this as being sweet and fruity, with top notes of blackcurrant and pear, surrounding a heart that if floral and anchored by iris. The base is nutty and spicy, with tonka bean, praline and vanilla. This is the only one I have worn, and while the notes describe it as sweet, I adore how the floral heart tempers the sweet fruit notes. It evokes a summer stroll through a park for me. It will compete with my current favourite, Boss Orange, depending on whether I want something really fresh, or a bit more rounded. I am, though, really impressed with this.

Gents:

saphir-armoniablack

The 28 scents included in the gents collection also are based on top designers, and likewise are offered at a great price. The one I have from the gents collection is called Armonia Black, and is based on Armani Code for Men.

Described as having a citrus top note of lemon and bergamot, with spicy star anise, olive blossom and guaiac wood inn the middle, and base notes of tonka bean, tobacco and leather, my sniffing of this one led me to one conclusion. This is a really deep and seductive fragrance. It hits with a quick burst of freshness, before grabbing you and dragging you down into its depths. Really nicely done. I also gave my brother a chance to smell this one. He said it was lovely, but couldn’t explain why!

There is most definitely something for everyone from Saphir Perfume. If you are not sure what you like and want to try out a number of perfumes, or just want a great value perfume for day to day, you will not be able to go far wrong. I’ve held off on what constitutes great value for most of this post. Now though, I will tell you that for a 25/30 ml bottle, you are looking at spending €7.99. That’s all!

If this has piqued your interest, and you want to have a sniff for yourself, you can buy online at saphirperfume.com or find a list of stockists here.

Robyn

Product was provided for review

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(top - bottom) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Penliner
Mar. 10.

Tried Tuesday: Paese Liquid Eyeliners

tt-paese-thI have a love/hate relationship with liquid eyeliners. I love what they can do, but hate applying them. It seems one slip, one unfortunate little shake and you have ruined a lot of hard work. That’s why I tend to avoid them. However, in the interest of finding the one that I can actually get along with, I have three to work with for Tried Tuesday, and they are all from Paese, in the form of their Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner and waterproof Penliner.

(l-r) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner & Penliner. Photo credit: Paese

(l-r) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner & Penliner. Photo credit: Paese

There are three different products to choose from here, depending on your own personal style of liner. You can go for the easy to use, go anywhere Penliner, which is exactly like a felt tip marker for liner. Or you can choose from one of two pot and brush style products, which offer contrasting brush styles for fine or bold lining. All come in sleek, minimalistic black and white packaging, which I believe looks quite stylish. It doesn’t need to shout at you.

(top - bottom) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Penliner

(top – bottom) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Penliner

Here you can see the difference between the brushes, particularly showing the difference between the Deepliner and Eyeliner. The Deepliner is a dense felt tip, kind of like a marker pen, while the Eyeliner is a finer, flexible bristle brush. The Penliner is of course, exactly that. All offer high pigmentation, in a kind to eyes, non flake formula, which avoids nasty additives like parabens and alcohol, which can irritate the eyes.

(top - bottom) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Penliner

(top – bottom) Liquid Deepliner, Liquid Eyeliner, Penliner

And here are the swatches side by side, on the back of my hand, as unfortunately I only have two eyes, and three products. These are all just one pass, which shows the pigmentation. It helps, as I would never trust myself to follow the same line again on my eyes. Less attempts needed means less chances for mistakes, a big plus in my book. You can see the difference in lines between the two brush and pot options, while the pen is somewhere in between, though you can vary the width of the pen line by changing how much pressure is used.

Overall, I’m really liking these. They are giving me the confidence to work with liquid liners. While I am yet to really get the hang of the Deepliner, I am particularly liking the Eyeliner brush, and find myself popping the Penliner into my bag for to have with me when I am out and about. With three different options to choose from though, there should be an option to suit anyone.

All three liners cost €9.99 and are available from Paese stockists nationwide. A full list of stockists and an online shop is available at Paese.ie.

Robyn

*Product was provided for review

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excess-intensity-tips
Dec. 02.

Tried Tuesday: Max Factor Excess Intensity Eyeliners

tt-excess-intensity-thMax Factor seem to be all about the eyes at the moment, and are all for going to excess, with their recent launch of the Excess Shimmer eyeshadow pots, and this forthcoming launch, scheduled for January 2015, of complimentary eyeliners, which are being added to the Excess Intensity line of eyeliners, making a total of 9 shades. Fortunately, today for Tried Tuesday, I have swatches of the new range, to help you find out if they are excessively intense, or just a korma in a vindaloo world (I have no idea why I’m using that as an analogy).

excess-intensity-tubes

The three new shades are a green, purple and blue, shades called Excessive Jade, Excessive Violet and Excessive Cobalt. They come in the form of a pencil inside a twistable pen applicator. As you twist the pen it clicks and pushes the pencil up that little bit further. Nothing new there but it works, as long as you remember to not twist too much, as you can’t retract it. It is also handy to have the colour coded lid, as it is the only way at a glance that you can tell which colour is which. The only other difference in the pens is the shade number, but I’m glad the lids match up for when I am rooting around in my collection for them.

excess-intensity-tips

Here we see a close up of the tips. Yes, they are squared off in this picture, which is how they were produced, but once you start working with them it will round out nicely. You can also get an idea of the intensity of the colour, but the best way to see that is in a swatch…

excess-intensity-swatches

And here it is. Intense is right, particularly for the punchy Jade shade, which combines intensity and shine, and would be my pick of the bunch, especially for those with hazel/brown eyes. The other two, while they are intensely coloured, seem to me to be a bit dull in the swatch here, but I definitely see myself using the purple anyway, for one particular reason. They are incredibly soft and glide, once you get across the top layer, which in my swatching them was slightly dry and crumbly. Once I got beyond that though, it was butter soft. That leads me to my one problem and recommendation. As it is such a soft liner, it breaks easily if you have too much of it exposed. This would just lead to wasting it, if the bits are too small to do anything meaningful with. You are better off putting up just enough to get you going, and twisting up more as you need it, which isn’t difficult.

Max Factor Excess Intensity Eyeliners in Excessive Jade, Excessive Violet and Excessive Cobalt will be on Max Factor Stands from January 2015.

What do you think of these? Are they a great way to add colour pops to eyes? Do you prefer pencil style liners, or something different? Please let us know in the comments :-)

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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