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I received a very cute package in the post this week from Benefit Cosmetics.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola

Seriously, they do the cutest packaging in the business! The Hoola family has expanded and there is also a new box highlighter in the mix too. I thought I would give a closer look at them, and of course swatch all the products here too.

Benefit Cosmetics Ireland

I am a big fan of the original Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

It’s just a really good, build-able matte bronzer. You can find it on the Debenhams website here. At €34, it is pricey, but they do last a really long time.

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They’ve now released a new version, Hoola Lite.

benefit hoola lite As the name would suggest, it’s Hoola, but lighter 🙂 It is matte and slightly cool toned. Definitely more suited to paler skin tones.

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It is in the same box format, containing 8 grams of products. You can find it on Cloud 10 Beauty here.

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The second new product being welcomed into the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola family is their Quickie Contour Stick.

top irish beauty bloggerThis is a cream stick version of Hoola.

Benefit contour stick It’s super creamy and easy to blend. I think I would personally use this for warming up the face or for layering colour to help with longevity.

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You can buy it online from the Debenhams website here.

The last newbie on the scene is Dandelion Twinkle Highlighting Powder. Benefit Dandelion Packaged the same as any of the boxed products. You get 3 grams of product within.

benefit highlighter Benefit describe it as as, ‘delicate strobing powder’. It is a really soft light pink shade with a silvered sparkle running through it. It gives a very subtle highlight to the skin.

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Dandelion Twinkle is available from for €34 from the Debenhams website here.

And now, you’re up to date with the all the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola news 🙂

Any of the products tickle your fancy? Have you picked up any of them yourself?

xxx

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I have the Sleek Cream Contour Kit in my possession a while now.

Sleek Cream Contour Kit

I have the shade light.

Sleek Cream Contour Kit Review

I was kindly gifted this at a masterclass showing us bloggers how to use the Sleek Cream Contour Kit. I knew it was in high demand and everyone wanted to see it in action, so I embarrassingly rummaged through a few of the very generous gift bags making sure I got the lightest palette because I thought since I have lighter skin this would be the best one for me…dedication to blogging right there! 🙂

Unfortunately, some of the colours don’t seem to really work for me in the way I want them too, so I’ve been putting off talking about it. Some of you lovely lot have been asking me my thoughts on it though, so here they are 🙂

There are three Sleek Cream Contour Kits to choose from light, medium and dark. They all contain 6 cream contour shades ranging in colours to highlight, contour and give definition to the face.

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The texture of the product is really nice. They are creamy to the touch and they do blend into the skin quite well. They also don’t leave the skin feeling or looking to greasy which is an added bonus too.

Here are the colours in the light palette swatched from left to right on my arm.

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With Flash

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Without Flash

And then blended out a little with my fingers.

irish beauty websiteI will be completely honest, and if you’ve been reading Beautynook for a while, you’ll know I’m a big Sleek fan, but I wanted so much more for the palette…

According to Sleek, the shades work as follows:

  • Shade 1 – highlighting
  • Shade 2 – deeper highlighting
  • Shade 3 – concealing / blending contouring
  • Shade 4 – contouring or adding subtle contouring effect
  • Shade 5 – creating the illusion of shadow
  • Shade 6 – adding deeper shadow effects

That sounds a bit overwhelming if you’re not super into your makeup I know, but this is just a guide line of course and they give you an insert with the palette to show you were to place the colours if you want to use them in this fashion. I personally love a bit of contouring and highlighting but I wouldn’t be this dedicated and less face it, my chubby chops need more than some cream contouring to look chiselled 🙂

Here it is in action on my face.

I used shade 3 to conceal under my eyes and then shade 1 to highlight, shade 5 around the periphery of my face and then shade 6 under my cheekbones.

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Before under eye concealer.

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After under eye concealing

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Contour and highlight applied

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Contour and highlight blended in

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Close up

The lighter shades don’t really lift my skin or give any major coverage once blended in. The darkness under my eyes still comes through. I would have to conceal separately before using the palette. They also cake up on my skin slightly too. The three darker contouring shades are just too warm for me to use as contour, although I have used the darker shade a few times more as a cream bronzer and it works well.

Overall, I think the formula is of the Sleek Cream Contour Kit is one of the best on the ‘highstreet’ market that I’ve used to date yet, but the colours (of the light kit anyways) and the coverage of the lighter shades just don’t float my boat 🙁

You can get the Sleek Cream Contour Kit from Boots, pharmacies nationwide and Cloud10beauty stock it online here too. It will set you back a reasonable €13.95.

Have you used it? Am I being overly critical? Let me know?

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I seem to be talking about Makeup Revolution alot lately. Not intentionally, I assure you, I just happened to pick up some bits from them and have been using them over the last while 🙂

 

This is the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette.

makeup revolution ultra contour palette

Budget brands are finally warming up to the idea of giving up all our contour and highlight needs under one lid. My first experience of powder contour palettes was a few years back when I picked up the Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Kit from Cult Beauty. I reviewed this so long ago here (the pictures are brutal, I apologise), but it’s still one of my most viewed posts to this day.

Makeup Revolution as a brand, for me can be hit or miss, but I think overall their Ultra Contour Palette, in my humble opinion is a hit! I have been reaching for it pretty much daily over the past couple of months.

In the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette, you get eight shades, and a large mirror which is always handy.

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On top:

You have a beige toned matte.

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A yellow toned matte.

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A sheeny beige highlight shade.

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And then a full on icy shimmery white baked highlight which didn’t take too kindly to me taking pictures of it some reason :p

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On the bottom:

A matte mid toned brown.

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A cool toned contour shade.

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A more warm matte brown.

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And finally a champagne shimmery baked highlight shade.

makeup and beauty blog irelandirish makeup and beauty websiteHere they all are together too.

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All of the powders are pigmented and soft to the touch.

They blend onto the skin easily and I have had no problem with lasting power either. I use the yellow tone under my eyes to help counteract darkness, and the beige toned matte powder over the top to neutralise the colour. This is a great shade for cleaning up your contour too, or just as a general all over setting powder. I use the cool toned brown shade in the middle to contour and then for me, the others brown colours are more for warming up my skin, although I actually tend to use these more on my eyes as eyeshadows. I love using the highlights in the palette as eyeshadows as well as using them for highlighting the face.

Overall, the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette gets a big thumbs up from me. I get so much use from it.

I got mine from Superdrug here in Dublin and it cost me €9.99, but you can also buy it online from the Makeup Revolution website here or from the Superdrug website here.

Now I just need to pick up the Nyx version to compare them 😛

xxx

 

I am on a bit of a budget roll at the minute, I don’t know what has gotten into me…maybe the post Christmas poorness 🙂 This post is going to be about budget contour palettes, that I have and use in my makeup collection. Contouring has come such a long way in the makeup world, it used to be a drag industry secret and now most of us do some form of it on a daily basis. I know it’s not for everyone, but personally I love a bit of chiselling, anything to make my chubby chops look more defined 🙂

I chose 3 contour palettes to showcase in this post:

budget contour palettes

First up is the newest of the bunch, the Catrice Prime And Fine Professional Contouring palette.

catrice prime and fine contour paletteThis comes in different shades which is very handy, I have the colour 010 Ashy Radiance.

irish beauty bloggerbeauty blog irelandAshy is the important word here, especially for paler skin. A powder with a grey undertone, creates more of a shadow so in theory looks more natural. I really like this palette. The highlighter is more on the subtle side, so good if you just want to add a hint of a glow to the cheekbones. The contour side is soft, pigmented and blends well in the skin.

irish makeup and beauty bloggerThis will set you back €4.50.

 

Next up is the Seventeen Define & Conquer Contour Kit

seventeen define & conquerThis is a little different as both of the shades in this contour palette are matte.

makeup blog irelandI like this take on it because the ‘highlight’ shade can double up as a setting powder for lighter skinned gals and then works as a subtle more brightening shade maybe under the eyes for darker skinned lovelies.

The contour shade is a little more on the warm side, so this would double up as an all over matte bronzer shade as well as getting away with being a contouring colour.

makeup and beauty blog irelandYou can buy the Seventeen Define & Conquer palette in Boots and it costs €8.49, but they are always on special.

 

My last choice I think is my favourite and is the most pocket friendly of them all. The W7 Hollywood Bronze & Glow.

w7 hollywood bronze & glowIt bares a bit of a resemblance to a much more expensive contour palette, right? 🙂

top irish beauty blogThis little duo resides in my handbag and it gets so much use. The contour shade does have a sheen and a warm undertone to it, but it’s soft and blends out really well on the skin so you can still get away with it for contouring. I adore the highlight shade. It’s a really pretty golden shimmer, not at all bitty or glittery. I use it on my cheekbones, on my lids even and it’s a lovely inner corner highlight too.

top irish beauty bloggerAnd the best part? It’s €3.75. Cara Pharmacy sell them online here

Three contour palettes for three decent prices. What do you think? Are you a contouring queen or not really into it? I’d love to know your thoughts.

xxx

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio (4)

 

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Guess what’s on the agenda today? How did you know 🙂 Yes I am waffling all  about the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio. I decided I was going to pick these up with my Boots points, so I had been patiently saving my points and then I went online to browse the Boots website. They were on special for €38…and so… they were bought and the story begins.

So as you can see there is three pencils. A highlighter, a bronzer and then a contour.

Smashbox BeautynookYou get a sharpener in the box too which I think is very necessary as these pencils are really creamy so use up very quickly. I think if you were using these everyday you wouldn’t get a huge amount of time out of them.

Here they are swatched on my arm. You can see how pigmented and creamy they are.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio SwatchThe highlighting shade is pretty light, I could probably do with a shade lighter for my pale skin, this is the story for most of these kind of things.

The contour shade (in the middle) is a grey toned brown, perfect shade for it. And then the bronze shade is a warmer toned brown for warming up your complexion, as I am sure you know 🙂

So onto using it on my mug.

First up here I am without any of the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio’s applied and some lovely bed hair too 🙂

Irish Beauty BlogI first apply the highlighter stick.

Irish Beauty Blog Highlighter

I applied it under my eyes, the centre of my nose and eyebrows, the tops of my brows and above my cupids bow.

Then the bronzer.

Beautynook Contouring

Contour and Highlighting

Smashbox say use the product in an x formation and I think it does work best because you tend to use less product than just drawing lines around your face.  I personally use it around the periphery of my face and then blend it down. You could use the contour shade in the same way too, I just like the warmer shade around my face. I don’t contour my nose or anything like that because I feel that it is pretty small already so I don’t really find it necessary.

I use the contour shade of the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio just on my non existent cheekbones.

Smashbox Contour highlighting

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I am only gorgeous I know 🙂 Again using the x formation around 2/3’s of the way down my cheek. Just follow where you naturally have a hollow. If you’re chubby like me do the fishy face to find out where it is.

So then onto blending. Blending the Smashbox Contour Sticks is actually really easy, they don’t take much work at all. I just use whatever foundation brush I used. I blend the bronze shade into my skin more, whereas with the highlighter and contour shades I keep the blending more isolated to where I applied them.

 

Cream Highlighting

Cream ContouringYou can see the bronze and the contour shades do warm up my complexion and give a slight illusion of definition on my cheeks, happy days. The highlight shade really doesn’t do a whole load for me, I’m just too pale.

Here is the whole shabang with powders and lipsticks added and the gruaig looking a bit better too.

Beautynook blogOverall, I really like the Smashbox Contour Stick Trio. They are easy to use, easy to blend and the colours are mostly good. They are by no means a necessary step in your makeup routine. For me, I like them for when I want a more pronounced contour for going out. I will layer contour and highlight powders over top. Or for a more subtle highlight, I will just set  the Smashbox Contour Sticks with face powder. Obviously there is tonnes of alternative products to get your chisel on, the sticks are just a handy one as they are small and easy to control. It’s only a matter of time before the highstreet brands are all over it and bring out their own versions. I look forward to that 🙂

What do you think? Let me know.

xxx

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette

 

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette So this is the brand, Seventeen Define and Conquer Contour Kit. Contouring has taken off so much in the mainstream world. It is not just a makeup artists secret weapon anymore. I have spoken about contouring before, but it is a much more expensive product, have a read here if you are a makeup junkie 🙂

At first glance, this looks very similar to a Nars palette or if you are familar with Elf, they do a product very similar looking too but again mimicking Nars.

The packaging is smooth to the touch and inside it boasts a large mirror..never a bad thing.

It contains two powders. A matte grey toned bronze and a pinkier toned lighter powder. A highlighter and contour duo.

The dark shade is on point for my light skin tone, the highlight shade is pretty much my skin tone so it won’t be doing much highlighting around these parts. As you can see below it’s barely even visible. With tan on and maybe a darker shade of foundation it may work though, I can use it as a setting powder on normal days.

seventeen define and conquer swatchThe Seventeeen Define & Conquer is a good damn product. I think I would be so rash and say I like it better than some of it’s highstreet counterparts.  The deep shade is the perfect tone for contouring. It’s a soft powder, it blends in really well and does a great job of defining your cheekbones without looking dirty or grubby, as well as your nose or temples depending on how much contouring you like to do.

Before application

Before application

Seventeen Define & Conquer Palette on skin

After application

I have a round face, so I need more than a bit of powder to give me definition but it does make things look better that’s for sure. I tend to use it under my chin too for a bit of shadow, I need all of the help I can get 🙂

As I am pretty oily, my skin tends to eat up makeup during the day. I found the Seventeen Define & Conquer powders lasted really well on me and I could still notice the contour in the evening when I was washing the day away.

If you are new to contouring and want something to learn with, this palette is perfect for you. It even gives you a little step by step guide to get you started.

This Seventeen Define and Conquer Contour Kit is available in Boots and is €7.59 a bargain or what?

xxx