Perhaps I should call this the "haul of dupes" because that's very much what it's looking like! A little while ago, Born Pretty Store offered to send me a few things of my choosing and I jumped at the chance as I've seen products from them over the net for the past couple of years. I remember in my early days of nail polish and nail art obsession really wanting to purchase a stamping set from them, but I never got around to it! Probably for the better since I'm not really interested in that stuff as much anymore, heh! If you're not familiar with them, Born Pretty is basically a super cheap online store based in Asia which stocks a bunch of beauty products, as well as a pretty random assorment of other stuff too! They also offer free worldwide shipping which is pretty fab! Naturally, I gravitated towards the dupe-y products, because I'm a sucker for a good dupe!
Clearly this is an imitation of the very popular NARS Yachiyo brush which I've always wanted to try but have never been that fussed to shell out the money for. While this brush looks extremely similar, I can safely say it's not an exact dupe. While I don't own the NARS, just from feeling it instore I can tell the difference. The Born Pretty offering's bristles are fairly soft - they're not scratchy or anything - but it's a lot more densely packed and stiffer than the NARS which I find to be looser and fluffier. Regardless of whether it's a dupe or not, this brush is pretty nice for under $5! It has a slightly tapered shape which I find nice for bronzer, contour or highlighter. It's not my favourite for blush because it is a bit dense and doesn't effortlessly apply/blend the product well, but it could be a good option for less pigmented blushes. One thing to note - it smells a bit chemically and on first wash (before I'd used it), the water ran black so the dye did leak a bit! I definitely recommend washing your brushes before using them!
|L-R: Dry, Dampened|
I got this purely to entertain the idea of a tiny sponge. In my opinion, the micro beauty blender or whatever it's called is a biiit stupid and gimmicky. I don't really see the point of a tiny sponge when you can just use the tip of a regular sponge to get into corners or be precise? Besides, sponges are malleable so they can basically fit anywhere. Rant aside, I wanted to see if a tiny sponge had any advantage over a regular sized one and I have to say...I stand by my initial opinion! This does expand in size after wetting it, probably by about 50-60%? I can't compare the actual sponge texture to the real deal, but in comparison with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I feel this one slightly more porous and spongey...where the RT is just bouncy and soft? Anyway, I didn't find it blended product that well. I used it for concealer and it blended it okay, but I could've gotten the same (or better) result from using my RT sponge! Oh yeah, and like the Rattan Brush, yellow dye ran from this guy on first wash.
The Hot Shop Velvet Finish Moisturising Lip Stick Gloss in 01*
Talk about an oxymoron of a name! Name aside, the packaging of this lipstick is clearly a rip off of Topshop, but in my honest opinion, better! It feels a bit more substantial and has a glossy finish. My one Topshop lipstick is looking sooo ratty as the outer design is chipping off to reveal the metal beneath. Also, to be quite honest, I think I prefer the formula of this lipstick to the Topshop one! The Hot Shop lipstick has good pigmentation but slightly translucent and gives a pretty shine to the lips. It is super creamy and can cling to dry areas so do exfoliate prior, but I don't find it dries out my lips very much. I didn't take very much note of the staying power, but it was pretty average. You will need to reapply after eating, and while the gloss wears off after a couple of hours, you are still left with a bit of colour. Speaking of, I'm kind of in love with this shade?! It is such a typical Tasha colour anyways - what did you expect!? It's definitely more peach than pink and on the pastel side of things, but surprisingly it suits me quite well! Usually with paler peachy shades like this, they can look a bit garish on me, but this one is really quite flattering. It's such a pretty colour for everyday and I can definitely see it becoming a fave! Well worth the $4.30 price tag :)
While you wouldn't expect the greatest quality from the products on Born Pretty Store (well, I didn't really!), I must say they're kind of great, especially for the extremely low prices! The brush is a cute buy if you like the look (emphasis on look) of the NARS Yachiyo, and I must say the lipstick has a great formula and a lovely shade range!
Have you tried anything from Born Pretty Store before?
*Products sent for consideration.