Thursday, 15 September 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit Review

I finally got my hands on one of the most hyped beauty products of 2016, I think almost every beauty blogger on the planet owns the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Gleam and naturally, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

The Glow Kit is home to 4 beautifully pigmented highlighters:

Hard Candy - a shimmery pink/peach
Mimosa - a slightly deeper golden peach
Starburst - pink with golden shimmer particles
Crushed Pearl - an iridescent silver with a hint of pink
Firstly, the pigmentation of all 4 shades is absolutely incredible and my photo below doesn't do them justice at all (if you follow me on Twitter, we all know I'm the first to admit my photography skills are pretty much non-existent). I'm especially a fan of how buildable these products are as you can apply one sweep for a subtle highlight or if you're like me, you'll spray your highlight brush with fixing spray, swirl it around in the pan for 10 years (I mix Mimosa and Crushed Pearl) and pack it on until you can see that glow from Mars. I've only had this Glow Kit for a few months and I've nearly hit the pan with Crushed Pearl already, that's how much I love it.  

Obviously, I have to chuck in a couple of less positive points: if you're really pale skinned, you'll probably encounter the same issues as me and find that, apart from Crushed Pearl, most of the shades in this Glow Kit will be slightly too dark. Although it does seem a little frustrating that you're not able to make use of all four shades, a bit of extra blending goes a long way and you can definitely make them work. If you have a darker skin tone, other reviews have suggested that the Sundipped Glow Kit would be a much better match for you.

Anastasia Beverly Hills also suggest that these highlighters are multi use and you can add shimmer all over the body but I'm not one for dusting highlight on my shoulders (bit too 90s and reminds me of that God awful roll on sticky body glitter) and I avoid shimmer near my eyes like the plague (far too ageing).(L-R) Hard Candy, Mimosa, Starburst, Crushed Pearl
At £39, you're really getting value for money from the Glow Kits but I'm hoping they release these shades individually at some point in the future because I'm obsessed with Crushed Pearl and Mimosa but I could take or leave the other two. I think it'd definitely appeal to a wider audience if ABH decided to go down that route!
Have you tried one of the ABH Glow Kits? Lemme know in the comments!

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'OrĂ©al 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?