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Firstly, I would like to thank DooYoo for accepting my product suggestion for these wonderful extensions!
Let's face it, natural beauty is not something that oozes from within easily like the models on TV who seem to wake up looking perfect! In magazines we see celebrities with hair that would rival Rapunzel, but for us normal folk some help is needed. That's where hair extensions come in, to transform limp and lifeless hair into volumnised tendrils of terrific beauty! You can go to a hairdressers and have them glued, sewn or weaved into your hair but that can be very damaging and uncomfortable in the long run. My solution? Clip in extensions! They are the perfect temporary solution, as they can be worn on a night out, a special occasion or just when you want that added boost - but the best part though, when you get home you can take them out and let your head relax, which also means they stay in a pristine condition for much longer.
Just like most beauty products, there is a list as long as my arm of different brands, but one that caught my eye and I cannot recommend enough is Foxy Locks Extensions. Branded "The No1 choice for hair extensions" and "the most sought after hair extensions" they are a brand to be trusted. I will be Honest, when I was first looking into hair pieces, I did not know how to use them or how to even put them in - so I relied on trusty Google and came across some YouTube videos of helpful hints and tips. That is where I found Foxy Locks - a lady called Imogen who runs the business and also the YouTube channel, teaches you how to create a multitude of simple but stunning looks using the extensions and also how to put them in and make them look natural - definitely worth checking out! This led me to visit the website and purchase some of my very own.
All of the Foxy Locks Extensions are made from 100% Remy human hair, which is considered to be the finest quality of human hair because the cuticles are kept intact and not stripped, like in most other non-Remy hair extensions. You have the choice between Regular 120g, Deluxe 160g or Superior 215g, which determines how many wefts you will get, and all wefts are 20 inches long. I chose to opt for the Regular to start off with and am very happy with them!
One slight hiccup is choosing your shade, as it is an online website and not a shop you cannot visit it and match your hair in person. However there are some good shade matched pictures on the website as well as videos on Imogen's YouTube channel. As well as this you can also send in a picture or a snip of your hair for them to match for you. I purchased Light Ash Blonde 60 and it blended perfectly - very happy bunny! Most hair colours are included so there is something for everyone!
I received a ten piece set which is a full head and is more than enough to add length, volume and texture to your natural hair. Each weft of hair has clips on them that easily allow you to attach to your hair. I have two 8 inches wide wefts with four clips, two 6 inches wide wefts with three clips, two 4 inches wide wefts with two clips and four 2 inches wide wefts with one clip. The measurements are designed to match your head, thus the smallest ones at the bottom and work you way up to the crown, the one clip ones are perfect for the sides if you have layers and want to fill in any gaps. On a day to day basis, I do not wear them all as I find they can be very heavy, so I think it is great that you can have the option to pick and choose how to wear them.
As they are human hair you can do to them everything that you would do to your own hair - wash them, curl them, straighten them and so on. One tip I would give is to not dry them with a hair dryer as I find that they can go a little too dry and not silky, instead leave them to dry over night on a towel.
Overall I am very happy with these extensions, they are so soft it is unreal, very manageable to work with and extremely natural once they are in. I like to backcomb the hair before I apply them to give it something extra to hold onto and to help them not to be seen. If you want to purchase some you can do on the Foxy Locks website, they were £58 including VAT and TAX which is an amazing price, as in the past I have seen extensions that are twice and sometimes even three times the price of these. If you look after them well they can last for a long time so a good investment piece. Also on the website they sell false eyelashes and even Beehives for an added 60's twist!
I love mine and really would recommend to all!
Moonbeam. Sounds like one of those radical, hippy names from the swinging sixties! But in this case it's the illuminator/ highlighter that I had been waiting to get my hands on! Ever since I started using the Benefit lip and cheek tints, I became obsessed with the brand and how amazing their products were - yes they are high priced, but they have an outstanding high quality to make it worth the guilty splurge! Having said that I was slightly disappointed in the Benefit Highbeam as it was too pink and glittery for me - so I was very excited when I heard about Moonbeam - a more yellow toned highlighter that would suit my complexion to the ground!
So what is Moonbeam you may be asking yourself. Well it is a 'golden apricot' creamy liquid that illuminates your face when applied to the cheek and brow bones (or anywhere you like for that matter!) It adds a 'warm shimmer' to your complexion and looks 'perfectly radiant' on all skin tones and skin types. Benefit claim that it is their 'legendary facial highlighter' and tell us to use it 'strategically' to create moonlight radiance about the face. I could feel myself glowing just researching it and could not wait to try!
I will warn you it is quite expensive at £18.50 and not a massive bottle (which I was expecting for the price) as it only contains 11ml of product. This did put me off a tiny bit as I did not want to waste 20 quid on something that may sit in the back of my make up drawer and never see the light of day! However I relented and decided to purchase. The packaging is very simplistic but also very stylish and some what unique. It comes in an apricot, rectangular box, with a silhouetted pale moon shape around the brand name - Moonbeam, which adorns the middle in bold black lettering. On the back are the ingredients and a bit about the product. Once you open up the box, you are greeted with your little ray of Moonbeam! Again, the design is very simple and minimal but very affective and attractive with the bottle looking very similar to a nail varnish or the cheek and lip tints that Benefit do. It's the colour of the product itself which is a gorgeous golden, pale caramel pink with the name across the front. When you take off the black plastic lid, you notice that the brush applicator makes it more and more like a nail varnish - it would be a lovely colour one too!
There are a couple of ways to apply this depending on the desired look you are after. They are as follows:
For defined highlighting - Apply your foundation as usual then using the brush in the lid, draw a line along your cheekbones, your brown bones, the side of your nose and your cupids bow. These points on your face will illuminate when hit by light and make you appear more awake, thinner and even younger! Using circular motions blend the lines in with your fingers until you feel happy with it.
I love using this product in this way as it is not too over the top and looks very natural. I find it blends in with my skin tone and m foundation extremely well - much better than the pinkness of Highbeam. There is a small amount of shimmer and glitter but nothing too over the top.
For an all over glow: Mix a blob of Moonbeam in with your foundation before you apply it. This way only really works well with liquid foundations as it mixes together and becomes one - just like the Spicegirls song! One pump of foundation to one blob of Moonbeam - mix in well and apply as you normally would with a brush, sponge or your fingers.
This look will give you a glowing complexion all over - not just in certain defined places. I tend not to wear it in this way as I find it makes me too shiny and shimmery all over and sort of defeats the purpose. However when I have a tan, I apply some all over my face and it really sets it off and makes my skin more radiant and refreshed.
For glowing eyes: Mix a little of Moonbeam in with your concealer and use as you normally would - around the peepers! I tried this a few times and my eyes looked so much better for it! However don't forget and use your concealer on acne as shimmer spots are never desired!
For a natural glow: Wear on its own! Make sure you apply primer or foundation before and the pin point the areas that need a little light and apply. Be careful not to apply too much as it does not have very full coverage and if you try and build it up to foundation level you will resemble a disco ball!
As you can see there are many ways to wear this product but it is all up to you as to how you personally get on with it. Whatever way you decide, you will love this highlighter! It makes my skin look healthier and is much more natural than Highbeam as it is more of a skin toned colour rather than pink!
I would recommend to anyone who wants a sun kissed glow that looks natural and beautiful! You can purchase at Boots or Boots.com as well as any stores that have a Benefit counter. It does come with a hefty price tag but I would recommend it as it lasts for ages! Although it isn't a necessity, I would only buy this when I had some cash to spare or as a gift as the price is far too expensive to keep on buying.
After trying all of the cheek and lip stains as quickly as Benefit could churn them out, I decided to start raiding the highlighters as well. There are two highlighters that you will most probably have heard of as they are quite famous - High Beam and Sun Beam. The first is 'satin pink' toned and the other is more 'sun kissed' and glowing. I never really used a highlighter in my day to day make up routine - or at all! The reason being, I didn't actually know how to use them or why to use them. So they were not something that my make up bag missed. I didn't pay them much notice until I received a small tester pot of Highbeam free with a magazine, quite a while ago. It would be rude not to have tried it - so I thought I would do some Googling and find out what exactly it is supposed to do!
Benefit claim that it 'creates that natural radiant glow you have always desired' - it makes your complexion fresh, young and radiant and is perfect for all skin tones and skin types. They also say that 'no self respecting make up artist would be without it' ooh that told us! But you may still be wondering what its job is, let me enlighten you on how it lightens you. A highlighter is used to accentuate your cheekbones and brow bones by having a shimmery and often pale consistency, so that when hit by light it glistens in all the right places. Think of a yellow highlighter felt tip you use to make sentences stand out from the rest - it's the same concept, just on your face. And not yellow! Benefit Highbeam is known as the 'supermodel in a bottle!' - Well we all want to be a supermodel!
Like I said earlier, I got a free sample of this product but I only used it once and couldn't get on with it, so I gave it to a friend who loved it! But recently I was getting rather intrigued at how it would give me a healthy glow and seeing so many good reviews I thought it would be a good investment to buy myself a bottle of this supermodel super stuff. It was £18.50 from Boots which seemed VERY steep for only 15ml of product - not much bigger than the tester I got for free! That was the first disadvantage as for that money I would have expected Kate Moss herself to be in it! Nevertheless, I wanted my skin to look good so I rather reluctantly and guiltily handed over the credit card and went home hoping it was worth it.
The packaging is quite girly and very pink! The whole thing is pink which I love! It comes in a rectangular baby pink box with a faded white circle in the middle adorning the brand name and product name. On the back are the ingredients and the weight. Once you open the box you find the highlighter in a little bottle similar to a nail varnish or a lip and cheek tint. The bottle is dusty pink in colour and has 'Highbeam' wrote across the front in black lettering. When you take off the white, plastic lid you see that the similarities to the nail varnish and tints does not stop there - as the brush applicator is exactly the same design. Overall I like the design as it is very simple but chic and also a lovely colour!
There are a few ways to use this product as I have now found out after a few weeks of experiemting. The first one is the 'foundation-helper-outer' as I like to call it. What you do is pump out some of your foundation that you will be wearing onto a lid or a palette and then mix in a blob or two of Highbeam and mix in well! Then simply apply your foundation as you normally would and take a look at the fantastic all over glow that you now have! The pros of this would be that its not concentrated in one place so you can be greedy, but the cons would be if you put too much in you may find you take on a rather pink hue and appear as shiny as a disco ball!
Another way to wear this is mixed in with your concealer in the same way as the foundation to give your eyes a little extra brightness. Just make sure you don't use it to cover acne as shimmery spots are never ideal!
You can also wear this over foundation - just apply it as normal and then using the brush applicator on the lid draw a line on your cheekbones, on your brow bone, the side of your nose and even your cupids bow. Then using circular motions blend in until you are happy with the result. This is the way I chose to wear it as it is the most flattering and natural looking for me personally. You have to be quick when blending in as it can becomes quite sticky and non movable if you leave it unblended for too long - however once blended it gives your face a nice glittery glow.
If you have good skin and don't wear a lot of foundation - maybe only concealer, you may want to try just wearing this on its own. Prime your skin and apply your concealer if you wish then add Highbeam to the places you want the light to hit - just be careful when wearing it on its own that you don't end up looking like you are wearing a pink foundation!
Whatever way you chose to wear it, I think this will definitely be a cliché marmite product. You will either love it or hate it and I am still quite undecided here on the fence. Although I do like the effect it gives me, I find that it is too pink for me and ends up taking over my foundation sometimes even if I don't put too much on. Also the shimmer is very high and I sometimes feel very made up when I wear it! I don't think it was worth the high price tag as for me I don't tend to wear it that much as I don't like the pasty colour against my fair skin. However I think on other skin tones this would look amazing or if you have fake tan this would go very well!
If your interested have a look online for the little tester ones you can try or go to your local Benefit counter or Boots and try before you buy!
I have gone from a cheek and lip stain virgin to having them as my go to product and searching for more and more varieties and shades. So far I have only been purchasing from the Benefit range - they may be very expensive at £24.50 a pop but they last SO long and make my whole complexion brighter, lighter and fresher! I also love the fact that my cheeks and lips match in colour to give a more polished look. I have tried and tested the Benefit Benetint which is a rouge rose tinted shade and the Cha Cha Cheek and Lip tint which is a coral mango tinted shade. So the only one left to tick off my list was the pretty pink Posietint!
If you are unsure of what a cheek and lip stain actually does then let me enlighten you! Instead of wearing a powder or cream blusher and a separate lipstick that fades after a few hours meaning you have to re-apply, you just apply a 'tint' or a 'stain' - but don't worry it does come off with make up remover, its not a tattoo! The idea is longer lasting colour that looks more natural and more flawless.
I was on the look for the Posietint for a while and was so excited when I finally found it in a Boots whilst shopping in London. I love all of the packaging for the tints in the Benefit range - but the colour of this one is simply divine. Presented in a beautiful baby pink, rectangular box with a lighter pink petal design overlapping the side edge. One the front in bold, white writing is the brand name and a bit about the product, on the back ar the ingredients which are suitable for all skin types as they do not contain any nastiness. When you open the box the Posietint bottle is available to you, if you just saw it on its own and did not know what it is you would not be blamed for thinking that it was a nail varnish! The bottle is a gorgeous dusty pink colour with a darker pink petal design on the side next to the brand name. I LOVE the design as the bottle as it is so stylish and sleek! When you take off the thick, white, plastic lid you are greeted with a little brush just like a nail varnish once more.
If you swatch a little onto your hand it comes out very pink - almost fuchsia, however do not let this put you off as once blended it becomes much more subtle. The other two shades are scented with roses and mango - this one is scented with poppies the gorgeous little red flowers that you see mainly in November to remember the War Hero's. Benefit say that this is the 'cheekiest flush you can get from a bottle' - how cheeky!
How to use on your cheeks as a blusher: Using the brush applicator that comes with the Posietint, I have tried using a make up brush and sponge but it just is not the same! Simply draw once line onto the apples of your cheeks and then another on your actual cheekbone. You have to be really quick though as it will dry and leave your cheek stained like camouflage! Using circular movements blend the cheek stain into your skin until you are happy with the result. I like to focus the main amount of colour on the apples of my cheeks and then blend back towards my hairline to highlight and define the cheekbones.
This colour really suits my complexion perfectly but also looks tantastic with a tan! Its very sheer and quite light on your skin however you can add some more to make it darker. It last for ages, and when I say ages I really do mean AGES! I applied it once in the morning and it stayed put until I got in after a night out at about 2am and I had not re applied!
How to use on our lips as a sheer lipstick: You can wear this two ways - one is to apply a pale pink lipstick and then put the tint over the top for a deeper and fuller look. The second is you can wear it on its own over a lip balm so that it doesn't crack or separate once applied. I like to wear it both ways and even add some gloss over the top for a more shimmering look. I love how pink and perfect this makes my lips look - I wear it all the time as it is so natural looking and stays put so there is no annoying stains on cups or your boyfriend!
Overall, I love this cheek and lip stain as it is suitable to wear as a day time product and I don't have to keep re applying all the time. It is quite a high end product at £24.50 however as I said earlier it does last a long time and saves me both time and money as I don't have to keep topping up my lipstick or blusher throughout the day. Available at Boots, Boots.com, any stores that sell Benefit and online outlets too!
Recently I have started to love cheek and lip stains as appose to a blusher and a lipstick. My first ever one was the Rose Benefit Benetint and I loved how it made my complexion and lips look and more importantly feel! I wanted to try some more shades as I wanted a different look. I was quite excited when I went to my local Benefit counter and spied this funky looking Benefit Cha Cha Cheek and Lip Tint!
As from my previous review I stated that when I first got a cheek and lip tint I didn't really know what it was and how the worked - were they really going to stain my face like tea on a table? But no do not worry they are a perfectly safe an convenient new cosmetic that first came about in the 1970s - an alternative way to have a blushing glow than wearing separate blusher and lipstick - plus they match as it is from the same bottle!
The packaging was what attracted it to me in the first place - a gorgeous, bright orangey red, rectangular box with black, wavy stripes down the side and the name presented in the middle. On the back is the ingredients which are suitable for all skin types as the do not contain oil or talc! Once you open up the box you will find the tint itself. It looks identical to a nail polish - just a very hip and stylish one! The bottle is gold with pink wavy stripes along the front and the name in bold white writing. Once you unscrew the white plastic lid the similarities to a nail varnish continue as it has the same little brush applicator that you would find when doing a manicure!
As I stated earlier, the Benetint was a rose tinted shade and smelt of beautiful roses, this version is a mango shade and smells of...wait for it...mango! It is just like when you go to buy a regular blush you have the choice of red, pink or coral - this would be the coral option. It is said that coral and orange tones do not suit the pale complexion that I possess, however I beg to differ as I think the brightness of the pigment really stands out on pale skin - as well as all other skin tones and make you look glowing!
When you swatch a little onto your hand it comes out VERY orange, but do not be alarmed as when blended it is much better and not so harsh. Benefit state that this tint will 'beautifully blush your cheeks and lips with a tropical sunset hue' ooh it sounds so lovely and makes me think of going on holiday! It is also 'smooch proof and smudge proof' so the boyfriend will be happy that he won't be wearing it as well! It will have you looking 'deliciously sun kissed for hours!'
How to apply to your cheeks: Make sure that your skin is primed or has foundation on; if you want to wear powder, make sure you apply it afterwards as it will appear dry and patchy if you do it first. Open the bottle and using the brush in the lid draw two lines on to your cheeks from the apples to the cheekbones. You have to be quick, no dawdling and blend it in using circle motions otherwise it will stain in lines. Once it is on you can apply a highlighter or some powder over the top, however I feel it is a much nicer and brighter look if you leave it as it is.
I am in love with this look on my cheeks - its so sheer that you can get away with wearing a little or a lot, it not only makes my skin look blushing but glowing and as though I have been to some tropical paradise! I think this will look amazing with a tan and really set it off.
How to apply to your lips: Apply a lip balm to prime your lips so that the tint goes on evenly and smoothly, then using a lip brush or a Q-Tip dip it into the bottle and then dab all over your lips. You can use the brush applicator but make sure you are careful and precise to not get any on your chin like I did! Once you have dabbed it on, be quick once more and blend in with your fingers to make it even.
At first, I thought this was going to give me weird orange lips but oddly once on it sort of transforms itself to a more natural lip colour with a very faint mango tinted sheen. It is totally acceptable to wear in the day time as it is not too dark or over the top - you can wear a lipstick underneath it to give a deeper look however I like to apply some lip gloss over the top and leave it as it is!
The scent of this tint is so amazing - like tropical juice or a juicy melon! I love applying it and the fragrance I get when I do, I really would recommend this to anyone who wants a sun kissed glow! It is quite expensive, retailing at £24.50 for 12.5mls but I find it lasts for ages and keeps my skin looking glowing for hours and hours on end! So it pays or itself really!
Available at Boots, Boots.com, any stores that sell Benefit and online outlets too!
An artist wouldn't use just any old brush when creating a masterpiece, I bet Monet and Holbein had the very best to make their work the very best. It's the same idea with make up, if you are using a brush that is hard, has loose hairs and is scratchy on the skin then your make up is not going to apply very well and the finish will not be as great as it could be. Unfortunately most of the cheaper brushes around are not that good as they haven't been made to last. That's why I think it is justifiable to spend a little bit more when buying your tools as they will last longer, apply make up better and easier and you won't have to keep replacing them in the long run.
With this concept in mind, I was searching around for a new bronzer or powder brush to finish my make up off with and came across the Daniel Sandler Bronzer/Powder Brush. I have always been a big fan of the Daniel Sandler brand especially the lipsticks, so I knew it was a make I could trust. The brush is an 'award winning handbag sized bronzer or powder brush.' I love the size of it as it is not too big or too long that it is awkward to store or take around with you, but it isn't too small where you wouldn't be able to get proper use out of it. The fibres are made from natural hair which I love as it makes them softer, smoother and silkier but also you know that know nasties have been used to make this - which is an added bonus!
I love the look of the brush too as with most high end brands they like to keep it simple but classy with minimal detail and design. This particular one has a white matte handle with the brand name wrote along the side in black lettering to juxtapose the pale handle. It is quite a short handle and just fits into your hand perfectly when applying, something I really love and find it makes it a lot easier. On top of the handle is a shiny, mirrored effect panel which attaches the brush head to the handle. This added touch makes the whole brush glow and illuminate even when just sat on your dressing table, every time the light hits it! The brush hairs are arranged in a dome shape and are a deep black colour throughout. To look at the brush is stunning and a real statement piece in your collection.
This brush can be used to apply any powder product you like, whether that's bronzer, setting powder, powder foundations, blushers or highlighters. I have used this to apply all of the above and have found that it works best for me as a make up finisher to apply my powder. The bristles are SO soft that when you swirl it on to your face it feels luxurious and you can tell the difference from cheaper brands.
I have used this to apply both loose and pressed powders and it works well for both. With some brushes when you are attempting to put on loose powder it clumps in the hairs and causes patches on your skin - not with the Sandler brush! The shape and thickness of the fibres make it incredibly easy to simply sweep the mineral goodness all over your face leaving a natural look. The same goes for the pressed powder, a few swirls in the pan and you're done!
I always wash my make up brushes once a week, and find that some are never the same after washing and have to be thrown out. However this one is a dream to wash and springs back into shape like brand new. One tip I would give is to make sure after washing off the shampoo or brush cleaner with warm water, pull the hairs back into shape as that is the way they will dry and you don't want them to stay splayed.
Overall I am very happy with this pocket sized brush and take it everywhere with me, the design is fault proof and this will be the only brush you need to take with you on the go as you can use it for multiple purposes. I paid £25.50 which I think is not too bad a price as I have used it so much and will continue to do so!
You can purchase online on the Daniel Sandler website, as well as all good online make up stores and sites including eBay and Amazon.
I am a big fan of Kabuki style brushes as I find they are much easier to apply setting powders because the bristles are so large and spread out that they do not pick a lot of product up and disperse it very naturally and more importantly, lightly over my face. As well as powder, I find these types of brushes work very well for bronzers too as I don't usually contour with my bronzing powder, mainly because I am not good at it and end up looking like a chimney sweep from Dickens time with patches of dirt looking bronzer all over my face! I much prefer to sweep it across my complexion to highlight where the sun would hit, but using smaller brushes can be a task in themselves as they leave streaks and are harder to blend out to get that tantastic glow! If you're having trouble with getting a natural application for bronzer then I would recommend trying a kabuki bronzer and in particular the Benefit Bronzing Brush!
I love the packaging of this brush as most brushes just come in a plastic sleeve with a sticker and a barcode if you're lucky! But Benefit are known for their love of beautifully designed products and this isn't an exception. It comes in a see through plastic wallet type of container that has a bright, canary yellow cardboard piece to hold the shape and also hold the brush. On the front of the cardboard facing out towards the front of the packaging in big and bold lettering are the words Bronzing Brush with 'for the girl from panama look' wrote just underneath it! I don't know why but this made me think of the TV Programme that used to be on called Pan Am about Air Hostesses so I'm not sure if that is what they were hinting at, but whatever it is it sounds good! Underneath the writing are two small pictures in a circle - one of a face and once of a neck and chest which tells you that this brush can be used to apply bronzer to both these areas. In the corner in a black semi circle is a quite saying 'power to the bronzer' a play on the 'power to the people' one which I like!
Once you open it up and get into your brush you notice that it is quite short and quite broad which all kabuki styles are. They are made in this was as it is easier to hold them, store them and take them on the go with you by having a shorter handle. Speaking of handles, the one on this brush is really lovely and definitely stands out as it is a gorgeous matte white and made of a very hard a sturdy plastic, so its not going to chip or break off if dropped. One thing I love is that it has a rounded bottom which makes it self standing something which is also great for storing and helpful when you are putting your make up on as it doesn't roll off! The bristles are my favourite aspect of this brush by far as they are super soft! Made with natural hair they are arranged in a circular dome shape that is the same width and height from the base until you get to the very top where it tapers into a little bit of a tip. The tones of the hairs go from warm to dark brown from the bottom to the top.
I love the look of the brush as I think it looks classic, chic and chunky which is something that I find to be a great advantage with make up brushes. I use this to apply any bronzer that I am wearing - you can use this to apply low end or high end and it will still make it look amazing on your skin! You can also apply this on pressed or loose powder although I think it applies loose powder much better as it doesn't concentrate the powder into one place or hold too much at once, instead it picks up just enough to lightly dust over your complexion.
I would recommend this handy, great and luxury feeling brush to anyone who wants to apply there bronzer lightly to give a natural and flawless look. It is the perfect size to be able to fit in your handbag, glove box or even your pocket for touch ups on the go. This is an expensive product at £23.50 however it lasts so much more than a cheap brush, which you will need to replace once it gets too clogged up and starts to lose its bristles, so the quality pays for itself.
You can purchase Benefit at Boots or Boots.com, online make up stores as well as the Benefit website and any department stores that have a Benefit counter.
I was on one of my favourite online make up stores that does brilliant discounts and was sifting through the many products. I came across the Cosmopolitan Beauty Expert Perfect Finish Powder Brush for a mere £5.95 with free delivery and at that price I can't say no - just like Conor Maynard sings!
Not only is it a great price but it is also a great brush! Made with 'ultra soft brush hair' it is ideal for applying all types of powder including bronzers, blush, highlight and setting powder. Being made from natural brush hair this helps to give you a completely flawless and natural looking finish to your make up every time!
All of the Cosmopolitan brushes are packaged the same in a silver plastic wallet with a see through panel at the front. The front has splashes of bright, vibrant fuchsia pink which really stand out against the silver background, such as the brand name 'Cosmopolitan' wrote sideways on the right as well as a strip at the bottom and a circle in the middle with some information about the product. Once you open up the plastic packet, you get to your brush which in my opinion looks very chic and very classic. It is completely white with a glossy, shiny finish. The only colour to break up the white is the pink writing of Cosmopolitan wrote on the bottom in a sideways manner. At the top of the brush are the bristles which are arranged in a domed fashion. Overall the look of the brush is very simple just like a high end product - looks much more expensive than £6!
I use this as my all rounder brush, if I am going out I will just take this brush with me as I can touch up my blusher, bronzer and setting powder all with this one brush, rather than bringing loads! If I am at home then I will use this to apply my setting powder as I prefer it and find it gives a natural finish. To use I swirl the brush in to the powder I am using and make sure I tap off the excess to make sure that I don't apply too much which can cause dry patches. I then dust it across my face in circular motions and buff it out into the hair and jaw lines. To apply blusher and bronzer I do the same but sweep it across the cheekbones in a back and forth fashion.
One thing I will say is that you have to make sure you clean your brushes regularly as if left unclean a build up of bacteria can form causing break outs. This brush is exceptionally easy to clean by just massaging a small amount of shampoo or brush cleaner into the hair fibres and rinsing with Luke warm water, then leaving to dry. This brush dries very fast but you have to make sure that you pull the bristles back into place and don't leave them splayed as they will dry that way and it can damage them.
I love this brush as it is perfect for applying anything! It was very cheap and I wasn't expecting much from it, but I was proved wrong as it is better than some of the higher end brushes I own! Who says you can't have a little luxury in a recession?
You can purchase this brush online on most online make up stores. I bought mine from feelunique.com as they have a great offer on!
Since I had been purchasing a lot of the Benefit blushes and was loving the small brushes that came with them, I wondered if they did a bigger version. Whilst browsing their brush selection the Benefit Blush/Powder Brush took my fancy!
Measuring seven inches in height from the base to the top of the bristles it is a pretty standard size and looks a little like a paint brush as it has a beach wood effect handle that tapers off into a curve - much like a painters friend! At the bottom in dark lettering is the word Benefit that stands out without being too over the top or adorned. On top of the wooden handle is a black plastic panel that holds the bristles of the brush securely in place. Made from a gorgeous natural hair which gives them that extra added softness, the multi-toned bristles curve out into a slight domed, curved shape on the top - much like most blush brushes. They are shaped in this way as it makes it much easier to apply to the apples and the cheekbones, as if it was too big it would give a very undefined and almost messy look.
I use this to apply all of the Benefit Box Blushes that I own as I find because the bristles are so fine they pick up just enough product to satisfy a rosy glow without making you apply too much and feel like a china doll! You can use this to apply any blush, it works so well and doesn't feel scratchy or hard against the skin so you could blend it in all day and still feel that it was gorgeously soft! I have also used this to apply my bronzer as the shape of it and the size gave a defined and flawless look to really help contour the cheekbones and temples.
You should make sure you wash your brushes after every use - especially foundation ones. But with this brush I find if I wash it every few days to once a week then it is clean and ready for action! I use a small amount of shampoo (about a ten pence piece amount into my hand) and then rub the brush into it and massage it into the hair - just like it was having its hair washed! Then I wash off with warm water and leave to dry. But you must make sure you pull the hairs back into shape as leaving them splayed will cause it to dry out of shape and ultimately ruin the brush. Alternatively you can use a brush cleaner - a lot of brands sell them including MAC.
One disadvantage of this brush, if I had to give one, is the price. It is very expensive and I am not entirely sure why as at the end of the day it is just a make up brush and is not by a designer brand such as Chanel or Gucci. However it is £22.50 and although I really love the way it applies my make up and how soft it is, I do think this is a little steep as the blush boxes are the same price - so for a brush and a blush you're looking at nearly fifty quid! Having said that I can justify why you would pay it as it is my most used brush and I always have it with me - nothing beats it!
You can buy this brush at Boots or Boots.com, as well as the Benefit website along with all good online make up stores. And of course any department stores which have a Benefit counter.
I always like to touch up my make up when I'm on the train, mainly from rushing in the mornings and not being able to complete it properly! However I find that bringing a powder, blush, bronzer and other types of brushes with me takes up far too much room! I was on the hunt for a small Kabuki style brush that would still have the great softness and quality as its longer cousins! I also didn't want to spend too much as it would just live in my handbag for when I am on the go. I decided to have a nose around Boots and came across the 17 Shimmer Brush - it was the perfect match!
To look at it appears to be a regular Kabuki brush with a creamy beige small handle that has a gorgeous glossy finish to it. At the bottom of the handle is a mahogany brown round circular piece which enables the brush to stand up by itself - great for storage! The bristles are mostly brown but taper off into a darker brown almost black like an ombre effect! They take up most of the brush in proportion to the handle and are roughly two and a half inches high from the base. As well as being tall they are also very broad and curve out from the sides to the top forming a rounded top. I love the look of the brush as it is the perfect size to keep in your bag but it isn't too small to not do its job properly, I love how simple and straightforward the design is and how it's all about the bristles!
This brush is supposed to be used to apply bronzer and shimmer, however I find this works so much better as an all over face brush to apply setting powder or to blend your make up in as a finishing touch. I tried to apply my bronzer by using this brush but I found the bristles were too big and too fluffy to get a defined look, but as a powder brush it works perfectly as it does not pick up too much product and disperses it lightly and naturally!
To use, I simply swirl it over my pressed powder and then in fast circular motions sweep it on my face, I love how soft the bristles are, as some brushes are very scratchy and make application irritating and hard. I also used this with a loose powder and found that it is the best way to apply it as it doesn't concentrate the powder into one point, meaning once on your skin it is even and there are no pesky dry patches!
Although it doesn't work very well for bronzer in my opinion, I find it creates a gorgeous glowing complexion if you use it to apply blusher - rather than being a defined look it makes it look as though you have a natural radiant flushed look as it sweeps the colour all over your cheeks in one light sweep. Perfect!
Not only is this a great brush that is compact enough to fit into your handbag, make up bag or even pocket, made with the softest bristles arranged in a dome shape to aid easy application that gives a natural and flawless effect, but it is also very, very cheap at a mere £3.29 - that's the price of a sandwich! I will admit I bought it because of the price but wasn't expecting much from it, after one use my opinion was changed forever and it hasn't just become my handbag brush - its my go to brush!
It is also very easy to clean, by simply using a shampoo or a brush cleaner and massaging them in to the bristles. Rinse off with warm water and leave to dry overnight. One little tip I would give is make sure you pull the hairs back into shape as if you leave them splayed they will stay that way and over time it will ruin the brushes shape meaning it wont have the same effect on your skin.
You can purchase the 17 Shimmer Brush at Boots or Boots.com, as well as any online make up stores and even eBay and Amazon!
I've been wearing a lot of different bronzers lately as here in London we had our week long summer - so it was time to make the most of it! Only problem was I needed the right tools for the job! I had been using the little brushes that usually come with them, but when I'm out, I either forget to bring them or they disappear into my bag and cannot be found until daylight! I then started to use whatever powder brush I had on my dressing table but then I would forget - and when I went to apply my setting powder I'd end up with big streaks of bronzer all over where it was still on there! I decided it was time to buy a bronzing brush, but which one?
As you probably know there are hundreds of different brands, types and makes of brushes to choose from - ranging from a few pounds to a few shudders from your bank balance! After sifting through more brushes than a chimney sweep I decided upon the Stila #17 Retractable Bronzing Brush purely because I had used some of the make up from the brand before and I trusted the make.
What makes this brush a little different is that it is a retractable - which means you can store this just as you would a mascara or lipstick, with a lid. Now if you tried to put a lid on a brush you would have a hard time trying to get every last bristle in without bending them or making them go out of shape - that's where the retract part comes in! By simply using the mechanism to push the bristles down and then securing the lid it makes it much easier to store, carry around with you and also maintain the cleanliness of it. It has a special 'dome shape' and softness which means it is 'goof-proof' for applying bronzer according to Stila! They tell you to start in the T-Zone and dust the powder outward and on the highlights if your face 'where the sun would hit first.'
The packaging is quite simple - presented in a bronzed gold colour casing with the word Stila wrote down the side in bold, black lettering. By taking off the lid you are greeted with the brush itself and the bristles which are a soft brown colour and very soft to the touch. I use this to apply my bronzer and also my blush as I like to mix the two together sometimes. It does a good job and the shape of the bristles makes it easier to blend and get a more natural look. If you want to contour and have a more defined application then just squeeze the bristles together so they form a line or switch to an angled brush.
One thing that I personally don't really like and wouldn't have purchased had I have known, is that it is made from the Bian Jeng Feng Goat's coat. I used to be a vegan and then a vegetarian and when I realised what it was made from it turned my stomach slightly. I then realised that sheep's wool makes jumpers and a lot of woolly stuff and the goat would not have been harmed when this was made, so I suppose it was slightly better to know that. However I am not 100% happy with this concept, but that is just a personal preference.
I like this brush and think it is great to take out on the go with me as it is easy to find in my bag and doesn't take up too much room or get lost! It is quite expensive at £17, I don't think it was worth that much money as it is just a standard bronzing brush, perhaps it is because of the name? Overall I think this is a great brush that does what it says on the tin. Only slighty put off is what it is made of, but I think that is me being picky!
I've started to really love the Real Techniques brushes as they are high end quality but also affordable. If you are not familiar with the brand Real Techniques then let me give you a little insight, created by Samantha Chapman who is a professional make up artist that you can find on the very successful and top rated beauty YouTube channel, Pixiwoo. After 15 years in the business working with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Peaches Geldof, Charlotte Church and many more for high quality fashion magazines such as Elle and Cosmo, as well as being an instructor at the Pixiwoo Beauty Bootcamp! Samantha decided to branch out into make up brushes as she states 'I know great artistry is only as good as your techniques and tools.'
If you log onto the website, or go to Boots you can view the full range. I wanted to get a new foundation brush as the current one I was using was leaving my skin with streaks so I looked as though I had applied it with a wall paper roller brush! I shopped around and came across this collection, deciding upon the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.
It claims to be 'ultra firm and broad' which aids easy application and also the blending of cream and liquid foundations - which are perfect for me as I only wear that type! Having said that I have used this with a mousse type foundation which is quite thick and awkward but by using this brush I found it smoothed it on to my skin as easy as the liquid ones! A real treat!
Like all the brushes in the range, it is made using 'ultra plush, synthetic taklon bristles' which are hand cut and '100% cruelty free' so you don't have to worry about who was harmed in the making of this brush. I love the design of this brush as the aluminium handle is coloured with a gorgeous, vibrant gold yellow that is curved inwards from the bristles to make it easier and also more comfortable to use. At the bottom of the brush is a black section that had a round bottom - made this way so it can be self standing which makes for easy storage! At the top of the brush are the bristles which are a dark brown with white and grey faded tips. To look at it seems like a plumper version of your average foundation brush as there are more bristles packed into it. The reason being that it turns it from a normal one to a two in one - a foundation brush with a stippling or buffing brush mixed in! By having more bristles in a rounded shape it gives a sponge like effect to your skin when blending in foundation.
I usually use this to apply my Revlon PhotoReady; however you can use any foundation you like! I start off by dabbing a few dots of foundation over my skin, and then in circular motions blend it in all over. Its SO, SO, SO soft on my skin, as some can be scratchy or hard which makes application slightly irritating and can cause rashes or breakouts - with this brush I could apply it all day, but I would have about four inches of make up on if I did!
Sometimes if im in a rush and I just bring one brush with me then I will use this to apply my blusher or powder as it is soft enough to pick up the product and distribute it perfectly, although I would prefer to use this as a foundation brush.
You can purchase these brushes at Boots or Boots.com as well as The Real Techniques website and any online make up stores that stock this brand. I really would recommend this brush as it is an all rounder and makes applying foundation that bit more easier. It's not expensive at all at £9.99 which is an amazing price for a brush that feels such high quality. Think how much you would spend on a MAC brush!
I hopped on the staining of your face bandwagon quite late and much preferred to wear my lipstick and blusher. However during the summer I wanted to go for a new look so rather than wearing a lot of eye make up and nude lips I thought I would switch it up and let my lips do the talking. Literally! I wanted quite a bright lipstick and was looking in Boots at all the different brands and came across the Benefit counter - I noticed the little bottles of their lip and cheek stains and thought they were nail varnishes! I picked up the ravishing red coloured bottle entitled 'Benefit Benetint' and realised what it was. I decided it was time to try the staining idea, but what exactly are they? The name suggests that it tints your cheeks and lips to a rouge colour but my slight worry was that it was going to be a sort of tattoo or at least semi permanent for a few days!
However I was just being silly as a quite bit of research told me that cheek and lip stains are a new sort of cosmetic product that is an alternative to a powder or cream blush - they usually come in a gel or liquid form and double up as a lip tint too - a sort of 2 for 1! I was very excited to try it but was quite shocked at the price - it was £24.50 for just under 14mls of product. This is a lot of money to spend on this kind of product however Benefit are the original makers of the cheek and lip tint so I wanted to try them first, I did look at other brands that were slightly cheaper but I read some bad reviews about them causing spots. After thinking about it I decided to purchase it and if I found I did not like it I was going to give it to my Mum or a mate.
I love the packaging that it comes in, its very typical of the Benefit designs. You receive a matte red, rectangular, box with light pink circles on the sides. The front of the box has the name and a bit of relevant information about the tint. On the back are the ingredients which do not contain any oil, talc or any other nastiness as it is suitable for all skin types. Once you open up the box at the top you can reach in and find the Benetint itself (that's another thing I really love about it - the name, its so catchy and makes you remember it for future reference!) The bottle itself is almost identical to a nail varnish - but a little bigger than the average one. It is quite a deep red in colour with the pink circle design and the brand name simply adorns the front in white writing. The white lid is quite large and made from plastic. I love the whole design of the product as I think it is simplistic yet very chic and stylish - my make up bag is Honoured to have it in its contents! Once you unscrew the lid you are greeted with a little brush applicator - just like a nail varnish! At first I did not know how this would work and if it would be useful as it looks very thin. However I soon got the hang of it!
One thing I absolutely LOVE about this product is the scent, it smells of roses. Red roses. And I just can't get enough of it - when you apply it you feel like you smell of flowers for a while however after a while the smell does disappear but is not too over powering in the first place to put you off wearing. Benefit say this is 'kiss proof and water proof' which my boyfriend will be glad to hear as he always ends up wearing my lipstick for me! Also I hate it when you find you have lipstick on your teeth, this is a great way to avoid that - just make sure you don't get any of the stain on your teeth because that would be even worse! It claims to be an incredibly sheer tint that gives you an 'innocent yet provocative glow making people guess what you have been up to!' I think Benefit were trying to be a bit cheeky there but they also go on to say that the rosy glow will last for hours and was originally created for an 'exotic dancer' in the 1970s and soared to 'cult fave status' that is now loved by celebs, make up artists and 'gals around the world!'
How to use on your cheeks: - I have experimented with a few ways such as using little dots on the cheek bones or a fat blob on the apples, however I have found I get the best results when I have applied a primer and foundation to my face (do NOT apply this after powder as it will become very dry and hard to blend in - learn from my mistakes!) I then draw two stripes on my cheeks - one on the apples and the other on the actual bone. I find the little 'nail varnish brush' that comes with it is actually very handy as it is thin enough to give you an even amount of product. Once you have drawn your lines you have to be very FAST or it will stain in lines and you will look like Adam Ant! Blend in circular motions using your fingers (brushes don't work as well as they don't mix the product into your skin, plus it stains your brushes.) When you have blended, leave to dry for a bit then apply a small amount of powder over the top if you feel you need it.
I love the effect it gives my cheeks - from the bottle I thought it was going to be very Bette Davis and looks very rouge however it is more of a pinky red and quite sheer, sometimes I find that two lines isn't enough and I add a little more to give more of a glow. I love it much more than powder or cream blushes and it stays but for hours and hours - even sometimes if I forget to take my make up off before I go to bed it will still be on the next day! Magnificent!
It does come off very easily as well when you want to take it off simply use a make up wipe or normal make up remover. Not a tattoo then as I first thought!
How to use on your lips: Again I have experimented with a few different ways but found the best way to be, apply some lip balm to your lips so they are primed, then you have the choice to apply your favourite red lippy or just stay with the balm - the lipstick will make your lips look more red and in your face where just the tint on its own will make them look 'naturally sheer red.' For everyday purposes I just apply the tint with a cotton bud as using the 'nail varnish brush' is a little unhygienic and quite hard to get where you want it to go. Simply dip the cotton bud or Q-Tip into the bottle (or paint it on with the brush) and then dab onto your lips starting from the middle and working outwards. Again you have to be fast and blend it into your lips with your finger or the cotton bud. Once it is on, leave it to dry and you can then apply some gloss over the top or a red lipstick. I like to add a bit of balm over the top to give a bit of shine and moisture.
I love the way it makes my lips look - its not too red, more of a your lips but better look as it is quite sheer and almost matte looking. I have worn this so many times and always get compliments on it - also its great to have your cheeks and lips matching!
I would recommend this to anyone who wants gorgeous looking cheeks and lips. It may be a high price tag but think how much would you spend on a blusher and a lipstick then add them together? Maybe about £24.50! Available at Boots, Boots.com, any stores that sell Benefit and online outlets too!
If you are not familiar with the brand Real Techniques then you really should be! Created by Samantha Chapman - a professional make up artist who you may recognise from the very successful and top rated beauty YouTube channel, Pixiwoo. After 15 years in the business working with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Peaches Geldof, Charlotte Church and many more for high quality fashion magazines such as Elle and Cosmo, as well as being an instructor at the Pixiwoo Beauty Bootcamp! Samantha decided to branch out into make up brushes as she states 'I know great artistry is only as good as your techniques and tools.'
On the Real Techniques website there are a variety of gorgeous and very useful brushes to choose from, with handy tutorials from the Pixiwoo girls to demonstrate new looks and ideas to try out once your purchase! I am a big fan of the YouTube channel and always watch their videos for advice on make up or to find a new look for a night out, so when I heard about the make up brushes I was so excited to try. The first one I purchased was the Real Techniques Stippling Brush.
A stippling brush is a foundation brush that has a flat top rather than a tip. I personally prefer this type of brush to apply my make up as it makes it much easier to blend and to buff into the skin but also makes it appear much more natural as it does not cake onto the skin.
I really love the design of all the brushes in the range - but I think this has to be my favourite! The brush itself has a bright, shiny pink aluminium handle that tapers off to a black piece at the bottom that measures roughly 2 inches - the bottom has a flat round edge so it is self standing which is great for storing on your make up table. The brush has a slight hourglass curve in the middle, rather than being straight which I think helps to get a good angle when holding it to apply. There is no writing on the brush apart from 'stippling brush' on the side at the bottom which I think its great as if you forget whilst going through your brushes - there is a helpful reminder for you! At the top are the bristles which are predominately black with white tips at the very top. Being a stippling brush they are arranged to curve out and meet at the top to form a very blunt straight line - they are made from 'ultra-plush, synthetic taklon bristles' which are hand cut and '100% cruelty free' something which we all want to hear! Overall the design of this brush is very well thought out as it is both gorgeous but handy as well!
You can use this brush to apply any make up you want but mainly liquid foundations. However I have used this to apply the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (which normal foundation brushes stick to and make it appear even cakeier) but this one buffed it into my skin so well that whenever I wear it this is the only tool I reach for. I have also used this to apply powder products such as blusher, bronzer and setting powder as it is so soft and easy to get into the contours, and it did a fantastic job of making it look so smooth and glide onto my skin rather than sit in patches. However the main product I use this for is my liquid foundations!
To use I simply pump out some of the foundation I am going to be wearing that day and then dip the brush into it so that the tips are covered. Then starting on my T-Zone I dab it on and in circular motions buff it into my skin. It makes application so much quicker as I don't have to keep going over patches or bits that I have missed as it gives an even and very natural looking finish. I have used this mainly with the Revlon PhotoReady and the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundations, but it really doesn't matter which one you use - this brush will turn a drugstore foundation into a designer one!
You can purchase these brushes at Boots or Boots.com as well as the Real Techniques website. They are very reasonably priced as this one is £9.99, which compared to MAC and other brands is a real bargain especially as the bristles are fair trade and your foundation application will never be the same again!
I love foundations and spend quite a bit on them but they are not going to stay all nice and matte without a sweep of powder on the top. Even foundations that claim to be matte and satin will still fade and have shiny spots after a few hours of wearing them. I never really bothered when choosing a powder, I just went for the cheapest one and that was that. But recently I have been getting dry skin due to the change in the weather so I have been looking for a good powder to control this for me. MaxFactor have always been a good drugstore brand in my opinion so I went to their counter first whilst in Superdrug.
I had a look at their range and finally came to the decision of the MaxFactor Crème Puff Powder as I thought it looked the nicest and would do my skin some good. Apparently this powder has been going since the WWI and the women back then had this as a little bit of luxury. If it was good enough for them, then it is good enough for me! The packaging is very classy and looks much more expensive than £5.99! In a flat, round, glossy black pot measuring about 2-3 inches in diameter with the brand and name imprinted on the top in gorgeous shiny gold writing. On the back are the ingredients and the weight which is 21g.
Once you take off the lid, by simply pulling it up, you are greeted by the most gorgeous smell to grace a powder! Its very strong and fragranced just like a perfume, I absolutely love it but some people may find it to be too much although it does disappear after wearing for a while. Inside the pot is also a thin make up sponge of puff that is great to apply the powder whilst you are on the go.
There are 7 shades in this range of powder, however I personally only go for 'Transparent' or 'Translucent' options as I find they do not add any colour to your face and ruin your foundations work, it just adds a clear veil over the top to stop shine and prolong the wear. The shades available are:
Transparent - A white based shade that does not add colour to the skin or your foundation, however for darker skin types this may be too light and I would advise trying some of the shades below.
Tempting Touch - Quite a light medium shade, would suit fair complexions that want to add some colour to their skin tone and glow!
Medium Beige - A medium warm shade that will add a gorgeous glow to your complexion like you've just got back from holiday!
Noveau Beige - Noveau simply means 'modern' so this shade is a modern beige but is slightly darker than Medium Beige. This would suit olive to dark skin tones.
Candle Glow - This shade is rather on the orange side but if blended in well you can achieve a good tan colour - just don't put on too much!
Gay Whisper - One of the darker shades that could even be doubled up as a bronzer to add a lovely faux summer glow!
Sun Frolic - The darkest shade in the range that will make your complexion look as though you have been frolicking in the sun!
I like to apply this with a powder brush rather than the make up puff as I feel it's more hygienic and looks more natural on your skin and doesn't cake. Once on it makes my foundation look more pristine and natural without being too made up or over done, I really love the result of this plus the fragrance is a pleasant added bonus! You can wear this on its own if you choose one of the skin toned shades but I would strongly advise applying moisturiser or a primer before hand so that it does not cling to any dry patches.
Overall it's a great setting powder for m foundation and for £5.99 it lasts for ages as you only put a sweeping of it on each day. I also find I don't have to top up m y foundation as much so it's saving me money and time too!
Available at Superdrugs, Boots, selected supermarkets, any department stores that sell MaxFactor as well as online make up stores, eBay and Amazon.