Monthly Archives: January 2012

Beauty on the go…..

If you are anything like me, packing to go on holidays is a nightmare, not just trying to limit the clothes I bring, but trying to limit the makeup I bring. I constantly feel like I am forgetting something… and usually do! Also packing all the makeup I want to bring can be quite space consuming. Today I am going to show you some of Benefit’s top Makeup Kits which I love and think are great if you are travelling anywhere or simply if you like to carry some makeup with you day to day, these little kits have everything you would need.

The first one I think every girl should have is ‘CONFESSIONS OF A CONCEALAHOLIC’. This is Benefit’s Secret concealing and brightening kit.

This kit is packed full of everything you need to camouflage, conceal and brighten your face. It comprises of:

  • ‘THAT GAL’ Brightening Face Primer
  • ‘BOI-ING’ Industrial Strength Concealer in 2 shades (01, 02)
  • ‘ERASE PASTE’ Brightening Camouflage for eyes and face (02 Medium)
  • ‘LEMON AID’ Colour correcting eyelid primer
  • ‘EYE BRIGHT’ for instant bright eyes
  • Conealers brushes
  • Step-by-Step lesson on how to use all of the above products.

This kit really does have everything you need in a concealer kit. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in this kit. Due to the shade of the concealers, it is perfect light to medium skin, however I wouldn’t recommend it for darker swarthy skin as much.

This very inclusive and handy kit is priced at £28.50.

The next kit I want to talk about is a Limited Edition set called ‘I’M GLAM – THEREFORE I AM’

I haven’t found this kit available in the UK stores or even on Benefit Cosmetics UK website….. I have found it hiding in the US website though and its great! You do have to pay a high postage when ordering from the US website, but usually these items are stocked on other websites too where you may get the postage a bit cheaper.

This is such a great party kit. It consist of:

  • ‘GIRL MEETS PEARL’ deluxe mini liquid pearl for face
  • ‘GLAMMING FACE POWDER’  with powder brush
  • ‘ULTRA SHINE’  lip shine in life on the A list (bubble gum pink)
  • ‘BADGAL LASH MASCARA’
  • ‘EYE SHADOW PALETTE’
  • ‘DOUBLE ENDED SPONGE APPLICATORS

I love GIRL MEETS PEARL it really adds a beautiful glow to your face, when used on its own or with makeup. I would apply this under or over makeup.

The Glamming face powder give such a beautiful bronzed look to your cheeks perfect for day or night wear.

I love this kit, it really is complete with everything you would need for a night out or if you are feeling glamourous during the day.

SMOKIN’EYE’S kit is definitely one of my favourite kits by Benefit. This is Benefit’s sexy eye and brow makeover kit. I use it all the time. I love the colours and textures of the eyeshadows. It also comes with the much-loved BROW-ZINGS and EYE BRIGHT which I used every day.

The full kit contains:

  • EYE BRIGHT – Eye brightener
  • 3 SMOKIN’ EYESHADOWS – Pink Highlight Shadow, Pewter Base Shadow and Deep Charcoal Shadow.
  • SMOKIN’ EYELINER
  • BROW-ZINGS – Brow Shaping Wax
  • Fluff Shadow / Hard Angle Brush
  • Tweezers for discreet touch-ups
  • Step-by-Step Lesson to help you achieve Smokin’ Eyes

SMOKIN’ EYES is priced at £28.50

The next Kit I want to show you is perfect for every-day use. Great for work or play and will suit every skin tone. It’s quite a simple kit, therefore this kit is a little more affordable than the first two. The kit is called BIG BEAUTIFUL EYES.

This little kit is all you need to line, define and contour your eyes like a pro.

This kit contains:

  • BOI-ING Medium, industrial-strength concealer
  • Alabaster pink base shadow, cocoa shimmer contour shadow
  • Rich chocolate brown liner shadow
  • Two brushes for easy application
  • Step-by-step professional makeup lesson.

The BIG BEAUTIFUL EYES kit is priced at £24.50

I quickly want to mention a kit I found online on the US website as well. However, it is due to be released in the UK in March 2012.  It is called CABANA GLAMA.

This vacation-ready makeup kit has everything you need for a gorgeous glow all year long. It’s the ultimate brightening & bronzing collection!
Kit includes:

  • HOOLA bronzing powder
  • SOME KIND-A GORGEOUS medium the foundation faker for medium complexions
  • POSIETINE poppy-pink tinted lip & cheek stain
  • EYESHADOW PALETTE: peach fuzz, bronze buzz and cocoa pizzazz
  • double-ended sponge applicator
  • mini cheek brush
  • step-by-step lesson with tips & tricks

Most of these products are available to purchase online at http://www.benefitcosmetics.com. Alternatively, you can find Benefit Counters at many department stores including Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Boots.

For a healthy glow and even skin-tone in seconds….

I have been using this product for years now. It was previously known as Estee Lauder Daywear Plus, but in the last year they have reviewed the name and packaging of this product to a much more beneficial squeezable tube rather than the hard oval shaped bottle before, however I think the product has remained much the same. Estee Lauder have simply changed the name to ‘Daywear – Sheer Tint Release’.

If like me you have days where you don’t really feel like putting on a full face of foundation, but aren’t really ready to share the banshee-like complexion with the world quite yet, you will LOVE this product.

There is no need for brushes or sponges, this is I think the only product which I will recommend you put it on with your fingers. It is so quick and easy to use. I apply this with a touch of mascara and I’m off!

DAYWEAR SHEER TINT is a fabulous tinted moisturiser which will work well with most complexions, giving you that much sought-after healthy but natural looking glow with a perfectly even skin-tone.

Without getting all scientific…. this product adapts to your own skin tone. It comes out of the tube a grey-ish colour and oxidises to suit your skin. I have tested this out with friends to see how adaptable this product is. So myself, having quite a pale complexion and a friend with more swarthy skin both put on the same product out of the same tube. After a minute we took a clean white tissue each and found that the colour which we wiped off our faces we different. Showing that this product will intelligently adapt to the skin tone it is applied too. Not very often do I find a product that will suit a full range of skin tones and be so easy to apply.

Estee Lauder promise this product will help safeguard your skin with advanced broad-spectrum sunscreen and their best ever UVA defence. This product promises to reduce the appearance of first signs of ageing, like dullness and fine, dry lines.

This product is great for dry or combination skin. I haven’t had the chance to try it out on oily skin as yet, however, the ladies who work on the Estee Lauder counters are really helpful. Pop into any store stocking Estee Lauder and they will happily let you try this product out for yourself and if you even ask nicely they will give you a sample to take home.

I wouldn’t say this product gives great coverage for blemishes or spots, it is more for simply giving yourself that healthy glow when you don’t need full coverage. I love it and highly recommend it.

This product is priced at £34 online for a 50ml tube and is available at most Estee Lauder counters in Boots, House of Fraser and Debenhams. It is also available online at http://www.esteelauder.co.uk

Battle of the Primers …

Every great make-up application starts with a great primer. It is the essential base to a long-lasting, smooth and flawless make-up. There are some really great primers on the market at the moment. So what I thought I would do is recommend and compare two primers and explain the difference in their prices.

Don’t get me wrong I really love both of these primers and due to the price differences you will be sure to get one to suit you. The two primers which I am going to review and compare are, GOSH VELVET TOUCH PRIMER and ARBONNE MAKEUP PRIMER.

In texture and consistency these products seem identical. They will both give your skin a beautiful matte and silky feel, perfect to begin your makeup with. They both fill in fine-lines and disguise open pores. They both come in 30ml vacuum pump bottles and are both perfume and preservative-free.

So that is everything that they have in common; now for a few differences. The GOSH primer is priced at £12.99 in Superdrug and the ARBONNE primer is priced at £25.00 online. So I’m sure you are now wondering, why would anyone pay over twice as much for a primer that does the same job. So I am going to explain why the ARBONNE primer is priced much higher.

ARBONNE use only botanical ingredients. They do not animal test or use any animal bi-products. All of their products are gluten and nut free. ARBONNE as a company have their own Institute of Research and Development based in Switzerland and they are committed to ensuring that all of their products are pure, safe and beneficial.

The key ingredients in the ARBONNE Make-up Primer are:

Hyaluronic filling spheres – which  fill in deep wrinkles. They are dehydrated for better penetration, swelling up with water in the skin and filling wrinkles very quickly because of the volume increase. They also provide long-lasting hydration thanks to a micro-reservoir effect.

Polypeptides – to combat the signs of aging

Horsetail extract –  which is a herb high in vegetal silica and has diuretic, astringent           and wound healing properties and is useful for improving circulation, as well as boosting and rejuvenating the connective tissue – the foundation of your skin and regenerating skin cells.

The high silica content also has a softening and smoothing effect on the skin.

The bio-minerals (manganese, magnesium, iron and copper) contained are             necessary for collagen and elastin biosynthesis, while the organic silicon will link the produced collagen fibres and so help the rebuilding of connective tissue.

Green tea leaf – this leaf has a string of positive effects on the skin and body.

However a nice fact for cosmetics is that Green tea is a potent anti-inflammatory agent thereby reducing inflammation in the skin, and most importantly having an inhibitory action on collagenase, which is a collagen-reducing enzyme that breaks down collagen. Since green tea helps to inhibit collagenase, the topical use of green tea helps to promote the health and quantity of collagen, thereby maintaining a firm and elastic skin.

Grapeseed extract is most commonly used as a natural moisturiser in cosmetic      products.

Apricot oil is a finely textured oil, has a bland smell, is easily absorbed by the skin, without leaving it feeling oily or greasy and is high in poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Apricot kernel oil is particularly helpful for dehydrated, delicate, mature and sensitive skin, and it helps to soothe inflammation.

The GOSH make-up primer holds none of the above ingredients.

So the differences between these two primers lie beneath the surface.

Your skin will be enriched with natural goodness and benefit from using the ARBONNE primer, while although GOSH is a great basic primer, you won’t get the added benefit of all the above ingredients. ARBONNE publish all of their ingredients for their products publically on their website, whereas GOSH do not.

I love both primers, but at least you can make an informed decision when buying either one.

If you have any questions about the above products, feel free to ask.

 

Blemishes? …. What blemishes?!

Concealers…. there are thousands to choose from! Literally!  Every brand even usually has about 2 or 3 different types. I have tried and tested so many of them. Very rarely do I come across one where the consistency and coverage are perfect.

‘Boi-ing’ is Benefit Cosmetic’s ‘industrial-strength’ concealer. It does not disappoint.  I dont go anywhere without this product.

It comes in 3 shades so you are sure to find one to suit your skin tone.

The texture of the concealer itself is very smooth, soft, creamy and extremely easy to apply and blend. It gives fantastic coverage for dark under-eye circles, acne or dark spots. Not only that but it does it with a light-weight formula. This product won’t pull or weigh your skin down. With some high coverage concealer’s, they are thick in density therefore accentuate wrinkles, so although you cover one problem, you are creating another. That doesn’t happen with this product, it is surprisingly light for its level of coverage.

Benefit recommends applying this product with your finger tips, which works quite well, however, I prefer to pat this product on with a natural hair concealer brush. It doesn’t sit or blend well when applied with a synthetic brush.  This product is at its best consistency when it is at room temperature, so if you have it out and about in your handbag and it is cold, warm it up a little by holding it in your hands for a few minutes.

I find this product is suitable for all skin types.

Be careful not to apply too much of it. You only need a thin layer for it to be effective. When you start to put too much on and set it with powder you will get the caked effect, which you will get if you put too much of any concealer on.  Since you only need a thin layer of this product you will find that you get great use out of it.

If you have any questions about this product, feel free to ask.

Boi-ing comes in a 3g pot and is priced very reasonably at £16.50.

Boi-ing is available to purchase online at http://www.benefitcosmetics.com, Alternatively, you can find Benefit Counters at many department stores including Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Boots.

Get cheeky with your makeup….

I have had a few requests recently regarding how to apply blusher, what products to use and where.

Applying blush is a technique which, when applied correctly can make you look healthy and glowing. In contrast, if applied incorrectly it can easily give you the clown effect. Applying blush seems like something that should be relatively easy to pull off, which when you know the correct method and products to use, is correct. However to start off, make sure to take your time to get used to the technique, it takes a bit of practice but you will get the hang of it in no time.

To master the blusher technique, you really need to have contoured your face accordingly to begin with. Here is a link to a MAC video tutorial on how to contour and shape your face. Please note that this will change for each face shape, but this will give you some sort of idea as to how to contour your face. (I will write a full post on contouring for your face shape soon).

How to Contour your face:

http://www.maccosmetics.com/makeup_artistry/8386/Video/index.tmpl

When picking a colour for your blush, it is important to select one which is suited for your own skin tone. You will want to select a blush which is close to the natural glow of your cheeks after exercise or exertion.

To find the perfect blush, it depends very much on the depth of your skin tone. For example, lighter skin tones will wear lighters colours such as pink or coral shades; where darker skin tones will suit the darker colours such as burgundy or wine shades.

Your next step is to match your skin tone:

  • Yellow Skin tones should wear cool colours such as pink or plum.
  • Olive Skin tones should wear warm apricots.
  • Dark Olive Skin tones will suit colours with an orange base.
  • Neutral Skin tones are the luckiest, you will be able to wear most colours although rose colours are recommended.
  • Blue Skin tones (usually only seen in very dark skin) can wear reds or berries.

I know this may seem a lot to take in, but pop into any make-up store and the consultants will help you to find a colour to suit your skin tone and depth.

When applying blush, the angle in which you apply your colour is very important. This is the point where you could go from flawless to clown in seconds! The rule is generally that you contour, blush and highlight in three sections of your cheekbones. The lower, middle and upper cheekbone. You will contour on your lower cheekbone. This is usually the line which would join the top of your ear to the corner of your lips. Following that guideline you will move up slightly to your mid and upper cheekbone.

Here is a great tutorial I came across on YouTube to help you with where and how to contour, blush and highlight your cheekbones. It also shows you methods for different blush types.

How to apply blusher tutorial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtG5ILbf8mc

As an alternative to the MAC product used to contour in this video, a personal favourite of mine is ‘Hoola’ by Benefit Cosmetics.

I hope this information helps. If you have any questions about any of the information here, get in touch.

There is no need to ‘suffer’ with oily skin…

This is a product I have come across which I think a lot of people will appreciate, so thought I would share it with you.

If you suffer from oily skin, you should definitely check out No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation. I have tried and tested this foundation many times, it has yet to fail me.

Often with mattifying foundations, they are overly dry and chalky. Also, I found with a lot of other products for oily skin that they can be very drying on those parts of your face that aren’t oily, which is no good for people who have combination skin. This product does not dry out normal skin and gives a very smooth and even complexion everytime, without giving that horrible chalked effect.

It is long-lasting (up to 12 hours). Not only does it eliminate any shine from the skin, it is also specially formulated with Salicylic acid to help unblock your pores and improve your skin while you wear it.

This foundation has built-in SPF15 to help protect your skin from the damaging effects from the sun and added Ethanol leaves your skin feeling cool and refreshed. When you apply this foundation you can instantly feel the cooling effect.

This foundation is well priced at £13.50 for a 30ml pump bottle and is available online at http://www.boots.com or in most Boots stores.

Eliminate Fine Lines and Open Pores with one smooth move….

In my work I am often asked about products which will help with large open pores and fine lines.

There are a lot of products available, I see them in the media all the time, which promise to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Let’s be honest, some work, some don’t. One product may work well on one person and not on another. We are also told that these products will reduce the appearance of fine lines “over time”. However, when us girls are getting ready to go out on a Saturday night and are looking a little worse for wear after a long week, the last thing we want is a cream that will take weeks to work. We want something that is quick and easy to use and is guaranteed to work straight away, every time.

Therefore, I take the pleasure in telling you about this great product. PoreFessional is a silky light-weight balm by Benefit Cosmetics. This is a fantastic primer to use under your make-up. It will give you such a smooth base and reduce the appearance of those unsightly open pores or unwanted fine lines.

PoreFessional is a translucent, oil-free product. Benefit do say that this product will compliment all skin types. To be honest, my skin can be oily one day and extremely dry the next and although this product will give you an extremely smooth base for your makeup, whatever your skin type, I find that if my skin is already dry it definitely doesn’t help to moisturise my skin. In my opinion, if you have extremely dry skin, I would think about a liquid primer or even make sure to moisturise your skin well before using this product.

In a nutshell, I have yet to find another product on the market at the moment that will cover large open pores as well as PoreFessional. Get down to your local Benefit Counter and give it a try.

PoreFessional recently won the awards for “Best Pore Perfector” in the 2011 Best in Beauty Awards.

PoreFessional comes in a 22ml tube and is priced at £23.50. It even comes with a little lesson leaflet on how to use the product correctly.

PoreFessional is available to purchase online at http://www.benefitcosmetics.com, Alternatively, you can find Benefit Counters at many department stores including Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Boots.