Friday, May 31

Benefit 15-Hour Stay Flawless Primer Review

I was recently invited by Benefit to the launch party of their brand new Primer called Stay Flawless, which you can read all about here. Although the UK release date isn't until June 29th, I'd thought I'd give you my first impressions as we were kindly given the product to test out. Benefit also matched us with their Hello Flawless foundation, so this review is based on me trailing both products together. I'll review the foundation separately soon (so far so good!)

Priced at £24.50 and part of their fantastic flawless range, I can already see this becoming a best seller. I didn't really like Porefessional (despite it being so popular!) as it didn't work well with my very dry skin and I wasn't very fond of the consistency, making me sceptical whether or not I'd like this. However, I've been pleasantly surprised and impressed, I can't actually fault it! 

Keeping with the other 'flawless' products, the colour scheme is really classy and I love the black and white spotty lid. It also comes with a clear cap over the primer part, but I think that's just to keep it protected. It contains 15.5g, isn't heavy for your make up bag and the actual box is really pretty too. Using the twist mechanism, its easy to use and there's less product wasted rather than a tube.

As the packaging is cleverly designed, it's super easy to use circular motions all over your face to activate the 'magnetic make up' inside, meaning it will hopefully stay on longer. During the demo at the launch, they used actual magnets to simply show that between your bare face and foundation, Stay Flawless is the key to holding it together. Check out this fantastic step-by-step guide created by Benefit.

Product & Finish
When you first apply Stay Flawless, the consistency feels really sticky and horrible, but we were told by the team that this is normal and once you apply the make up, it dries in and locks the foundation in place. It doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky once you've finished your make up, and it didn't irritate my dry, eczema prone skin. The translucent, lightweight formula glides on smoothly, which I really like.

It claims to last 'up to 15-hours' which I always question because if I'm honest, my make up always looks a bit dodgy at 5/6pm. However I have to admit, it didn't look too bad after my normal 9 hour day. I can't say it looked as good as first thing that morning, but my foundation wasn't as patchy or flaky. I think it mainly helped my foundation from drying out on my face, which I was more pleased about rather than the lasting power. However, this is now an essential for nights out and would probably be good for weddings and occasions. As I'm so intrigued, I'm going to do a post featuring Hello Flawless and put both to a test, so keep your eye out for that soon. Here are a few facts printed on the packaging:

97% saw an improvement in the look of skin/complexion* - No
94% said it helps foundation last longer* - Yes
94% said it increased foundation coverage* - No
97% said it enhanced foundation’s performance* - Yes
*Results observed in a consumer panel survey when worn with hello flawless liquid foundation & powder.

I absolutely love Benefit (They're Real, Hoola & High Beam live in my make up bag!) and had really high hopes. Stay Flawless certainly didn't let me down, it helped build a barrier between my foundation and stopped it from drying out. The packaging is gorgeous and I really like how easy it is to use (no mess!). Yes it is pretty pricey, but no different to the majority of other Benefit products. I'd recommend this to anyone with any skin type, it's an absolutely fabulous product!

What do you think? Are you going to be trying Stay Flawless? Do you already use Hello Flawless?
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Wednesday, May 29

Benefit Stay Flawless Southampton Blogger Event

Hey girls! (and boys of course), life has been so crazy recently but I couldn't resist sharing these photographs from the event I went to last night. Held at Orange Rooms in Southampton, Benefit kindly invited myself and 15 other bloggers to the Stay Flawless launch of their brand new primer. So new that in fact, it isn't available in the UK until June 29th!

Despite blogging for over two years now, I haven't been to many brand events. As London is a two hour journey away, I often miss out and I'm petrified of going alone (thats why I love sharing moments like this with my bestest Megan). When Benefit made the first stop for their tour in the South, I drove 45 mins from home to attend.

Greeted with 'Mocktails' (I chose Pink Lemonade, mmm), a sofa full of Benefit pillows, tulips, snacks and the Benebabe team, I was really excited to hear what new product they'd created. It was such a lovely atmosphere and I met some really great girls. After a demo of the new Stay Flawless Primer and a competition, I managed to win a 'Do The Bright Thing' set! Megan and I laughed because they said "...we're going to test if you've been listening" and suddenly our heads shot right up as we were distracted playing with the Primer! It felt so silky smooth on the back of my hand, I can't wait to dedicate a post to review it properly for you.

I'm sure the photos speak for themselves as to how much of a fabulous time we had. It was honestly once of the best events I've attended and couldn't believe how generous Benefit were giving us full sized Stay Flawless, Hello Flawless and a foundation brush. A massive thank you to Orange Rooms & the whole team at Benefit, you worked really hard and I throughly enjoyed the evening. See you again soon!

Are you attending one of their events on this tour?

Friday, May 17


May 20th marks my YouTube anniversary. Two years ago on this day, I uploaded my first ever YouTube video. Although I can joke and laugh at myself, theres definitely a meaning behind many first videos. I cringe sooo badly now, but it's amazing how different the girl in that video was to the girl I am today.

If I'm honest, I'm not quite sure exactly what made me upload my first video, but I'm so glad I did. I started on Tumblr (which is still live and I often come back to it) but it gave me lots of inspiration and distracted me from revision for my A Levels. At the time, I was in a difficult relationship, I'd lost all my school friends, I was coping with my parents divorce and I hadn't settled into my new college very well. Everything in my life at that point felt wrong. Tumblr gave me the chance to switch off and I'd spend hours and hours 're-posting' pictures that inspired me.  I then noticed my interest in make up and beauty products and with this in mind, it wasn't long until I stumbled across the YouTube beauty community and created 'brogantatexo'. 

I don't know why but I was under the impression that if you made videos, you also had a blog. I created mine together, but spent the first few months focusing on videos before appreciating how much I loved writing too. If you knew me before my videos existed, you'd NEVER think I'd be the type of person to create them. I hated acting (I was backstage for almost every production throughout school), I didn't like giving speeches or speaking aloud, and I was usually the person behind the camera taking the photographs. But there was something so comforting about sitting in my bedroom, talking to a camera, and off-loading about how I felt. 

I appreciate this might sound cliche, but YouTube has changed my life. Not only in the sense that I now spend a small portion of my week creating content for you, but in many other ways too. It's given me skills in photography, editing, lighting and filming. It's given me friends I'll hopefully have for life (despite the distance we live apart!). It's given me confidence in myself. It's given me a platform to create my own business. It supported me financially when I wasn't working. It's given me a boost when applying and landing a new job/career. It's given me the chance to work with some fantastic brands and companies. It's opened invites for events and meet ups. It's given me a hobby and passion. It's given me the opportunity to hold memories and watch them back. It's made me appreciate how much I've changed. But most importantly, it reminds me of who I am.

During this process, I've left behind an old chapter in my life and the things that came with that, and believe I've grown into more of an adult. So much has changed since I uploaded that video, but really it's only me that really knows that.

Now, as I've hit the biggest milestone I could have ever of dreamt of, I'm smiling so much because it's such a sense of achievement.

Here's to 10,000 subscribers! Thank you so very much. 

Thursday, May 16

My New Fiorelli Handbag

Firoelli Bag - TKMaxx £34.99 (RRP £65.00)

Oh no, did I buy another handbag? I like to call this my 'work bag', as it's just so handy. In total, there are 5 zips, 3 main sections, 1 inner and 1 on the back. It's really sturdy and comfortable, and the colour is absolutely gorgeous too. It's also available in black if you wanted it slightly different. In the front section, I keep make up, perfume, glasses and random crap. In the middle, my diary and sunglasses. In the back, my purse, work stuff, headphones and food. 
What do you think?

Tuesday, May 7

Macadamia Control Hairspray Review

I've always been a fan of Macadamia products and knew I'd love this new hairspray. It claims to infuse hair with shine and doesn't leave it feeling heavy or sticky. As I've got naturally thick and curly hair, straightening can take me a while and my efforts are usually wasted when it frizzes back up again. Therefore, I've never found a hairspray that actually works, still feels soft and is easy to get out. Until now!

Control has a ton of benefits that make it a really unique product. It's suitable for use on all hair types, humidity resistant, fast-drying, reduces flyaways and has a natural UV protection. The key ingredients include Aminomethyl Propanol, which is an active anti-ageing ingredient, Glycerin and Soy Proteins for shine. Plus its a medium flexible hold, meaning you can brush it out easily. After applying, my hair still felt light, the flyaway bits was tamed and I didn't have that awful tacky taste in my mouth! It was fantastic for keeping my hair straight, but I'm not sure how the hold would be for more dramatic styles.

I love the packaging too, the little swirls work really well against Macadamia's classic greens and browns. However, the plastic lid did brake during postage, so my own picky comment would be an improvement in a nicer lid as it slightly let it down. The 300ml can will last me ages though! Overall, the product is really unique and works well, but the price would be my only holdback. At just over £17, it's a higher end hairspray but I haven't found another like it so congrats Macadamia!


Monday, May 6

Life Lately...#3

Finally, a video for you! I'm back with my regular videos again (fingers crossed) so make sure you're subscribed to see what I've got coming up! I've been a really busy bee with my new job, a new car, making plans with friends, blogging/youtube events and a holiday too. I did blog about these things the other day, but it made sense to come back and explain what I've been doing. Hope you enjoy the video.

ps. I took the above photo by the beach in Bournemouth, thank god for nice weather again!

Saturday, May 4

My Holiday Wishlist

Bow Flip Flops - Ebay | Seafolly Bikini - Simply Beach | Ted Baker Bowcon Bag - House Of Fraser | Knitted Kaftan - Next | Seafolly White Sun Hat - Surf Dome | Ambre Solaire BB Cream - Superdrug | Travel Wallet - Cath Kidston

Hola! I haven't blogged for a while so apologies for that! But in June, I'm jetting of to Tunisia and I've been holiday shopping like craazzzzyyy. Firstly, I've decided that although I seriously dislike hats, last time I was away I really needed one. I'd quite like something floppy but Surf Dome have tons, especially on Amazon. I don't really need a travel wallet, I'm sure I have one lying around, but I just love Cath Kidston and couldn't resist adding it. The gorgeous bikini is from Simply Beach which I'm going to be reviewing for you soon so keep a eye out for that ;) I've already bought the flip flops from ebay, they were too cute not to get and almost match the Ted Baker bag I want too! Despite being a little pricey, Next have the nicest Kaftans which I live in whilst away, definitely will be getting one of those. Finally, has anyone tried the Ambre Solaire BB cream? I'm tempted to get the factor 50 for my face as I burn really easily.

Let me know what you think! Are you heading away anywhere this summer?
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