Love Brows? Check Out The Brand New Benefit Browdrobe!

A selection of brow products form Benfit laid out on a pink background
Benefit have been kings / queens of the brow world for some time now but the recent expansion of their Browdrobe has literally blown the competition out of the water! Classics and all time faves like BrowZings and Gimme Brow got a bit of a packaging face lift but are very much still part of the new and improved brow arsenal.

A selection of brow products form Benfit laid out on a pink background
Let me get straight to the new additions... there's a lot to get through!
First up, the Brow Conditioning Primer* (€30.50). This nifty little number does what it says on the tin - worn as a primer it enhances & extends the wear of other brow products. I've been using it every morning under my regular brow products & love how it also tames and smooths my brows! Not an absolute essential in your brow collection but definitely worth checking out if you love your brows a lot!
Next, one of my absolute faves in the entire collection: the Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil* (€26).This is an angled, self sharpening pencil perfect for filling in and shaping sparse brows. What I love about it is that the formula is hard enough to be precise but not so hard that you can't work with it. Just perfect! It's long wearing and comes in six shades. This together with Gimme Brow* (€26) and Cara Delavigne has nothing on your brows!
Another stand out product in this collection is the Ka-Brow Eyebrow Cream-Gel Colour* (€26). This is a buildable cream-gel colour that is perfect for filling in and shaping your brows. Depending on your needs and preferences you could use this instead of an eyebrow pencil for a really defined look. It comes with a clever angled brush so you can use this on the go without having to bring tons of stuff with you!
The cult High Brow highlighters are still very much part of the collection and there is also another absolutely fabulous product - the Precisely My Brow Pencil* (€26). This pencil has an ultra-fine non sharpen tip that allows you to draw in hairlike strokes for that ultimate full brow look, even when, like me, you don't have much to work with...

Between brow waxes, old cult favourites and fab new additions Benefit have your brows pretty much covered on all fronts! Now there's really no excuses for bad brow days!

Have you tried any of the Benefit brow products?
Alex Signature

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*PR Samples (read more here)

The Bold Is Beautiful Project

Bold Is Beautiful Project | Pink Elephant BlogIn 2015 Benefit launched the Bold is Beautiful Project in the US where they raised $2.9 Million dollars for local charities.  This year Benefit have partnered up with some amazing Irish charities to start the campaign here on our shores. 

A little while ago we attended the launch of the Bold Is Beautiful Project in Ireland and heard from two super inspirational ladies about the charities Benefit will be raising funds for in this campaign.

"Look Good Feel Better Ireland helps improve the wellbeing and confidence of women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer by providing free workshops to help manage the appearance related side effects caused by cancer and its treatment"

"Daisyhouse provides homeless women with skills and confidence, empowering them to move on to independent, sustainable living, breaking the cycle of homelessness.  They do this through the provision of secure, safe, affordable, high quality supported accommodation with uniquely tailored personal support and resettlement programmes"

Both Daisyhouse & Look Good Feel Better are absolutely fantastic charities that change the lives of so many women & girls and they need our support! So for the entire month of May Benefit are donating every single cent made from brow waxes will be donated to the charities! And that's not it! If you do get your brows waxed in Benefit this month you will get a Gimme Brow (one of my favourite products ever!) for FREE! So get yourself to a Benefit counter asap and... LOOK GOOD, DO GOOD! x
Bold Is Beautiful Project | Pink Elephant Blog
Alex Signature

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Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue Primer

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Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue

As someone who suffers with more than just a little shine and skin problems in general, I have tried countless primers in my makeup wearing career. The result of all these tests & trials - I hate primers. The vast majority of them have thick, silicone-laden and slippery textures that do not agree with my skin at all. Amidst all that I was able to find a couple of primers that I love - they are weightless and make my foundation look and last longer. One of those is the new Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue. 

Just in case you are wondering the other is the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (not technically a primer but I'll write more about it another time).

Back to the Matte Rescue. The product is basically a very lightweight, water-based gel that takes care of shine and helps absorb excess surface oil, leaving a natural-looking finish. What I love about the product is that it doesn't feel like a mask on the skin, it sinks in very quickly and leaves the skin fresh and even. I swear, if you touch your skin you can't even feel it's there!

Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue

It gives a blurring effect and makes pores visibly less apparent (but wouldn't be as dramatic as the original POREfessional - which I really like). The Matte Rescue has added a good few hours to the lifetime of my foundation, something I have always struggled with. I get a good 7-8 hours of decent looking foundation which seems like a miracle (pre this discovery it was more like 2-3 hours)!

I used to be a very occasional primer wearer as I found most primers clogged up my skin and felt really gross after a little while. Buy ever since I got the Matte Rescue I've been wearing it every day under my foundation and I absolutely love it! It hasn't broken me out or affected the condition of my skin in any way.

If you are not a fan of traditional primers and need a little help in the shine department I highly recommend you try it at one of the Benefit counters.

The POREfessional Matte Rescue is €31 and available from all Benefit counters

What is your holy grail foundation primer?

Alex Signature

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Prime Time | My Top Three Primers

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Top Three Primers Review

I’m not one to reapply my makeup throughout the day. This is partially down to laziness, and partially down to not wanting to add any further weight into the travelling circus that is my handbag. That said, I hate it when I get home in the evening as bare faced as when I woke up that morning, my carefully applied face having literally slipped off throughout the day. This is where primers are your best friend. Investing a little time in prepping your skin not only results in a lovelier finish on application, but also gives the kind of staying power that’ll see you through the longest of days. My top three primers right now are looking a little like this…

MAC Mineralize primer

MAC | Mineralize Timecheck Lotion

A relatively new offering from MAC, I love the water-based almost gel-like consistency of this base primer. It’s great on the moisture front and absorbs immediately with no greasy residue, ideal my kind of dry skin. Also boasting pore-minimising properties, it’s a great lighter base for everyday use as opposed to silicone heavy primers that tend to spark breakouts. The result is fresh faced smoothness that foundation glides over and a definite boost in the staying-power of your base. Available at MAC counters nationwide, it's a little steep at  €41.50 but the bottle is quite large and a little goes along way.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Primer

Benefit | They’re Real Tinted Mascara Primer

Not officially launching until Stephens Day, this little gem from Benefit, has me intrigued. A mascara primer that goes onto bare lashes to be used with ‘the one you love’ (I’m back on my ‘They’re Real’ mascara in a big way right now). The idea being that this base acts as a conditioning base that thickens & lengthens lashes before mascara. I love the mink colour, I’ve tried white mascara primers in the past and I always felt they somewhat dull down the blackness of my mascara. Combined with a decent mascara the resulting effect falls into in the falsies category.  Thick, full, long-lasting lashes right up until your pre-bedtime cleanse. Available from Benefit counters nationwide from Dec 26th, priced  €26.50.

Urban Decay Eye Potion Primer

Urban Decay | Eyeshadow Primer Potion

An oldie but a goody! I recently rediscovered Urban Decay’s eye potion primer and am once again a huge fan. I love that the creamy consistency is colourless and leaves an almost velvety finish to apply your eye colour over. It also acts as a barrier for colour gathering in the crease of your lid over the course of the day or even more so a full night out (which I hate), a major box to be ticked when it comes to eye primers. This teeny tiny bottle includes an application wand and although tiny, lasts a deceivingly long time. Included with most Naked palettes, you can buy the full sized version at Urban Decay counters nationwide (€21.00).

Becky Signature

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Travel Essentials: The Skinny Makeup Bag Edit

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Travel Essentials: The Skinny Makeup Bag Edit

I used to bring an absolute ton of makeup traveling but it seems that, with packing in general, the older I get, the less stuff I try to bring... emphasis on try! On my recent holiday I have managed to condense my makeup bag to an absolute minimum and have a little makeup detox along the way.

I didn't have many gatherings planned, with visiting a restaurant with my husband being the as formal as it got. All I wanted was a glowing, even complexion and a bit help in the brow area (which I need at all times). For my base I went with a beauty balm from Urban Decay*, it gives a little bit of sun-kissed colour and enough coverage to feel comfortable but not plastered in makeup.

The next base item was my trusty Urban Decay All Nighter Spray*, which is a must in hot weather! I love using it over the beauty balm instead of powder to keep the everything in place. It keeps my skin looking fresh and feels amazing just as a little pick-me-up spritz during the day.

In light (haha, get it??) of strobing apparently being the new contouring I substituted my trusty Chanel Bronzer, which comes in absolutely giant packaging, for this tiny Top Shop Glow highlighter, which I love! It's an absolutely gorgeous shade and looks quite natural, even in harsh sunlight.

For my eyes I decided to also go minimal and only packed my Urban Decay Primer Potion and eye lash curler (I don't go anywhere without that!) The primer was not an essential item as I knew I was going to be spending most of my time outdoors with sunglasses glued to my head, but I do get quite oily eyelids which is, to say the least, slightly unattractive. This particular primer has been a staple in my makeup bag - it's brilliant under eyeshadow but also amazing at covering up any little veins or redness that might show up on the lids.

Finally, one of my all time favourite products, the Benefit Gimme Brow. I need lots and lots of help in the brow department and this little gem is just perfect! It gives me some volume and definition, while being really easy to apply and, most importantly, tiny.

So these were the products I used on a daily basis on my holiday. As you can see, there was no need to pack makeup brushes so my makeup bag this time round was tiny. It felt strangely liberating not having too much choice or spending time thinking about what to put on my face. It was my little makeup detox that now has me ready and excited for all the beautiful Autumn/Winter makeup that's been popping up everywhere lately.

What are your holiday staples? Would love to hear your recommendations!

*PR Samle

Alex Signature

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3 Amazing Fixes For Tired Eyes

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3 Amazing Fixes for Tired Eyes

Thanks to 'kind' mother nature I have been genetically 'blessed' with some quite impressive eye bags and a considerable amount of darkness under my eyes - not a great combination. The fact that I generally don't get enough sleep and am not amazing at drinking as much water as I should, means I have to resort to some cheats when it comes to the eye department. Here are my hacks for faking the bright eyed look.

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The first one, and the one I start my day with, is Benefit's most recent release Puff Off. It is an under eye gel that is designed to de-puff and 'iron out' and the under eye area with the rather cute iron-shaped cooling metal applicator. It's all the things you want in the morning - hydrating, cooling and brightening! The salmon colour of the gel also helps with neutralising that grey-blue hue that tends to appear in the inner corners of my eyes. The best thing with this is that in an emergency you can use it over your makeup to get a bit of extra help!

Second up is my trusty Lumi Magique from L'Oreal - a highlighter / concealer pen. This is not a concealer as such and doesn't have lots of coverage but it's fantastic just placed in any areas that are dark under the eye - for me that is usually the inner corners, the line that follows my socket bone and the outer corners of my eyes. I would always use a more heavy duty concealer under my eye when I am doing my makeup and then come in with the highlighting pen to give myself an extra boost of brightness.

Last but not least is something I always carry in my handbag- moisturising eye drops for tired eyes (the ones I am currently using are from Optrex). They are my secret weapon for when I need to cheat a more awake and wide-eyed look! Eye drops will instantly make the whites of your eyes brighter, the waterline less red and give your eyes that much needed moisture. They will also make your eyes feel much nicer which is a huge help when you're tired.

What are your top tips for combating the tired eyes look? Let me know in the comments below!

A. xx

Magazine Goodies

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Magazine GoodiesI love when magazines include a little goodie in their issue. Who doesn't? I generally buy the magazine anyway so it's always a bonus to get a little treat with it. This month is particularly good!

Marie Claire have included a little pouch with three products from one of my favourite brands: Aromatherapy Associates (check out my post on their fabulous bath oils!!). The samples included in the magazine are a Hydrating Face Mask, Cleanser and Moisturiser. They are all rose scented, which I love. I have been wanting to try AA skincare for a while now so this is an great opportunity.

Next up another fabulous item in this months In Style:  a full sized Nails Inc. nail polish in the colour Sao Paulo Streets (exclusive for In Style). It looks very similar to one of my favourites from Nails Inc. Porchester Square. I love their polishes and will definitely be using this one lots!

Lastly there is a sample of Benefit Porefessional in this months issue of Elle. If you were thinking of buying this primer but would like to try it first without having to spend all that money, this is your chance! I really like this primer and use it when I know I will be photographed because it really makes my pores disappear.

Magazine Goodies

Did you get any other interesting goodies with your favourite magazine this month? Let me know!

A. x

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My March Birchbox: Lulu Loves Birchbox

BirchboxMy March Birchbox arrived during the week with a little help from Parcel Motel and this month is all around Lulu Guinness. The box sleeve had the gorgeous Lulu Guinness black and white stripes and a Lulu Guinness stick of rock inside- the fanciest stick of rock I've seen (quirky and retro yes...not quite sure what I'm going to do with it though!). In keeping with the Lulu Guinness theme, the box houses one of Lulu's top beauty picks, a collaboration with Benefit eye primer 'Stay Don't Stray'. I had read this was going to be included but if honest was a little disappointed that it was quite so tiny- obviously there's no expectation of full size product but I just think sometimes there needs to be a push toward more 'travel size' over beauty counter 'sample size' that beauty boxes tend to sometimes favour.

Birchbox March 2014The March line-up looks a little like this.... (left to right)

  1. Molton Brown Rhubarb 7 Rose Replenishing Hand Cream
  2. Dr. Brandt Pore No More Pore Refiner
  3. English Laundry No.07 For Her
  4. Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Eye Primer
  5. Korres Citrus Body Milk

To top it all off there was a striped Lulu Guinness inspired stick of candy rock. You can see how this compares to my February (and first ever) Birchbox here. So how did I fare? Did you do any worse/better with your beauty box haul for March?

B.

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