Just Charlie G

My poor old brows. They’ve never been much to write home about. There’s a saying that your brows should be sisters, not twins, but mine aren’t even in the same family! One is arched, one is angled. One is higher, one is lower, one starts closer to my nose and the other just won’t grow in there at all. Add into that they are sparse on the outer ends, sparse on the inner edges and super long in the middle, and you’re looking at a set of brows that look pretty “meh” without makeup. Long before Cara Delevigne’s awesome brows hit the catwalks I was filling mine in out of necessity and as such, I’ve been searching for my perfect products ever since. Even though my hair is pretty light these days I still want my brows pretty dark and so how could I resist the Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows Set?Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsContaining four products that promise bigger bolder brows, my first decision was which shade to get. Having consulted the oracle (aka Google Image Search), I decided to opt for shade 3 which of the three available is Medium, also available is Light and Deep.

Inside the attractive box is an equally attractive tin housing your new products.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsBenefit Bigger Bolder Brows

It’s a really attractive kit, and although the packaging seems a bit excessive, it’s certainly desirable and would make a very attractive gift. You’ll also find a handy user guide included in the box which is helpful, especially if you are new to brow makeup, or this kind of makeup.Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows

First up you have two shaping stencils as well as holder they slot into to use. There are two arched brow shapes and two straight brow shapes.Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsSo the idea is you choose your shape, slot it into the holder and then hold up underneath your brow to get the bottom line of your brow shape in place with the product. I have mixed feelings on these. The arched brow shape suits me very well and helps me to get each brow equal shapes, however, its quite tricky to get each brow aligned with each other, both in distance from your nose and at the same height, with some practice this works pretty well. On the downside though, the stencils are not held firmly in the holder so thats not useful, they slide around a bit, but also, using them without the holder they seem a bit bulky. I think I’d find it easier to use if they were about half as high and I could hold firmly in place with one hand while drawing the line with the other. They are certainly better than the traditional stencils that you hold over your whole brow and fill in.

Next up is the Ka-Brow in Shade 3.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsI’m afraid I’m not in love with this product at all. It is creamy and it is pigmented, but first of all its the wrong shade for me. I should have got the darker shade, this is too light and too warm. Secondly the product itself is quite creamy, but its not quite creamy enough for my tastes. it also seems to go on a bit grainy. I don’t get a perfectly smooth line with it… I get little specks, tiny,but I can see them and I don’t like it. Finally, the brush, it’s really great and applies really exact lines where you want them, but I’ve found after a few uses it’s splayed out a bit and I’ve never had this happen with a brow brush and product ever before. It’s not an awful product and I dare say if I’d have bought the right shade, I’d have been less picky about the other things, but I spent quite a lot of money on this kit and I’m here to review it so there we go! On the plus side I will use it up and once applied it lasts well.

Next is the Ready, Set, Brow!

Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsReady, Set, Brow! is a 24 hour shaping and setting gel. So once you’ve filled your brow in you comb through with this clear gel. The brush is great, and they do hold my brows in shape but I don’t think it’s remarkably different from the cheap clear mascara I usually use.

Finally is the High Brow Pencil, which is a matte highlighter for under your brow.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsThis is my fourth High Brow pencil. I’ve been using this product for years and while it’s had a revamp in terms of packaging, it’s still the same creamy pink matte highlighter. I apply a line directly under and long the full length of my brow and then lightly blend with my finger or a brush. It just subtly defines and lifts the brow without an obvious highlight. A really great product.

For reference here’s a swatch of the High Brow Pencil and the Shade 3 Ka-Brow!Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsI have used this photo before but it’s a decent one of the products in use. You can see how warm the colour is on me I think.DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection MascaraI know this is something of a mixed review, but I can’t help feel it’s my own fault and I’d have been much happier with the darker shade. It’s not perfect no, but it’s a great price  at £31.50 for all those Benefit products, all wrapped up in a gorgeous tin that I leave out as it’s far too lovely to tidy away in my drawers! If you were to buy the products separately you’d be looking at nearly £60. I’m not sure if these are smaller sizes but they are very generous and certainly don’t seem like trial sizes so it’s well worth it if you want to try a few things out.

I bought mine from Feel Unique if you fancy giving it a whirl!




I recently decided to treat myself to a new mascara, the one I had just really wasn’t cutting it anymore and after some research, chiefly the MrsGloss&TheGoss Facebook Page, I decided to plump for Benefit Roller Lash. I remember the hype when it was released, but I just haven’t needed a mascara for ages. I also found the price point of £20.50 a little off-putting, but I had a voucher code for Feel Unique and wanted another product so I took the plunge.

Benefit Roller LashThe claims this mascara makes are bold so I was pretty excited to try it out.

Benefit Roller LashSo, the promises…

It’s a roller for lashes. The eye-opening Hook ‘n’ Roll brush grabs, separates, lifts and curls…while the instance curve setting formula holds for 12 hours. 

So that brush, well although I know they are there, the hooks aren’t easy to spot. But what I do like about it is that it isn’t a huge brush, I don’t get on with big mascara brushes, so this one was easy enough to use without stabbing myself in the eye or covering my eyelid in mascara.

Benefit Roller Lash

To describe my lashes, I have one side where my lashes are pretty good. A good length and just behave generally well and on my other eye the lashes are rubbish. In the outer corner they cross over each other and they are shorter and straighter than my other lashes. I try to even them out by curling only the dodgy side, and that works well, and I tend to put a third light coat on those lashes too, concentrating on the tips of my lashes to create a tiny bit of extra length. It works for me, but I should probably just get some lash extensions and stop all the faff at some point! Until then though, on the days when I can be bothered, that’s my routine, so I was hoping that Roller Lash would add some extra curl to that side.

So here it is on my lashes, top only for some reason (I think I forgot my bottom lashes that day!), and then I’ll talk about the pros and cons.

Benefit Roller lash



So there we have it, it’s a nice mascara, I like it and will definitely use it up. For me it’s a good every day mascara for sure, it’s just quite as impressive as I’d hoped it’d be, and perhaps it’s a victim of the hype. My expectations were perhaps unrealistic, considering this is a perfectly good mascara.

It ticks lots of boxes for me, and I’d definitely recommend it, just with the caveat that people should have realistic expectations. It isn’t the best mascara I’ve ever tried, it is however very good.


Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam is the answer to my prayers. Out of all the new things I’ve tried lately, this is my favourite. Basically, Shy Beam is a liquid highlighter. A matte liquid highlighter. It sounds crazy but bear with me.Benefit Shy Beam

Firstly the packaging. It’s so pretty, a little glass screw top  bottle with a brush, much like Benetint, or in fact, a nail polish. The colour scheme is really pretty too.

Benefit Shy BeamBenefit Shy Beam If you’re looking for a product that will add light and radiance to your face, without adding shimmer or worse, glitter, to your face, then look no further. This unassuming nude liquid will answer your prayers. Even if you’re as pale as I am (Mac NW15 if that helps).

Benefit Shy Beam You apply the liquid, as with any other highlighter, where you want to brighten. I must apologise for the following pics, I’m fresh out of the shower with a towel on my head and nothing by my base makeup on.

Benefit Shy Beam Next, this is where I apply the Shy Beam.

Benefit Shy Beam

And here it is blended out.

Benefit Shy Beam To make it easier to see the difference, here’s a side by side comparison. Hopefully you can see that the central parts of my face, under my eyes, nose, between the eyebrows and chin are just brighter.Benefit Shy BeamI moan a lot about my skin, and lots of base products don’t work too well for me, settling into pores, or showing up dry patches I didn’t even know were there, but his blends quickly and easily. It’s absolutely foolproof. I’ve blended out with brushes and fingertips and both work well, I find fingertips melt this into the skin seamlessly quickly and easily.

Just so you can see the full effect (and I can share a photo where I don’t have a towel on my head), this is the finished effect, with my hair dried and the rest of my make up on.

Benefit Shy BeamThe lightness it adds to your face is subtle, but that’s the point. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful shimmery highlight as much as the next person (and in fact I sometimes add that as well), but for brightening up the face this works an absolute treat.

I would imagine, the darker your skintone the more dramatic the effect but I will say that this is quite buildable, or it can be really sheered out, so it will cover a good range of skin tones. Make it as dramatic as you like!

I bought my Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam from my local Benefit Counter where it retails at £19.50.

New to Benefit’s POREfessional range of primers is License to Blot. I’ve not tried any of Benefit’s primers so this was a first for me.

enefit Porefessional License to Blot

Talking about primers generally, I’m not a big user of them, I buy them because I should use them, but in reality, they sit in my make up drawer unused.

enefit Porefessional License to Blot

The POREfessional: License to Blot is wind up stick format primer, designed for instant oil blotting but which promises up to 6 hours of shine prevention.

I’ve only got a little a trial size which is cylindrical but the full size product is actually a clever triangular shape, ideal for getting into nooks and crannies, such as around nostrils.

enefit Porefessional License to BlotTo use, I personally find it best to use in conjunction with a traditional primer. Once you’ve got your make up in place you can pop this on over your foundation, then take it with you out and about for on the go touch ups where necessary.

I’ve found it a bit hit and miss in all honesty, it doesn’t work at all over a couple of my foundations, it lifts the foundation, smears it around a bit, it works well over my Clarins Everlasting Foundation but not at all over my Urban Decay Naked Foundation.

In terms of working well, it does keep my oil at bay, but that said I’m not terribly oily, but it does keep me matte.

I would tentatively recommend this but ideally you need to try it over your foundation first before purchasing, but if you don’t wear foundation at all it’d probably be great. There is a knack to applying over foundation, and Benefit recommend short, swift strokes and I agree that works best.

To be honest, it’s not ideal, its not much use to many, but if you can make it work, its worth having in your kit but realistically that won’t be many of us! Its a shame as the format, the twist up stick, is great for the handbag.

RRP is £15.50 and you can buy from Benefit Counters and Online.

*Item received free of charge for review purposes.

04. 02. 2013

You’ve probably all already seen this but I can’t wait to get my hands on Fine One One. The latest offering from Benefit.

Benefit Fine One One

I’m a big fan of, and have hit pan on my Benefit 10 Bronzing and highlighting duo. This is along the same principle…stripes of different colour you put on your cheeks and then blend out. The difference being this is a  wind up cream product and a blusher and highlighter rather than a bronzer and highlighter powder.

Just love the look of it, and love the simplicity of having two products (two blush shades and a highlighter) you can apply in one sweep and quickly blend out for instant effect!

Available now £23.50 from all Benefit counters and Benefit Cosmetics Online.

Benefit They're Real Mascara

I recently treated myself to this mascara. It’s been on my list of products I wanted to check out since it’s release and subsequent impressed blog reviews from my peers.

So here we are. Benefit They’re Real mascara. I generally speaking, love this. I have one little question mark about this but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The first thing I love is the wand/brush.

Benefit They're Real Mascara

I can’t get on with these new fangled HUGE brushes doing the rounds at the moment. I just blob mascara all over my eyes as well as my lashes. This isn’t a tiny brush by any means, but its not jumbo either. It’s manageable for me. I’d started to believe that if you wanted big lashes then big brushes was the only way, I’m relieved that’s not the case!

Have a look. Now just a little reminder, the brows are getting out of control… I’m still growing them. Rapidlash is incredible for brows!

Benefit They're Real Mascara
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Benefit They're Real Mascara

Long defined obvious lashes. Love it.

The only slight issue I have with this and it is only a little gripe, is that I find it a bit sticky! It is thick (but not clumpy) but you wouldn’t want to go more than two lashes as they go rock hard and coated solid in the stuff. Washing it over I’ve never seen such a mess, my face was black all over! Still it did come off easily so thats the main thing.

All in all I love this. Glad I bough it, I certainly didn’t need it, but it’s all I’m reaching for at the moment. Nice one Benefit!

Benefit They’re Real is £18.50.

I’ve not done a post like this in AGES! So here we go, here are the things I’ve been loving the most lately.

Sorry I chopped the bottom off that pitcure!

Anyway, lets have a look more closely at the things I’ve been loving! Starting with Benefit 10.

benefit 10

I’ve had this for so long and it’s lasted so well but as you can see, I’ve finally hit pan. Bronzer on one side, highlighter on the other. I use the brush included to sweep the two on in stripes and then blend out with a blusher brush. I will absolutely repurchase this.  Love it and it’s my most favourite Benefit boxed powder although it’s nearly a tie with Dandelion.

Next, another Benefit product, Girl Meets Pearl. So easy to use, not too shiny, just, pearl, for a subtle glow.

Benefit Girl Meets pearl

I reach for this at least a couple of times a week. It’s just so simple to use and subtle. I’ve previously reviewed this here so I won’t go on!

Next, another Benefit product. I’m clearly feeling the benefit love at the moment despite my utter disdain for Some Kinda Gorgeous.

Benefit High Brow

Benefit High Brow. I think this is my third one? I love this on my brow bone, waterline sometimes, corner of the eye. It’s just a handy product to have and I get through a fair few of them!

Next, Nuxe Eau Demaquillante.

Nuxe Eau Demaquillante

I was sent this sample size product by the lovely people at www.escentual.com and I’ve loved using it. In fact the bottle is empty. I’ve not used it as my main cleanser but somehow I’ve used it all up anyway. One of the problems is I clean my face downstairs (we have a downstairs bathroom and the light isn’t great) and get upstairs and sit in front of my make up mirror (with lights) and then I spot the tiny sparkles dotted all around my eyes that I’ve not managed to get off with my cleanser and hot flannel. Not especially noticeable until looking in a magnifying light up mirror… that’s when I tend to reach for the cleansing water and a cotton pad to just go over my eyes once more. Clearly I am rubbish at washing my face. Anyway I’ve loved this but I can’t find it on the the escentual site to repurchase, all I can find is this which looks similar and has a similar name but a different description. Am v. confused.  I wonder if they are the same thing… its just that the sample I have makes no mention of 3 roses…

Anyway, next, Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadows in Twilight Rose and Wild Sable.

I received these over a year ago as PR samples and blogged about them here. Although I loved the quality, I’ve not really used them much as I’ve not worn neutral shades much in the last couple of years, until recently. Twilight Rose is a soft satin finish and sadly I think a limited edition shade but Wild Sable is a lovely matte mid brown and I’ve been wearing them both a lot recently. Very nice.

Then there’s the Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation.

Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation

I was sent this sample a while ago and reviewed it here. I thought it was a lovely foundation but it didn’t suit my skin at all. I’ve tried it again since discovering the Rouge Bunny Rouge Aqua Primer and now this foundation works like a charm and I’m wearing it frequently. I love it.

Finally Chanel Rouge Coco in Perle. Sorry for the stock image, I did take one but it all came out horribly.

A very lovely colour. Its a sort of my lips but better shade but with a pearly sheen. It’s very hard to describe but it finishes off a natural look really well.

Swatches of all of the above:

Top Row – High Brow, Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow Wild Sable and Twilight Rose.
Middle Row – Shiseido Foundation, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl, Chanel Rouge Coco Perle
Bottom Row – Benefit 10

So there we have it, my most recent loves. I’m scheduling this post a couple of weeks in advance so I’m sure it’ll have all changed by the time this goes live!

Anything there surprise you? Or take your fancy?

Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous

I’ve often wondered about Some Kind-a Gorgeous and then I won one in a Debenhams competition so I got to try it out for myself. I warn you now, this is not a good review…

It claims to be foundation faker. An oil free cream to powder finish in a sheer shade suitable for most skin tones.

Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous
Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous
Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous
  Firstly, it’s ORANGE. Then when you apply it to your face it’s virtually invisible except for the fact that it clings to every tiny dry bit (even if previously invisible to the naked eye), and so, there’s very little coverage and in fact it looks like there’s nothing there, but then the magic happens… as the day progresses you get lots of little orange patches on your face. Nice, it wears badly and quickly. Reapplication is quick and easy thanks to the little compact, but you use up an incredibly amount of product. The first picture of the open pan up there was after one use… I don’t think it would take much more than five or six uses before you hit pan…it also feels…well oily. The texture is horrible.
Oh I think I should stop this review.. it’s not going anywhere good is it? It’s £23.50 for a miniscule amount and it absolutely sucks. Am mightily pleased I won this and didn’t buy it!
Sorry Benefit, I do love you, honest, but this product is awful!
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

Gah I’ve had this for ages and not gotten round to doing a review for you all! I won it in a competition on the Debenhams Facebook page months ago!

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl is a highlighter described as liquid pearl for your face.

I have a lot of highlighters but this is one I reach for very often indeed, in fact I’d go so far as to say this is my favourite! Why? Well because of the distinct lack of shimmer. It is, as the name suggests, a pearly liquid as opposed to shimmer, and although pearl and shimmer are in the same family so far as finishes go, pearl is, certainly for day to day wear, more suitable for my needs.

Girl Meets Pearl is a light pink liquid with gold pearl and looks fab, adding light where ever I dab it, which in my case is cheek bones, cupid’s bow and sometimes on the bridge of my nose.

It’s such a subtle natural effect on my skin it’s been really hard to capture it in use, so you’ll have to make do with swatches.

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
I should also tell you that the applicator is fab, it’s a twist up product, I should have taken a picture of it, but it’s possible to just twist out the tiniest little which I then dab in place with my fingers. I should add that you can also use this all over your face under your foundation to give an illuminating effect. I’ve not tried this yet, but I will!
I love this product and highly recommend it. Seriously pretty for a natural glow.

I had the Benefit Smokin’ Eyes Makeover Kit for my birthday which was especially timely since I’ve just been considering buying a palette of greys. As probably most of you know, smokey eyes are my favoured look and I wear them most days in varying colours. I have a couple of single grey eyeshadows and a variety of bases like Mac Paint Pots and Grease sticks, but I really wanted a palette that would house everything.

So thanks Mother In Law, you timed that well!

I already have the Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes Kit and have had it for years, it’s probably the oldest thing I own and whilst I don’t reach for it often these days I can’t bear to part with it!

Anyway, back to the Smokin Eyes Kit.

Benefit Smokin' Eyes Makeover Kit

There’s a pale pink highlight shade, a pewter shadow, a charcoal shadow, a brow wax, a little palette of the Eye Bright (usually found in pencil form), tweezers, a black liner and a double ended brush. Most importantly and why I love these kits is that included is an instruction booklet. It shows you exactly where to place each product.  It’s virtually foolproof for a dunce like me.

I’m wearing today (at the time of writing) and I’ve blended out for a softer look but the colours are pigmented enough to build up for a fantastically dramatic look.

Benefit Smokin' Eyes Makeover Kit
Benefit Smokin' Eyes Makeover Kit
Benefit Smokin' Eyes Makeover Kit
 I really rate these Benefit Eyekits, they are superb. The products are great and the detailed application instructions are fab, great for anyone who needs a bit of assistance with where to place products!
Thanks Mother in Law, it’s a fab pressie.
If no one will buy this for you, then I think it’s about £29 and well worth a look.