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!

 

 

 

The highlight of every season for me, is seeing what’s new from Clarins. For such a huge brand, I find they don’t get nearly enough praise, the quality of everything I’ve ever tried is exceptional and the packaging and design is always classy. I really feel I need to apologise for some of these photos which for some reason didn’t all come out as well as they should have done, but the main one, the swatches one, came out perfectly so it will be quite literally a case of all’s well that ends well.

Clarins Autumn 2015

 

So starting off with the Eyebrow Pencils (£17)*

Clarins Eyebrow pencil Clarins Eyebrow pencilAvailable in three, shades, Soft Blonde, Light brown and Dark Brown, I have Light Brown. Each pencil has a spiral brush at one end to tame and groom the brows, while the pencil isn’t quite the right shade for me (actually it is but I like my brows DARK), I’ve been wearing it anyway. The pencil is really firm meaning its easy to draw exactly where you want it to go, with a sharp point you can even draw in hairs. I like this a lot.

Moving onto the Crayon Khol (£17)*

Clarins Crayon Khol Clarins Crayon KholI’ve got lots of Clarins eyeliners and they never disappoint. They line brilliantly, they smudge brilliantly (with the brush on the other end of the pencil), they pack a powerful punch of colour and they wear really well, I don’t get transfer to my upper eyelid like I do with so many other brands. For this collection, two shades have been added, Carbon Black, for an ultra dark look and True Violet. True Violet is shown above, and I would suggest looking at the swatches at the end of the post because this colour is absolutely amazing. It applies darker than I expected, while the purple seems to be iridescent. Its beautiful.

Next up, the Ombre Mattes (£19)

Clarins Ombre MatteThis cream to powder finish eyeshadow is perfection. I absolutely love black eye make up and this is really black and gorgeous to apply. It’s silky and lightweight and doesn’t crease. It stays put all day long. I have Carbon, but the other shade available with this collection is Heather which looks like a purpley grey and equally lovely.

The final item to show you is the Rouge Eclat lipstick in the shade Red Paprika (£19.50*)

Clarins Rouge Eclat Red Paprika Clarins Rouge Eclat Red PaprikaOh Clarins lipsticks you’re the best,

When you’re around I don’t want the rest.

Gorgeous colours, classy cases,

Surely you win the lipstick races.

I love Clarins lipsticks so much I am inspired to write poetry. Amazing poetry I am sure you’ll agree.  But seriously, if you’ve never tried a Clarins lipstick, you should, the Rouge Eclat formula moisturisers without a hint of greasiness, while minimizing fine lines. They wear  really well on me and I just love them. There are two new shades for this collections, Tawny Rose, and Red Paprika as shown. Its a gorgeous orange hued, rich red shade and my pick of the collection.

Swatches of all of the above are here, Eyebrow Pencil Light Brown, Rouge Eclat in Paprika Red, Crayon Khol in True Violet and Ombre Matte in Carbon.

Clarins Autumn 2015 SwatchesNot shown, but also included in the collection is the Pretty Day 5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette which retails at £33.

As always a gorgeous collection with extremely good quality products, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of the items shown above. That liner colour though is just perfect.

The Collection Launches in August and you will be able to find it on Clarins counters as well as Clarins online.

*All Items received free of charge for review purposes

 

Brows… its my thing. By which I don’t mean in any way I’m good at brows, if anything it’s quite the opposite, but regardless I put a lot of effort into making them look as good as I possibly can.

Thanks to two completely different eyebrow shapes, (one is quite angled, and one is quite arched), along with one higher than the other, and then the newest addition of some really white hairs that make my brows look like they have bald patches, my brows take a long time to get right in the mornings. I’ve tried many products over the years with varying degrees of success, but they take so much time to perfect I’ve been considering having them tattooed, but it’s not cheap, so its something I’d have to save for, as well as consider carefully.

While I mull that over, I still have to spend a lot of time filling them in each day and I’m always looking for the next product. While placing a Makeup Revolution order recently I spied the Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Arch & Shape, and at the ridiculous bargain price of £3.50 I popped one in my virtual basket.

Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra BrowAvailable in four shades, (Fair, Medium, Dark and Darkest), I opted for Dark as I like a dark brow, even though my hair is lighter these days.

At one end you’ve got a soft pencil, and at the other end a super-fine felt pen. Apologies for the out of focus shot.

Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Brow Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra BrowInitial swatches, pen on the left, crayon on the right.

Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra BrowFirst impression was that they weren’t as impressive as I thought they’d be, the finish on both was quite subtle. Second impression was that the crayon end was a little too soft as first time I tried to use it, it snapped off, I suspect it must have been already damaged as I used very little pressure.

So essentially, that left me with the felt tip end. I’m not complaining, I have found my holy grail brow product. I’m actually now considering not having my brows tattooed at all, so impressed am I. Although in the swatch the shade looks a little wishy washy, this is a positive when applied to the brow. You can build up the depth of colour, and the tip is fine enough to even draw in hairs if that’s something you like to do. The finished look is impressive. Please take into consideration my lack of skill and totally uneven brows.

Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Brow Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra BrowThe best thing about this is not how naturally it applies, or the super fine tip that allows precision application but the fact that this stuff doesn’t budge. All day. When I wash my face at the end of the day, it looks exactly the same as it did when I applied it at 7.30am. No word of a lie. Oh, and one more thing, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when brow products that claim to be brown, actually turn out to be incredibly red toned, its far too common, but it’s not the case with this. It’s a true brown.

There’s only so much I can say about a brow pencil, but I would recommend this to absolutely anyone, another incredible product from Makeup Revolution.

You can purchase yours here for a very reasonable £3.50.