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Sometimes beauty, sometimes fashion, but always food

4 March 2018

Five A/W beauty favourites

1. Fragrance
TOM FORD Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum [link]

This was quite an extraordinary move for me, I've been obsessed with sweet & flowery scents my whole life. I've always gone for feminine and floral notes and as many of my friends will know, my signature scent is Lancome's La vie Est belle (as recommended by my lovely friend Chanelle). But as the autumn season approached I really wanted to try something different - not confident enough to tap into the Oud market yet - although I am low-key obsessed - I thought to try a more mature and striking scent, so I visited the Tom Ford counter at John Lewis on Oxford Street where I was served by the loveliest man and finally went for a new scent...

I chose the TOM FORD Orchid Soleil. Completely tantalised by the rose gold bottle, I admitted that I was going to choose it over the Velvet Orchid just because it would look so great on my dressing table. But in all honesty, I much preferred the scent when compared to the other Orchid fragrances. It's often described as the summery version of the Velvet Orchid, with standout notes of vanilla. 

2. Primer
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer [link]

As what often seems the case for the majority of people, I have a combination of oily and dry skin. This is seasonal as I find my skin is much oilier during the warmer months of the year. Annoyingly this isn't great, as I'm more inclined to put on a full face of make-up during the busiest and most excitable time of the year: summer.

I was really pleased when I took the plunge and purchased the YSL Touche éclat primer. To be fair, having switched from the Benefit Porefessional, it's only a couple of pounds more expensive.

I'd been on a hunt for a new primer all year, so far I've tried MAC Prep & Prime, Benefit Porefessional and Smashbox's Photo Finish. What I've found with the YSL primer is it's been the best at minimising my pores for a long period of time, it doesn't have too strong a scent, creates the softest film across your face - my skin is 100x smoother when I put it on, regardless of whether I am spotty or not at the time - and most importantly, it takes to my foundation very well.
Has it stopped my face from getting oily after a long day of wearing make-up? Honestly no - and after having tried various primers, I'm unconvinced that anything out there ever will. Any recommendations? 

3. Eyebrows
Benefit Ka-Brow & Benefit Gimme Brow [link]

Eyebrows are certainly the first thing my eyes are drawn to when I look at someone. I've always been obsessed with a fabulous, arched & natural looking brow and therefore I played it safe my whole make-up wearing life and chose to use light handed eyebrow pencils and clear mascara gels. But as I've begun to wear eyeshadow and experiment with more pigmented and heavier eye looks, I sometimes find that my brows aren't strong enough and that their pigment lacks impact when my eyeshadow is really heavy. So I thought to test out both the Benefit Ka-Brow & Benefit Gimme Brow to help balance this issue. 

Let me start by saying that considering these are both high in price points (being that they're just eyebrow products), I think there are cheaper dupes in the market and that the Gimme Brow especially is not worth £20+.
With that being said, these have changed my make up dramatically (well to me any way) and I love combining them both, the precision of the Ka-Brow brush is so good, it's super sharp and precise. On days where my brow hairs are moving crazy, especially towards the tail of my brow, I'm able to get a neat look with the brush that sometimes a blunt pencil is unable to achieve. Gimme Brow can be handy as a finishing touch to a dramatic brow as well as the softest enhancement when going for a more natural brow look - which I often do when going to work. Just a light touch of the brush adds some pigment into my hairs and gives that 'false hair' look, especially towards the front of my eyebrows which is quite sparse.  Just to add, I think this is best noticeable when your eyebrows are freshly threaded/waxed.

4. Highlighter
Huda Beauty's 3D Highlighter Palette in Desert Sands [link]

My time had come to move on from Mac's Gold Deposit, which is still the best highlighter for women of colour I'd say, but it was time for a change. I'd heard many things about the Anastasia Beverly Hllls Glow Kit and the Becca illuminators. But, having been a fan of Huda hereslf, I was far more compelled by her Desert Sands highlighter palette and it also helped that a few of my fav YouTubers were using it in their videos all summer. 

Honestly, I'd say I use 3 out 4 of the shades. You are actually instructed to use Fiji as a primer, Seychelles to set, Tahiti to sculpt and Zanzibar for a blushing and healthy glow. But for me that's WAY too much product, I believe in glowing yes - but I can't stand an over-highlighted face, it's actually quite disturbing in some settings. Any way though, my least favourite is Fiji - just because its consistency is creamy and when put on a cheek with primer, foundation, concealer etc - this often comes out patchy and disrupts my base, and then when I apply the highlighter powder over it (?!!!) I've sometimes found that it looks a hot mess. HOWEVER! Seychelles & Tahiti though?! Obsessed. Perfect for the inner corners of your eyes, perfect for the brow bone, perfect for the cupids bow and perfect for the bridge of your nose. Both so multi functional which is good I guess and so far these highlighters have been just what I needed to help my make up pop this season.

5. Concealer
Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer [link]

Before I start I'd really like to say that if you haven't tried out the L.A Pro Girl concealer yet - please do. You're wasting time and probably wasting money, it's just as good as many upmarket concealers which are 5/6x the price and also lasts just as long.

I'm a great fan of the LA Pro Girl concealer but I'd heard such amazing things about Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer and wanted to see if the hype was real. Besides its gorgeous packaging - gosh a whole £38 for this small pot? You better believe it's got to be good if it's in that price range. 

Great news is, I can testify to it guys, YouTubers are actually being honest when discussing this one, it's coverage is A1. I've used it under my eyes and on dark spots where I've previously had to use a colour corrector shade and it covers it up effortlessly. I've got to advise that a very little goes such a long way, you really don't need much of it at all, which is great if you don't like to use too much product on your face and if you want to make that £38 last longer.
The key differences between the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and and the LA Pro Girl concealers, (which were very similar in shade) are:

  • Coverage - Whilst LA Pro Girl's concealer is buildable, the Sensual Skin Enhancer gives you full coverage from the get-go.
  • Thickness - The Sensual Skin Enhancer has a far thicker and creamier consistency, LA Pro Girl's concealer is more liquid based.
  • Longevity - The Sensual Skin Enhancer after being set with Ben Nye Banana Powder does not crease under the eye, at all. It dries under the eye... and stays like that... for ages...

I hope you found this post useful and as ever do let me know if you've tried out any of these and what your thoughts were. Do you agree? Or disagree? Also let me know if there are any products that you'd like to hear my opinion on.

Until next time,

Betty xx