Sunday, 31 May 2015

Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Omega Repair shampoo and conditioner review

After a great success of a volumising shampoo from the same line I thought I'd check out if Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Omega Repair shampoo and conditioner are just as good. Well, I regret to say that they aren't.
They aren't bad by any means, but when something promises to repair damaged hair my expectations rise instantly. I imagine that a shampoo with reparative properties would make my colour-treated hair silky smooth and shiny, undo the damage caused by bleaches and hair dyes and hot styling tools. I want such products to make my hair manageable and frizz-free without being weighed down. What's more when I pay for a shampoo and conditioner more than an average drugstore price (this one is more than twice as expensive as Garnier or Pantene) I expect it to do more.

This shampoo and conditioner do nothing out of the ordinary. I noticed no added gloss nor shine, I didn't feel that my hair looked in any way better than after using any other shampoo. I have used both of these up now and I haven't noticed any long-term improvement in my hair condition. I generally think the shampoo was better than the conditioner, it washed my hair without tangling, but the conditioner literally didn't do anything to my hair, it felt just as coarse after as before. I tended to apply quite a lot of it in an attempt to make it work, and, as a result used this up before the shampoo.

There are two good things to be said about these two, though. They never weighed my hair down or turned it greasy. They offered nice volume and I could go for 2-3 days without washing my hair. And the second thing is that they smell amazing. They're like some high-end perfume for the hair.

This duo is quite decent, but they didn't fulfil my expectations. I'll stick to their volunising counterparts, which are second to none.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear nail polish in #240 Blue Babe review & swatches

I seem to be undergoing a blue nail phase. When I saw Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear nail polish  in #240 Blue Babe on 40% off offer I just needed to have it. In the bottle it looked like milky periwinkle, almost pastel, with silver shimmer. It appeared to be both pretty and unique.

In real life it's brighter than it looks like in the bottle. It's a milky warm-toned blue, where shimmer is barely visible, but it adds depth. 

The polish is pretty, but the formula combined with the applicator made putting this on so messy. 
The formula is pigmented, but very runny, the brush wand is long and it picks product not only on the brush itself, but also on the stick's length. The product keeps dripping during the application, flooding the cuticles mercilessly. There also appeared some bubbles here and there.

There's definitely a learning curve involved, but the result wasn't all that bad in the end and topped up with Seche Vite it  looked really nice and wore well for a good couple of days.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Circle lenses: Geo Eyevelyn Brown circle lens review

I have no idea why I have no single picture of the packaging of my new circle lenses by Geo. 
Geo Evelyn Brown are single tone lenses that are clear in the centre and brown in the outer rim. They blend in surprisingly well and offer definition and slight enlargement in spite of the fact that they're 14.2mm in diameter.  
They're, like all Geo lenses, incredibly comfortable to wear. My day usually lasts about 16 hours and I experience no discomfort nor dryness that bugs me when I wear western lenses. The gel they're made of seems thicker than those by Bausch & Lomb or Johnson & Johnson, but it retains the lens shape perfectly and they're much more comfortable to wear.  
I'm a great fan of all Geo lenses, I've never been disappointed with their quality of performance, the choice depends on the style I currently fancy. Evelyn Brown happen to be the best brown lenses for my eye colour and shape I've used so far.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Zoeva #322 Brow Line Brush review

I bought this Zoeva #322 Brow Line Brush to use with my two cream brow products. So far I'd been using various eyeliner brushes for the purpose and finally the time had come to pick a professional brow brush.

This brush has short, dense synthetic bristles that are firm enough to draw precise lines along my brows. The brush is nice and flat with quite pointed tip, which allows precision and is useful both for those of us with fuller brushes and the non-existent ones like mine.
The thing I don't like about it is that it's too wide for my brows. When I hold it vertically against the front part of my brows, it's more than 2 mm wider than my brow. What I've got to do is to hold it horizontally and move up and down to coat my brows, but it would have been so much easier and faster if it fitted my brows better. 

It's a perfect brush for anyone with fuller brows. I personally regret not getting an Anastasia Beverly Hills brow brush as it seems more narrow and it's also got a spoolie, which is always handy.  

Monday, 25 May 2015

Maybelline Lash Sensational waterproof mascara in 01 Very Black review

I succumbed to the temptation to get the new Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara as I hoped it would do the same as Benefit Roller Lash for a fraction of money.
I have no idea hoe Roller Lash works, but I got a very decent mascara which would have made to my monthly favourites if it hadn't been for two tiny little hiccups.

The mascara comes in a very nice tube which is quite similar to Rocket Volum', but in s different colour and with a completely different wand. The wand is curved and plastic and it fits my eye shape perfectly well. It makes it possible to reach all lashes and curl and them nicely from top to bottom.

The formula is neither typically wet nor dry, I would describe it as tacky and buildable. A couple of coats give you the volume I like, though not as much as Rocket Volum'. If you're after defined, separated, clump-free lashes, this mascara might be of interest to you.
The mascara would be really lovely if...

...I didn't have the same issues with it as I do with many other waterproof mascaras by Maybelline.
Lash Sensational may be waterproof, but it certainly is not sweat and grease proof. It smudges like hell under my eyes, it also transfers onto my upper lid and messes my make-up. My skin may be oily, but I don't seem to have the same issues with mascaras by other brands that don't even claim to be waterproof.

However, the mascara proves truly waterproof and actually all-proof when it comes to its removal. It resists oil, foam cleanser and gives in to dual eye make-up remover. Anyway, it takes too much time to remove for me, I prefer formulas which last all day, don't smudge, but aren't so painful to remove.

I'm not going to repurchase this particular mascara, but I might try the regular one. If it smudges anyway, perhaps it'll be easier to take off? 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer in Ivory review & swatches

I bought this foundation right after it launched and since then it has already landed in the drawer and been pulled out of it a couple of times.

The main problem is the colour match and I keep checking if with the change of seasons this is going to look better on me, but more about it later. 

I've never ever felt tempted to get a Clinique foundation, but the concept behind Beyond Perfecting intrigued me enough to make me want one for myself. 
There are a couple of things which differenciate this foundation from others: its packaging and the fact that it is a 2-in-1 product combining properties of a foundation and a concealer and that it targets all skin types.

I must say that I'm a great fan of the packaging. Instead of a pump it comes with an oversized doe-foot applicator which makes mess-free application possible. I just draw a couple of lines in the areas of my face which call for higher coverage and then blend with a buffing brush. I can also use this under my eyes and it fits in there nicely, I blend my concealer with my ring fingers anyway.
Many people imply this is non-hygenic, but I don't mind. I don't suffer from acne, I apply make-up onto my squeeky clean face and see nothing wrong with it.
I can see some drawbacks of the bottle: it is on the heavy side and is impossible to light travel with and also I can foresee some problems with the applicator refusing to pick up the remains of the product as it starts to run low.  

Now, it's time to talk about what it claims and how it delivers. Here's the manufacturer's note:

This foundation has a thick, pasty consistency that blends incredibly well, offering decent, but certainly not complete coverage. It's relatively lightweight, but not one of these foundations that feel as if you weren't wearing anything. I have oily skin and dry undereye and I must agree that I find this foundation moisturising, but it's nowhere near natural-matte finish on my oily skin.  It feels comfortable and looks very pretty right after the application. Performs well as my undereye concealer, but it creases a bit more than other concealers do on me.

The problems arise later. First of all, I got colour-matched wrong. I wanted a slightly darker foundation for the upcoming summer season, so I picked Ivory, which was the second shade available at the time.  Boy, this shade is fairly dark and in spite of the promise to stay true through sweat and humidity it oxidises on my like nothing else. I start my day looking acceptable, but when I look in the mirror in the late afternoon it scares me how unnaturally dark it is and also the shade is a weird concoction of pink and orange and makes my hair parting and hair line look stark white. I've tried this foundation on numerous occassions, with or without powders (including white and translucent ones), with or without self tan and the result is always the same. I look tangoed. I still have some hope it would suit me in the summertime.

Finishwise, the foundation looks great for the first hour or so, then it starts melting on me. The natural glowy finish turns to oily and the foundation starts to migrate towards the pores. I must say, though, that in spite of these issues this lasts for good 8 hours on me, but any attempt to matify my skin and set the whole thing with powder ends up with cakey face.

I'm in two minds about this foundation. I generally like how it applies and what it looks like on my skin, but it definitely targets normal to dry skin types more than mine. The colour match is horrible and Polish shops don't offer me much choice, though I can see on the US website that the shade variety is much wider.
It's a very decent foundation, but I sort of regret my purchase.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Zoeva #221 Luxe Soft Crease and #224 Luxe Defined Crease brushes review and possible dupes

I'm a faithful fan of Zoeva brushes and will take every opportunity to expand my collection. Today I'd like to review two crease brushes and compare them to other crease brushes inn my collection to help you make a conscious choice.

#221 Luxe Soft Crease is a medium-size, rounded, fluffy crease brush made of natural bleached bristles which are soft, yet sturdy enough to do the blending job easily. 
# 224 Luxe Defined Crease didn't look like something that would tickle my fancy at first. It looked feeble and frayed and didn't really promise much. I bought it because I have hooded eyes and relatively little eye space, so I thought a small crease brush would be handy. It turned out to be wider at the tip than I'd expected, but still it works amazingly. Through some kind of magic its sparse and fanned out bristles do the blending job so well. It's not the best brush to apply eyeshadow as it doesn't pick much product and produces fall out, but it helps me achieve a great, diffused shadow in the crease without much effort. 

Now on to the comparison of the two:

#221 is fuller, more dense, and more rounded. It's better for applying a sheerer wash of colour all over the lid and in the crease.
#224 is smaller and flatter at the top. It is a great blending brush for small crease.
Both are soft, but not feathery soft. 
Which one I would choose? No idea. They kind of serve a different purpose. For me #224 was a better pick as it was more unique in my collection, but I think #221 is more universally useful.

Now on to potential dupes. I've gathered all my crease/blending brushes to give you some idea of  how they relate to other more and less popular brushes.

Left to right:
Inglot 10S is a narrow round brush with long, rather sturdy bristles. It's a great brush for precise application of eyeshadow in the crease, but not a perfect one for blending.
Zoeva #224 is softer and more fanned out. Great for blending and diffused application.
Zoeva #221 is fuller and fluffier, great for blending.
Zoeva #228 Crease is a tapered brush with a fine tip. Made of much softer bristles than #221 and #224, there's no info about the kind of bristles, but my experience tells me that this could be squirrel while #221 and #224 are most probably bleached goat. This one os great for blending, applying transition colour, packing on eyeshadow. This is my favourite brush out of the whole bunch.
Sigma E35 is similar to #221 but it's a bit larger and considerably more expensive. I would recommend this one to those of us with more lid space.
Hakuro H74 is another round brush, but its bristles are shorter and thus less fluffy and bendable. This is the sturdiest brush of them all, but it blends really well, it's just not as pleasant to use.
ELF Blending Eye Brush from their bamboo line is the worst quality of them all. This is the only synthetic brush in this selection, but the consequence of this is that powder products slide off its bristles and it's not the most successful at blending or application of powder eyeshadows, but it's irreplaceable for application and blending of my cream eyeshadow bases. I reach for this brush whenever I don't feel like dipping my fingers in my paint pots or remove the dried out crust from the surface of my cream eyeshadows.

None of these brushes are exact dupes, but Zoeva #221 and Sigma E35 are fairly close.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Bourjois La Laque in #11 Only Bluuuue and #3 Orange Outrant review

Bourjois La Laque 

The release of the new line of Bourjois nail polishes coincided with a 49% off offer at Rossmann, so I grabbed two of these to see what they're like, but now I'm sure my collection of La Laques is going to grow until there are no more shades of any interest for me.

The packaging was the first thing which caught my eye. They come in kind of triangular bottles which look way more high-end than they actually are.
The brush is on the wider side and nicely rounded, I guess it will fit most nail sizes and shapes.   

Bourjois La Laque 

When I was adding #11 Only Bluuuue to my basket I had the sensation that this would be an exact dupe for another Bourjois nail polish, their 1 seconde Gel in In the Navy, but luckily it isn't.

Bourjois La Laque #11 Only Bluuuue

This is a gorgeous shade, a bright navy blue like from seaside resort collections, yet warmer, somewhat violet in the undertone, which makes it terribly unique. The formula was incredibly opaque, if I had been more careful with the application, I could have gotten away with one coat only. It applies and wears beautifully, topped with my beloved Seche Vite whis polish looks stunning. I think I've found a new favourite for this summer!

Bourjois La Laque #11 Only Bluuuue

#3 Orange Outrant is a classic coral shade with slight pink undertone. It's one of those perfect summertime shades that look alive both in full sunshine and at night time. The formula is self-levelling and fully opaque in 2 coats. Another winner for me! I've made a decision, I need more of these!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Something Japanese: DHC Concentrated Eye Cream review

I'm very fussy when it comes to eye creams. My undereye area is extremely dry and wrinkle prone and I find it hard to keep it moisturised for more than a couple of hours, that is why I'm always on the lookout for good eye creams. I have searched high and low and my experience has showed me that eye creams that really work happen to sit on the upper shelf. My top picks so far include Shiseido Benefiance, Khiel's Creamy Avocado, La Roche-Posay Redermic C and now DHC Concentrated Eye Cream has joined the list.

This cream doesn't claim much, all the more it's easier to keep the promise. But what it claims to do coincides with my expectations. This cream moisturises the driest and most wrinkle-prone area of my body, making it feel comfortable for long hours and helps prevent dryness-related wrinkles and this is all I want my eye cream to do.
The cream feels rather thick at first but in fact it's emolient and lightweigtht at the same time, it absorbs quickly but doesn't set or dry out completely, makes a good base for concealer, doesn't make it crease or melt, nor does it make my mascara smudge. What I like most about it is that I can trust it to keep my eye area hydrated during the day. I was using this cream (interchangeably with Kiehl's Creamy Avocado) during a couple of allergy-related periods of extreme dryness and these two brought more relief to my skin than anything else. 

What also needs to be said about this cream is that most of its ingredients are of natural origin and it contains no cosmetic villains like parabens, perfume, mineral oil etc, but it does contain alcohol which doesn't cause any dryness whatsoever. The product isn't fragrance-free, there's a faint scent of rosemary, which I believe comes from the herbal ingredient.

If you're a young person, who doesn't have any dryness-related issues, you probably don't need this kind of cream or it may even interfere with your make-up. But if you feel you need to take special care of this particularly vulnerable area no matter how old you are, this could be a great choice as doesn't contain any powerful anti-wrinkle chemical ingredients that could be too harsh to use too early. 
I personally am putting the DHC Concentrated Eye Cream on my 'to be repurchased' list.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation in Fair 1,2,3,and 4 review & swatches

I never took any interest in Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation as I knew it was not for me. I have oily skin and anything that says 'glow', 'radiance' is instantly discarded as in my case these words usually translate as grease and oilslick.
However, when I saw on Charlotte Tilbury website that she offered to ship free of charge a set of samples to try out and colourmatch, I instantly grabbed the lightest set.  The samples were so generous that I played with them for almost two weeks and I feel I'm ready to give an honest opinion.
Let me start with my very first impression. When I opened all four sachets to take pictures of the swatches I was very much surprised at how similar pairs of shades were. I couldn't find any difference between shades Fair 1 and 2 and Fair 3 and 4, but the jump between these two pairs was quite substantial. I found the first pair very fair, the second one a tad too dark, though I must admit that this foundation blends amazingly well and is very forgiving. I ended up mixing and matching the lightest shades with the darkest ones and the combination worked perfectly fine, though with the foundation being on the pricey side, I don't think buying two to mix and match wpuldn't be possible for me. All the shades are rather neutral, definitely leaning more yellow than pink, so I believe they would satisfy most users.

The formula of the foundation is one of the most beautiful in the make-up business. It's somewhere inbetween runny and thick and creamy foundations. It goes on beautifully, blends effortlessly and seamlessly. It looks like skin, doesn't migrate towards the pores and clog them, doesn't cake and look obvious. Also makes my skin nice to touch. I would describe the coverage as sheer, buildable to medium, so I don't recommend it to anyone who has much to hide. On my redness-prone skin it looked beautiful, toned down any discolouration, but preserved natural skin texture. The foundation has no fragrance whatsoever.
Now here's the catch, just as expected, this foundation is not for me. After initial application it offers the kind of glow I find acceptable and actually quite youthful and refreshing. It also looks nice when dusted lightly with powder. But after a couple of hours my oilies win and make my face more glowy than I like. Powdering such an oily face instantly results in heavy, caked make-up which I don't like.
I love the foundation so much that I'm still considering getting one for myself and using it instead of a tinted moisturiser or a BB cream, but if you have dry to normal skin with no acne problems this is a must-have for you, I can't imagine any foundation being more moisturising, comforting, glowy, natural and youthful than Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder. I can only hope that one day she produces something just as beautiful for us oily-skinned gals.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Korean goodies: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Collagen Coating Protein Ion Injection review

 When I saw Elizavecca CER-100 Milky Piggy Collagen Coating Protein Ion Injection in my Memebox I was less than excited. I even considered getting rid of it instantly, but I'm simply incapable of such wasteful behaviour. So it had rested on the shelf for about half a year when my eyes accidentally fell on the small tube with a pig on it.

 I read the description on the info card and on the box and I was totally confused. 
One thing is certain: this is a hair product.
But whether to use it on ends or scalp I don't know.

So I completely ignored what the instructions said and I applied this liquid to the ends of my hair and scrunched it and got such volume which transformed my tiny pig tail into a full-bodied pony tail. 
What's more it didn't make my hair greasy or dry or crisp or stiff, it was as if there was no product on my hair at all. 
Since then I've been using this product on freshly washed and dried hair and it stays volumised and fresh for a couple of days. This stuff is better than dry shampoos or texturising sprays as it leaves no white cast, and no white dust all over my bathroom, doesn't cause product build-up or irritate my scalp and cause dandruff.

I'm totally surprised at how much I love this weird product. I'm already worrying what I shall do when I use this up.  

Monday, 18 May 2015

Korean goodies: Croquis Dual Concealer review & swatches

I'm not a fan of Korean make-up and I no longer buy any Korean make-up myself, but when I received make-up packed Memeboxes I hardly ever passed the products on without trying and thanks to this made a number of interesting discoveries.

I got a couple of products by the brand called Croquis and I must admit that every single one was really good. Their Dual Concealer comes in a fairly large, classy tube which contains a brightening anti-wrinkle concealer with brush applicator on one side and a slightly ashy-toned spot concealer with doe-foot applicator on the other. I'm totally surprised at how well it performs on me.
Before I go on, let me tell you about my skin type, concerns and expectations towards concealers. 
I don't have really dark circles, they don't stand out until I put my foundation on. They become noticeable because they contrast with my sort of flawless skin everywhere else. My main concern is dry, aging skin under my eyes which concealers tend to highlight more than hide. Concealers are more often than not thick and drying and make my skin appear more wrinkled than it actually is. That's why I tend to use light coverage, lightweight, highly moisturising concealers. Many emolient and hydrating BB creams which are too glowy for my oily skin do the trick better than concealers. My skin-tone is cool, with redness concentrating mainly on my jawline and around my nose.

This said, I must admit that this niche concealer duo is one of the best I've ever had. 
The undereye one is light enough to have brightening effect on my fair skin. There's no shimmer whatsoever, but thanks to the shade and moisturising properties it looks very nice and fresh. It does what it's supposed to do: tone without making my skin wrinkle. It lasts all day, doesn't migrate or crease nor does it make my skin feel dry throughout the day. I sometines use this concealer to highlight my cheekbones or forehead a little bit.
The spot concealing part has a slightly ashy undertone, like many Korean BB creams do, but strangely enough it blends really well with my cool-toned skin and tones down any redness that I might have. It's lightweight and blendable, but I feel it's a bit too runny for the occassional spots I sometimes get. 

Rare are the examples of concealers that satisfy me as much as this one from Croquis does. It definitely is one of my treasure finds from my Memeboxes!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-con No. 3 eyeshadow palette in Shoegazer review & swatches

When Marc Jacobs launched at Sephora Poland I felt desperate to try some of their eyeshadows. I do admit that mainly because of the packaging, but also because they constantly receive enthusiastic reviews in the blogosphere.
The problem is that no palette really caught my eye as unique and worthy of investment. The Lolita was too nude, the Vamp too dark, the Starlet too random, many of them were too shimmery and dupable. So finally I half-heartedly picked Style Eye-con No.3 in Shoegazer. 
The palette wasn't right up my alley, but I figured I could make it work for me and I was right. 

These Eye-con eyeshadows come in fancy designer compacts that bring sunglasses case to mind. No. 3s contain 3 eyeshadows of different sizes and a full-size mirror. 
The concept is that the largest shade is the one most often used, which is your base colour, the smallest one is to be used to darken the crease and the medium one for a pop of colour. But I happen to be using these in a completely different way.

The shade on the left is a beautiful taupeish gold, but I don't feel confident wearing gold, so I use this one only to highlight my inner corner. I can't see myself using up such a huche pan of gold eyeshadow. 

What I seem to be close to hitting the pan on after a month of playing with this palette is the smallest eyeshadow, which is a pretty unique shase of brown which suits my complexion so well. It's definitely cool-toned, slightly mauvey, slightly red-undertoned, but most importantly it's matte and a dream to blend. It makes a beautiful statement eyeshadow in the outer corner, but also looks great all over the lid for a monocolour look.

And finally, the last shade which is a bright aquatic blue which seems too '80ish when used on its own, but I absolutely adore what it looks like applied over or blended with the brown eyeshadow from this palette. It offers an amazing duochromatic sheen to the lid, looks unique and intriguing without going over board.  

Qualitywise, all three of these are perfection incarnate. They're highly pigmented and all of them, including the matte one, are buttery soft and melt into my eyelid like cream eyeshadows. They blend exceptionally well and stay put all day (over a primer). 

I must say that this palette was money well spent. It's absolutely amazing from top to bottom. I'm hooked and want more Marc Jacobs eyeshadows, but I'll wait till they come out with colours that would catch my eye.  

Friday, 15 May 2015

Korean goodies: Pro You Body Scrub Peeling Emulsion review

I'm a great fan of the Korean Pro You brand I learned about thanks to my Memebox adventure, however, not everything they touch turns to gold as the Body Scrub Peeling Emulsion I'm about to review is no good at all.

This comes in a very basic kind of packaging that brings factory pre-production testers to mind. It contains various hydrating ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E, plant ingredients like rosemary, chamomille, green tea to soothe and jojoba scrub to remove dead skin cells. Sounds great, but this just doesn't work.

The substance reminds a body lotion way more than a body scrub. It's white and quite runny with some small amount of exfoliating granules that look and feel like ground walnut shell. The problem is that this thing feels kind of slimey under shower, neither washes nor moisturises my skin, and the beads are so sparse that they hardly do any job at all. This scrub doesn't make my shower experience particularly pleasant and doesn't make my skin look, feel or smell great. Each time I use this scrub I feel like I'm wasting my time as this is not worth the effort. It's been in my bathroom for over a month now and I cringe every time I force myself to use this, which is not a good sign.

It retails for a rather hefty price of $43 for 150 ml of product which is definitely far beyond the real value of the product.   

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Reds by Charlotte Tilbury: red lip products overview plus a ton of dupes!!!

 Being a great fan of Charlotte Tilbury I just couldn't resist taking advantage of their free shipping offer and ordered a couple of red lip goodies for my ever growing collection.

Matte Revolution lipsticks are probably the best matte lipsticks in the world. They're very definitely matte, but creamy and non-drying. Like most matte lipsticks they're long wearing and fade slowly and evenly.They have a unique angular bullet which makes application so much easier. 
I've already got one of those lipsticks in Very Victoria and now I've reached for a classic cool-toned, but not very bluish red. Red Carpet Red is an epitome of class, style and timeless idea of feminity. It's absolutely perfect and I see myself reaching for it often.

Apart from the matte lipstick, the formula of which I'd been familiar with, I got the regular K.I.S.S.I.N.G.  lipstick in So Marylin which came in a bundle together with a matching lip liner and a gloss.

When I opened those three I was startled at how neon orange they looked in their packaging. Fortunately the packaging is highly misleading and the products themselves are much more wearable and right up my alley.

The Lip Cheat Kiss'N'Tell is a beautiful deep cherry red that matches most of my red lipsticks. It promises to cheat and balance my lip shape and size by drawing along the outer edge of my natural lip line. It claims to last up to 7 hours and be waterproof. I haven't worn it on its own for that long, but I can confirm that it's long-lasting. It's super smooth and creamy, almost melts into my lips and then sets and will not budge.
These liners are made in Germany, like almost all high- and low-end lip and eye liners in the world are.  

The K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in So Marilyn is fairly similar in shade to Red Carpet Red, but while Red Carpet Red is cooler, So Marilyn has a somewhat browner undertone and is not matte, but it's not a glossy formula either. The lipstick is super creamy and opaque, goes on evenly and lasts decently long, but on its own not as long as as the matte one. Applied over the Lip Cheat liner, however, it achieves a comparative longevity, but less shiny finish.

The Lip Lustre lip lacquer  in Red Vixen stands out of this collection in a somewhat negative way. 
First of all the packaging feels kind of cheap. It's on the small side, compared to the lipstick and the pencil and also other lip glosses in my possession. Although there's still this rose gold thing going on, the tube looks drugstore cheap. 
The colour of the gloss doesn't quite match the other two and is a brighter, warmer shade of red. 
This is a typical lip gloss this is in no way better than its drugstore counterparts. It's pigmented, but not fully opaque, applies somewhat patchy, doesn't offer mirror-like shine or anything spectacular I could write about. The good thing is that it isn't sticky and when applied on top of the lip pencil and the lipstick it looks very pretty, adds some shine and the whole combo lasts decently long, which doesn't mean that the dupes I'm about to present don't do the same job for much less money.
If I'd bought this gloss separately, this would be a major fail of the month as nothing about this gloss justifies the price tag. 

And now DUPE TIME.

I've got tons of red lipsticks and the ones below are the closest matches I could find.

L to R: MAC Russian Red, Charlotte Tilbury So Marylin, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, MAC Ruby Woo, Zoeva Cooling Passion

Left to right:
1. MAC Russian Red is almost exactly the same as Charlotte Tilbury So Marilyn, only a bit more matte. The shade, the duration and even the scent are practically identical, so you definitely don't need both.
2. and 3.  So Marylin and Red Carpet Red are very similar, the difference being that So Marylin is a bit browner and Red Carpet Red is matte.
4. MAC Ruby Woo is very similar to Red Carpet Red, but it's way more matte, more difficult to apply. Red Carpet Red is creamier, goes on more evenly. My choice is of course Red Carpet Red, because of its amazing formula.
5. And finally Zoeva Luxe Cream Lipstick in Cooling Passion, which I thought would be more similar to Red Carpet Red, so I swatched it on the right side at first, but then I swatched it against Russian Red and So Marilyn and it fitted much better there. Cooling Passion is the creamiest and the most glossy formula of them all and it's also the most moisturising. 
Unfortunately this lipstick snapped in half during the swatching process, which shows that the creaminess versus product stability ratio is wrong here. The lipstick is so creamy that it melts, I strongly dissuade you all from trying to use this in the summer heat. Fortunately I can still use this lipstick with a brush. This is a good pick for people on a budget, but qualitywise So Marilyn is oceans apart.  

L to R: Zoeva Cooling Passion, MAC Russian Red, Charlotte Tilbury So Marylin, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, MAC Ruby Woo 

And now on to the glosses. I found three almost exact dupes in my collection.

Left to right:
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Red Vixen is a semi-opaque mid tone red.

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Red My Lips is almost identical. It's exactly the same shade of red, the only difference being that the Milani one is a tad sheerer, but on the lips they look exactly the same. The packaging is very similar with both tubes made of thick plastic with gold (rose gold in the case of Charlotte Tilbury) caps. Save your money and get the Milani one.

MAC lipglass in Russian Red is probably the best choice of them all. This is an almost exact dupe of Red Vixen.  It's the most opaque and even, applies and wears best of the four, but I hate the cheapish and styleless packaging. When worn over the Charlotte Tilbury lip combo this one offers a vinyl lip result, much more glossy than Red Vixen.

Tanya Burr lip gloss in Vampire Kisses is the least perfect dupe, but it's still similar enough to be mentioned here. It's the coolest and the sheerest of them all, but on the lips looks and performs quite alike.