benefit posts

EMPTIES: July

July 13, 2014

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So, last week I graduated with a 2:1 BA Hons English Literature with Creative Writing (and a cheeky first in my dissertation), no biggie – and now I’m on the sad pursuit of the graduate gravy train: population 357485792849347598370187349875. If you know of any copywriting or social media marketing vacancies going (quite literally anywhere, I’m game for a change of scenery), hit me up if you’d be so kind. If you provide me with a successful link, I’ll provide you with a lifetime supply of Jaffa Cakes (or “insert favourite cake/biscuit” – but you’re a lemon, ’cause Jaffa Cakes are the edible bee’s knees). Until I manage to secure a job and shake the dole-y shroud that’s currently drowning me, I’ll be well and truly in your faces through the medium of the ol’blog – apologies in advance if you get sick of my overly verbose ramblings and shoddy iPhone snaps.

Today I have my second ever empties post, primarily because I am almost professionally naff at keeping hold of products until their cessation, mainly because I a) lose them b) have commitment issues and discard everything to the back of a drawer within a week. However, a year after my last empties post, we have something of a breakthrough – and this is only because I’ve just moved out of my flat and unearthed a wealth of sad, abandoned empty products, huddled together in the nooks and crannies of my old dorm room.

MAC Lipstick in ‘Russian Red’ – £15

I’ve just about lost count of how many of these I have collated and finished/snapped/had stolen from my younger sister – but this will be an eternal repurchase for me. I mean, when is pillar-box red going to go out of style?  I’ve actually somehow managed to time it so I’ve ran out of two of these, so I’m currently using Viva Glam 1, which is a surprisingly nice red despite its pink tone in the tube. 10/10

MAC Sheertone Blush in ‘Peaches’ – £18

Another must-have in the empties pile is this delightfully summery shade, again from MAC. For anyone else in the paler-than-pale club, you’ll be with me on the importance of finding that perfect medium between a subtle injection of life into the cheeks, and the ultimate fail of clown cheeks (which are disturbingly easy to achieve in bad lighting). I’m on my second one of these now and will be tempted to find a pinkier shade next. 9/10

Benefit Porefessional – Sample 

If you’ve ever picked up a magazine or basically, if you have a vagina and a reasonable interest in beauty, you’re probably as inundated with these samples as I am: does anyone ever actually invest in Porefessional? Once my decent stash has disintegrated (still got at least one more brand new one), I’ll still be very tempted to buy the fullsize of this product, despite it being a rather pricey £24.50 bank-drainer. Its non-oil formula is great for temperamental skin like my own, although I have been prone to the occasional major breakout whilst using this product, but I don’t think it’s solely to blame. It really does help with base application and I like the little protective layer between my skin and my rather thick slap. 8/10

MAC Prep & Prime Transparent Powder – £20

For probably the first time with a MAC product, I’m going to say it: this isn’t much to write home about, guys. Granted, it definitely does some favours with regards to its truly transparent pigmentation – practically every powder (Rimmel’s Stay Matte aside, surprisingly) I’ve ever used leaves me looking a strange shade of Wotsit, but it didn’t exactly do much for the overall effect. Minimal mattefying occurred and it gave a slightly more polished finish, yet I was never convinced. Then it went and disintegrated on me, so I don’t think I’ll be after this one again. 6/10

CK Shock – Prize

I won this alongside a bunch of other Beauty Cupboard treasures from Cosmopolitan last year, and decided to give it a whirl once I’d ran out of my trusty Gucci Guilty – it’s pretty nice! I’m usually one for musky floral scents, so this was a light change for the summer and saw me through until I finally got my paws on Viktor + Rolf’s Flowerbomb, which has to be one of the most moreish scents going – although I’m getting mildly bewildered by the amount of people thinking it smells like Palma Violets. 8.5/10

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – £19.50 

I did a review of this mascara a while back, go have a gander! 9/10

Review: Birchbox January 2014 Edition.

January 14, 2014

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Beauty subscription boxes are a funny one with me: all well and good when you’re in the zone of ordering one and getting excited for its dispatch, but an absolute tyranny of fear and often disappointment when you realise it’s choc-ful with a load of shite you’re not going to touch, ever. I used to subscribe to SheSaidBeauty boxes, but I got absolutely bored to tears with the products in there and realised I could put that £12 a month towards stuff that I’d, y’know, actually use – Christ, I could’ve been laden with Chanel skincare products by now – the amount of blue boxes I have in my room. Kudos though, those boxes are about the best thing that came out of my torrid affair with subscriptions boxes: those little babies come in handy! Anyway, yadda yadda, get to the point Nash. Recently, Birchbox contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their January box and, being a curious cat and freebie creep that I am, I obliged. Worryingly: I’m not completely disappointed with what they sent me…

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  • Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser 20ml – full size (150ml) retails at £18

Christ alive, this product has to win the award for ‘Most Waffly Product Name’, if nothing else. I just tried this stuff and, given its undeniably highly nutrient-rich formula (we’re talking attributes packed with shea butter/fatty acids/grapeseed and omega 3), I’m either placeboing out of my arse – or this product has made my skin reasonably smooth. We’ll see if it helps shift these pesky breakout spots around my chin first, eh?

  • Radial Bee Venom Moisturiser 5ml – full size (150ml) retails (at a staggering) £150

Weirdly, it’s a little bit like Birchbox read my mind on this one. I have been trawling Holland and Barrett stores country-wide trying to get my hands on their Manuka Doctor bee venom moisturiser and, lo and behold, they throw in this far superior little number. Upon first applications, I had flashbacks to getting stung on the bum outside of Boots as a kid – terrifying images of potential allergic reactions and my face blowing up so much that my sizeable bottom lip just decided to combust. Fortunately, this did not occur – but the effects thus far (four days of usage) have been incredibly dull. I’ve had good skin days, I’ve had bad skin days. I wouldn’t pay £150 for that imbalance.

  • Benefit ThePorefessional 7.5ml – full size (22ml) retails at £24.50

I can’t turn my nose up at this product as a devoted lover of Benefit, and the owner of a quickly depleting original sample that this one will proudly become successor to soon. If you’re a beauty blogger, you should really already know how essential this piece is. Nice one, Birchbox.

  • Premae Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil 20ml – full size (100ml) retails at £9.50

As a pale lady, with a tendency to resemble something on death’s door due to bad circulation, I tend to avoid body oils, as they only seem to exacerbate the problem. However, in the warm, sunny light of my yellow-tinted desk lamp, it looks pretty good on my arms, and they feel soft enough. The sunflower (mate, do sunflowers even have a smell?) and rosewood scent has got me longing for holidays.

  • Itsu Miso Soup 25g sachet – full size (6 pouches) £11

After recently embarking upon a vegan adventure (that is, slightly less dramatically, after doing a month last year – I have decided to go vegan since the New Year), I’m looking for all the vegan friendly nosh I can sniff out. Not sure why that sounded quite so dirty, but we shall continue… I haven’t tried this yet as, after my last packet of Pop Chips that I picked up at an LCM show got devoured this afternoon, they will be going into my emergency food stash. Sounds nice enough to me, anyway. Not sure I could afford to keep that habit up though, so I’m kinda hoping I’m not a fan…

  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 20ml – full size (250ml) £19

This looks remarkably like toothpaste, and I just squirted half the tube up my nose trying to find out what it smells like for you. I hope you appreciate this, guys. It smells pretty high class – but a little too Chanel No.5 for me: absolutely lovely, but not right for my juvenile twenty-year-old self. Good call though guys: I’ve just ran out of Herbal Essences – cheers.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the box. I’m half-tempted to opt in for the next one just to see if they manage to pull it out of the bag twice in a row, but I’ll keep you posted on Twitter about that. Everyone else though: what’s in yours this month? Are you happy with it? Link your reviews below!

OOTD: Dissertation Dash.

January 13, 2014

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Today marked the first Doomsday of my calendar: the dreaded return to university, rounded up to terror stages by the addition of a 5,000 word essay deadline and a dissertation meeting with my tutor who ever so slightly scares the living shit out of me (she’s coo’, though). I had to dash from Wigan back home to Lancaster, which included having to write up the referencing for my essay on a bus – surprised I still have a MacBook left (if you know Wigan, you’ll understand) and stupidly telling a chav to ‘eff off’ after he jumped in my path to scare me enroute to the bus stop. Surprised I still have a MacBook and a pulse. Anyway, drama was averted eventually and the day, whilst tiring, has been made exponentially better by this absolute bargain outfit.

Everything I’m wearing (necklace aside) comes from the Primark sales – the entire outfit came to TWELVE POUNDS. Yes. Twelve measly pounds. The jacket is proving an excellent purchase but there are many bloopers of me realising that you can fully see my bra through this dress with the flash on. Not sure whether that’s just the quality or something to do with the fact I’m wearing a bright white bra under a dark green dress – urrr.

I’ve got absolutely tonnes to be blogging about this week, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Make Up

Face: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB 02 | MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder | Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Light | Benefit Hervana Blush

Eyes: L’oreal Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette | Ted Baker Liquid Liner Pen | MAC Kohl Liner in Smolder | Benefit They’re Real Mascara | Smashbox Smokebox

Lips: Estée Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Black Cassis

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Outfit

Primark Pleather Sleeve Bodycon Dress – £5 was £10 | Primark Floral Jacket – £7 was £17

Empty Casket Amethyst Pentagram Cord Necklace – £15
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Apologies for the utterly pants image quality on these: I didn’t have any time to take pictures before the sun went down, so these will have to do! Definitely need to get someone to start taking my pictures for me – I am fundamentally useless.

OOTD: Supermarket Goth.

January 1, 2014

I did promise myself, and everyone in the Twittersphere, that one of my New Year’s Resolutions would be to incorporate more OOTD posts into my site – as it’s been getting a little clinical and  far less personal of late. And, given that I discovered I actually own a tripod today – I found myself running quickly out of excuses. However, this was a spur of the minute jaunt (wearing a run-to-Sainsbury’s outfit), so let’s smooth over my hangover hair…

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Make Up

Face: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB 02 | MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder | Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Light | MAC Powder Blush in Peaches

Eyes: L’oreal Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette | Rimmel GlamEyes Liquid Eyeliner in Black | Rimmel Soft Kohl Liner in Jet Black | Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Lips: MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

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Topshop Fluffy Jumper – £38 | Forever 21 Leopard Print Skirt – £12

Primark Black Shirt – £4 | Empty Casket Amethyst Pentagram Cord Necklace – £16

REVIEW: Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer

June 13, 2013

I can’t say I’ve ever been crazy about buying primers before: my skin’s reasonably quite ruly when it comes to oiliness and I’ve recently taken the plunge to not wear foundation unless I’m going out. However, of the ones I’ve tried, this one is definitely fighting me for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ #1 title in my must-haves, upon receiving it recently. That said, there are huge differences between the two products: the Bare Minerals targets redness, which is portrayed in its yellow-based tone, whereas, the Porefessional is more of an all-rounder which would be suitable for all skin types. This makes me a big fan of the Bare Minerals, as I’m very pale skinned with an annoying pinky undertone, which is coming out in the sunshine as a glorious reddy undertone – how gloriously attractive that sounds. A thin layer of this beauty smoothed in after moisturiser and I am good to go. Here’s a little swatch on my paleness: (don’t fear, it rubs in to a less scary colour!)

At £21 for a 30ml product – but only £17 through QVC, it does seem a little steep – but each application only requires the tiniest of presses on the pump, so it should be cost-effective and long lasting. It’s definitely a good product to use if you’re about to embark on a wild night out, great for avoiding the oil slick/patchy red-face-man look after you’ve been throwing too many shapes at the latest Justin Timberlake song. It’s also proved pretty good as a standalone beauty product; applying after moisturiser on one of the bizarre heatwave days we’ve had of late (cue pensive stare to the now-rain drenched window), can be really effective if you fancy getting a bit au naturel. This is especially fun if you’re freckly.

There is one thing that I disliked about this product and, annoyingly, it could be a big off-putter to some: the scent is strong. I’m talking really strong. Nothing repugnant or bad-smelling, just mildly medicinal to the extent that I’m always quite dubious about putting it under my eyes, lest they get all watery. I still use and would recommend the product, I would just suggest that in future, it’s made with less perfume. I mean, why does primer need to be scented anyway?

I would’ve done a picture of me actually wearing the product but I have a nasty heat/stress rash on my face at the moment, so you’re not going to get a clear indication of how it works. Grr. I will update the post with pictures when I’m a bit less haggard-looking.

Pros: Works effectively – covers up red marks/smoothes surface, little goes a long way.

Cons: Smells a bit like you don’t want it invading your retinas. Then again, I don’t think the smell of anything would make you want it on/in/around your retinas. Ahem.

Would I recommend: Yes. Particularly to those with normal/combination skin of a lighter tone, with a pink undertone.

Tweet me @Ebzo

This Week’s Featured Bloggers.

May 28, 2013

I’ve been thinking for a while how great it’d be to do a weekly post where I find three beauty/fashion bloggers to feature on my site. This way, we all get to know each other better, get some discussions going and make some new friends! I’m also a little nosy so it’ll be nice to find out random stuff, like what other peoples’ favourite shoe of the season is, or what they love most about blogging. If you’d like to get involved with the next post, follow me on Twitter @Ebzo!

Kelly of A Thing of Beauty

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How long have you been blogging for?

I’ve been blogging since April 2011, so 2 years now.

What’s your favourite beauty product, ever?

My favorite beauty product, ever, would have to be my elf Golden Bronzer. I know it’s only $3, but it gives such an understated glow that I’ve gotten so many compliments on. And, it’s so inexpensive, to boot!

What are you dying to get your hands on this season, fashion-wise?

Fashion-wise, I’m dying to get my hands on more of those sheer, sleeveless shirts. They’re my new fashion must-have this summer because they’re perfect to tuck into shorts and versatile enough to be worn in the colder season.

What’s one trend you’ll be avoiding?

The one trend I’ll be avoiding are galaxy print leggings. Sorry, but just not my style. I’d prefer for the universe to stay in the sky & off my legs!

What are your inspirations behind writing your blog?

I’m an aspiring beauty/fashion editor and when I started collecting a lot of beauty products, I felt it was time to start blogging and putting myself out there.

What’re your plans for the summer?

Currently I’m a working student, but I plan to continue with posting on my main beauty blog, A Thing of Beauty, and I’m actually hoping to launch a new lifestyle blog in the next month!

If you could pick one pair of shoes to wear forever, what would they be?

Definitely my neon Skechers tennis shoes-I get so many compliments when I wear them because they’re black with neon accents and the most comfortable things I’ve ever put on my feet!

Amy of The Pretrender

How long have you been blogging for?

A year next month, it’s flown by!

What’s your favourite beauty product, ever?

Benefit High Beam. I literally didn’t know what I did before I discovered it. It lights my entire face up, and is great for those mornings when I’ve had one too many margaritas the night before!

What are you dying to get your hands on this season, fashion-wise?

I NEED the topshop elephant printed joggers in my life. Devastatingly, they’ve been out of stock for ages 🙁

What’s one trend you’ll be avoiding?

Denim dungarees. They make me look about 12.

What are your inspirations behind writing your blog?

I like to share my style, so I usually empty my wardrobe and create new outfits, and go from there.

What’re your plans for the summer?

I’m moving to london next month so my summer will probably consist of window shopping, job hunting and living off tins of beans!

If you could pick one pair of shoes to wear forever, what would they be?

My high tops. I’m a trainers girl through and through.

Amy of AmyJaneAlice

How long have you been blogging for?

I have been blogging since the 19th of February this year! I’m so proud of how far I have come in such a short space of time 🙂

What’s your favourite beauty product, ever?

This is such a hard question, argh! I think my favourite product would have to be liquid eyeliner. I don’t have a favourite brand in particular but I often repurchase the Collection 2000 and Rimmel liquid eyeliners.

What are you dying to get your hands on this season, fashion-wise?

I want the Topshop high waisted Mom jeans so much! I have a huge amount of love for all things high waisted, and these would be the perfect addition to my collection.

What’s one trend you’ll be avoiding?

I don’t think I’ll be wearing much white this summer, because I don’t really suit it. It suits so many people and is a gorgeous trend, but it tends to make me look quite big!

What are your inspirations behind writing your blog?

 I get so much inspiration from many different sources while writing my blog. The biggest comes from my love of reading and writing. If I didn’t love reading and writing so much I’d find it difficult to enjoy writing a blog. I get inspiration from other bloggers, shops and celebrities too.

What’re your plans for the summer?

Over Summer I’ll most likely be working and saving up for when I hopefully start university in September; I’ve already mentally spent it all 🙁 On Sunday’s I’ll probably be going on days out with the family, boyfriend and friends or just relaxing in the good weather I hope we have!

If you could pick one pair of shoes to wear forever, what would they be?

This is SUCH a hard question! I love wearing my Fred Perry pumps or my Converse because they’re so comfy and versatile – you can wear them with so many different kinds of outfits. Then again, I also wear my heeled boots quite often, as they make me feel a little taller (I’m only 5″3!) and a bit older! I think I’d have to go for my Fred Perry pumps because they can be dressed up or down and are a lot comfier than heeled boots!

May Empties.

May 26, 2013

I’ve never done an ’empties’ post before, probably  due to the fact that I’m a sketchy individual and have a lot of beauty commitment issues – but for the first time I’ve noticed, I have a handful of products that I’ve actually managed to get through.

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Earn Money on Your Blog with LinkShare.

May 13, 2013

I’ve spotted this affiliate/advertising website around a few times and today, I decided to sign up and see if it was actually beneficial. The site allows you to earn money by placing ads for your favourite brands on your blog/website through an affiliate scheme. There are plenty of categories for companies all over the world, allowing you to cater your advertisements to the content you write about. I mean, nobody’s going to put a car dealer ad on a beauty site, right? Companies that I’ve applied to thus far include: Benefit UK, Miss Selfridge, Kurt Geiger – etc. All legitimate brands that I would be happy to advertise on my site.

At the moment, I’m still awaiting my applications to be accepted, but I’ll be posting about any progress I’ll hopefully make through the website. I’d definitely recommend signing up and I’d like to thank The Editeur (who I have also applied to) for bringing the site to my awareness! Click the ad to the right of my posts and sign up too!

Follow me on Twitter @Ebzo.

Review: Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ Mascara.

April 30, 2013

As a (ahem, self-proclaimed) beauty writer, I’m ashamed to admit this: I’ve been using my MAC mascara for the past couple of weeks, not even realising that it was completely run out and doing absolutely sod all for my lashes. I finally came to my senses and twigged that I was still, regardless of laborious application, squinting out of d-elongated lash-framed eyes – spurring a mad dash to Boots on the recollection that, when I bought the Hello Flawless in Duty Free, the girl at the counter was absolutely raving about the success of their new ‘They’re Real’ mascara – so I had to give it a go.

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Review: Benefit’s Tropicoral Cheek/Lip Set.

April 1, 2013

Okay, I may’ve slightly overdone it with the Duty Free buys, but I’m enjoying having a lot to write about! This time I’m going to talk about one of Benefit’s handy little miniatures kits: the Tropicoral. I got lured into buying this when I was trying out the new foundation that I reviewed the other day and ended up just having to have the whole works done – you know how it is. The first thing, and the quintessential point with any Benefit product is: Daaang, check out that packaging. I have quite a thing for their silly wordplay with each and every piece. Check out this beauty:

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Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com