Show Us Your #Benebrows!

Brows too bushy? Arches too sparse? From waxing to filling, tinting to tweezing, Benefit Cosmetics turns brow woes into WOWS. With over 900 Brow Bars & innovative brow products, you can achieve fast, fabulous & flattering arches, NOW. Not only do we tame to please, but we also want to see those bad boy BROWs. And we’re even giving you the chance to WIN your very own brow kit that’ll help you achieve wow brows in an instant!

benefit_benebrows

What do you need to do? Snap a selfie of your arches—either with Benefit brow products or services—on Instagram and tag #BeneBrows & @BenefitCosmetics or upload a photo here. Then we’ll select one lucky winner every Wednesday until 5/31! We’ll be judging you on originality & creativity, so get those brows in shape, girl.

beautyboost_brows

Now to the good stuff… what are you winning!? 

Our #BeneBrows prize package includes:

gimme brow, our new brow-volumizing fiber gel.

brow zings, our wax/powder duo that’s perfect to shape & define your brows.

high brow, our instant eye lifting pencil.

high brow glow, high brows luminizing sister. Lift your brow with an added glow!

brows a go-go, our brow & eye shaping kit.

tweezerman brow shaping brush, the ultimate brow-shaping tool.

tweezerman (pink!) slanted tweezers, perfect for keeping those strays away & shaping your brow.

And last but definitely not least, our raising eyebrows book. It’s your personal guide to fabulous brows!

Read the terms & conditions here to make sure you qualify & then start snapping those brows! xoxo

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Pregnancy Style: The Forgotten Coat

diane von furstenberg coat

I bought this coat from Diane von Furstenberg last year, decided I loved it, ripped out all of the tags and a few weeks later (I’m not proud of this) decided I hated it. It felt too big and clumsy on me and it had no pockets. In a haze of shame and guilt, I wrapped it in a suit cover and hid it out of sight in the back of my wardrobe promising myself that I’d put it on eBay when the time was right.

diane von furstenberg coat

Fast forward six months and there it was, still quietly haunting me from the “naughty purchase corner”. But this time, when I slipped it on, it just seemed to fit perfectly! I can’t get it done up over the bump, but it sits so nicely around it and actually has a really flattering cut for my current (very rounded) shape. With a black dress underneath, you can barely even tell I’m pregnant! (Considering that I’m showing in quite a substantial way – you can see “bump” pictures here.)

diane von furstenberg coat

I have become quite inventive with my maternity wardrobe, buying a few key things such as extra-tummy-room leggings and purpose-built dresses, but for the main part trying to find existing tops and tunics that work well over a growing bump. So far, the stars of the show have been my Stella McCartney jumper dress (the beige one that I wore in my Chloe post) and most of my Hush stuff. I think that the more quality items in my wardrobe have served me very well – they tend to be generous in the amount of spare fabric they have, which is useful for the expanding waistline!

diane von furstenberg coat

The dress I’m wearing in this outfit, for example, is Donna Karan – it was a bit of an investment buy, so I wouldn’t want to ruin it by stretching the waist any more than I am at the moment, but it has been brilliant up until now. I’ll have to do a pregnancy style post or video before I get much bigger – I’ve really enjoyed finding new ways to wear my existing wardrobe, but I do fear that I might start bursting seams at some point soon…

diane von furstenberg coat

The tights I have on were something of a find – expensive, but absolutely brilliant. So soft and thick, they are 200 denier and were £12 from Accessorize. I wouldn’t usually buy my tights from there, but I was on my way to Paris and had to get tights at King’s Cross. ASOS have a three-pack of 200 denier for £22, but they don’t look quite so opaque in the photos, I shall have to get some and try them out. I love a thick, smooth pair of tights!

The post Pregnancy Style: The Forgotten Coat appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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Skincare Review: T Zone Control for Oily and Combination Skin

adult acne skincare

I have never had incredibly oily skin but once a month, for just a few days, my face decides to produce more grease than is either necessary or particularly polite. (It’s around the same time of the month that I have to resist the urge to batter people around the head with a frying pan – you get the drift.) In that time of Great Rage and Completely Irrational Behaviour, I like to try out stuff that has been formulated specifically for oily and blemish-prone skin. Just to give me something to do with my hands as I stare venomously out of the window and think dark and evil thoughts…

But seriously, “oily skin” issues are pretty huge, and some of the most frequently asked questions here on the website and on Youtube concern how to banish oil slicks at the centre of the face without drying all the life and soul out of the rest of it. The key here, I always feel, is balance. You want a little less oil in the T Zone (forehead, nose area, chin) but you want to retain your natural oils in the rest of your face, which is, if it’s anything like mine, completely unaffected by the Facial Armageddon that is going on in the middle. I often feel that dealing with my PMT skin is like having to care for a garden that is suffering two completely different climates; half of the plants are in this arid, sunny spot and half of them are in shadow with big stormy rainclouds hanging over them. Same plants, totally different requirements. (Worst analogy ever? Vote now.)

So with this “Jekyll and Hyde” skin behaviour in mind, the products that I like to test in my Week of Many Tantrums are ones that are sympathetic to my plight; balancing, reasonably gentle creams and lotions and washes that will help keep the central T Zone clear without aggravating the rest of my face. Nothing should be harsh anyway, really; just because an area of your face is oily it doesn’t mean that you can wade on in there with the skincare equivalent of a flame-thrower and a bucket of white spirit! Oily skin still needs a gentle touch and, more often than not, a fair bit of soothing to take down any redness and inflammation and bumpy soreness.

Latest little range to be tested, the T Zone Control range from Skin Doctors*. I had tried the Oil Control Cleanser before (read that post here) and had found it to be surprisingly gentle and non-stripping. I say “surprisingly” because so many products targeting “oiliness” are so drying and tightening that I feel as though my whole face has been turned inside out. Not so with this one, and Skin Doctors asked whether I might like to give the rest of the range a whirl. It’s only small – three products – with the cleanser, a light moisturiser and something called a “night refiner”. A quick glance through the blurb I was sent on the range told me that the moisturiser was exactly the type of thing I like to use pre-Personal Apocolypse – light, soothing, slightly mattifying – and that the “night refiner”, an overnight cream, was formulated with Salicylic, Glycolic and Lactic acids to gently exfoliate and clear the pores. Well. You know how I feel about gentle acid exfoliants – bring it on!

adult acne face cream

The wash is light and refreshing – it cleanses well, doesn’t sting my eyes and doesn’t leave my skin feeling too tight. The moisturiser – No More Oil  – does a fair job of mattifying, especially beneath makeup. It feels a little sticky for the first few minutes, so I have been letting it settle in before popping anything over the top, but apart from that it’s a nice option for hydrating your skin on oil-slick days. The effects seem to last a good while – no real need to powder throughout the day – and the anti-inflammatory ingredients really do seem to help soothe and calm the skin. The No More Pores night refiner is something of a little gem; it says to apply it over the T Zone but I have been using it all over my face and it hasn’t had any kind of adverse effect! The three different acids do seem to work nicely to exfoliate overnight and give a fresh, glowy look and I’m pretty sure that they had something to do with the fact that I didn’t have any monstrous PMT blemishes last month. (Though there could be another good reason for that particular boon – stay tuned!)

Overall, a nice little comprehensive range that works well if you have oily T Zone problems but would be equally good for those with all-round oily skin. It’s gentle and simple and barely fragranced, so great for men and women and the three products are easy to slip into an existing skincare routine, especially if you just need something to wheel out once a month as a bit of a problem-solver. I should really do a big old “round up” post of my favourite PMT skincare – I’ll add that to the list!

You can find the T Zone Control range at LookFantastic.com and on their website, but everything appears to be a little cheaper on Amazon: the cleanser is £11.31, the No More Oil moisturiser is £19.56 here and the No More Pores is £23.86. Very reasonably priced, I think. For those looking for a more grown-up solution to breakouts – ie, don’t want to resort to trawling the teen skincare aisles! – but don’t want to bankrupt themselves, it’s a solid option.

*Skin Doctors approached me to review this range and have kindly sponsored this post. For more info on sponsored posts, please click here.

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Clinique Superbalanced Foundation Review

clinique superbalanced foundation review

Goodness, I’ve really tried with this foundation, but this review is, I should warn you, something of a mixed bag. I’ve seen so many glowing reviews of Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup online and so, when I first “dug in” (literally, see below for full explanation) I was expecting it to be love at first use. But it wasn’t. In fact, I was so completely underwhelmed by this foundation that I thought that I was doing something wrong with it. Perhaps my moisturiser was too rich? Not rich enough? Maybe the new serum I was trying out was doing funny things to the foundation formula? I wasn’t applying it correctly?

clinique superbalanced foundation review

I can tell you that I’ve now tried Superbalanced with a light moisturiser beneath it, an oil-free moisturiser, no moisturiser, an oily-skin primer and a dry-skin primer and each time I’ve come to the same conclusion: Superbalanced and I do not quite see eye to eye.

It’s bloody lucky, really, that it even got a try in the first place because it’s packaged in the most frustrating way that could ever have been conceived: a glass bottle with no pump, pipette or any sensible way whatsoever of getting the product out onto the back of your hand. It seems to have taken inspiration from the classic glass ketchup bottle, which, as we all know, is one of the world’s epic design fails. Because why would anyone want to wait for hours for their ketchup to come out onto the plate? Or have to stick a knife into the mouth of the bottle to loosen the sauce, only for about seventeen-billion kilos of the stuff to come flying out?

I had to do the equivalent of the knife thing with this foundation – although in this case it was the handle of a makeup brush. Dig-dig, and then wipe a blob of Superbalanced onto the back of my hand.

Now let’s talk about the Superbalanced formula: in theory (and seemingly, for most people, in reality) it’s an excellent, buildable foundation in a good shade range that hydrates where needed and absorbs oil in the places that get a bit greasy. Perfect – if you’ve combination skin (which I tend to have, a lot of the time) then you should be able to say goodbye to makeup slippages in the T-Zone and those horrible bits on your chin where the foundation sticks to your dry and flaky patches. In theory.

But this isn’t what happened on my skin at all. On my skin I just sort of had a uniform, slightly waxy-finished coverage that looked a bit patchy on my chin and nose. The thing is I know that I’m being incredibly harsh here, because I zoom right in on my camera and then I absolutely obsess over the finish in my magnifying mirror, and I know that no normal person is ever going to look at my face that closely…but I feel as though if I’m going to zoom in for one foundation then I need to do it for all of them. So I do. That’s what I do for each and every foundation review that I put up.

Browse all foundation reviews…

I don’t like writing about products that have disappointed me – I find it rather stressful, if truth be known – but I invested a whole eight days’ worth of makeup testing on Superbalanced, and so it wouldn’t be particularly time-efficient for me not to write about it! I would love to know if anyone else doesn’t get on with it – perhaps I’m the only one? I mean, everyone loved that Hourglass foundation stick that cost the same as a small house, but I really didn’t. So perhaps I’m totally pedantic, or have weird skin – let me know.

Here are my before and afters:

foundation review

foundation review

From a nice normal distance, I think that Superbalanced looks lovely. Natural, even, not too “mask-like”. You’d maybe expect it to have a matte finish, what with the oil-control business, but actually I think it’s on the glowy side. It looks fresh and youthful, you can find a good colour match, the texture is light and easy to apply.

clinique superbalanced foundation review

But it’s when I zoom in that you can see my problem with it – I find that it “sits” on the skin rather than being a second skin. I can see it sitting in my pores, failing to blend seamlessly on the nose and chin.

clinique superbalanced foundation review

The word “waxy” comes to mind when I observe the finish close-up. It actually does start to look better after an hour or so, almost as though the makeup begins to melt into the skin, but as I have loads of foundations that don’t need time to do this, I’m always going to plump for those…

So why, I hear you ask, did I persevere with Superbalanced for eight whole days? Firstly, as I’ve explained, most reviews online have been unblemished, which made me question my own results. Secondly, as I’ve also said, my feelings on this are a bit of a mixed bag. The finish from a normal distance is fine and I’ve even had a few comments from people saying that my skin looked nice, which is always a motivation for giving something another try.

So it’s not as though I hate this makeup, it’s not a lost cause, I just have enough niggles with it for me not to want to use it again. On the eighth day of testing I actually cleansed my face at 11am and put something else on! A different Clinique foundation, as it happened – review coming up. It’s a good one, as are most of Clinique’s face bases. They do face bases really well, they know skin, they create brilliantly natural finishes…but this one, for me, is a no-go.

Clinique Superbalanced is £23 here.

The post Clinique Superbalanced Foundation Review appeared first on A Model Recommends.


© 2016 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be very clearly marked. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers will usually be affiliate links. Please see here for full “about” section and disclaimer.  A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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Sunday Tittle Tattle: Beauty Bargains and an Angry Cat

medik8 md formulations and elemental herbology beauty products

1) FeelUnique have some quite amazing reductions going on in their sale, and I just had an email newsletter to say that there’s an extra 10% off over the bank holiday weekend, using the code PLUS10. Bravo! My super-duper recommendations, with the biggest savings, are below.

MD Formulations – anything from. I bloody love MD Formulations, but sadly it seems that they are winding down operations, in the UK at least. Their antioxidant moisturising gel is one of my favourite things ever – I think that may have sold out, but there are plenty of other bits. See here.

Medik8 Cleanser – I really like this! I keep meaning to do a post but never get around to it. It’s creamy and comfortable feeling, great for dry skin. It’s down from £21 to £12 here.

Melvita Extraordinary Waters – lovely, refreshing beauty waters that are half-hydrating, half-toning. A true hybrid product that’s great for a quick swipe after cleansing and before serum. Find the Narcissus version here, reduced to £12.75 from £17.

Elemental Herbology – again, pretty much anything from this brand. I think it does a truly gorgeous job of making skincare. My top pick is the Moisture Milk Ultra Light Hydrator which is just the best thing since sliced bread. Soothing on hormonal skin, good at injecting a bit of moisture into skin that needs careful handling – if you have blemish-prone skin and just don’t know where to start with it, this is a nice moisturiser to invest in. It’s currently £27.30 instead of £42. (Remember there’s an extra couple of quid off with the PLUS10 code.) Find it here.

FeelUnique Beauty Sale

genefique skincare range

2) The lucky Lancôme Génifique testers are as follows. You’ll get an email this week asking for your details, so don’t worry if you haven’t received anything yet! Elaine Ward (eward), Jo Sutton (josutt), Justine Pendlebury (jspendlebury), Charlotte Cantrell (charlottelawrence2008), Zoe B (zbeech), Jenna (detectivedisco), Anne Robinson (annierobinson), Sophie Horton (sophiehorton) and Caroline (carolinecarpenter). Thank you to everyone who volunteered their testing services!

Read the Lancôme Génifique serum review… 

mr bear the british shorthair

3) Pet pics. Mr AMR took the one above of Mr Bear – doesn’t he look grumpy! Ha. His favourite place during the summer is an empty bathtub and he does not like to be interrupted. He lies down next to the plughole waiting for spiders to come up (he chases them down there first) and now and again he’ll do a little walk around the perimeter of the bath, knocking all of my beauty products over and getting cat hairs stuck to the soap.

dexter the cockapoo puppy

Dexter’s fur is slowly growing back – we are trying to be vigilant about combing it so that it stays lovely and soft, but he gets so many things tangled up in there! It’s honestly like some kind of nature experiment when you run a brush through; various grasses and plant seeds, bits of tree, rare insect species…

Follow @dexterandthebear on Instagram for more pics – my account is @modelrecommends, should you want some human interaction.

4) If ANYONE is having email problems, still, then please follow the steps on this troubleshooting page. It seems that the vast majority of issues have now been solved, so that’s great news! If you’d like to sign up then you can do so here. Happy Bank Hols, all of those in the UK – have a wonderful long weekend!

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