The eyeliner that’s SO good, it’s TOO good… No, really.

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 1 - 2014

Made you look, made you stare, made you lose your underwear.

A product that’s too good?  Can this even be possible?  And if so, what the hell are you talking about woman?

Well, I’m talking about the new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner.  You know, that one everyone and his eyeliner-wearing dog is talking about.  Or at least, they were… before we all moved on to the next latest release.  Us bloggers, we be so fickle.

So, what’s so right with it?  And more importantly, why is this a bad thing?

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review

The new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Eyeliner – usual twee Benefit marketing aside – is actually one of those genuinely innovative releases that we all crave.  It’s something that I’ve never seen done before, a truly delightful way of dispensing product that delivers on both the novelty-factor and the this-is-actually-quite-good factor.

Let me tell you about the technicalities of the eyeliner, in my own completely untechnical way.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review (3)

You see that tip?  That nib up there?  It’s a rubberized doo-dah with a small opening through which oozes gel eyeliner when you twist the bottom of the pen mechanism.  The gel it dispenses is the kind that you usually get in a pot.  As for the mechanism, it doesn’t shoot out in an unusable stream of fast-moving black lava, it actually dispenses pretty slowly, playing nicely and stopping dead when you quit twisting the base of the pen.  That in itself is miraculous and something that most similar products have failed to achieve.

Sadly, any product remaining in or on the nib dries out pretty quickly once it’s left the airtight chamber.  Benefit have tried to counteract this by providing an odd little “plug” that you keep in the opening when the pen isn’t in use.  Sadly, for me, this idea falls short… replacing and removing the plug is the quickest way I’ve found to get your hands covered in smears of product.  I’ll talk more about that later…

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review Swatch

Let’s talk about the formula first.

It’s inky and it’s very black, just as you’d hope.  As far as eyeliners go, this one has a pretty dry consistency… delivering a solid pigment with hardly any feathering or creep from a too-wet formula.  You’d expect this from any gel eyeliner, and this is a good one.

The downside to this precision is that, as with most drier textures, it has a tendency to flake.  Especially if you dare “go over” your drawn line once too often.  This is frustrating, especially for someone who isn’t naturally gifted at drawing impeccable edges the first time round.  I usually need to do the whole “thicken the line to neaten it” thing after the first application.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Review Worn

The upside is that when you get it right (the first or at a push, the second time), you’ll be rewarded with the darkest, matte-est, most gloriously lined eyes you could ever wish for.  Particularly if you’re wanting to throw a cheeky eye-flick into the mix.  The applicator nib positively excels at painting the product onto the skin.  It’s a joy to use.  An absolute bloody joy.

Benefit They're Real Eye Liner Worn FOTD

So, what the hell is wrong with it?!

Well, I can’t remove the damn stuff without a pan-scourer and half a litre of sugar soap.

The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner, is infact, so stubborn that Benefit had to release a specially-formulated eye makeup remover to go with.  My regular cleansing methods just don’t cut the mustard.  I can usually tackle most waterproof formulas with something in my makeup-removing arsenal, but this one eludes me.  Perhaps because I don’t own any bi-phase products, I’ve read that they can help do the job… but my skin doesn’t tolerate them especially well.

This is all fine and dandy if you don’t mind spending £14.50 for 50ml of Benefit’s makeup remover but frankly, I do.

“But Charlotte… surely, that incredible longevity is worth paying for?!” I hear you hayfever sufferers screaming at me!

Well, yes… it would be but annoyingly, despite the liner’s reluctance to get. the. fuck. off. my. fingers. (see earlier note about plug removal/replacement) – the same stuff doesn’t mind migrating from my lashline to my hooded eyelids.  In fairness, we’re not talking panda proportions of transfer… but it’s enough to get my index finger rubbing at my droopy lids.

What about you? Have you tried Benefit’s latest release yet?

The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner is priced at £18.50 and is available to buy on counter and online from Boots, ASOS, and Debenhams

* press sample

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Benefit Gimme Brow Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2014

I simply cannot over-stress the importance of amazing eyebrows.

Well err, scratch that because obviously I could… I could suggest that they were more important than something like world peace or the need for a Krispy Kreme stand on every corner.  But what I’m trying to explain, dear reader, is that I do place an emphasis on how my brows look.  Mostly because, without intervention, they’re an embarrassment to my face.  The saddest thing about this, is that my eyebrows, despite all this extra attention (I spend more money over the course of a year on my eyebrows than I do my hair), are still not amazing.

I have been cursed with the worst affliction that any brow-wearer could suffer from.  Curly eyebrows.  My threader always has a little giggle to herself (she thinks I don’t notice) when she gets the scissors out.  I try and make light of the situation by suggesting that she might have better luck with a pair of straighteners, but then her wry smiles turn to a look of pity, so I shut up and let her get on with it.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Benefit’s Gimme Brow* promises to be an all-in-one solution for badly-behaved brows, delivering a natural-looking finish and a long-lasting hold.  It’s a gel formula, packed with tiny fibres that adhere to both skin and hair to help fill in any bald spots and volumise (yes, volumise!) the brows you already have.  Imagine the brand trying to sell this back in the days when “big” lady brows were frowned-upon!

My biggest bug-bear with this product is a usual Benefit complaint.  You’ll leave the counter feeling much, much lighter of pocket… and for not a lot of product.  Infact, you get just 3.0g of product for your £17.50 outlay and when you’re dealing with something that you need to “build up” for maximum effect, and will most likely be using daily… I really think that Gimme Brow will quickly become a rather expensive addition to your beauty routine.

Benefit Gimme Brow 1

The wand inside the tube reminds me of those bottom-lash mascara wands… it’s very, very small and very, very tapered.  It’s been nicely designed to allow for precision application but I still find it a little too big for my few straggly hairs at the outer tips of my brows.  I did read someone say that they wished the wands were bigger, to cover a greater area with more speed… I’m just LOL’ing to myself at just how big this person’s brows must be!  Spare a thought for us with spindly face slugs, love!

Benefit Gimme Brow 2

Benefit Gimme Brow is available to purchase in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep – not only is Light/Medium obviously the paler of the two, but it looks a little warmer also…

Benefit Gimme Brow 3

I’ve included a before/after shot below.  This is how I use the product, though I’m aware that some have taken the “adhere to skin” advice quite literally and have used the product to *really* fill in the brows, as one would with a pencil or a shadow.  I can’t quite bring myself to do this with Gimme Brow, I’ve tried… but I just don’t like how it looks.  Perhaps if my brows were shorter, but I struggle to keep it looking natural once I start painting my skin with the product.

The best side-effect I’ve noticed with Benefit’s Gimme Brow (and I’m using the Medium/Deep shade in the photos below) is its ability to transform my two white eyebrow hairs into naturally-coloured versions of their neighbours.  Thank christ for that, I’ve never been so horrified to discover a white hair since… well… since I discovered one somewhere else you really don’t want to discover one.  Other than that, although I do like it for its ease-of-use and convenience (it’s a lot less faff than a pencil or a powder)… I’m not sure I’m in love with it, especially at its current price.

My biggest problem is that it just doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of staying power… and if I’m gonna ditch the powder for an all-in-one brow solution, I really need that perk.

benefit-gimme-brow-before-after

If you’re in need of some serious eyebrow SOS, now would be a great time to head down to the Benefit counter at your local Debenhams store.  The brand are partnering with cancer charity Look Good Feel Better for the month of March and are offering a complimentary brow arch service (worth £11.50) for a requested minimum donation of £5, with all proceeds going directly to the charity.

Benefit Gimme Brow is priced at £17.50 and available to buy instore at Benefit counters nationwide and online at benefitcosmetics.co.uk

* press sample

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FOTD with the Limited Edition Benefit The Rich Is Back Kit

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 10 - 2013

The 1970s were responsible for many a wonder. Star Wars, the MRI scan, the first black model on cover of a major fashion mag, the Krankies…

Oh.

Wee Jimmy Krankie aside though, let’s face it… the 70s were something to celebrate. Unless you had a box of FAB ice lollies in the freezer during one of the decade’s infamous rolling power cuts. But forgetting all the political shenanigans of the time, what about the D.I.S.C.O? The glitz and glamour of the real Boogie Wonderland?

Well, Benefit are bringing it back thanks to a collaboration with eminent fashion designer, Matthew Williamson.. himself, a child of the 70s. Ladies and… (probably) ladies, I present to you The Rich is Back!*

Benefit The Rich Is Back_01

Benefit The Rich Is Back_02

Of the kit, Matthew Williamson says:

“This is high-octane glam makeup for dressing up to look fabulous & dance the night away!”

Well, not really… is it? I mean, it’s a nice-enough kit… and probably far more sellable as it is than if it were high-octane glam makeup but c’mon Matthew Williamson… in what world would you describe a bunch of neutrals livened up with a teal… a sheer pink lipgloss and nude blush “high-octane”.

It’s not. It’s not really very 70s night-time glamour at all. But then, you’re not really Donna Summer either are you?

So perhaps we should just be thankful that this kit is a bit more wearable than the looks the girls would have been rocking down at Studio 54. Let’s see what you get for your money….

Benefit The Rich Is Back_05

Perhaps, infact… the most glam thing about this set is the packaging itself which can be repurposed as a jewellery case once you take away the makeup tray. I do love brands that do clever stuffs like that, talk about upcycling!

As for the contents, well you get:

  • eyeshadow palette 4 x 0.8g Net wt.
  • they’re real! mascara, 4.0g Net wt.
  • gimme fever cheek powder with brush. 2.0g Net wt.
  • lip gloss in inferno 6.5 mL / 0.22 US fl. oz

The eyeshadows are pretty sparkly, as one might expect from a kit dedicated to this era. The champagne shade (Disco Dust) is a really wearable highlight that doesn’t attract any attention in an unflattering way… it simply adds a touch of luminosity rather than any ageing frostiness. Solid Gold is a regular gold, a little sheerer than many but infused with some delicate sparkle that makes this a nice shade to wear all over the lid anytime of the day. Get Down Brown is a bolder choice considering the sheerness of the other shades, this one packs a lot more pigment. Finally, Feel So Teal although lovely to look at does that crappy thing of blending out to grey like many other teals.

Pretty they are, high-octane… they ain’t.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_03

Alongside the eyeshadow selection, you also get a mini They’re Real! mascara… you don’t need to be reminded of my love for this product, but incase you do – the seach box is up there! ^^^

The lipgloss in shade Inferno… is more of a match-strike really. A pretty sheer red infused with plenty of non-gritty glitter but “inferno” might be pusing the trade description act somewhat. Texture of the gloss is nice, non sticky and long-lasting. Trust me, that’s a real compliment coming from this bonafide lipgloss hater.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_04

The final product included in the kit is a Gimme Fever cheek powder with a brush. I’m not sure why they included a brush when there’s no eyeshadow applicators but include one they did. Gimme Fever is probably my favourite item in the kit, it’s a buildable blush-cum-highlighter that will suit a variety of skintones thanks to its neutral tone. On medium and darker skins this will sing as a cheek highlight and for lighter skintones like mine, it will show some of that pigment as a nude blush (again, with sparkle).

I wore it very lightly in my FOTD as I wanted to contour instead and use Gimme Fever to reflect the light.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_swatches

Here’s how the kit looks when all the products are used together… who says you need to fear the seventies? Embrace the decade!

Benefit The Rich Is Back_08

Benefit The Rich Is Back_07

Benefit The Rich Is Back_09

Benefit The Rich Is Back_06

All in all, it’s a nice kit. I’d say that the packaging belies the contents… it’s a little schizophrenic. Infact, considering the daytime makeup trend in the 70s was pretty understated, I’d say that the light, natural-looking aesthetic (with added sparkle) fits really well within the era. It just doesn’t quite fit with the disco-esque, glammed up sexy night-time packaging and leaves me a little confused as to the designer’s intentions and whether he actually saw the contents of the kit before bestowing those wickedly vibrant prints on the casing.

If you want to get your hands on this one, be quick… it’s a limited edition.

Benefit The Rich is Back Kit is priced at £26.50 and is available to buy instore and online at debenhams.com

* press sample

Benefit See & Be Seen Sasha EdT

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 4 - 2012

You know those girls on Crescent Row… Bella, Gina, Carmella et al.  They’re sugared up crack addicts, high on vanilla, caramel and everything that would make a dentist cry.  It’s not that they’re unsavoury (geddit?!), it’s just that they’re not for me.  But there’s a new girl on the block and she’s not like all the others.  She gave up on the gourmand and went for the full-on floral route instead.

And like many of the Crescent Row girls, she is a bit full-on… she’s blousey and big, unapologetically so.  There’s a lot of jasmine in there, enough to subdue the vanilla that those other girls must have spiked her with but I’m loving the hit of Tiare flower that those of you familiar with monoi oils (*cough* Elemis *cough*) will recognise.  I don’t usually cross reference brands like this but if you take everything you love from the scent of that, put it in a medium longevity, prettily packaged perfume and add a kick of dirty rose… you’ve got Benefit’s latest EdT, See & Be Seen Sasha.

And this, my lovely friends, can only be a good thing.

Benefit’s See & Be Seen Sasha EdT is available on counter and online now at www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk, priced at £29.50 for 30ml.

* press sample

Picture Perfect Skin? Benefit’s How To Look The Best At Everything Kit

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 30 - 2012

God. Have I told you how much I love foundation? Oh, I have?! Well, the thing is… I really love foundation. I love the idea of being able to smooth over the blemishes, teeny veins and discolouration with what is, effectively, a new skin.

If I were a character in a horror-filled b-movie, I’d like to be the skin harvester and I’d go around, stealing people’s faces… no, please don’t leave. I’m only joking. Sort of.

So that I don’t have to go around harvesting other people’s faces, Benefit have launched a new beauty kit that will appeal to all foundation-lovers out there.  How To Look The Best At Everything claims to contain everything we need to achieve that sought-after flawless complexion.

Let’s take a closer look….

The kit is available in three skin shades: Light, Medium and Deep and is packaged in squee cute Benefit stylee, taking obvious inspiration from the series of similarly titled books.  Despite the housing being cardboard, it stands up pretty well to mild misuse… it’s not gonna crumble anytime soon, unless you put it in the washing machine or something phenomenally stupid like that.  In which case, you deserve whatever soggy mess awaits you.

Beneath the ‘front cover’ sits an assortment of Benefit’s face products… providing you ‘get on’ with the products inside, this is a brilliant thing to take away on holidays/dirty weekends and the like.  Do people even still have dirty weekends?  I feel like I’ve just stepped out of the 80s with that expression!

So, from left to right, we have:

The POREfessional primer (7.5ml) |  Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in “Cheers to Me” Champagne foundation (7ml) | Boi-ing 01 & 02 concealer (1.5g each) | “Hello Flawless!” “Me, Vain?” Champagne powder (4g).

I’ve been doing my sums and based on the quantities of product you receive inside the kit, compared to the full-size prices…. the kit is worth approximately £44.22 on product value alone.

Which is pretty awesome considering that Benefit (who are not well-known for their bargainous prices) are asking only £24.50 for the entire set.

It’s a great starting point for anyone unfamilliar with the Benefit base makeup line and would be a lovely present for most teens *cough* and older makeup-loving ladies to open on Christmas morning.

Benefit’s How To Look The Best At Everything kit* is available to buy now online and on counter nationwide, priced at £24.50

* press sample

Springtime in the Sahara FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 22 - 2012

My poor, poor face.  I’m in the middle of a snot fest and I’m now understanding why I was brought up on a diet of haliborange.  Throughout the year I’m not a terribly sickly person (I was as a kid) which is just aswell because I’m the biggest wimp you could meet (probably).  I even have a ‘cold’ voice – you know that weak-sounding, more-than-slightly whiney tone that resonates through the nose more than the throat?  My poor family.  Anyway, this week’s cold has been particularly frustrating because of how beautiful it’s been outside!  The whole family have had it and thus we’ve been mostly quarantined indoors through the weekend.  I decided to make a break for it yesterday and thus needed a face of makeup to disguise my ravaged skin.  It’s so dry and dull, combined with the snot-induced nose flakes and hormonal jaw-line mega zits?  Not pretty.

I massaged my freshly-washed skin with a combination of Liz Earle SuperSkin Concentrate* and Alpha H All For Eve Age Delay Facial Oil* in an attempt to revive some life.  Kinda like a cardiac massage for the face before giving my driest spots (flakey bits) at light cover of Lucas Paw Paw Ointment (this stuff is great for disguising nose flakes).  I went with the spring-like weather and injected some colour onto my face with a bright streak of blue under my lower lashline.  This is my favourite way to wear the shade and I do it quite a lot in the Summer.  Anyway, enough talk.  Here’s my Springtime in the Sahara FOTD:

I think I could have done with a touch of highlighter but I’m otherwise looking fairly perky considering I felt like DEATH.  Like my Tammy Faye Baker eyelashes?  Tough – I do!  I never put that much on my lower lashes normally but now I’m gonna (until I get bored of it).

I’m wearing:

Skinfood Gingko Green BB Cream
Priori Perfecting Mineral Foundation (lightly buffed where I needed more coverage)*
Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer

KIKO Automatic Waterproof Eyeliner
Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour in Marina under the lower lashline
Benefit They’re Real Mascara*
Illamasqua Eye Brow Cake in Gaze (I found it, I found it!)

Benefit Hervana Blush* (I did promise you a FOTD with this beauty)
Boots No7 Vital Brights Lipstick in Blooming Pink*

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What do you think?  Bit too early in the year to pull out these shades?  Hope you’re well and less snotty than me!  At least the pancakes (bacon and maple syrup!) cheered me up!

* press samples

Benefit Hervana Blush Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 31 - 2012

There’s always a bit of excitement in the air when Benefit release a new boxed blusher because a). they’re generally pretty damn good and b). they’re kinda cute.  Well, the latest addition to the blusher lineup doesn’t disappoint on either of those scores and nicely fills a little gap in the Benefit blusher market for a netral-toned rose.

Despite having a total of four different shades in the same pan, Hervana is designed to be swirled together to create a single shade – infact, you’d physically struggle to load a brush with a single shade.  The packaging, despite being the usual Benefit cardboard offering, seems as though it would be substantial enough to see it through its lifetime and the brush makes for a decent application if you don’t posess a blusher brush you’re already happy to use.

My pink skin-tone pulls Hervana toward the cool side of the spectrum, obviously making the most of that fuchsia-pink shade in the pan.  This makes Hervana offer something very different to some of my other Benefit blushes which lean a lot warmer in tone.  Because of the peach shades within the Hervana spectrum, you may find that your skintone pulls the blush in a different shade direction to mine, something to be wary of when swatching for yourself.  I really love the ultra-fine satin finish which adds a little luminosity and lift to the complexion without exagerrating pore size or fine lines.

Overall, Hervana is definitely one that I’m happy to recommend.  Providing the shade works for you, I can’t see you experiencing any application problems with this one – it blends smoothly and evenly and lasts well throughout the day.

Benefit Hervana is currently out of stock on the Benefit website but is available to buy on counter or online at ASOS, priced at £23.50

* press sample

New Year Honours List 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 26 - 2012

In a list devoid of MPs, philanthropists, and celebrities – I bring you 12 products that have impressed me beyond my expectations over the past 12 months. This wasn’t easy to compile. Infact, it was so hard that it’s now nearly February and I’ve only just published it.

Some were a given from the moment I used them (Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner), some were growers (Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil), but all of them have left a real impression for achieving what their claims suggest and let’s face it, that’s what out beauty-loving hearts desire most.

Optrex Itchy/Allergy Eye Drops  |  Lanolips 101 Ointment  |  St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray  |  Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors

Optrex make eye drops for seemingly every occassion and their Optrex Itchy Eye Drops have saved my poor peepers numerous times throughout the year.  I actually prefer their Optrex Allergy Eyes formula for the Summer months when my eyes are really suffering but I find them quite hard to get hold of (it’s over the counter stuff) and so pharmacists always offer me the Optrex Itchy Eye Drops instead.  To be fair, they both work but nothing soothes the feeling of wanting to wash your eyeballs under a running tap (and swill your eye sockets out while you’re at it) faster or more effectively than the Optrex Allergy Eyes formula.

Another product that goes beyond the pretty to simply make my life more comfortable is Lanolips 101 Ointment.  This nourishing, thick balm is as much a part of my nightly routine as washing my face or repeatedly checking Twitter on my phone after turning off my computer.  It’s simple existence means that my lips never peel or crack, as used to be the case throughout the winter months and if I like a new lipstick, I buy it based on how much I like the shade without caring about how drying the formula may prove to be.

My milk-bottle legs are anticipating the return of the warmer weather with a renewed vigour thanks to St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray.  I’m surprising myself by including a tanning product in my honours list – I really don’t care much about being tanned… but, this product surpassed all expectations of turning my blue-tinged pins into something that I wouldn’t mind showing off when the sun finally peeks out from behind the UK’s perpetual blanket of cloud cover.

As much as the U.S. brand have released some stonking palettes this year, it’s these Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors that have been ticking all the right boxes for me this year.  They pack a supreme punch of colour, offer maximum convenience and last well throughout the day.  The shades I own are all searingly bright and obnoxious, just the way I’ve been liking my lip shades this year.  These are real beauties and I can’t wait to see if Urban Decay add to the lineup in 2012.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  |  Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil  |  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil  |  Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner

An everyday staple achieves its status by being dependable, consistent, and easy to use.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara has been my go-to mascara since its release last August.  It extends and volumises my lashes with an inky formula and doesn’t let me down by smudging or flaking throughout the day.  Once it’s time for bed – it doesn’t give my cleansing oil any arguments and I’m still enjoying the same, usable formula from the original tube that I was given all those months ago.  It’s a solid but impressive addition to my makeup bag.

2011 has been a year of weight loss (and gain, and loss again) for me.  I knew from the start that I’d be putting my skin through the mill on my quest for a less flabby existence and I’ve been using various body oils with my cellulite massager in an attempt to keep my skin elastic, supple and unblemished.  While they all did a good job at moisturising, I wasn’t sure that they were achieving much more than this until I began to use Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil toward the end of last year.  Aside from it smelling as delicious as you’d expect from the British brand, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in skin-tone, texture and dare I say it… cellulite.

Another major concern over the past year has been the constant flare-ups that have turned my scalp into an itching, flaking mess.  I would start a new shampoo, only to be forced into discontinuing its use a month later.  I tried SLS-free which seemed to improve things for a while, though still didn’t eradicate the problem completely.  I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil (non-stinky) for a few months now and have so far, touch wood, not had a flare-up that’s been severe enough to cause any real misery.  I also find the oil effective at soothing any persistent itches alongside a welcome side-effect of improving the condition of my dry hair.

If I could only choose one, my product of the year would go to Avon’s Mega Impact Eye Liner for being outrageously awesome at such a reasonable price.  The blacker-than-black formula applies as smoothly as a gel with no tugging along the delicate waterline.  Give it a few moments to set and you’ll be treated to a full day of hard-wearing, sultry lashlines that resist smudging and transfer like real troopers.  They have a new metallic shade coming out for Spring, look out for it!

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil  |  Lumos High Speed Top Coat (try eBay if you’re not a pro)  |  Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream  |  NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I’ve always loved facial oils but have only recently discovered the true extent of their capabilities.  Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil is a wondrous concoction that seamlessly melts into my skin to give an instant glow on those days when my complexion is feeling particularly dull and drained by the cold weather.  Perhaps even more enlightening is the oil’s ability to turn a dud foundation into a keeper.  I’ve been adding a few drops (during application) to foundations that I consider dry-skin unfriendly and have been amazed at Suti’s ability to make the formula more compatible to my winter skin.  Lots of money saved thanks to this one!

So good do I consider the Lumos High Speed Top Coat, that I’ve bought the entire family!  From salon-sized down to purse-friendly bottles, they speed-dry my nail polish without causing shrinkage or becoming a thick, unusable mess in the bottle before I’ve reached the halfway mark.  The Lumos System also encourages you to use the High Impact Bottom Coat to achieve maximum results and longevity from your manicures but as someone who doesn’t generally suffer from polish chips, I’m happy to report that for me, it works as well with or without.

2011 was the year that B.B Creams hit the Western world with a vengeance and some bandwagon-jumping efforts from the major cosmetic players have left consumers wondering if there’s any difference between B.B Creams and Tinted Moisturisers with added SPF.  If you want to try a true B.B. Cream without the big-budget advertising hype – I can’t recommend the Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream highly enough.  It evens my skin-tone, gives serious sun protection, and calms my redness-prone skin in an instant.

I get annoyed with the NYX Cosmetics incarnation in the UK but if there’s one thing worth picking up, it’s the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that come in a variety of shades and offer easy application, good coverage, and long-lasting colour without causing unbearable dryness or discomfort.  Remembering that these are (to be fair) matte formulas, it’s a great option for those who wince at the thought of dragging a hard-textured matte lipstick across their lips.  There are some awesome lip-popping shades to choose from too!

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So there we have my New Year Honours List – a little late, but what’s half a month between friends?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  What would you have included in yours?

* the selection includes a mixture of press samples, repurchases from what were originally press samples and my own discoveries/purchases.

Review: Benefit Watt’s Up!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 1 - 2011

Last month saw the launch of a new highlighter from Benefit, a brand that have enjoyed great success in the past with their highlighting products that mimic how light and shadow play across the face.

Unlike liquid products like the brand’s previous highlighting options: Highbeam and Moonbeam, Watt’s Up! is a twist-up cream highlighting stick in the style of a NARS Multiple.

Packaged to be reminiscent of a light bulb, it’s cute, kitsch and all the things you’d expect from a brand like Benefit.  One end houses the product… the other, a sponge designed for blending.  Something, which in my opinion is a bit of a waste of time.

I find that the sponge does more to rub the product off than it does to blend it.  You’ll be fine just using your fingertips to get a smooth application though I do appreciate it’s existence as it could well come in handy in my makeup bag put to some other use!

On initial application, the product gives quite a warm champagne glow with a lot of reflection but once blended, it softens to a more natural, neutral hue that will flatter most skintones.  The cream has a lovely amount of slip and glides over my skin which ensures that it’s foundation friendly and blends seamlessly with whatever base I’ve already applied.

Once applied, it sets quite quickly to a powder finish and didn’t slide around on my normal/dry skin or slip during the day, oilier skins may struggle with this depending on how you usually fare with cream-to-powder formulas.

Once blended (the above photo shows unblended), I find the overall effect fairly subtle compared to some of the more pearlescent products that I’ve used in the past and I would happily wear this during both the day and for going out.

At £24.50, I think it’s quite pricey for what it is but I can’t actually find too much fault with the product – I would just like to see it about £6 cheaper.

Benefit Watt’s Up! is available to buy online or on counter from Benefit Cosmetics.

 

Alex Byrne with Benefit Cosmetics for Jean-Pierre Braganza SS/12 LFW

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 20 - 2011

Yesterday, I talked about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere at Jean-Pierre Braganza’s SS/12 show which took place last Friday at the BFC Show Space in Somerset House.

Today, I want to focus on the look that makeup artist Alex Byrne created with Benefit Cosmetics to complement the designer’s graphical, almost art-deco tailoring.  She wanted a strong look that remained feminine, working with and not against the strength of Braganza’s designs.

are those new brushes I spy?

Alex in deep concentration (where did I put that brush?!)  Faces were kept light with Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer where needed and a light layer of You Rebel Tinted Moisturiser mixed with Porefessional.

Loose fishtail plaits from the Toni&Guy team accompany the structured styling of the SS/12 collection

Eyes were kept neutral with Benefit Creaseless Cream in Birthday Suit, Browzings in Light and many, many coats of They’re Real mascara as an alternative to false lashes.

Some gentle contouring with Hoola Bronzer

BrowZings to define the top edge of the brow

ChaChaTint painted heavily onto the top of the cheekbone…

…and blended out with Coralista Powder Blush, the picture-perfect slices of cheek colour mimic the graphical edges in Braganza’s designs.

Benefit’s latest release Watt’s Up was used to highlight and define the top edge of the cheekbones…

…and a sneak peek of the new product in question.

Full Finish Lipstick in Mod Squad completes the look.

Jean-Pierre Braganza looking pleased with the entire team’s efforts immediately after the show

.

Thanks to Benefit Cosmetics for letting me have a sneak peek to see what goes on behind the flashbulbs at London Fashion Week!

Backstage at London Fashion Week

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 19 - 2011

I was generously invited backstage on opening day at London Fashion Week with Benefit Cosmetics who were sponsoring the makeup for the Jean-Pierre Braganza show.

I’ll be doing a separate post this week on the makeup the models wore down the runway to complement his SS/12 collection but I wanted to share some backstage shots showing just how much effort and how many people go into making these fashion spectaculars run smoothly.

Remember, this is just hair and makeup.

Makeup Artist Alex Byrne (and is that Benefit Hoola I see?)

How many hair stylists does it take to… *insert punchline here*

don’t forget the nails!

Backstage is hot, cramped, riotous and full of tension.  It’s not a place for shrinking violets and if you want to spectate, you need to be aware of your surroundings so you can get out of the way, quickly.  All eyes are keenly trained on the clock, instructions are given and taken without questioning and there’s a tangible sense of working together to get a million different jobs done.

3 o’ clock.  It’s show time.

Come back tomorrow to see how makeup artist Alex Byrne interpreted a look to complement Jean-Pierre Braganza’s graphical Spring/Summer collection.

Win a ticket to London Fashion Week with Benefit

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 8 - 2011

With London Fashion Week just a week away, everyone’s going catwalk-crazy, but for us beauty-lovers, we’re more drawn to the latest winged liner shapes and nail trends than the cut of the cloth.

The PR gang at Benefit are offering ONE lucky beauty fan the chance to rub shoulders with the industry elite with a ticket to London Fashion Week where they’ll be able to join the Benefit team and *cough* me *cough* (booby prize) to watch the Jean Pierre Braganza show live!

Click to like their facebook page and follow the instructions to enter!  Good luck!

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