Thursday, 11 August 2016

Benefit Ka-Brow! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Review

Oh Benefit! You've really spoilt me with this Ka-Brow! Eyebrow Cream-Gel. I won't lie, I was a bit worried, I usually have a similar relationship with brow gels as I do with liquid eyeliner: we are not friends. Not friends at all. In the past, I've found that you need both precision and patience if you want excellent results and I possess neither quality. I feel like a child colouring out of the lines and I accidentally whack way too much product on to start with so that my eyebrows resemble two big slugs. Fit.

Benefit have really upped their game with the revamp of the packaging - it's often a little on the gimmicky side for my personal taste but I'm definitely feeling this new sleek, classy exterior. The whole range is looking a lot more high end and expensive - more my kinda thing because I'm a packaging snob. It's light, compact and comes with an small angled brush for extra convenience.

The product is ideal for me because it's pretty much fool-proof. While I've struggled in the past with precision and applying too much, the angled brush has densely packed bristles that allows for controlled application. The formula is beautiful, it literally glides across my brows and the cream-gel combination gives you a little bit of extra time to work with the product to achieve the shape you're looking for. It's great for a natural look and is so easily buildable if you prefer bolder brows.

The only minor negative I have is that I was matched with Shade 3 at the Benefit counter, I have really dark brown hair and the shade is slightly too light for me so I definitely would have been better suited to Shade 4 or 5. It hasn't detracted from my positive brow gel experience though, I've just been applying a darker brow pencil over the top to correct the shade!

The Ka-Brow Eyebrow Cream-Gel is available in 5 shades and you can purchase it here for £18.50.

Have you tried the Benefit Ka-Brow Cream-Gel? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation & Under(cover) Coconut Face Primer Review

I've been pretty hooked on my current face base for a while now which you can read about here, I haven't felt the need to change because y'know if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  I thought it was about time I had a little look around for something a little bit special though because I still haven't found that 'perfect' base. While the L'Oréal True Match Foundation is still my favourite affordable foundation for daily wear, Marc Jacobs has really delivered with the Under(cover) Face Primer and Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation.
Of course, it's pretty obvious that we should start by discussing the packaging - I adore the luxury appearance of these bottles - they're made of glass so that instantly indicates the quality. The design is so simple, yet so classy and they look pretty damn good on my dressing table (most important, right?).
Under(cover) Coconut Face Primer I absolutely love this primer and it really works well with the foundation. I initially tried the foundation without the primer for the first application to test out the difference and it didn't last nearly as long on my skin. The consistency of this primer is brilliant, it's so smoothing and it doesn't feel heavy or sticky on my face which is really important to me. I like to feel comfortable when I'm wearing makeup and still want my skin to feel like it can breathe. A little bit goes a long way too which I'm thankful for as it's on the expensive side and it evens out your skin to give you a great base to work with before you apply your foundation. Thumbs up from me.

Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation in Ivory I breathed a sigh of relief when I tested out this foundation shade because trying to figure out your shade when you're online shopping is up there with one of the most difficult things in the world. It's a great match for my skin, slightly yellow toned for me but with some bronzing and highlighting I can make it work. I wouldn't recommend this for you really pale skin girls as the lightest shade is still quite dark. The coverage is insane, 5 dots will do - forehead, both cheeks, chin and nose - otherwise you'll find yourself blending out for hours. I find that you get the best results with a damp Beauty Blender as it needs an extra bit of elbow grease due to the thick consistency. If you don't take your time blending, you'll find that the foundation will appear a little cakey. The staying power is impressive as I manage to get a good 6/7 hours wear out of this foundation before it starts to need a bit of a top up.

Definitely my favourite primer/foundation combination at the minute!

Have you tried the Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation & Under(cover) Coconut Face Primer?

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

New Beauty Tools: Crownbrush and Illamasqua

I decided my beauty tools needed a little refresh - I've only ever really used Real Techniques brushes but I'd seen so many good things about Crownbrush and Illamasqua flying around the blogging community so I was pretty keen to try the brands out myself. I was a little bit naughty too and treated myself to a Beauty Blender because I just had to see if the price is really justified in comparison to my trusty £5.99 Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Crownbrush  C473 Studio Pro Contour If you want precise, killer cheekbones then this brush is 100% the beauty tool for you. I couldn't quite believe how defined my contour looked upon application to the point where I wasn't overly keen at first because it looked so harsh. Once I'd blended and buffed it out a bit, I was much happier with the more subtle, yet still precise, definition. My friend, who is completely alien to the whole contouring concept, even commented on how amazing my cheekbones looked so I'll take that.
Crownbrush C406 Large Duo Fibre Face Brush I was a little disappointed with this brush actually, I was looking for a Duo Fibre brush to blend out my foundation and this claimed to be 'perfect for blending of fluid, cream or powder', however, I didn't find that it made much difference to my base at all. The brush is incredibly soft and feels amazing on your face but without sounding silly because the 'Large Duo Fibre' title kinda gives it away, I think the brush was too large for my face. The large surface area of the brush and the lack of density made it too difficult for me to have any control over blending my foundation out.
Crownbrush C427 Tapered Duo Fibre Blush Brush This brush is incredible and has become a firm favourite among my daily makeup brushes. It's so versatile, I've used it to blend out my contour, apply blusher, blend highlighter and foundation. Unlike the Duo Fibre Face Brush, this one is a lot smaller so is much easier to work with. It creates such a soft, subtle look no matter what product you are using. I mainly use it to blend out my contour to prevent the harsh lines created by the Studio Contour Brush and they're a beautiful combination.
Illamasqua IL120 Smoulder Brush This purchase was inspired by beauty tutorials on YouTube - I'm trying to improve my eye make up looks because, quite frankly, I'm appalling. I love the looks that are quite heavy and smoky underneath the eyes and this tool fits perfectly under the lashes/waterline to blend eyeshadow. While it's so soft, it's also really dense too so you can build up the product for a more intense look. Although I've not tried it yet, I think this brush would be great for blending or smoking out eyeliner too. A definite must for your eye brush collection.
Beauty Blender Pro Sponge I finally got one! I forked out £16 on a bloody sponge, but it's not just any old sponge it's a life saver (well, makeup base saver). Sorry Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, you've been replaced by this bouncy, soft bundle of joy. When using the Real Techniques sponge, I found it almost impossible to completely cover my blemishes as the sponge tended to move the product around my face. By comparison, the Beauty Blender coverage is brilliant and it doesn't waste nearly as much of your product as the non-Latex material is designed to absorb less. It seems much easier to clean and unlike my Real Techniques sponge, the Beauty Blender has not torn or ripped during the cleaning process. Don't get me wrong, I'd much prefer it if the Beauty Blender was a more reasonable price at say £10, however, it's not a product you have to constantly repurchase so I'm pleased I treated myself and it's well worth it.
You can shop the Illamasqua brush here and the Crownbrush collections here, I'd highly recommend you do!

Have you tried any of these beauty tools? What other brushes would you recommend from Crownbrush & Illamasqua?

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Lancôme Énergie de Vie Liquid Moisturiser Review

So it seems I have taken one of my unintentional blogging breaks again but while I've been away I've been testing out this little bottle of dreams, Lancôme Énergie de Vie Liquid Moisturiser.

I'm not a huge fan of face moisturisers; I think it's because cream moisturisers make my face sweat (sexy) and my oily skin tends to feel a bit suffocated. This product, however, as stated in the name is a liquid moisturiser with a consistency only slighter thicker than water. More like a less concentrated serum I'd say. It's so light and soaks into the skin almost immediately, it's been perfect for my skin during this humid UK weather and it's worked really well as a base for my makeup. Dream.

Lancôme note that the Énergie de Vie range is inspired by new Korean beauty technology (thank the Lord for Korean beauty technology) and the ingredients include Goji Berry extract and Lemon Balm oil. I love products with a fruity zest so the fact that this moisturiser is enriched with the above, I knew I would need this in my skincare routine.

You really don't need much of this as a little goes a long way. I use one small pump for my entire face and I've seen really positive results using this daily - I've not suffered any breakouts and my skin is gradually looking less dull and tired. It's on the expensive side with prices starting at £28 for 30ml, however, the bottle will last for ages considering you use such a small amount.

The formula is so innovative and it's a godsend for anyone who doesn't get on with heavy, cream based moisturisers. After application, my skin feels refreshed, hydrated and silky soft and it's by far the best moisturiser I've ever come across for my skin type.

Have you tried the Lancôme Énergie de Vie Liquid Moisturiser?