Party on Nails

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This weekend I have partied hard and I am now feeling fragile and sorry or myself. Can’t party like I used to years ago. So to cheer myself up I have created a disco on my nails so I can re-live my weekend (until the next one).

I have painted my nails with one of my favourite polishes, Fitzroy Square from Nails inc, and the accent nail is Old Street, also my Nails inc.

Bye bye high end, Hello drug store – Mascaras

As promised, here are my favourite drug store mascaras that will make you think twice about buying high end again.

L’Oreal False Lash Flutter £10.99

image from boots.com

image from boots.com

This is my current fave mascara. It gives you the most delicate, dark, long lashes imaginable. What makes this mascara worth it? Check out the wand. The brush is a medium length plastic one which curves out at the end. This allows the outer corners of your lashes to elongate and just flutter giving the illusion that you have extensions. In a word? Extraordinary.

Barry M Lash Vegas £6.49

image from barrym.com

image from barrym.com

If you do not own this mascara, shame on you. This mascara actually wins hands down against any other mascara I’ve ever tried and I do mean any. With two coats you have the carbon black lashes that are endless. The brush is spiralled, which enables lashes to be coated individually and separates them without clumping. Your lashes will really look false, without being fake looking. Oh yes, it’s possible.

L’Oreal Mega Volume Miss Manga £8.99

manga

So much hype surrounding this mascara, of course I got sucked in. I bought this mascara simply because it promised that lashes would look like that Japanese manga look which is so popular. Did they look manga. No. But still a nice mascara, the wand has a little bend towards the end by the brush so that you can manipulate the wand to get into all of the lashes and create the lash effect you want. What I will say is that this isn’t for the novice for this reason. To get the managa look, you need your lashes to be separated top and bottom, this mascara doesn’t do that, you can only achieve it with falsies I’m afraid.

17 Va Va Voom £6.50

image from boots.com

image from boots.com

This mascara is a good, cheap mascara for every day. The brush is that wide kind that I like which gives you nice length while making lashes look really thick and luscious. Not too much else to say, I’d compare Va Va Voom to the DiorShow, do be careful not to load your lashes too much or it could end up looking like your lashes are dry and stumpy. A negative for me is the packaging. But if you’re not fussed by that, a good choice.

Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara £6.99

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This mascara has always been my go-to mascara for when I need a fail safe mascara. The brush is quite thin, but it has bristles rather than that plastic type which gives your lashes a great fullness. This mascara has won many awards year after year and was a finalist in the beauty insiders awards in 2013. Your lashes look voluminous, thick and very black. I love this mascara, everyone should give it a go.

Benefit’s Hoola Bronzing Powder

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Hoola takes centre stage in the second instalment of my Benefit haul. I have been put off purchasing Hoola for a very long time, so much hype has surrounded it, and there seems to be a love it or hate it attitude with this bronzer.

I personally think bronzers are one of them products that everyone seems to own, but don’t actually know how to use them, and most people don’t need to use them. A bronzer is quite nice on people after they’ve had a nice day in the sun and they wan’t to showcase their tan in those summer nights (I totally sung that last bit like I was Sandy in Grease, I know you did too!). They are also used to contour the face.

I often wonder why people who already have established cheekbones and good facial shape, feel it necessary to contour. They either like a very dramatic look (which in my opinion should be left well alone) or don’t know what they are doing when it comes to applying make up and apply it thinking that they should be using it because everyone else is.

With that out the way, on to the review.

I like this bronzer because there is no shimmer to it and it is light enough for me to use without looking dramatic. I use this to contour as I have a round face, haven’t seen a cheekbone for a good 10 years, so until I am a slim jim, I’m going to cheat a la Adele (who to me, is a make up inspiration) to gain some facial structure. Hoola is fantastic to blend so you have a more natural finish. The little brush that comes with it is easy to use, and is shaped perfectly for cheek contouring. If you wanted to use this product as a bronzer, you’d need to invest in a proper bronzing brush, that’s if you can fit it into the tiny box.

Again this is Benefit we are talking about, so there isn’t too much product and at £23.50, I’m sure there are just as good ones for a fraction of the cost. In fact, off the top of my head, Sleek’s contour kit is better at £6.50 as this comes with 3 shade options and includes a highlighter. Sleek products have a great pigment, so out of the two, I’d recommend the Sleek every time.

Is it for you? Once again if you’ve more money then sense, yes. If you’re swtitched on, you’d run for the hills (or to another bronzing product). To me, the price, size and amount of product is a let down. I’m quite astonished that this is credited as the best selling bronzer in the UK. I think this could be because people (like myself) jumped on the Hoola bandwagon and now regret it. It is a nice bronzer/contour product, but there are better.

Benefit’s Rockateur Blush

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The third instalment showcasing some of the products in my Benefit haul, is the wondrous Rockateur blush. This blush is a gorgeous rosey gold tone and has a faceted pearlessence finish to it. A quick sweep of this is meant to get hearts racing, giving a provocative blush to the apples of your cheeks.

This is a very subtle colour, possibly due to a lack of pigment, the shimmer is really lovely and not too much that you look like you are playing dress up in the 90′s. When I use this blusher, I do not use it on it’s own, I will always apply it with another blush. I think for my skin tone, it is a little too pearly and subtle for me, gives me more of a mauve colour to my cheeks and I suit more of a peachy pink tone than this.

Is it for you? It’s £23.50 for this little box, and if your skin tone is more like an MAC NW25 and you like something a bit softer, this would be great. Can you get better out there for cheaper? Yes, like most Benefit products. I still prefer a MAC blush, which is also cheaper at £18.00 or the Bourjois blusher range which I think is quite similar for around £7.00. I hope I’m not being misunderstood, this is a lovely product, one which I do wear again and again, but not one I would feel confident about wearing by itself, thus making it a little (sad face) pointless.

There are quite a few things from Benefit that I’m not sure I’ll be repurchasing. Cost plays a key, and while I can afford these prices, I’m not thick. If I can get the same quality blusher, with similar colours for £7.00, I’m doing it!

Benefit – That Gal Primer

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My Benefit haul seems like ages ago now, but I still haven’t discussed everything that I purchased. That Gal is a really nice product and I just had to mention it!

That Gal is a brightening face primer that picks up the colour of your skin taking it from lifeless to hello world. This primer is pink in colour and contains light reflecting pigments that is supposed to suit all skin tones. As I have light skin, a little darker than Ivory, I knew this would work on me very easily and would give my a noticeable difference. This primer also contains raspberry and camomile which has skin smoothing properties and reduces redness. Perfect.

This for me is fantastic under my everyday foundation, I like to use it through the week, when my skin looks tired, or I’m a little dehydrated as it makes my skin look a little fresher and healthier. The difference is there, albeit quite subtle. My skin looks as if I have had 8 hours sleep and have drank only water for the entire week. The primer is a smooth cream type, easy to blend in. The lovely girl on the counter mixed That Girl in with their Porefessional primer to give the foundation something to hold on to.

Is this for you? I’m dubious that this will work on darker skin tones. I’m not a make up or skin care expert so I guess you’d have to check it out yourself, please leave a comment below if you are of darker skin tone and you love this product, I’d be really interested in knowing. Again, same old issue raises it’s ugly head, price. That Gal is £24.50. To me, that is the amount I have paid for other primers and would be happy to pay time and time again, others would see it as a little steep. I think it makes a difference to the look of my skin, but as a primer? There are better out there that will make your foundation last longer. So if it is solely a primer you’re after and want to try something new, don’t do it, but if you like the sound of what I have described above, this is a must.

Benefit – Hello Flawless Powder

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I like to use a powder foundation when I am in a rush, or when I am at work. It’s quick to apply, coverage is just enough and it’s easy to touch up through the day. I have fallen out of love with my usual powder foundation (MAC Studio Fix) and I had heard of the Hello flawless range from Benefit.

Benefit’s shade range I think is so natural and I can get a really good skin match. This powder is very light on the skin and can be applied with a brush buffing into the skin, or with a mini powder puff. I have tried both ways, and the results are pretty similar but using a puff will give you more coverage and slightly less natural look to your skin.

Coverage is great, better than MAC, better than YSL in my opinion. It lasts on the skin for 4-6 hours without the need for a re-touch. This powder is easily buildable, the lightest covering with a brush will leave your skin looking sheer rather than matte. the more you add, the more matte it will be and you will get a medium coverage. The packaging does say full coverage, I’m not too convinced on this, but the coverage is great, nothing wrong worth using a little concealer to cover any angry blemishes.

Any negatives? Just the usual we all have with Benefit products. The amount of product. This powder isn’t cheap. It’s £24.50 for 7g of product, that’s half of the amount you get with the Studio Fix and a third of Max Factor’s best selling powder. My other issue is that I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with dry skin unless you moisturised with a decent cream beforehand.

Is it for you? Yes, if you have normal or oily skin and you have the money to spend on your products. You’ll get a very good quality product and your skin will look fabulous. A great product that gives your skin the ability to look sheer and healthy but also to give a more flawless(ish) look.

Oldie but Goodie – Soap & Glory – Night In Shining Armour Cream/Wish Upon A Jar

image from amazon.com

image from amazon.com

Technically, I am going to cheat with this post. This edition of oldie but goody has now been discontinued. However it has been replaced by a new, sure to be favourite of mine.

I have really dry skin so I try to use a really thick moisturiser, especially in the colder months when my skin is damaged by the elements. My all-time favourite face cream was a night cream by Soap & Glory called Night In Shining Armour. It was so luxurious and creamy and made my skin so soft and supple. I stopped using it in the summer for something lighter and went I went to re-purchase it recently, the lady told me it had been discontinued!!!!

image from boots.com

image from boots.com

What is a girl to do now? I like Soap & Glory’s products so I was pleased to find that a similar face cream had been launched in it’s place. This one is called Wish Upon A Jar. It is around the same price (about £13.00) and is too a rich and thick night time cream that gives your skin that needed moisture.

There are anti-aging ingredients, ginseng that boost the skin with oxygen. evening primrose for the soft moisturised effect and my favourite ingredient in this super cream, diamond dust for illuminating properties. Yes ladies, diamonds and Wish Upon a Jar are a girl’s best friends.