Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara: Influenster Vox Box review 

product review

I’ll be totally honest here, I have no clue how to use Influenster. Perhaps I’m just getting old (25, quarter of a century I’ll have you know), some of this technical social media online stuff I just have no clue about. I had been playing around with it, posting random reviews of cleaning products (how glamorous) and make up I had used many moons ago. But didn’t think much of it, however last week I received my first Vox Box from Influenster. 


Amazingly, my first box *which was received for complimentary purposes* was from Marc Jacobs Beauty. It certainly looked the part. It was their new Velvet Noir Mascara. It appeared luxuriant, with it’s classy monochrome design.  

Does it perform as well as it looks? 

The mascara has a rather large brush, and in this case size does matter. The width of the brush allows you to apply the mascara efficiently and equally.

The mascara ensures that lashes look naturally long, and are far from clumpy. There is one criticism – I did notice that it’s difficult to build up the layers, whereas with similar high end mascaras you can build layers for more volume quite easily. Is it worth the £22 price tag? I’d say, if you don’t own any other high end mascaras then invest in this one. If you do, then it isn’t really worth it; it’s not particularly special for the price. I believe you can get better. But it isn’t half bad either! And it’s a lovely producy aesthetically, it will look great on your dressing table. 

Overall : 8/10 

Advertisements

Get your ”glow up”: 4 highlighters that suit everyone

product review

IMG_5042 1

 

Now, let’s face it glitter & shimmer have been the awe of every girly girl in the world for decades, however this year has been a game changer for ”the glow”. It is mandatory to have shimmered cheeks so very shimmery that light bounces off your pearlescent cheekbones and slaps any haters around the face. I have decided that 2016 is officially the year of the highlighter. The glow, the fleek, the shimmer. But who knew there were so many types of highlighters!? I’m going to give you the low-down on the 4 main types.

1). The perfecting bronzer, Kiko, £16.90

Bronzer is a comfortable (powdered) classic, an easy way to add colour and glow to your face. Use a particularly shimmery one to maximise your glow. Perfect for those of you who are glow virgins.

2). The liquid ”high beam” complexion enhancer, Benefit, £19.50 (for full size)

Liquid highlighters are slightly more tricky to apply; during contour stage number two rub some on your brow and cheek bones to add depth, and enhance complexion. For extra glow, when your make-up is finished, rub a small amount onto your cheekbones over existing make-up. These can often last months, they are highly concentrated, you only need to use a tiny bit each application.

3). The radiant shimmer blusher, Bare Minerals, £18.75 (for the entire radiance collection)

If you aren’t careful with this one you will end up looking like a clown that has puked up giltter blusher onto your own face, or a drag queen with hugely exaggerated make-up. Yes, this is a blusher but it’s concentrated. Tap with a blusher brush, flick some into the air, and then apply to your cheekbones. Remove excess with a clean tissue.

Although that being said, this is a handy multi-purpose product. If you like rosy cheeks, and glowing cheeks – bang you have a blusher and highlighter in one. These mini radiance pots also double up as eye-shadows and powders.

4). The iridescent gold powder highlighter, MUA, £3

This highlighter is genius. Can give even the chubbiest cheeks structure, I am living proof of this theory  (check out featured image, ft. good lighting to bless me). The cheapest of the options, but coincidentally also the best (saved the best til last). The powder highlighter is easy to apply, brush gentle strokes onto cheekbones either beneath foundation, or on-top; or if you want to really push out the boat and look like a human unicorn – both. A really really great value product that lasts ages, and is so on trend. Invest now. Pop that glow!

 

 

Travel bug

opinion piece

It’s cheesy and cliche; and it’s obvious. It’s obvious. Everybody gets that rejuvenating, sense of excitement and new beginnings when they go on holiday. It’s almost like anything could happen; your mood is relaxed, your mind cleared and all your problems seem a million miles away. But I’m not here to discuss yoga, or relaxation tips. There’s also something else which happens (in my case anytime I go anywhere at all, even local); as any retail addict knows very well. Holiday is merely a justification to buy a whole new wardrobe. Even if you’ve only had one two weeks ago. Buy those Tom Ford sunglasses, because, hell your going to wear them anyway.

Here are my top tips for holiday shopping this year;

1. Travel light

This sounds much easier then it is; over-packing comes naturally to me. I need three outfits per day. Plus beachwear and optional shoes and handbags. So I understand how we struggle as females. But you know what? you won’t end up wearing half the stuff you’ll lug halfway across the ocean. So plan and write down what you will definitely wear. Repeating day outfits is fine, especially for summer holidays, it’s hot so you require less clothing. Also, travelling light allows you to take smaller suitcases which are often prettier (how I wish I was able to fit all my junk into my Louis carry-case, instead I got lobbed with a Dunlop suitcase as it was the only thing in my house in which my stuff fitted in).

2. Sale shopping

If, like me, your likely to wear your holiday outfits just once. There’s no point spending a fortune on outfits. Scan sales online, websites like Missguided offer sales constantly (they have brill dresses, casual & party), plus they always have constant student discount. For designer items try an outlet like Portsmouth or Bicester where they have various designer stores with up to 70% discount. This can be handy for finding handbags, shoes, purses, sunglasses for holiday.

3. Shop smart

Depending on where you go, most countries are cheaper then London; and if you buy make-up and clothes abroad. Guess what? That bitch at work in accounts isn’t going to be able to copy your peplum top from the boutique in Crete in a small village on the other side of Europe. You will find unique pieces which you can utilize the whole summer.

4. Research

Before you part, search weather conditions (you don’t want to turn up in Spain expecting blazing heat, and actually the week you go its forecast to rain and you only have short shorts and t-shirts, not ideal). Try to research the culture also, how do the locals dress? I didn’t do this and attended a nightclub in a small town in Crete wearing a bodycon house of CB bandage two piece with nude Jimmy Choo heels; and the amount of stares I was getting – I may as well have been a hooker. Everyone in the nightclub was wearing jeans and t-shirts. It was beyond casual, and it was somewhat embarrassing also. So if you know anyone from the country ask beforehand, and google the place as well.

5. Speculate to accumulate

When you arrive back home, then its time for a clear out. Do a car boot sale (if we ever have good weather in England that is), anything anymore valuable, put on eBay. Seeing as you’ve brought a new wardrobe, you might as well clear out the old one and make yourself some extra pennies too. Every little helps.

Contouring: a review in context

reviews

Contouring; according to the online dictionary is defined as – an outline of a figure or body; the edge or line that defines or bounds a shape or object. Perhaps a term more commonly used in the art and design world, contouring has recently become a massive phenomenon.

It’s been one of the biggest beauty trends since last year; everyone is talking about it, everyone is attempting to create it, it’s the structured look we’re all longing for. But, the fundamental question here is, how easy is it to achieve?

I will give a brief outline of how to achieve the ”contoured” or ”structured” look. And then compare a Chanel contoured make-up look against the humble MUA brand retailed in SuperDrug.

Being a self-confessed avid make-up addict I could go into intense detail here (believe me, just this weekend I spent £320 on Chanel make-up, the addiction is real). Here are my top tips;

  1. You need the correct tools for the job

    Like anything in life without the appropriate equipment, you will end up with a half-done job rather then a professional looking one. For contouring you need a decent primer, concealer, foundation, powder (usually darker then skin-tone for highlighting). A good foundation brush, powder brush, blending brush…and yes, you guessed it, blusher brush. For the ultimate in contouring purchase a fixing spray to keep your make-up in place.

  2. Base to basics

    You need to start with a smooth base. To ensure your skin is in the best condition, always cleanse, tone and moisturise thoroughly. Especially before applying make-up, if you wear it everyday inevitably it dries the skin. Drinking plenty of water will keep your skin nourished from the inside. After moisturising apply a primer which is suited to your skin type (for example a mattifying one for oily skin).

  3. Layering is key

    After priming start with concealer, cover all blemishes. Next layer would be highlighting, you can use a darker tone to highlight cheekbones, hide nose shapes, hide dark circles. After these layers apply your foundation, then powder (before foundation you can also use bronzer to highlight cheekbones, or after foundation application)

  4. Blend, blend and blend some more

    Each layer needs to be dry before the next layer is applied, and needs to be blended in properly. Make sure you have sufficient lighting, and good quality blending brush. So that you don’t end up with the dreaded orange foundation line around the bottom of your face, it’s not pretty, it’s not classy, and it definitely isn’t successful contouring.

Most of the beauty industry would have you believe that the most expensive products are needed to achieve the best looks; but I don’t believe this. MUA, possibly one of the cheapest brands in the cosmetic industry, has coincidently taken the industry by storm. With prices starting from as little as £1 who could argue!?

Now I’m not saying I’m about to abandon my Perfect Lumière Chanel foundation just yet…But MUA gives healthy competition for the more prestige brands, (for any brand with those prices) and I am going to review it against the French fashion, beauty and perfume powerhouse that is Chanel.

Chanel stats

Price range – Products start from £18-£80+

Quality rating- 10/10

Description-

When you think of Chanel, several connotations appear within the mind; I always envisage a dreamy black and white setting, a classically beautiful woman with curves and flowing hair sitting in a Parisian café, sipping a latte sporting cat-eye sunglasses; her hair effortlessly blowing in the wind, and her nose high in the air. Chanel is classic, classy, up-market everything a woman aspires to be. And Chanel products, despite the huge price tag are a great investment. The foundation provides a great coverage for contouring, its light and not cakey as full coverage foundations often can be. Chanel face products are also perfect for contouring as they have developed a new technology which allows them to be light resistant; consequently you don’t look different colours in different lights. The products create a radiant, flawless finish. All in all, I can’t fault the products in regards to creating a contoured look. Only advice I would give is that the bronzing powder is highly pigmented so apply sparingly.

MUA stats

Price range- Products start from £1-£10

Quality Rating- 9/10

Description-

Comparing a much cheaper, but still great quality brand to Chanel is difficult. I can’t decide which brand is better for contouring;but rather advise that you mix and match, taking the best of both and combining (better for your purse strings as well no doubt). MUA has an extensive range of products when it comes to contouring, from £1 face powders and highlighting palettes, to brilliantly helpful hydrating fixing sprays. As you can see the look created is not any less flawless to the one created using Chanel. The quality of the actual contouring kit leaves a little to be desired, the concealer has great coverage, but overall quality is lacking. However, it’s perfect for a base, as it is slightly greasy you can cover with a mattifying foundation/powder to give a less shiny finish.

In conclusion this proves my theory that no matter the price tag every brand has its staple must-have beauty buys. And amazing looks can be achieved on a low budget! Main piece of advice here is: invest in expensive products because they do last longer, however cheaper alternatives could also equally turn out to be some of your favourite products. It’s all about mixing and matching.

MUA contoured look

MUA contoured look

 *For full details of products used please check out my next post.

Chanel contoured look

Chanel contoured look