How To Get The Most Out Of Your Concealer (Plus A Quick Look At Benefit’s New Boi-ing Range!)

It’s always been the one product I was happy to splurge on; the one item in my makeup bag that wasn’t up for compromise, and the only thing I would genuinely be devastated about if it got discontinued. (Clinique circa 2010 I’m talking ’bout you.) Concealers for me are one of the best things about makeup, as they help to cover up a multitude of sins and give me the confidence I need – no matter the problem that day, and no matter my age. When I was a teen it was all about concealing those pimples and reducing the redness left by picking spots, in my twenties my priority flipped to minimising those under-eye circles caused by drinking on a school night, but in my thirties the focus is on creating a more uniform complexion and adding brightness to my under-eye area which is showing those first inevitable signs of ageing. Concealers are flipping awesome, but they’re also one of the most mis-used pieces of makeup – we have a tendency to just shove on as much as possible and hope for the best. Over the years I’ve learned so much about these little wonder pots, and how to get the most out of them, so if you need to hone your skillset then let me give you some tidbits of advice to hopefully help you on your way…

USE A TEXTURE THAT WORKS WITH YOUR SKIN TYPE

That concealer you’ve been using for the best part of ten years? It may no longer be the best for you. Our skin is constantly changing and we need products that work with it, not against it, so opting for a concealer that works with your skin type is the first battle to win. If your skin is dry or prone to fine lines, then opt for a hydrating or creamy base; if it’s oily or your makeup tends to slip throughout the day, then going oil-free is the best way forward. Benefit’s new range of Boi-ing includes textures that meet every skin need, so don’t feel like you just have to find your shade match and that’s it: investigate, try and test.

APPLY IN A V-SHAPE; DON’T COLOUR IN!

The biggest mistake I made as a teen was colouring in my under-eye area and focusing on creating a result that was three shades lighter; the contrast between this and the rest of your face is actually quite ageing and more obvious, leading the overall look to be a touch too much. Applying your concealer in a ‘V’ shape underneath the eye will enable you to blend the product more naturally, drawing the attention down towards the centre of the face and reflecting the light effectively. You need a fraction of the product too, so you save money in the long run!

LAYER INSTEAD OF OVERDOING IT

For me, the perfect base is all about enhancing my natural complexion rather than covering it up and creating a whole new one. I’ve learned to use only a small amount of product at a time, layering it up to get the result I want rather than trying to blend the biggest blob of concealer into my skin. The professionals always use the smallest amount of product, but apply it in a natural and effective way – so that should tell you something.

SWAP YOUR FINGER FOR A BLENDING SPONGE

It may have taken me nearly fifteen years of applying concealer to swap my finger for a blending sponge, but blooming heck it makes such a difference! I wish I’d learned this so many years before, as it really does help to create a flawless finish – particularly if you have fine lines around the eye area, or pimples that you want to conceal. Patting in product from the back of your hand to the skin helps it to layer beautifully and provide a much more precise look, plus it’s way more hygenic.


KEEP IT IN PLACE ALL DAY LONG

Translucent powder may be one of the most scary things in beauty (because often it’s associated with heavy looks or old-fashioned finishes,) but it really is a fab tool for keeping your product in place all day long. I use it to lightly dust over my concealer and foundation, locking it in place and preventing transference; if you apply too much it can cause those fine lines and pimples to look worse, so the trick is to only use a little and only apply where you need it. A big fluffy brush and a finely milled powder is all you need.

With the re-launch of Benefit’s iconic Boi-ing concealer, and a couple of new additions, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get to know them a little better – now you’re armed with all the skills you need to get the most from the formulas.

Benefit Boi-ing Industrial-Strength Concealer (£17.50)
Hard working, super pigmented and all about colour correction, this is the ultimate concealer for those that have serious issues to cover (or those that favour high coverage.) I do love the pigment and how it effortlessly covers my super dark circles, but it’s definitely one I’d reach for when I wanted a heavy makeup look or had a really bad night’s sleep. It’s a touch drying if you have dry skin or fine lines, so make sure you apply it delicately and in layers to prevent caking. The ‘classic’ concealer formulation if you will…

Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer (£17.50)
This super lightweight concealer is perfect if you just need a little touch-up and don’t want to overload the skin. It’s not as pigmented as the Industrial-Strength version, but it’s great for layering onto skin if you don’t want to faff around with twenty layers of slap. It’s great for younger skin, or those of you that are blessed with a beautiful complexion, but it may not be enough if you like your concealers high performance.
Benefit Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer (£17.50)
When this first launched I didn’t get on with it very well, the surrounding balm mixing badly with my base and causing too much moisture – but a few years later, my skin has changed and this is perfect for my needs. It’s great for the under-eye area and the added moisture balm helps to hydrate this often dehydrated area of the face, adding radiance and luminosity while delicately concealing under-eye darkness. This is the kind of product you could totally use on its own, with a BB Cream or when you want an understated summer glow. A new fave.
Benefit Boi-ing Brighten Concealer (£17.50)
Rather strangely the colour of the concealer is so much lighter when you get beneath the top layer, so make sure you swatch rather than just looking. However, this really does help to brighten without overloading the skin with too much product; it’s almost like a solid version of Touche Eclat! This may be my personal favourite of the line-up, as it offers everything I want (pigment, brightening qualities, a creamy and non-drying texture) without caking too. A universal texture and finish that I’m sure you’ll love.

Which of the four would you choose to pop in your makeup bag? Do you struggle with finding your perfect concealer, or get confused how best you should be using it?

Benefit Boi-ing Industrial-Strength Concealer (£17.50)
Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer (£17.50)
Benefit Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer (£17.50)
Benefit Boi-ing Brighten Concealer (£17.50)
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Putting Dove’s Super Moisturising New Anti-Perspirant Formula To The Test: The Results Of My Underarm Challenge

SPONSORED FEATURE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DOVE

How many of you stick to the same time old tried and tested products and formulations, believing it’s better the devil you know than the beauty stuff you don’t? Once we discover something we can supposedly rely on, it’s tricky to get into the mindset of regularly changing it up or trying something new – even if we know the grass may be greener on the other side. I’ve spoken previously about the new anti-perspirant formulas from Dove that have been re-formulated to be their most skin friendly ever; they’ve re-balanced the formulations to provide even more moisturisation for this often sensitive part of your body, and the range now features ingredients that are more commonly found within luxury skin care products. All this on top of Dove’s signature 1/4 moisturising cream that its deodorants are so well known for. This reformulation allows the range to lubricate the skin and ensure it’s working effectively, alongside aiding the repair of damaged skin after hair removal. These hardworking features ensure that the Dove anti-perspirants are superior to many other household names I’ve tried, providing a comfortable and effective experience. But how many of you regularly change up your deodorant or seek out something that offers more than just basic protection?

I’ve been a fan of the Dove deodorants for years, because I know their products provide me with an incomparable experience and hardworking care. Their constant innovation and portfolio of scents to choose from keeps it fresh, while ensuring I’m always getting the best from my underarms. However, I know many others stick with their standard antiperspirant and don’t even think to seek out anything new – often for decades on end. In the interests of encouraging my loved ones to shake things up and introduce them to what Dove has to offer, I set six of them a challenge to try out the newly revamped range for a week and let me know their thoughts. This is what they had to say…

MY SISTER (DOVE ORIGINAL)
I’m really sensitive to scents and textures, so Dove has been a brand I’ve long been using. I love the original version of their anti-perspirant as I can rely on it to keep me dry, without worrying that the texture it leaves on skin will irritate or the smell will overload my senses. My underarms feel really soft and comfortable.
MY MUM (DOVE SENSITIVE & SOFT FEEL)
I normally use the Dove shower products but I’d not used the anti-perspirants before. In this heatwave it kept me totally dry and fresh, which I was impressed with considering I usually used roll-ons and swapped for the spray. I noticed my underarms were definitely softer after trying it for a week – in fact I pH tested and the moisture levels in my armpits raised from 19% to 36% in only seven days!

MY NAN (DOVE GO FRESH CUCUMBER & GREEN TEA)
Usually I stick with the rollerball I’ve used for many years. More for the routine and peace of mind than for the protection I suppose. I really enjoyed this, particularly the scent which was really refreshing. It didn’t sting or feel uncomfortable at all, but instead felt pleasant on the skin.
MY BEST MATE (DOVE GO FRESH POMEGRANATE & LEMON VERBANA)
I have sensitive underarms so usually I opt for cream deodorants. I knew Dove would be moisturising and contain ingredients that wouldn’t irritate me, so I actually starting using the Original version a few weeks ago. The pomegranate version smells sooooo nice, without being overpowering. I can apply it straight after shaving with no stinging whatsoever (even the spray version) and it really does make your underarms so smooth! I’ve just introduced my nine year old daughter to Dove as her first foray into deodorant, as it’s a brand I know I can trust to be delicate on her skin.
MY BLOGGER BUD (DOVE GO FRESH GRAPEFRUIT & LEMONGRASS)
I’m generally quite a sweaty person so I always opt for the brands and ranges I think are going to work really hard for me; I always assumed Dove’s antiperspirants were for women who glowed – and that’s not me! I’ve been trying it for a week or so and my pits are definitely a bit more comfortable and it holds up against the sweaty summer heat too. And the fragrance is a bonus: it’s so delicate and pretty.
AND ME? (DOVE GO FRESH PEAR & ALOE)
I’ve used Dove for many years and often flit between the classic scent and new additions. I first saw this in New York last year and was probably a touch too excited about it, so I was delighted to see it being launched in the UK. The fragrance of pear is so uplifting and comforting, especially during the summer months, which when combined with aloe provides me a morning hit of freshness that keeps me confident and dry all day long. My pits are always nourished and don’t ever get sore – which is all I can ask for from my antiperspirant!

Seven variants and seven correspondingly positively glowing testimonials; proof that switching up your usual deodorant for a touch of Dove could give your underarms the care and attention they need. Our underarms are so often neglected, and can be a part of our body we’re not always so confident in revealing, but treating them with the care and attention they deserve will have you lifting your arms with pride! Whether you shave them, pluck them, decorate them, cover them, reveal them or leave them in their natural state, treat them well because they work hard every single day. Why not pick up your favourite and see what difference it could make to you in just a week?

Read my previous post all about the new Dove antiperspirant range here, and why we shouldn’t be treating our underarms differently to other areas of our body here.

Don’t forget to enter our competition to WIN a £250 high street shopping voucher and entire range of Dove antiperspirants too!

Dove’s new and improved anti-perspirants are available now, priced from around £2.30. Discover more on their website here.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Dove; all opinions are my own and I’ve used the Dove deodorants for more than a decade.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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A Fragrance For Every Fella

A Fragrance For Every Fella
Fathers Day is just around the corner and although purchasing a fragrance for your loved one, may seem like a somewhat cop out, I personally think with a little careful consideration, it can quickly become a treasured yet practical gift for any occasion. If you struggle, selecting the perfect scent for any male within your life, I have a small but concise guide that should come in helpful, sooner or later.

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the sporty man – Davidoff Cool Water for Men Eau de Toilette (£14.50/40ml)
Fresh, aquatic and utterly refreshing, the perfect choice to cool down with after a tough work out or simply to pair with a crisp white shirt. Impactful yet easy to wear with zesty notes of orange, mint and coriander, coupled with soft, musky notes of lavender, neroli and rosemary. Davidoff Cool Water for Men Eau de Toilette is a modern day classic in the making.

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the classic gentleman – Aramis Black Eau de Toilette (£27/60ml)
Strong, punchy and instantly recognisable – this is for the man that doesn’t require more than one fragrance but wants something that suits all occasions. Aramis Black Eau de Toilette is just that, fuss free and long wearing, with notes of juniper, woody accords, leather and uplifting grapefruit. Simple, affordable and pleasant – what more could you ask for?

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the fussy man – Hugo Boss Boss Bottled Tonic (£39.95/50ml)
Not everyone enjoys fragrance for whatever reason but I have yet to find any man (or woman for that matter) who doesn’t find the crisp notes of Hugo Boss Boss Bottled Tonic to be pleasing. I would categorise it as clean, easy to wear and light in all aspects. With gentle notes of apple and ginger, coupled with a woody base, this is the quintessential crowd please-r.

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the cool dude – Marc Jacobs Splash in Rain (£38/100ml)
Life is all about taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone and for that reason Marc Jacobs Splash in Rain, is my choice for the hip male in your life. Typically this range is favoured by women but the sleek lines of the bottle and the refreshing but decidedly aquatic notes of Marc Jacobs Rain are as at home on male skin as a female.

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the younger male – Lacoste Bleu Eau de Lacoste (£24.95/50ml)
Admittedly the world of male, ready-to-wear fragrance can be a little stuffy and not truly aimed at those under 30 – my thoughts on this is another post completely – but for those looking for a great option before the weekend is over, may I suggest Lacoste Bleu Eau de Lacoste. The bottle is dinky, youthful and perfect for popping into even the most compact gym/work/school bag. The fragrance itself is distinctive and dare I say achingly cool, without being overtly obvious; notes include clary sage and patchouli, along with unspecified water fruits which adds a little mystery.
A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the fragrance connoisseur – Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum (£155/50ml)
In my personal opinion, every fragrance collection deserves to have a bottle of Tom Ford Private Blend Eau de Parfum, front and centre. Which scent that may be, is of course entirely up to you but for the gentlemen out there, may I suggest Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum. This is a tall, sophisticated, refreshing drink of water in fragrance form that uplifts and rejuvenates, thanks to notes of lemon, orange, lavender and amber.

A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the outdoors man – Molton Brown Coastal Cypress and Sea Fennel Eau de Toilette (50ml/£39)
Rugged yet refined, Molton Brown Coastal Cypress and Sea Fennel Eau de Toilette, is the great outdoors bottled and perfect for any gent who’d rather be outside at any given moment. Again, this is a fairly aquatic scent but thanks to the green accent of Cypress, it has an unexpected twist.

A Fragrance For Every Fella
A Fragrance For Every Fella

For the more mature gentleman – Armani Code Profumo For Men (£66/60ml)
Forget dated scents like Old Spice and hone in on more refined yet punchy fragrances like Armani Code Profumo For Men. It is intense yet not overwhelming, and seems to tick many boxes for the man more stuck in his ways, with notes of tonka bean and amber, this is woody, mature and yet not stuffy. To make any fragrance gift a little more special, you can engrave several scents (see more here) with a sweet message via The Perfume Shop.
If you need a little additional help Fragrance Direct have a fun quiz that only takes a few seconds to fill out but will guide you to finding the perfect fit for any fragrant fiend you have in your life.

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When Brands Are In Denial About Who Their Customers Are: The Demise Of The Estee Edit

When Estee Lauder launched their ‘Estee Edit’ sub-brand a year ago, I did a bit of a double take. What was an iconic and classic brand so steeped in history doing launching a throwaway ‘cool and hip’ collection that was so drastically different to what we were used to? With the face of a generation, Kendall Jenner, to back the concept and help encourage those digital natives via her Instagram account to buy everything from illuminators and pore vanishing sticks, to metallic eyeshadows and coconut lipgloss, it probably seemed like a great idea in the boardroom – but as they announce they’re to close the brand and discontinue all products less than a year after its launch, it’s definitive that it didn’t work in reality. So where did it all go wrong? Why couldn’t an infinite budget, the most premium stockists, a super cool boutique in London’s Carnaby Street or even a Kardashian save this bright and edgy brand from failure? In a nutshell, Estee Lauder forgot who their customers were.

If you ask anyone over the age of 30 to describe Estee Lauder, they’ll undoubtedly use words that include ‘classic, iconic, premium, trustworthy’ and ‘used by my mum/gran/sister.’ However, those under the age of 30 probably see it as a bit stuffy, boring and not for them at all; (this is totally my own opinions and perceptions, and not based in scientific fact by the way!) Digital natives have been spoiled for choice, with colourful, fun, edgy and attainable brands (including Urban Decay, Too Faced, MAC, Kat Von D and Benefit) vying for their attention with something truly unique and Instagrammable. Even if they don’t want to spend a lot, they’re overwhelmed with the likes of Makeup Revolution, Rimmel and Collection offering up dupes and pretty good alternatives at pocket money prices. Although brands are falling over themselves to recruit this generation of beauty enthusiasts in order to turn them into long-term customers, those young girls that are better at eyeliner flicks than you are actually increasingly disloyal and have less disposable income than the generations that have gone before them.

They simply don’t have fifteen quid to chuck at a lipgloss, nor do they need to when there are about fifty different options in Superdrug that will set them back less than a Strawberry Frappacino. Premium makeup is something they aspire to own, or is saved for birthdays or Christmasses – rather than being able to rush out and buy anything and everything a celebrity tells them to. (This isn’t rocket science; what teenager do you know that can chuck £30 at an eyeshadow palette without blinking? Thinking of it, what 30 year old can?!) With the growth of the influencer, they’re also more wised up about where they should invest their money and where they can simply dream/stalk their favourite YouTuber to live vicariously through them.

Although the Estee Edit products, from what I’ve seen, were actually quite good and a touch more affordable than the traditional Estee Lauder range (a lipgloss would set you back around £10.50, while a metallic eyeshadow is priced about £14.00,) there was such a huge discrepancy between the products their core consumer demographic (who are probably in their 30s, 40s and 50s) knew and loved, and this new bold collection that was developed for an instagram generation. Too much emphasis was placed upon the influence of Kendall Jenner, rather than communicating core values or a reason why people should buy into the products – something that’s increasingly important in such a noisy marketplace. It seems that Victoria Secret models aren’t the answer to everything.

Estee Lauder have such an amazing and long-standing reputation, with products that are beloved across the world. However, those customers are much older than those they were so focused upon capturing – regardless of what they like to think. Over the last few years I’ve seen so many brands attempting to converse with teenagers or 20-somethings, when actually their core customer base is ten or twenty years older; we may not be as pretty, we may not be as aspirational, and we may not look as flawless in your pictures, but there’s no shame having a long-standing loyal customer over the age of 30. It’s so blooming frustrating. For me, the failure of The Estee Edit to capture the attention and imagination of a younger consumer says more about the reputation the overarching company has than the performance of the products, or even the direction or branding; Estee Lauder forgot who their core customers were and what they were doing so well (in terms of NPD and cult classics) instead, sailing off into the complete opposite direction and entering a market that’s never been harder to succeed in.

Those of us over 30 have the disposable income, desire and need to spend more on our beauty products, but few brands are speaking to us directly or attempting to give us what we need. With far too much focus on the young-uns that actually need little more than a moisturiser and flick of mascara in the mornings, many big names are in fear of alienating us altogether. Although it’s a sad story and a disappointment for all those involved, the demise of The Estee Edit is also a warning to other brands who are thinking of doing the same: don’t forget who your core customer is and don’t think you can fool the younger generation into parting with their cash so easily.

What are your thoughts on The Estee Edit and it’s quick demise?

If you want to stock up on The Estee Edit before is is lost forever, you can still buy it online via Selfridges here – prices are set to reduce by 30% to clear stock too.

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