Sunday 4 September 2016

My Benefit Cosmetics Brow Experience* And A Haul

As much as I love make up and own way too much of it I have to admit I'm often pretty lazy when it comes to applying it. If I can skip a step or a product then I probably will. Wearing glasses as I do, my eyes are usually pretty well hidden so I don't always see the point in wearing eyeliner, or false lashes and up until recently my brows received nothing more than the a cursory glance and a quick comb.

Yes, I attacked them with the tweezers and occasionally I used a brow gel or a pencil, but by and large I just let them be. There are a lot of trends though in make up and one of the hottest trends of the moment is a perfectly groomed eyebrow, I dutifully bought a few extra brow products but I just didn't "get it" thanks to Benefit Cosmetics though now I do get it and I understand the difference that a good brow can make to your face, even if you do wear glasses like I do.

A few months ago now I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Benefit Cosmetics counter in Debenhams, in take a look at their new brow collection, and to have a complimentary brow treatment.

Founded in San Francisco in 1976, Benefit consider themselves as brow experts, and last year they waxed and groomed over a million sets of brows in the UK alone. Basically they know what they're doing and despite feeling a little nervous about the idea of hot wax, I knew that I was safe in their very friendly and capable hands.

Unlike a lot of companies and salons, Benefit treat every customer as an individual they don't use any stencils, instead they use a special brow mapping tool, and years of experience to create the perfect brow shape, for your face and for your lifestyle. I'm pretty useless at names but the lovely one of their make up artists mapped my brows and then told where I'd been going wrong! Well basically everywhere! My own brows were sparse, totally over plucked and I'd  pretty much lost my natural shape and my brow tails! What can I say? skinny brows were a trend at the time but thankfully Benefit had to products and the expertise to help me create my own wow brows.

I then had a chance to look at some of the products in the new Benefit Brow collection before she expertly showed me how to apply some of the products to create various brow looks, depending on different aspects of my lifestyle and what look I was going for. The difference was already phenomenal but the best was yet to come.

It seemed a shame to wipe all that make up off but that's exactly what Dean, the counters brow specialist did. My make up was wiped off, and I then had to fill in a form and then it was shaping time. Dean was really friendly and again gave me some advice regarding my brow shape, and what I could do to improve it, he then waxed and perfected my current brow shape and got rid of the strays and stragglers. As a regular tweezer I'm now a warm wax convert, it hurt way less, and the finish and crispness was way better than anything that I could ever achieve with tweezers! It's around £14.50 for a basic brow wax but for me it now a necessity not a luxury!

Unlike a lot of companies Benefit don't let you go home with sore looking brows, Dean applied a soothing after wax solution, before covering the slight redness with Benefit's famous Boing Concealer, and then filling my brows in with various products to make my brows look magazine cover ready.

At last I get it! get your shape right,and fill in the gaps in your brows, and it really can look as though you've had a face lift. My face looked lifted, my eyes looked wider, and I just looked more polished and alive. I haven't managed any good photos unfortunately but there are a couple of before and afters on my Instagram page but it's safe to say that I'm now a Benefit brow convert. I've followed Dean's advice to the letter and I haven't put a pair of tweezers near my eyes since, I've had Benefit waxes every month for the past three months now and along with using some of the Benefit  brow products I can really see the difference in the shape and growth of my brows, and from someone who barely owned a brow product, I now have a large collection based on the look that I'm going for and how long I have to do my make up.

The lovely Benefit counter staff recommend quite a few products in the range, and whilst I would ultimately love to own the entire brow collection, I just bought some of the initial products that they recommended and I can always add to my stash later.

The first product that I bought Browvo is probably my favourite product from the new line and it was recommended to me as my must have. Browvo is a conditioning eyebrow primer, that is crammed full of vitamins and minerals, and conditioners including soy protein and keratin. Packaged in their new space age, silver packaging, Browvo comes in a twist up style applicator with a soft, nodule, spike, covered head, twist it up, and simply apply the gel to clean, dry brows. You can either use this gel at night to help to thicken the brow hairs, and encourage growth, or you can use it as a conditioning treatment and as a primer under the rest of your brow products. I have to say I'm loving this one, it's already made an appearance in my July / August Favourites video (coming soon), and I really think it's helped to improve both the growth rate and the thickness of my brow hairs. Benefit Browvo Conditioning Eyebrow Primer retails at £21.50

The next product that was recommended to me was the Precisely My Brow Pencil in shade 4, which is one of Benefit's medium shades. In the new brow collection all of the coloured products bar Gimme Brow comes in 6 shades, ranging from the palest of the pale, to jet black  and I was matched to shade 4. Precisely My Brow is a twist up brow pencil, with a spoolie on the end that doesn't need sharpening. This pencil is one of the most natural products in the line, and  creates very fine almost hair like strokes, making it  ideal for filling in gaps in your brows in a natural way. Precisely My Brow Pencil retails at £18.50.

If the natural look isn't for you, then the Goof Proof brow pencil is probably more your cup of tea. Again I got this in shade 4 and like the Precisely pencil is a non sharpening twist up pencil, with a spoolie on the end. This pencil though is a look thicker and it an almost diamond shaped tip. Use the tip and you can create hair like strokes and use it flat and you can fill in much larger areas. Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil also retails at £18.50

As I say there are a few other things I would like to add to my own personal Benefit brow collection, but they will have to wait, in the meantime though I did manage to pick up a few Benefit brow items free with some magazine, including one of the things that I really wanted try, Ready Set Brow.

Although they were only minis, I ended up buying two magazines to get two, This is basically just a clear brow gel that you can either wear on it own, or you can use it to set and extend the wear of your other brow products. I've tried this a few times and again I'm a convert and I'll definitely be buying the full size.It's great for flattening out those stray and spiky hairs and for setting other products without leaving your brows rock solid and stiff.

Next up Gimme Brow, and like Browzings this is a product that already existed in the Benefit inventory but it's been brought right up to date and repackaged in the new silver, futuristic packaging. It now comes in an extra shade, so you can choose from 1, Light, 3, Medium and 5 Deep. I'm a 4 and I've been told that I would probably now be a 3 in Gimme Brow, but this Glamour freebie only came in 1 and 5 so I decided to try the Deep shade for a different look.

Another magazine was also giving away mini Goof Proof's but again they didn't have the full colour selection so I ended going for 2. It's a touch light for me but I'm think I might be able to use it like the new 3D Brow Tones, to add some highlights and depth to my brows.

No longer am I the girl with just a couple of brow products with this little lot and some stuff that I've bought and acquired I'm now well sorted when it comes to brow products. If you would like any individual reviews of any of these products then please let me and you can also let me know if you'd like to see any reviews of these classic Benefit products.

I'm a sucker for a mini, and these travel sizes were placed next to the tills in Boots and they just fell into my basket! You could choose from 4 mini products and you got a few clear cosmetics bag. I went for a few old favourites and something new.

Benetint was one of Benefit's first ever products and it remains one of their most popular and for good reason. On first appearance it looks like nail polish but this rosy red, rose scented liquid can be used as either a lip stain or as a cheek colour, I also chose a mini 4ml size of High Beam. High Beam was the first ever Benefit product that I owned, I loved Victoria Beckham's sharp iridescent cheekbones, and this was supposedly the product that she used all those year ago,  and it's something that I still use and love today. I just pop a tiny bit of this pale pink, shimmery highlighting cream onto my cheek bones and onto my brow bone and I'm good to go. I also got a 4ml bottle of Posie Tint, Posie Tint is one of the newer editions but it's something else that I love, again it resembles nail polish but it add a flash of creamy pink to both your lips and your cheeks and you should know by now that I'm partial to a bit of pink.

The final product that I got is something that I haven't actually seen in the full size. Benefit's Boing 02 / Eye Bright Duo, which combines two of Benefit's most popular complexion products Boing Concealer and Eye Bright in the one compact. I'm normally shade 1 in Boing which I love and that also features in my July / August favourites but this is shade 2 which is a little bit darker. It should still work for me though when I have a tan or I could always use it for contouring. I really bought it though for the Eye Bright which is something that I haven't used in this format, I've used the pencil which is great for getting rid of darkness around the eye area but this is the cream version which I haven't actually seen elsewhere before and I'm looking forward to trying.

I've always loved Benefit Cosmetics but after being introduced to their new brow collection and their brow services, I'm even more of a convert than I was before, and I would definitely recommend that you give them a go, if you want to try out some of the latest and most innovative brow products on the market. You can find out a little bit more about my brow experience and find out a little bit more about the products I bought in the accompanying You Tube video which you can watch via this link or below.

I actually have a few more Benefit Cosmetics hauls to come including a sale haul post, and a combined haul and review post on some of their newest products. I'm going to you guessing for a little while but this picture below might give you a few hints :)

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions on any of the products or things that I've talked about in this post, or if you would like any full reviews then please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you xx

*The Brow Mapping And First Wax Was Complimentary But I've Paid For Every Subsequent Wax And All Of The Products Featured Myself

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