Benefit Brow Range

Back at the end of June all of us beauty buffs waited with baited breath for the launch of the new Benefit brow range. Never in my life do I remember a brand launching so many individual products within a range all at once. It was amazing but it was confusing, so many products to choose from, how were we to know which one was going to work best for our particular brow issues?. To give us a sneak peek of what was to come Benefit put gorgeous little miniature sizes of some of their products in various glossy magazines in the lead up to and just after the launch and I for one was hooked. 
But having tried out the miniatures and honestly loving all of them (apart from the Goof Proof pencil being in the wrong shade) I wanted to know more. I wanted the inside scoop on what products were designed for what brow type and for that I headed into Boots in Half Moon Street (my spiritual home) and got to chat with the gorgeous Emma the Benefit counter manager about the range. She very kindly walked me through each of the products and their purpose and now I’m going to share what she told me with you!

Browvo Conditioning Primer €30.50

So Emma explined this product as being the first step product . Its a conditioning treatment so like a face primer or an eye primer gets your brows ready for the product you’re about to put on them. It softens and conditions the brows and helps to extend the wear of other brow products used over it. Its a completely clear gel so its suitable for all shades of brows and it has an easy to use applicator on top making it super handy. This is the first step simply because it can be used ahead of any of the other brow products you chose to use.

High Brow & High Brow Glow €24.00

Ok so I’m going to put these here, again because they are products that are used at the start of your brow prepping. Now High Brow is not a new product but it did get a little make over so it could match the glamour of it’s new counterparts!! This product is designed to highlight and brighten under the brow bone. The High Brow has a Matte baby pink finish and the High Brow Glow has a champagne pink shimmer finish, this is essentially the difference between them both, otherwise they both do the same job. They both increase the height of the brow arch giving a instantly “lifted” look, Benefit claim that “It’s like a brow lift in a pencil” so what’s not to like about that!! You apply these products along the browbone following the arch and gently blend. Emma also suggested popping them in the tearduct to open up the eye which is a fantastic idea! 

Ready Set Brow €26.00

I’m going to put this next in the list as its the finishing product so it can be used with all of the other brow products to finish your look or on it’s own if you’re looking for a more natural brow. Now this is a shaping and setting product, it’s a clear gel so it doesnt affect the colour of any other product you use with it. If used on it’s own it helps to maintain the natural shape of the brows and set them in place for the day. If used over another brow product it seals that product into place and helps to increase the longevity of your look. It has a dual-sided wand, you apply the product using the long bristle side and shape the brows using the short one. This was one of the products that I got free in a magazine and I have to say I loved it for days when I was going for a really natural look, especially during the hot weather when you don’t want to wear too much makeup.

3D Brow Tones €26.00

Now bear with me with this one because at first this sounds like a bit of a mickey take but I promise you it’s not. I would have never entertained it for one minute unless I had actually tried it and saw the difference it made to my overall brow look. Essentially it’s highlights for eyebrows and it makes sense, you highlight your hair so it adds dimension to the colour why not do the same for your brows? So 3D Brow Tones is a shimmering brow gel and what it’s really good at is adding texture to overly full brows and making thin brows appear fuller. I would urge you to go to your local Benefit counter and ask them to try this on for you so you can see how natural and different this product is. You may laugh now but I think this will be a “normal” part of all of our beauty routines in the not so distant future.

Gimme Brow  €26.00

Now this was one of the products that I got free in a magazine and I have to say I absolutely love it.  In fact when I was heading in to go through the brow products with Emma I thought there was no way whatsoever that she was going to show me anything that I liked more than this!! Again this is another product that Benefit previously had that got a makeover and a new shade added too for good measure. This is honestly the easiest brow product you’ll ever use, it’s a volumising gel that has tiny little microfibres that adhere to the hairs creating a defined, natural look. It’s perfect for gappy brows making them look fuller without being too over the top. It’s also water resistant and long wearing and in my experience of it it lasted all day without anything over it to set it. It comes in three shades, 1-Light/Medium,  2-Medium and 3- Medium/Dark I used number 5 on my brows.

Ka-Brow €26.00

So as I’ve said previously going into Boots I didn’t think I was going to like any of the other brow products anywhere near as much as I liked Gimme Brow but then I tried this!!! This is just the most beautiful product firstly from an aesthetic point of view, it’s a gorgeous little pot with an in-built angled brush in the lid which you can flip around and attach to the lid to make the brush longer, so handy for brows on the go!!! Secondly the product itself is beautiful, it’s a cream gel which makes application a breeze, it glides onto the brows effortlessly and is waterproof too so extremely long lasting. Because it’s a buildable product you can create whatever shape brows you want, from a more defined look to a softer one and anything in between. By using the angled brush you can define and shape the brows if they are more sparse or for those like myself with fuller brows you can use it to fill in gaps and make a more defined brow. It’s so close but I think this is my favourite of the range and judging by how much you actually need to use doing your brows you’ll have this product a really long time so it makes it great value indeed!! It comes in six different shades.

Brow-Zings €35.00

Probably the most iconic of all of Benefit’s brow products, Brow Zings is an oldie but a goodie and is back better than ever in gorgeous new packaging with a very cool fold up brush and tweezers still included!! I have previously used this product but my experience of it was sullied by the fact that about two months after I got it I dropped it and a little piece cracked off and that was the beginning of the end for it. I’ve never seen anything (so expensive) disintegrate so fast, not cool Benefit but apparently I wasn’t alone with this issue. The packaging seems a lot more secure than before thankfully and the colour choice has been extended from three shades to six which is no harm although some of the colours in the medium bracket still seem a bit on the reddish side.  

Brow Zings is a wax and powder duo compact and how you use it is a bit of a personal preference to be honest, some like to use the wax first followed by the powder, others do powder followed by wax. Me personally when I was using it dipped a bit in both first and then applied it and I found that way really worked for me. If I’m to be brutally honest here I don’t think this product is worth the extra money, I understand it’s more expensive because you get the brush and the tweezers included in the set but Ka-Brow is a far more superior product in my opinion and it’s €9 cheaper. You also get a brush with Ka-Brow though and even though it’s a smaller product I’d still pick it over Brow Zings every single time. 

Goof Proof Pencil €26.00

This is the first product I used from the new brow range having got it free in Elle Magazine back in June and although it wasn’t the right shade for me it gave me the opportunity to see it in action. The most perfect product for quick, everyday brows. Perfect for uneven or patchy brows to even them out and the “Goof Proof” tip doesn’t need to be sharpened so a handy one for the handbag. It’s really soft and glides on easily. It’s waterproof and according to Benefit lasts up to 12 hours which I’d be inclined to agree with having used it. The full size product also has a spoolie included so you can brush through the brows to give a softer look. This product is available in six different shades. 

Precisely My Brow €26.00

What an absolute dark horse of a product this is!! When we went through the full range briefly to begin with I immediately dismissed this one thinking it would do nothing for me, in fact I didn’t understand the point of it at all if I’m honest. Why would you choose a brow pencil with a rounded tip? I’ll tell you why…. because it’s awesome!!! This pencil has an extremely fine tip so it’s incredibly precise. This is obviously brilliant for those who have very fine or sparse brows because it allows you to create precise hair strokes allowing you to keep the brows very natural. Even though I have fairly full brows myself I’m so in love with this product, I love the idea of adding fine hair strokes to my own brows too to add more texture to my finished brow look. A must have product in my opinion!! 

Overall I’m so impressed with this range, I wasn’t expecting to REALLY like so many of the products if I’m honest. Having tried them all now I’ve added Ka-Brow and the Precisely My Brow Pencil to my ever expanding “Want List” they were definitely my favourites on the day. 

My favourite on the day

The one thing I would suggest you do if you want to know for sure which one is best for you would be to head into Benefit in Boots Half Moon Street to the really lovely girls who’ll only be too happy to help you. They offer a brow mapping service in store too which goes through the best products to use for your brow needs and how to use them correctly. I know they’ll only be too happy to try on any of the products you’d like to try too!! You can tell them I sent you!! 

Benefit Miniatures 

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page here I told you about a fantastic offer I had seen on Benefit Miniatures. They had a fab stand in Boots Half Moon Street, Cork with a selection of some of their most popular products in miniature form. I think this is such a fantastic idea, especially if there’s a particular Benefit product you’ve been dying to try but don’t want to commit to the full size!!

Incredibly the offer is 4 for €20 and when you avail of this offer you also get a free Benefit washbag which is super cute.

Me being me I couldn’t leave an offer like that pass me by so off I went back into Half Moon Street last week to choose my goodies, this is what I got;

That Gal Brightening Face Primer

This is a bit of a “it does exactly what it says on the tin” kind of product,  it’s a primer that can be used on its own over moisturiser or under makeup. It has a lovely light pink colour to it and when you swatch it on your hand you can see the brightening effect it brings to the skin. The instructions suggest gently patting it on to the skin to help brighten up your complexion.

It’s Potent eye cream 

I decided to pick this one because it was used on me as part of a mini facial I had done in Ch Chemists Tralee see how I got on here Pamper Day in The Kingdom and I really loved it and Aoife who did my facial showed me one eye with and without the cream on a daily I genuinely noticed the difference!!

It’s essentially a brightening eye cream so it’s perfect for dark circles and I find it incredibly refreshing when I apply it. I’d highly recommend choosing this as one of your four!!

Posie Tint

This is the pink version of the very popular Benetint lip and cheek stain. A beautiful delicate baby pink/coral colour which in my opinion is a lot more wearable than the original. Gorgeous for summer, it’s best to put two or three strokes on the apples of each cheek and blend in with your fingertips. Use a patting motion rather than strokes because all you’ll do is wipe off the product if you wipe.

I’ve also seen suggestions of putting a few drops on a foundation brush and patting into the skin this way. Sounds like a good idea but I haven’t tried it that way yet.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion 

This was another product I wanted to try because of my mini facial in Tralee. I think when you think about Benefit as a brand, skincare isn’t the first thing that springs to mind abut them. I was genuinely surprised how nice I found it and I was really interested in trying it again. I’m not going to lie and say that the cuteness of the packaging didn’t factor into my decision because seriously how cute is this bottle!!!

A perfect lightweight oil free moisturiser for combination skin with an SPF15. I really like the smell and texture of it and excited to use this size and see how I find it.


As I’ve mentioned these four cost me €20 but I did see a separate offer running on www.boots.ie too of 3 for €30 and that offer included They’re Real mascara and eyeliner, POREfessional primer and Hoola mini bronzer amongst others.

Jeanette Cronin Masterclass at Tiger Boutique 

On Sunday the 24th of July I attended a Masterclass with the incredible Jeanette Cronin Make up artist in Tiger Boutique on the Old Mallow Road. The Masterclass involved watching Jeanette as she re-created three of her signature looks. The class itself ran from 12-5 and if your passion is make up and the art of applying it then you need to get yourself on one of these courses ASAP!!!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Jeanette’s work, she is an extremely popular and talented self taught MUA from Limerick but living in Cork. She worked as the Manager of Inglot in Mahon Point for about a year until her move to Tiger Boutique recently. The boutique also has a Training Academy that offers courses like the one I did, one on one lessons with Jeanette, Drag Makeup courses, as well as longer courses that offer you a professional qualification at the end. Tiger Boutique really is a one stop shop for make up courses whether you’re a beginner just starting your career or a professional looking to upgrade your skills.

Some of the tools used on the day

So we started off with a very classic look, all brows and eyeliner, she went through her technique for carving out brows and to be honest I couldn’t have imagined learning so much about how getting this right sets the scene for the rest of your look. We went through the tools and products she uses to get her flawless look and needless to say I now have an even longer list of “must haves” than I did before!!

Brows and liner tutorial complete

She did two seperate eye makeup looks and I learned that many of the looks that she creates have very similar starting points so once you master the basics of these techniques you can tweak them to create several different finishes. I also learned that your tools are everything, the difference in the quality of the finish when you’re using great quality brushes is incredible. I know that that really does sound like a no brainer but I cant stress enough the difference it makes. Jeanette’s approach is great, she’s friendly and approachable and I really appreciated her “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” attitude especially as I was the only person in the room on the day not currently employed in the beauty industry!!!  

Lots of the eye looks begin in a very similar way

The boutique has a menu of 7 different looks that Jeanette created and clients can choose from these looks in any colour they wish when booking. The boutique has also recently employed Nicole Lynch who is also ex-Inglot and on top of being an incredibly nice girl is also ridiculously talented. She was unexpectedly there the day of Jeanette’s Masterclass and as a bonus she showed us her tips for creating a flawless, dewy skin look. I learnt so much on the day it’s hard to even put it into words but I wanted to write this post for anyone who might be thinking about completing one of the Tiger Boutique courses to let you know that you won’t be sorry if you do. 

Jeanette’s full coverage foundation finish

Nicole’s dewy skin foundation finish

Tiger Boutique has brought something to Cork that just didn’t exist before… think outside the box, creative training with talented and imaginative trainers. 

Details of their course options can be found here

Stand out product-Seventeen Make your Mark Precision eye liner pen 

So a few weeks ago I got it into my head that I wanted to change up the eyeliner I had been using for years which was the Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner not for any other reason than just wanting a change. I also decided I wanted to use a pen,  although the liner I was using had a nib I wanted something thinner with the ability of giving me a more precise line, enter the Seventeen Make your Mark Precision eye liner pen.

Guys I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with this product. It is absolutely fantastic. It’s incredibly pigmented and so so easy to use I just love it. I had a dabble with the PS liner from Penneys a month or so ago and I really liked that when I used it but this is head and shoulders above that one pigment wise and it only costs a little bit more.

I’m super impressed with the lasting quality of it, it stays really dark and it doesn’t transfer on to the eyelid even after many hours of wear.

I’ve been really blown away with Seventeen as a brand of late, their products have appeared in my last two Best products of the Month posts, here My top 5 budget buys for May and here June’s Top Picks and because of this it makes me want to keep trying more and more of their range.

Seventeen currently have an offer in Boots of Buy one get one 1/2 price across their range and at €5.49 for this eyeliner I can guarantee you you won’t be disappointed if you pick one (or two) up!!

 

These are just not for me!! 

Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm

Any avid reader of beauty blogs will probably be a bit surprised to see this in the list but I was honestly sooo disappointed with it. I read glowing reports about this product before I bought it so I was super excited to try it considering it was so reasonable too but in my experience it just didn’t live up to the hype. I’m so disappointed and confused by my thoughts on it that I’m actually wondering if I’m somehow using it wrong but it made no  difference to my skin at all, no brightening effect, no subtle glow, nothing…It did nothing.

If you’re looking for a budget brightening primer have a look at the Seventeen Wow Skin 3 Way Highlighter I reviewed here in June’s Top Picks , I absolutely love this product and it does exactly what it promises to do.  Just goes to show you can’t always believe the hype!!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner

Earlier this month I decided to branch out from my regular Rimmel Exaggerate liquid liner that I’ve used for Lord knows how long and try something new and I got it in to my head that I wanted to use a felt tip liner because I haven’t had much experience with them. The first one I tried was the Rimmel Scandaleyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner, I was drawn to it firstly because it was made by Rimmel and I just love the Exaggerate liner and secondly I like the idea of the angled pen which is meant to help you achieve, effortless lining whether you want a thick or a thin line.

Disappointing doesn’t even cover it!!

My first issue is the depth of colour, the liner is supposed to be black, it just isn’t, at best it’s Charcoal Grey and when you’re applying it it goes on “gappy”. Secondly it’s supposed to be waterproof and it was melting off of my eyelids. It was all over my eyelid a few hours in to wearing it which is something I never experienced with the Exaggerate one. I wore it two days in a row and to be honest I was so underwhelmed by it on those two days that I didn’t try it a third. There are so many better liquid eyeliners out there. Give this one a big huge skip!!!!

VO5 Give Me Texture Instant Oomph Powder. 

I’m going to start this review off by saying that I think this is hands down THE WORST product I have ever used and I mean that sincerely. I had the misfortune of using this product before a night out… Big, big mistake!! This product is supposed to give your hair volume and in my case all it did was leave my hair flat and sticky. I ended up having to tie my hair up instead the night I used it because it looked greasy and lifeless which is rather annoying considering I had just finished washing and styling it. What’s worse is that my experience with this product has really turned me off of using other volumising powders in case they have a similar effect. It really is one of the biggest faux pas I’ve ever made with a beauty product.. Avoid at all costs!!!!

June’s Top Picks

I just wanted to share with you some of my favourites from June, some that I’ve tried for the first time, others that I’ve rediscovered.

No.7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water

Now this is one I’ve rediscovered. After years of using it, I stopped, not for any particular reason but because I just wanted to try something different. You know yourself what it’s like when you get stuck in a product rut and a change is as good as a rest, or so they say. I love the idea of cleansing waters, in my opinion they’re as thorough as a cream cleanser but as convenient as a cleansing wipe, making it a very attractive option for anybody who tries to talk themselves out of cleaning off their make up every couple of nights!!

The description of this product I’ve always felt is a bit misleading though, it claims to be suitable for Normal/Oily skin which I have to say I don’t fully agree with. When I started using it first I would have been on the oilier side of combination but now I’m on the drier side of it and I love it every bit as much. Maybe it’s fabulous for oily skin too of course but all I’m saying is don’t rule it out if you aren’t oily because it’s a beautiful product. I love the tightening, tingling feeling it leaves on my skin after using it, it feels so refreshing. And I also love the convenience of the pump action top which can lock, making it convenient for travelling with. Excellent value for money at €13.00 but No.7 are such a great brand for offers, so keep your eye out for 3 for 2 or money off skincare vouchers.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil

So at the end of June Benefit pulled off one of the biggest launches any cosmetic company has ever managed, upgrading and adding to their brow range. Lots of new products were introduced and lots of new shades were introduced to existing products and they all got a really funky makeover. Among the products introduced was the Goof Proof Brow Pencil, now like many others I got mine free in Elle magazine, what a great way to get us hooked!! Although the shade that came in the magazine was a little bit too light for me it still allowed me to see how great this product is and the ease at which you can apply it. It’s a perfect product if like me you have gaps in your brows, the shape of the pencil really helps with accurate application and the full size product comes with a built in spoolie brush so you comb through brows afterwards to soften them out. Having used this one I’m definitely going to buy the full size one in the correct colour for me and also check out some of their other brow products while I’m at it.

Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-up Remover

Now I’ve only begun to use this product very recently but I’ve no idea why it’s taken me so long to start using it to be honest. Before it I had always used Clinique’s “Take the Day Off” but it stopped agreeing with me hence why I started to look for an alternative. This is a fantastic product, it is every bit as good as the more expensive brands at only a fraction of the price. It’s a bi-phase formula so you must shake well before use but it effectively removes all traces of eye make up including waterproof mascara without excessive rubbing or tugging at the eye. The best tip I can give you when cleaning your eye make up off is to start at the outside of the eye and work your way in as going the other way drags at the eye and the more dragging you do the more chance there is of causing fine lines. Suitable for contact lens wearers and sensitive eyes too.

Benefit Erase Paste 

This is a product I bought during my Pamper Day in The Kingdom on the Benefit counter in CH Chemists Tralee. I honestly had never heard of it before but I just love it, it was by far the product I was most impressed with on the day. It’s a concealer but personally I think it’s a bit more than that because not only does it help to conceal dark circles and blemishes it also leaves a beautiful brightening finish to the skin. Unlike other under eye concealers it’s not at all thick and cakey and there’s no creasing which is the Holy Grail when it comes to under eye concealing. I particularly like this for concealing the redness I have in my cheek area, I find it blends brilliantly and the coverage is buildable so you can even use it with a lighter weight foundation too without it looking obvious. It comes in three different shades Fair, Medium and Deep and the box contains a really helpful step by step lesson for easier application. Available on all Benefit counters priced at €27.50.

Seventeen Skin Wow Primer

When they say Wow, they’re not joking….Seventeen you are really winning me over lately with the fabulous new additions to your range, see details of their gorgeous new concealer here in My top 5 budget buys for May !! Anyway back to the highlighter, it’s absolutely gorgeous I can’t believe how much so considering the fact that it’s only €8.49!!! OK so you can use it several different ways, firstly you can mix a little bit of it with your own foundation to give your skin an overall glow. You can also use it over your moisturiser and under your foundation as your primer or you can dot some on your cheeks and use it as your highlighter. No matter what way you use it it’ll give you glow for days!!! It is absolutely dreamy.

Cocoa Brown Shampoo and Conditioner

Anybody who follows my social media pages will already know that I am a huge fan of Cocoa Brown as a brand. As a girl of the “pale and interesting” variety they have gotten me out of many a scrape when it comes to giving my skin a beautiful natural glow. So you can imagine my excitement back in June at the prospect of four new products being released….what could they be?? For the days leading up to the reveal speculation was rife as to what the new products were and I’m not going to lie, when they were revealed they were not what I was expecting at all. It wasn’t until I watched Marissa’s snaps and saw the reasoning behind them did I understand how perfectly they fit with the brand.

The shampoo and conditioner were launched in 50ml sizes along with the Kind Shower Gel in the same size and a pack of Cocoa Brown Self Tanning Wipes beautifully presented in a handy see through zip lock wash bag.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I loved these products from the very first time I used them. I love everything about them in fact, I love how little of the shampoo you have to use in order to get it to lather up. I love how easy it is to comb through your hair after you use the conditioner which is something I NEVER experience. I always just have one giant birds nest on my head in the shower after shampooing so usually it takes half a bottle of conditioner and a Tangle Teaser to try and coax the knots out my hair but with this conditioner the Tangle Teaser just eased through the knots, I couldn’t believe it!! Just to put it in to perspective, the bottle is 50mls, I’ve already used it three times and there’s at least another two uses left in it….Absolutely unheard of here!!

The products are scented but not overly so and it’s the unmistakable Cocoa Brown scent, Peach and Tahitian Gardenia which is beautiful. The shampoo and conditioner are designed with sensitive scalps in mind as they contain no Parabens, Alcohol or Formaldehyde. Marissa has made no secret of her own issues with a sensitive scalp so wanted to make something effective and affordable for others in the same position. They are also suitable for coloured hair and those with hair extensions although I would double check with whoever does your extensions first just to be absolutely positive that they suit your particular brand. The one thing I must mention though is the shine these products leave on your hair, I felt it was so noticeable that I had used a new product, my hair was full of life and so shiny and who doesn’t love a bit of volume, right?

The Kind products are formulated not to interfere with your tan either, something which I never realised other shampoos and shower gels did, helping to extend the life of your glow!! Overall I am beyond impressed with this range and I’m looking forward to trying the Tanning Wipes although I won’t lie I have never had a good experience with a tanning wipe to date but I’m confident that if anybody can get them right it’s going to be Cocoa Brown!!

Currently the products are only available in the 50ml size as part of the travel pack on www.cloud10beauty.com but the 200mls launch tomorrow the 8th of July woo hoo, at the incredibly reasonable price of €3.50 each…seriously like where would you be going. Be sure to add them to your list of must haves ladies, you won’t regret it I promise!!