How to Reanimate a Gel Liner

Hi Tory,

Gel liners are quite possibly one of the greatest makeup inventions ever. They go on smooth and don't budge to give you that perfect kitten flick. They range in price according to where you shop, but I'm currently loving the Sleek Ink Pots which come in around a fiver, particularly the lovely inky black Dominatrix, my go to shade.

gel liners are quite possibly one of the greatest makeup inventions ever

Now, recently I got quite the haul of three Sleek Ink Pots in Polar, Denim and Stone Cold respectively for the princely sum of 49p each and was very happy about that... until I saw how dried out they were inside the pots.

This is a common thing with gel liners unfortunately. Every time you open the pot, they start to dry out - so what do you do? Is there a solution? Well, yes as it happens and quite a few. I'm doing the hot water method today, and following that up with the eye drop method in a week's time (plus checking out the progress of the experiment to see how it's holding up). There is hope! Do let me know if you have any tips and techniques - the more the merrier!

Hugs and kisses,


A Tribute

Hi Tory,

I've had a small break from making videos after the passing of our cat, Cleo, and wanted to do a short video by way of a tribute and also so that I could get back on track with the tutorials and some sense of normality - you never get over such things, but you eventually get through them.

Hugs and kisses,


Tutorial Annie Haul

Hi Tory,

Our local Superdrug was having an insane clearout this past week with a whole bargain bin full of products that I assume were part of a discontinued thing, and all at 49p each. I nearly fainted when I saw those prices, particularly when part of the haul were Sleek Ink Pots - oh yes! I already have their black Ink Pot, which is a gel liner (terrible little brush that comes with it, mind you) and love it, so was really excited that I managed to bag Denim (a lovely inky blue), Glacier (a flat white), and Stone Cold (a gorgeous metallic grey).

I'm especially excited about the white gel as this now means that I don't have to trawl eBay looking for a NYX Milk pencil. ;) Now, as you can see from the photos the gel liners, although brand new, have already started to dry out, but fear not! This week there is a tutorial on that very subject with tips on how to reanimate your crunchy, crispy gels.

Next up are a couple of lip pencils by a company called Elle, which I don't know much about - maybe something to do with the magazine? I'm not sure... I snagged a deep burgundy (which goes perfectly with the MUA Lip Boom I bought recently) and a chocolate brown. This got me thinking about more tutorials, which brings me on to my last purchases (although they weren't in the Bargain Bin of Joy).

I've had my eye on some MUA Out There plumping lip glosses for some time now and picked up two really lovely nude shades at £2 each - Nude and Buff. Really nice texture, good pigmentation, excellent price and they do plump up those lips. (Brace yourself for the sting which comes from the cinnamon oil. Oof. It's worth it tho, trust me.)

ALL of my purchases were geared around tutorials... between the Lip Booms and the Out There glosses I started hatching some ideas for retro looks which I'm going to call The Lipstick Series. They'll be coming next week. :) The gels get their own series, starting the week after, and I'll fit the lip pencils in hither and yon. If I tell myself that I'm buying makeup so I can make tutorials it staves off the pangs of buyer's guilt. That's my fiendish plan anyway. ;)

Hugs and kisses,

Swatches from left to right: MUA Out There plumping lipgloss shades Buff and Nude, Elle Lip Pencils in shades Dark Brown and Fig, Sleek Ink Pots in Stone Cold, Glacier, and Denim.


Review: MUA Lip Boom

Hi Tory,

I'm a little late to the MUA Professional Range Lip Boom party, but I bagged two over the weekend and figured that it was high time to review them!

MUA Lip Boom are a range of 8 fashion shade lipsticks created by singer Alexandra Burke in conjunction with the MUA team. The double-ended container has a matte lipstick on one end and a coordinating glossy highlighter on the other, with the potential to create four different looks from a product that retails for only £4.

The four looks are as follows:

  • The lipstick on its own
  • The lipstick with the gloss as a central and cupid's bow highlighter
  • The lipstick with the gloss worn all over for high sheen
  • The lipgloss on its own

So far, so good!

Now, out of the entire MUA range, the lipsticks have always been my least favourite - I find the texture a little too gritty and have never been able to get the secret matching lipgloss part of the container open. But I have to say that the Lip Boom lipsticks are really good. They go on smooth, last for a long time, are really nice matte textures and have a high pigmentation. I went for two shades: Bring It, a dark coral red, and LMK, a gorgeous dark burgundy.

What I didn't like so much were the coordinating glosses. They have HUGE pieces of glitter in them so they feel overly clumpy and scratchy on the lips and the gloss part dilutes the lipstick too much. Even worn on their own they're just too gritty for me, which is a shame. What I did experiment with was putting them in other places - as cheek highlighters and so on, and they seem to work better like that, so all is not lost. Even as a stand alone lipstick, £4 is still a really good price for the product, so I'm quite happy to keep buying them for that reason only. They also smell GORGEOUS!

The 8 different shades are:

  • It's a Situation - a dark rose
  • LMK (Let Me Know) - a dark burgundy
  • OK.com - a nude
  • Vibe - a toffee
  • Cheeky - a baby pink
  • Doing Good - a coral
  • OMG - a kind of coral pink
  • Bring It - a dark coral red

What do you think of them?

Hugs and kisses,


Mailing List

Hi Tory,

all you have to do to get started is click on the tab menu above

Did you know that you can sign up for a monthly, themed Makeup Tips for My Sister newsletter? Courtesy of the lovely folks over at MailChimp I can send you out tasty tidbits, videos, posts and more with additional info directly to your Inbox. How's that sound?

All you have to do to get started is click on tab in the menu above, enter your details and away you go. (You can also sign up from the Facebook Page.)It's quick, it's free and it's fun!

Hugs and kisses,


5 Products I'm Not All That Impressed With

Hi Tory,

I do have a tendency to rave about the products I love on the blog (and I will be doing an updated Love Review soon), but I thought it would be good to balance things out with a list of the five products that I'm currently not so crazy about. If you've had a better experience with them, or have ones that you'd like to add, do comment below!

My Meh List Five

  1. Dry Shampoo: This is one of those products du jour that a fair number of beauty bloggers seem to rave about... and to be honest, those of us who are older and have long memories remember the sticky, flaky nightmare that was dry shampoos from the late 70s and early 80s and may well have approached the new generation of products with more trepidation. They don't work. Full stop. And yes, I've followed the directions, and yes, I've done all the blow drying, teasing and so on, but they just don't work. And the aftermath, when you do finally wash your hair, is really quite horrible. The first stage was dirty hair with dark blobs of cornstarch in it, and the second stage was wet hair with residual blobs of dark cornstarch in it. And frankly, if you're going to go to all the trouble of blow drying, teasing etc, you might just as well wash your hair in the first place.
  2. I thought it would be good to balance things out with a list of the five products that I'm currently not so crazy about
  3. MUA Lipstick: I really wanted to like these. For £1 you get a lipstick at one end and a coordinating lipgloss at the other, and the colour range is pretty good. The trouble is... the lipgloss part is almost impossible to open, and the lipstick itself is really grainy and unpleasant. To be fair to MUA, this is a rare dropping of the ball for a product line that's proving itself to be more than a match for the big boys.
  4. Revlon Colorstay Foundation: I've tried a LOT of drugstore foundations (I eventually settled on the Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation) and did a lot of research beforehand, going on reviews and other blog posts to compile a trial list. There's a lot of love for Revlon Colorstay out there. I have no idea why. I found the smell really off-putting, the range of shades limited, and the oxidization really rather alarming - I was a good two shades darker about 15 minutes after application. It smells like emulsion paint, it feels like emulsion paint, and it covers like emulsion paint. Not happy.
  5. Neutrogena Wave Duo: God knows I tried with this in my search to find an affordable alternative to the Clarisonic. What I discovered is that there is no affordable alternative to the Clarisonic. The Duo irritated my skin beyond belief and it took a good two months for it to return to anything like normal. Anyone with sensitive or oily skins - avoid.
  6. False Eyelash Applicators: This is one of those products that demonstrates that money doesn't reflect anything - cheap or expensive, this product just does not work. At all. I ruined a pair of false eyelashes trying to demonstrate it, and to be honest you'd be better off investing in two good sets of tweezers and practising. Fiddly but worth it in the end.

Which products have failed to get your love vote recently?

Hugs and kisses,


June Makeup Haul!

Hi Tory,

I've been doing some digging in the mark down bins in Superdrug as well as regular shopping and came up with some tasty bargains for this month's haul!

So first off, I'm dyeing my hair - REALLY dyeing my hair! Bleaching underneath and then colouring it purple (hence this purchase), and then dark chocolate brown on the layer above so I get this funky, punky two tone thing going on. I'll be photographing the process as well, don't worry!

Collection 2000 have brought out four gel eyeliners at a really affordable price of £4.99 each. Along with the standard black and brown, they also do a pale gold, and this GORGEOUS teal which I just had to buy, a) because it's beautiful, and b) so that I can show you how to do a great smoky eye using a gel liner. ;) I'm really impressed with the texture of these gels, and the staying power is tremendous.

Again from Collection 2000, I got these twist up eye definers, which go on like a gel and last for a really long time - they are excellent for tight lining and highly pigmented - plus they're a bargain at only £1.99 each!

I needed all my how to tips on repairing eyeshadows for these bad boys... but it was worth it! TWO Sleek palettes - Bad Girl, and Oh So Special - and ONE MUA Professional palette in Starry Night, and all of them half price. :: (I spent £8.98 on the three as opposed to £16.98.) I am currently OBSESSED with the Sleek Bad Girl palette - all these fab black black blacks shot through with intense colour. Tutorials ahoy!

And last, but by no mean least, I finally got the E.L.F. bug, and it was definitely worth it. :) Two wonderfully creamy concealer palettes (I got the medium and the dark, just waiting on the light to come back into stock), and two really nice brushes - the sponge smudger and their blending brush. All really affordable and pretty good quality, plus the delivery was quick! (I also bought an art brush, which I'm using for makeup and I'm doing a special tutorial on that later)

Hugs and kisses,

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