L’Oreal The Brush Contest

Loreal Brush

So, this is an interesting competition for beauty bloggers and vloggers. L’Oreal The Brush Contest is an international competition to find the next L’Oreal make up artist from a social media source. The winner gets a trip to Cannes to design red carpet looks, and also a one year paid contract. The winner of L’Oreal The Brush Contest will work with L’Oréal to create looks at shoots and beauty tutorials while also working with product development and representing the brand in press interviews. To enter, upload a 3 minute video creating a look on yourself or someone else and bear in mind that key to this is that L’Oreal are looking for ways to make high end make up looks accessible and wearable for anyone. I know perfectly well that loads of hugely talented bloggers and vloggers will instantly think, “oh, I’m not good enough, I can’t win that!” but remember, someone has to win it, so don’t do the typical Brit thing of thinking you can’t. You can. I’d love to see a UK winner on this one because I know we have an incredible amount of talent behind those cameras… if you can’t do it for yourself, do… Read More

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Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Swatches

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction

I now have swatches of the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction collection – they’re every bit as good as I hoped they’d be. Pulp Fiction aside, it’s a fabulous capsule collection that I really hope they’ll do more of. It’s great when brands launch new products but when they come in a massive swathe it can be quite daunting, so a tightly edited collection gives us a chance to really focus on the products properly.

Mrs Mia Wallace Palette

As usual, it’s one swipe with the brush – I don’t usually build up colours but these are all the pigment, smoothness and buildability that you’d expect from Urban Decay. Amazing textures that went on like a dream – there is just nothing not to like here. The Urban Decay Pulp Fiction palette – if you removed the Pulp Fiction references – would stand entirely on its own two feet as a brilliant, nude based, smokey eye palette. At £17.50 I think it’s a steal. Shades from bottom to top are: Righteous, Tyranny, Vengeance, Furious and Anger.

Mrs Mia Wallace Lipstick


For lips, the Mrs Mia Wallace lipstick is a danger-red – a lot of depth to this red that’s coming out rather pink on the swatch – if you love a dramatic lip, it’s this. The lipstick is £15 and the liner £13.

This is literally one swipe – no going back and forth – so you can see it’s a lot of colour all at once. Not sure I’m brave enough for it but oh my, I really wish I was!

Gunmetal Glitter Liner

Gunmetal Glitter Liner

Gunmetal Glitter Liner has well defined colours – it’s not just a hotchpotch of glittery bits – and it’s made up of black and a very twinkly silver/gunmetal. It’s £14.

Nail Polish

As you can see in the backdrop of the nail colour, there’s a card that gives you guidance on how to create the Mia look – Mrs Mia Wallace Nail Color, £10, is that deep rouge noir shade with a cut of gold shimmer – I don’t think it has as much black as Rouge Noir and even just swatching it on paper, it took three layers to get a very full depth, which it needs. It’s the only piece of the collection that I don’t think really stands out in context; it’s a gorgeous, glossy shade, but it’s likely that you probably already have a version of it in your nail stash.

The collection launches on 1st September.

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Maybelline Brow Drama vs Benefit Gimme Brow

maybelline brow drama review

After my raving review of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, many people very kindly suggested alternatives for me to try, or requested comparisons with similar products. I’ve been quite busy (!) but have managed to test out Maybelline’s Brow Drama and compare it.

I ordered the Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara from FeelUnique; £4.99, three shades (I went for the palest) and free delivery. You can’t complain about that. (Though I did have some kind of promo code for the delivery, I think it’s usually £10 minimum.) Maybelline’s Brow Mascara promises to give brows a “sleek and structured look” and yes, I think that it does add a hint of colour and it certainly helps to keep naughty hairs in place. Regardez-vous the photos below. Before:

(Fair-coloured brows, little bit messy perhaps, but to be absolutely honest I have no problems with them as they are. Yes a bit of grooming is always nice, but most days I simply can’t be bothered. Anyway…)

After! Can you see a lot of difference? A little more defined, maybe, and a hint darker? Look, there’s nothing wrong with this brow mascara whatsoever, but Gimme Brow it ain’t. For those who have singled this one out as a kind of dupe, I hate to let you down but it’s not. The Gimme Brow adds volume to each hair so that sparse bits are filled in and everything looks a bit more thick and fullsome: Brow Drama is a tinted brow gel. A nice one, but – as I said – it doesn’t have the same dramatic results, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Left eye (as you look at the screen) done, right eye natural. Now I know I’m doing a weird kind of expression, so ignore that and focus on the depth and thickness of the brow itself. Quite an amazing difference, don’t you think? There’s not actually any real comparison or competition here, because the products are almost entirely different. Like comparing a plumping, scarlet red lip gloss with a slick of lip balm. The Brow Drama grooms and holds very well (especially nice at £4.99) but for me, Benefit’s Gimme Brow reigns supreme. Please do suggest more alternatives and I’ll work my way through!

You can find Maybelline Brow Drama here – £4.99 and Benefit’s Gimme Brow here, £18.50.

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever

fragrance review daisy dream

Not having been particularly enamoured with any of the previous “Daisy” fragrances from Marc Jacobs (love the bottles, always found the scents to be a bit “young”, which I suppose is probably bang-on for the target market) I surprised myself by really liking the new one, Daisy Dream Forever. It’s warm and comforting, rich and fruity. I want to say chocolatey, but a quick glance at the fragrance notes and there’s nothing remotely chocolatey about it!

Now this is very weird: without reading any kind of blurb about this fragrance, just looking at the bottle, which reminds me of dark winter nights, cosy pyjamas and – weirdly – bonfire night, my mind told me that this was a warm and sweet perfume. It reminded me a lot of Angel – that same edible, slightly oriental kind of scent. But Angel mixes up its fruity florals with warm and spicy base notes – vanilla, amber, tonka bean, chocolate – whereas Daisy Dream Forever has nothing of the sort. It has blackberry, pear, grapefruit; it has jasmine and fresh lychee. Where the hell I get chocolate from I have no idea!

It’s a prime example, I suppose, of how your nose can be led by your mind – I took in the colours of the bottle and the name Dreams and formed my own scent conclusions before I had even properly sampled the scent. And now I can’t seem to go backwards, because no matter what you tell me about the official fragrance notes, I still think that this is warm and chocolatey – it makes me want to put on my star pyjamas and drink cocoa in bed.

Read more fragrance reviews…

Whatever; I think that it’s lovely. Rich and softly woody, like a big cashmere blanket. It’s not the most grown-up fragrance out there, but it has a certain warmth that I think will make it irresistible to many people who wouldn’t usually go for the other Marc Jacobs Daisy incarnations. It feels like a winter scent, to me, and I can imagine that it will do incredibly well this Christmas.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever is £59 for the 50ml Eau de Parfum, or £50.15 at Escentual.com

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Ask an Aesthie: Auriana

It’s been a while, Benebabes, & we sincerely apologize! We’ve been so wrapped up in Under the Gunn, big easy, LeSportsac… the list goes on!

But we’re back in action with our Ask an Aesthie! In case you need a refresh, so far we’ve sat down with Amanda, Rosheen & Dalia. This month, we’re featuring Auriana—Auri if she’s feelin’ flirty (wink, wink)—from our Chestnut St. boutique here in the lovely San Francisco. Below she spills about her favorite brow tips, how to combat dry skin & much more!


What inspires your daily makeup look? 

Music and current trends, as well as always looking fresh, presentable and professional.

What is your favorite gloomy day trend? 

Deep wine colors for lips, cheeks, eyes & nails.

What’s your most favorite & newest product from Benefit? 

Agent zero shine! Everyone can benefit from it and it’s a perfect top layer.

What’s the number one question (or complaint!) you get from customers during the dry, cold months?

How to combat & soothe dry skin! I always suggest using total moisture and ultra radiance facial re-hydrating mist to de-stress the skin.

How do you recommend achieving the perfect Benefit brow? 

First, start by visiting your local Benefit Brow Bar & your favorite aesthie for monthly upkeep—it’s an absolute must. Second, I definitely recommend brow mapping. Once you see how brows can perfectly frame your face, you’re sure to always keep them in check.

Do you mix tints together? Which ones? Tell us your secrets!

YES! Chachatint and posietint for a hot vibrant pink. If you’re feeling frisky, throw on some hydra-smooth lip color in dare me with bella bamba ultra-plush gloss for the perfect hot red lip!

Which box o’ powder do you recommend going into spring? 

Coralista for a perfect tropical flush!

Tell us a hobby outside of makeup.

Music! I love going to live shows and keeping up-to-date with the latest music.

What’s your skin care regimen? 

Morning and night I cleanse my skin with our foamingly clean facial wash, then saturate a cotton round with moisture prep toning lotion for extra balance on my skin. I finish with total moisture and, of course, fight those dark circles with it’s potent! eye cream.

Last, but not least—What makes you want to be a beauty artist & why Benefit?

I like to call it a beauty therapist. I chose this industry and Benefit because I love making people feel good about themselves. At Benefit, laughter is the best cosmetic & looking good is the best revenge. Can’t go wrong with that!

Have more questions for our aethies? Ask away in the comments below! Until next time. xo

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